The Year of C.E.O. Failures Explained —

Last spring, I taught a class at the Colum­bia Busi­ness School called “What Makes a Hit a Hit—and a Flop a Flop.” I focused on consumer-tech suc­cess sto­ries and disasters.

I dis­tinctly remem­ber the day I focused on prod­ucts that were rushed to mar­ket when they were full of bugs — and the com­pany knew it (can you say “Black­Berry Storm?”). I sagely told my class full of twen­tysome­things that I was proud to talk to them now, when they were young and impres­sion­able — that I hoped I could instill some sense of Doing What’s Right before they became cor­rupted by the cor­po­rate world.

But it was too late.

To my aston­ish­ment, hands shot up all over the room. These bud­ding chief exec­u­tives wound up telling me, politely, that I was wrong. That there’s a solid busi­ness case for ship­ping half-finished soft­ware. “You get the rev­enue flow­ing,” one young lady told me. “You don’t want to let your investors down, right? You can always fix the soft­ware later.”

You can always fix the soft­ware later. Wow.

That’s right. Use your cus­tomers as beta testers. Don’t worry about burn­ing them. Don’t worry about sour­ing them on your com­pany name for­ever. There will always be more cus­tomers where those came from, right?

That “ignore the cus­tomer” approach hasn’t worked out so well for Hewlett-Packard, Net­flix and Cisco. All three suf­fered enor­mous pub­lic black eyes. All three looked like they had no idea what they were doing.

Maybe all of those M.B.A.’s pour­ing into the work­place know some­thing we don’t. Maybe there’s actu­ally a shrewd mas­ter plan that the com­mon folk can’t even fathom.

But maybe, too, there’s a solid busi­ness case to be made for fac­tor­ing pub­lic reac­tion and the customer’s inter­est into big busi­ness deci­sions. And maybe, just maybe, that idea will become other C.E.O.s’ 2011 New Year’s resolution.

via – The Year of C.E.O. Fail­ures Explained. I’m not cer­tain if busi­ness school teach that only thing mat­ters is the profit you can make or if it is the result of some­thing else. How­ever, busi­ness schools seem to cre­ate an envi­ron­ment that rewards not mak­ing happy cus­tomers, not doing the eth­i­cal thing, not doing the thing that pro­tects the envi­ron­ment down the road. One of the ways in which Apple suc­ceeds is by releas­ing prod­ucts when they are fully fin­ished and not half-baked.

Web Developer, constant student, backpacker and hater of the Oxford comma.

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Business, Culture, Quick Posts, User Experience
Short Link:


Sub­scribe to this site via RSS | Twit­ter |

Fol­low me on Twit­ter | GitHub

  • No bookmarks avaliable.