One of the things that drove me nuts working for a large software company was the constant stream of: a potential customer needs this feature, we can do that right? These would come in from sales and marketing when they knew full well that the feature they were asking about was at least 6 months out on the schedule. Actually, in some cases it was: we told the customer we had this, how long will it take to build?
I’m not a salesman. I’m no good at it. I’m too honest and I care too much about how people will actually benefit from the software, not just making the sale. I have the engineering approach – looking for the best solution to the problem. I recommended not using my software to two people that e-mailed me with pre-sales questions today.
I believe the best way to keep happy customers is to build fewer, deeper features rather than many shallow features. I believe that customers would rather hear an honest ‘no’ or ‘no, but it may in the future’ and be able to trust a ‘yes’ than always hear ‘yes’ and not feel confident in the answer.
I don’t have the support staff to handle the headaches that come with
lying about over-selling my software. 😉