I read this Dilbert strip yesterday, and found it both funny and sad (Original link here).
See, the bald CEO’s attitude is one I believe to be all too common, and their reaction to Dilbert’s question lays bare their unspoken attitude. Bottom Line. Ship that product. Make that quarterly report shine and keep the stock holders off our backs for a couple more months.
I say that attitude is short-sighted and costly in the long term.
What the CEO should have been saying is, “Our goal this quarter is for our product to make the lives of a million people better.” By extension you can presume a million were sold in the process, but that’s not the main objective. “A million units sold” is, by itself, a sterile, stale number. A one-off achievement. So, what are you going to do next quarter? If, instead, you are focused on making lives better what you have now are a million people (possibly in addition to an existing population) who love your product and, by extension, your company. That is an asset that will last longer than until the next quarterly report, and is the life’s blood of your company in the long term. You will not survive long by roping in a million new suckers a quarter, because very quickly that pool of suckers is going to wise up and then dry up.
How do you make a million people love you? Learning what their goal is, of course, and then stepping in to help them achieve it. If your product cannot fill that role, then why does it exist?
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