Phillip Crosby stunned many when in 1980 he published the book Quality is Free. In manufacturing we believed there was a choice between quality and quantity. He proved us wrong and now few challenge the experience that both come together. Now some executives are afraid to invest in employees because they might leave. Another false choice.
When a company has made significant gains in operational efficiency and believes it has an ingrained improvement mentality, it can be tempting to let the foot off of the brake. I call that complacent competency. It can begin to sneak in slowly, and before you know it employees are no longer challenged and customers no longer thrilled. Leadership can never become complacent.
A great product or service can be provided before its time, or after, or exactly right. Sociology is as important to that timing as technology is. Are people ready? Are they interested? Do they care? Product life cycle is impacted by competition, alternatives, and evolution in both sociology and technology.