Trilogy TidingsApril 2012
I'm a bit short of writing time this month ... but not reading time. I cannot resist reading a business or political article that piques my interest. And, I cannot resist sharing it. Today I have four such articles to share, all good and all controversial to some degree. (If there were no controversy, life would be a hell of a bore!)
Let's start with the topic of greatest import to just about all future US residents. You may have noticed that it's been in the news - again. And it's now Supremely interesting!
I urge you to read a recent opinion piece by David Brooks, who writes for the New York Times and frequently serves as a rational voice on TV political theater. Mr. Brooks is, hands down, the smartest political analyst on the scene today. (He also happens to be a superb writer and a concise, cogent speaker.)
David is OK with the "individual mandate", but he is decidedly not OK with the centralization of health care decision-making and healthcare cost management. When you check out this can't-miss article you will also see hundreds of reader comments about it. Ain't free speech wonderful? I wouldn't live anywhere else.
|Brainstorming: The Myth
Brainstorming is a widely practiced and effective tool for defining new products. Everybody knows that. Well, not everybody. Stephen Wilcox wrote a recent blog post that makes the case for brainstorming being an ineffective creativity-killer. And he cites a few studies that prove his point. Hey, this may not be a consistently compelling issue for you, but it's always fun to debunk myths.
|To Pivot or Not to Pivot
If you're not a management consultant or some kind of business-process junkie, pivoting is the process encouraged especially for start-ups in which one launches a product quickly, fails fast, pivots, and hopes for the best the next time. This process, which is commonly repeated many times, is favored by venture investors (don't ask me why) based upon the premise that your customers really don't know what they want, so pivoting is one way to find out. (Of course, venture investors seldom know what your customers want either, but I won't go there.)
Jay Haynes authored a recent post that says that pivoting is an absurd approach. His prescription, which I heartily endorse, is to innovate only after you learn all the relevant unmet needs in your target market.
|Customers and the Jobs They Do
This last article is not controversial at all, unless you're totally out to lunch. Tony Ulwick writes about avoiding obsolescence in your market, i.e. staying alive. His article reminds us what we all already know but find all too easy to forget at critical times in the course of market maturation. You dare not think of markets from a product-centric perspective. You must think always of the jobs your customers need doing and how they will measure their own success in doing them. That's the only way your company can remain relevant - or even survive - in the long term.