Monthly Archives July 2011


Summer Harvest

Many of the folks walking the beaches of Cape Cod are looking to collect shells or beach glass. Me? I try to collect my thoughts. What follows are the realizations, conclusions, and recommendations developed during two weeks of peaceful beach vacation.

There he was out on the tidal flats of Cape Cod Bay. A man alone with his thoughts. And his dog. And his voice recorder.

Business development (sales) is not nearly as intimidating when you look at it as just helping someone else solve a problem.

Does anyone else out there think they could turn reading and writing email into a full-time job?

Being successful doesn’t eliminate problems. It just means a higher percentage of your problems emanate from a desire for continuous improvement.

Small company forecasts / budgets should be reviewed and refined on a rolling, quarterly basis. This deemphasizes calendar year, but provides useful trend data and a tighter view of economic reality.

Focus your efforts on cash management. It’s only some people outside the company who need the fancy reports. So if you’re not working with those people, don’t waste your time.

Hiring is a binary activity. The candidate is either 100% right for us, or wrong. Always hire optimistic and determined individuals.

Problem solving: Where are we now? Where do we want to be? What do we know? How can we use what we know to achieve our goal? If the answer is a big hairy deal, break the problem into component pieces and work on those.

Although I think Youngme Moon’s book Different is about 200 pages too long, I do agree with her. Focusing on competitive response brings companies to sameness, not difference.

I really don’t care what competitors are doing. I care what clients want and need; that employees want to work for and with their employer; and that the focus is always on doing really great work.

You have to believe in the people around you, and treat them as though you believe in them.

Repurposing IP is a great way to generate new revenue and to build the value of the business. In most cases you can do this while letting your innovators focus on creating new IP.

Modifying how your company operates does not require changing company culture. If you like your company’s personality, identify the underlying vibe and protect it.

I love my voice recorder. I consider it my “pensieve” (a la Harry Potter) – a great way to avoid mental overload (not usually a big worry!). I record thoughts as they occur, knowing I will later transcribe them to an action item list.

Them’s my thoughts. What have you been thinking about? Want to discuss it?

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