What Is It?A floppy whale is a heartbreaking work of staggering mediocrity — usually a failed project or product launch.
Definition: Floppy Whale
A floppy whale is a big, expensive attempt at innovation that flops.
Floppy whales have every advantage in the world (e.g. big research & development budgets). Nevertheless, they fail to produce anything innovative.
The usual suspects are usually responsible:
- Mediocrity: a culture of rewarding obvious ideas.
- Copying vs innovating: an attempt to copy your leading competitors. While you're copying them, they move three steps ahead.
- Political infighting: blinding politics that lead to irrational decisions.
- Resistance to change: your organization successfully defends the status quo.
- Stuck in mud: an organization that hasn't truly innovated since 1977.
- Neglect of need: customers don't have an urgent need for what's offered.
- Identity crisis: an organization that doesn't know what they represent or where they're going.
- Complexity: biting off more than is reasonable to chew (e.g. big bang).
- Design by committee: a compromise to make everyone in a room happy.
- Perfection: going too far to perfect an offering and missing the boat.