Embracing constraints

From Predictable Revenue by Aaron Ross and Marylou Tyler:

In starting our outbound sales team, we didn’t get a budget for my project beyond my own compensation. In fact, looking back, if I had had a big budget or a bunch of people to tell what to do, I wouldn’t have been forced to get so creative in solving the problem of how to predictably generate new pipeline for the sales organization.

(1) In other words: We often think constraints restrict our opportunities. But in fact constraints drive creativity.
(2) Other examples:
– In  team meetings he runs, HP manager Simon Lewis restricts the time allotted for each person’s update to one minute.
– Our managers have to write a monthly report which is capped at one page, forcing them to focus on what’s most important.
– Like Aaron Ross’s experience above, when we’ve adopted a tighter budget, we’ve often been more successful.
– There are extreme constraints in mobile app design which have likely produced better user experiences than on the web.

8 thoughts on “Embracing constraints

  1. Thanks for this, but it looks like the link to predictable revenue isn’t working. Looks like it should be something like “http://www.amazon.com/Predictable-Revenue-Business-Practices-Salesforce-com/dp/0984380213” (maybe with an affiliate tag – ?)

    Thanks again

  2. Here’s Mark Suster on how time constraints can help software projects:

    “The funny thing about time constraints is that set with the appropriate balance of having enough time to deliver something meaningful you can actually use time constraints to drive creativity. Knowing the way my mind works, in many people time pressure drives creative bursts. I wrote about it in this post on The Urgency Addiction. This is especially true in people with ADD who have less active front cortexes. The adrenaline of time pressure stimulated the frontal cortex and kicks in a creative gear.”


  3. Pingback: Lifetime value can mislead you into excessive spending on marketing | A Founder's Notebook

  4. Pingback: A simple rule for pitching your startup or product | A Founder's Notebook

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