Forget the past and pursue the future!

The importance of this came to me while listening to one of our pastors speak(thanks, Tim).  It took me back to one of the few conversations I had with Bill Gore, co-founder of W.L. Gore and Associates with his wonderful wife, Vieve.  You would be hard pressed to find two more down to earth, caring and entrepreneurial people.  In a conversation with Bill shortly after arriving at GORE, he talked to me how we need to remember the lessons from the past but do not let the “failure” be a roadblock to winning in the future.  And Mr. Gore was all about winning.  Even with the financial side of things, he believed that what was already spent or invested should be forgotten.  It was all about proving that your product was real, that it could win in the market, and, at the end of the day, it would be worth it for both you and the customer.

This type of thinking encourages experimentation of techniques to find new successful products, services, and processes.  Experimentation in all areas is critical.  So often we dwell on experimentation in the technology area – new product development. However, it is critical to have a process for experimentation in all functional areas.  For me, it is marketing and how it can support technology as well as build the business.   Ask some questions and develop some experiments to find new more effective processes, products and messages.   Is your PR really working?  What new channels of market communication can you try?  Have you worked with the customer base to learn how they get their actionable information?   Would a channel partner make it easier for both you and the customers?  What about new ways to get the product to the customer – faster, in smaller amounts that match their usage?

Keep your eye on the goal!  Forget your failures but remember what you learned.  Try new things.  Be aware of the needs of those around you.  Your customers are all over the place and you cannot achieve your goals without them.

Have a great week!


P.S.  If any of you are on LinkedIn, I have started a group, Rochester International Marketing Leaders Association.  While located in Rochester, I have connections around the globe in sales, marketing and leadership.  I would love to have participation.

Rochester International Marketing Leaders Association


Author: John

Business Executive with Marketing, Product, Sales and General Management Experience. Currently, consulting in areas of strategic marketing, pricing excellence, key account management, and market driven innovation. Love to read, ride my bike, swim, compete in tri's, pick/drink wine, meet with friends, live life.

One thought on “Forget the past and pursue the future!”

  1. John,

    I totally agree with the experimentation thesis. In large corporation actually using the words “business experiment” conveyed the appropriate level of the functional levels, at the leadership levels and within the reporting structure. I would like to do a business experiment to determine…this or that…spend this much money to figure out this sort of return.

    What I have seen is that most corporations are bounded up within their own “rules”…how is going to change my brand? what about my reputation? how are the sales guys going to carry the bag and communicate the issues? what if the competition finds out and exploits this ?..etc..etc…

    It’s why I had actually formed BTCG so that I would be able to provide external business experiments and why consulting business have sometimes flourished in the past.

    Anyway…keep on pushing this concept because ultimately you are very much correct…it’s now just a matter of having them actually implement an experiment.


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