Jiva Technology

Questions are the answer

Seems like an odd thing to say, but its very pertinent to us at the moment. We have a new product with lots of potential in an exciting new field (the social web), plus people with bags of experience, so its tempting to sit in the office and think we have all the answers. But of course, the answers are out there with the customers, in the market, not in here with the comfortable office chairs.

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I’m reading Steven Gary Blank’s book, the Four Steps to Epiphany, at the moment. One of the big points he makes in his book is that too many companies have a fixed trajectory: we know what’s right, all we have to do is get people to realize it. In his mind, the winners and losers can be separated by their willingness to listen and adapt; getting it right with a new product in a new field is an iterative process, not a ‘tah-dah’ moment. From a personal perspective, I’ve always liked the analogy of the glider vs the 747 for launching a new product. You might want to programme in the route before you take off, just like you would in a commercial 747, but its more likely you’ll follow the path of the glider and go where the thermals are just to stay aloft. The good thing is its more fun that way and you never know, you might end up in a better place.

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