Friday, June 19, 2009

A Solution Looking for a Problem, part 2


To some extent, the “there must be a correct solution that can be measured in some respect” is a problem that plagues all companies. Dollars are being spent and some “Return on Investment” must be provided to justify that expenditure. After all, eventually, the spreadsheet is going to reach someone in corporate who does not know you and will want to know why you were authorized to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Because it felt right” does not go very far with the CFO of most major corporations.

When I was working on my M.B.A., I took an Advertising class. From the first night, the room was divided into two types of people. “Business Major Types” and “Creative Types”. The M.B.A. people were dressed in Dockers or slacks with a starched cotton shirt; with or without a loosened silk tie. The Advertising Majors were dressed in shorts and t-shirts with visible tattoos and things pierced that your Grandparents never imagined could be pierced.

The professor commented that he could tell a person’s major by the focus of their term assignments. The business majors were focused on ROI, spreadsheets, how to measure success, and business justification…with very boring ad campaigns. The advertising majors spent almost no time on numbers and gave all their attention to outlandish, entertaining, and very creative ads.

That was my introduction to the Ying-and-Yang of the business world. “Creative” and “Business” will always be at odds. Each one contributing what is required to keep the company going but always in conflict. In the business world of technology, Ying-and-Yang are not in balance which leads to problems which are masked by growing markets.

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