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Want Growth? Be Like House.

by Doug Davidoff | Dec 7, 2008 12:15:12 PM

One of my favorite television shows is House.  For those of you not familiar with it, it focuses on anti-social, medical genius, Gregory House, MD.  House is a diagnostician, and every week, a new patient presents an extreme riddle as to what is wrong, and typically what is threatening their life.

House is opinionated, arrogant, and obnoxious (and those are his good qualities).  He is also wrong, but never in doubt.  Anyone who watches the show knows that however confident House may be, if there are more than 10 minutes left in the show, he will be wrong.  In a typical episode, House is wrong 4 – 6 times, before he finally figures it out.

Now, the show House may be an unusual topic for a blog that promises insights into fast and profitable growth.  The reason I mention it, is because House is a great metaphor for how companies must act when they go to market.  Here's how:

Despite his foibles, House understands that the only "reality" that matters is the patients anatomy.  His opinions, the opinions of his staff or administrators - in the end - doesn't matter.
The fast growth executive understands that the only opinion that matters is the market's.
No matter how many times he's "failed" - House always takes action confidently.
The company that makes the most mistakes - fast, and fixes them - confidently, is the one that wins.
No matter how confident House is, he is always testing his assumptions and never lets his "tests" get in the way of action.
The successful fast growth company is always prototyping and "listening" to the market.
House learns by failing - realizing that the only failure is to give up.
To often, companies want to "figure it out" before they begin, not realizing that the only way to "figure it out," is to begin.  The key to growth is action - not thought.