In software coding every sign, or lack of, can make the difference between a working or non working software.
Today I installed the latest release of Joomla! Content Management System (CMS) along with a few new Extension releases, for a web site.
After the updates, I directly opened the web site for sanity check. The full web site was down... fatal error... just a page with the error message!
However, this trouble had a happy end - here is the success story steps:
I had a log of the new releases I had implemented
Sanity check direct after release to detect the issue
Thanks to the error message I could search on internet and I got a hint which Extension that may have caused the issue
In the Admin tool I disabled this extension. After this, the web site was fully functional again, except for the features from this Extension. If I enabled, the web site was down again. The trouble maker was narrowed down
I sent a Tweet directed to the Extension developer somewhere on the earth, including the error message
I got a Tweet back from Extension developer there now was a new release with the fix
I went back to the Admin tool, installed the new release and enabled the Extension again
Now the web site was fully operational again!
I sent a confirmation Tweet to Extension developer
Before the update, I did a back up of the web site. I didn't need to use it this time, but always good to have a backup not too far back in time
The whole work from sanity check failure to fully operational web site took less than an hour.
1973 Volvo acquired JOFA. JOFA was a company making sports equipment and famous for its ice hockey helmets. 1983 Volvo acquired Beijer invest, which held companies like Abba fishery food. Volvo sold those business and then focus (again) on e.g. vehicles, engines and construction equipment. Later Volvo have also been divided into one company for cars and one for the other parts, but that is maybe a different story.
I find it interesting to compare company models. Here I look into two models: focus and narrow business with a common core and considering synergies, in comparison to conglomerates which diversify business where the business areas may not have anything in common.
Volvo has left the conglomerate model I wrote about above into a much more focused business.
Virgin is still in the conglomerate company model. Although there are some synergies, Virgin business is not hold together by a common business core.
Virgin, as my understanding, has a common culture and way to approach business in common rather than a common core product or technology.
With a more focused company model it is easier for the board to take decisions, for owners to understand the company. Conglomerates likely requires multiple boards and to delegate of more strategic decisions.
This article is about innovation climate in relation to company model.
As a human being you get all sort of ideas and innovations, and you get them not at least at work. Many of them will surely not work or make business sense, and for many of them you will not know until you have given them a try. It can surely be beneficial if this review or trial can be done within the company rather than the creator has to do it outside the company.
My thesis is that a too narrow and focused company model can limit innovation and business opportunities for the company. If the company is too concerned to consider if the new idea is within the company strategy or not, I believe it can also limit the innovations which actually are within the strategy. In this perspective, I believe a conglomerate company model can have an advantage to foster innovations.