What Clients Want (part2)

Freshness Warning
This article is over 17 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current.

winterspeack.com’s Zimran Ahmed disagrees with Joel Spolsky’s article "The solution is not to pander to corporate myopia and produce software that helps neither the business nor its customers. Somebody’s business is going to rely on what you produce and I beleive it is unethical to knowingly create a product that doesn’t improve the life of the end customer."

That’s very true, but I think he’s missing the point of Spolsky’s article. If you show the client (or your internal customers) a series of pretty screenshots, they assume you are done with all the work and don’t understand what else there is to do. If you show them a fully working product that doesn’t have a pretty face they will assume that nothing has been done. So Joel is suggesting that you remember this and strike a balance with your demos.

The problem with this approach is that you are lying to your client. That is not a good idea. A profitable consulting business relies on repeat customers and referrals. Deceit is not the way to acheive this.

Ahmed is right about one thing though. "If you want to find the real iceberg in the technology world, it’s that the 1% of people who create technology are utterly clueless at figuring out what 99% of people actually want. The technology world is a wasteland of pointlessly hard to use products that don’t benefit anyone and were expensive to produce."


Your comments:

Text only, no HTML. URLs will automatically be converted to links. Your email address is required, but it will not be displayed on the site.

Name:

Not your company or your SEO link. Comments without a real name will be deleted as spam.

Email: (not displayed)

If you don't feel comfortable giving me your real email address, don't expect me to feel comfortable publishing your comment.

Website (optional):

Follow me on Twitter

Best Of

  • Google on the desktop Google picks up Picasa, giving them an important foothold on people's PCs.
  • Embrace the medium The Web is different than print, television, or any other medium. To be successful, designers must embrace those differences.
  • Simplified Form Errors One of the most frustrating experiences on the Web is filling out forms. When mistakes are made, the user is often left guessing what they need to correct. We've taken an approach that shows the user in no uncertain terms what needs to be fixed.
  • Let it go Netscape 4 is six years old.
  • Lock-in is bad T-Mobile thinks they'll get new Hotspot customers with exclusive content and locked-in devices.
  • More of the best »

Recently Read

Get More

Subscribe | Archives

Recently

Managers and technical ability (Dec 26)
In technical fields, the closer you are to the actual work being done, the closer your skills need to resemble those of the people doing the work.
Dysfunctions of output-oriented software teams (Sep 17)
Whatever you call it, the symptom is that you're measuring your progress by how much you build and deliver instead of measuring success by the amount of customer value you create.
Evaluative and generative product development (Aug 30)
Customers never even talk to the companies that don't fit their needs at all. If the only product ideas you're considering are those that meet the needs of your current customers, then you're only going to find new customers that look exactly like your current customers.
Product Manager Career Ladder (Aug 19)
What are the steps along the product management career path?
Building the Customer-Informed Product (Aug 15)
Strong products aren't composed of a list of features dictated by customers. They are guided by strong visions, and the execution of that vision is the primary focus of product development.
Assumptions and project planning (Feb 18)
When your assumptions change, it's reasonable that your project plans and needs change as well. But too many managers are afraid to go back and re-work a plan that they've already agreed to.
Feature voting is harmful to your product (Feb 7)
There's a lot of problems with using feature voting to drive your product.
Encouraging 1:1s from other managers in your organization (Jan 4)
If you’re managing other managers, encourage them to hold their own 1:1s. It’s such an important tool for managing and leading that everyone needs to be holding them.

Subscribe to this site's feed.

Contact

Adam Kalsey

Mobile: 916.600.2497

Email: adam AT kalsey.com

Twitter, etc: akalsey

Resume

PGP Key

©1999-2020 Adam Kalsey.