Monday, 23 August 2010

Stop fitting pieces, You may break!

Of the busy work schedules I took my time off to meet the old time friend @aranhas007, he had been off lately very busy with doing some product development and we discussed on some cool ideas. One of the stuff we ended up debating on was FourSquare v/s Facebook Places.. yes the location driven services.. the question came in where we asked "Do fitting successful pieces into a product succeed?" I doubt looking at what Google tried in the last few years through Wave , Orkut and Buzz... it doesn't seem that you can club successful pieces and make one big hell of a product.

A serious given thought reminds me that whoever tried to do such thing never succeeded in making it big.. for various reasons... A lot of people think that cloning or replicating or milking a small idea is an easier thing to do, because all you got to do then is follow a model and execute... sigh!!!! if that had worked I would have read a biography of a few legends and would have by now qualified to become a Noble prize winner. Well cloning failures not only applies to product but also companies and their models...

A few days ago I heard a few comments while discussing organizational cultures, comments like
"In X company one is allowed to do this, that and this. Why don't we learn from them "

"People in X company get Y and Z, and they can also do X"

"Why not take good parts of Google, Microsoft and become one great company?"

Well that doesn't work. Does it? Steve Jobs when doing any announcements to his product family would wear the regular turtle neck with his denim, while Microsoft CEO would be in a suit...
Now can you make a Steve Jobs wear a suit on the launch and get a Windows out?
Well no its a different culture, model and process... you cant just fit 2 odd things together.. even though some law say that "Opposite poles match"

So why does this bringing together small pieces not really work?

1. Models are different
If the models and types of products are different, they ain't going to let you succeed instead they are going to add up to the Technical and maintenance liability. For instance just because the location driven services are hot, you cannot buy one service or build one to your product that is purely a non-content product!!.

Business, Development and Product Models define the vision and future and they cant be built in pieces from various successful models.. they have to be unique in order to succeed. A NON - REPLICA in other words...

2. Size
Size of the user base, company , executors affect the ability to join pieces. A smaller company or Team will find it easier to adapt to building or fitting in multiple pieces as opposed to a larger one. It does matter when it comes to adapting and executing with results when the time between former and later is too short.

3. Culture
This is a driver. Try making a few traditional SDLC developers execute a lean process. You will find resistance. The culture to adapt change is key. If this culture exists and prevails in your system it is possible to achieve some level of success in fitting in pieces. The culture to build, FAIL, and Change need to exists and most of the time some of these do not. People who have been able to join pieces of successful models and succeed, have a great culture that is blended with ability to FAIL, LEARN and CHANGE.

4. People
Finally , you can replicate products, ideas, tools , processes.... what made all these are the people.. and it is not easy to replicate them.

Now if you are thinking that you may pull a Agile + Waterfall + Six Sigma to build a very strong process for your company.. you maybe wrong.

If you are thinking that you will bring a twitter and a Youtube together to build a new realtime streaming product, You maybe wrong.

If you are thinking to bring Senior Managers from 10 different companies to make your company successful. You maybe wrong.

You maybe able to utilise small pieces to build one good thing, but you cant just pull a great future out of it. It has to evolve and evolve and become one unique thing to succeed.