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Creating service-focused websites: Gerry McGovern masterclass: London: May 3:
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Web link for this issue: http://tinyurl.com/cl57a4v   
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FROM BUILT-TO-LAST TO BUILT-TO-CHANGE

The Web facilitates continuous testing and improvement. Great web designs are responsive and flexible. They allow for rapid innovation based on feedback.

Hulu is a web-based premium content service owned by NBCUniversal, Fox Entertainment Group and The Walt Disney Company, with the remainder being owned by Providence Equity Partners. While Hulu mainly presents TV shows, according to GigaOm “The site could become a kind of testbed for pioneering content … Hulu secured the exclusive U.S. rights for the dark superhero comedy Misfits last summer. The show quickly took off on Hulu and became the most-viewed show on the site for several weeks in a row. Its success on Hulu played a big role in the decision to adapt the show for U.S. audiences.”

The Web is by far the greatest laboratory of human behavior that has ever been known. We can try something, see how it’s working and then adapt it until it’s truly useful.

The Web demands a new model of management: from built-to-last to built-to-change. Internally, most large organizational systems are designed to be robust, secure and future-proof. However, they often end up being slow, cumbersome and rigid.

The organization of tomorrow must forget about the future and focus on today because that’s when the future is happening. It’s now. Right here and now how adaptive are we? How capable are we of change when change is needed? Are we listening to the customer? Are we watching and observing? Are we ready and willing to change?

The future is not about the large or small. It’s about the flexible and adaptive. Many internal systems are excruciatingly inflexible and unadaptive. I have known web teams that have had to wait weeks just to make a simple change on the website.

Management models are still probably 20 years behind where they need to be. We currently have ‘command and control’ management models, where an expert group makes a decision and then that decision gets implemented. That sort of model will not deliver the most value today.

“They listened,” Brian Cohen, who was the original investor in Pinterest said repeatedly about its founders, according to Mashable. “They were incredibly open for input. That’s really important as an instructive element for social entrepreneurs, for anyone” Pinterest started out as another project but the founders noticed that the customers they were observing had a particular task they wanted to complete again and again. It rapidly evolved and changed based on that feedback.

Over the years I have watched many organizations install content management systems. There was a similar pattern among practically all of them. The ease of use of the system was nearly always totally ignored. As excruciatingly bad as these systems were for entering content they were even worse for amending or removing it.

Where was management? Nonexistent for the most part. For years, managers have washed their hands of anything “IT-related”. We need managers to engage and we need new management thinking: from built-to-last to built-to-change.


Pinterest’s First Investor Explains the Secret to the Startup’s Success
http://mashable.com/2012/03/11/pinterest-first-investor/

How Hulu Is Becoming a Testbed for New TV Shows http://mashable.com/2012/03/12/hulu-testbed/


mailto:gerry@gerrymcgovern.com

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