Have you ever heard the phrase? It’s typically popular among managers (and perhaps you are one) and those that oversee overall product and company decisions. What it means is instead of fixing something that isn’t broken, focus on something more important like client requests or new product enhancements. This makes sense, right? Why spend the scarce time, money and resources that many small businesses have on something that doesn’t need fixing? Well, this makes sense, until it doesn’t…Let me explain.
I came across a quote recently that inspired me to write this post and ponder the idea even further. The quote read:
“If It ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – Said the company just about to be disrupted. – Aaron Levie, CEO of Box
The term ‘disrupt’ suggests that Company A (or industry in which Company A does business) will be invaded by Company B that will reinvent and/or make better the product Company A original sought out to produce. Amongst the startup community it’s common to hear that in every five years an industry leader is replaced by someone new. But why are these companies disrupted in the first place? The answer lies in the mindset of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
I’m not saying this phrase is never true, because it is. But it’s important to know when something doesn’t need fixing and when you and your company are being lazy. Also keep in mind the definition of ‘broke’. It shouldn’t be defined as ‘not working’ in a product sense (like a bug in the software), but broken in that it no longer meets and exceeds the needs of your customers. This is the ‘broken’ that companies need to always be aware of and take the time to review and analyze them. So the next time you hear the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, be certain that this is the case or risk falling behind in (or completely out of) your industry.