Today's successful product isn't a creation of chance. It is the outcome of years
of experience and investment in research and development.
of computer generated hull, engine, and propeller design, combined with high tech
electronic controls and accessories has increased the need to convince consumers not to
use old solutions to maintenance, repair, and operation of their product.
Just as I will never be a good Plastic Surgeon, I have a good customer who will never
be a good marine mechanic. The complexity of being a good doctor is universally
understood. A good doctor will take advantage of his strengths and use as many specialists
as he can to help solve the complexities of medicine. This doctor also uses this
approach in his use of professional services to maintain his boat. It's not that he
couldn't do it, if he tried but, he knows that it is safer and more economical in the long
run to utilize the professionals around him.
Flood the consumer with technology
Several of the top computer software companies have moved to open source. And for some
strange reason their success has increased right along with these releases. I don't know
about you but this access to computer code hasn't made me want to go out and do it myself,
rather it has given me more respect for the industry as a whole. In their attempt to
educate and invite people into the computer business they have also succeeded in informing
most smart computer users that it is difficult and dangerous to tamper with their
Develop our Skills
The old school used to say that it would scare off the buyer if we told them
how complex the product is. The computer business has proven that theory wrong. If
every concept of design, procedure for repair, warning, and recall were posted more people
would accept the complexities of their boat and at the same time realize the need for
professional help. To increase demand for professional services, the purchasers of today's
products need to be flooded with the technology. Smart consumers will know that Doing it
yourself will cost more than having trained technicians maintain, analyze, and repair
their product. I don't know about you but an informed boat owner is my best customer.
What to do...
Most consumers don't know what is involved in maintaining and repairing a modern marine
engine. They have come to accept this fact with their cars and our industry needs to do
If you're Nigel Calder, you sell them a copy of your
book. The rest of us need to respond to each request for information assistance by making
sure we supply the consumer with all pertinent information. Don't simplify it. Tell it
like it is. You will be doing the customer a favor if we insist they get a manual and read
about the product and all the technical and safety warnings involved concerning repair. In
most cases this knowledge will encourage consumer use of professional help because the
consumer will be familiar with the need for special skills and tools to perform a repair
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