Archive for the 'Blog' Category

Getting out of the way

It seems to be the hardest (but also) the smarter step in growing a business.

Getting out of the way so that things can happen organically.

YOU (the business owner, founder, director) are in 9/10 cases the bottleneck, so stick to these three criteria: do it, delay or delegate… (and there are many spins of those three).

(In most cases though – it’s delegate!)

Trust your people and let the business grow without you holding it back….

Note: this of course applies to anyone achieving something, anywhere, anytime (not just business owners).

July 28th, 2010

An incredible iterative process, you're always wrong, so may as well test and iterate like crazy

Great to see Google Chrome committing to 6 week development cycles, that is a new version of Chrome out every 6 weeks. The main reasons are to:

“Shorten the release cycle and still get great features in front of users when they are ready, Make the schedule more predictable and easier to scope, Reduce the pressure on engineering to “make” a release”

In short, to get ideas out the door in a more consistent manner.

That’s an incredibly iterative process though, every 6 weeks is a tough schedule however it makes so much sense, if you’re always wrong, you want to keep iterating and getting less wrong.

Also each iteration is a step ahead of the competition, and these steps happen every 6 weeks, who would want to compete with that?

July 25th, 2010

The Gold Rush

Sourced from the TEARA (New Zealand’s Encyclopedia) [Otago Gold Rushes].:

“… there were many rumours circulating about the doings of a digger named Fox, who was said to have “struck it rich” somewhere in the Otago interior. Fox had, indeed, found gold on the Arrow on 9 October 1862. He managed to keep the location of his discovery quiet for a short time, but persistent rumours of a rich “strike” attracted many diggers to the area. In November a further discovery in the Shotover Valley (near Queenstown) confirmed the existence of the Wakatipu field and by December there were 3,000 diggers working the two rivers. A month later there were 6,400 diggers in the district and several shanty towns had sprung into being.”

Whenever a new opportunity opens up, there are a quick few who exploit it, then word gets out of the amazing find and it’s a gold rush.

It’s hot, everyones chasing it, have you heard how much gold they got?!

Reality is that by the time the Gold Rush is happening the realistic chance of you reaping the rumoured rewards are tiny.  Best to recognise a Gold Rush for what it is, the masses catching up with the innovators.

July 21st, 2010

Are you built for profit?

[Note: this post is for the small businesses out there; one man bands, contractors, or local store.)

We all know that retail space that can’t hold a business, it’s a clothing shop, it’s a book shop then it’s a bakery.

No matter what nothing seems to stick.

There are many reasons for it but the key one I ask myself, are they built for profit?

I pondered this as I saw a car yard selling cars for $1990 and $2660 – a wide range of low priced cars.  How can they possibly make a sustainable profit on that? Sure if they get the cars and put a 100% markup on each of them margins seem good.  Yet they still need volume to sustain a business, 2 cars a week would maybe cover the living costs of the owner.  What if they can’t reach that?

Sure enough, I drive past a few weeks later, no stock shifted, I don’t think they will be around for long.  Have you actually looked at your model, are you built for profit? Or are you just subsidising your time…

July 20th, 2010

Top Secret America, just one of

The Hot Tends over at Google Trends, you can find out how what keywords are the hottest right now.

It’s actually quite interesting what Google can do with search, they can even map the spread of the flu, you’ll see New Zealand is moderate at the moment (probably due to the cold snap of the last fortnight).

Or you can look at Google Insights to see how your market is performing, see how it grows, or identify seasonalities.

Go have a play, sure you can do something pretty smart with the right information.

July 19th, 2010

Fragmenting your efforts

Going from project to project, idea to idea, brandname to brandname without a common thread is wasted effort.

Each and everytime you need to start from scratch.

Whereas if you had a common thread, your personal brand, behind each and everyone you can ‘leverage’ the benefit of each.  Such that each can help your future success.

That way you keep building a platform which allows you to springboard higher and higher.

Just a thought.

July 18th, 2010

Rule of thumb for content producers (aka everyone): record as much as you possibly can, share the best.

In what could possibly be the longest title of a blog post on this blog I just wanted to iterate.

If you’re speaking, running a workshop, doing a presentation – record it!

As a default, record everything, share the best of it.

