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The Why Project & My First Memorable Why Moment

April 24, 2013

eROI has an interesting project they launched at http://eroi.com/ask-why. Here’s my first memorable Why Moment…

My first most memorable “why” moment was in the early 90s. I was a newly minted Development Manager on Norton AntiVirus and I attended a meeting early on where the Product Managers and the CEO had relegated NAV in to the “cow” category—it’ll make some money, but it’ll never be a $40M business; milk the revenue until it dries up as we shift resources away from it.

Brad Kingsbury, my boss at the time, and I asked “why?” To us the answer was obviously clear: it was a new market with too many tactical point products creating noise; each product being more of a feature than an actual solution. First real solution to market that both delighted customers and rolled up and surpassed the capabilities of the over 21 “one-offs” would be the winner—the solution needed to stand out with “Gee I’d Buy It Just For That” value props across the landscape and not just in a couple of areas. We went rogue, ignored the “cow” quadrant our product had been shoved in to, and built that solution. The rest is history… What was a $7M business when it was relegated to “cow” status grew to over $140M in a couple of years and is the foundation of what is a greater than $2B security business for Symantec today.

Moral of the story: Even propeller heads can and need to ask “why?”

Please share your own “why” moment either with eROI.com as part of their project or down below in the comments…

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