1.2. The New Product

Stu continued to giveme details. "The really exciting thing is that this new product looks like it will overcome the windsurfing Resistance Factor."

The famed Resistance Factor. This was news, indeed! RF, as we called it, was Hyler's term for people's reluctance to take up windsurfing (at least their resistance to get into it enough so that they would actually purchase their own windsurfer, ideally from us).

My first project as head of Information Systems had been to oversee a consumer survey about a variety of recreational activities. The survey produced some interesting information about how people choose to recreate, and about windsurfing in particular. Although everyone has seen the pros on TV skimming across the waves and doing spectacular acrobatics, windsurfing is not an easy sport for the average beginner. Anyone who has tried it knows it can even be a little frustrating. Unfortunately, frustrated beginners rarely become windsurfer owners, hence the RF. Ever since that survey, we've been looking for ways to overcome that problem. To get comparative data, we surveyed several sports, not just windsurfing. Downhill skiing scored very high for the beginner. Even the first time out, novices can get their skis pointed downhill and can, in a manner of speaking, ski. With windsurfing, many of the people surveyed reported that they couldn't even pull the sail up the first time that they went out. And somehow, windsurfing just isn't all that much fun without ...

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