Working Wider

Innovation

Risky Distance: How Covid-19 Inverts the Open Office

Private offices have been under attack for decades.  First came cubicles followed by hoteling. Most recently, long tables where knowledge workers sit side-by-side in headphone-enabled bubbles are de rigueur.  In theory, each goes further to create a cross-functional community that also saves money by increasing the number of people per square foot.  Add in free [...]

Defining the Next Normal: What We Learned and What’s Coming Next from the Covid-19 Crisis

Crisis comes in waves.  Like a hurricane approaching shore, it starts by catching our attention, then we cope through the storm, and ultimately, rebuild.  What folks often call the “new” normal comes after rebuilding.  Before then, there will be interim “next” normals. Once discovered, the novel Coronavirus caught our immediate attention because of its virality [...]

The Irksome Confusions of Pitching Investors

Entrepreneurs live on a super-sized serving of passion, commitment and courage.  They commit their lives while investors offer dollars and perhaps some time.  Those same qualities can silently lead an entrepreneur astray when pitching investors. For example, what seem like a series of strategic pivots to an entrepreneur, an investor could view as an endless [...]

How to Screw Up Change

New leaders have an opportunity to drive change.  What we’re seeing on the national stage is a lesson in change leadership that not only challenges the status quo; it is an abject lesson in how not to lead change. Trump’s emotional appeal worked well for securing the mandate to change but it’s killing him in [...]

Are You Pivoting…or Rotating?

If you’ve been anywhere near a startup in the last three years, you’ve heard about pivoting. A pivot is just as it sounds: a deliberate change in business model and/or product direction hoping to hit the market sweet spot.  Popularized by Eric Ries’ book The Lean Startup, the underlying assumption is that finding that sweet [...]

Surviving in The Gig Economy:
Don’t Be An Ant

“There’s something happening here, What it is ain’t exactly clear” For What It’s Worth, Buffalo Springfield, 1967 Ravinder drives for Uber two nights a week in Los Angeles.  On a farm in rural Poland, Peter tests computer code to complete a programming job he bid for on Odesk.  Across the valley, Peter’s girlfriend wraps penguin [...]

A Band of Angels Innovation:
The Special Interest Group

Angel investing starts with an initial contact, followed by screening that leads to a pitch and perhaps a deal.  There’s an underlying tension in the process.  Entrepreneurs want the angels’ money and to get back to growing their business as quickly as possible. Angels want the entrepreneur’s time to understand the business and investment potential. Most [...]

Before You Pitch Me, Ask Yourself:
Is Your Company a Me-Too or a Fast Follower?

Last week, I listened to seven startups pitches at the Band of Angels Deal Selection committee wondering at least three times, hadn’t I heard this deal before? Do customers crave another user friendly wearable that counts steps, heartbeats and measures sleep quality better than Apple Watch, FitBit, and Garmin? Is now the right time, to [...]

Clone ‘Em: Bring Instant Leadership to Your Company

Clone ‘Em Leads Apple App Store Rankings Cupertino, CA (AP) August 6, 2015 Latest App Store rankings released this morning reveal that Clone ‘Em, the Leadership Cloning App has risen to first place in the popular Fast Growth category.  Leveraging data from mobile and wearables, Clone ‘Em uses advanced algorithms to prompt new leaders when [...]

Decimal Point Thinking:
Good for Operators; Dangerous for Innovation

Winter in Detroit is rarely pretty.  Pristine snowfalls quickly turn to grey slush that outwits the best pedestrian avoidance maneuvers.  Once that happens, your feet are cold and clammy for the next three hours. It was on such a day that a new product team was presenting their “comeback” car design to a panel of [...]

The Day After: Apple’s PayPal 2.0

I wrote yesterday’s piece before Apple’s product announcement.  While crafting a response to an email comment I received this morning, it struck me that a post-introduction piece might be in order. In short, the iPhone 6/6 Plus will cover profits, the Watch will spur innovation and Apple Pay is the potential game changer. Apple’s Passion [...]