Sunday, July 8, 2012

Imperfect Product

Software vendor people have all sorts of different backgrounds... while lawyers and architects might have pretty similar educations, software people could have been educated in liberal arts or pre-med or hard knocks instead of STEM or EECS. Furthermore, they might have more experience in selling or more experience in servicing, or no customer-facing experience at all. Some have worked for lots of vendors, some have worked only at customers, while others stumbled into this opportunity straight out of high school or college and know little else. This leads to a pretty wide variance in risk tolerance, which can have funny effects on planning.

"Product XYZ has issues!" Of course it does. Every product has issues. The question is, what will the team do about them? Is it worth holding up the release to fix it? Possibly, but after some number of flare ups don't be surprised if some of your colleagues want to pull back from doing XYZ at all. This must be stopped, and firmly. Remember all that research on the competitive market and customer demand? Remember the reasons that your company is well-suited to take a piece of this pie? Letting some risk-adverse colleagues block your success is a sad way to fail.

The product may have issues, but if you don't sell it, they will never be fixed. Sales are the oxygen of products, and you might as well not bother if the story isn't good enough to produce a flow of oxygen.

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