Monday, March 07, 2005

Inc: Create 'spin-ups' of new products, not 'spinoffs'

There's an interesting article in the new issue of Inc., a business magazine here in the US. In it, they discuss how in the times we live in, new products and services from a company have an increasingly likely chance to already be passe by the time they actually ship to market. The article encourages companies to stop looking at new products and services in the way it's traditionally been done (that is, that a company has an overall main business strategy, set in stone, and with all new products and services being "spinoffs" of that strategy), and to instead think of them as "spin-ups," independent creatures that may turn around and eventually change the business's central strategy itself.

The article cites a number of examples, such as trendy restauranteurs who specifically design new places to only be open for a couple of years, in order to grab as much "trendy money" as possible, before closing and being turned into a completely different place, once again trendy and on the cutting-edge. The challenge, opines the article, is in having the courage to let a new product or service actually change the overall business's general goals and strategies, rather than making that strategy an untouchable "holy document" (which is what's leading to new products being instantly passe in the first place, the article implies). Also, companies have to have the courage to kill weak or debt-generating products and services, no matter how core a part they've historically been with that company, or how romantically attached the business's owners are to that particular product. Quite a thought-provoking article, for those like me who are starting up businesses that will rely on a wide variety of products and services in order to succeed. (Thanks to APF BizLinkBlog for pointing out this article.)