|Re: 35s checksum problem|
Message #6 Posted by Bruce Bergman on 10 Aug 2007, 3:03 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Katie Wasserman
I tend to agree with you, Katie.
What's perhaps most frustrating for me is that HP doesn't appear (or won't) include beta testers in the production process. Yeah, I get the whole thing about company proprietary information, keeping secrets and making sure the competition doesn't find out about new calcs, but THIS fiasco is exactly why they need to break out of that mold. Hopefully Sam can wield some power in this and sees the value in having more folks beta test future calcs, even if only to look for bugs. I'm quite sure that had 20 of us in this group had the calc for two weeks, we would have found **ALL** of these bugs and given back to HP a really valuable contribution in terms of quality.
Lessons from the software world need to be applied here. Beta testing is good. Especially with more and more complex systems.
* * *
I still like this calc. I will play with it and enjoy it, but it has lost some of the "shine" due to these bugs. I just hope they fix them and listen to the truly enthusiastic users.
You know, this reminds me of something Disney did a while back. Let me tell you a story...
After Disney killed the Electric Light Parade, they needed to replace it with something similar but new and fresh. They hired a Hollywood guy to create "Light Magic" in 1997, a parade with even more lights, and kind of themed after fairies.
They had a one night premier for cast members only. It didn't go over so well. A lot of cast members disliked it, and thought it wasn't up to standard. The cast members suggested that the Annual Passholders (AP's) check it out. Disney considered.
A week later, they offered Annual Passholders a chance to view the parade. My wife and I went up to Anaheim and saw it twice on the night it was first out. Disney gave out comment cards and asked for input. Aside from written comments, AP's *lined up* outside the customer relations building to complain about the parade. It was HORRIBLE. It was whiny, the music sucked, there was no story, no tie-in to old Disney characters and some of the fairies were downright evil and scary looking. Literally, children cried when it went by. Some people were just stunned. With an overwhelming majority of dedicated AP's complaining, Disney decided to delay the opening by six weeks to "make repairs".
The parade opened six weeks later, with virtually no changes (!!), and was panned in the press. People hated it. It lasted all of three months before it was killed, and the Disney head who created it was fired. Now, you can barely find mention of "Light Magic" anywhere in Disney-dom. It has been blacklisted. It was incredibly painful for Disney.
The lesson here was that Disney failed to realize who their TRUE fans were and they didn't let them HELP. No one is more dedicated to Disney than the AP's. These are the people who spend hundreds and thousands of dollars every year on passes. They talk up Disney with friends, family and anyone who will listen. Like my wife and I, we would visit Disneyland 2-3 times a month. Some people we know go every other DAY.
These people truly are the hardcore Disney fanatics. Probably not one naysayer in the group. Yet when that same fan base said "wow, this parade really sucks! I mean REALLY!", Disney discounted it. They had -- at their ready disposal -- almost everything they needed to fix the parade, but were too proud to call upon outside help.
Suggestions were coming in left and right. Those were the same suggestions that made it into the New Electric Light Parade three years later (that everyone loves now, BTW). But instead of taking advantage of those who love Disney and are working FOR them, they chose not to. Greed, pride, whatever. It could have been different.
Now, to be fair, HP has never said they WANT input from us hardcore types prior to release. But it would seem to make a lot of sense. Don't stress about 20 more people knowing about a new calc because they have a pre-release version -- JUST DO IT. I don't think we'd be in this situation today had HP given some hardcore users an opportunity to test out the HP-35s prior to announcement.
Anyhow, I somehow climbed up on a soapbox, so now I'd better get off... ;-)