Evolutionary Change vs. Revolutionary Change

I often talk about Evolutionary change vs. Revolutionary change. All products and companies need to change to survive. They need to get better, cheaper and faster at what they already do today.

An effective company develops ways to evolve over time.  Your competition is also evolving.  They do not sit around and do nothing, as much as we’d like to think so.  Designing systems to listen to your customers, gather their feedback data, and react quickly will help you evolve your products faster than your competition. 

We have all heard the expression, "It's a marathon, not a sprint."  Let's look at Evolutionary change like a long race - take the 2011 Tour de France for example.  The winner took 86 hours, 12 minutes, 22 seconds (310,342 seconds). Second place was 1 minute, 34 seconds behind (96 seconds). That isn't a difference of one percent. That isn't a difference of 1/10 of one percent. That is three one hundredths of a percent. The race is 3,479 kilometers and it goes over 20 stages. One tiny little rest in all those days and miles and the winner is no longer a winner.


Entitlement in Society (Part 3): Diminishes Quality of Life

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” a slogan Karl Marx popularized.  This is not a new enlightened idea; it’s the basis of communist philosophy.  It sounds almost identical to what I am hearing in the CNN article “Are Jobs Obsolete?” , which prompted this three part blog series. It's an idea that destroys happiness, stunts growth and ultimately diminishes quality of life. For the article to make any sense, we have to assume that the benefits of society (our GDP) will be divided among workers and non-workers so everyone’s needs are met.  Need, therefore, is the thing that gets rewarded, not execution, not production and not performance.


Entitlement in Society (Part 2): Stunts Growth

In my last post we introduced the disturbing CNN article, "Are Jobs Obsolete?," and discussed how the premise that most Americans don't need to work would negatively impact individuals' happiness and self-esteem.  Now, in the second of a three-part blog series on entitlement in society, we'll discuss why making jobs obsolete would stunt our country's growth.

The article makes an erroneous argument about how increased technology, automation and efficiency kills jobs. During the Industrial Revolution, machines were supposed to eliminate all laborers and the tractor was supposed to eliminate farm workers.  Yet it didn’t happen and unemployment was below 5% almost 100 years after these innovations. Why weren't more jobs eliminated?


Entitlement in Society (Part 1): Destroys Happiness

I recently read one of the most disheartening news pieces I have ever seen: "Are Jobs Obsolete?"  Not only was it on the front page of CNN’s website, but more than 37,000 people "liked it" on Facebook.  The article's premise boggles my mind: the US is so productive that we shouldn't worry about unemployment rates. In other words, most people could just sit around watching soaps all day, while a few highly trained people and robots work, and our GDP can be divided up to support everyone "just fine."

The article clearly points out the problem this country is having with Entitlement and with people espousing flawed economic and social logic to drive public policy. For three basic reasons this “logic” is not in the best interest of individuals or society, entitlement: destroys happiness, stunts growth and diminishes quality of life. In this blog entry, I’ll address the first: why entitlement destroys happiness.


The Beginning of a Healthcare Market

For years, I have said that the issue with healthcare is it does not act like any other market.  Other industries have competition based on price and quality.  If your price is higher, but your quality or product is better, some people will buy it.  If your price is the lowest, some people will buy it.  If your price is in the middle, but it is a good value, some people will buy it. 

It's hard for any product to have quality stray too far from the highest point, or price stray too far from the lowest point and stay viable. Therefore, companies become more efficient and improve quality over time. Today the price per transaction is actually less for most products than it was when I started in the industry more than 20 years ago.  The value and service quality is way better.  We have had to improve and automate every year to stay viable.


Steve Jobs: Good Enough Was Never Good Enough

We lost one of the great business leaders and innovators of our lifetime. His sister's eulogy captures his private life as a father, a husband and a brother. For me, Steve Jobs' passing was the loss of a personal inspiration and an intense competitor (explained below). Everyone talks about Jobs' amazing impact on various industries. And it's true, Steve Jobs helped revolutionize so many industries. Here are just a handful of ideas Jobs turned into fruition that have changed the world we live in and how we function today: