I’ve been wanting to follow up my Open = Growth post for a while. Described in that post is the likelihood of success when folks concentrate on how their solutions can be integrated with other solutions. There’s a flip side to this, and that’s for companies to limit the functionality of their solutions to the core of how they are used. Adding a plethora of products, services, and features can be dangerous.
Programmers call it ‘creep‘.
‘Creep’ is the nightmare of every developer. It happens when a solid development plan is not maintained and adhered to. Features continue to creep in until the project is so far out of control that it never gets finished. Or worse, it gets finished and has an insurmountable amount of bugs.
I would submit that companies, and their products and services can also suffer from ‘creep‘. By not limiting your company and the products and services of your core business, you begin to chase rainbows, thinking there is a buck to be had here or there. However, you neglect to see the damage it has on your business’ focus, your employees’ focus and knowledge, as well as the added strain it puts on production, support, delivery, etc.
Whenever you decide to look at additional products, services, or features, see if there is a company out there already that provides it as part of the core of their business. Can you do it better than them? Can your company support that AND continue to sustain the expertise in your core? Will your employees want to support it?
In the end, chasing the rainbow may just break you.