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Re: feedback/features/new loopers...

On 12/30/05, Kris Hartung <khartung@cableone.net> wrote:
> Here's an example. I used to work in R&D for HP, and I managed a database
> and tool that stored product requirements (features, behaviors, benefits,
> priority, etc) for LaserJet printers. I worked with other folks in R&D 
> future product marketing. They reviewed and collected requirements from
> customers via various data collection methods - focus groups, surveys,
> interviews with executives, industry analysts, and power users, etc. 
>Once we
> completed the requirement collection and validation, I used the tool to
> generate various reports for marketing and R&D leads. They used that 
>data in
> R&D to drive the design of the product. This process helped us develop 
> winning products. I specifically remember features that were developed
> because of direct customer input. If we had left it up to the engineers 
> design the product, that would have resulted in a product designed with
> features that they thought were important, but which weren't necessarily
> important to the target customer. The engineers often had a completely
> different view of what features they wanted to build in to the
> product...often driven by capability or leveraging their area of 
> or something else they were working on.  I'm willing to bet that if you
> probed all of the fortune 500 companies, you would find that they had a
> similar process for designing products...and they wouldn't consider it a
> process of mediocrity, but one of necessity to survive and compete in the
> marketplace.

While I agree that this is often a good strategy, a lot of really good
things are built by a single person or a very small group of people
with a vision without consulting the public -- for example, a lot of
Google's output.

Focus groups are great for creating innovative versions of things that
already exist but if you have your own vision, you should run with it
and, frankly, more or less ignore what anyone else thinks until you
are finished.  Often, people simply don't know what they want until
they have it in their hands.

All these almost-good loopers missing one or two features aren't an
argument against this.  If the creators really had an insight into
looping, they'd have *known* that their box needed a feedback control,
for example.