David Pogue, NYTimes Theater Columnist and Broadway Musical Director

David Pogue who is currently known as the New York Times' Technology Columnist, once used to work as a Broadway Musical Director.  He often introduced luminaries such as Jason Robert Brown to the Macintosh, and music software writing in general.  If you've ever seen his Video Podcast, you'd realize he's definitely got the Broadway bug.

In a post today, Pogue writes about how a DVR (a tivo clone) he recently reviewed was so full of bugs and poor design, it is impossible to believe that the people who made it actually let it go to market as if they thought it was ready.  One of his theories on broken-technologies-available-in-stores is what he calls "The Broadway Flop Theory":

I spent 10 years of my early career working as a musical director for Broadway musicals. Most of them were flops. (I like to think they weren’t flops because I worked on them.)

The thing is, everybody knew we had a disaster on our hands. The actors, the orchestra, the crew — we all pretty much knew we’d need to start looking for our next gig a couple days after opening night.

And yet the rehearsals and previews would go on, the weight of doom on our shoulders, everybody just pretending that things would be fine. Then opening night, savage reviews, and sure enough, the show would close.

It becomes a sort of mutual group breath-holding. Nobody wants to pull the trigger. Nobody wants to be the messenger — especially not while we’re all getting a paycheck.

Maybe that’s what happens in consumer tech. Everybody knows the product is a dog, but it’s in everybody’s self-interest to keep pretending it’s going to be fine. Maybe that’s what happens in consumer tech. Everybody knows the product is a dog, but it’s in everybody’s self-interest to keep pretending it’s going to be fine.

So in case you were never sure: yes, the actors in that terrible musical you just saw probably know that it was terrible.

Link to article.

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