I recently read that Garret Moon, CEO of CoSchedule, directs his team to leave typos on the company blog even after getting emails pointing them out. He’s quoted as saying…
“It’s a waste of time. Focus on 10x projects over 10% improvement.”
Over the years I’ve witnessed too many companies that focus on incremental improvement stagnate or fail.
They focus on acquiring one more customer, making one more sale, or cutting one more dollar in costs.
For some reason, they never seem to get ahead.
I think there are 2 reasons:
- Nothing is eternal or infinite. Eventually you run out of room in a saturated market, run into competition, or you’re replaced (I wonder how many people remember Kodak).
- And if you’re always looking down trying to tweak around the edges, you’ll probably miss the big opportunity staring you in the face.
Imagine that you need to cross a desert to get to a mountain top. Keep looking down to find the easiest path and you miss the cacti, the scorpion, the snakes, and ditches. But there’s also a good chance you get turned around and end up going the wrong way. Stay focused on the mountain and you’ll notice the paved road that leads straight to the top.
If you take a good look at companies (big and small, local and international) that are growing you’ll notice one of three things driving that growth.
- New Product. This includes innovation but could be something as simple as a new model. Think iPhone X. The key is to have something new to talk about.
- New Business Model. There are huge rewards for those that change the rules of the game. Think Amazon, Walmart, UBER, etc. Remove inefficiency in the market and you can beat the competition without giving up your.
- New Channel. I’m thinking of this more broadly than simply adding social, ppc, or email to your marketing mix. I once worked for a retail company. Management was so focused on adding retail customers in a crowded and shrinking market that they missed the massive growth opportunity as a wholesaler. They designed innovative and competitive products. And instead of going head to head with the competition, they could have supplied all of them.