Unkillable Stupid Ideas in Software

I sent a mildly complaining note to a senior official at a well-known software company today. I was unhappy about a product feature that had never worked properly, so I wrote to ask “wassup”. Here is our (entertaining and brief) correspondence:

Me: Ok , why does [the feature] in [the product] not work? Gives me an error, always has given me an error, always to do with needing [a newer version of the product]. I have the latest build. Piss off, evil program.

Him: I dunno.  It’s a stupid … idea we’ve been trying to kill for a while.

A truly lovely response. Refreshingly direct and honest, and a real reflection of how difficult it can sometimes be to get non-working features out of products.

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Comments

  1. KS says:

    Paul
    Why are you so cynical? I can understand being skeptical about what VC’s and CEO’s say, but you are so cynical about everything that you dismiss every idea it seems. Some of those “dumb” ideas turn out to be the big ones. Who would have thought that search would be so big this many years after the Internet has taken off?

  2. Kara says:

    mmm… zombie software….

  3. Paul K. says:

    Me, cynical? Never !
    But seriously, I didn’t think this was a cynical response at all. Matter of fact, I’m a fan of the unnamed product; I just wish said feature worked. And it doesn’t.
    More broadly, I’m actually very optimistic about entrepreneurs and cool ideas. They’re the ones trying, failing, and taking risks. It’s the synecured CEOs and VCs who raise my hackles, as you say.