Sunday, July 16, 2006

half-review: the e-myth revisited

I'm about halfway through Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited. It would have made an ideal beach book. It also qualifies as an excellent book of business pr0n (wrong definitions, right definition).

Which I mean with all respect. After all, it's accessible, it's episodic, it's full of big themes, it's light on substance, and it's not strong on dialogue. But I digress.

Mr. Gerber's central thesis that you should work on your business, not in your business, is certainly an valid point. As is his point that most small businesses are most often created by expert "technicians" who, in an entrepreneurial spasm, decide to go into business for themselves and who fail in the vast majority.

As a PM, the part I'm taking away for further review is his idea of the "franchise prototype". Hideously simplified, this idea goes like this: if you had to create 5,000 businesses like yours, each of which must operate identically, how would you go about creating that prototype?

Beyond the software you create, what aspects of your business would you target for innovation? How would you quantify the impact of that innovation? And how would you go about orchestrating the consistent execution of that innovation?

The reason I'm going to need to work on this some more is my concern that there are few if any elements inside of a modern software company that are consistently quantified and orchestrated for consistent repetition. Other than tracking sales.

1 comment:

H said...

An interesting concept, "on your business, not in your business"... Franchise prototype is perhaps similar to CMMI Level 5's Optimization (innovation + repetition) and Six Sigma's Improvement...