Who Really Wants to Work in a Factory?

In a current presentation I provided on making use of information in the product management/development procedure there was one slide that I wound up taking out. It didnt fit the flow of the talk, but I think its still a crucial point.

Heres the slide:

The discussion in question was arguing for the proper application of Lean Startup as a procedure for effectively building better products. Oftentimes when talking about Lean Startup (and normally when individuals speak about procedures for item management), they utilize the “factory example.”

In the “ideal situation” you build product like a factory spits things out– there are consistent inputs, a linear procedure the product goes through to get constructed, and the exact same outputs come out every time. Robots work terrific in factories, and are perfectly suited for building items in a regulated environment, however the world isnt controlled. Theres no ensured, unified, uncomplicated process thatll result in quality item being output every single time. And as appealing as the factory analogy might be, its not the best one for actually discussing how terrific products are constructed.

I comprehend why the factory analogy gets used … hell, Im quite sure Ive utilized it prior to too! In preparing for my keynote at CrunchConf I understood it was a dangerous and incorrect example. In a room full of information researchers and analysts, I wanted to make it clear that theres no perfect formula for success. Theres no single answer. Theres no guaranteed, combined, straightforward process thatll result in quality product being output every time. Nor need to there be. Thats why the title of the presentation had the words “Data + Guts”– you need both. And as appealing as the factory analogy may be, its not the ideal one for truly describing how excellent products are constructed.

The factory analogy exists to help us understand that we need to integrate things utilizing a consistent process. In the “perfect situation” you build item like a factory spits things out– there are consistent inputs, a linear process the item goes through to get built, and the exact same outputs come out every time. Blech.

Theres always going to be too much chaos and unpredictability in the mix to have an ideal factory for building products. I dont think any item gets constructed that truly resolves individualss needs without a bit of creativity. Robotics work excellent in factories, and are completely fit for building products in a controlled environment, however the world isnt controlled.