Don’t Blame Your Salespeople
Microsoft Pushes Office Web Apps Forward

Burn the Ships

Did you see the recent news?  Adobe has announced that the latest version of its hugely popular Creative Suite software will be the last one available as installed software.  From now on, Creative Suite will only be available as a SaaS (Software as a Service) offering.

This is big news, really big news.  I’ve been party to a number of discussions over the years that centered on how to move forward with the “next generation” product or service without killing the “current generation” service.  There was always a lot of hand-wringing, a certain amount of denial, and a lack of certainty about how to achieve two goals at once:  make the new service a big success while keeping the current service around.  This is the essence of Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, which I’ve written about in the past.

I recall in reading a history of Mexico that Cortes, upon landing with his troops, ordered his ships burned.  (This was apparently not an unusual act for the time.)  His reasoning was that if the troops knew there was no possibility of escape, no way to turn back when things got tough, that they would have more motivation to fight when needed.  If you narrow the options down to “find a way to survive” and “die” it makes the decision easier.

That’s what I thought about when I read the news about Adobe.  In essence they are saying, “We are going to make this work, or die trying.”  You have to admire the commitment needed to make that statement.  I hope they succeed.  They’ve already taken the hardest step.


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