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9/7/2000 12:38 PM
Pierre debs
As I see it, the problem with MBAīs is that they only see numbers on a spread sheet and the numbers after the equation sign which dictates to them how to act.  
When I was in college, all the people that I knew who where on their way to MBAīs possessed ABSOLUTELY NO CREATIVITY AT ALL. Even worse their whole personality evolved around Friday afternoon beer hour.  
The MBAīs I rarely meet nowadays have substituted, although not completely , golf for beer.  
When a MBA walks up to the amp genius who is soldering away and tells him " Hey, donīt use those 2W Metal film resistors they cost too much, use these carbon 1/8 watters made in China by 6 year olds, they cost 0.25 cents per hundred and the metal 2 watters are 20 cents each. What does the amp genius say? Ahhh, you donīt undesrtand 1/8 watters will blow up after 3 days usage in my 100 watt plexi clone. Great says the MBA, theyīll have to send the amp back to us to repair.....several times. I am a MBA genius, I just increased our revenue....... the ceo is gonna love this, lets go play a few holes and have some highballs...."  
This happens everyday in every industry. I donīt care if the Head MBA of all MBAs says otherwise....  
Why do so many mass marketed amps make so much  
un-musical noise??? Why is almost everything mass produced designed for obsolescence? Why did Vanilla ice, new kids on the block, brittany spears......ever even get the chance to make a record?  
MBAīs answer to the CEO and the stock holders, not the customers.
9/7/2000 1:37 PM

you've got part of that right, MBA's do answer to the stock holders and CEO, but they wont make a decision that can possibly put them out of business because with no business there is now stock holders or CEO to answer to.  
As for your reply about using underrating resitors being an MBA's fault. Like Hell an MBA is going to say something like that. MBA's dont tell people how to design, they give a price goal to an engineer and they make the decision, if the engineer wants to cut a corner, he does it where he decides its best to do it, BLAME THE DESIGNER FOR PRUDCTS that use underratied parts. As for planned obsolesence. That was around long before any MBA's. And if you think about it we NEED planned obsolesence. If things didnt break/wear out, think of how much industry would be bankrupt, cars, appliances, ect.
9/7/2000 6:52 PM
Actually, some of the biggest screw-ups come from the purchasing department. They get a vendor who swears on a stack of Bibles that B is absolutely equivalent to A, and the egg only hits after the installation. The engineers may not find out for a while depending on lead times both ways. There's a company in San Diego that got out of the Stadium scoreboard business because of one order of SCRs.
9/8/2000 7:56 PM
Yep. A lot of times it goes like this:  
A good design gets done and tested. Works great. Gets into production. Startup expense is high, but hey, it always is. We'll tune this thing as we produce it.  
Someone produces a costed bill of materials, so the accounting for profit and expenses can be done, and then someone else sorts that list by the cost of each item. It becomes apparent that 40% of the cost is being spent on only a few items, and if we could just reduce the price of those things, it would save us a bunch of money. The buyers (non-techies, all) look for alternate sources and replacement parts at a lower price. The sales guys for the replacements assure the buyers that the replacements are probably even better than the parts that they replace, and are, after all, cheaper.  
The engineers, meanwhile have moved to the next project, and are putting in their 70 hour weeks on something else, and half a dozen of the original guys are working at other companies. The replacement parts get popped in, and they ...almost... work just fine...
9/9/2000 1:56 AM
Steve A.
Get a load of this!
    I think that your scenario could be applied to a lot of the established MI equipment mfgs out there!  
    I just ran across this in yesterday's paper: In 1999 lost $26 million on sales of only $3.6 million... (they are basically a video delivery service that uses couriers on bicycles). Earlier this year they had advertised extensively on the local radio stations here in the SF Bay Area, and have expanded into Chicago, Portland, LA and Washington DC. In any case, their couriers process only two orders per hour, for an average sale of $11...   :D    
    My point is that there are obviously MBA's involved in this company (as there would be in practically any company that has emerged recently) but all of that schooling seemed to have gone in one ear and out the other...  
    Hmmm... I bet if Mark S would have renamed his business there would have been investors lining up to lose money through his company instead of the other internet start-ups...   :o    
Steve Ahola  
P.S. For you MBA's out there, please excuse my rantings! I have gotten really burnt out on the radio ads urging business professionals to earn their MBA taking night classes at one private "university" or another... While I will not begrudge anyone their decision to further their education I wonder if they will really get their money's worth. I'm not sure that they can teach "good business sense", or even plain old "common sense"...  
    If you are a working business professional, at this point you either have a sense for what you are doing or you don't. Merely adding letters after your name and the current buzzwords to your vocabulary will not necessarily increase your effectiveness as a worker. And for someone who does have the aptitude for that kind of work, starting off with night classes in business at your local junior college might be a more economical albeit less prestigious alternative.  
    Getting one's MBA has become one of the latest fads among the 30-50 year olds and it is the "magic bullet" hype that I object to the most... Good business sense is a positive trait and is not reflected in the example that R.G. posted... fer chrissake, who but a total dumbass would believe something that a sales rep tells you? (Uh-oh! I guess I'll be flamed by the salespeople here next!)
9/8/2000 6:58 PM
Mark Buckingham
Re: MBAīs
Actually MBA's do in fact do this sort of thing.  
Not all of them, but enough of them.  
Case in point: the Ford Pinto.  
Before the Pinto went on the market, Ford executives found out that there was a problem with the gas tanks. Furthermore, they found out that a $1 part could fix the problem. Someone, namely, Lee Iaccoca, decided that the risk of lawsuits amounted to a lower cost than adding a $1 part to 1 million cars.  
Oh Well. Such is business.

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