Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Zoinks! What About The Customer, Scooby Doo?

Last night, my younger son got a Scooby Doo pirate play set - complete with action figures, a pirate castle, and a canon that actually fires a plastic missile!

He was all excited and, as soon as he woke up this morning, wanted to play with it.

Before he could however, one major struggle soon presented itself - opening the set!

It ended up taking me over 10 minutes to open the box (let along put the thing together). First, I had to open the outer box. Then, I had to pull out the whole set, which was tied down with 7 pieces of wire and screwed to a base using 3 screws. I had to get my tool box!

Then, all the action figures were sealed in a solid layer of thick plastic that could probably stop bullets. I had to press down with a heavy-duty pair of scissors to open it up.

Then, I had to pull out the figures through the plastic opening without its sharp edges severing my wrist.

Why do all the toy makers do this?

Why do they make all their packaging customer-unfriendly?

1. It complicates their logistics.

2. It adds unnecessary cost.

3. It annoys the heck out of your customers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

It's About The Client's Success, Not Your Ego

I just completed a high level design of a new software process for a client.  

But today I found out that the client's system already has a feature that can do what they want - it just has to be turned on and configured.  They didn't know it was there. It would save them hours of implementation, not to mention that the feature is already tested.

So I told them that my design is ready, but also told them about this other software and recommended that they go with that solution.  I have no issue with my design not being used.

I've worked with people whose egos would be hurt if their "baby" wasn't used, but I've never had any qualms about discarding my hard work if better ways present themselves.

 I KNOW I'm good, so I don't need the validation.  I know the client will be more impressed because they are getting great value from me.