Wednesday, December 06, 2006



I was asked to provide a "sales brochure"-style description of a product I'd worked on in my pre-contractor career. The company wanted to sell this thing to customers, and so I was asked to write up a description of the product in a positive light.

What I wrote was not exactly "lying," but it has been entertaining to see the reactions of others who know the truth. Those of us who are familiar with the product know how flawed it is, and how much work will be needed to make it a good product. My description of the product ignores these flaws, and creates the impression that everything we would like the product to do is actually already do-able.

One of the managers of this company has a saying: "Don't confuse what is necessary to get the business with what is necessary to do the business." In other words, what we can promise is unrelated to what we can actually deliver.

I don't feel good about my not-completely-transparent description of the product, but I'm a hired gun, so this is what I do.

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