Techwriting, marketing, engineering

Subject: Techwriting, marketing, engineering
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <mark -at- MEMCO -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 1996 16:53:03 +0200

[ Overgeneralization zone ahead ]

I've worked in several companies founded by engineers. The engineers
struck it rich with products that only engineers, not marketing people,
could have thought of. The marketing people, after all, tend to ask
the public what it wants; and the public wants nothing but somewhat
improved versions of what it has. The public can't think of anything
entirely new, as a creative engineer can.

When the company gets big enough, though, the people with the money
no longer trust the engineers to envision new products. The
people with the money won't risk the company's future on an intuitive
leap. They want to see facts and figures and projections. Control
over innovation passes to marketing, meaning that evolution replaces
revolution. The engineers feel they have lost status and lost the
opportunity to be creative. They get resentful.

And why do technical writers dislike marketers? Because the
marketers get to do the high-visibility, enjoyable writing-- often for
good pay, often with much autonomy, and often with no qualifications--
while many of us who are often underpaid and overbossed could do
the same thing better. Marketers are extroverts, whereas good
writers are introverts.

[ End of overgeneralization zone ]

- Mark L. Levinson - Memco Software - PO Box 58161 - 61581 Tel Aviv
- work: mark -at- memco -dot- co -dot- il / tel. 03-6487415 ext. 47 / fax 03-6487414
- home: nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il / tel. 09-9552411 or 09-9555720

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