Tag Archives: marketing

Good, Better, Worst

1957_Ford_Thunderbird_white

I spent a good portion of the weekend trying to work with several computer programs that defied both logic and me. There’s a reason for that.

When I was young, automobile companies would design and produce a very popular model, such as the Ford Thunderbird. It started out as a two seater sports car, similar to European sportsters. The hardtop version, in the earlier years, had two small round windows that had no other purpose than to look cool.

Every year, they “improved” it by making it larger, adding rear seats, and making it generally uncool. This practice has been continually refined since then so that good products are improved until they fail. It’s the product equipment of The Peter Principle–the cream rises until it sours.

One explanation is that the enemy of good is better. Actually the Perotto Principle applies; it takes 20 percent of the resources to achieve 80 percent results. It then takes 80 percent of the resources to achieve the final 20 percent.

Such was the case with these programs. The original versions did a few things very well. The current, new and improved versions do many things, but only those who wrote the computer code understand how to make them work.

There’s nothing wrong with “good enough.” If it gets the job done, that’s all that is required; it doesn’t need chrome fender dents and a two-way sneeze-through wind guard.*

 

*Ralph Spoilsport Motors–Firesign Theatr

God’s New Marketing Effort

ncg602

“You must be God. Great to finally meet you. I’ve heard so much about you it’s like I’ve known you all my life!”

You have, whether you realize it or not, just as I’ve known you since long before you were born.

“Great sentiment. You’ve really got a way with words. But, let’s get down to business. Your image needs updating. This is the twenty-first century. You’re not dealing with a bunch of illiterate fishermen and sheepherders. You’re trying to get through to people who understand quantum physics, derivative funds and reality television.

“Some of your views are too rigid – too radical. People want to take care of their own lives and make their own decisions. They don’t want to worry about being struck by lightning for making a mistake.”

I think if you do a little research you’ll find that it has been quite a while me since I’ve taken time out to smite anyone.

“But you’re so judgmental. Religious leaders of all flavors are quick to point out how you hate gays, how we should punish people who don’t follow your rules. How we shouldn’t associate with certain people.”

My Son came down for an extended visit and He was open to everyone. He ate and drank with the prostitutes, the tax collectors, and even the lepers. He was so fond of all of you that He endured a horrible death just to make everything right.

“Look, God, you’re a great guy, but I can’t help you if you’re not willing to change.”

My child. I don’t change. I’ve never changed and I never will change. It goes with the territory. And incidentally, it is not I who need your help.

“But you could be so much more popular. People want you to loosen up.”

I gave every one of you a free will. I let you choose. My son boiled everything down to two simple rules – Love Me and love one another. Pretty simple, and no loopholes.

“Well, don’t expect to win any popularity contests. People are going to do what they want.”

That’s quite alright. I’m very experienced at forgiving.