Posted on: 3 November 2015
What happened to the R?
Bringing a product to life has never been easier. “Products” of course can be websites, apps, things, whatever it is you desire can quickly be brought to life.Business concepts that appeared on a napkin on Thursday, can actually materialize into something workable on Friday.
Hobbies quickly morph into side businesses that can reach thousands of potential customers accessed via social networks. Real, physical things can be printed at home and actually put into production; real world prototyping can happen in an afternoon. We are now living in the science fiction future that we fantasized about 10 years ago. It is a fabulous time to be an entrepreneur, a maker, or to work with folks who are.
This has created a sense of urgency that has manifested in today’s development cycles, often amplified by the Silicon Valley ‘fail fast’ mind set. Good, bad or otherwise, failing quickly somehow has established itself as a viable consequence of accelerating on all fronts.
Failure of course should be embraced, and you can apply these lessons to ensure your next cycle is better. Rinse and repeat. This mindset is being challenged of late, because failure at any cost is still failure. Do you need to fail to learn how to succeed? We don’t think so.
This new reality is possible due to the suite of new tools and products that fundamentally change how products today are developed. SaaS models, Cloud based architecture, and global communication channels have redefined the work accomplished during development cycles. Developing every aspect of something new today, is completely different than at any other time in human history.
What happened to the R? ‘Research and Development’ at one time was so intimately connected that they were contained within the same R&D team. How have Research cycles been adapted to keep up with this new Development reality? Sadly, too often, they have not. Too often Research cycles are simply cut to ensure that accelerated Development schedules can be maintained. But at what cost?
Outstanding products (i.e. Websites, Apps, physical goods, etc.) don’t happen by accident. They are intentional. Built with purpose. Thoughtfully executed. Do these outcomes sound like products conceived via cycles of failure, or lack of understanding?
Outstanding products today are realized on accelerated timelines, not by dropping the research, but by ensuring that research cycles have evolved in the same way that your development has.
Eliminating Research is a fast lane to failure, and not the correct approach to building products today. Research techniques have evolved, and can help ensure that your product succeeds!