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Knowledge is wonderful but the people backing it up – well, we’re wonderfully flawed.

People ignore trends with time, or look the other way as markets shift, and before you know it we’re trapped on an island of our own opinion from which there is no speedy return. You see knowledge expires and even the best of us need to re-examine what we “know” from time-to-time, from leading CEOs to opinionated grocery store baggers.

Take a recent quote from the CEO of Blockbuster about why Netflix is a bad product:

Interviewer: Right, but in terms of the Movielink’s catalog, it is still very small.

Keyes: This is a fascinating area for me. I’m amazed at the metrics that the external world is using to measure success in this industry. When was the last time you watched 10,000 movies, you know? I don’t care how many movies are available to me. As my personal taste as a customer, I want to watch the new stuff so whether we have 10,000 movies or 200 movies it doesn’t matter if I don’t want to see any of the movies that we have. So, our assortment is heavily weighted toward newer releases and mainstream staple titles. We can also supplement that if we wish with a longer tail so we could add another 10,000 movies if we choose to acquire subscription content to or, which we probably will over time, but realistically, today we believe that the bigger demand is for the newer titles.

Let’s ignore the fact Netflix is dominating his company for a moment – this CEO is basing his entire company’s future on an opinion. Worse still, this opinion has driven Blockbuster into financial ruin over the past 5 years. It is an outdated and flawed idea that should be replaced. But somehow he has a full executive team happily supporting him. It would be funny if it weren’t so desperately sad.

Sometimes you’re unable to say the truth when you work for a big company. No one at Blockbuster wants to hear that their days are numbered. The joy of what we do here at Cubicle Ninjas is to try and help bring a fresh perspective. We’re happy to play devil’s advocate today in order to push the ball in the right direction.

The possibilities for your company are endless. What opinions do you have that need to be updated? Which ones should be left behind completely and given a clean start?

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