One of Demming’s pet hates was motivational slogans in the workplace – things like “Do it right first time”, and “Zero defects”. Two from the IT world that come to mind are “Real Engineers Ship” (Steve Jobs), and “Stay focused and keep shipping” (Mark Zuckerberg, see article here, which has an interesting photo of his desk).
Jobs and Zuckerberg make pretty powerful examples of sloganeering. I find it interesting that Demming was so against slogans, they’re everywhere. So let’s dive a little deeper.
Demming stated that slogans should eliminated because they do nothing but “generate frustration and resentment” in the workforce.
“Implicit in such sloganeering is the supposition that employees could, if they tried do better. They are offended, not inspired by this suggestion” – Demming Continue reading
In 1977 Mark Markkula wrote a one page marketing and strategy position statement for Apple Computers. It was written as part of the company incorporation on January 3, 1977.
Apple was less than a year old and had only released the hobbyist Apple I. It was yet to really make an impact. Mark Markkula wrote:
The Apple Marketing Philosophy
We will truly understand their needs better than any other company.
In order to do a good job of those things we decide to do we must eliminate all other unimportant opportunities.
People DO judge a book by its cover. We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software etc.; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be percieved as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities.