Trend Watchers and Trench Fighters

An unfortunately common tendency among startups that depend on large account sales is making a habit out of adding new features to products on-demand like a short-order cook. The trouble usually starts with a salesman who sold too much, promising non-existent features in order to make the sale. When engineers rise up to meet the challenge, the salesman is encouraged to do the same again and again. So the engineers end up in an endless maze of trenches, fighting foes at each turn, not knowing where they are going nor where they are.
Overeagerness of sales people is not the cause of trench-fighting, complacency of engineering executives and managers is. If they looked outward as much as they did inward, they would have seen developing trends and planned ahead accordingly to deliver the needed features well ahead time.
It's not that they don't read the industry news. They do but they read industry news like they would read NY Times instead of reading them like a fisherman watching clouds forming in the horizon. It wouldn't be so bad if they listened to advisors. With each client, I go out of my way to inform them of new trends and upcoming opportunities but I doubt any of them even remember what I told them. Like a race horse, their mind is filled with what's in front of them and anything that isn't related directly to that falls on deaf ears.

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