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Showing posts from September, 2005
Simplify, dummy....

Imitation Across Industries Is More Efficient and Effective Than Blue-Sky Creativity and Innovation. If you accept that one million monkeys pounding on keyboards for one thousand years will eventually, accidentally produce a ton of gibberish and one Shakespearean sonnet, you must also accept the converse: that a lone creative individual racking her brain will produce much less gibberish, and nothing profound. Appropriating existing marketing concepts is cheaper — and certainly quicker to implement — than developing new ones. The secret is bringing a great idea from another market or industry to your market or industry.For more go here.
Well said...

The challenges we face today in getting people to share what they know and to collaborate effectively are not caused or cured by technologies, they are cultural impediments. It's extremely difficult to change people's behaviours (they usually exist for a reason), so the solutions we find have to accommodate these behaviours, and these cultures, rather than trying to 'fix' them.

If I had a bajillion dollars, I'd simply hire Dave Pollard to fix everything I do wrong.
Stuck in voice-mail hell?

This website helps you find a real live person at 71 of the nation's largest companies.
Better isn't always better...

Interesting post on the continued discontinuations of certain insulin products:

Back in July, we reported on Eli Lilly's announcement that they would be discontinuing production of Iletin II, the last remaining animal-based insulin on the U.S. market, in addition to its human lente and ultralente insulins - leaving some patients faced with tough treatment decisions.

Overseas, UK residents who are dependant on insulin are facing similar hard choices. Novo Nordisk has now discontinued several genetically modified (or GM) human insulins, including the pen form of its Actrapid GM product. The move follows a 2004 Eli Lilly UK withdrawal of several human GM insulins. As of October, when the Novo withdrawal is complete, many Brits will be forced to switch to insulin analogs.

The Insulin Dependent
Diabetes Trust has been a vocal opponent of the narrowing of insulin options based on what the IDDT calls a "commercial decision," and what they consider i…
Where in the landscape of literature....

...does your favorite writer reside?
How hard are you working and for what?

Companies have been willing to pay big bucks for those longer hours. Over the past 15 to 20 years, people working a 40-hour week received virtually no increase in real pay, according to research by Kuhn and Lozano. Yet employees putting in a 55-hour week saw their real pay rise by 14%. The implication: The gains of two decades of growth have mainly gone to ambitious -- or fearful -- Americans who are working longer hours.

Read more here.
Image
R.I.P. Ed Delahanty...

Despite probably being eliminated from playoff contention last night, Jimmy Rollins set a Phillies team record by successfully hitting in 32 straight games. The record was previously held by Hall-of-Famer Ed Delahanty.
But not many people are aware that Delahanty's death was a gruesome one, culminating in a drunken plummet over Niagara Falls.
What's coming out next...

Folks from Zimbra, a new e-mail startup that's been getting some blog buzz, came by my office today to show me a preview of the product they plan to launch next week. It is e-mail software that is integrated right into your Web browser and works in tandem with other Web applications, so you don't have to go back and forth between e-mail, your browser, and other software. As president and CTO Scott Dietzen puts it, "E-mail becomes one and the same with the Web experience. We are trying to merge these two."

Sounds like pretty cool stuff. Then again, I'm reminded of this story:

Those distracted by incoming email and phone calls saw a 10-point fall in their IQ - more than twice that found in studies of the impact of smoking marijuana, said researchers.

Are we really helping people communicate better or are we just giving them a new bowl?



Some people believe....

...that Jonathan Twelve Hawks is Michael Cunningham.
Wonder what it was like in Houston last week?

Wonder no more.
Oogling Google...

When you visit Google's headquarters, you have a vague feeling that there's something wrong here, but it's hard to say exactly what.

In nearly every way, Google seems a corporate utopia, a vision of an idealised 21st-century company. The campus looks more like an idyllic resort than an office complex where anyone ever gets any work done. The centrepiece of the main quadrangle is a beach volleyball court that sees a lot of action throughout the day....Suddenly, you realise why: This epicentre of the Silicon Valley present is haunted by a ghost of the Silicon Valley past. You've been right here before, in this very spot, during its original incarnation as the campus of Silicon Graphics Inc. Remember SGI? It was one of the hottest tech companies of the early 1990s. Like Google, SGI was a geeky innovator glamorised by an adoring media - most famously, its expensive graphics computers powered the special effects for Hollywood blockbusters such as Terminato…
Definitely the oddest post-Katrina story I've read...

Armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, may be missing in the Gulf of Mexico. Experts who have studied the US navy's cetacean training exercises claim the 36 mammals could be carrying 'toxic dart' guns. Divers and surfers risk attack, they claim, from a species considered to be among the planet's smartest.

Needless to say, but click here.


I came across an eight-year-old article the other day entitled Discovering New Points of differentiation, by Ian MacMillan and Rita McGrath (not online, you can buy it from HBS).

It provides a rigorous approach to identifying ways to differentiate your company from competitors on more than just product or service. Here's a synopsis:The first step is to map the 'consumption chain', the various points at which your customers and potential customers 'touch' (or could touch) your product or service:

The point of first awareness (e.g. through marketing materials or
advertising)
The point of locating your product or service (initial purchase or direct
pitch)
The point of making the decision between your and competitors' offerings
The point of ordering and purchasing your offering
The point of receiving delivery of your offering
The point of inspecting and processing receipt of your offering
The point of installing or implementing use of your offering
The point of paying for yo…
It is the sort of information that Nobel laureate Kenneth Arrow labeled
"socially useless but privately valuable." It doesn't help the economy produce more goods or services. It creates nothing of beauty or pleasure. It simply helps someone get a bigger slice of the pie.

With apologies to the WSJ,thisarticle was so interesting I Furled it.
Lately I've come to the realization that the problem of under-use and misuse of
information has little to do with technology or 'knowledge management' and a
great deal to do with human nature and culture.

For quite possibly the best post about Knowledge Management I've ever read, please go here.
Uncloaking the Competition

In addition to manufacturers incenting customer-facing sales and service to
provide entries into hosted CRM apps that are quickly becoming competitive
analysis portals, business development, product marketing, and sales operations
in several manufacturers now have the task of doing the in-depth research to
flesh out competitive profiles available online.

Nothing revolutionary, but if you're unfamiliar with the technology go here.
Was Katrina the work of the Kakuza?

The Yakuza can shoot another Katrina anytime they wish. Watch for yet another one, which is probably being debated right now.

What's oddest about this story is that it's written by a tv weatherman.
This from KMWorld:

Comintell has released a new version of its competitive intelligence offering. Knowledge XChanger (KXC) V4 retrieves information from any source, including news, reports, internal files, e-mail and RSS feeds; categorizes it automatically according to customers' key intelligence topics; and then distributes it to relevant users.

Version 4 features the following new capabilities:


advanced search options that include integrated Internet search, date range searches and highlighted search termsSurvey Builder, which allows users to create Web surveys to collect primary source information;
a new content retriever module with support for handling RSS feeds (both receiving and publishing);

an e-mail publish function, which allows users to send information into KXC via e-mail;
a usage tracker feature that graphically displays how information is used;
a blog function for editors;

customizable forms and templates for input and comparison of information;
taxonomy management tools …
I've been racking my brain figuring out out how to use Google Maps for competitive intelligence. In the meantime, one company is way ahead of me:

SRC LLC, a leading systems integrator for enterprise-level business intelligence solutions, announced today it will immediately release to the development community a highly integrated set of tools designed to add enhanced business intelligence functionality with GoogleMaps. As Google finds growing success with its' open source application programming interface (API) mapping platform, developers from around the world have built an incredible number of consumer facing applications. SRC, through the availability of its' Allocate(TM) API, intends to give business application developers what they have been missing when considering developing a mashup -- namely enabling geo-content for their business intelligence applications.

Like most software companies, their press release sucks. So instead, go here and see what they're talking …
I was glad to see Coemergence receive this award:

Coemergence Inc., a leader in the development ofknowledge-based software, is pleased that its ACIS(R) solution has beenrecognized by KMWorld Magazine as a 2005 "Trend Setting" product. ACIS allowscompanies to gain a strategic advantage over their competitors by helping toquickly identify and act on industry shifts, patterns and trends that revealemerging opportunities and threats, before they are made public.

That being said, Competitive Intelligence is generally limited by two things: people and technology. Coemergence can only fix one of those.

Read more about their award here.