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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
>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
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