Re: Giving clients softcopy

Subject: Re: Giving clients softcopy
From: Jeremy M Lerman <jeremy -at- INSPEC -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 1996 09:54:45 +0200

Dear all,

A personal experience with giving clients softcopy:

I once worked for a software company in Jerusalem, Israel, who happily
courted a potentially hot client - a household name American aircraft
manufacturer. They were in the holy city for a week, made all the right
noises, and oohed and aahed at the demos and in-house catered corporate
lunches (fresh Norwegian Salmon and other delectables; FYI The left-overs
were left in the kitchen in fancy bowls at the end of the lunch, presumably
to feed the poor starving masses - due to the low wages paid by the salmon
gorging management - who were never allowed to move from their desk without
filling in a release form from the team leader.)

In between lunch and afternoon recess, my boss asked me to print and
package the whole set of end-user documentation to give our new "clients"
something to read on there way back to the States. I was stunned and
appalled. You see, our end-user documentation was actually used as the
Design Functional Specification for the whole system, right down to the
GUI. Eighty per-cent of the system DID NOT EXIST - it was pure vaporware. I
had drawn more than two hundred dummy screen interfaces as working
blueprints. So, not only did I print out the user guides, but I also
rewrote my resume, phoned a company just across the road, arranged an
interview for the very next day and printed out my resume. FYI I got the
job.

Needless to say, the household name American aircraft manufacturer, took
the goods, ran home to rat-race land, and did not buy into the system.
Instead, surprise surprise, they brought out their own competing system two
years later. Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, it took several more years
before the majority of the company closed down due to lack of a SINGULAR
major sale.


If you really must deliver softcopy to clients, consider the following
solutions:

Delivber read-only PDF files to your clients with the free Acrobat Reader
software.

Deliver read-only FrameMaker documents with the free FrameReader software.

Whichever format you choose, the client recieves what he wants and can
print out as many copies as he likes. Editing the content (commonly known
as screwing up your team's work and demanding a complete overhaul of the
client's fuck-ups to be ready by yesterday) would be completely out of the
question and would necessitate your team's control and input once again.


Regards,

Jeremy

jeremy -at- inspec -dot- com


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