Uber is a business that is a well-oiled machine...
They have removed all the constraints that impede delivery of service to a customer. If I were you, I’d invest.
You see, Uber is the epitome of Throughput®.
Uber operates with the 4 basic throughput® rules:
- Fewest moving parts
- Customer drives the train
- Delivery of real value (measured)
- Moving at the speed of need©
How does it do that? The UBER Company has operationalized its value creation at every step in the service chain. And it’s all in the simplicity of its SERVICE STRUCTURE©.
What happens when a decision is half-cooked? Or half-communicated? Or half-operationalized? Nothing. That’s what happens.
In the sped up world of today, 80% is the rule not the exception. Completing a task, let alone a sentence, is a constant challenge. Too many balls in the air. Too much data. Too little time. Assuming all the while the other person will pick up the pieces, read through the gaps, fill in the blanks. It clearly is an art, of course, to read another’s mind, but it rarely completes the picture.
Just look at Microsoft’s disastrous OS, Vista. A decision was made, resources were allocated, teams were deployed and, yet, it ended up being one of the greatest disasters in the computing company’s history. What happened?
The classic mistake of “tossing it over the Wall” – assuming the others would take it from here – leaving just enough gaps and just enough people to find blame. Instead of delaying the product and learning from engineers who knew of flaws, the C-suite at Microsoft instead basked in the illusion that the system they imagined was not only ready to launch, but ready to take the personal computing world by storm. Instead, Microsoft was dealt a critical blow that led many to believe the company was out of its league -- and out of touch.
Taken from the 25th anniversary celebration and honoring Cathy Sunshine and Mary Lou Blackledge's creative partnership, this video gives a behind the scenes peek into just how Sunshine and Blackledge collaborate on their artwork.
Enjoy the visual diary of the realities of business and art, and learn how Throughput can be creatively transformed into beauty.
We’re headed directly into a predictable employment gridlock – moms and dads competing with their children for jobs. A study conducted last month revealed that a quarter of American citizens believe that they will need to work until age 80 before they can retire comfortably. Many also don’t intend to retire, though they’d like not to “have” to work.
To put that number in perspective, people anticipate that they will be working a full two years later than the average American life expectency, which hovers at nearly 78. While this is a distressing picture, based on the ways Americans used to work, it gives us a new perspective on the “flow” of employment and the ways in which talent will come and go in the workplace.
With fewer older Americans willing to give up their steady working incomes, the traditional cycle of employment grinds to a halt. How can future generations take the reins of companies at proper times in order to enact sufficient and seasoned leadership if their predecessor is strapped into the office chair? Or simply doesn’t want to budge?
It’s no secret that we live in a world of immediacy. When you’re busy or on-the-go, it’s easy to feel small catches in your day that trip up that gotta-have-it-now feeling in your life. From the barista taking just a little too long to make your coffee to the red light that seems to go on forever, we as a society are now feeling the inconvenience of even a few minutes. One company is tackling that feeling head on, making productivity immediate and relieving headaches everywhere: Dropbox.
Dropbox, founded in 2007 by graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a freemium service dedicated specifically to the wonders of The Cloud-- a network server space that allows for online backups of nearly every file you can create on a computer. While it’s certainly not the only service in the game, Dropbox’s growth has been dramatic: 50 million users are participating in the service, and the 4% that pay premiums for more storage make the system profitable. What’s the secret to Dropbox’s success? It can easily be described as “The Power of Anywhere.”
Less than two months after releasing their Touchpad, HP decided to throw in the towel, cut losses, and discontinue their WebOS program. With poor performance reviews and even worse sales, the tech giant found a logical way to get rid of stagnant product on the shelves: a nation-wide fire sale. Stores all across America would offer $99 for the original Touchpad (originally priced at $499) and $149 (from $599) for the bigger model. A real steal – but who would want a discontinued tech product that wasn’t even cool? Nobody?
Well, think again.
Consumers went crazy and made runs for the Touchpad. Techies and hackers saw limitless possibility in the reduced-priced tablet, and eBay listings even offered the product at a raised price of $200. The fire sale was so successful that HP decided to do another production cycle, the funds of which could help the company sell their WebOS software to competitor HTC.
A new craze is sweeping major metropolitan cities., and it’s an unexpected phenomenon in the US today: food trucks. But why? In a nation of frugality, why entrepreneurial chefs are winning a strong fan-base with street food on-the-go. From San Francisco to Austin to New York City, restaurants are going mobile to bring food to the customer, and they’re booming like never before.
When examined closely, it’s easy to see why food trucks have been a hit all over the nation: they actively embrace throughput--in fact, they rely on it to thrive. Instead of chefs flocking to fancy restaurants to hone their craft, they bring low-cost, high-value food to on-the-go Americans. They utilize constant communication in the form of social media to ensure their customers are not only aware of their location, but that they’re excited and ready to form a line once they set up.
Throughput is an ideal mode of business behavior. Yet, it can be hard to pin down just how a company can be optimized agility. Follow these rules, and you may find that your company can move at the speed of need:
Communicate with the Customer: Constant contact with a customer prevents the dead space that can build when wait times get too high. And, if a customer becomes too antsy, there is a change for annoyance and a lower return rate. National food chain Panera has addressed this issue by adopting a communication process that allows customers to take a vibrating alert device. Customers get to wait at their table until the device goes off, and they can pick up their food immediately. The device, even without going off, is a constant communicator to the customer. Even if you offer a longer-term service, communication keeps the customer focused on a real timeline, and the wait shrinks much faster.
Stack Your Service: A company cannot move quickly if its working parts are not in sync. By dilineating not only what every employee’s role is, but who they are in service to, order will dictate function. Thus, everyone will know who to answer to, what they’re responsibilities are, and how to move effectively within the structure.
It’s stifling in congress nowadays, and it’s not just because of the D.C summer heat. As the August 2nd deadline to adjust the debt ceiling and balance the budget looms, Congress remains in an utter stalemate. Hubris on both sides of the party lines has already destroyed a balanced budget proposal that Obama presented earlier in July, and no other agreement has even been close to coming to fruition.
The founding fathers created a built-in a bottleneck to ensure Congress would slow down its decision-making to force all perspectives to be considered before a decision was made. This, to ensure their constituents felt heard. The focus of service was to be the rational voice of the people and to meet their communities' needs in a very similar to way that a business must meet the needs of a customer.
So, when did this change? When did it occur that the self-interest of the politician should be the customer?
Less than a year after Google presented search-as-you-type, the magicians of Silicon Valley have unveiled the future of internet searching: Google Instant Pages. While a user scans the results of a search, Google algorithms begin to make educated guesses about which result will be clicked and pre-loads those pages. The result is instantaneous gratification, eliminating wait time and giving the user immediate satisfaction. When working in perfect synchronicity, a Google will be able to predict exactly what a user is searching, and the exact result the user desires to create a seamless, agile searching process.
There’s a lot to learn from this sort of instant satisfaction. Imagine your company stacked together like software, moving efficiently and speedily. Your focus on speed allows you to anticipate your customers’ next move, next desire, and next question. You can not only cut down on wait time, but move seamlessly and expediently with no resources wasted.