The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that startup firms in the US numbered 415,226 as of March 2017. It is the second consecutive year that the number of startup firms exceeded the 400k mark.
The proliferation of startups mean good things for the country’s economy, but it can also pose a challenge for existing companies. Competition could get tougher when new players come in. If the newcomers offer lower rates for the same products, they could tap into the customers of the older companies.
These realities, among other things, drive companies to act fast. In today’s business environment, speed is one of the more effective ways to compete with novelty.
Speed: Become the Trendsetter
Technology and the Internet Of Things are accelerating how companies conduct business. There’s always the looming threat that another company could be developing their product or service faster than yours. Hence, companies feel pressured to work quickly to stay ahead.
Speed gives companies a competitive advantage. First movers get to set the standard, have a head-start on building a loyal market base and, if they are savvy with their marketing, gain a natural monopoly or have no real competition for their product or service.
The real value of speed, however, comes with innovation. Companies have to accelerate their processes and develop new ideas simultaneously. The payoff could be astronomical. The repercussions could be just as massive, however, if quality gets compromised in the interest of quickly churning out a new product.
Quality: A Requisite for Longevity
An example of failed innovation is Friendster. It predated Facebook, Multiply, and even Myspace. It should have been the industry trailblazer. However, the company was unable to hold its grip on its monopoly. Facebook may have been late to the game, but it was able to offer a more refined platform than its predecessor.
Facebook gained the upper hand because it improved familiar features, introduced useful new ones, and gave the public a social platform of higher quality.
Ironically, the early motto of Facebook was, “Move fast and break things.” So, while Facebook may have had a few missteps recently, the fact that it remains the leading social platform suggests more than what the motto implies.
The company’s handling of Instagram is also a testament to how it gives importance to quality. Both the Instagram app and its headquarters bear no resemblance to its mother company. What people don’t know, however, is that Facebook made the acquisition’s systems more efficient and the app’s loading time faster, among other things. Facebook did not meddle with Instagram’s core qualities which attracted millions of users around the globe.
Establish a Balance
Speed is essential to business success, but to compromise quality would be a recipe for disaster. A company can only be an innovator for so long; sooner or later, another startup will emerge with a similar, maybe even better, offering.
The key is neither speed nor quality alone, but a combination of the two. It’s how companies can balance risk with gains. One might have to take precedence over the other in some areas of the operation, but ultimately it is both that ensures a company’s longevity.
Hence, it is necessary for companies to have a clear, unbiased perspective of their products and services. They need to gather data, conduct audits, and identify issues that compromise quality. A third-party quality assessment and consultancy firm can help with that.
BDeWees Consulting offers its expertise on this matter. We provide Quality Consultancy and help clients resolve problem points that affect their overall performance. Let us help you achieve your speed and quality targets. Contact us today.