Who're you selling to anyway?

Another reminder that companies don't make decisions. People do... and people are human... and hence idiots. Remember from The Dilbert Principle

"Everyone is an idiot, not just the people with low SAT scores. The only differences among us is that we're idiots about different things at different times. No matter how smart you are, you spend much of your day being an idiot."

A couple of days ago, I ended up having a conversation identical to one that I had a few weeks earlier with another person. I can't get into the details and so will abstract. This person was in the position to make a decision; an important one at that... and his decision finally was based on the presentation that he would be able to give to his bosses, instead of the actual results of what he'd do. Just to be clear, this person ...thankfully...didn't work at Google.

I've heard the same problem a million times
  • the brand manager who decides to buy advertising in X place instead of Y, because he thinks his boss will like it more (or just hate it less!) 
  • the product manger who builds a feature because he knows his bosses will love it and its a great demo, though he's never thought about if the customer cares.
Its understandable. We're all trying to get ahead and sometimes its easiest to give the hands that feed us a high-five. 
Now in the long run, these decisions should get punished, but the challenge is that the long run is a long, long way away these days.

The point ? Internally, watch out for these tendencies. Don't do it yourself; you'll hate yourself in the morning. But definitely watch out for it in others. Sometimes the easiest way to convince someone to do something is to tell them their boss will approve.
I know...borderline evil, but I feel more evil on the weekend.

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