fiveKen Olsen, the Salesman-Marketer

Ken Olsen’s approach to product development, marketing, and sales merits a separate chapter because, on the one hand, it was paradoxical and self-contradictory yet, on the other hand, it was innovative and exciting. DEC’s approach to sales was one of its contributions to the field of management, as we will see. Olsen’s beliefs about sales and marketing were derived from his engineering background and his general managerial philosophy, as described in the previous chapters. His sales philosophy was based on three interlocking beliefs:

1. Customers’ needs were the primary basis for how one designs, markets, and sells products, and customers had to be dealt with honestly at all times.

2. Customers did not always ...

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