What To Do When Operating Systems Change

Mark Howell —  April 24, 2009

Thought provoking post today over at Seth's blog.  Writing about the moment when operating systems surged from DOS to Windows, Seth Godin points out that prior to the switch the word processing tool of choice was WordPerfect.  Today?  Obviously Microsoft's Word.  In the moment when offices everywhere were choosing to move from DOS to Windows…there wasn't a WordPerfect version for Windows.  And office managers everywhere were in a moment where "do nothing" was not an option.  Instead, they were in a "pick something" moment.

As it often happens, there is a take-away from Seth's post for all of us that is a little different than his intention.  Here it is: When the operating system changes…you're not in a "do nothing" moment.  You're in a "pick something" moment.  The operating system in our culture has clearly shifted.  Head-in-the-sand organizations have chosen "do nothing" at the expense of any relevance.  Just like those offices that tried to stay with WordPerfect as the operating system shifted…"do nothing" organizations are finding their programs incompatible with the new operating system.    

Mark Howell

Posts