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    Looking At The Long Term

    I was reading this interesting article over at CNN about how Cannon is urging its workers to “go home and multiply.”  The issue, it is hypothesized, is that a 12-hour workday is common.  This leads to people being too tired to ‘multiply’ and now Japan is sitting at a 1.34 birth rate.

    The problem here is that this fails to look at the long term goal.  Or rather, fails to take a global perspective into account.  News flash: the world is not getting any bigger and we cannot continue to expand for forever.  We already have resource shortages in many parts of the world and solving those problems will only lead to more of the same problems unless the culture is changed along with the food and medical supply.  We don’t need to continue to increase the global population to be successful.  In fact, it is probably the opposite (for more information on this topic read Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed).

    Watch out or this same thing can happen to your website.  It is easy to focus on what is perceived as growth.  It is easy to test and then restructure things to optimize.  But what does that mean for you long term?  Are you changing your culture along with your site?

    Here’s what I mean.  If you find out that you can make the most money by showing a certain product on your homepage, that’s great.  You make money right now; you are ‘growing’.  But what about your other products?  If you do not step back and look at the long term impacts of your decisions you will find your company so far down the rabbit hole it will take MAJOR resources to change the direction of your brand.  Just because something makes the most money now does not mean that it will make the most money from a “lifetime value of a customer” view.

    Similarly, if a company only can focus on the growth rate (immediate or lifetime value) of a particular product or line the company will miss HUGE opportunities in other parts of the business.  Just as Japan could increase the incentive of immigration if they wanted more people, your company should be looking at all of your product lines and options for growth.

    The failure to see other opportunities can be devastating to a company.  Once you become a single product company, you are in a very tough spot (unless you have also changed your culture to match i.e. you only make one product but everybody in the world knows it is the best of all similar product by competitors).  Know your resources.  Consider the larger picture and the long term goals of the organization.  And try not to put in too many 12 hour days.

    Is your company or website growing the right way?

    This has been a Thought From The Cake Scraps.

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