Episode 67 - Companies Doubling Down on Bad Decisions

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Justin_Case001

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This entry is just on the line between being big enough for Stop & Talk, which is the blog for more substantial, serious stuff.  It could go either way.  It's really a coin flip... so... meh, in here it goes.

Hey.  Y'know what really grinds my gears?  The trend of big companies to double-down on bad decisions, regardless of consumer/user opinions.  All the time, companies make poor decisions, whether it be a universally hated software UI change, a universally despised game update, or discontinuing a beloved product, and all of the time, they stand by these decisions no matter how much outcry and rage comes back at them from customers.  Why do they have this mindset?

Here's a perfect example: as some of you may know, Mozilla recently released their big "Daylight" Firefox browser update for mobile.  In completely reinvents the UI to be as clumsy, stupid, annoying, ridiculous, nonintuitive, and user unfriendly as possible.  It is hands down the most disgusting, revolting, nauseating, horrible software UI change I've ever seen in my life, and it makes me want to vomit, and I'm definitely not alone.  The reception to the Daylight update has been universally horrible.  This update is absolutely despised.  And yet, no rollback.  They could rollback to the old UI if they wanted to.  Sure.  But they don't.  Why?  Well, that's the question.

Why the hell do companies double-down when they make a horrible move like this?  No matter how many people hate a decision, no matter how big of an outcry there is for a reversal, companies just stand by the bad decision, seemingly at any reputational cost.  The mindset seems to be that price of admitting a mistake will be greater than the hatred towards them for that mistake.  Companies seem to think that if they admit a mistake, they will lose their reputation, lose face, look stupid, etc.  Their mindset seems to be, "Well, everyone hates it... but oh well, we did it, so we gotta stand by it.  No turning back now!"  This couldn't be further from reality.  Think about it--in regards to their actual products, (we're not talking about other business practices, here.) when has a company's reputation ever suffered because they admitted a mistake, listened to their customers, rectified the mistake, and gave the customers back what they wanted?  Never.  Listening to customers and reversing a hated decision is probably one of the best things a company could ever do to build customer loyalty and foster goodwill.  No one is going to be angry at a company or think badly of them for admitting a mistake, if they in fact admit it, apologize, and rectify it.  In fact, the very few times that a company actually listened to what their customers wanted and gave it to them put those companies on my short list for best businesspeople of all time.

Companies today are arrogant.  They double-down on hated business decisions because they are afraid that a rollback is a defeat and sign of weakness.  They're horribly confused.  Humility and a genuine caring for what their customers actually like and want would be extremely good for all companies, but I'm sure they don't care to realize that.

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It's probably because not enough people hate that decision. For example - when Apple removed the headphone jack from whatever model of iPhone - a lot of people were against that decision, but many more people bought the phone regardless. So, Apple most likely made more money removing the headphone jack and selling wireless headphones.

Same is probably true with Mozilla as well - probably a lot of people continue to use the browser regardless or find some way around the change 

On the other hand, the backlash sometimes works. Microsoft put Start menu back in Window after the backlash against the "tablet-style" screen. However, compare that to the forced updates that are untested (and sometimes crash PCs). People hate them, but not enough to just switch to Linux or downgrade to an older version of Windows and Microsoft saves a lot of money by using users as beta-testers for their updates.

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3 hours ago, Pentium100 said:

People hate them, but not enough to just switch to Linux

Haha, speak for yourself!  I SWITCHED EVERYTHING TO LINUX!!  MWA HA HAA!!  :love:

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51 minutes ago, Justin_Case001 said:

Haha, speak for yourself!  I SWITCHED EVERYTHING TO LINUX!!  MWA HA HAA!!  :love:

But not many people did. Microsoft is still making huge amounts of money from Windows 10 and continuing to push the boundaries - ads in the start menu etc. At some point enough people push back (like it happened with the Start screen in Win8) that Microsoft reconsiders.

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