This Guest paper originated from a series of Emails on the ubiquitous Internet. It was prompted by differing views on the reaction of customers to new products. While the author does not profess to be a software project manager, her insights in managing her own work as projects are particularly valuable.
Copyright K. Jones© 2005.
Published here May 2005.

Editor's Preamble | Kate Jones' Viewpoint
On Salability | On Designs and Development
On Government and Private Enterprise | On the Human Response

Kate Jones' Viewpoint

As usual, Joe brings us a fascinating subject and one that goes to the heart of what it means to be alive and what it means to be human. I find it especially intriguing how each writer sees it through a different filter. Allow me a few observations "from the outside".

Bob Steinberger[2] eloquently posits the triad: developer/seller/buyer. Max Wideman draws the edges of a tetrahedron to depict triplets of interacting forces and conditions. Joe Marasco builds on Max's tetrahedron by depicting, in his new book, the project pyramid with a quadrilateral base and an altitude reflecting the probability of success. Max also makes the charming two-way comparison: "Here's my gizmo what do you think of it" and "Show me your gizmo [so I can do something with it]".

In a society sufficiently evolved to allow division of labor, indeed there are those who make stuff, those who transfer stuff, and those who use stuff. Sometimes these can collapse into just two: make and sell; buy and use. As an artist, I am highly sensitized to operating on such a primitive level. I create my gizmo the way I want, for my own pleasure but with the knowledge behind the creative process that if I want to keep on doing this, I'd better produce some income to subsidize the process. So half an eye is on salability.

Some artists with great chutzpah put huge price tags on questionable output, and, value being in the eye of the beholder, they may just get away with it. This is a case where the producer is also the seller. In the case of a middleman, the buyer ends up paying both tiers, the producer and the seller. When a style sells, you may be sure that more of it will be made until the market is saturated. Each success spawns its imitators who want in on a good thing.

Editor's Preamble  Editor's Preamble

2. Another contributor to the Email discussion
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