Punching Above Your Weight Class
Authors Hagel, Brown and Davison use an interesting metaphor in a recent Harvard Business Review article on strategy in time of constant change:
Today’s new Digital infrastructure in fact gives relatively small actions and investments an impact disproportionate to their size. To use a boxing metaphor, companies can now punch above their weight class.
Compare the Digital infrastructure with traditional infrastructures such as water canals, railroads or highways. Unlike these classical means of communication and transportation, Software is unique in being integral part of the Digital infrastructure as well as being a major piece of what gets transported over the infrastructure. Best I know no other entity ever played such a dual role in as meaningful a manner.
The metaphorical punch Hagel, Brown and Davison use as an illustration for the leverage provided by the Digital infrastructure is particularly intriguing due to to the malleability of software. Delivery methods for products and services over the Digital infrastructure could evolve the way product feature and functions do. If the product continues to evolve after initial delivery, the opportunity presents itself to do Agile in the deep sense recently proposed in The Lean Startup: iterative customer development alongside Agile product development that includes iterating on the delivery method.