CHAPTER 2The Role of Technology

I promise that this book is very practical, and you'll be able to directly apply everything we discuss. But in this one chapter, if you'll bear with me, we need to get just a little philosophical.

It is plain to see the difference between feature teams and empowered product teams.

It is plain to see when companies view teams as there to serve the business, versus when they're there to serve customers in ways that work for the business.

It is plain to see when a company is just trying to please as many stakeholders as possible, versus when they have a clear and intentional product strategy.

But while these differences might be plain to see, that does not explain why these differences exist.

If we hope to close the gap between the best and the rest, we need to look at the root cause of this gap.

Roughly a decade ago, Marc Andreessen published what I consider one of the most important essays of our time, “Why Software Is Eating the World.”1 He described why he believed that technology was about to cause major disruption across virtually every industry. He gave voice to what I had been seeing in my own work—primarily with the disruptors, but occasionally with those under threat of disruption.

Ten years later, it's clear he was remarkably prescient.

That said, most companies seem to have not really understood his warnings.

Yes, they're all spending more on software now.

Yes, they've (mostly) moved to Agile methods.

But most have not transformed in ...

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