4 min read

How “The Croods” Mentality Applies to Innovation in Business


It’s time to step out of the cave and into the era of no-code.


In these increasingly uncertain times, the idea of the unknown can be daunting. Taking a leap of faith and trying something new becomes even more difficult when it means leaving behind something that’s worked well in the past—especially for an opportunity that seems promising but isn’t guaranteed. From enterprise software development to the exploration of uncharted lands, fear of the unknown is a tale as old as time. So old, in fact, it could even be referred to as prehistoric. 

The 2013 animated comedy film The Croods perfectly illustrates this fear of the unknown. It’s a heartwarming story about a prehistoric family, but it also serves as a great metaphor for the plight of the modern enterprise. If you’ve never seen the movie, bear with us—we’ll walk you through it and demonstrate why sticking to the status quo will only serve to keep your business in the stone age. 

Cavemen and the Status Quo

The Croods live in a cave, rarely leaving due to their fear of what lies beyond their home. The family’s anxieties are fueled by their overprotective but well-meaning patriarch Grug, voiced by Nicholas Cage. Grug has ventured beyond the cave before and witnessed firsthand the dangers it presents—he just wants to make the choice that will best protect his family. The cave has helped them survive for as long as they have, and Grug sees no reason to abandon something that’s working just fine.

Grug’s not wrong. He, like many enterprise leaders and CIOs, has led the family (or rather, the enterprise) successfully thus far and is reluctant to change what works. What’s more, the risks of leaving the cave or challenging the status quo in your enterprise are very real. If you step outside of the cave, there’s a fair chance you won’t like what you see.  

According to research conducted by McKinsey, the average large-scale IT project costs 45% more than expected, takes 7% longer, and delivers 56% less value than predicted. When it comes to software projects specifically, these costs skyrocket even further—the average project comes in a whopping 66% over budget and 33% over time. Even worse, 17% of these projects go so poorly that they threaten the survival of the whole enterprise. With statistics like these, we can’t help but sympathize with Grug—it seems only natural that many enterprise leaders are content with playing it safe. But what does that mean in the long run?

Changing Markets and the End of the World

One night, feeling frustrated and stifled by Grug, rambunctious daughter Eep sneaks out beyond the cave. Before long, she encounters Guy. Guy is a smart, inventive, and adventurous teenager who has learned to thrive in the outside world by taking risks. Guy tells Eep about the “end of the world,” and warns her that she and her family won’t be safe if they stay in the cave. Not only will the cave not protect them, he insists that the end of the world will destroy the cave altogether. 

Guy’s proclaimed “end of the world” is here. Sticking to the status quo may have worked for enterprises in the past, but this approach is untenable now—the market is changing too fast. Today’s consumers are spoiled for choice, with technological advances like microservices, APIs, and cloud computing resulting in a slew of disruptive, customer-oriented solutions. With over two million apps in Apple’s app store alone, enterprises simply can’t stand out if they cling to legacy technologies and remain the same.


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What’s more, maintaining the status quo is costly. By settling for stop-gap software solutions, enterprises continually incur technical debt and eventually pay the price. IT teams must continuously spend money maintaining legacy technologies that no longer suit their needs. And when 80% of your IT budget and 42% of your time is devoted to fixing bugs, there’s not a lot of room for innovation. Before you know it, your enterprise is stuck in the cave for good.

Unbeknownst to the Croods, we later learn that Guy has experienced the dangers of the outside world just like Grug—Guy’s family died in a tar flow when he was young. The key difference between Guy and Grug is that Guy doesn’t let fear or negative experiences keep him from the future. He pushes on. Innovation is always risky, but with new startups and solutions cropping up every day, enterprises that avoid risks are guaranteed to fall behind.

The Promise of “Tomorrow”

Just as Guy warned, a massive earthquake destroys the Croods’ cave—they all would’ve died if they’d chosen to stay. Lost and uncertain about their future, the Croods accompany Guy to the mountains to start over. Guy tells the family about “Tomorrow,” a place where people cannot only survive but truly live. Along the way, the Croods encounter new creatures, new challenges, and opportunities to invent new things. It’s not the end of the world after all—it’s just the beginning. 

We started Unqork because our founding team had experienced first-hand the fears and frustrations of the enterprise. We understand that you’ve seen projects fail and that it’s hard to buck inertia—but staying stagnant simply doesn’t add value to your organization. 

We believe that the key to ushering in “Tomorrow” is no-code. Removing code chips away at the risk of the unknown by providing a secure, intuitive environment in which to create. Don’t have any formal app development experience? No problem. Our platform’s templates and drag-and-drop components allow you to create dynamic, sophisticated workflows without getting bogged down in the syntax of code. Is the deep disconnect between business and IT preventing you from innovating? With no-code, the business team doesn’t have to wait for the IT team to bring their ideas to life—they can contribute to the development process directly to build the exact solution they need. By providing a better way to build, you break down barriers to innovation, reduce project failure, and eliminate legacy code. 

If your approach to enterprise app development feels a little crood, it’s time to give your enterprise a better survival tool kit with a no-code platform.

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