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Where Computing Is Headed—Beyond Quantum
Feb. 4, 2020 | WSJ | By Sara Castellanos.

Startups are coming up with new ways to make computer chips and store huge amounts of data in DNA........dozens of companies gaining interest from investors and corporations because of their novel approaches to computing. They are using light, quantum physics, molecular biology and new design methods to build chips and create data-storage techniques for future computing demands.
data  DNA  engineering  fundamental_discoveries  good_enough  high-risk  innovation  light  molecular_biology  Moore's_Law  novel  quantum_computing  semiconductors  software  start_ups  technology  up-and-comers  vc  venture_capital 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
20 Brutal Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit
SEP 7, 2016 | Inc.com | By Matthew Jones.

1. You're going to die and you have no idea when.
Stop pretending that you're invincible. Acknowledge the fact of your own mortality, and then start structuring your life in a more meaningful way.

2. Everyone you love is going to die, and you don't know when.
This truth may be saddening at first, but it also gives you permission to make amends with past difficulties and re-establish meaningful relationships with important figures in your life.

3. Your material wealth won't make you a better or happier person.
Even if you're one of the lucky ones who achieves his or her materialistic dreams, money only amplifies that which was already present.

4. Your obsession with finding happiness is what prevents its attainment.
Happiness is always present in your life--it's just a matter of connecting to it and allowing it to flow through you that's challenging.

5. Donating money does less than donating time.
Giving your time is a way to change your perception and create a memory for yourself and others that will last forever.

6. You can't make everyone happy, and if you try, you'll lose yourself.
Stop trying to please, and start respecting your values, principles, and autonomy.

7. You can't be perfect, and holding yourself to unrealistic standards creates suffering.
Many perfectionists have unrelenting inner critics that are full of so much rage and self-hate that it tears them apart inside. Fight back against that negative voice, amplify your intuition, and start challenging your unrealistic standards.

8. Your thoughts are less important than your feelings and your feelings need acknowledgment.
Intellectually thinking through your problems isn't as helpful as expressing the feelings that create your difficulties in the first place.

9. Your actions speak louder than your words, so you need to hold yourself accountable.
Be responsible and take actions that increase positivity and love.

10. Your achievements and successes won't matter on your death bed.
When your time has come to transition from this reality, you won't be thinking about that raise; you'll be thinking about the relationships you've made--so start acting accordingly.

11. Your talent means nothing without consistent effort and practice.
Some of the most talented people in the world never move out from their parent's basement.

12. Now is the only time that matters, so stop wasting it by ruminating on the past or planning the future.
You can't control the past, and you can't predict the future, and trying to do so only removes you from the one thing you can control--the present.

13. Nobody cares how difficult your life is, and you are the author of your life's story.
Stop looking for people to give you sympathy and start creating the life story you want to read.

14. Your words are more important than your thoughts, so start inspiring people.
Words have the power to oppress, hurt, and shame, but they also have the power to liberate and inspire--start using them more wisely.

15. Investing in yourself isn't selfish. It's the most worthwhile thing you can do.
You have to put on your own gas mask to save the person sitting right next to you.

16. It's not what happens, it's how you react that matters.
Train yourself to respond in a way that leads to better outcomes.

17. You need to improve your relationships to have lasting happiness.
Relationships have a greater impact on your wellbeing and happiness than your income or your occupation, so make sure you give your relationship the attention and work it deserves.

18. Pleasure is temporary and fleeting, so stop chasing fireworks and start building a constellation. Don't settle for an ego boost right now when you can delay gratification and experience deeper fulfillment.

19. Your ambition means nothing without execution--it's time to put in the work.
If you want to change the world, then go out there and do it!

20. Time is your most valuable asset--you need to prioritize how you spend it.
accountability  affirmations  autonomy  consistency  delayed_gratification  efforts  emotional_mastery  execution  good_enough  gut_feelings  happiness  hard_truths  invest_in_yourself  living_in_the_moment  mindfulness  mortality  mybestlife  no_sob_stories  practice  principles  priorities  relationships  serving_others  truth-telling  values  volunteering 
november 2019 by jerryking
Business leaders are blinded by industry boundaries
April 22, 2019 | Financial Times | Rita McGrath.

