Technology changes fast: you need continually renew your technical skills and those of your team. Soft skills–people skills–have a much longer lifetime.
Technology Changes Fast, People, Not So Much
I have had several conversations with other entrepreneurs in the last two weeks where the same realization has been reached: technology changes fast and you need a plan to continually renew your technical skills and those of your team.
On the other hand soft skills, people skills, have a much longer lifetime. A small but continual investment in developing your speaking and presentation ability will pay dividends for a long time. Becoming a more thoughtful and encouraging listener never hurts either–although I find it hard work.
The second implication of fast pace of change for technology is what Clayton Christensen refers to as “overshoot” in the Innovator’s Dilemma. Over time, an existing technology provides more capability and/or performance than traditional customers can take advantage of or are willing to pay for. The challenge becomes finding other markets and new problems for your solution.
I think the next decade or so will be as much about extending current business models and developing new ones to take advantage of what’s already been invented as it will be about radical innovations. Customer development is now as important, if not more important, than product development.
- Jack of All Trades
- Andrew Hargadon “Finding New Problems”
- Andrew Hargadon “Problem Finding–Not Just For Amateurs“
- “Distant Early Warning Signs of Market Disruption“
- “I Don’t Understand, We Won the Argument, Why Didn’t We Win the Sale?“
- “Early Customer Conversations: Use Appreciative Inquiry and Amplify Positive Deviance”