How Clean is your Fire Truck?

Seth Godin, change agent, marketer, not sure what he does -- wrote this insightful post about why fire trucks are always sparkling clean.

Made me think about the change we are experiencing in our industry to become more competitive in the increasingly fragmented and digital marketplace.

Part of it is the ability to be interative. The Internet isn't about perfection, it's interative. If we wait for everything we produce to be perfect and to have a process in place to "control" it, we lose first-mover status which is important if you want to be innovative and all successful companies are innovative and iterative.

Here's a quote from an article about what changes Proctor & Gamble are going through to meet the new marketplace demands which references my favorite reference to perfection as a hindrance by Meg Whitman:

Stop testing so much. It's not the P&G way to put out a product without test-marketing it. But consumer testing takes time--a luxury that P&G execs increasingly don't have. Says Susan Arnold, P&G's beauty queen: "We don't have time to cross all the T's and dot all the I's. This business is trend-based and fashion-based. You have to be intuitive, instinctual, and gut-driven." ... P&G has reduced product launch time from lab to roll-out from three years to 18 months companywide. Meg Whitman, eBay's CEO and a P&G board member, believes that P&G should move even faster. "Perfection is the enemy of good enough," she says. "I think that's right," says Lafley.

So, the next time you are heading into yet another meeting about whether or not to create a new online section or try out a new column in the newspaper, ask yourself if you're just cleaning the old fire truck again.

-- Sorry for the long post.

Disclaimer -- of course I am not advocating that we ignore our journalistic or public responsibility to report objectively and be fair. I am advocating that we launch products in versions, like everyone else, so that we can be a part of the game and given the chance to improve our products with customer feedback, like everyone else. KS

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