Via a retweet, this nugget of deep thinking just appeared in my timeline:
the pilot cares deeply about altitude and airspeed but the passengers care about time to destination and leg room— Kent Beck (@KentBeck) April 9, 2015
My less generous response is to ask WTF is that even supposed to mean?
My somewhat more generous response is to assume that Beck is trying to make a point about how the people that build and run a service or product may care about one thing, but the people who buy and use said service or product care about very different things.
Okay, I suppose that is fine as far as it goes, but these sorts of proclamations are not really so profound as the people issuing them seem to think they are. In the case of passengers flying on an airplane, while it may be factually true that they do not care about altitude and airspeed, those qualities are a subset of the general category of “The pilots know what they are doing and I will not die between here and my destination.” I would wager that most airplane passengers care very deeply about that.
Maybe Beck has chosen a poor example for the point I think he is trying to make. It is true that customers should not be expected to care about obscure, back-end implementation details. What gets lost in these sorts of blanket statements, though, is that those obscure, back-end implementation details are often critically important. Furthermore, as a product owner, it may be that you have to find away to help the customer understand why s/he should care about them.