Albert Einstein’s Other Theory


Albert Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome is the true definition of insanity.

Ok, so maybe Einstein wasn’t specifically talking about the industrial world.

But his “other theory,” does apply to business.

Consider This

AND you continue to do it hoping to see a significant rate of return on your investment — not only might it be a bit crazy, it’s just not profitable.

Think about which processes are being used every day in your company for work to flow from start to finish, in the hope of yielding huge profits.  As a key decision-maker in a company, you need to find the workflow process duplications and overall inefficiencies.

If Einstein were a businessman, he probably would have defined another theory of relativity:

Low Profit

Don’t let this equation be the sum of your business’ value!

Einstein’s theory states the underlying reasons for why workflow software is important for any organisation. Many of the core benefits have been previously discussed in the post 10 Benefits of Workflow. So if you’re not already using workflow software and are considering it, then it’s probably the right time to seriously start looking into it.

If you’re interested in more information about our workflow software please visit Web and Flo.


On naming software…

As mentioned in previous posts, we’re going through a process of launching a new product specifically designed for SMEs – which has gotten me thinking a lot about naming.  Many of our clients white-label Kontinuum – they develop workflow solutions within the Kontinuum engine, and give the configured solution their own branding which they then use within their organisations, or when re-selling the solution to their clients.  Sometimes, these names are brilliant – concise, catchy, and explain the app well.  So while I’m thinking about it, here are some things we consider when coming up with names for products:

1. Keep it simple – short, easy to remember, and easy to spell

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler” – Albert Einstein

2. Make sure your name is unique – particularly in your industry (for all concepts), or across the board for all software.  This will help you to differentiate your offering without confusing the market or redirecting your users elsewhere.  This will also have the benefit of meaning you don’t have to compete with other companies or products for getting to page 1 on search engines, if you’re looking to re-sell your software

3. For the same reason, don’t name your product something too generic like a dictionary word – chances are you’ll need to add additional words (and therefore break rule 1) to explain what you do.  You’re also likely to end up low on any search ranking, at least for a while (notable exception – Amazon)

4. If possible, use the Meg Whitman rule and come up with a name that might be used as a verb (as in, “I’m going to google this”, “Can you xerox this for me”, etc)

“When people use your brand name as a verb, that is remarkable” – Meg Whitman

5. If you can’t get the .com; choose another name.  It’s just going to be too hard for users to find your site.

6. Don’t name your product something too specific that you may need to to change as your product evolves or pivots (Roses Only is a great brand, but I wonder how many of their gift baskets and fruit baskets they sell?  The name would detract anyone looking for those products, as you would assume they don’t sell them)

I’m wondering if anyone has any notable examples of, or exceptions to, the above rules – or any more to add.  Please comment if you do!

Workflow SaaS (Software as a Service)

Since Kontinuum is a web based product alot of our clients simply subscribe to our service.  There are various factor which determine when it is best to subscribe to a workflow software service or simply to buy the workflow software and host it locally.  Here are a few factors which should be considered.  Furthermore many of these factors can be applied to the Software as a Service adoption whether it be workflow/BPM or not.

What is the level of risk aversion?

With SaaS you don’t have to make a huge initial investment.  You can try before you buy.  You can then buy a little and a little bit more as need be.  

 How dispersed are your users?

With SaaS everything is generally set up so that it can be accessed from anywhere.  This does have alot of benefits but there are some drawbacks when it comes to security

How transaction intensive are the workflow applications in dealing with legacy systems?

With web services you can exchange information with legacy systems via web services.  You can do it.  That doesn’t mean it may be all that worth doing.  If you transaction rate is very high exchanging information over the web gets ugly.

How much data is required to be uploaded / downloaded?

Speed can be an issue with SaaS.  Especially if you need to upload or download 100Mb files.   

How big an issue is security?

Remember SaaS is more likely to be a web based product these days.  There may even be legal requirements for data that the information you have is not available on-line.

How much effort is required to get software installed locally?

Sometimes this can be a major issue.  One of the largest banks in Australia came to us and they wanted a system up and running in under two weeks.  Meanwhile another division within the bank wanted a system to be hosted locally.  The division which wanted a local system had to wait about 4 months to get approval where as the hosted workflow applications were created and deployed in 2 weeks.  So it took 8 times as longer to get something approved as to get something done. 

These factors are just a few off the top of my head but I am sure there are many more