Know When To Reinvent The Wheel

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Geoffrey Keating:

There’s a great story about David Ogilvy’s famous Rolls Royce advertisement.

When asked where he found inspiration for the ad, he happily admitted it was a 20-year old headline he reused.

In startups, we tend to shy away from using what’s worked before. We spend months building brand new solutions to problems that someone two desks over might have already solved. It’s the classic “not invented here” syndrome – nobody wants to fix an existing Rolls Royce when they could build a new one instead.

Yet it’s often just as valuable to reuse what was successful before. Doubling down investment in what already works, and taking the time to carefully consider what to build from scratch, is a wise policy for any company that wants to be around for the long run.