#12a: Exceptional product quality is driven by its creators, not by the market.


Above a certain level, product quality is not, in and of itself, important to the market. Any increase in the customer base attributable to an increase in quality is offset by the additional time (and hence money) spent to deliver the product. Conversely, a reduced customer base caused by lower product quality is offset by greater profit per unit.

Higher product quality, when it happens, is driven not by external market forces but by the desires of those who build the product. Creators (for example, developers) have higher quality expectations than the market, as product quality is tied to their sense of self esteem and self worth.

An environment where developers set their own quality standards — either enabled by a manager or by the organisation's culture — hence leads to greater employee engagement. This in turn leads to increased productivity and retention.

Related: 12, 12a1, 12a2

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