Monday, August 16, 2010

Never Design By Committee

Michael Arrington, founder of the tech blog TechCrunch recently wrote:
There’s a saying I love: “a camel is a horse designed by committee.” A variation is “a Volvo is a Porsche designed by committee.” Some of the best product advice I’ve ever heard goes something like “damn what the users want, charge towards your dream.” All of these statements are, of course, saying the same thing. When there are too many cooks in the kitchen all you get is a mess. And when too many people have product input, you’ve got lots of features but no soul.
Committees have a habit of making even great ideas mediocre. They work to smooth edges and create consensus. Committees also pull ideas from the fringes and bring them back to the middle.

But the best ideas come from the edges. The ideas that take the world by storm and create new markets are never the comfortable ideas. It's those who are bold enough to push to the fringes that create something genuinely unique.

You need to find the courage to push for the edges. It's at the fringes where genius lies. The middle is comfortable, reassuring and easy -- unfortunately, the competition is most ferocious because anyone can create something mediocre. If you want to truly craft a business that will be something remarkable then you must push for the edges.

How are you pushing the limits? How are you ignoring the committee?

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