Calling out the elephant in the room – Assumptions – 2

arrogance, Assumptions, B2B, Business, ego, Marketing

For a background to this post, I would suggest you have a look at the fist part of the topic here

Not many know that the digital camera was first created by a team in Kodak. Whether you call it arrogance on the part of the managers at Kodak, who assumed that no one would want to buy such an expensive camera. What was assumed was that the technology would make it unviable for most folks to afford the camera.

No one thought that technology was following Moore’s law, where the power of the chip was roughly doubling every 18 odd months. A similar thing happened at Xerox who actually had designed the “mouse” long before it became a standard accessory. But they never moved forward on it.

It is said , the Swiss already knew about battery powered watches, much before the Japanese, but because they prided themselves on their engineering and movement, they never bothered taking a patent. Suddenly the Japanese were all over the place with watches leaving the Swiss, gasping for breadth. Again technology assumptions can go wrong very badly.

Brainstorming on the assumptions you are making and listing them, gets you grounded to think better. Also its a better idea to ask an outsider to check out your assumptions.

In marketing, because you are dealing with human perceptions, understanding and accounting for the assumptions can help you avoid expensive mistakes. In B2B scenarios where there are multiple people involved in a decision and there’s general inertia, not accounting for these assumptions can be fatal.. Its a good idea to keep asking ‘what else are we assuming”.

Like assuming that the person on the production line will easily adopt the new technology you are bringing in via the CIO and /or the CFO. More IT projects have failed because of these faulty assumptions than the problem with the technology itself.

Especially when you are making the marketing or sales plan at the beginning of the year, if you don’t account for these assumptions, very soon when you hit the road, all your plans will fall flat.

Don’t make the mistakes that I have done. Whenever you make a plan list out all the assumptions and make everyone aware about them so that collective wisdom can find a better solution.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

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