Killing Sacred Cows

By | February 16, 2012

It’s incredible how freeing the exercise is.  Kill your sacred cows.  Think about the project you work on with a colleague and say “What would the world be like if we didn’t have __________?”  Some of the greatest companies killed sacred cows and then had wild success.

  • Salesforce.com said, “What if we didn’t have on-premise software?”
  • Apple said, “What if you couldn’t make playlists from the iPod itself?”
  • Atlassian said, “What if we didn’t have a sales department?”
  • Ikea said, “What if the furniture didn’t come assembled?”
  • I said, “What if UX did part of the product management job?”

Whenever you have a chance to kill a sacred cow, you should absolutely try.  At least think about the world if you did.  It is so hard to do.  There is a reason the sacred cow exists in the first place.  People love the cow.  It’s scary!  Failure might happen!  What will we do?  People HATE killing sacred cows.

Leaders are special people.  They can get past these fears.  You can be a leader.  Suspend disbelief.  Get your mind into it and kill the cow.  Then see what is left and figure out how the world could be better.

Some advice I give is immediately actionable.  Other advice (like this) is more of a mental exercise that once in a while lead to something special.  Exercise your mind and once in a while, you will surprise yourself and make a great decision.

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