6 responses to “The Next Big Thing – A New Product Snapshot”

  1. Alan W2AEW

    I used to tell the sales guys: “You can have it cheap, fast and good – pick any two”.

    Cheap+Fast = no good
    Cheap+Good = not fast
    Fast + Good = not cheap!

  2. Jed Sutherland

    And they’ll still make you build it.

    In small struggling companies, you’ll frequently have the sales people at your door, telling you they just know that they can sell more of the existing product if you just make a few simple changes. To paraphrase someone or other: if you can’t sell your pig, putting lipstick on it isn’t going to help.

    In large companies that work very closely with their customers, the customer will tell you that they want everything you ship to them to have a particular colour of button or a different way of doing something.

    It seemed so easy in engineering school.

  3. Porter

    I suppose I’ve been fortunate, but in my experience the marketing and development guys I’ve dealt with have been by and large understanding that I have a number of projects on my plate at any given time. I found that establishing and referring to a project priority list allows me to better deal with those certain individuals who think I should drop everything I’m doing and wave a magic wand and create whatever it is they’ve dreamed up. Most people realize it does not work this way, and those who don’t have been, for me, pretty easy to deal with.

    But what Alan said made be laugh, because it’s so very true.

  4. Sophi

    A funny comic about pigs and lipstick!
    http://www.eeweb.com/rtz/polished-pig

  5. Stanley Lee

    Is this what’s happening at your current employer and your industry colleagues at other companies?

    Exactly the reason why I’m staying away from that industry in terms of business, as I’m just focused on tackling marketing problems rather than marketing + engineering design + commissioning + manufacturing + licensing problems.

  6. ferd

    Enjoyed your logical analysis of determining what products / features to build, and when / how to allocate company resources. But unfortunately it’s a mistake to apply logic (engineering) to an illogical field (sales). Unless chief company executives have engineering backgrounds – that they still exercise – they will not go along with your analysis. Too many executives are businessmen who downplay the role of engineering (some consider engineering an unhappy expense). Too many businessmen are easily excited by Sales’ promises of profits, and they want them NOW. That’s why they hear what Sales says, over the objections of Engineering. Even if Engineering has time to do the market analysis that Sales skips, they’re not likely to be heard over Sales’ prognostications.

    I’ve had better luck gently steering Sales toward project goals that make better engineering sense. By keeping abreast of new developments in my field, I find promising and interesting features that I in turn mention to Sales. If I can get them excited about those possibilities they’re more likely to champion projects that I’d rather be working on. They’ll mention these ideas to their customers, and if they get any positive feedback voila we can get a funded project that we like. Yes it’s manipulation, but that’s how a lot of companies work. To fight fire with fire I’d rather do some manipulation than to be constantly regulated.