13 Jan Business Evolution Revolution
The Lean Startup written by Eric Ries, takes its name from the lean manufacturing revolution that Tiaiichi Onhno and Shigeo Shingo are credited with developing at Toyota. Lean thinking is radically altering the way supply chains and production systems are run. Among its tenants are drawing on the knowledge and creativity of individual workers, the shrinking of batch sizes, just-in-time production and inventory control, and an acceleration of cycle times. The Lean Startup adapts these ideas to the context of entrepreneurship, proposing that entrepreneurs judge their progress differently. The unit of progress is called validated learning. With the focus being on cross training and learning, a company can change (or pivot) to adjust their products or services. Every set back is an opportunity to learn how to get where they want to go.
As George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. “ Some of our greatest thinkers and tinkers made a lot of prototypes before going to market. It was through this development process that a company created, adjusted, and finalized a product. Imagine how different the world would have been had Steve Jobs sat back on his laurels and had thought the final “it” product was the iPod. Sure it revolutionized how we purchased and listened to music but he was not satisfied. He knew that we as a nation would prefer to have one electronic item to keep charged. Instead of us running around with a cell phone and a Day-Timer or a Palm Pilot we could just use one device… the iPhone. As a business person who came of age in the 90’s, I lugged so many devices around with me from client to client. I had my Motorola bag cell phone, a Sony Walkman CD player, my huge Compaq laptop computer, my 8 ½ x 11 Day-Timer and a small file box of brochures. Every night I would have to lug all my information into the hotel to update my notes. Today all of these functions, and more, are performed by my Smartphone. Boy and I glad that Steve Jobs chose to push the envelope and help all of us do more while carrying less.
So where does that leave us? I believe we are living in a world of rapidly developing technology. We have shifted from the manufacturing age and into the information age. The better we are able to work with our clients to provide support, systems or products the better we are tooled with the ability to make an impact in our industry. We need to not only make a better mousetrap but we also have to market it better. How do you want to set yourself apart from the competition? What do you offer that your competition doesn’t offer? Is it better customer service, faster shipping, unusually unique products? It is through innovation in all aspects of business that new companies can grow and succeed in an ever crowded world market.
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Alicia Sisk-Morris, CPA is a native of the Asheville area. A Certified Public Accountant since 1999, she has a diverse background in tax, financial and business consulting. She is dedicated to helping small and medium-sized companies grow profitably while helping them establish practical and sound tax and financial processes. She is committed to meeting each client’s unique business objectives. Alicia has expertise in providing comprehensive accounting services, including individual, corporate, partnership, and nonprofit income tax returns, financial statements, bookkeeping and payroll tax reports. Alicia earned a Bachelor’s in Business degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an Accounting degree from University of North Carolina at Asheville. She is currently working on her master’s degree from Western Carolina University.