Category: Business

Mark Twain On Business

  • “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.
  • Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
  • Success is a journey, not a destination. It requires constant effort, vigilance and re-evaluation.
  • The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.
  • It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare
  • You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.
  • The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
  • Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
  • It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Creating Collaboration Takes More Than Technology

Evan Rosen wrote a nice article in Business Week titled “Creating Collaboration Takes More Than Technology”.

The following is a synopsis of that article:  In a typical scenario, the months fly by after the collaboration tools are implemented. As the seasons change, decision-makers anticipate reaping the benefits of collaboration. And perhaps they can even point to successes within particular business units or functions. Often, though, it’s the same old story. The company remains for the most part internally competitive, hierarchical, and command-and-control driven. The tools alone have failed to make the company collaborative. Worse yet, the tools may have created no real value, and the decision-makers who had pinned such high hopes on these tools are surprised. Are the tools the problem? More likely, the problem is the organization. When tools fail to create value, it’s usually because decision-makers adopt tools before the company’s culture and processes are collaboration-ready.

Organizations even adopt tools for the wrong reasons, primarily the belief that tools will create collaboration. Tools merely offer the potential for collaboration. Unlocking the value of tools happens only when an organization fits tools into collaborative culture and processes. If the culture is hierarchical and internally competitive, it will take more than tools to shift the culture. Just because a competitor uses collaborative tools doesn’t mean the time is right for your organization to do likewise. If the competitor is apparently deriving value from tools, maybe it’s because the competitor’s culture is more collaborative and the tools are extending and enhancing the culture.

To help fix the issue he recommends the following:

  • Focus on Culture Before Tools
  • Fit Tools into Business Processes
  • Adopt Spontaneous Work Styles
  • Use Tools to Develop Products and Services
  • Give the Entire Organization Access to the Same Tools

What They Don’t Teach You In Design School

“Another thing they don’t teach you in design school is what you get paid for…Mostly, designers get paid to negotiate the difficult terrain of individual egos, expectations, tastes, and aspirations of various individuals in an organization or corporation, against business needs, and constraints of the marketplace…Getting a large, diverse group of people to agree on a single new methodology for all of their corporate communications means the designer has to be a strategist, psychiatrist, diplomat, showman, and even a Svengali. The complicated process is worth money. That’s what clients pay for.” —Paula Scher

Kevin Rose Digg’s New Interim CEO

One more post and I really need to get to bed.  I know I’m late getting this posted but Kevin Rose is the interim CEO of Digg.com.  In this video segment he talks with Alex Albrecht about what he is already starting to do now that he is back to leading Digg again.  One of the things I found interesting is he talks briefly about being offered to be bought out.  Kevin doesn’t mention in this video who was offering to buy him out but most people know it was Jason Calacanis (another brilliant investor).  Luckily Kevin decided not to take Jason up on the offer to buy Digg which now has 40 million unique visitors a month.