Life in beta

It used to be that if you were designing a new product or service, you would probably develop a prototype, test several iterations and then demo a nearly complete version for some target customers. After getting their feedback, you would make some tweaks before the final product was released, often supported by a big budget marketing campaign.

That new offering was intended to serve you pretty well for years to come with few, if any, changes.

It used to be that your career worked pretty much the same way. You got your degree(s), tested out an entry level job or two, and then settled in for a more or less linear career. If things went well, you’d pick up the occasional promotion.

This world was pretty easy to understand. Do this–most of the time–get that. Periods of coasting, mixed in with rare bursts of intensity.

Now, however, most of us live a life in relentless, never-ending beta.

Now, constant iteration is what is required and, most of time, nothing is ever truly finished.

Now, what allowed us to thrive (and stay sane) doesn’t work so well any more. Or perhaps not at all.

Now, we have a choice: change or fall further and further behind.

Now that I look at it, that’s not much of a choice.


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