- Before You Reach for the PowerPoint Icon, Pull Out a Pad of Paper.
- Tell a Story, Don’t Just Rely On Facts and Statistics.
- Fewer Words Mean More Listening
- Fewer Charts Mean More Time for Discussion
- You Know Your Stuff: Have a Conversation
My latest article is out and focuses on improving effectiveness for presentations to customers and stakeholders. I was inspired to write on this topic by the recent passing of Amar Bose and a couple lessons I learned during a talk he gave at MIT in the late 1980's.
Clayton Told You So
Well, it should come as no surprise. Yesterday, Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets. A sad end to a long year. Why on earth the Jets decided to grab Tebow in March of 2012 is hard to fathom at this point. However, what is pretty clear is that Tim Tebow did not listen to Clayton Christensen. Well, not exactly.
Last March, I posted a tongue-in-cheek entry that imagined what advice Clayton Christensen, the czar of Disruptive Innovation, would give Tim Tebow as he assessed his path forward in the NFL. Despite assertions otherwise from the Tebow camp, the Denver Broncos reportedly provided Tim a limited opportunity to pick where he went next. A day after I posted the entry, an offer from the Jacksonville Jaguars (might have worked) was stiff-armed in preference to the opportunity to play for the Jets (not a prayer). The decision ran counter to every aspect of advice I imagined Clayton Christensen would have given Mr. Tebow. A miserable outcome was predicted, and a miserable outcome was had.
The robustness of Disruptive Innovation principles is amazing to me. Integrated steel mills. Disk drives. Personal computers. Health care. Education. And football? Yes, football too. Ignore these principles at your peril.
Okay, Tim. Clayton told you so. Rugby anyone?
Closing the Coding Gap
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Goals: Write them Down!
Happy New Year! Those resolutions already broken? Worse yet, you didn't take the time to make any? Or, your company has a vision statement but no set of specific, actionable goals or milestones? Are the ones you laid out a couple years ago pretty stale and only loosely tracked?
A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of the following infographic from The Education Database Online. The statistics are pretty powerful motivators for taking the time to define goals and write them down. Whether it is for yourself or your company, it matters. A lot!
Graphic created by OnlineEducation.net.
The latest edition of LiDAR News is out. I contributed an article espousing some of the lessons learned from Eric Ries' bestseller The Lean Startup. While the book's principles certainly lend themselves best to web-based software products, there is plenty that can be applied to those having significant hardware elements. The three best practices I highlight are:
A Bow of the Head for a Great Lidar Scientist and an Even Better Person: Dr. Rod Frehlich
Rod was kind enough to include me as a coauthor on a few of his numerous journal and conference papers. We would dole out a small bit of data from one of our development or production lidar systems, and Rod would 'lay hands' on it, generating important new insights and results. Through the many years of his support to several CTI programs, I knew Rod to be perpetually upbeat and enthusiastic. It was often a challenge to wrap up our phone conversations. Those of you who ever discussed a technical topic on the phone with Rod know exactly what I mean. He was a positive energy guy with unmatched skills and insights who always gave more than he received.
A dance party will be held in Boulder sometime in the near future to celebrate Rod's life. Rod and Ilana's passion for dance was legendary, so such a memorial is most fitting.
Godspeed, Rod Frehlich.
Plus, the market's already saturated, isn't it? There are numerous offerings in this class of device. So much so that when I did a quick smart-phone Google search on the keywords "portable scanner," the Flip Pal scanner did not come up until Page 3. The on-the-surface competitive devices are built by Brother, Fujitsu, VuPoint, and Gordon's former company, HP.
However, on Slide 3 of Gordon's pitch, I began to understand. With its patented "flip-and-scan" technology that keeps photos safe in their album and its ability to stitch together multiple scans, the Flip Pal's market is a sizable niche: 17+ million scrapbookers. More recently, they've expanded to include genealogists, collectors, photographers and designers. Gordon and his team of talented 2008 cast-offs were astutely applying key lessons from Crossing the Chasm and Innovator's Solution. And they're demonstrating lean startup principles in their execution (e.g., The Lean Startup by Eric Ries). So far, they're succeeding.
It's exciting to me when you see these concepts in action, making visible differences in the launch of a business. I thoroughly enjoyed Gordon's presentation and the insights gained from a company that has demonstrated a true learning orientation during its first two years of existence.
So, here are five of the many lessons from Couragent and its Flip Pal product that you can apply to your own business.
Check here to hear what Steve is fired up about.