Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Sao Paulo.- I’m in Brazil, catching up on email before I get to work – and I came across a video by Steve Jobs that Sean MacIntyre sent me. (See the link to the video, below.) It’s very good. And Jobs was fundamentally right.
I’ve never thought of it in quite this way, but I’ve always had a gut feeling that product development should lead the business.
When you are just starting out, you have to focus on sales and marketing. That’s because until you’ve been in business for years, you don’t actually know enough about the kind of products your market really wants.
Jobs understood this. In launching his business, he was all about discovering what the market really wanted in terms of customer experience. He said so on many occasions. But as the business grows beyond the point where it is selling hundreds of millions of dollars of product each year, there is a natural tendency for the marketers to take over.
And that can be dangerous – even destructive.
Everything ultimately depends on customer experience. And customer experience is 50% the experience of buying the product and 50% the experience of using it.
The way I have dealt with this has been to preach what I call “incremental augmentation.” It is essentially a refutation of the old adage: If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
For me, a healthy business is one whose products are forever improving. And a smart founder/CEO is one that is never satisfied with yesterday’s product.
Jobs’ video provides a deeper insight into why that is smart.
One of the reasons I decided to rewrite Ready, Fire, Aim– my most popular business book – is because, since it was published, I’ve had many new ideas about why some entrepreneurial businesses are incredibly successful, and some fail miserably.
I’ve posted the introduction and part of the first chapter of my rewrite here on this blog, and I’ll be posting the rest as I get each section finished. One subject that I’m quite sure I will include is the challenge of reining in a big and fast-growing company when its leaders are all very adept at creating profitable growth.
Take a look at what Jobs has to say about this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuZ6ypueK8M