Know the New Economy

Subject: Know the New Economy
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 29 Apr 2000 11:19:39 -0700 (PDT)

> But MS-Word fails on all those counts (most of all it fails on the quality
> and completeness of the documentation), yet its dominance goes unchallenged.
> I doubt if more than 10% of knowledge workers would use MS-Weird for long
> technical documents if they weren't forced to do so by either their
> management or their customers. There are competing products (e.g.,
> FrameMaker) that are superior in all respects to that piece of crap. Name
> one that has even a remote chance of mounting a successful challenge to its
> dominance.

MS Word, and many other products, are tremendous successes and will continue to
dominate BECAUSE they are the standard. Clearly the market has rendered a
decision about these product: they are quality enough for everybody to use.
That's democracy in action.

Hasn't Betamax, Novell, Apple, or SCSI taught us anything. Being "the best"
DOESN'T MATTER. The new economy does not always reward the best. It rewards
those that can move, change, and distribute quickly and effectively. Like it or
lump it, products such as Word and Windows are here to stay and they will
continue to dominate the market.

Again, this is a powerful lesson for tech writers. Just because you have an
exquisite internationally recognized development methodology, an extensive
style guide, and a well-ordered tech pubs team does not mean you will write
good documents.

The equation for success in today's markets is much more complex that just
"doing the right thing." You must possess a certain market finesse and be able
to quickly produce and distribute products (documents). Many corporations fail
because they are too damn slow at responding to market forces.

Many writers fail because they are too damn slow at responding to the volatile
environment of today's business. Obsessing over every tiny detail in a document
may FEEL like the responsible thing to do, but it is not necessarily the RIGHT
thing to do. Whining about how FrameMaker is better may feel like the
"professional, expert's" thing to do, but it does not get the job done. And
nobody cares about your ideas if you cannot get the job done.

Andrew Plato

Do You Yahoo!?
Talk to your friends online and get email alerts with Yahoo! Messenger.

Previous by Author: Re: Slow Down Development, NO; Speed up Minds, YES
Next by Author: Re: Know the New Economy
Previous by Thread: Chapter Heading Summary
Next by Thread: Re: Know the New Economy

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads