Part 1 of a 10 part series of 10 Lessons on becoming a business that will survive the Internet age.
This blog series is adapted from an article published by Future World. We have taken each lesson and added our own thoughts and learnings as well as our aspirations because these lessons resonate with us.
It doesn’t take as much money as you think to set up a department in your business which is responsible for experimenting. It can be as expensive or as cost effective as you want it to be.
What you do need is the right mix of people.
That’s the difficult part.
The Internet age has brought about significant change in the way we work, play, raise our families, travel, shop and more – mostly at a pace so fast it’s easy to fall behind. If we’re not experimenting, making mistakes picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and starting again we are at risk of losing our business. This is not about “keeping up with the Joneses” but rather, it’s about doing what we do well, better.
So what is it we do well and must continue to do even better?
It’s all about people, process, and technology.
It’s so important that we hire and retain the application engineers that accept that the only constant is change. Sorry about the use of the hackneyed cliché but it is appropriate. We insist on Engineers that adopt, naturally, our core values, which include “Lifetime Learning”. Engineers that will rise to the challenge of being specialist generalists as who knows what skills will be required for the next project.
Our processes need to support an experimentation mindset. One that facilitates quick deliverables. Typically, researchers like to be locked away and not disturbed, with no given timelines, as they typically sacrifice purity for economics. This can no longer be the case, particularly at Symbiotics as our Agile adoption, delivery management focus and continuous improvement philosophy will mitigate against “forever” R&D projects. We accept that the only real test of the outcome of an experiment is the intended market so the concept of a Minimal Viable Product is part and parcel of the approach.This process allows for quick redirect for a project that’s of course not meeting its set objectives.
Yesterday punched cards, paper tape, magnetic tapes and machine level languages all in a computer room on the office floor. All obsolete after 25 years as the digital world expanded, affordable connectivity arrived facilitating initiatives like the Internet. Today the infrastructure is in the cloud and hosted in a country we’re probably oblivious to. The language is likely Java and if not, why not? The application tool set is vast and is continuously changed for better tools. And tomorrow, who knows? Apart from the fact that the selected technologies will need to support the drive to “Connect anything, anytime, anywhere”, adapted from Stan Davis’s book on Vision 2000.
Experimentation is everybody’s responsibility and is not the sole domain of a few locked away in a laboratory. It’s embedded in our daily tasks, in our Agile planning and retrospectives, in our collective mindset.
If you enjoyed this first part, please read lesson 2, the next part in this 10 part series.
10 Lessons on becoming a business that will survive the Internet Age:
Published courtesy of Future World and because these lessons resonate with us!