The Standardization Dilemma

obviousify.com
Oct 4, 2017 · 2 min read
Standard ISO BABY001

Standard Baby. Nothing to see here — please read on.

In your private world or on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat — everyone is thriving for individualism. Sometimes known as “original content”.

Nobody wants to see the same shirt, sweater or trousers worn across the street. It is actually quite awkward when that happens.

It’s diametrically opposed in business. In the modern corporate world you better leave your individual escapades and unique style at the doorstep. Individualism is an absolute taboo topic and is mainly known for cost intensity, incompatibility and non-compliant.

So that’s why standardization is highly appreciated and praised like a mantra by CFOs, PMOs, Consultants and many more around the globe. It’s actually a great idea to standardize certain things like power outlets, gasoline, Bluetooth, drugs, metrics or haircuts in North Korea.

But standards are no silver bullet, not great if overdosed and are no fountain of youth.

Source: SAP yearly report

As a matter of fact, the famous “Standardization Company” SAP is not making the most money from standardization but from individualization via Support and Services

Standardization is the first major step towards commoditization.

In business literature, commoditization is defined as the process by which goods that have economic value and are distinguishable in terms of attributes (uniqueness or brand) end up becoming simple commodities in the eyes of the market or consumers. (wikipedia)

Some business processes, products or APIs just can’t and shouldn't be standardized. If those things are squeezed into a unnecessary, inflexible and artificial standard — you will nurture your ultimate self made inhibitor for every innovative idea.

Standardization is awesome —sometimes. Uniqueness makes the long term difference.

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