På en større datamesse - med flere tilhørerer fra blant annet General Motors - hadde Bill Gates et foredrag der han blant annet kom med følgende sammenligning:
'Hvis General Motors hadde hatt samme teknologiske utvikling som IT-industrien, hadde vi idag hatt biler som kostet 25 USD og som kunne kjøre 1000 miles på en gallon bensin.'
Til dette kommenterte en av General Motors-bossene i en pressekonferanse noe senere:
'Hvis GM hadde utviklet sin teknologi på samme måte som Microsoft, hadde bilene i dag hatt følgende egenskaper:
1: Bilen din hadde hatt en uforklarlig ulykke 2. ganger pr. dag.
2: Hver gang markeringsstripene på veien ble malt på nytt, måtte du kjøpe ny bil.
3: Av og til ville bilen kjøre av veien uten grunn. Dette måtte man bare godta, starte bilen på nytt, og kjøre inn på veien igjen.
4: Noen ganger, under spesielle manøvre, som for eksempel en venstresving, ville bilen kjøre rett frem, og nekte å lystre. For å fikse dette, måtte man rett og slett bare bytte motoren.
5: Bilene ville ikke bli levert med mer enn ett sete, og man måtte velge mellom 'Car95' og 'CarNT'. Hvert ekstra sete i bilen ville man måtte bestille hver for seg.
6: Konkurrentene ville laget biler som gikk på solenergi, kjørte 5 ganger raskere, og var to ganger lettere i vekt. Men de ville ikke kunne få lov til å benytte mer enn 5% av veien.
7: Målelampene for temperatur, batteri og olje ville være byttet ut med en eneste lampe: 'Generell tilstand'.
8: Alle setene ville være laget slik at de passet kun til passasjerere med samme vekt og høyde.
9: Airbagen ville spørre ' Er du helt sikker ?' før den åpnet seg.
10: Av og til ville bilen bare låse seg helt. For å fikse dette, ville trikset være å dra i dørhåndtaket, samtidig som man vrir om tenningsnøkkelen mens man har en hånd på antennen.
11: GM ville tvinge deg til å kjøpe en bunke med kart fra RandMcNally (et datterselskap av GM) med hver bil. Selv om du ikke ønsket noe kart. Hvis du valgte å ikke kjøpe slike kart, ville bilen gå 50% saktere. Pga dette ville GM stadig bli saksøkt.
12: Hver gang GM gav ut en ny modell, måtte alle førerne lære å kjøre på nytt, fordi ingen kontroller fungerte helt sånn som på den forrige modellen.
13: Til slutt: Man ville måtte trykke på 'Start' for å stoppe motoren.
As we don't have any electricity, computers or programming experience, this virus works on the honor system. Please delete all of the files from your hard drive and then forward this virus to everyone on your mailing list.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Dear Mr. Architect:
Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion.
My house should have between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted. When you bring the blueprints to me, I will make the final decision of what I want. Also, bring me the cost breakdown for each configuration so that I can arbitrarily pick one.
Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in. Make sure, however, that you correct all the deficiencies that exist in my current house (the floor of my kitchen vibrates when I walk across it, and the walls don't have nearly enough insulation in them).
As you design, also keep in mind that I want to keep yearly maintenance costs as low as possible. This should mean the incorporation of extra-cost features like aluminum, vinyl, or composite siding. (If you choose not to specify aluminum, be prepared to explain your decision in detail.)
Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator.
To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year. Make sure that you weigh all of thses options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make.
Please don't bother me with small details right now. Your job is to develop the overall plans for the house: get the big picture. At this time, for example, it is not appropriate to be choosing the color of the carpet. However, keep in mind that my wife likes blue.
Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours.
While you are designing this house specifically for me, keep in mind that sooner or later I will have to sell it to someone else. It therefore should have appeal to a wide variety of potential buyers. Please make sure before you finalize the plans that there is a consensus of the population in my area that they like the features this house has.
I advise you to run up and look at my neighbor's house he constructed last year. We like it a great deal. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularily the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.
Please prepare a complete set of blueprints. It is not necessary at this time to do the real design, since they will be used only for construction bids. Be advised, however, that you will be held accountable for any increase of construction costs as a result of later design changes.
You must be thrilled to be working on as an interesting project as this! To be able to use the latest techniques and materials and to be given such freedom in your designs is something that can't happen very often. Contact me as soon as possible with your complete ideas and plans.
PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I've given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can't handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.
PPS: Perhaps what I need is not a house at all, but a travel trailer. Please advise me as soon as possible if this is the case.
We fixed all the killer bugs ...
Uh, we introduced a few new bugs fixing the killer bugs and so we had to fix them, too.
We did the product we really wanted to do to begin with. Mind you, it's really not what the customer needs yet, but we're working on it.
Well, not surprisingly, we broke some things in making major changes so we had to fix them. But we did a really good job of testing this time, so we don't think we introduced any new bugs while we were fixing these bugs.
Uh, sorry, one slipped through. One lousy typo error and you won't believe how much trouble it caused!
Some jerk found a deep-seated bug that's been there since 1.0 and wouldn't stop nagging until we fixed it!!
Hey, we finally think we've got it right! Most of the customers are really happy with this.
Of course, we did break a few little things.
More features. It's doubled in size now, by the way, and you'll need to get more memory and a faster processor ...
Just one or two bugs this time... Honest!
We really need to go on to a new product, but we have an installed base out there to protect. We're cutting the staffing after this.
We had to fix a few things we broke in 5.0. Not very many, but it's been so long since we looked at this thing we might as well call it a major upgrade. Oh, yeah, we added a few flashy cosmetic features so we could justify the major upgrade number.
Since I'm leaving the company and I'm the last guy left in the lab who works on the product, I wanted to make sure that all the changes I've made are incorporated before I go. I added some cute demos, too, since I was getting pretty bored back here in my dark little corner (I kept complaining about the lighting but they wouldn't do anything). They're talking about obsolescence planning but they'll try to keep selling it for as long as there's a buck or two to be made. I'm leaving the bits in as good a shape as I can in case somebody has to tweak them, but it'll be sheer luck if no one loses them.