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The secret is full of crap but also includes nuggets of wisdom. My favorite. “Just get started! Better tools will come along the way.”

Post written by Kevin Olega. Follow me on twitter.

I broke my promise to never complain. After seeing “The Story of Stuff’s: The Story of Electronics” and seeing how we’re trashing the planet, trashing each other and not having fun, I’ve been complaining about how major technology companies make products that are designed to be obsolete yearly.

What happens is that last years product is made obsolete to sell a new product every year by:

  • Taking their current products (last year’s version)
  • Doing an inventory of what works
  • Looking for an area to apply a minimal change/minor upgrade
  • Repackage by changing the case/skin/design/name/model number)
  • Voila! Introducing the (latest/most powerful/fastest/lightest/thinnest) gizmo in the world!
  • Sell it as a new product
  • Make the old product obsolete by highlighting the new key features
  • (Insert the rest of the sales spiel here)
  • Make an insane amount of profit

Ive been asking myself that what if companies knew that they can add certain upgrades a year after why not wait 2-10 years and build an actual revolutionary kick ass product? Wouldn’t it be great and more sustainable?

I know that your favorite tech company isn’t doing it to make money or to sell a new product every year, they just found a way to create better products this year. (Oh come on! They release new versions of their old products every year)

Pondering this many times I realized that the 2-10 year strategy is already what most smart people/small business owners do with how they deal with their goals or conduct business. They say things like:

  • I’ll take another course/degree so I can start working on the job I love
  • I’ll get an MBA so I have the credentials for a promotion
  • I’ll invest a few thousand dollars to buy books and seminars so I can learn to invest or start my own business
  • I’ll work a job I hate to get experience or to make money to use in my actual pursuit of what I love
  • I’ll save up for a few years to have enough to start my own business.
  • I’ll do (an action that takes about 5-10 years) and will work on it so (I can have a result that’s actually just an excuse for me to procrastinate going for what I really want because I’m really scared)

My 2-10 year suggestion might work better if applied to Large Technology Manufacturers but you’re not a Major Tech Manufacturer. You’re a great person  who is more than capable of reaching your goals.

Here’s my proposal. Use the minimal changes strategy to your advantage. The good news is that you don’t have to be a major technology company. You can apply this to yourself, your product, your service, your business, your life.

  1. Use what you have – you already have something to offer. Use it!
  2. Do what you can – you’re not trapped by your circumstances. There is a way for you to get started.
  3. Take an inventory – make sure you’re working on your self and not just imitating others. (click here for suggestions)
  4. Pick a minimal change/minor upgrade – You don’t need to change a lot. You can just work one or two things at a time and it can make all the difference
  5. Apply the minimal change/minor upgrade - Just follow-through on the minimal change you plan to make.
  6. Make the current/previous obsolete – Past is past! Your old-self/mistakes/failures should be discarded like the last years model.
  7. Package it as new – You have a new product now. It may be your service or an actual product but whatever it is, if you repackage things you will always have something to offer.
  8. Use it/sell it/share it – Take action. Don’t keep your latest creation to yourself. Others need it too.

Now that I have equipped you with the game plan of Major technology companies, how do you plan to use it? Share in the comments below.

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