In the mass market, the initial impression made by the packaging of the product (including the format and quality of its documentation), user aids, and dealer training tools. As you look at other products, try to keep these things in mind and note any good ideas you see or hear about from others. Products like Autodesk and MicroCAD need to look as professional as their operation is, and we need to think about what we should be doing in that way as we develop the products for initial marketing.
Digital Research can get away with crummy manuals because everybody knows them and respects their products. We can't because nobody will have heard of us, and if our manuals and packaging look amateurish then potential customers will assume our products are as well.
Two questions I'd like to ask everybody are:
``What is the best software manual you've ever used?''
``What made it so good and so useful?''
I'm sure we can produce manuals as good as any in the industry. But first we need to decide what we want to make. Let me know your thoughts.