Innovation: Let Go Of The Ball And Chain, And Jump!


Have you ever been in a meeting and heard, “But how will this fit in with our legacy system?”

Legacy systems can be great. They may be the meat and potatoes of your business. They may pay your bills. They need to be up to date and work like champs.

But in order to let your company enter the wonderful world of creative, innovative design, you have to be willing to jump. And when I say jump, I mean jump away from your legacy product into the unknown. You may jump and land in a pile of cash. You may jump and land in a black hole of product death. (I recommend avoiding that one.)

Regardless of the end result, you need to have that urge to try, and test, and fail, and succeed in order to innovate and create amazing things.

If you keep yourself tethered to your legacy ball and chain, when you jump, you’re going to swing over the edge and crash into the wall with no chance of reaching the next level of success.

Treat your legacy products with the respect they deserve, but don’t forget to occasionally jump. Because if you don’t jump, your competition will… and they’ll leapfrog right over you on their way down to that pile of cash that could have been yours.

2 thoughts on “Innovation: Let Go Of The Ball And Chain, And Jump!

  1. I think the ball and chain analogy is a really good one. I work in the travel industry, which can be very complex because of all the logistics and different moving parts. I see it so often that people want to take the leap but just can’t. Its ok with things like websites, but creating the new wonderful thing that still services the existing product complexity can be a real barrier. More often than not you are the one throwing the $ into the pit!! It’s why newcomers with simple products have done so well – e.g. airbnb,, easyjet etc

    1. Thanks Ian! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! And I agree, as an established company you really just need to almost view new concepts as mini startup products, not as extensions of your legacy product. Trying to tie legacy features into something fresh and new and exciting can take it from revolutionary to bloated, and can delay launch significantly. By the time you finally get it out the door, a startup or competitor has already pulled the trigger.

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