Re: Issues with distribution of technical documents

Subject: Re: Issues with distribution of technical documents
From: "Richard G. Combs" <richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2001 14:05:19 -0600

Dannette Thompson wrote:
> Has anyone considered the possibility that bad documentation can actually
> lead to a profit center? I've heard "rumors" that some companies ask users
> to pay for an agreement that entitles them to unlimited support. The
> agreement becomes a profit center, and really good documentation makes
> think twice about buying the agreement. Therefore the company doesn't want
> good docs. Pretty shady, but it is a way for the company to make money.
> Anyone else hear of companies practicing this?

Almost ten years ago, I had a client that developed software for telcos. A
couple of months after I began the project, the product manager told me
explicitly that they didn't want the manuals to be too good because training
and support were big profit centers.

I got out as soon as I could and never worked for them again. They
eventually developed a reputation for shoddy software quality as well, and
they no longer exist. ;-)


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Voyant Technologies, Inc.
richard -dot- combs -at- voyanttech -dot- com
rgcombs -at- free-market -dot- net


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