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To create a new category, name a new game (linkedin.com)
61 points by andyraskin 39 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 35 comments

I wish this was easier to do as an employee: you see the writing on the wall, they pay you to be an expert in a field, but no one listens to your "we should be moving in this direction". You're met with one of my most annoying phrases: "this is how we've always done it."

The opportunity passes by, now your company is playing catch-up and managers above you are asking how they missed it. If you say "I told you so," you get a reprimand instead of acknowledgement.

It really depends on the direction.

A lot of times, devs want to move in a new direction of whatever the hip tech stack is this year. This would help their career by adding the tech to their resume but the business benefit is almost always net negative.

Rather than arguing with a developer, they might just give a response that is outside of the developers' domain. The real reason is that it was a bad idea for the business.

That's a fair point. The perspective of developers is different from that of a manager with perhaps a longer term view or other knowledge than the people in the trenches.

Managers simply retrieve there value and validation from past accomplishments. Its very human to interpolate from the past to the future. Its very dangerous to stick your neck out and make wild guess. Also demand for changes are usually absolute- as in - we should give up our current field, and go all in, noir, 42 - so to speak. Lots of times, recommendations ala- we should invest 2 weeks to build a prototype to explore the field, and be ready to expand upon, should this explode, would be a lot wiser. This is not black and white. This is a grey area gradient.

Mix in the usual human bias ("We got to have 1 Leader, with 1 plan, else we have civil war and unrest") and you get viewed as a failure as manager- even though you prepared the underlyig plattform technology for future successes, because one product didnt take off.

I was really spitfull on management for this. but they are limited in quite a lot of ways.

What helps is creating the ilusion that others already have done a innovation..

This is part of company memory/history now and you can reference it in the future.

We don't want to avoid doing x because we will end up like [the time we missed the boat].

Did you follow the advice of this article and describe why the old way won't continue to work? Did you point to winners who have already gone in the direction you want to move? Did you dissect the pros and cons, acknowledging what's true on their side and being specific about what's false? (Disclaimer: my current project is about doing that last one)

Only this week I had a discussion about a client we worked with 2 years ago (large retailer). Their IT infrastructure was and is a mess and seriously hampers the development of their business. We spent a lot of time back them telling them about it and showing them the way forward. (Mind that our proposals were not all beneficial to us even).

Their request today? "You were absolutely right two years ago. Nothing has changed in the mean time and things have become even more complex now. But could you develop X for us, knowing that you can't touch or change any of the architecture?"

We did dissect the pros and cons, pointed to winners, showed the opportunities ahead etc etc. We were discussing everything at C-level too. But sometimes it just doesnt work.

This is a logical fallacy known as appeal to tradition

He writes "goodbye, ownership, hello usership" like that's a good thing. That's the business experience of outsourcing a service. You don't own that part of the business any more. You're just a user of some service that doesn't want to be bothered with your problems.

For what it's worth, a large portion of the HN community is involved with SaaS business. SaaS epitomizes that concept

He's writing about the marketing of the business using that line to all their product. From their perspective it absolutely is a good thing.

>Because once someone buys into your new game, it becomes their orthodoxy. They become fiercely loyal to it as an organizing principle for how they act in the world.

>Until someone shows up with another story about an even newer game. That’s inevitable, of course, but hopefully it doesn’t happen until you’ve gotten very successful helping customers win at what will suddenly become an old game.

All seems a bit postmodern (post-truth I think it's the current rendition of that) ... I'm more interested in what's objectively better.

This sounds more like "we got well marketed to, drank the coolaid and now don't want to change (because we'd lose face, demonstrating our susceptibility to being conned ... which seems to me like the big problem in UK [and USA] politics at present).

Once you've created your objectively better thing you still have to go out and sell it. This is about how to do that.

Plus objectively better usually doesn't mean across the board. It's only objectively better in some particular aspect.

