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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000288.txt from 1994/05

From: "Dan Leeson: LEESON@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Clarinet materials
Date: Wed, 18 May 1994 12:22:03 -0400

Clark mentions a visit he had to a Buffet facility and speaks of very
exciting news about Buffet's interest in recycling waste wood for reuse
in new products. That is really terrific!!!

He then goes on to mention that Buffet plans on having their first models
available soon for purchase and testing and it is on that marketing
philosophy that I would like to comment.

As a general rule, a person should be very skeptical of the first of
any newly manufactured product, no matter what its promise. That is to
say, never buy the first year of a newly designed car, never buy the
first model of a redesigned vacuum cleaner, and never buy the first of
a newly engineered/designed/rebuilt clarinet.

The testing process will invariably result in problems being discovered,
problems that will range from the trivial to the significant. Sometimes
these problems are of such a consequence that the entire product line
has to be redesigned or, worse, abandoned. I have examples in the
clarinet line. If you want to know, ask me privately.

For someone struggling to live, laying out what a new clarinet costs can
a critical decision of life. Better to wait a few years until the wrinkles
get ironed out and then get the wrinkle free model.

On the other hand, if Buffet is going to make these testing models
available very inexpensively under the assumption that testers will
provide them with valuable information, then that, of course, is a
completely different story.

I may be badly burned by an affair of the past in this respect, but I saw
millions go down the tube during a product development cycle that was
rushed to bring a product to the marketplace too early. The sweetness
of meeting the schedule was soon turned to ashes in our mouths when
the product's quality, durability, and full utility became serously
questioned by actual customer use. And in addition to millions being
lost, reputation suffered, and careers went down the tubes from this

Three rules of life: Never eat in any diner called "Mom's;" never
play cards with anyone whose name is "Jack;" and "Don't ever spend
a lot of money to get the first of anything."

Dan Leeson, Los Altos, California

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