Learning by Getting Punched

“Everybody has great Idea,
until they got punched”

That could be one of the most famous mantras among tech companies. This thinking drives them to do what we call as “continuous Iteration” or Agile. It somehow similar to Japanese Kaizen but in a much radical, faster, and measurable way.

The idea behind is, as mentioned in “Lean Startup” book by Eric Ries, tech company don’t need a perfect product to test an idea, we can make an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Because the biggest cost for a tech firm is to create a fully sophisticated product with thousand lines of code just to know in the end that the product idea doesn’t answer what consumer needs. That for, it’s important to test the idea to early adopters to get the first sense of whether it’s worth developing further.

Even for a big company like Google, the principal remains strong. In September 2011, in front of the Antitrust Committee, Eric Schmidt as executive chairman admitted that constant experimenting with innovation is the key to their search engine capability. They used a side-by-side experiment (also known as A/B testing) between the old way and improved process to get faster yet the actual response from the customer.

The Agile (fast but data-driven) culture attracts several traditional companies to adopt it, however, at least there are three challenges that must be considered.

  1. Mindset, mature firms tend to be risk-averse and status quo. Having sat on soft cushion for years will reduce their willingness to move out of their comfort zone especially with a lot of uncertainty.
  2. Speed of Data, the luxury of being a tech company is the big data. The ability to track consumer behavior in real-time it’s one unmatched advantage. For example, through the app or site cookies data, they always can track their end-user acquisition and retention rate against whatever changes or campaign that they run.
  3. Talent, the rigid 8 am-5 pm with formal attire and layered hierarchy is a big no for bright young millennials and gen-Z talent who most of the time looking for independence. Despite one said that wisdom came along with age, but so does the status quo.

So, the ultimate question is, thus our company already moving towards that direction by tackling those issues? or as expected, just business as usual…