by Jay Johansen | May 4, 2004
As a consultant to the Air Force, a few years ago I was asked to reply to a survey from a company that supplies our office with software.
The first question was, "Name of business or organization". That was easy enough: I wrote "U.S. Air Force".
Then there were some "demographic" questions, like address and number of employees and so forth.
Finally they got to the first substantive question. But it left me scratching my head. They asked, "What is your major product or service?" Even though they had started out by carefully asking for "business or organization", this question didn't seem to apply to an organization that is not a business. What is the Air Force's "major product or service"? So I wrote "Precision bombing". Hey, that's what we do, right?
The next question was, "What do you do to encourage repeat business?" This one was easy. I wrote, "You don't understand: one of our major goals is to convince people that they never want to do business with us again. So far our only repeat customer has been Germany." Today I would have to add Iraq.
© 2004 by Jay Johansen
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