As Always, Horace Dediu of Asymco has some insightful thoughts on Corporate Strategy:

I would argue that yes, the product-focused company has to “pay a tax” for its product priority. It uses an approach with a huge built-in opportunity cost. But I would also argue that every company has some tax to pay for its priorities.

Ultimately, every company needs to decide what is important and to pay the tax for not doing what is unimportant. Business management, like engineering, is about compromise and the choice of trade-offs. Outside observers, unaware of what the company’s priorities really are, will always find it puzzling why companies do what they do. But to insiders, the puzzle is why anybody would do anything else.

It’s a fine line that any company needs to walk. Obviously, the people on the inside are the most knowledgable ones, and make purposeful decisions. However, they can’t keep drinking their own Kool-Aid.

It’s important to bring in smart outside talent who has never done what you do. People who have achieved, but can bring a new perspective to your business, a new way of doing things. It may be middle managers who are very smart, or it could be young interns that your company listens to. Either way, you can’t keep the vicious cycle of only hiring internally and keeping the same people doing the same things.

Keeping this constant flow of fresh talent is the only way a company can keep its priorities grounded in reality.