Don’t focus on your competition
Page thinks there’s a fundamental problem in how companies are run. The media plays into it. “The stories are written as if they are covering a sporting event,” Page said.
That creates two major problems. The first one is motivation. You don’t get amazing work or an excited work force when you’re working to beat some other company that does approximately the same thing.
The second is that if all you do is make small changes to existing things to stay ahead of competition, all you get is incremental improvement. “Incremental improvement is going to be obsolete over time,” Page argues. Focusing on competitors creates companies that end up decaying over time, as opposed to ones that create new and interesting things.
Business Insider took the quote above from a recent Wired article/interview on Google’s Larry Page. It struck me as I read it how much it encapsulates the management differences between Google and Sony.
Yesterday’s blog post on Sony deciding to “wait and see” what Microsoft does in the console market before launching their new Playstation is exactly what Larry doesn’t want Google to do. Sony is not focused on the customer, they are distracted by the competition.
You have to balance the patience of playing the long game with the ability to deliver and iterate quickly in the short term. Waiting around only serves to make your company less successful internally and externally.