We all know who the big 5 tech firms are. Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Google are no new names to anyone in the industry and beyond. Each of these companies has changed the way we perceive and use the internet, and there’s no way to deny it. But what made these five companies so successful?
Some say it’s the fact that Wall Street seems to love bytes more than anything else, even though it wasn’t always the same, or because they are taking advantage of their monopoly market position. While none of these statements are wrong, they are not what helped these companies become the pinnacles of the tech industry. Despite what critics say, all of these companies were built on Agile principles, and that’s what continues to make them so successful.
Today, we are taking a look at how Agile principles turned these companies into industry leaders and what aspiring firms can do to follow in their footsteps.
Customer focus – more of an Agile obsession than a principle
To be successful, businesses need to pay attention to customer needs, but in Agile principles, customer focus is much more than that. It’s not a matter of helping customers within the limits of a company’s existing practices and processes, but rather being willing to go beyond that and doing whatever can be done to improve customer experience.
To fulfill customer needs, companies need to be open to change. They need to adapt their systems, methodologies, processes, and practices so that they add value to customers. Take Apple for example. Their stores all over the world look impeccable, their customer support is stellar, and the product packaging is one of the best we have ever seen. When you deliver an experience to customers, instead of a service or product, they will keep coming back for more.
Customer focus should be seen in all aspects of a business, from product development to marketing and testing. Shift left testing, for example, helps companies release products faster and at a much higher quality.
Transforming lives and proving traditionalists wrong
10 years ago, when these companies started turning into a phenomenon, Wall Street traditionalists believed tech is ephemeral and not a real part of the economy. The economy of atoms was believed to be more powerful than the economy of bytes, but these companies proved the contrary.
Truth be told, bytes transformed our lives and made everything simpler, better, and more convenient. We can connect to anyone or almost anything in a matter of seconds, and there is nothing more impressive than that.
It’s not IT alone that creates growth
If IT was the only thing that made these companies grow, why didn’t other names such as GE or IBM become just as successful? After all, they invested tremendously in IT.
Well, it’s because IT alone is not enough to help a company grow. When working with bytes, things develop an awful lot faster than with atoms, meaning companies need to step away from big bureaucracy and implement quicker solutions. While both IBM and GE experienced short successes in implementing Agile principles, they failed to spread the mentality across the entire organization, so their success was only temporary.
Big tech is not just tech. It’s a successful mix of technology and entrepreneurship. All of these companies are a combination of atoms and bytes, with customer experience sitting right in the middle.