Walk the line…prudently

Adding to recent posts, for there to be progress, change must happen slowly and incrementally. Too much change all at once, and people may become uncomfortable, if not downright hostile.

Businesses have experienced this. Change the look of a website overnight without warning, and visitors complain. Change the menu, and regular customers become confused or perturbed (or both).

That’s why Facebook is smart making their recent billion dollar acquisitions. Slowly, their business model is changing; they’re reaching more users in different ways. I’m not a huge Facebook user, but I use Instagram a lot, so they’ve got me.

Facebook is evolving. They’re branching out into the mobile world in various ways, so much so that mobile may very well be their top priority. However, this isn’t how it started. They’re slowly and incrementally changing their product–working hard to not alienate users who like being comfortable.

I’ve written recently about how being innovative involves straying from the present day culture just enough to build something unthought of before, while at the same time respecting the culture and making the product accessible. It’s a fine line to strike. My field is education, and now more than ever technology is making a big presence within schools nationwide. Teachers must stray from conventional thinking to be creative and innovative, but they can’t stray too far. Sometimes in education, we make changes too quickly and alienate stakeholders. Othertimes, we move too slowly and lose stakeholders along the way.

The challenge is walking the line carefully, stepping to the left and right in a prudent manner.

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