Re: Value of paper docs?

Subject: Re: Value of paper docs?
From: Michael Krigsman <mkrigsman -at- CPUB -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1996 10:27:13 -0400

Very specifically, I am interested in an objective research study on
consumer's perception of the value of paper documentation. Ideally, this
value would be expressed in economic terms.

Michael Krigsman
Cambridge Publications, Inc.

At 06:51 AM 10/2/96 PDT, Robert Plamondon wrote:
>Are you really interested only in the perceived value of printed manuals
>for the INITIAL sale? This is the "Value of manuals to fly-by-night
>operators" research.

>Companies that expect to remain in business should focus on the perceived
>value of manuals for SUBSEQUENT sales. Will the user buy version 2.0,
>or is he so fed up with the "useless" product that he will flee to
>the competition by purchasing a "competitive upgrade"?

>Microsoft documentation is in something of a death spiral. By focusing
>first on baby-food manuals with little real content, they set themselves
>up for the realization that useless manuals cost a lot more than no
>manuals at all, while giving comparable performance. There was also
>a period where they bragged about being able to cut 90% out of their
>manuals and get away with it. Many people concluded that they should
>do a 90% cut, too.

>It's as if someone who weighted 1200 pounds became much healthier
>with a 90% weight loss, causing many 150-pound readers to attempt
>the same thing.

>But I digress. People who have not yet used a piece of software are
>just guessing at the value of the documentation. Later on, the TRUE
>value of the documentation can be learned, though probably not from
>a simple "put a dollar value on each piece of the product" sort of

> -- Robert
>Robert Plamondon, President/Managing Editor, High-Tech Technical Writing, Inc.
>36475 Norton Creek Road * Blodgett * Oregon * 97326
>robert -at- plamondon -dot- com * (541) 453-5841 * Fax: (541) 453-4139

Michael Krigsman Tel: (617)739-1860 ext.18
Cambridge Publications, Inc. Fax: (617)277-9990
One Harvard St., Suite 300 Internet: mkrigsman -at- cpub -dot- com
Brookline, MA 02146 Compuserve: 73707,75

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