I'm sorry, but I find this post insufferable. It just reeks of corporate buzzwording with a dash of disingenuous manipulation.

Also, unrelated: I hate those "conversational" customer service bubbles. I don't know what I expect to happen when I click them, but I know that "Jennifer H", whose picture is shown next to it, is not sitting at a keyboard eagerly awaiting my questions. Maybe I expect a chatbot, maybe I expect outsourced customer-service-farms, but I don't click buttons when I don't know what they really do, especially when I know they're avoiding being up-front about it.

I hate buzzwordy articles (and chatbox popups) too, but this article is better than usual and I think the point is a good one. There are situations in which you can't win at the old game, but if you reframe what you're doing as a new game, you can turn yourself into an early defining player instead of a hapless latecomer.

We see this in technical domains too. For example, I think Clojure succeeded this way. (We can argue about how much Clojure has succeeded, but it's a Lisp—we have to grade on a curve.) I don't think any attempt at improving on Common Lisp, no matter how technically solid, could have achieved that without "naming a new game", to use the article's vocabulary. Hot newness dominates improved oldness: every element of the set of hot newness beats every element of the set of improved oldness. Elixir/Erlang is another example. I say this article is one of the rarest things, a piece of marketing literature (like Crossing the Chasm and maybe the Innovator's Dilemma) that is useful to engineers.

It came across to me as "Just use this one weird trick and you can convince people of anything!" The runner example in particular seemed to emphasize the convincing over the content. I suppose it's possible to use the same technique benevolently, but the article didn't seem concerned with that question.

Engineers' emphasis on content over convincing is why we often fail to persuade. I think dang is right that this is a piece of marketing literature that's useful to engineers.

On my website it goes straight to my phone which I do respond to instantly every waking hour which covers about 9am to midnight. I am going to assume for a vast majority of companies you are right, but just letting you know sometimes its real :)

How much better are the results that way, versus forms ? is it worth the hassle ?

It’s not even a question. We do E-commerce all over Southeast Asia and most people are on their phones and can range from not very tech savvy to pretty tech savvy.

We offer form, phone number, email, and chat. I would guess 40% chat, 40% direct email, 15% form, 5% phone?

Personally, I think forms suck on a phone and probably go to a black void I can’t even follow up on.

>...Maybe I expect a chatbot, maybe I expect outsourced customer-service-farms...

It's usually a chatbot that handles the repetitive questions when they're worded properly, and when it can't, asks you to hold on a sec while it forwards the question to the customer-service-farm.

Yeah it gives too much credit to those cringy ads that are full of cliches.

> “If AI can diagnose cancer better than doctors, why can’t AI understand [sales] reality better than a salesperson?”

[citation needed]

Classic con-man tactic. "This is the NEW thing, it's a game-changer, you can get in on the ground floor"

“Goodbye, ownership. Hello, usership” is a great tagline for the insane, rent-seeking business models that are en vogue in Silicon Valley.

This is probably better well known as a "paradigm shift".


I think paradigm shift, at least when accurately used, runs much deeper than this.

Maybe you need to completely reevaluate what you think a paradigm shift really is? Could be you've been thinking about it wrong the whole time.

Perhaps, but evidence doesn't seem to point that way :) I agree it's not an easy bright line distinction, but it's the sort of term that dilution makes far less useful.

It makes for a good setup for the piece, but the whole "do or don't carboload before endurance racing" is still very much a subject of debate.

He does acknowledge that later in the piece, although I don't know it matters one way or the other. The article is about pitching, not the truth of any particular claim.

He mentions that in the last paragraphs. It's part of his point about orthodoxy and loyalty. People hold strong opinions on either side of that debate.

His point is "train your body to burn fat instead of carboloading". I don't get it, why not do both?

Yeap basically you should do your long runs slowly and more or less fasted. It sucks and sometimes you crash but it helps train you to burn fat more efficiently. You still want to carbo load before your long (20+) race...

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