Manufacturing guy-at-large.

Speed to product != Speed to learning

Added on by Spencer Wright.

When I joined Undercurrent, I found one phrase to be in particularly heavy use: "Speed is the new IP." I liked it, and I'm sure I used it in arguments from time to time. But over the past year I've developed some skepticism - especially given the wide variety of contexts in which we encourage our clients to go faster.

You see, I'm focused on learning as fast as I can. At times, that will mean releasing products really quickly. But immature products rarely teach you anything useful. In order to learn - in order to get the IP, the competitive advantage that you really want - you sometimes need to hold back. 

Sometimes that may seem slow; hell, sometimes it may actually be slow. But fast product cycles in and of themselves aren't worth shit. The goal is to know how to fulfill your customers' needs better than anyone else, and to be prepared to fill those needs. And if you can do that without a strenuous series of rapid product releases, all the better.