The specification - used in a bid, tender, RFP/RFQ, or simply to provide vendors a starting point, has been the source of frustration for many a sales engineer. Not because we wish that we could provide all the features that are listed, but because we can’t help but wonder what the author was thinking. Creating a spec should be like designing your ideal product on paper, and asking a vendor to come as close as they can to that ideal. Unlike most other forms of shopping, you avoid the sales process until the salesperson knows exactly what you want. This is good in some ways, but very limiting in others.