Why is it so hard for executives to anticipate the major shifts that can determine the destiny of their organisations? Andy Grove called these moments “strategic inflection points”. For some, he wrote, “That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”

Industry leaders would do well to focus on productive opportunities, even when they lie outside a fairly well-bounded industry. Want to survive a strategic inflection point? Stop focusing on traditional metrics and find new customer needs that your organisation can uniquely address.

Why do business leaders so often miss these shifts? Successful companies such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Nokia did not heed the early signs of a move to app-based smartphones. Video rental chain Blockbuster failed to acquire Netflix when it had the chance, in 2000.

Senior people rise to the top by mastering management of the KPIs in that sector. This, in turn, shapes how they look at the world. The problem is a strategic inflection point can occur and render the reference points they have developed obsolete. Take traditional retail. Its key metrics have to do with limited real estate, such as sales per square metre. Introduce the internet and those measures are useless. And yet traditional systems, rewards and measures are all built around them.....British economist Edith Penrose grasped this crucial link, she asked, “What is an industry?” In her studies, executives did not confine themselves to single industries, they expanded into any market where their business might find profitable growth.

Consider the energy sector: Historically, most power generators and utilities were heavily regulated...The sector’s suppliers likewise expected steady demand and a quiet life....that business has been rocked by slow-moving shifts many players talked about, but did not act upon. The rise of distributed energy generation, the maturing of renewable technology, increased conservation and new rules have eroded the traditional model. Many failed to heed the warnings. In 2015, General Electric spent about $10bn to acquire Alstom’s power business. Finance chief Jeff Bornstein crowed at the time that it could be GE’s best acquisition ever. Blinded by traditional metrics, GE doubled down on fossil-fuel-fired turbines just as renewables were becoming cost competitive.

Consider razor blades: Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand of razors had long enjoyed a competitive advantage. For decades, the company had invested in developing premium products, charged premium prices, invested heavily in marketing and used its clout to get those razors into every traditional retail outlet. A new breed of online rivals such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s have upended that model, reselling outsourced razors that were “good enough” and cheaper, online via a subscription model that attracted younger, economically pressured customers...... Rather than fork out for elaborate marketing, the upstarts enlisted YouTube and Facebook influencers to get the word out.
Andy_Grove  BlackBerry  blindsided  Blockbuster  brands  cost-consciousness  customer_insights  Dollar_Shave_Club  executive_management  GE  Gillette  good_enough  Harry's  industries  industry_boundaries  inflection_points  Intel  irrelevance  KPIs  metrics  millennials  movingonup  myopic  obsolescence  out-of-the-box  P&G  power_generation  retailers  reward_systems  sales_per_square_foot  shifting_tastes  slowly_moving  tradition-bound  warning_signs 
april 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Good-Enough Life - The New York Times
By Avram Alpert
Mr. Alpert is an author and writing teacher.

Feb. 20, 2019
good_enough 
february 2019 by jerryking
If you want to get ahead, don’t be afraid to get dirty
January 29, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | ROY OSING - SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 6 HOURS.

