An Argument Against Scalability

For all profit purposes this post won’t have much gas.
But this isn’t an entry about profit.
I’ve now been to numerous conferences this year for my industry and this year’s buzz word has been scalability. I.E. create something that anyone can implement into his/her business. The goal here is to get us back to the industrial revolution – where everyone worked at the factory. And while scalability is a worthy discussion in both our businesses and our personal lives, I think there is a valid need for the discussion pendulum to be thrown to the opposite side where scalability is impossible.
And that’s where you come in.
What about you and your thing? What about that thing between your ears and the thing beating in your chest?
See I’m on the side that thinks you, your heart, and your mind is so unique, so special, and, fortunately, so weird – that scalability is impossible with you.
The gap between your first and last breath was never meant to be duplicated, copycatted, or available for rerun.
For instance, since Steve’s departure Apple has really only done two things: shrink the iPad and make the iPhone lighter. Steve wasn’t scalable and neither were his ideas. Could it be, perhaps, that the company lost some of its whimsey with Steve’s departure? Now we are just seeing the aftermath of what they can scale. I’m sure more whimsey is on the way, but we haven’t seen it as of late.
I found another example in a story from this weekend’s Wall Street Journal on Tory Burch. The author of the story noted noted that “to buy a Burch is to buy a bit of the woman her-self.” But you can’t be Tory Burch and you certainly can’t scale her. She IS the brand and you can only wear “a bit” of what she dreamed in threads. About the only thing scaled with her, and scaled very very well, is a stacked-T logo that follows her ideas globally.
Yes, scalability can lead you to streamlining and profitability, but it shouldn’t be the end goal.
I believe your creative purpose is a thanksgiving feast for the soul and scalability doesn’t push the envelope, it just does what its told.
Make some money but please also make a statement, make a difference, and make a change.
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One thought on “An Argument Against Scalability

  1. Mark Lukert says:

    Amen, Ashton! Preach on!!

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