Doing the right thing for the customer: On a customer visit "It became obvious to me that we had nothing
that would solve his problem and RCA did. I gave the customer the RCA
part number... I told the Field Sales Engineer that his job was twofold;
first to solve customer's problems and second to sell OED's products, in
that order... The FSE was so angry with me he didn’t even say goodbye...
Two months went by and I received a phone call from the same FSE. He was
as happy as a kid with a new bicycle; for the customer had called him to
help solve another problem. The customer told the FSE he called back
because he knew HP would help solve his problem even though it might not
lead to a sale. This time, however, OED did have a product
that solved the customer’s problem." (page 17)
With growth in the division came new managers who instituted "a strict
product development process to ensure the development of new products in
a timely fashion. I thought this was
absolute nonsense. I agreed that OED needed processes to operate as an
effective business entity. But having to follow a strict product
development process did not make any sense to me; because many of OED's
most successful products had not been developed using any particular
process and some had even been developed clandestinely to keep from
being killed by management before they were brought to fruition." (page
Be part of your customers' world. If your customers have a
trade association, convention, or standard-setting body -- become a key
participant. That's how Dave helped get LEDs adopted in traffic lights,
airplane cockpits, auto tail lights and instrument panels, road signs,
highway barricades, "exit" signs, and in-road crosswalk lights.
Developed, edited, and introduced by John Minck.
On the late Marc Mislanghe's personal
HP Memory Project site,
which is now operated by Ken Kuhn.