Wrecking Things is Justifiable to Get Ahead

    By | Small Business

    shutterstock_242774776Sometimes you need to build things with the intention of wrecking them.

    This ties very closed to the idea of an MVP in the Eric Ries Minimum Viable Product mentality.

    When you are building a new idea, a new business, a new thing … be ready to exert brutal candor. Be ready for brutal honesty with yourself and from others.

    When needed and perhaps even when you aren’t ready … Wreck Your Ideas.

    What’s the Point of Wrecking Things?

    The point is … Don’t fall in love with your ideas.

    Be willing and able to let go. Be willing to break them. Be willing the wreck them.

    There is a current and popular song by Florence and the Machine by the name of “Ship to Wreck” and it got me thinking about something she and the band may not have intended. It got me thinking about the process of building a new product or idea. After reading the lyrics she seemed to be thinking the same thing as it relates to relationships.

    Every time I hear this song (which is quite good) I can’t help but think about what kinds of things we build just to wreck. Sometimes the wrecking is not intentional. At least at the surface level. The idea I’m thinking of here is one where there is an intent to Build Things to Wreck.

    Hire a Chief Destruction Officer

    The business guru and author Tom Peters suggests every company should be thinking about destruction … about wrecking things. He suggested every company should have a Chief Destruction Officer, a CDO.

    Not in the sense of Ghostbusters — Gozer the Destructor. Rather in the sense of that someone who is always on the lookout for what can be broken apart … or wrecked … if you prefer that visual.

    Building things to destroy them is one way we learn. The people that can see around corners and can either actually or virtually wreck things will stand out in their careers. They will be the ones that are called upon to guide new projects and lead new teams. The people that can envision and/or actually wreck things (and get away with it) will often be able to create new lines of business, new products and new revenue streams.

    In the literal sense this is what Hernán Cortés did in 1519 when he landed in the Yucatan Peninsula – modern day Mexico. He is fabled to have told his men to “Burn the Boats” which meant that there was only one way to go … forward.

    Did Cortes have the boat builders knowingly Build These Ships to Wreck? I doubt it, but it is possible he had the intention all along to do so. For what it was worth … it worked. Cortes and his 600 Spaniards conquered Mexico.

    I’m not suggesting this was the right (or wrong) thing to do. I’m using this bit of history as a metaphor for pushing yourself and your team to think about building things to wreck. Knowing full well that what you are building, your ideas, your dreams and your future may need to be wrecked to get to the next level.

    What will you Build to Wreck this week? This month? This year?

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