WhatsApp, Amazon, Boeing, Digital Education and Chips: The Week’s Most Interesting

Knowledge is knowing that you will fail. Experience is remembering that knowledge after you fail. Wisdom is remembering that experience before you start working on something new. And that wisdom teaches you to focus on the process. Because the process is the best chance of winning. Shortcuts and hacks are ways to win once if the stars align for you. But in the current universe as we know stars usually move the opposite direction of alignment. It’s the process that gives you the best chances of success. It doesn’t guarantee it. But well if something guaranteed success, that would be a business I would want to be in.

So like writing a newsletter, building a company or changing the world, the trick is to focus on the process. And the theme of today’s newsletter is to focus on the process and the people who focus on the process. If you are process driven, then today is the newsletter to show you some of the world’s best examples. If you don’t believe in the process, then use this as a platform to start believing in it. It is the only thing that works. If you are still not convinced then wait a while. Time usually is a better teacher than most newsletters. The best stories tell you more than the climax and the premise. In between the layers the process is hidden. Which is why, today in between some detailed articles from very different areas we try to unearth the common themes. And you will see the pattern.

So this week we look at 3 global giants to understand the importance and impact of the process. For the universality of the idea we look at something present on your phone, to something you use multiple times a year to something you fly (or shouldn’t fly) on. 2 successes and a failure. We then move on to look at an entire industry or sector in need of process improvements and how tech and process need to be separated for final success. In my final article of the week I go a little sideways from the theme to look at one of the most monumental deals of recent times and how it could affect the future of the industry. 

Here we go !

1. This article has so many lessons about business, strategy and one of the best profiles I have read in the past few weeks. But what caught my attention was the process of how different versions of this app were launched. The logic behind it. The approach to get things right. It is a story of how you reach a billion users, just the old fashioned way of innovating. Just how do you respect user feedback not on paper but actually put money on it. Sometimes you really understand the importance of the smaller features when you use it as a user. So I am sure this piece will surely touch a chord. And as a bonus you get the story of whatsapp.

Jan Koum and Building Whatsapp 

2.To find out what works, it is a good idea to look at Amazon. They make more things work than half the rest of the world combined. The process of automation for me had a very simple objective before this. It was a efficiency increasing and cost reducing mechanism. The approach of Amazon to automation is so unique but yet so process driven that it made me think about a bunch of stuff I could have done better in a completely different scenario.  This article showed me how to think about process and innovation together. Never replace people, find them better things to do. It is my article of the week and a masterclass in process.

 Amazon, Automation and Putting people to better use

3. When you give up the process, and focus on the result, you usually send up in a soup. Sometimes in a couple of years, sometimes in a decade. In the best case situation only your company suffers. Sadly if you ignore the process in something like making airplanes, people die. A lot of people die. This follows a theme of the last couple of decades in terms of process failures. Teams and leaders are always given money for speed even if the results are disastrous and that is so strange. Companies which are decades old are looking for successes that are short lived. The paradox of it is pretty strange.

The 737: Boeing’s Crash.

4. Education from school to post graduation faced a huge setback during COVID. And while I had expected that for sometime schools and colleges would use Zoom and the likes, better products didn’t become mainstream. This article beautifully illustrates that in the modern world process thinking has become a bit of an afterthought. The first thought would have been that teachers and students need to interact with each other. But education is not listening or seeing. And that is a process that no one thought of. There are multiple examples of how teachers overcame all the obstacles. But don’t you think that we have enough tech that could have already solved the issue. Tech needs someone to reimagine how to use it, not just someone to build it.

Redesigning Communication

5. My last article of the week does not focus on process, but for me it is the most important deal of the year. Nvidia and ARM getting together is gigantic news for the Chip industry. A couple of months back I had written about how Apple is making the shift to ARM after all the blunders Intel had made. The future of the Chip Industry could be very very different and so could be the global distribution of Chip power.

The Marriage of the Microchips

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