I’ve put them into your home electronics. They might be in your car. They process your phone calls and text messages. They help you browse the internet. Re-programmable silicon chips.
For almost two decades, I’ve worked in High-Tech doing product definition of silicon chips. This is a very prestigious role. It is also an extremely challenging job as it requires a detailed understanding of technology together with business acumen. In essence, you are defining your company’s future by specifying next-generation products that should solve complex future problems. If the products are successful, customers buy them at a price that provides your company with a strong financial return on the associated engineering development costs. Profits, and hopefully more customers.
Pragmatic Marketing trains folks who are involved in High-Tech product definition. They have a saying, “Your opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant.” Yes, that seems harsh.
The planning process involves visiting dozens and dozens of potential customers around the world. Each customer visit involves hours of discussion and the collection of data around the future problems that they are wrestling with. I’ll typically come up with a preliminary family of silicon devices and review the features with the customers involved. The process is iterative, a bit like trying to throw a strike from the outfield in baseball. Typically, it takes three or four rounds of customer visits over a one to two-year period to arrive at a final product family definition so that the engineers can begin the design work.
Just before the product definition is complete, it is common for folks outside of the product definition group to want to share their opinion of how they would change the feature set for the silicon devices we are about to build. This is when the Pragmatic Marketing statement comes into play. Generally, I ask these folks to bring me their customer data. Alternatively, I ask them if they will personally sign up to increase the current revenue forecast if I agree to implement their feature set instead of mine. Commonly, these folks are not willing to stand by their opinion when asked to back it up or commit to incremental revenue.
Christians, what about your opinion? Does it matter, or is it irrelevant?
If I were an early first-century church planner in Palestine, I might have figured the problem: A sinful humankind not in relationship with God. The Law, the Levitical Priesthood, the sacrificial system, and the Day of Atonement are good, but they don’t enable sinners’ continuous access to God.
At my best, I would have never figured out that a crucified Son of God was the solution. To the world, God’s solution to the problem of sin, a crucified Messiah, sounds foolish.
1 Corinthians 1:19 “For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.’”
God has solved the problem of a sinful humanity in a surprising way. The investment was immeasurably expensive. Believers are sprinkled clean by the very blood of God.
What about my Christian opinion? God is the planner; we are the product. The product of Christ’s work. We are defined by Christ and the shedding of his blood on the Cross. 1 John 4:13 “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit.” Through the work of the Spirit, the believer is enabled to become more Christ-like over time.
The work of the Holy Spirit in believers empowers us to bring God a return on his staggering investment in us.
Go. Imitate Christ’s love. Christ-like love is the solution to the world’s problems. By imitating Christ, you lay up treasures in heaven and please God and receive His commendation.
Now, and in the end, the very end, the only opinion that matters comes from God. The final opinion is His.