In this tenth (and last) post of the post series “The New Rules of IWMS”, based on the book “What Would Google Do” by Jeff Jarvis, I will discuss new imperatives that come from Google that rule the world.

Beware the cash cow in the coal mine

Cash flow can blind you to the strategic necessity of change, tough decisions, and innovation. (Jarvis, 2009)

Just as with the TV-Guide, the music business and real estate listings, cash cows are in the way of businesses. This is one of the most threatening issues with IWMS product development.

Sometimes a cash cow product needs to be changed in order for it to be a cash cow product in the future. But, as some executives argue: why kill the goose with the golden eggs?

Well, I’m not suggesting you should not benefit from the cash cow product in your product portfolio. However, executives need to ask themselves whether their cash cow will be around in a couple of years.

Without innovation and making tough decisions your cash cow might be dead soon.

Encourage, enable, and protect innovation

Google requires employees to innovate. It’s part of the job. It’s how workers are valued. It’s how Google grows.  (Jarvis, 2009)

Ask yourself; How are your programmers valued? By the number of IWMS features they produce, the lines of code programmed, or the number of bugs?

I suggest an alternative way of rewarding; rewarding by innovation.

Sure, that might sound like “California nana nounou stuff”, but  I’m dead serious. Innovation happens at the edges, and this is where your real advantage comes from.

Although some IWMS vendors encourage, enable and protect innovation, many don’t. They frequently tell me; “Steven, we just don’t have the time for it”.

I say, you need to MAKE time for it.

Find a way to inspire your Research and Development team to innovate. Create an environment in which they can pursue their innovative ideas without being fired. Amongst all the crap that comes up, someone might just have the next big thing.

You need to encourage employees to suggest new ideas—even suggestions that will cannibalize, destroy, and rethink your business. It’s better for you to disrupt and cannibalize yourself than for a competitor to do it to you. (Jarvis, 2009)

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify….

Inspired by Google (and others including Apple) many consumer focused applications and devices have been simplified over the last couple of years. Although I have seen some very promising IWMS offerings, the enterprise industry is still lacking simplicity.

Because of regulations, fields, data and other complicated processes simplicity hasn’t been the major focus of IWMS vendors. However, this is changing. Customers accustomed to easy to use applications and devices demand those changes.

It will be those customers who ride the simplicity wave in IWMS that I foresee in the near future.

Final thoughts would like to cooperate with you therefore I would like to invite you to share your ideas with us through our Suggestion Box. ( What kind of information products do you want us to develop for you?

What kind of product could you benefit from? (E.g. IWMS software selection kit, IWMS implementation best practices kit, etc.)

I’m really looking forward to your suggestions.


Jarvis, J. (2009). What Would Google Do. New York: HarperBusiness