Richard Lowe Jr
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As part of its effort to standardize the user interface and functionality of all Windoze 2000 programs, Windoze producer Micromafia has proposed the following guidelines. They will make your development strategy consistent with the development strategy at Micromafia.

1. Start by having your R&D staff search the net and other sources for popular applications until they find one that would look good in a box with the art division's latest logo.

2. The R&D staff must now completely replicate that product, changing the interface slightly and adding no less than 20,000 extra "features," at least 100 of which must really be bugs that they didn't feel like fixing.

3. Do NOT, under any circumstances, test the product. This is a waste of time and money. Ship the first beta that arrives on your desk. In fact, don't bother even getting it on your desk. Just ship every build that comes along. Users like upgrades. Besides, you can charge people for bugfixes cleverly disguised as "service packages". Users love service packages.

4. Hopefully someone's written a user's manual. In fact, it's probably readable by a normal human being. This is unacceptable; perform a find and replace operation on random English words, replacing them with technical terms and acronyms. Users like acronyms; they add mystery to a product. Never tell what an acronym means; this is unprofessional. You may even wish to make up your own acronyms; again, don't tell what they mean. For every sensible sentence, you lose at least three calls to your $200-per-incident tech support line. Users love calling tech support, especially when there are fifty touch tone menus that all lead to the same two people.

5. Prepare for shipping. Have your team of 57 lawyers create a prefabricated license agreement. If you do not have 57 lawyers, hire or fire as necessary so that you do have 57 lawyers. Be sure that the license agreement includes a "by opening the box, you agree to this" statment. Then put it inside the box. Users will perceive this as a joke and laugh. Users love involuntarily binding themselves to legal agreements.

6. Before shipping, invest in shrink wrap. Shrink wrap the manual. Shrink wrap the CD. Shrink wrap each and every floppy disk separately. Shrink wrap the "getting started" card. Shrink wrap the registration card. Shrink wrap the card from your grandmother. Then dump the whole mess in a box and shrink wrap it. Pack several boxes inside a larger brown box with 5,637 non-decomposable foam peanuts (each one shrink wrapped individually, of course). Be sure the foam peanut count is exactly 5,637. Remove or add shrink-wrapped foam peanuts as necessary. Throw in a roll of bubble wrap because of its entertainment value.

7. Ship the product and move your entire R&D and art staff to the $200-per-incident tech support lines.

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