Thinking Without a Box

On the topic of problem solving, “My own thinking on this subject has been deeply influenced by Lin Wells, who teaches strategy at the National Defense University. According to Wells, it is fanciful to suppose that you can opine about or explain this world by clinging to the inside or outside of any one rigid explanatory box or any single disciplinary silo. Wells describes three ways of thinking about a problem: “inside the box,” “outside the box,” and “where there is no box.” The only sustainable approach to thinking today about problems, he argues, “is thinking without a box.” From … Continue reading Thinking Without a Box

Read This –> Shoe Dog

You should read this book. Phil Knight’s memoir will not disappoint. The book was engaging, full of suspense, and very inspiring. And all based on his life creating the company Nike. It is part business book, part adventure tale, and full of entrepreneurial spirit. You should read this book. Here are a few quotes worth sharing from the book that will hopefully peak your interest: I’d been unable to sell encyclopedias, and I’d despised it to boot. I’d been slightly better at selling mutual funds, but I’d felt dead inside. So why was selling shoes so different? Because, I realized, it wasn’t selling. … Continue reading Read This –> Shoe Dog

Recommended Reading – Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

A quick note on book recommendations: I’ve been working on reading a book a week this year (see more here) and thinking how best to share the really good ones. Usually by the time I find the book, there are plenty of reviews out there so I don’t think that another one offers much value. That being said, I think a short recommendation could be useful and serve as a good reminder to myself of some the ideas captured in the book. My plan is to focus on a few concepts/quotes that I found inspirational and that would hopefully serve as a proxy of … Continue reading Recommended Reading – Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

The Curious Leader

Continuing on the topic of curiosity, HBR has a recent post worth sharing, “Why Curious People Are Destined for the C-Suite”. The article brings up a great point about the challenge of being a leader and remaining curious. When you are in a leadership position, it can become dangerous if you believe you are suppose to have all the answers. It can lead you to make false assumptions and avoid exploring potential issues. From the HBR article, In many cases, managers and top executives have risen through the ranks by providing fixes and solutions, not by asking questions. And once they’ve attained a position … Continue reading The Curious Leader

You are Blind to Change

In his book, Only the Paranoid Survive, Andrew Grove writes, “The lesson is, we all need to expose ourselves to the winds of change”. What he was referring to how easy it is to get comfortable. How easy it is to get complacent. How easy it is to miss that someone is eating your lunch. Max Bazerman researched this topic in his the book, The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See. Max explains, Research on change blindness documents the striking degree to which we fail to notice information in our environment. Unfortunately some of the information we miss is important, even … Continue reading You are Blind to Change

About Products: A Few Things I Think I Think – Part 3

Continuing on the theme, here are few more articles and books that I have spent some time thinking on. Hope some are useful for you. Be like Charlie Munger. Sue Decker writes, “He says he has constantly seen people rise who are not the smartest but who are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up”. You may have caught the article where Bill Gates and Warren Buffett discuss the best business book they have ever read, Business Adventures, and then realize it was published in 1969. I can attest that the examples in it … Continue reading About Products: A Few Things I Think I Think – Part 3

The Rise of the Social Business Software Buyer

Picture this. Your wife tells you that you need to find a better hotel for the next vacation. You jump on Google and zoom in on a few based on location, star rating, price and user reviews. At this point you are probably surfing on Trip Advisor, Kayak or Expedia. As for your next step, you will most likely visit the sites of the one or two hotels that you’ve selected to check all the amenities and whether you can get an even better deal. Now picture this. Your boss tells you that you need to find a better software. You jump on … Continue reading The Rise of the Social Business Software Buyer

ABOUT PRODUCTS: A FEW THINGS I THINK I THINK – PART 2

Continuing on the theme, here are few more things that I have been thinking about as of late. Hope some are useful for you. This is very sound advice and could easily support a full book on the subject – Beware of chicken and egg products. Make sure your product provides immediate utility. This is a lot harder than it sounds – When you’re faced with a feature that only 8% of your user base are using, you have to make a call: Kill it or Keep it. I am a big fan of the power of a story and the … Continue reading ABOUT PRODUCTS: A FEW THINGS I THINK I THINK – PART 2

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

When it comes to building a product, you are always making decisions. What are you building now? What are you building next? What are you not going to build? There is no secret way to make to make it easier but there are some techniques that can help. The most important thing to realize is that when you are gathering data, you are completely bias. You are going to look for data to help support your cause whether you realize it or not. Even when you run into data that points to a contrary decision, you are more than likely to ignore it. From the book … Continue reading Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

About Products – A Few Things I Think I Think

Inspired by David Lee’s post, I put together a list of current topics that I have found thought provoking. Hopefully, you will find some of them useful too. I think Clay Christensen’s Milkshake Marketing should be required watching.  If you are focusing on a SMB SaaS product, read Tomasz Tunguz’s article on the subject. When it comes to a successful SMB offering Tom is spot on when he writes, “The most successful SMB SaaS products typically offer a 2 step value proposition: an initial value proposition to the end user and a longer term value proposition to a manager/decision maker.” If you have not read … Continue reading About Products – A Few Things I Think I Think