Friday, June 09, 2006

Do you get to talk? Do we really listen?

These days, my title is "Senior Product Strategist". I work in engineering and sit with all of the developers but I don't write code any more (ah, the good old days). My focus is on figuring out what we should do next. Did any of you ever watch the original first version of the TV show "Connections"? It was all about how innovation isn't a continuous linear stream. It usually happens when someone who works in one field hears about something being done in a completely unrelated field, puts 2 and 2 together, and comes up with the next big thing in their field. I'd like to be able to do the same but I'll take just coming up with some interesting ideas.

My goal is to get to talk to you (and I mean "you" in the massively plural sense) and find out what you do, how you use our stuff now, and what would allow you to do things you can't do now. I can see the tagline now: "At NI, we make the impossible a little bit easier".

There are various things we do to try and figure out what we should be working on. We do visits, call people on the phone, send out web surveys, read comments made by seminar attendees, have meetings at NIWeek, show early concepts of what we are looking to do, read the NI Forums, Info-LabVIEW, and your LabVIEW blogs.

So here's a question: If I were sitting next to you right now, what would you want to talk about? Would you talk about things that you don't talk about now? Or would it just be stuff you already have told us in any of the places mentioned above?

My job is to listen, how can I best get you to talk? Comment below or email me at joel.sumner (AT)


At 1:37 PM, Blogger Jim Kring said...

Joel, how did LAVA not make it on your list? That's where I spend most of my time.

I think that the best way for NI to get people to talk is to provide windows into how their feedback is making a difference. Dialog is a two way street. One feeling that is very prevalent, is that dialogs are very one-way, with information being given to NI with little in return.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Hi Jim,
I wasn't trying to be complete. I just picked one example forum, one example mailing list, and one example set of blogs. I do monitor the LAVA forums also. You'll note the "blogs" link was to the LAVA blogs page.

This post was just trying to make the point that what you really might want to tell us doesn't always end up in a public place for us to stumble across.

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Ryan said...

great minds think alike. just now, i posted about getting feedback from our users in a different fashion.


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