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Old 25 June 2009, 02:30 PM
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Graham2001 Graham2001 is offline
Join Date: 21 January 2006
Location: Perth, Australia
Posts: 747

Originally Posted by snopes View Post
Comment: My husband and I both were told in class story about bad business
practices in college 7 years ago that we can't find again.

The story goes something like this:

A electornics (perhpas tv) manufacturer decided to cut costs on
manufacturing. They developed a policy of sending supervisors on the
manufacturing floor and randomly pointing to resistors or other small
components, and asking "What does this do?" They'd then pull a component
and if the TV still worked, the supervisor would then tell the whole line
to remove the component.

The company was able to sell their tvs cheaper than anyone else, but in
the long run had problems with reliability. The brand lost face in the

My husband's boss used the first part of this story saying this was a good
practice, but had not heard the part about reliability problems that was
the point of the story as told to both my husband and I. We'd love to
find the story again and find whose version is correct.
This one turns up in a SF Novel "Wreath of Stars" by Bob Shaw. In his novel someone said that he designed a radio. The company he worked for took the prototype, and then turned it on. Then they turned it off and removed one component and turned it on again. This was done until it stopped working. Then they put the last component back and that was the radio they manufactured.

The novel itself dates from the 1970's so the story in the Op is an old one.
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