The Dude had a public blow-up with engineering this week.
Last Wednesday, a report from a feasibility experiment for a product idea tangential to our core, but an interesting niche, if we can accomplish it was completed, 6 weeks after the visit and experiment. (the 6 weeks is important here).
With the report came a request to marketing to have a meeting this Wednesday with a marketing plan and business model for this tangential business. (note: 1 week)
Naturally since the Dude was in new manager training last week, and preparing to deliver a field summit meeting this week, he was schedule challenged.
However, he read the report, and noted that there were some serious disconnects. The first being that we were bandwidth limited, and could only deliver half the performance required (red flag), and that our noise floor was about 3X the hardware we were to replace and augment (red flag). His back of the envelope calculation was that these two issues are deal stoppers, and the relatively small size of the niche market wouldn’t support the cost and effort to relieve these limitations.
His well calibrated “gut check” was to just say “no”, shake hands and walk away.
But the engineering manager was demanding a business model and a marketing plan to justify the effort.
Excuse me, but in the real world, not in some HBR case study, it takes time to define a business model. For something so alien, so outside our core competency, it requires a lot of investigation. Interviews, voice of the customer, independent market analysis, deep knowledge of current state.
None of which can be done even half assed in one week.
Of course, when I need a minor change in the system, the stock answer is at least 6 months from engineering.
So, if you want a market analysis, business model, and product definition, expect it to take me 6 months too.