Re: Hiding your Lite Under a Bushel

Subject: Re: Hiding your Lite Under a Bushel
From: Robert Plamondon <robert -at- PLAMONDON -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 08:38:01 PST

"Lite" products are such a marketing nightmare that you should first figure
out which of the normal failure modes is the most preferable, and name
the product accordingly. For example, if the "lite" product is so
stripped down as to be useless, it should have a disparaging name. If
the main program is the Automated Robotic Surgeon, the lite version should
be called RoboQuack.

On the other hand, if the lite product is almost as good as the main product,
and all the customers will ignore the main product and flock to the much
cheaper lite product, you might as well name them accordingly, with the
lite product designated Automated Robotic Surgeon 2.0, and the full product
named Automatic Robotic Surgeon Original. (Remember, though, that it's
not your fault when the company's revenues plunge when everyone switches
to the cheap product. The pointy-haired managers make the decisions.)

"Lite" products are almost always a stupid mistake, since they buck the
market trend of increasing capability over time. By removing features,
you become more like your product of five years ago. Five-year-old
products have no value.

If a company wants a friendly, easy-to-use program, they'd be far better
off designing a straighforward, logical, and compelling user interface
for their existing program, rather than stripping off the features that
they originally implemented in an intimidating, confusing, or foolish way.

-- Robert
Robert Plamondon, 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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