You are Now CEO for a Day !

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  • Updated 2 years ago
As I look at some of the post about what features people are demanding it brings to mind the question: What feature do I NOT want. :) That is a very short list. 

Please indulge me for a second because each of you are going to be named "CEO for a Day".

For those of you who have never owned a business or worked in product development here is how the real world operates.

As the CEO of your company ...

1. You have $100 available.
As CEO your little company is booming and you have a windfall of $100 to use it to concieve, create, distribute and market the next generate, the new Wizbang 2000.

The concept behind the WB2K is fantastic and if you can get this to market you will catch the big boys off guard and blow them out of the market.

2. How Do YOU use that $100 to make this happen ?
Let's assume for a second that the basic overhead is covered. The sales of the Bigbang 1000 is doing well but in order to stay competitive you have to get the WB2K to market as soon as possible.

So ....
- How much can you spend on hardware development ?
- How much can you spend on software development ?
- How much is left over to market and provide technical support for the new product ?

Let's not forget the bigboys spend more on advertising than we actually generate so we are in a tough spot. We have to make exactly the right moves. One wrong step and the bigboys will crush us. And now even the little guys are nipping at our heals.

3. Product Development
Your customers love your product and are always sending you features they want in the new WB2K. If you can get these features in the product you will receive fantastic reviews, people will love you and your company will grow and prosper. (sorry Nobel Prize not available)

A partial list of features that people want and that you want to include in the new product are ...
- Purple Front Panel
- High Resolution Enhanced Display
- Improved Audio
- White sidewall tires
- Dual Receiver
- 999 Channel Satellite TV capability
- Remote control
- Super Duper Noise Generator
- 100% Duty Cycle
- iPad Interface
- Themed Interface with user defined colors
- MIDI Control
- HDMI over 220v ac
- Runs 7 days on 9vdc battery

So as CEO your job is hire and direct your team to build THE best Wizbang 2000 with as many features as you can include, as quickly as possible with the $100 budget.

You have 120 days to get the WB2K into beta. Then 30 days to do final testing and get the product to market. The clock is ticking ...

1. How many engineers can you hire with in your budget and get them trained and productive on the newly developed WB2K api's ? 

2. How long will it take to get every feature from the running customer request into the product.
More importantly which ones will take the longest and which ones are the most important to the success of the WB2K ?

3. How much will the entire project cost ?

4. THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION, how much do we have to charge in order to make a profit and still be competitive ?

You are Now CEO for a Day are you ready.

- How many of you ready to take on this kind of responsibility ?

- How many are willing to mortgage your house and/or take a loan to fund this great idea ?

- How many are willing to tell the employees of your company, sorry I made bad decisions and the features our customers told us they wanted, didn't convince them to buy our product after all. So I have to let 50% of you go.

Obviously the point of all this is to show (hopefully with humor) that creating, building and marketing an idea and product is very scary. It is NOT easy and if it was, a lot more people would be running successful business. 

Every company needs feedback. Every company wants to hear from their users. (except the Federal Govt) But next time Flex or any company makes a decision you like or don't like. Try to remember, even the best companies are working under incredible pressure and limitations.

No one has unlimited time, money, people and resources to build and market a product. The more successful you are the more others want to take that away from you.
I like many of you do not understand the details on the priority of Flex development and I believe me I have a wish list I would like to have included.

But, what I do know is I am not sitting in the meetings listening to the limitations being discussed and difficult decisions being made. What I know is I do not toss and turn at night wondering if the decisions I am making will result in hurting the people I work with every day. And finally, at some point I have to put my faith in the character of those making those tough decisions. Some I will agree with others I won't but my hope is they understand the market place and are doing the best they can with the resources available.

Next time we feel like complaining about what is taking so long. Hopefully you and I will both try to imagine what we would do under this kind of intense daily pressure. My guess is if you and I were running the business... we would already be OUT of business. :)
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Lee - N2LEE

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Posted 2 years ago

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Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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$100 wouldn't pay even for a day of offshore coding. 

I do absolutely get your point. :)

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I'd spend $50 on advertising, 25 on entertaining, 10 on bonus, 10 on a feasibility study and 5 to rebrand a foreign product. Then I'd get a loan and expand my business beyond what can be sustained, file bankruptcy and retire on an island.

But that's just me.

As for complaining, can't pity the CEO. That's why he got the $10 bonus.

Kev K4VD
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Lee - N2LEE

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Kev he ONLY gets the bonus if the WB2K is a success. If it fails he loses his company, his home and his reputation. 

But I love your sense of humor. You would be perfect as a Congressman or Senator.  Some how these guys become millionaires on a salary of $174,000 a year. Now that is a great business. LOL
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Tony WV2C

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Couldn't take it anymore so I deleated all but a few constructive/relevant posts.
Photo of Bill -VA3WTB

Bill -VA3WTB

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How about doing Tim's job for a day?
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Lee - N2LEE

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Interesting you mention that. At one point I thought that would be a good job to have but the more I watch his patience, the more I realized I couldn't do it. The guy is a Saint. 

Of course in my experience that attitude comes from the top. The CEO sets the tone.
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Rich McCabe

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I bet Tim drinks

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Lee - N2LEE

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Rich, don't know about that but I am SURE he thinks some of the people making the post are drinking. LOL
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Bill - you're going to need a bigger boat. (it's shark week)  :-D

Lee - it's a challenge sometimes, but there some satisfying moments.

Rich - not really.  I average about 1-2 beers a month. I'd rather play with my Sheltie or watch the hummingbirds at my feeders to de-stress.

Lee (regarding your last reply) - No comment ;-)
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Lee - N2LEE

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CLASSIC Tim.  Great reply. 

I should take a second to say you really do an amazing job. I know, I know it's all part of the job, blah blah. 

But many times you are the voice of Flex especially to new users and you do a fantastic job. You are both patient and your knowledge.

People that read my post probably can't believe that I love helping people and actually get paid to mentor and train people in my field. But, I do not tolerate those that do not want to work hard or that do not take the time to learn on their own.

But I have seen you answer the most mundane, idiotic, lame questions with the patience of JOB. 

Sorry I do NOT mean for this to turn into a lovefest but most of the time when I screaming at the screen ("its a windows issue you &%$#") you are replying with kindness and helpful information.

Thanks for putting up with us Bozos on this bus. 
Photo of KY6LA - Howard

KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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Been there, Done that... the stress is half the fun

But boy is it ever fun when you finally get one right...Especially when it earns enough to pay for the other 9 disasters that came before it....

Photo of Lee - N2LEE

Lee - N2LEE

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Howard you are absolutely right. It's pretty exciting when your ideas and hard work can get people excited to buy your product. Especially when you are going up against companies 100 times your size. 
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Rick WN2C

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Where is the like button for the first post in a thread. If there was one I would have give Lee a dozen likes for his post. Good Post Lee!!
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Ross - K9COX

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I'll have what he is having
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Tim - G7GFW / F4VQP

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Like Howard, been there, done it - still have the T shirt somewhere. It was an interesting few years. But now, at 70, I wouldn't want to do it again.

Gerald and all the staff at FRS have my admiration for what they do and the openness with which they do it.

Once again my thanks go to FRS and the pleasure their products continue to give me.

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Lee - N2LEE

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Tim, those of us who have fought in this arena "get it". It doesn't mean we accept every decision blindly but it does give you a little empathy as to what it takes.

And you are also right, it does take a special personality and drive to even want to take on this role. Let's be honest, when we were younger we probably didn't know any better. LOL