* ACT FAST. When you are confronted with a formidable challenge, make a decision quickly; overanalyzing doesn’t usually lead to success because it squanders your most precious asset – time.Success demands that you act fast and not waste valuable resources by over-complicating the route to a decision.
* HAVE A ‘WHAT IF’ PLAN
Have a contingency plan for when your chosen course of action doesn’t work out the way you intended.
* DON’T CHASE PERFECTION
Embrace imperfection; there is no such thing as a perfect anything.
* FIND DOERS. Find people who have a proven track record of doing things fast.
* PLAY IT UNSAFE. Work outside your comfort zone.
* SHUN THE RULES. Rules exist to make us compliant and fall in with what others do; they are a set of standards imposed by others....Bottom line: Broken rules are the cost of doing messy business.
* FORGET YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION. Job descriptions compartmentalize the activity of an organization; they specify the role we must play and the results we are expected to deliver.
* STAY FOCUSED. Try many things in rapid succession but avoid multitasking. ....Success doesn’t come from juggling several balls. It comes when we are focused on a single outcome and dedicate our heart and soul to seeing it through.
* SCREW UP. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
contingency_planning  focus  good_enough  messiness  mistakes  monotasking  risk-taking  speed  Roy_Osing  personal_accomplishments  Plan_B  doers 
january 2019 by jerryking
Dancing with Disruption - Mike Lipkin
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By Mike Lipkin
#1. Become someone who knows.....a secret is a formula or knowledge that is only known to a few. If you own a secret, you have the power to share it so you can turn the few into the many. Secrets are everywhere – hiding in plain sight. The difference between someone who knows and someone who doesn’t is the willingness to do the work, find the information, talk to the people and formulate one’s strategy. Be a source of joy and not a source of stress!! Disruption begins long before.....Mastering other people's emotions....Add in a way that thrills and delights others!! Prospective of Personal Mastery....industry connection + internal influence.
# 2. Have an audacious ambition. If you want to be a disruptor, you can be humble, but you can’t be modest. You have to dream big....dream bigger than anything that gets in its way.
#3. Be simultaneously analytical and creative. There may be a gap in the market, but is there a market in the gap? ...Disruption demands left and right brain firing together. Your intuition may alert you to the opportunity but it’s your intellect that builds your business case. That’s why you need wingmen or women to complement your capacity. Fly social not solo.
#4. Be prolific. The more you lose, the more you win. 1.0 is always imperfect. You will hear the word “no” hundreds of times more than the word “yes.” The best way to get ready is to do things before you’re ready. The best you can do is get it as right as you can the first time [i.e. "good enough"] and then get better, stronger, smarter. Disruptors try a lot more things than disruptees. They fail fast and they fail forward. [Practice: repeated performance or systematic exercise for the purpose of acquiring skill or proficiency.
#5. Communicate like magic. If you want to be a disruptor, you must be a great communicator. ... the right words generate oxytocin – the love hormone, whereas the wrong words generate cortisol, the stress hormone. .... tell your story in a way that opens people’s hearts, minds and wallets to you. Create a vocabulary.
#6. Be a talent magnet. Disruption demands the boldest and brightest partners....The best talent goes where it earns the highest return. Reputation is everything. [What would Mandela do?]
#7. Play like a champion today. Disruptors may not always play at their best but they play their best every day. They bring their A-Game no matter who they’re playing....you feel their intensity and passion. How hard are you hustling on any given day? Everything matters. There is no such thing as small. They’re all in, all the time.
disruption  personal_branding  uncertainty  hard_work  Pablo_Picasso  creativity  intuition  intensity  passions  talent  failure  partnerships  reputation  Communicating_&_Connecting  storytelling  thinking_big  expertise  inequality_of_information  knowledge_intensive  imperfections  audacity  special_sauce  prolificacy  affirmations  unshared_information  good_enough  pairs  Mike_Lipkin  CAIF 
april 2017 by jerryking
Advice for Data Scientists on Where to Work | Stitch Fix Technology – Multithreaded
It's a good time to be a data scientist. If you have the skills, experience, curiosity and passion, there is a vast and receptive market of companies to choose from. Yet there is much to consider when evaluating a prospective firm as a place to apply your talents. Even veterans may not have had the opportunity to experience different organizations, stages of maturity, cultures, technologies, or domains. We are amalgamating our combined experience here to offer some advice - three things to look for in a company that could make it a great place to work.

Work for a Company that Leverages Data Science for its Strategic Differentiation

Companies employ various means of differentiation in order to gain a competitive advantage in the market. Some differentiate themselves using price, striving to be the low-price leader. Others differentiate by product, providing an offering that is superior in some way. Still others differentiate by their processes - for example providing faster shipping.

A Data Scientist should look for a company that actually uses data science to set themselves apart from the competition. Note that data science may be supportive of lower prices, better products, and faster shipping, however, it is not typically the direct enabler of these differentiators. More commonly, the enablers are other things - economies of scale in the case of lower prices, patents or branding in the case of product, and automation technology in the case of faster shipping. Data science can directly enable a strategic differentiator if the company's core competency depends on its data and analytic capabilities. When this happens, the company becomes supportive to data science instead of the other way around. It's willing to invest in acquiring the top talent, building the necessary infrastructure, pioneering the latest algorithmic and computational techniques, and building incredible engineering products to manifest the data science.

"Good enough" is not a phrase that is uttered in the context of a strategic differentiator. Rather, the company and the data scientist have every incentive to push the envelope, to innovate further, and to take more risks. The company's aspirations are squarely in-line with that of the data scientist's. It's an amazing intersection to be at – a place that gets you excited to wake up to every morning, a place that stretches you, a place that inspires you (and supports you) to be the best in the world at what you do.

Work for a Company with Great Data

In determining what will be a great company to work for, data-science-as-a-strategic-differentiator is a necessary criteria, but it is not sufficient. The company must also have world-class data to work with.

This starts with finding a company that really has data. Spotting the difference between data and aspirations of data can be especially important in evaluating early-stage companies. Ideally you'll find a company that already has enough data to do interesting things. Almost all companies will generate more data as they grow, but if you join a company that already has data your potential for impact and fulfillment will be much higher.

Next look for data that is both interesting and that has explanatory power. One of the most important aspects of your daily life will be the extent to which you find the data you work with compelling. Interesting data should require your creativity to frame problems, test your intuition and push you to develop new algorithms and applications. Explanatory power is just as important - great data enables great applications. There should be enough signal to support data science as a differentiating strength.

Finally, don't fixate on big data. The rising prominence of the data scientist has coincided with the rise of Big Data, but they are not the same thing. Sheer scale does not necessarily make data interesting, nor is it necessarily required. Look for data with high information density rather than high volume, and that supports applications you find interesting or surprising. This enables you to spend most of your mental energy on analysis and framing rather than on efficient data processing.

Work for a Company with Greenfield Opportunities

When evaluating opportunities, find a company that doesn't have it all figured out yet. Nearly all companies that fit the criteria in the sections above will already have some applications in place where the work of data scientists is essential. Look for those companies that have a strong direction and strongly established data science teams, but have an array of problems they are solving for the first time.

Often the most exciting and impactful opportunities for data scientists at a company are not being actively pursued. They probably have not even been conceived of yet. Work somewhere that encourages you to take risks, challenge basic assumptions, and imagine new possibilities.

Observing the relationship between engineering and data science teams is a quick way to determine if an organization adopts this mindset. Is engineering enthusiastic to partner with data science teams to experiment and integrate ideas back into the business? Is there an architecture in place that supports agile integration of new ideas and technologies? In fact, in companies that embody this mindset most effectively, it is likely difficult to locate the boundary between data science and engineering teams.

A greenfield can be intimidating in its lack of structure, but the amount of creativity and freedom available to you as a data scientist is never greater than when you're starting from scratch. The impact of putting something in place where nothing existed previously can be immeasurable. Look for chances to be involved in designing not just the math and science, but also the pipeline, the API, and the tech stack. Not only is creating something new often more challenging and rewarding, but there is no better opportunity for learning and growth than designing something from the ground up.

Incremental improvements have incremental impacts, but embrace the chance to operate on a greenfield. While it is extremely important to constantly iterate and improve on systems that already exist, the Version 1 of something new can fundamentally change the business.

Summary

Of course, there are other considerations: domain, the company's brand, the specific technology in use, the culture, the people, and so forth. All of those are equally important. We call out the three above since they are less frequently talked about, yet fundamental to a data scientist's growth, impact, and happiness. They are also less obvious. We learned these things from experience. At first glance, you would not expect to find these things in a women's apparel company. However, our very different business model places a huge emphasis on data science, enables some of the richest data in the world, and creates space for a whole new suite of innovative software.
artificial_intelligence  career  data  data_scientists  differentiation  economies_of_scale  greenfields  good_enough  information_density  job_search  Managing_Your_Career  product_pipelines  strategy  think_threes  via:enochko 
september 2016 by jerryking
The Single Worst Marketing Decision You Can Make
Oct 29 2014 | LinkedIn | Ryan Holiday, Founder, Partner at Brass Check

Make something people want.

—Paul Graham

Growth hackers believe that products—even whole businesses and business models—can and should be changed until they are primed to generate explosive reactions from the first people who see them. In other words, the best marketing decision you can make is to have a product or business that fulfills a real and compelling need for a real and defined group of people—no matter how much tweaking and refining this takes...Some companies like Airbnb and Instragram spend a long time trying new iterations until they achieve what growth hackers call Product Market Fit (PMF); others find it right away. The end goal is the same, however, and it’s to have the product and its customers in perfect sync with each other. Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, explains that the best way to get to Product Market Fit is by starting with a “minimum viable product” and improving it based on feedback—as opposed to what most of us do, which is to try to launch publicly with what we think is our final, perfected product...marketers need to contribute to this process. Isolating who your customers are, figuring out their needs, designing a product that will blow their minds—these are marketing decisions, not just development and design choices.

The imperative is clear: stop sitting on your hands and start getting them dirty.
business_models  coding  data_driven  delighting_customers  experimentation  good_enough  growth  growth_hacking  hacks  iterations  lean  marketing  minimum_viable_products  Paul_Graham  product_launches  product-market_fit  Ryan_Holiday  start_ups  visceral 
october 2014 by jerryking
Boss Talk: A New Test for Panera's Pay-What-You-Can
June 4, 2013| WSJ |By ANNIE GASPARRO.

