How Startups Can Embrace The Visual Organization

Kira Newman of TechCocktail interviews me about my new book.

Can startups embrace the concepts discussed in The Visual Organization? The answer is yes. In the book, I profile Wedgies in the book, a Vegas-based startup that just gets it. Here’s a TechCocktail interview on that very topic: The Visual Organization square

Tech Cocktail: Why do startups need to become Visual Organizations? What are the benefits?

Phil Simon: As I write in The Visual Organization, these days, startups abound all across the globe. Thanks to the Lean Startup Movement, open-source software, open APIs, SDKs, GitHub, AWS, and the like, it’s never been easier or less expensive to start a company.

This is concurrently positive and negative. With respect to the latter, it’s not terribly difficult to ape just about any product or service. For relatively small amounts of money (compared to years past), a startup can more or less mimic another’s raison d’être and even specific functionality. Design can be copied – and often is.

Against that backdrop, two things can separate one startup from another:

    1. Number/quality of its customers/users
    2. The data that the startup or app collects

As Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Twitter have shown, data is increasingly a source of sustainable competitive advantage. If you really understand the data that your company is generating, then you may very well be able to increase your user/customer base. But how do you start when faced with vast amounts of largely unstructured data? In the book, I describe contemporary dataviz tools that are helping employees, groups, VCs, angels, and customers understand large swaths of data. As a result, they can identify trends, make better business decisions, and possibly predict what will happen next.

Read the whole interview here.

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