These days we have incredible leverage and you never know when that content may come in handy.  A future job interview, creating a new product, teleconferencing or webinars.  If you’ve done something once you may as well capture it.  At the least you can watch, listen and analyse yourself to look for improvements.  That alone is worth the effort.

How to? Grab a Flip Cam, great audio and video, easy for anyone to user (even those that you volunteer).

July 15th, 2010

Movements all start somewhere, just look at Ferrari (before you turn the key)

I was reading (yet again) another article on the latest Ferrari coming out and it struck me.  That this movement, the Ferrari movement, it started from somewhere.  Yes there was a time before Ferrari.

And I know that sounds dead obvious but step back a second.  And relook.

There was a time before Apple; before Ferrari, before Justin Bieber – and what that means is what they’ve created is entirely possible for anyone to achieve, that is, do not get intimidated by what these guys achieve, it is entirely do-able, they all started somewhere, from an idea.

July 15th, 2010

Ideas in action: Seglet, revenues for rooftops

Interesting note via Twitter today, @EmilyRHarris sent me a note to this press release by SEGlet it reads:

“Owners and Building Managers can now list their rooftops as available sites for leases and partnerships for solar energy, wind energy, urban agriculture and more. SEGlet automatically calculates solar radiation, wind speed and direction, and climate data about each rooftop listed so that energy and urban agriculture companies can quickly qualify the rooftops as compatible for their projects.”

I only blogged about this a couple of days ago (Rooftops are abundant) – it’s great to see ideas in action (and so quickly).  It’s quite serendipitous, with so many people in the world no idea is original (really), it’s about those that move on them.

July 13th, 2010

Intellectual Narrative Non-Fiction (aka stories with lessons)

Very technical, but essentially this is what Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell all do.

They share business stories that teach lessons.

Just the same way legends have been passed down, engaging stories with lessons behind them.

And guess what? It works, presenting the knowledge in that fashion gets cut through and if the objective is message absorption is the objective they (and you) win.

Stories that get through matter, speaking above or beyond peoples capabilities just alienates them.  This is the exact reason why these authors do so well.

July 12th, 2010

Is authenticity a marketing strategy?


A purposeful approach can definitely be a marketing strategy.

Should it actively be a marketing strategy? No.

It should be a way of business and THEN (and only then!) incidentally assisting with the marketing.

July 11th, 2010

Buying the failure of millions for nothing?!? That's Open Source for you

Weighing up the choice between a custom built system and open source? (assuming both are available).

It makes much more business sense to go with the open source version, that way you acquire a version that has grown off the back of failure, they’ve already made all the mistakes.

Building a custom system means it’s you that make all the mistakes and inherently pay for them.

WordPress (the engine behind this very blog) is a great example, by leveraging WordPress you tap into the collective knowledge & failiings of millions of installations.

Just a thought, open source is entirely applicable in business, especially when you realise that you’re buying the failure of millions.

July 7th, 2010

Rooftops are abundant

What can you do with rooftops?

Some people are taking a stab at putting gardens on city rooftops (awesome idea!)

But what about suburbia?

My first thought is, create a business that acquires the license to use a rooftop, acquire as many as possible.

Then use this real estate you have effectively leased for many things, maybe solar generation? (then in effect you have your own power generation company).  Advertising?!? Water collection (which you then sell on).  The list goes on.

What would you do?

July 6th, 2010

Story maker or storyteller?

Everyone displays elements of both.

Do you create stories (through action)?

Or do you tell stories (which inspire action)?

Stories without action mean nothing.  Action without stories don’t inspire.

July 5th, 2010

The Change & Tension points

When people swap, change, purchase something new, that’s when change happens.

That’s when they figure out they don’t need that software, or upgrade, or maybe they do.

The key is, to realise that this is both a threat and an opportunity.

This week I’ve made the shift from PC to Mac (well at least giving it a shot). Some software and services have made the shift, others haven’t, on the flipside though I’ve acquired new software/workflows.  Interestingly all my cloud (internet) based services remain – Google Docs etc.

Identify the change/tension points and look at how you can help your customers with the process (and what it means for your business).  What do they do to swap to your service? But also to exit?

(Note: often a streamlined exit for your customers means they are more likely to refer you to others but to also come back, Facebook case in point not allowing exporting of data.)

July 4th, 2010

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