Everyone is trying to build a “Revolutionary, new product” right?
Yes. This is what everyone is trying to build. The common advice nowadays is that you have to build a 10X product in order to achieve massive success. You have to attempt to be a Facebook or a SpaceX or a Slack - otherwise it’s just not worth it.
This is dangerous advice. It’s advice that puts people off in what they have to contribute. Godin talks about it in Icarus - if you set your goals too high and then chase those goals - failing and giving up becomes a realistic option. “Of course I failed - it’s tough to build a 10X Facebook”. With advice like this - you have a chance to not start a project - because revolutions are rare. You can count them on one hand.
If you think about it, evolutionary product from the likes of Apple or Canon can be extremely successful. The key is to do it right, do it constantly and continue to push the envelope. Canon isn’t re-inventing the camera every year - they are however making it better - making it more powerful. There’s a business that exists around that. Is there a danger to plateau? Yes. And foreseeing that is likely key. I imagine a company like Canon has a team thinking 10 years out in order to counter the forthcoming plateau, or have the ability to adapt to change if the need arises.
“But, people get bored of evolution - just look at the iPhone”. The reality is that Apple has been in Evolution mode since it’s very inception. Since it’s first computer - every following product has been an evolution of what’s come before. Sure, they might interpret it in different ways, but the iPhone is a logical evolution of the laptop, and so is the iPad. Were they revolutionary? Sure. But, they are a product of Evolution.
“So what’s better then? Evolution or Revolution” - Well, it’s neither. What’s better is to challenge the status quo and not worry about the rest. Can you go out and build the best product using the latest available technologies? Are you delivering the best solution to the customer? Are you doing it in a remarkable way? Are you making a difference? Are you bringing purpose to your work? Those are the better questions. Sometimes the answers lead to an evolutionary solution - other times those questions, coupled with new technologies, can lead to a revolutionary product. The goals beneath that remain consistent, however - and they always focus on the customer first.
Dmitry N. Rusakov
This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking.