Ideas are Worthless, Building from Within & Design Sprints
In this episode, Brian Ardinger talks with Douglas Ferguson, founder of Voltage Control, a company focused on design sprints and getting new products to market. Douglas tries to look at the product as a whole unit and is convinced that ideas are worthless. It’s more about focused execution. Douglas brings an operators viewpoint, as he moves into consulting and thinking about Innovation from a broader perspective.
Brian and Douglas discuss some of the problems companies face, when building from within, including the desire to standardize. Companies try to jam everything together and avoid focusing on customers’ needs. For example, AT&T buys other company’s services and then takes them to market. With this strategy, AT&T will never be able to provide a superb service, because they are so far from the consumer.
When companies try to innovate, often the problem is putting a lot of resource constraints on projects. Douglas uses a framework called Eco Cycles to view the innovation processes. Projects move from birth to maturity to creative destruction to rebirth. In between, there is a rigidity trap and poverty trap. Many big company projects get stuck in that poverty trap.
Douglas also highlights an interesting article from Josh Baer @CapitalFactory called the Texas manifesto. In the article, it explains that Austin will never be a Silicon Valley, but that to succeed Texas needs to connect their four major cities. With that aim, Josh and others load up a bus with VCs, startups, and mentors and travel to a Texas city each month. Check it out at https://austinstartups.com/the-texas-startup-manifesto-42f06f2a7075
Austin is starting to see organizations mature and more second and third-time entrepreneurs taking more swings at bat. However, startups doing big bold things and raising large amounts of capital are still getting sucked out to Silicon Valley.
To contact Douglas and read about Voltage Control check out Voltagecontrol.com
For more content like this, check out Brian’s interview with Teresa Torres at Product Talk – https://insideoutside.io/podcast/ep-90-teresa-torres-w-product-talk/
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