Monthly Archives: November 2010

A Focus On What


The title of today’s screed isn’t a question – it’s a recommendation. It’s been my experience that we spend an awful lot of time paying attention to and arguing about the “how” and in the process we often lose sight of the “what.”  Let me explain what I mean and then you guys can straighten me out. Continue reading

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Here’s Why Facebook Mail Might Fail

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

I’m sure you’ve all read about Facebook adding email to their social platform.  If you didn’t know that you can read Gizmodo’s report here and there are lots of others out there.  It’s being mentioned as a Gmail killer and as a threat to Yahoo mail (the world’s biggest provider).  It incorporates email, SMS, Facebook messaging and chat.  Given that Facebook has half a BILLION people using its platform, it’s not hard to think that way.

But I don’t.  And here’s why. Continue reading

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You vs. You

One of the big mistakes I have seen over and over during my business career has been executives negotiating against themselves.  I’m not talking about simple role-playing to sort out how best to attack a problem.  What I mean is a group of businesspeople sitting together to plan strategy or review a contract and talking themselves out of a deal point because they believe that the other side won’t go for it even though they’ve heard nothing from the other side.   Dummies!  Here’s what I think is a better approach. Continue reading

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The Cat and the Squirrel

Mao vs. Squirrel 1

I was out in the yard the other day when I heard this tremendous commotion down in the lower part of the yard.  Turns out it was a cat chasing a squirrel.  There’s a woman down the street who has a number of cats and they roam the neighborhood.  Most are pretty ordinary except one has three legs and one is as black as great coffee.  It was this black one I saw giving its all to catch the squirrel and of course the immediate thought I had, which pertains to cats and business, was what is it going to do when it catches it? Continue reading

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Potato Ricers

Potato ricer

It’s Friday and so on to something food-related. Today it’s something you might own or something of which you’ve never heard – potato ricers. For those of you in the latter camp, this kitchen tool is sort of like a huge garlic press. It’s a hand-held thing and you put the spuds into a box that holds one or two. You bring the handle over, push the cooked potatoes through a disk sort of like a meat grinder and the results can resemble rice, hence the term.
Of course, I think about ricers in terms of running a business. Continue reading

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The War To End All Wars

Veterans Day 2008

Today is Veteran’s Day here in the US, a day where we honor those who served for their love of country and willingness to sacrifice for the common good. This day became a national holiday here in honor of the end, in 1918, of  World War I when the Allies and Germany signed an armistice. Originally Armistice Day and established in honor of WWI vets, it was renamed later on to honor those who served in subsequent conflicts in Korea and WWII.  My favorite vet – my Dad – was one of those WWII airmen who flew missions in Europe, so thanks Dad and I’m glad you made in home safely (otherwise, what would these folks be reading??).

What I’ve always found interesting about WWI was that it was justified by some at the time as The War To End War after the H.G. Wells book of a similar name on the topic.  That phrase is instructive to any of us in business.  Here’s why. Continue reading

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Some Brilliant Marketing And A Favor

A close-up of the shrine's torii

My neighbor and her family left this morning for Japan. What’s interesting about that is that her son is going for 10 days and bringing no luggage. Nothing checked, nothing carried on. In the process, besides finding a brilliant way to avoid all the nasty fees airlines are imposing these days, he’s raising awareness and money for a cause he supports. What’s making it possible is some brilliant marketing and as I tell you about it I’m going to ask for some help. Continue reading


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