I was in the Men’s room. When I pulled a c-fold towel from the dispenser, my friend who was also there (not incidentally, but for the same cause for which I was there), said, “You know what, one of the testers in this world has questioned the functioning of this dispenser. There is no system that you always pull just one towel. Sometimes you pull one, and sometimes you pull more than one. So, it’s a bug.”

His or the other tester’s observation made me thinking. Is it actually a defect or not? Initially, I kind of accepted it. But later, when I considered the business point of view, I thought otherwise. Do you think that a world class company can be so dumb not to think of this scenario? They must have used this system at least a hundred times before launching it in the market and out of those hundred times, they must have pulled more than one towel at least couple of times. Isn’t it? Then why did they miss this so called ‘defect’?

I honestly believe it was/is a deliberate defect. Think about it. Businesses run for profit. And all businesses run by rotating their money. There are also interdependencies on other businesses. Now, if they would have made the system fool-proof, every time someone pulled a towel, s/he would have got just one towel. This would have reduced the consumption of towels and might have hit the business of towel making company. Does it make sense? I believe they tested it well and kept it beneficial for all of them.

I will not go into the ethics or no ethics. I am just being impartial.

{Originally published 17 Apr 2010 on SQABlogs.com}