The Wordperfect Axiom
When the platform changes, the leaders change.
Wordperfect had a virtual monopoly on word processing in big firms that used DOS. Then Windows arrived and the folks at Wordperfect didn't feel the need to hurry in porting themselves to the new platform. They had achieved lock-in after all, and why support Microsoft?
In less than a year, they were toast.
When the game machine platform of choice switches from Sony to xBox to Nintendo, etc., the list of bestelling games change and new companies become dominant.
When the platform for music shifted from record stores to iTunes, the power shifted too, and many labels were crushed.
Again and again the same rules apply. In fact, they always do. When the platform changes, the deck gets shuffled.
Think this only applies to software?
- First, they chose to specialize in video - video being the most effective medium for conveying information
- Second, they broke the training exercises into segments no more than 10 minutes in length because that's the longest someone can effectively focus on and competently absorb new material
- Third, they emphasized 'just in time' training - the concept of viewing a short training concept right before engaging in the task so that the steps are fresh and reinforced by doing
- Fourth, they used skilled training designers and professional presenters to translate expert generated content into effective skill building
- Fifth they made it all available on line via smart phone or PC so that trainees could access any material any time that it made sense for them
- Sixth, they made chat and social media tools available for specific training courses so that those taking a course could rebuild in a virtual world some of the community that they lost when moving from in person training to on line.
- They set a cost reduction objective: the new EJ4 tools and methods should reduce total corporate training costs by half.
- And finally, they set specific performance goals for training: payback within one year. If training doesn't 'move the needle' for a client, then it's free.