Two New Years

We are lucky ones in this part of the world, as every year we have two New Years – one Gregorian New Year and one Lunar New Year.

In other words, we have two year ends, we can reflect on our works two times and also two chances to plan ahead for the coming year. In fact, we can even prepare two New Year’s resolutions, if the first one didn’t work out.

So let’s prepare for the work post-COVID-19 … what are your focuses ?

Keep Trying

You likely have one of these at home, a solvent made with some blends of lubricants. It was developed by Rocket Chemical Company back in 1953 to prevent corrosion by displacing water.

Naturally, WD stands for “water displacement”. However, believe it or not, 40 means the 40th attempt … yes the company succeeded on the 40th try, and then used it as part of the product name.

How many times have you tried, before you developed the right products ? 4, 40, 400 ?

Achieving Perfection

You probably came across the following quote before, which paraphrases (and abbreviated) a great quote from French writer, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, who’s best remembered for his novella “The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince)”.

What you probably don’t know, however, is this great quote came from his autobiography and the original context was about airplane engineering, as he was also a great aviator.

If you are designing a new website, developing a new application, or building a new MVP; may I suggest you to take a pause, and ask yourself – Are you adding features, or removing ones ? Are your products achieving perfection ? If not, what are you going to do next ?

Decision Making

“One common pitfall for large organizations – one that hurts speed and inventiveness – is ‘one-size-fits-all’ decision making.” – 2016 Letter to Shareholders, Amazon

How many decisions you make, today, have to go to the top management ?

Are they big decisions ? Or small ? Did that make your process faster ? Or slower ?

And then it reminds me the great quote from Sir Ratan N. Tata…

Customer Obsessed

Lots of people like to quote this line from Jeff Bezos and claim they are customer centric as well as customer obsessed … just like Amazon.

However they missed one important idea behind that, as mentioned in Bezos’ annual letters to shareholders (go read those …

The idea is … keep improving your own products to serve the customers is not good enough, but also need to develop new capabilities within the corporation and roll out new products to address customer needs.

New ideas, new risks, new capabilities, new experiments, new failures, new products …