Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, recently made a powerful statement that has a lot of people thinking. According to Jason Fried at 37signals, Bezos said “people who were right a lot of time were people who often changed their minds“. In other words, putting your foot down and refusing to view things from a new perspective will make you “wrong” more often than people that are willing to listen. Here are a few examples.
We’ve been using WordPress for more than eight years, but as recently as 2010 it was still a relatively small part of our company. We recognized its value, but usually incorporated it as a stand-alone blog rather than the full backbone of the sites we build. Now WordPress is the platform we use for every new project, as it’s become powerful enough to handle it. Being open to that possibility has really helped to grow our business.
At the same time, we need to be open to other options down the road. Will WordPress still be the best option in 2014? 2017? Who knows? We’ll keep learning about it and using it, but we’re always trying new products as they’re released so we can get ahead of the next great platform.
A few years ago, building separate “desktop” and “mobile” websites was the way to go and that’s what we helped our clients do. Now the best way to do it is clearly to have a mobile responsive site. I know of others that still insist that having separate sites is the way to go, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Holding on to your old position with no real reason to do so is a bad idea.
Apple has built a powerful following, but it seems to be to the detriment of some of its users. iPhone is certainly the best choice for many users, but not for all. While it’s clearly the phone of choice for Ali, I prefer Android. I used an iPhone for years (and loved it), but eventually Android became a better option for me. I don’t expect that to change in the near future, but I’m keeping my options open. If you say “I’m never going to use anything but [this phone] forever!” (which I hear quite often, usually from iPhone users), you’ll possibly end up spending more time and money on a device that isn’t the best fit for you.
We encourage all of our clients to have at least a semi-active presence on Facebook. Based on the situation, we typically encourage activity in a few other places as well (Twitter, Google+, perhaps Pinterest or LinkedIn), but almost all should be on Facebook simply because of the massive user base. However, Facebook won’t be king forever. It’s important to be on the lookout for where people are going next and then meet them there.
Five years from now, what will be the big site that your company needs to be on? Will it be Google+? Pinterest? The “new and improved” MySpace? There’s no way to know for sure, so be willing to change your mind so you can be on the right side of more situations as time goes on.