The Science of Constant And Neverending Improvement (CANI or Kaizen カイゼン)

As someone who’s been around in business for a while now, I’ve understood it to be true (almost by osmosis) that the principle of Kaizen was instrumental in helping the Japanese industrial economy recover and succeed after the end of World War Two.  As most of us know, Kaizen is the philosophy and science of constant and never ending improvement (CANI), or betterment or refinement.  It’s the idea that nothing is ever finished, or declared perfect; there is always room for improvement.  As we all know, a series of small incremental improvements over time, add up to huge compounded improvements in the long run (after all, wasn’t it Einstein said that compound interest was ‘the eighth wonder of the world’?)

I see the idea of improving website layouts being our never-ending goal.  It’ll never be finished. There is always more juice in that orange.  For example, we recently integrated some new technology for serving ads, which, when combined with some new user experience improvement tests that platform was trying, resulted in a huge hike in desktop and mobile income and user experience (UX).  It was a change that was easily transferable, so we’ve already started rolling out these improvements to all our sites.  Those beta partner sites will, of course, receive the benefit of this compounding uptick.  One change, giving a 30% improvement this week will be compounded and rolled together with future improvements for all sites (it’s effectively like crowdsourcing user experience results into a testing engine.)  The leverage is enormous.

So, here’s a thought for anyone who is redesigning their site and thinking their job will soon be done when they’ve completed their ‘site makeover’.  It won’t be.  It’s just the beginning.