Progress can seem like a scary thing sometimes. It can mean that the things we’re comfortable with are suddenly pulled out from under us. A world which everything is familiar can suddenly become a world we look around in and don’t recognize anything.
Of course we all feel like this about something, but often not everything. There is a small group who hangs on to keep something from changing they feel threatens their comfort.
Pulling the rug out from under people seems to happen the most in technology. As I was thinking about this issue, I thought how hanging on causes problems for companies and the hanger oners.
Apple is a company who possibly more than others has to deal with the out-lash of people wanting to hang on to how things were. The changes they make to their products which are truly innovative and new are simple and relatively small.
Contrary to how major these changes are, the uproar can sometimes be unfitting.
One of the most recent examples I can think of is the ports on the Mac Book, simplified down to one. Most computers have a hundred different ports all around them, it’s confusing for non-techies and I think they were right in simplifying it and making the device cleaner and simpler.
Of course people were going to be angry. The group that gets angry and cares though is often the outspoken minority. This minority will speak out against changes because they want to hold on to how things were.
When there is a minority speaking out to keep things the same, you are allowed to think to yourselves that you’re doing something right. It feels like it means you’re on the right track when someone doesn’t like what you’re doing.
Of course there needs to be more that do like what you’re doing than don’t like what you’re doing. Whatever is in the middle, let them be there and keep going down the path of moving forward.
If we catered to everyone, computers would still have floppy drives, just with larger storage capabilities.
Most Vocal, Least Important
There will always be the most vocal group, the important part is to realize they are also the least important group to listen to. Often this group is clinging to what’s comfortable to them, fighting off change the only way known.
Working in IT and being around technology every day, I see a lot of people who like to hang on to how things were. It’s surprising that those wanting to hang on are also those that working in a very fast-paced, innovative field. Perhaps it’s just that the innovative one’s don’t work in the IT department of a non-tech company, they work in a tech centered company.
Then what happened at Oracle? (sorry, had to throw that one in there!)