Bill Buxton on "The better we do, the bigger the problem we make"
Bill Buxton's column in Business Week are rare but always intriguing. The latest dispatch offer interesting remarks:
"what to do when an idea or product gets traction and starts generating a bunch of revenue. First, show restraint on the self-congratulation front. Next, invest a significant proportion of your resulting windfall into sussing out your next great idea. Keep moving and don't count on the continued success of your original one. (...) If you make the revenue from your great idea your only food, you are going to have a problem. The longer you take to broaden your menu, the bigger that problem will be. Great ideas need to be displaced, even when they still have the allure of the cash cow. (...) Here's the sentence that should immediately set off alarm bells for those who don't want to head to the cemetery of one-category wonders: "We can't pursue that idea, because doing so will cannibalize our existing revenue stream." If you hear this phrase, stop whatever you are doing and give what lies behind these words your undivided attention. In general, here is my advice: If you can't change the minds of those uttering it, you should head for the door."
Why do I blog this? interest towards innovation process and how temporality (or people's perception of time in the short term versus the long term) influences decisions in R&D process. Besides, it reminds me of a friend who always tell me that he tends to do the opposite of what he has done before every year (in terms of design/writing/creative) process. Finally, I find interesting to wonder about "The better we do, the bigger the problem we make" because it can be a frequent trap.