DON’T EXPLORE, JUST DO

Hey everyone! I’m back from my unannounced hiatus. I apologize for the wait, but on the bright side, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately lol I know its cliché, I did that on purpose.

Recently news broke that Microsoft has just finished up laying off the last batch of Lumia engineers and designers from the Nokia acquisition, and they sold off the last bits of their acquisition. This is proof that buying Nokia was a huge waste of an investment, and it also proves that Satya, Microsoft’s CEO, is not too enthused about Microsoft’s Windows Phone efforts. But furthermore, this serves as a good example of a specific philosophy of business management that I seriously despise, which is when a company or product team tries something risky to see how successful it will be, only to drop it when it doesn’t yield the results they were hoping for.

This is especially frustrating from a marketing stance. So much of product marketing and brand recognition is rooted in consistency and repetitiveness. It becomes so hard for people to identify with your brand when you are constantly fiddling around with new things. Even if something isn’t doing particularly well, market share and profit aside, you’ve got to work yourself out of it. It’s almost like quicksand. And this may seem like a harsh opinion with deadly consequences, but its a philosophy that is supposed to prevent unsuccessful ideas from being developed before they end up on shelves.

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I’m reminded of shooting a basketball. If you remember anything from elementary school PE class, you would remember being taught to “follow through” with your wrist when shooting the basketball. The concept seems completely worthless, because the ball has already left your hand by the time your wrist is “following through”. But its 100% psychological. You see, your brain decides to follow through before you release the ball, in fact, the brain is thinking about following through while you are still in your shooting motion. And so what happens is that you end up getting off a much more technical shot because you are focused on the “perfect finishing motion” which is called a follow through. It has nothing to do with actually flicking your wrist after the shot. The idea of following through is a game that is being played with your subconscious and your muscle memory.

Likewise, my advice on “following through” with new product ventures is exactly the same concept. My assumption is that if you have a preset mindset of finishing whatever you start, you will make much wiser decisions about what you decide to do. Companies like Microsoft who have tons of back-up cash if something goes wrong tend to be a little less careful with what they decide to do, and I think that they make a huge mistake by doing this, not for financial sake, but for brand sake. I honestly hate seeing products that die off due to a lack of effort and enthusiasm backing them. It may sound like a rant, but if you are going to make something, make it the best that you possibly can and don’t quit when it gets hard. If you go into any project with this mindset, you will undoubtedly choose your battles wiser.

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