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Wally: The biggest tech companies want to win the battle for your living room. But they are unwisely focusing on developing better TV sets. Today I give you me design for a fully digital couch. It has all of the features you would expect, including a butt warmer, surround sound, bottle opener and back scratcher. But you can also control the lights, curtains, temperature and TV by using your buttocks like a mouse on the seat cushion. This is a loft click and... this is a right. The prototype arrives tomorrow, and I'll be testing it for the next six months. Maybe I'll sell my house.
Coworker: Do you mind if I rummage through the trash in the technology lab? Dilbert: Um, okay. Coworker: I'm getting back to my hunter-gatherer roots. Score! These old power cords sell on Ebay for up to $3 apiece. Ha ha! I'm a genius who turns trash into gold! How's that compare to whatever you're doing here. Dilbert: Well, I'm removing valuable features from our product so we can.. gouge our customers with the... upgrade. Coworker: Wow. Your life is a total waste. Dilbert: Not if I sell the power cord.
Dilbert: I added all of the product features that each of you demanded. Now our product is a worthless hodgepodge of complexity. I appreciate your input. I couldn't have failed without you. Boss: Teamwork!
Coworker: Did you finish the design according to my specs? Dilbert: Yep. Coworker: Hypothetically, if I had forgotten to mention several features, would that be a problem? And let's say the deadline is still the same. Dilbert: No problem. I always plan my schedule around your incompetence.
Dilbert: We interviewed hundreds of users and turned all of their suggestions into features. As it turns out, every user we talked to was an idiot, and their dumb suggestions ruined our product. In hindsight, we probably should have talked to people who work outside this building.
Dilbert: Our competitor just bought ten million copies of our software. Boss: Huh? Dilbert: They plan to give it away for free to entice people to buy their own product that has more features. We'll be part of their freemium strategy. Boss: That's just showing off.
Boss: We've decided to charge customers for features they currently get for free. Dilbert: Um... Have you considered how our customers might react? Boss: Obviously. Wally: I'd like to hear how that reasoning process went. Boss: Fine. Customers love us and they will put up with anything we dish out. Wally: So... It's sort of an abusive relationship? Boss: Not yet, but we're trying to move in that direction.
Ted: You know what would be great? I'd like to see a matrix comparing the features of our past products. Boss: Dilbert, why don't you pull that together for our next meeting! Dilbert: That would take two days and the matrix would have no practical use. The problem here is that Ted doesn't have any skin in the game. I propose that Ted has to bang his head on the table whenever he causes me to do extra work. That will help Ted make better decision about the value of my time. Ted: Never mind. Dilbert: Ninja economics!
Dilbert: In my spare time I created some awesome new features for our product. Boss: GAAA!!! Shut the door! Dilbert: What?!! Boss: You fool! If my boss finds out you have spare time, he'll think we're overstaffed! You can never speak of these awesome new features again. Dilbert: I'm confused. You told me I need to go above and beyond my job description to get the highest performance rating. Boss: That's just something I say to keep you from getting a healthy raise. Dilbert: So... I lose no matter what I do? Boss: For what it's worth, you're doing better than our customers.
The Boss says, "As lead software engineer, I give you the first unit of our ten thousand copy production run." Dilbert says, "Wow! I wish we'd designed it with the features listed on the box. That would have been awesome." The Boss says, "What?" Dilbert says, "I'll put this with the other reminders of how my life could have been excellent."