Re: Moving upstream

Subject: Re: Moving upstream
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: Beth Agnew <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
Date: Fri, 19 May 2006 13:17:04 -0400

Beth Agnew wrote:

A close second to the "stop finding bugs!" admonition is the grudging
compliment "Give it to Beth, she can break anything." What they mean is, we
wish she would quit trying to make the product do something that we hadn't

They design a toaster for slices of bread, not realizing that users want to
toast bagels, home-made bread they've sliced themselves, Poptarts, etc. Then
they get mad at me because my bagel has got stuck in the slot and set the
toaster on fire.


Everything you say makes sense from the point of view of the customer, from the point of view of any conscientious product developer, and from the point of view of the liability insurance carrier. It does not necessarily make sense from the point of view of management.

In an environment where the company's future existence depends on making this quarter's numbers, product quality and customer satisfaction may rank well below product cost and ship date. So the refusal to acknowledge mere facts, such as the suckiness of the product, may actually make sense, in a perverse way, from the point of view of the CFO. This is especially true in a company that espouses the theory of relationship selling, where golf with the buyer is more important than whether the product has value. "We can fix the product later."

As I've said previously, in the calculus of corporate decision-making, logic carries a negative coefficient.

Dick, logically blogging at


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RE: Moving upstream: From: Beth Agnew

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