Three Types of Tasks: Customer, Flywheel, Ventures

A company has three types of tasks and each one is a different optimization. The tasks to deliver value for the Customer is the primary task of a company. The ability to deliver these tasks should be the priority and this is not when new optimizations should be setup. Combining optimization work with delivery work results in both ends being slower. When delivering something the customer wants that work done well and quickly they don’t care about your ability to deliver it.

The Flywheel is the optimization work that results in value being delivered to the customer. This work is continuous improvement. It sets up the changes needed to gradually improve upon the delivery of value to the customer. Every customer task delivered should result in a series of flywheel tasks that allow for delivering the value better the next time around.

Ventures are creative destruction. They don’t have customers or a flywheel to optimize. The tasks are there to try something new. Because of this they can be more risky and less polished as it is mostly putting a stake in the ground and discovering who the customer is and what the flywheel is.

Customer, Flywheel, Venture also translates to the three roles of Individual Contributor, Manager, Entrepreneur. Because of this natural split of tasks to roles there should also be a risk management that occurs. The customer tasks are a bit more risk averse and being of high quality. The manager tasks should be bets to improve and will incur some risk as long as it doesn’t incur risk downstream to the customer. The ventures are high risk since there is nothing to lose.

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