‘Build to last’ is bullcrap, consultants repeat and Startups suck.


Today we live in a world that is innovating exponentially. As a result, companies need to innovate more aggressively. In the old world, a company could “catch a next train” to catch up innovative developments. In the “new” world, that would be impossible. What’s the difference? Gary Hamel explained that already a decade ago… companies are either ‘in’ the innovation or you have to buy a company to be ‘in’. Why? There isn’t going to be another Internet portal momentum we had in the 90’s. You were there, or you were to late. And then you had to BUY to get in. Example is Microsoft buying Hotmail.

The world is moving faster in an exponential way. Consider these one-liners from the “Did you know” presentation.

  • We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist using technologies that haven’t been invented
  • There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month, to whom were these questions addressed B.G.? (before Google)
  • It’s estimated that a week’s worth of New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18 th century.
  • The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years. It’s predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.
  • By 2023, a $1,000 computer will exceed the computation capability of the Human Brain.

What does this mean? Shift happens, and your company should be adaptable to it. To do that, you have to innovate. And not from top to bottom.

‘Build to last’ is bullcrap

Jim Collins “Build to last” is a statement that is not true today. Ford, GM, Motorola all show infliction in growth. Build to change is more important. Why? An unknown author said: “Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don’t”. Another quote is that it’s not the strongest that will survive, but the one that can adapt. Every industry has rule makers, rule takers.

Innovate! Don’t trust ‘industry expert’ consults

Creativity comes from different backgrounds, companies find success in working with people from different industries. Signing a consultant that claims to be “expert in your industry” will give you no innovation. My example: Apple (software) and the leap to the Music industry.

Statups are not interesting

From my perspective, startups often stay with the strategy of the original founders. We have seen this with Digg; a company said to be worth 60 million by Business week in 2006, was recently rejected for acquirement by Google; In my opinion; Digg had momentum when they attracted eyeballs, but they didn’t innovate the company. Result? The company grew like a rocket, but eventually had to cash in on their lack of innovation. As Hamel put it “rockets follow a parabolic curve”

Google itself is quite the opposite. When Sergey Brin and Larry Page started the company, it had quite a different business model as they have now. Conclusion? Its not competition between companies but business-models. It’s not about product lifecycles but about shorter strategy life cycles.

7 thoughts on “‘Build to last’ is bullcrap, consultants repeat and Startups suck.

  1. Anonymous

    Interesting post Joop, maybe this will add something:

    Top management does not have to stimulate entrepreneurship, but also needs to make sure not to suppress it.

    And maybe Corporate Venture Capital Funds can get the right entrepreneurial vibe?

    This week there was also an interesting guy for a guest lecture and he mentioned the word in dutch”serendipiteit” http://www.1minutemanager.nl/consulting/serendipiteit-over-cern-viennetta-ijs-en-harrison-ford-3/

  2. Anonymous

    # By 2023, a $1,000 computer will exceed the computation capability of the Human Brain.

    If anything, it already has.

    Computers were computing faster than a human brain long ago.

    What exactly do you mean? An AI?

  3. Joop… Glad I decided to follow you ao Twitter. Nice one. Computational abilities aside, the “Holy Grail” of science is the responsible development of Biofusion Technologies. The syncopation of many disciplines, that in reality will turn to the ideal of Alchemy. The “Gold” being the complete turnaround of energy deficiencies, disease and illness. It’s the symphony of science with the human moral code and the ethic that those developments shall bring. As for computers ever taking the role of “greater” human intelligence… (They are just tools…) Yep, we can always turn them off if they get to much to deal with.

Leave a Reply