Following a posting by my brother about mortgages and negative equity I thought it was time to publish an article that I have been sitting on for some months. Why I didn’t put it up here earlier is beyond me, but I also thought that someone might like to actually take this up.
Read it, comment on it, share it!
The article is about how you can build a housing project in not only an ecologically sustainable way but in a way which is also economically sustainable. It might not be vastly profitable from a capitalistic point of view but it is sustainable and has room to make some money. You can find it here.
This is an email I sent out today to someone I am working with elsewhere but I also think it’s about time I shared my recent thoughts to a wider audience:
All current issues aside the work I have been doing over the past year has presented a few issues which are encouraging me to wonder if there is place for a corporately sponsored open STB project. I know there is Dreambox but these are expensive and have had various political issues. I also know there is MythTV and the others but they are heavily PC dependent. The concept would be an open platform based on a modern STB design optimised for simplicy and power (possibly a PVR). We could manufacture in modest volumes enough to supply the demand and possibly could sell them at wholesale pricing. It would be a hardware only sale with software to be determined on the project basis. We could support the project through administration and hardware, but further we can drive the project by offering ‘bounties’ on features that are requested by potential corporate customers. In effect we could offer two teirs of product software the "community edition" which is free, but offers only community support and the "commercial edition" which would offer features for the ‘bounty’ with a professional code compile service for validated code.
This is just something I am bouncing around in my head and I wanted to put it around before I built a proposal out of it. Please let me know your thoughts on this.
I think it could fly, I think it could be useful and I think it would address many peoples problems. I’ve had requests for close to 50,000 boxes on different projects, but because each one of them was so small there was no way we could put development resources behind them. Put together that much hardware is reasonable business and I think something that’s worth paying attention to. The ‘bounty’ would fund peoples time to work on the project, or perhaps reward them for their work.
I welcome your feedback…
The essence of customers’ expectations is about customers’ needs and requirements. The needs are harder to identify as they are more profound than the requirements which are pretty obvious and straightforward. Therefore, we need to identify the degree in which these elements are present through a survey. We need to quantify customers’ perception about the quality of our service given that customers do not (or should not) always expect ‘the best’ from us as this is subject to the cost and time available for completing the project rather than our capability and experience.
Any questionnaire should consist of quantifiable/measurable elements rated in a scale of 0-100% tolerance against customers’ standards. The same survey should then form part of our service benchmark completed by the client (benchmark the demand for service). This means that we should ideally carry out a customers’ expectation survey once we undertake the project, then using the same survey for having our performance measured by the client so we can check how well we perform through the customer’s eyes (customers shouts) and identify the areas of improvement prior to getting on site. Lastly, on the project’s practical completion we need to carry out the final satisfaction survey.
Three are the key elements to the customer’s expectations.
- Competitive advantage (the wow factor that differentiates our brand from the competitors)
The questions is how elastic/inelastic are the above from the customers’ perspective? Meaning:
- What factors the customer feels as essential, prerequisites? Must have, the basics? (for example: H&S issues)
- What factors add value to the service/product for the customers? It is about good performance, deliver what we promise (for example: min cost and time, higher quality)
- What is the ‘wow’ factor of our service? Do we add value that the customer doesn’t expect? (Satisfy the ‘greedy’ customers. Once the basics, or expected requirements are met then they ask for more!)
- Being successful means that not only we should offer what customers expect but also what they don’t expect.
The input would be: customers’ requirements and lessons learnt which are turned into the output: improved quality approach and structure, calibrate the service to meet demands
Knowing our customers needs, requirements and expectations provides us with better visibility thus, better forward planning avoiding bad surprises and implications which can put the project’s quality at risk.
I just found this:
It is a project from MIT to create a programming language that children can use and learn from. I think it looks cool!