Monday, November 19, 2007

The Second Bounce

Ronald Cohen of Apex fame argues in his new book that the everyone can see the first bounce of the ball; it's the second bounce that is uncertain. And it is only in situations of uncertainty that significant investment gains can be made. Well I beg to differ - until you bounce the ball once there is the highest degree of uncertainty - one can only guess at the outcome. Once you have seen a bounce, you have data to predict pretty well what the next bounce will do and even fix things that fall flat!

Releasing Version 1 of a product into a market is always the most uncertain stage. Once users have something to play with they can give you feedback and the whole market research process can be brought to bear on the problem. When all you have is ideas, hand waving and hopefully some passion and a committed team, most potential users will still just stare back blankly at you - they ain't good at looking at a blank canvas and saying what will make it a masterpiece.

That thought dovetails pretty nicely with a talk I caught on the first bounce at BarCamp Leeds on Saturday on the futility of trying to predict the future. Sure, it's hard but unless you can make an educated guess at where things are going how can you ever hope to align the technology idea you are working on with what the future holds. That said, the prevailing view was that the best way of predicting the future is to implement it!

No comments: