It’s a familiar refrain. Not today, we’re too busy. Whether too busy because times are good. Or too busy because times are bad. Apparently there is never a good time to stop, listen, think and act with fresh perspective. It shows. In 1920, our strongest companies in the S&P lived for 67 years. By 2010 they average only 15 years. The average across all companies, just 8 years.
Companies are dying as kids
Judging by results, our investments in education, training and building corporate culture have been wildly misdirected. Our customers are changing. Clearly corporations and institutions aren’t changing with them. It’s easy to see if we just take the time to look. To challenge our existing beliefs. To understand why we do what we do. Why we believe what we believe. It’s easy to see why we miss the obvious.
Asia has 895 million mobile web users. Growing at 45% per annum. Yet few companies really comprehend this shift. I see major institutions in Asia still without a mobile strategy. Dig a little deeper, I’ve seen institutions spending 7x more on platforms in decline than in mobile platforms which are fast becoming the primary channel. Think about it. Investing 7x more in decline than growth.
No wonder companies are dying as kids.
The rationale sounds reasonable. ‘You don’t understand, our customers are not sophisticated’, ‘You don’t understand, our business is complex’ etc. Always a safe argument. Innovation inherently comes with risk. What is clear, simply many companies don’t understand their customers.
Worse still, they underestimate their customers.
The modern mobile is the equivalent of USD3.5 Million worth of computing power in 1991. The computational power is more than NASA used to put man on the moon in 1969. Millions of developers around the world are harnessing that power to mask complexity and deliver brilliant user experiences. Simplifying interactions believed impossible before. Consumers don't have to be sophisticated. They don't care about the plumbing. Just the experience.
The power is in their hands.