Working Wider


Safety: The New Norm for Opening in Covid-19

As restaurants, shops, and bars light up their “Open” signs, there’s one question that everyone from employee to customer will be asking: Is it safe to come in? Outside heavy industry, safety training typically stops at fire drills and job-specific items such as arresting grease fires in the kitchen.  Customers don’t choose between Wal-Mart, Costco, [...]

How to Accelerate Covid-19 Vaccine Development

My friend Bob forwarded an opinion piece from today’s New York Times entitled: How long Will a Vaccine Really Take?  As the author of Fast Cycle Time, I’m rarely against faster development (as long as it delivers value). Bob’s note triggered me to take a deeper look at the underlying barriers and opportunities for speed [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Apple New Product Introduction:
Welcome to the Planet of the Ape

In a couple of hours, Apple executives will take to the stage.  And millions will be watching because part of our love for Apple is being co-conspirators in the OMG introduction process. While reverence for Steve Jobs will keep “incredibly insane” product descriptions off the table, expect to hear the word “amazing” more than once. [...]

Zen Start-up Lessons:
What Nest Labs Can Teach Entrepreneurs

Nest Labs makes a smarter, Internet- connected thermostat that sells for two to three times conventional models.  Most recently, they’ve introduced a similarly empowered and priced smoke detector.  You might ask if you need a smarter thermostat or smoke detector?  You’ll have a chance to answer that for yourselves in a moment. Nest was founded [...]

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 [...]