Amid increasing competition, Panera's co-Chief Executive Ron Shaich has stepped up spending on marketing, added new menu categories like pasta and developed a vast loyalty program.

But perhaps the chain's biggest recent innovation was opening pay-what-you-can cafes—there are no set prices, just suggested donations—in markets that are struggling economically, such as Detroit and St. Louis. Three years into the experiment, the company now is testing one pay-what-you-can item—turkey chili in a bread bowl—at for-profit St. Louis stores, in hopes the idea will expand to all of its 1,700 outlets....
...WSJ: How has the competitive landscape changed in the fast-casual area?

Mr. Shaich: We were clearly the first people out there in the space. For at least five years, in the mid '90s, my stock was flat. I couldn't get anybody to see a place that existed between fast food and fine dining.

Basically, fast casual is us, Chipotle and Starbucks SBUX +1.09% . Probably between the three of us, we represent 95% of the sales that are considered fast casual.

WSJ: Do you expect a shakeout in the industry?

Mr. Shaich: There's always a continual shakeout going on; this is a dynamic industry. The reality is, what was good enough yesterday will not be good enough tomorrow.
fast-casual  restaurants  CEOs  Panera  innovation  experimentation  Detroit  good_enough  competitive_landscape  menus  new_categories  Chipotle  Starbucks  loyalty_management  shakeouts 
june 2013 by jerryking
Dropbox: A nebulous future | The Economist
Dec 22nd 2012, 11:31 by A.R. | OXFORD

Dropbox dominates online file-sharing. It boast three times as many users as its closest direct rival, YouSendIt. (Its dominance is even more pronounced when it comes to the volume of data stored.) It eats up 20% of all bandwidth consumed globally by browser-based file-sharing services, against 1% for YouSendIt. Dropbox users save more than 1 billion files every day.

Most of them use the free version of the service. The company makes makes money by charging for extra storage....Dropbox relies on individuals and small firms, for whom its rudimentary security features are good enough; bigger businesses with sensitive information prefer more secure services like Box.net. The advent of competitors in the nebulous form of iCloud, Google’s Drive and Microsoft’s Skydrive, which come pre-installed on their respective makers' gadgets, does not seem to have dampened enthusiasm for Dropbox. Unlike iCloud, which boasted 190m users by October thanks to its deep integration with Apple's mobile devices, the service is "platform neutral"—ie, works across different devices and operating systems—and allows easy file-sharing, both useful traits in an increasingly connected world where few people hew devoutly to a single device-maker....A bigger long-term worry is the plummeting price of digital storage. With its vast scale, Amazon has driven down costs substantially for the likes of Dropbox, which leases server space from the e-commerce giant. But Google Drive already offers 100GB for $5 a month, half what Dropbox charges for the same amount of storage. And Google can advertise its cloud across its myriad online offerings. Dropbox's margins are only likely to get wispier in the future.
Dropbox  file-sharing  cloud_computing  Google_Drive  network_effects  digital_storage  good_enough 
december 2012 by jerryking
Bootstrap Finance: The Art of Start-ups
November-December 1992 | HBR | Amar Bhidé.

(1) get operational fast;
(2) look for quick break-even, cash-generating projects;
(3) offer high-value products or services that can sustain direct personal selling;
(4) don't try to hire the crack team;
(5) keep growth in check;
(6) focus on cash; and
(7) cultivate banks early.
HBR  bootstrapping  hustle  finance  funding  good_enough  start_ups  Amar_Bhidé  fast_followers  copycats  financing  entrepreneur  venture_capital  vc  execution  advice  capital_efficiency  team_risk  market_risk  technology_risk 
june 2012 by jerryking
How Entrepreneurs Craft Strategies That Work
March-April 1994| HBR | Amar Bhidé.

However popular it may be in the corporate world, a comprehensive analytical approach to planning doesn’t suit most start-ups. Entrepreneurs typically lack the time and money to interview a representative cross section of potential customers, let alone analyze substitutes, reconstruct competitors’ cost structures, or project alternative technology scenarios. In fact, too much analysis can be harmful; by the time an opportunity is investigated fully, it may no longer exist. A city map and restaurant guide on a CD may be a winner in January but worthless if delayed until December...What are the critical elements of winning entrepreneurial approaches? Our evidence suggests three general guidelines for aspiring founders:

1. Screen opportunities quickly to weed out unpromising ventures.

2. Analyze ideas parsimoniously. Focus on a few important issues.

3. Integrate action and analysis. Don’t wait for all the answers, and be ready to change course.
entrepreneur  penny-pinching  strategies  HBR  Amar_Bhidé  hustle  capital_efficiency  pivots  analysis_paralysis  action-oriented  pragmatism  Michael_McDerment  frugality  parsimony  good_enough  founders 
june 2012 by jerryking
10 Things They Don't Tell You at Graduation - WSJ.com
April 27, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES WHEELAN.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

April 27, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES WHEELAN.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent. The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper or just hanging with friends. ...One of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings....think "friendships.

2. Some of your worst days lie ahead. Graduation is a happy day. But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them. ... no one can afford to retire.

3. Don't make the world worse. .... don't use your prodigious talents to mess things up.

4. Marry up

5. Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids' sports are becoming ridiculously structured and competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it's fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. We know that success isn't about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction.

6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.

7. Your parents don't want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn't always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices. Theodore Roosevelt—soldier, explorer, president—once remarked, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

8. Don't model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don't let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. ...

9. It's all borrowed time. Take nothing for granted, not even tomorrow. ....the "hit by a bus" rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year? And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don't get hit by a bus.

10. Don't try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn't, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.
commencement  Colleges_&_Universities  good_enough  public_speaking  speeches  Communicating_&_Connecting  new_graduates  self-doubt  failure  risk-taking  discomforts  marriage  obituaries  Theodore_Roosevelt  happiness  friendships  arms_race  personal_connections  advice  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  luck  mybestlife 
april 2012 by jerryking
The 6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers
Mar 20, 2012 | | Inc.com | Paul J. H. Schoemaker.
Adaptive strategic leaders--the kind who thrive in today’s uncertain environment--do six things well:

1. Anticipate. Hone your “peripheral vision.” Reduce vulnerabilities to rivals who detect and act on ambiguous signals. ... Build wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better
2. Think Critically. Critical thinkers question everything. To master this skill, you must force yourself to reframe problems to get to the bottom of things, in terms of root causes. Challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own Uncover hypocrisy, manipulation, and bias in organizational decisions.
3. Interpret. Ambiguity is unsettling. Faced with it, you are tempted to reach for a fast (potentially wrongheaded) solution. A good strategic leader holds steady, synthesizing information from many sources before developing a viewpoint. To get good at this, you have to:Seek patterns in multiple sources of data; Question prevailing assumptions and test multiple hypotheses simultaneously.
4. Decide. Many leaders fall prey to “analysis paralysis.” Develop processes and enforce them, so that you arrive at a “good enough” position. To do that well, you have to: Carefully frame the decision to get to the crux of the matter, Balance speed, rigor, quality, and agility. Leave perfection to higher powers. Take a stand even with incomplete information and amid diverse views
5. Align. Consensus is rare. Foster open dialogue, build trust, and engage key stakeholders, especially when views diverge. To pull that off, you need to: Understand what drives other people's agendas, including what remains hidden. Bring tough issues to the surface, even when it's uncomfortable
Assess risk tolerance and follow through to build the necessary support
6. Learn.

As your company grows, honest feedback is harder and harder to come by. You have to do what you can to keep it coming.
Encourage and exemplify honest, rigorous debriefs to extract lessons
Shift course quickly if you realize you're off track
Celebrate both successes and (well-intentioned) failures that provide insight
Do you have what it takes?
ambiguities  analysis_paralysis  anticipating  assumptions  biases  course_correction  critical_thinking  conventional_wisdom  debriefs  decision_making  discomforts  empathy  failure  feedback  game_changers  good_enough  habits  incomplete_information  insights  interpretation  leaders  leadership  lessons_learned  networks  optimization  outward_looking  paralyze  peripheral_vision  post-mortems  problem_framing  process-orientation  reframing  root_cause  strategic_thinking  thinking  tips  vulnerabilities  wide-framing 
march 2012 by jerryking
A Brief History Of DECISION MAKING
Based on Leigh Buchanan and Andre O’Connell, in Harvard Business Review,Jan.2006, p.32-41

