Tac Anderson: Dead Vikings and small commitments
In his article, Tac cites an interesting story from a book he recently read featuring a case study involving a failed settlement attempt of Greenland by Vikings. When they failed to recognize and react to small but consistent changes in their environment. Weather changes altered the length of seasons which influenced farming patterns that led to more rapid cutting of forests and other things spun out of control until they finally perished.
Tac takes this lesson the Vikings learned and extends it to more modern business problems. At the end of his post:
"The earlier you are able to analyze a new opportunity, typically the cheaper it s to make small commitments. If the opportunity turns out to be one not worth pursuing, it is easy to get out. If you wait until something is a viable opportunity to make an investment, it will typically be much more expensive."
This is akin to finding a problem during the design phase of a product is much cheaper than finding it in the manufacturing phase or certainly than when the product has already shipped to customers. The hard part is knowing which opportunities to experiment with, since you can't try them all out, but Tac makes a great point that the earlier you get involved, the less expensive it is.
Labels: General stuff