Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

The Age of Beta

Wired has short piece about the rise of products in perpetual beta. Let me offer a prediction (and recommendation): in the future, products will (and should) always be beta. Tweaking will be a strategic imperative, because value will be created from the ongoing dialogue between producers and consumers. The boundaries of the firm will blur.

As usual, Wired gets the strategy backwards. This is not a bad thing - it's a momentously good thing. It imposes costs on consumers, to be sure - but if offers massive potential for new value creation - it lets consumers dictate what they want.

Pause for a second to think about the counterfactual. Would you rather have the stale old world of products by the decree of managers? The problem is that they're trained to manage, not think - not get cool products and services to market. It's consumers/buyers who do the best thinking about the products they use - but they've been locked out of the value equation, well, since the age of guilds - about 500 years ago. That's the last time this kind of dialogue really existed. That's why so many people think business is boring, stupid, and artless.

-- umair // 12:07 PM // 0 comments


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