Sunday, September 23, 2007

Conversation with a Manager

Q: Do you turn out a great product?

M: We turn out a very good product.

Q: Not a great one?

M: I would not go so far as to say that. It's very good but great? I'm not so sure.

Q: Why don't you sell a great product?

M: Well, you know "great" takes a lot of time. We're not overly blessed in that category. We can do "good" and even "very good" but "great" sort of scares me.

Q: Why?

M: Because if you're great today, people will expect you to be great tomorrow and the next day. That's asking a lot. We don't want to overpromise. We prefer "pretty good."

Q: But once upon a time, your "pretty good" would have passed for "great" and some pioneers raised the expectations. Why aren't you willing to be a pioneer?

M: That's risky. Pioneers have to ford streams and climb mountains. Besides, I never forget what I heard about pioneers in my business classes.

Q: Oh, really. What's that?

M: They're the ones with the arrows in them.

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