On CNN this morning something Mary Schiavo, former Inspector General US DOT, said resonated with me. They were discussing whether the Boeing 737 Max should be grounded right now because of the horrible tragedy in Ethiopia.
Mary said “the old saying is, in a plane crash, the first one of the series, it’s the pilot’s fault… The second one, it’s the plane’s fault. The third one, it’s the company’s fault. And Boeing’s got to act right now or they could face some serious company circumstances.”
I do think there is a broader lessen in it for all of us who are makers. I would translate that series into customer-product-company. It’s telling how we deal with issues, errors and flaws. If we leave it until it escalates to company, then its often too late. (This is not a criticism of Boeing, but a lesson- learned for the rest of us).
How many of us sometimes are too quick to complain about our customer’s misuse or misunderstanding of our product? Be honest, it happens.
Then we tear our products apart. In tech often turning them into spaghetti code until we determine it’s time to launch an end-of-life program.
When what’s vitally important is a company’s attitude and responses to issues, escalation and commitment to fixing things.