Look back quickly then look forward: Our vision for 2012
- January 5th, 2012
The new year can be both exhilarating and depressing. We can look forward to what’s to come with great anticipation. But the past can haunt us. “I didn’t lose as much weight as I wanted”. “I wasn’t as profitable as I could have been”. “I didn’t spend enough time with the kids”. What it is for you I don’t know but I think the problem is, we attach too much emotion to the past (what didn’t happen) instead of focusing on the road ahead (what can be). We’ve all made bad decisions. But hindsight is 20/20. All you can do now is make adjustments and focus on the journey. Your “vision” for your company, product or non-profit is what you should get emotional and passionate about. “No time like the present” rings as true today as it did when those words were first uttered centuries ago.
Let’s use driving a car as an analogy. I think we can all agree that it’s a good idea to look ahead and keep your eyes on the road when driving. When you are changing lanes looking back is good. But you do it quickly (“one thousand one”) then your eyes are back on the road ahead. Checking for other cars to your side or behind that may be tailgating is also good. But do it quickly (“one thousand two”) then look ahead. Adjust the radio (“one thousand three”) and then its back on the road ahead. Many people attach tons of emotion to what could have been and not enough commitment and passion to what can be.
Back in May of 2003, Seth Godin wrote an article in Fast Company where he said to cut out this question and tape it to your mirror. “What did you do back when interest rates were at their lowest in 50 years, great employees were looking for good jobs, computers made product development and marketing easier than ever…”. He basically restated this exact quote 9-years later and it is still if not MORE relevant today.
In May of 2003, many people were reeling from the dot-com meltdown. Today, all of the talk is about unemployment, a sluggish economy, banks unwilling to lend, etc. While many people are waiting for things to go back to how they were – the brave and committed are starting companies, building new products and learning skills they never dreamed they could do. People with initiative and drive are figuring out how to innovate and be resourceful.
By all accounts, 2011 was a great year for ExumaTech. We DID have a profitable year, despite the sluggish economy and the devastating impact it has had on both the marine and RV industries. We have a team at ExumaTech that is committed to making our products and services better. 2011 wasn’t easy. There were sacrifices to be made both financially and personally on our part. But we are pleased where we ended up.
2012 looks even more promising than 2011. We are focusing more on development of new products as we aim to move more of our customers to the cloud. Furthermore, we have begun a mobile platform initiative whereby we will untether people from their desktop computers so they can spend more time in front of customers or working in and on boats and RVs.
We believe the way to build a sustainable business in this fast paced, attention deprived world, is to develop an iterative methodology called “Build – Measure – Learn”. We turn ideas into products, we measure how our customers (existing and future) like them, then we decide whether to keep it, or chuck it and try something different. We will focus on the speed with which we collect feedback so we can make adjustments quickly.
Leaving the emotional baggage behind is hard. I know this first hand. But enjoying the journey and focusing on your vision is so much more fun.