Lie, Cheat Steal

You want one of the biggest keys to success? Copy from the person five steps ahead of you. Attention: Sony Ericsson’s new president.

By David Mantey, Editor, PD&D

Struggling mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson’s recently appointed new president had quite the golden nugget of information to offer as he took over his new post.

According to an article running today in the NY Times, Bert Nordberg, a 14-year Ericsson veteran, “[Sony Ericsson] needs to improve the product design and development processes and we need a different product portfolio to reflect what customers are asking for.”

Oh boy, the pains associated with not listening to customer demand, or refusing to change up “the way we’ve always done it.”

Luckily, Nordberg has seen the light and now has the luxury of looking at the successes and failures of competing companies to be able to choose a new course of direction for Sony Ericsson. According to the article in the Times, he plans to resuscitate his company’s product lineup of mobile phones with new software and applications.

Here’s to hoping that anything they (Apple, Nokia and Google) can do, he can do better.

It’s an interesting point though. As you’re falling behind, when do you loosen the stranglehold on the past and move on? There has to be a point when you look around and think, hmm, maybe I should try something new.

It makes me think of self-help books or the articles like 101 Ways To Make Yourself A Success. The only reason the author is a success is because he found a sucker with some paper to spare. By adhering to the author’s suggestions what are you going to do? Become a successful self-help book author? Google it, you have over a million links telling you to have a firmer handshake.

Maybe that’s why it’s one of the biggest sections in Barnes & Noble. Some person wrote a self-help book, two people bought it and subsequently published successful self-help books. Quick, someone pitch “How to write a self-help book for dummies.” This is where I was going to describe how it would never work, because why would anyone purchase a self-help book that was insulting the reader in the title … then I saw “Depression for Dummies.”

You want one of the biggest keys to success? Look at what the person five steps ahead of you is doing.

Extract a few things that he/she is doing right and bust your (removed due to overblown sensitivity) to do it better.

Seriously, they tell you not to cheat in school but did you ever notice – that is if you ever cheated – that when you worked off a friend’s paper (read: copied), you would copy everything that was good and beef up the sections that needed a little help, creating a better end product?

It’s the American way, so why do teachers frown so heavily upon it?

What do you think? Drop me a line at