Home > business > It's the product, stupid.

It's the product, stupid.

February 1, 2007

Ford lost $12.7 BILLION dollars.

I think Robert Scoble could help Ford out. He’d take his trusty camera to any street in the United States and interview random people for 30 minutes. Lo and behold, he’d find out that people really want to buy Ford. Only they can’t, because the products suck again. Friends of mine say things like “I really wanted to buy an American car, but they just aren’t any good anymore” as they drive their new Toyota home from the dealer.

There’ll be a lot of noise about how it’s the labor unions or the pension plans, but that’s not it. Toyota has the same labor unions, and Ford’s labor spent years building good products that sold well. Toyota and other foreign companies have to deal with import fees that could cripple their prices, but don’t – offsetting the pension issue.

Ford’s been through this before, and the tactic they used last time will work again if they would only look at their own corporate history: find out what the customer wants and build it.

Dell just got rid of its CEO and Michael Dell is back in the game.

Hopefully, Michael’s first order of business will be to sit down, go to dell.com, and try to buy a PC. Once he discovers he can’t buy one that’s not loaded with junkware, maybe he’ll fix the problem. Scoble could probably help him out too, again simply by asking the average Joe what they don’t like about Dell.

As you can imagine, I’m the go-to guy in our circle of family and friends when it comes to computer equipment. It used to be “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!”. Now it’s “Mac mini in the house!” and they couldn’t be happier. First words out of their mouths? “Wow, it doesn’t come with all those annoying programs?”

Oh, and Dell, you might want to rethink dropping the “Dude” campaign. Years later, people still use the phrase. But make the product good again first – nothing kills a bad product faster than great marketing.

Categories: business
  1. Margo Smith-Kline
    February 8, 2007 at 7:42 pm

    FYI – at least part of your Ford rant is possibly not accurate. Recently it was reported, I believe it was Wall Street Journal, that the domestic car makers had an average hourly fully loaded wage rate of something around $80 an hour, while Toyota had something like $35 an hour.

  1. February 2, 2007 at 11:27 am
  2. February 2, 2007 at 5:37 pm
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