In permanent beta mode

I recently finished reading Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It focused on a model of continuous improvement, but in short bursts, via what he called a ‘minimum viable product’.

In other words, we shouldn’t wait for version 10 of our product or service before we go to market, but release a product where members of our core audience can start to use and provide good feedback that allows us to make small improvements and re-release very quickly, over and over again. We have an aversion to taking risks for fear of how the market may react, but the best technology companies have perfected their business by being in permanent beta mode, always looking for change and improvement. It is the way forward. We have been raised not to screw up, but technology allows us to try things and correct course along the way.

When you consider a history of great success, normally that success has a shadow of spectacular failure behind it, from which the company has learned and benefited. Famed Canon company President Hajime Mitari was quoted as saying, “We should do something when people say it is crazy. If people say something is good, it means someone is already doing it.” I like that. Take a chance and try things.

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