I would point out, if poor word of mouth sends your badly designed product into a tailspin, greed is not served. But lazy is.
Once I figured out the crux -- it ceased to be a bother for me.
My argument would be companies aren't nearly greedy enough -- they're more lazy nowadays than they are greedy. Greedy people want both short term and long term profits, whatever it takes to get.
The lazy are obsessed with the quick score and gaming the system (Search Engines). The lazy are okay with leaving 80% of the profits on the table, if it means they can get 20% instantly.
The lazy are obsessed with denial their schemes will backfire and do the exact opposite to profits. Lazy people are obsessed with being clever and with image, not being substantively innovative.
You'll find lazy people obsessed with looking rich. You'd be surprised at the greedy people who look like paupers, they're obsessed with being rich.
I've seen the commercials featuring the "Easy" button. The lottery mentality sees money only as a path to "the easy life." Sorry, but we abandoned greedy as a society a long time ago as too much work. Companies don't lie for money anymore -- although money is a nice coincidental byproduct, now and then -- they lie to get out of doing the work.
That's how you go from a country who exports innovative products to one who exports debt instruments exploiting loopholes and legal maneuvers.
American companies now hoard patents for legal maneuvers, patents are no longer the byproduct of a culture of innovation. I was recently amused when Kodak, spelunking in their patent portfolio, was surprised they had figured out they could eliminate flash photography -- years ago.
Apparently you can actually put the stuff in your patent portfolio into products and out innovate rather than out litigate competitors ...who knew?
The truly greedy are paranoid that they're missing out on money. They're obsessed with the fear some innovative competitor could eat their lunch. That paranoia drives them to compete with themselves, obsoleting their own products with new ones. The truly lazy are monuments to the innovator's dilemma.
Detroit continuously produces tons of innovative concept cars -- for which they get publicity. The reason Detroit is on the rocks is they aren't getting publicity for the production cars in show rooms.
Here’s what you find at a lot of companies,” he says, kicking back in a conference room at Apple’s gleaming white Silicon Valley headquarters, which looks something like a cross between an Ivy League university and an iPod. “You know how you see a show car, and it's really cool, and then four years later you see the production car, and it sucks? And you go, What happened? They had it! They had it in the palm of their hands! They grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory!”
“What happened was, the designers came up with this really great idea. Then they take it to the engineers, and the engineers go, ‘Nah, we can't do that. That's impossible.’ And so it gets a lot worse. Then they take it to the manufacturing people, and they go, ‘We can’t build that!’ And it gets a lot worse.”
— How Apple Does It
Detroit used to produce legendary concept cars in production runs. They long ago figured out they can get the publicity for being innovative with concept cars that never ship. Greed isn't served, but lazy is.
Programmers and engineers and manufacturing might not be able to produce something because they, personally, don't have the skill. More likely it's not that they can't, it's that doing it would take -- in their estimation -- too much work.
They could build it, they just refuse. And innovation takes another one on the chin. Because the innovation which would produce a barrier to competition always seems like it couldn't be done before you try ...Otherwise It Wouldn't Be A Barrier.
Greed isn't served by "painting polka dots on yet another Edsel" but lazy is. Companies assume -- even when they've never actually tried -- making a design driven product is too much work.
The lazy are driven by assumptions about things they never actually try ...because that would be work. So user testing is automatically too much work (We don't know ...we never tried).
The greedy know the price of everything. Lazy companies "know" user testing is expensive -- even when they never price it. They know work when they see it, price is irrelevant.
You can get a greedy company to take action -- because avoiding action isn't the objective of a greedy company. You can't negotiate with a lazy company to take action when avoiding action is the objective of every negotiation.
Some few might celebrate greed, but they don't practice it. We'll go after the "Lazy Man's Way to Riches," but make no mistake ...lazy is a prerequisite to riches.
Edited by DCrx, 06 October 2008 - 07:13 AM.