Cannibalize Yourself

June 28, 2018

Someone smart once said: “If you don’t cannibalize yourself, someone else will.” This is often used to talk about a company’s products, but not often enough about a company’s internal engineering dynamic.

Group politics often stands in the way of choosing a rational course for the team. A powerful or popular personality who defends an existing product can become a formidable roadblock for newer, better technologies that are just emerging.

Organizations that consistently suppress superior solutions in fear of upsetting the big shots within their ranks are naturally doomed to mediocrity. They open the door for their competitors to fill the opportunity.

Leaders: make it clear to your teams that deference is not a virtue if it comes at the cost of missing an opportunity to obsolete yourself with a superior technology or product.