I have an Android phone and I have quite a few apps on it.  If you use apps on a smart phone, inevitably you get prompted that there are updates available.  Sometimes, these updates provide real functionality changes or fix a bug.  A lot of the time, I’m finding that the changes are very minor – a color change, the screen layout – and the update is more annoying than necessary.  It reminded me of a post I wrote way back in 2008 on the subject of leaving well enough alone and I want to touch on that again.  Given some of what’s been going on in the tech world of late, I think it bears repeating.

This is what I wrote back in June of 2008.  Please excuse the Firefox 3 reference (I use Chrome now, by the way) but it’s what prompted the post at the time:

I’m not a Luddite, by any means.  That should be obvious based on the field in which I consult (digital media) since the business of digital media itself didn’t really exist 15 years ago.

Mozilla has released Firefox 3 and it’s great.  Mostly.  Except it breaks things.  My site looks funny in it – I know other sites have had issues too.  Some folks’ CMS refuses to work properly with it.  I’m sure there are applications that are a bit screwy too.

Sometimes in our zeal to make things better, we screw up some of the things that are working well.  We used to hear that at the NHL when we’d tinker with rules, etc. and I know Mozilla released enough betas that we could have tested.  But I do think there are times  when maybe we need to think about leaving well enough alone.  As my friend the hit midget (for another post) reminded me – New Coke wasn’t exactly a huge improvement.

So here’s the business thought.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t continue to improve but sometimes we change-up our businesses to make smallish incremental gains.  Maybe we’re blowing up the good stuff to fix the stuff that’s not working?

That was then.  All of us have felt the pressure of unceasing change, especially in tech.  I’m wondering if the Greek concept of stasis – a state of stability, a standing still – wouldn’t be a welcome addition to the scene.  Obviously we need to innovate, change, and grow.  I’m not sure, however, that needs to be made public on an ad-hoc basis.


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Filed under Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud

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