The "customer is mine
At the beginning customer was owned by «sales» people. Call them business, call them marketing,
call anyhow you like: they are the one that invent products and how to promote, sell and manage
Was the time of «computers are only dumb fast and precise executors» idea.
Then technology reached the organizations but was considered an enabler only, let's do the same
things faster, easier, less expensive but decisions on what to do and how to do was always in the
hand of sales.
In information intensive business, like banking, soon information technology became in the same
time a key factor of success, a bootle neck and a huge cost. Power shifted to technology: sales
where asking but most of the time the answer was not because technology cannot do it or things
where done, but very late and very expensive. Technology was the bottle neck.
Today technology can do almost anything at a reasonable cost and customer needs is again
master and sometimes power shifted back to "sales": "we decide what to do and how to do and
you are executor only".
Both approaches are wrong!
For other technologies and in other business area the fact that cooperation between business
men and techies is the only reasonable way of getting to good results in term of business
(at the and the only important factor) became clear a long time ago. The idea of cooperation won
and has been extensively used since a long time ago. Results are there and the number of
success stories is great. Not successful initiatives are many, reasons for failure various, but I
cannot remember not a single one where the problem was collaboration among the different
Take as en example the beautiful
Michael Tonet number 14 chair, the
victorian age chair in all the Paris bistrot,
and still a masterpiece in design. The
idea was to build a nice element of
furniture light that could be delivered in a
small package and easily mounted in
customer premises, it sounds like an
«ante litteram» Ikea approach.
The solution, a 6 piece only chair, came
out from the idea of using a totally new
technology: wood was shaped by the
usage of hight temperature and steam.
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Similar things happened several times in the
history of technological solutions: think to Kentuky
fried chicken, the fantastic KFC. The fried
chicken is an old tradition in USA, people likes it,
but nobody was successful in making it a fast
food offer because of the long frying time needed,
more then half an hour! Colonel Sanders ﬁnd out
a technological solution transforming a pressure
cocker in a pressure fryer. Again customer needs
knowledge and technology working togheter!
In an «I own the customer, I decide what to do and how and you are only an executor of
what I think and design» environment most provably events like those could never happen!
While writing this thoughts my FB friend Davide Boggi has posted this interesting link to a page
that somehow conﬁrms them. Thank you Davide!
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