Recommended reading: Marc Levinson's "An Extraordinary Time - The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy" or my title: Why leaders try variations of the same thing and wonder why it fails every time. Link to Barnes and Nobel book store.

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Engineer Based Companies

How Engineer Dominated Companies, those that like their products, Can Thrive in a Time of Sales Dominated Companies whose only interest is the thrill of the sale.

 Upon reaching the level of sloppy wealth, most societies spend their money (wealth) in increasing percentages just to be entertained. Since the verbal people are far more entertaining than the serious engineers, more and more parts of the economic structure are run by verbal sales people who are far better selling their bosses than selling the company's expertise/products.

 

 The Yappers eventually will destroy the company until either the Engineers resurrect the company to health or it just ends through bankruptcy or takeover.  Home Depot is a perfect example. How about HP?

 Are confluences forcing the issue of survival? America's still pretty wealthy; are we winner or losers in the future? And why are we talking in a whisper?

 Two types of perspective are allowed in American businesses (most likely this situation extends around the world): businesses where the sale is everything and where the product is everything. Although the extremes are  just as common as the proper blending, often the management capable of maintaining the proper balance is followed by the sales oriented cycle.

 A sales cycle can exploit a product until the product is out of date or has been ruined by lack of understanding of the engineering base of the company. Even in sports, some management understands how to attract the best players. When the management moves to another team, the original team can be very successful right after the previous regime, but then fade into a second rate team as the best players leave and are not replaced.  This happened for every team Bill Parcells coached in professional football. It happens regularly in business.

 New and better products never come out of sales organizations, just like the insurance industry.

 Sales organizations like to think keeping a sinking ship in the harbor is a major triumph. Non-verbal people think sailing the ship across the ocean as a more major triumph.

 Sales organizations don't need to make profits for many years to feel successful. Or else they get their footprint bronzed by government to keep out non-verbal/engineering types. Monopoly always works. Look at insurance. In any case, to a salesperson the thrill of success is always fleeting. Just monopoly makes the fleecing happen again and again.

 Verbal people think research is a overhead expense hurting the bottom line. The future, especially "blue sky" just doesn't enter into their perceptions. "If you show it to me I can sell it" is the only thing I've ever heard from salespeople. They rarely can tell you what would make any product a better product and sales item.

 Engineers live and die by research. They tend not to understand how to sell. Once they learn, they can stay in business for long periods of time.

 Yappers will burn their products up selling. Then they just go and sell something else. The moping up is someone else's problem.

 The entire point is balance: whether you sell services or products, if no one is using them you are helping no one. Unfortunately, if you sell an inferior product or service, you may actually be hurting someone.

 Be careful of yappers. Many normal looking and sounding people are really better at selling you than selling your service or product, or even doing their job. sooner you learn to recognize them the better your staff will become.