Voltaire, that wonderful Frenchman that used to give his Government of the day a hard time, is quoted as saying, "Perfect is the enemy of good." For businesses, the takeaway is simple: If you have a functional and marketable product or service, don't get hung up on perfecting it at the expense of delaying its release... just get it to market. Timing, at the introduction of our ideas into the marketplace, is one of five prerequisites for the success of any business.

Computer and consumer electronics manufacturers, and chip makers for example, are famous for launching new models and variants in quick succession – on occasions updating and releasing a new product variant over 20 times in a six month period! That's because these markets move at such speed that it's counterproductive to withhold their release in the name of perfection. So as long as a company has that functional, marketable product, they put it out there and then use customer feedback to iterate... over and over and over and over again.

But even for industries that don't rely on new technological innovation every week, the businesses that wait to release their product or service until it's "perfect" almost always find that it isn't perfect... and what a waste of time and resources getting it there!

You don't have to be light years ahead of everyone else, and the reality is that as much as you try, you'll never be light years ahead. Aim for what's been coined the 15 minute competitive advantage: "changing in short fast bursts rather than waiting for the breakthrough that transforms everything."

Aim for perfection, and you set yourself up for peril.

Posted: 4/10/2011 11:19:31 PM by Brett Morris | with 0 comments
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