Working Wider

Innovation

The Minimum Viable Business School:
Zipcar Education for Entrepreneurs

The hotbed of education experimentation in Silicon Valley are the startup academies, accelerators and hacker boot camps.  Grounded in the minimum viable product philosophy that entrepreneurs harness to speed products to market, these new education entities offer a minimum viable education for tech entrepreneurs. You know it’s hot because the regulators have come out of [...]

Apple New Product Strategy: “Siri…What Did I Miss?”

With yesterday’s product announcements Apple confirmed that writing about Apple these days is pretty boring.  No question engineers and designers worked hard to squeeze the iPad line thinner and lighter but, yawn, they’re iPads…now with some free software.  Who hoo. For those who haven’t moved on to another site, Apple’s actions suggest: Demand is strong [...]

Apple’s 2014 New Product Strategy

Will Apple Ever Release a New Product? – headline from this week’s Street.com The above is just the most recent variant in the continuing drama “Apple After Steve Jobs.”  Investors yawned at this week’s rollout of the new iPhone operating system (IOS).  Noting the new IOS visually apes Microsoft’s two-year old Windows Mobile tiles, the [...]

The New Normal Hits Movies

Instead of watching Washington pundits dissect the AP-IRS-Benghazi drama closing in on No Drama Obama, I went to an action movie.  I couldn’t help but notice two things. First, without advertising our world would be a blank slate.  Second, if movie previews are any indication, our world will shortly be a blank slate. Advertising as [...]

Organization Antidotes for Entrepreneurs

In Getting Organized: The Entrepreneurial Death Star, I described how the chaos of growth drives startups to get organized.  Organization comes at a price yet it seems that the only options are to stay small and creative, suffer chaos, or pick execution over agility. This piece provides two alternatives. Before we start, let me ask [...]

Getting Organized: The Entrepreneurs’ Death Star

The goal of every startup is to rapidly outgrow startup size and status.  Few launch with an organization plan; nor should they.  A seminal moment occurs when the startup “gets organized” for the first time.  Like a baby’s first step, getting organized is a rite of passage.  Often begrudged, rarely is it questioned. The journey [...]

Data Dandruff Control:
The Challenges of Privacy vs. Permission

Unless you constantly cleanse yourself after every contact with the world, you’re dropping flakes of personal information behind that make the DNA information in epithelial cells found at TV crime scenes pale in comparison.  That’s data dandruff. Data dandruff comes from social network posting, cell phone and surveillance cameras, GPS sensors, web search queries, affinity [...]

A Perspective on 2013:
Looking for the Next Miracle of Scale

Almost one hundred years ago, Dwight Eisenhower departed Washington, D.C. for San Francisco as part of the first military convoy to cross the United States.  In July, 1919, most roads were unpaved and unimproved since settlers moved west.  Vehicles were slow, prone to breakdowns or tire failure. It took 62 days at an average speed [...]

A Slippery Slope: Dissing Facts and Science

Every successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur I’ve met fueled their dream with rapid cycles of learning, infused with facts and feedback. Granted the Valley’s engineering heritage places a unique emphasis on data, but it is also foundational thinking for every MBA program in the world. So riddle me this Batman, how is it that the convention [...]

Implications from Apple’s Win Over Samsung:
Apple Wins, Innovation Loses But Microsoft is Smiling

Apple’s the closest company we have to a national hero.  When Apple prevailed over Samsung, I was pleased.  The good guys won. While the financial judgment is still pending, the $1-3B financial range is certainly not chump change. Yet relative to Apple and Samsung’s balance sheets, the impact is minimal. The victory was an homage [...]

Is there anything else I can help you with?

While in the process of writing several more substantive pieces, my disk drive crashed. This started a whirlwind of customer service calls.  As I get back to the other pieces, I couldn’t resist a short piece that summarizes an all-too-familiar customer experience. How many times have you called customer service, didn’t get the problem solved [...]