Monday, October 19, 2015

Software Quality is in the
Eye of the Beholder

Software developers often assume that their notion of "quality" is perfectly aligned with the ideas about quality that their prospects and customers hold. Don't make such an assumption.

This type of advice comes from Robert A. Lutz, the former President and Vice Chairman of Chrysler Corporation, and the author of "Guts - The seven laws of business that made Chrysler the world's hottest car company."

Lutz believes that customers define quality as the addition of new things, and not as the removal of flaws from your company's product or service. Lutz also remarks that customers can believe that your product has a high level of quality, even if they see it as neither useful nor practical.

Based on his work in the automobile industry, Lutz believes that people will often choose a delightful product or service, even if it has some flaws. Such a product or service will be a better seller than a flawless one that doesn't delight your target audience. I'd guess that Lutz would urge microISVs to weave innovative features and benefits into their software.

Charm, fun, and romance. Lutz says that our definition of quality should include these fuzzy concepts. That sounds like good software marketing advice.

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