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Software Management

What Clients Want (part2)

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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."

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