REVIEW: "Subject to Change", Peter Merholz et al
- BKSBJCHN.RVW 20080515
"Subject to Change", Peter Merholz et al, 2008, 978-0-596-51683-3,
%A Peter Merholz peterme.com
%A Brandon Schauer
%A David Verba
%A Todd Wilkens
%C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
%G 978-0-596-51683-3 0-596-51683-5
%I O'Reilly/Adaptive Path
%O U$29.99/C$29.99 800-998-9938 fax: 707-829-0104 nuts@...
%O Audience n- Tech 1 Writing 1 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 190 p.
%T "Subject to Change: Creating Great Products and Services for an
The introduction states that predicting the future is hard, and is
becoming even more difficult. Therefore we need utilities that will
help us to adapt to change.
Chapter one says that you, as a business, should produce something the
customer wants or needs. And be quick about it! A few examples of
designing new products, the details of which sometimes contradict each
other, are given in chapter two. Chapter three presents the radically
new idea that marketing people should understand their customers.
(Sorry. It's hard to take this stuff seriously when it is contributed
with the wide-eyed agitation of someone who has just discovered that
sometimes salespeople do not tell you the whole truth.) Research,
says chapter four, is important, and should be holistic in nature,
capturing feelings as well as numbers and using a variety of
techniques. Chapter five offers some examples suggesting that you
should design whole product systems, rather than individual products.
The point that design is important, first raised in chapter two, is
repeated in chapter six. However, the authors note that too many
companies neglect actual product design by getting caught up in the
process of ensuring good design, so you should create a process to
ensure good design. Chapter seven outlines the Agile development
process: people over process, code over documentation, collaboration
over specification, and reaction rather than planning. (My
application development security soul cringes at the very thought.)
Chapter nine reiterates the introductory point that you need to be
able to adapt to change.
For a book about novelty and innovation, there is almost nothing new
in this work. Those who haven't considered how to design new products
may find the examples useful. Few others will find much assistance in
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKSBJCHN.RVW 20080515
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first call promising.
- Cyril Connolly