For some time we’ve been focused on the quest of slaying the business-technology alignment dragon. We don’t seem to have succeeded—at least not very often. Worse still, the rules of the game seem to be changing as we speak. Rather than manage IT as a large capital expense and asset, aligning business and IT by aligning investment, some companies are working to find and exploit the synergies between the two. Craig’s List is taking a significant chunk of the global classified advertisement market with a staff of 20 people, while Threadless is a case study of applying similar ideas to the old world business of designing, manufacturing and selling t-shirts. These organizations are so lean that they are virtually impossible to compete against.
How do they do it? What are the insights they are finding? Where are they finding them? And, most importantly, what can we learn from them? We’ve started this email as a platform to share some of our thinking. Hopefully this will provide inspiration for applying some ideas from these new school players thinking to our old school organizations.
First edition: Managing technology, not applications.