How hard is it…

How hard is it…. for your customers to help you design better products? Especially when your product is a tool?

My Entourage for Mac OSX just crashed. I read a ton of email and usually leave the notes that need answering open until I get to them. Alas, when Entourage crashes, it forgets which mails you left open. So now I need to read a whole day's worth of mail again.

I've got a dozen other things that really and truly need to be fixed about the program (I won't bore you with the list here) and am amazed to discover that:
1. there's no tool within the program to send suggestions back to the programmers (okay, not amazed, because it's microsoft, but annoyed, how's that)
2. there's no easily findable website where the public can chime in… not to complain, but to help the company find the free prizes and amazing insights that will make the program more successful in its next version.

I wonder if that's true for your company?

Hard Manufacturing makes hospital cribs. They're so open to hearing ideas (fashionable and utilitarian) from the outside world that they're about to announce cribs for dogs! It turns out that veterinarians think they're great. That came not from the salesforce, but from the outside world.  [Seth's Blog]

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