Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Bugs and Microsoft

This is really interesting. Microsoft is exposing all of the bugs and feature requests they get from customers in the new Visual Studio and .NET realtime on this site. I have worked with Microsoft support in the past and they are mostly very thorough in their findings. I wonder if the same will happen with this site.

All of a sudden the customer has instant access to the company and in full public view can publish their problems and suggestions, and trail through how Microsoft responds to these problems or suggestions.

I sent a suggestion off to Heinz so that their customers will stop bending forks when opening the new ketchup squeeze bottles. I did ask for a few things in return for implementing my million-dollar idea (a tour of the plant, some ketchup, etc.) but was interested to get the following response:

Our Company does not solicit ideas, product or packaging concepts, recipes, or other submissions from outside sources. Rather, we rely on the creativity and analysis of our employees, including internal research and development, marketing, and advertising groups, combined with contracted external agencies.

Well, I could be an external agency. Contract me! :)

Seriously though, a business should listen to its customers, as they will probably end up having the potential of being a far more valuable resource than the employees of a company or a contracted company that is boxed in by the requirements of the contract rather than free-thinking.

Then again, listening to your customers may get you this.

Read this before Fox cracks down on it.

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