Is Your Business Being Defined By Moore’s Law?

The Startup Business - Dr Ross McKenzieIn this week’s Economist there is a discussion around the end of Moore’s Law.

Moore’s Law, if you are not aware, is the concept developed in 1965 by Gordon Moore, (who would later go on to co found Intel) where he hypothesised that the number of electronic components which could be crammed into an integrated circuit was doubling every year.

The Economists suggests, with great detail of course, that this phenomenon is slowing down. It is though we have reached the most optimal point.

Now Moore’s Law has often been used broadly in any form of endeavour or innovation. It’s like it has become the common law of business where year by year you have to keep improving.

I recall my experience in corporate environments where the mandate would be communicated each year to take out 10 to 15% in productivity.

I am sure many of you looked forward to those mandates being cascading down through your organisation!

We would look at the typical levers, fixed cost, variable costs, capex, opex etc etc.

We would also pin our hopes in business process re-engineering, straight through processing, centralisation, shared services, outsourcing, offshoring, lean six sigma, agile etc etc

Downsizing became right sizing and right sizing became… well you get where I am coming from!

But in reflecting upon The Economist’s article today about Moore’s Law, while this may hold true in terms of potential capability (until the next breakthrough of course), it is not true in terms of “realising” this capability.

Let me explain…

I am writing this article on my old trusty Dell 17” laptop. I purchased it for AUD3195 back in December 2010. At that time, it was top of the range. It has served me well and while it is relatively large with the 17” screen, it has travelled with me from London to Phnom Penh without a hitch.

However, I have determined it is time to upgrade and I am again looking at a top of the line laptop – perhaps one with gaming specs. Not that I am a gamer, I just think I need it.

I will say that again…

I just think I need it!

You see, the question really is, did I use the full potential of my last laptop?

Possible I did not, but now I want it faster again.

So here is the question we need to really think about…

Are you making the most optimal use of what you have today?

If you introduce new capability or technology, how likely will you make use of that in an optimal way?

Now do not get me wrong, we need increased capabilities in most areas and there are people who are continually pushing their boundaries and limits to the resources they have around them.

But here is the thing.

After more than 25 years in business my conclusion is that seldom do we, or as businesses collectively and fully make use of the resources that we have readily available. Whether this is technology or people.

So today I would like to propose a new law, let’s call it McKenzie’s Law!

McKenzie’s Law states that a business’s success and long term sustainability is in direct correlation to its level of utilisation of its current resources.

In other words, whether you have been in business for a while, or just starting off, do not under estimate what you already have.

Too often we are looking at he next bright and shiny object, or worse, delaying action because tomorrow there is something even better yet to come.

Get out there!

Make a go at what you have today.

Push your boundaries.

Because I am certain that if you do this, you will be around for a long long time – may be to a point where McKenzie’s Law is no longer an untested hypothesis but in fact a natural law!