To Create Is Not Enough: How to Focus on Consumption
A pitfall in the path to innovation and disruption is the lop sided focus on “creation” and not enough focus on “consumption”. Creation is the process of creating platforms, products, and solutions where as consumption focusses on ensuring that the created artifacts deliver the intended value. Too often enterprises get caught up in “creation” or enabling “creation” and lose sight of the fact that without consumption, anything they create is bound to be a failure.
Creation & Consumption can not be Sequenced
A misconception that often exists is that “if we build it, they will come” i.e creating the product and solution is enough and its existence will automatically lead to consumption and value generation for the customer. However, creation and consumption cannot be sequenced i.e. made a focus sequentially. Creation and consumption only succeed when they go hand in hand where tight, iterative loops ensure that the creation is informed by consumption trends and feedback and that consumption is also leveraging the latest creations.
What Does A Lop-Sided Focus Look Like
The top 3 signs of this lop-sided focus are as follows
Focus on Building Platforms
When the focus of the enterprise is building platforms and when customer value is only created when a developer leverages the platform to build a customer facing application, it often means that the effort invested in the platform has no ROI. When the focus is on platforms, application investment suffers and the platform builders get sidetracked with platform KPIs as opposed to business value KPIs. The platform builders might only focus on “Developer” satisfaction when ultimately, customer satisfaction matters for the business.
Focus on Tools, Not on Solutions
Another sign of lop-sided investment is a focus on tooling at the expense of solutions. Enterprise teams can often go overboard with building large libraries of tools and using the adoption of the tool as a metric of success. However, similar to platforms, tools are simply means to an end and, though important to the process of solutionizing, they are not by themselves value creators. The focus of the enterprise should be on Solutions that deliver customer value and when done correctly, it can lead to platform enhancement and improvements.
Focus on Technology, Not Applications
A significant sign of lop-sidedness is the focus on technology and technology platforms and not enough investment in user, customer and employee applications. Enterprise teams can get caught up in the latest technology fads and focus on enabling technology frameworks with the deployment of these frameworks considered success. This breeds a “demo” culture that focusses only on showcasing the technology and not on leveraging the technology to produce applications.