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The price of returned products--$13.8 billion in '07 alone

Carolyn Mathas
1/24/2008 05:00 PM EST

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Eric Verhulst
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re: The price of returned products--$13.8 billion in '07 alone
Eric Verhulst   1/29/2008 10:17:40 AM
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Isn't it sad? The industry is spending billions of dollars on things nobody really wants. The result is a huge waste of resources, comparable with the credit crisis created by greedy banks offering loans with no verified backing. There is a similarity here. We must change the mindset. Quality is not a bunch of complex features but something that gives value over and over again. Sound engineering principles apply. Of course, in the short run, money is made with selling unuseable features and maybe that's needed for developing new technology. But in the long term, the industry is in trouble. These "gadgets" are becoming n essential ingredient of our daily life. They must work or they are useless. "Must work" also means that the human interfce must be well thought out. Engineering is the art of bringing all aspects to a good end. E.g. Apple' success is largely due to the 'easy to use" experience. It only works becuase the underlying technology works and is reliable. But what is the battery runs out after 3 months and not being replaceble, you have to turn in your phone for 2 weeks ? Apple's nice margins would melt like snow. Good engineering requires a consistent methodology and it is a challenge to get all aspects right. Bad advisors are greed and short term revenue. Formalising helps and is good engineering practice. Time to convince maangers that a working demo is not a product yet.

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