Sometime around the middle of the past century, telephone executive Chester Barnard imported the term decision making from public administration into the business world. There it began to replace narrower terms, like “resource allocation” and “policy making,” shifting the way managers thought about their role from continuous, Hamlet-like deliberation toward a crisp series of conclusions reached and actions taken.
Yet, decision making is, of course, a broad and ancient human pursuit, flowing back to a time when people sought guidance from the stars. From those earliest days, we have strived to invent better tools for the purpose, from the Hindu-Arabic systems for numbering and algebra, to Aristotle’s systematic empiricism, to friar Occam’s advances in logic, to Francis Bacon’s inductive reasoning, to Descartes’s application of the scientific method. A growing sophistication with managing risk, along with a nuanced understanding of human behavior and advances in technology that support and mimic cognitive processes, has improved decision making in many situations. Even so, the history of decision-making strategies – captured in this time line and examined in the four accompanying essays on risk, group dynamics, technology, and instinct – has not marched steadily toward perfect rationalism. Twentieth-century theorists showed that the costs of acquiring information lead executives to make do with only good-enough decisions. Worse, people decide against their own economic interests even when they know better. And in the absence of emotion, it’s impossible to make any decisions at all. Erroneous framing, bounded awareness, excessive optimism: The debunking of Descartes’s rational man threatens to swamp our confidence in our choices. Is it really surprising, then, that even as technology dramatically increases our access to information, Malcolm Gladwell extols the virtues of gut decisions made, literally, in the blink of an eye?
decision_making  Descartes  Francis_Bacon  good_enough  gut_feelings  HBR  history  human_behavior  Malcolm_Gladwell  Octothorpe_Software  resource_allocation  scientific_method 
october 2011 by jerryking
The Internet Report
February 1996 | Morgan Stanley U.S. Investment Research pg. 41 |
by assorted writers. When looking for investment ideas in new markets,
we default to our favorite maxims from Don Valentine of Sequoia Capital,
who is known as one of the toughest and smartest technology venture
capitalists in Silicon Valley. Don follows several simple rules in
choosing early-stage tech investments: (1) Find “monster” markets that
can be really big, like the Internet; (2) find good technology and good
technologists who can stay ahead of competitive threats; (3) find
outstanding leaders/management teams that can drive the technologies and
markets forward; and 4) buy companies, not products, and try to find
companies that have achieved critical mass with their products — or can
achieve it, and can create some form of “barriers to entry.”
barriers_to_entry  buying_a_business  critical_mass  Don_Valentine  engineering  good_enough  high-growth  investors  large_markets  leaders  Mary_Meeker  Morgan_Stanley  rules_of_the_game  Sequoia  teams  technology  vc  venture_capital  filetype:pdf  media:document 
february 2010 by jerryking
The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine
08.24.09 | WIRED | By Robert Capps. The world has sped up,
become more connected and a whole lot busier. As a result, what
consumers want from the products and services they buy is fundamentally
changing. We now favor flexibility over high fidelity, convenience over
features, quick and dirty over slow and polished. Having it here and now
is more important than having it perfect. These changes run so deep and
wide, they're actually altering what we mean when we describe a product
as "high-quality."

And it's happening everywhere. As more sectors connect to the digital
world, from medicine to the military, they too are seeing the rise of
Good Enough tools
cheap_revolution  Clayton_Christensen  disruption  business_models  good_enough  high-quality 
october 2009 by jerryking
Four Lessons from Y-Combinator's Fresh Approach to Innovation
June 12, 2009 | HarvardBusiness.org | by Scott Anthony.
1. You can do a lot for a little.
2. Tight windows enable "good enough" design.
3. Business plans are nice, not necessary.
4. Failure is an option.
Also: Their main motto is (that startups should) "make something people
want". Another prominent theme in their approach is its
hacker-centricity.
Scott_Anthony  innovation  decision_making  lessons_learned  Paul_Graham  Y_Combinator  frugality  demand-driven  constraints  failure  design  customer-driven  insights  market_windows  good_enough 
october 2009 by jerryking
Looking for Mr. Good Enough
06-05-2008 The Globe and Mail column by Hampson, Sarah.

Forget passion. According to the latest thinking in the dating world,
romantic love is a fantasy. Single women are being urged to be
strategic, and even draw on the time-tested principles of arranged
marriage.
relationships  romantic_love  dating  Sarah_Hampson  marriage  good_enough  soul_mates 
january 2009 by jerryking

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