How To Respond To Criticism

from the brilliant dept

Chris Anderson points us to a great example of ways to respond to criticism. It involves the company Microchip, which received a scathing video review of its PICKit 3 offering that the reviewer felt was worse in pretty much every way than the product it was replacing. As the video goes on and the reviewer, Dave, gets angrier, he posits that some "dickhead MBA" took over the management of this offering, and decided to kill off good features and save money by skimping on other things:
Now, there are lots of ways to respond to such criticism, but none might be as clever as what Microchip actually did. Which was create its own video, showing the product planning meeting with the new product manager, one D. Head, discussing how to save money and squeeze more money out of customers... leading to his eventual firing and the engineers adding back in some of the missing features and explaining why it actually made a lot more sense to change some of the other features:
It's funny, self-deprecating, clearly acknowledges the criticisms and either explains how the company is going to fix them or why those decisions were made in the process. Even if you don't know anything about the company or these products, there are a lot of things that anyone in any business can learn about the way Microchip handled this.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Jake, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Next time I need a USB programmer for PIC microcontrollers, whatever the heck those are, I'm buying it from Microchip.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Small nitpick - it would have been even better at the end if Mr. Head's extension had been 666 instead of 333. ;)

     

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  3.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 11:17am

    i have no idea what they are selling or what they are even for yet (google next stop)

    but for some reason i am curiously interested in buying one now....

     

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  4.  
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    JohnForDummies (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 11:17am

    Hey Jake

    @Jake - So you must be more of an Arduino guy? Me, too.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 11:47am

    Sounds like a Monday meeting at Apple.

     

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    Robb Topolski (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Wow...

    Dear Microchip,

    Thanks for being positively cool (as in relaxed, not freaked out, open and upfront). Your response was creative, thoughtful, and empathetic. Five stars!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    It's a nice way to hide the fact that they tried to cheap out and screw consumers, and now they are blaming it on suits to try to hide the facts.

    Kewl.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Scream them down. Oh sorry that is the Techdirt way.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Re:

    I actually bought the PicKit3 and have been happy with it. Microchip offers some very nice products and I am a little surprised at their creativity on this. Good to see they are listening to their users.

    BTW the Mikroelektronika(www.mikroe.com) software makes the Microchip hardware really easy to use.

     

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  10.  
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    mike42 (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 12:53pm

    Wow...

    I actually bought one of these programmers last year, and couldn't get it working easily, so I gave up. Now I know why it didn't work! I'll have to dig it out...

     

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  11.  
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    Jake, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Hey Jake

    Actually, I'm a callout technician who dabbles in web content creation and can barely program a VCR, let alone a micro-controller.

     

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    Monarch (profile), Dec 4th, 2009 @ 5:41pm

    Did they actually address and fix the issues the reviewer had with the things? They addressed why it didn't auto power the boards in the video, but I didn't catch if they actually fixed any of the functionality missing from 2 to 3.

    Guess I'll never know, as I have no need for programming microchips.

     

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    dorp, Dec 4th, 2009 @ 5:47pm

    Re:

    It's a nice way to hide the fact that they tried to cheap out and screw consumers, and now they are blaming it on suits to try to hide the facts.

    Did your brain not come with sense of humor option? Re-watch the videos and then show to us where exactly are the suits actually blamed.

     

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    JDEvolutionist, Dec 8th, 2009 @ 3:06am

    How True!!

    Very interesting. Think the reality of it extends a whole lot farther though - think economists, financial institutions, banks, legal firms etc. etc. and you begin to get a picture of why the West is in the mess its currently in.

    Trouble is that the people involved have not yet realised that they are all 'Mr. D Head's - they still think they are doing a good job and deserve even more money and bonuses.

     

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    Art-666, Dec 17th, 2009 @ 5:00am

    Well they (microchip) made a responce vid,what was the cost of doing that? but since then what have the done to fix the problem?
    Now thats where they should have spent the cost of the vid, fixinf the problems.
    very little as far as I can see, we still have no stand alone front end, and the option of progam2go needs fixing too.
    I think Mr. Dick Head is still working there.
    one last thought you see clone pickit2's but no pickit3's, I wonder why that is?

     

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    pickit2, Jan 17th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    I see that microchip has done nothing as yet, it was easy for them to make the pickit2 work well, but can't fix the pickit3. I see Mr. Richard Head has made a post in thier forum.(damn they have a few trolls in there.)
    If they can't fix the things, they said they would fix, then a lot of people will move to other micros.
    Until they fix the Issues you can't trust them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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