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Make the Safe Choice, or the Right Choice?

Tue, 08/16/2011 - 6:28am
Gordon Vinther, founder and president of Ardent Concepts (www.ardentconcepts.com)

Gordon VintherExamples of safe choices in our world seem endless.  Politicians protecting their jobs versus taking a stand.  Going with the incumbent as it requires less effort and is the easy route to take.  We all know, of course, the quote depicting a well-known big-corporate ‘safe’ approach to vendor relations: ‘no one gets fired for hiring IBM.’  In many cases, the safe choice is the easy choice – the path of least resistance.  Safe, however, is not always safe.  It’s often risky. 

Where does innovation – true innovation – get implemented in your product roadmap?  How do you as a product development or R&D team ensure you are pushing the envelope and enabling next-generation electronic solutions?  Are you aware of innovative technologies that are proven and being used successfully in the marketplace today?  Are you certain that your radar screen is current and you’re looking at the best options – the right options for your company? 

What do I mean by ‘right’?  I am in no way advocating bleeding-edge technologies.  “Right” meaning it meets or exceeds your requirements in terms of performance and therefore value to you.  “Right” meaning it is proven – that you can try it, test it, make sure that it meets your needs and that the company can demonstrate specifically how the technology works and performs.  It is not vaporware – it exists.  You just may not know of it. 

Our biggest blind spot is what we don’t know we don’t know.  How are you addressing your blind spot as you evaluate technologies that may be right for your company?  Do you even know what companies and technologies are missing from the evaluation list and should be included?  If your competition knows and you don’t, your ‘safe’ choice may put you at a distinct disadvantage.  

There are some impressive, though perhaps less known technologies that will enable you to get to market faster – taking up a smaller footprint, using less power, and providing better performance at higher speeds.  Clearly, when it comes to evaluating which are the best products and solutions for your company, there’s much to be gained by exploring all the options out there.  Don’t be content with playing it safe. 

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