For a while now, I've been looking at the behavior of organizations to see if I can identify where it all went wrong. The vendor I have the most to do with is a huge glaring example. Slashdot itself repeatedly gets it wrong. The thievery at hospitals, ripoffs in the mortgage industry, the slow self destruction of the USA automobile industry - it all seems to point to the abandonment of the company motto:
"It's good to be a (insert name) customer".
If that were the standard by which organizational decisions were made, we wouldn't have all this trouble.
The Novell company motto seems to be "It sucks to be a Novell customer (and we're OK with that)". They do some very good technology, but insist on overpricing it (because it is NOT GOOD to be a Novell customer) and then wonder how they are going to pay the support bill for a product with 1% market penetration.
The Slashdot company motto seems to be "We'll write the code the way we want to, and you all can piss off". Yes, as a matter of fact, I liked the front page to have the one line messages status text and link to all my pending messages. Posting this JE took far more work to get to the 'create a journal' link than in the past. But I don't expect it to change, because "It sucks to be a Slashdot content provider (and we're OK with that)".
Golden West started it's wholesale ripoff of people by handing out first ARM mortgages, then NINJA mortgages. By that time, their company motto had become "It's stupid to be a Golden West customer (but we're OK with that)". It's worth noting that the banking crises did NOT affect most of the small town local banks who don't view their customers as prey.
When was the last time someone bought a new Chevrolet and said to themselves "Well, at least I didn't get stuck with a Toyota!" (because "It's sad to be a bailout car customer (but we're OK with that)").
There are countless organizations where the company motto is "It's good to be a (insert name) shareholder (but we play our customers for fools, and we're OK with that)".
It's few and far between, but:
"It's good to be a Costco customer".
"It's good to be an Amazon.com customer".
"It's good to be a Netflix customer".
"It's good to be an Apple customer".
Why is it so hard for organizations to fight the decisions that transform themselves into a "It sucks to be a (our name) customer"?