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Plan: Last year, to improve sales, a software company decided to make its flagship product - a professional bookkeeping program - compatible with all types of computers, instead of with only those that were running a particular operating system.
Result: Last year, the sales of the product increased by 5%.
Additional Information: For the previous 9 years the sales of the product increased 5% for every year, a natural increase that occurs without fail as more companies annually learn about the product and its incontestable merits.
In light of the additional information, which of the following, if true, best explains the result that followed the implementation of the plan?
This statement talks about failed or mediocre products. The argument's premises tell us that the software program in question, however, cannot really be considered a failure. Firstly, increases in sales of 5% annually without fail are quite an accomplishment. Secondly, the phrase incontestable merits is also positive, and complimentary of the product. Since we know the product is hardly mediocre, this answer choice fails to explain the plan's results.
The Additional Information tells us that for 9 years sales have experienced a constant rise of 5%. Therefore, despite the scandal and change of management three years ago, it doesn't seem that the company really changed its course in terms of sales. This statement does not really affect the paradox in any way since the event described did not affect last year's sales.
This statement emphasizes the paradox. If the economy has been growing, then why didn't the sales of the product grow beyond the usual amount (5%) when an extra effort was made in allowing it to be used by far more professionals?
This answer choice emphasizes the paradox presented in the argument. We are told here that companies should make changes to their products. The software company in question did make such changes, but was not rewarded with any increases in sales beyond the ordinary amount. This answer choice does not explain why this happened.
This answer choice explains why, despite the changes made by the company, the product's sales did not increase. Since the marketing firm did not want to distract potential customers with details of
added features, it may have failed to alert customers to the product's expanded compatibility. Thus, the company did not cash in on its improvements.