Monthly Archives: August 2013

When Your Skills Are a Commodity

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with a colleague in Silicon Valley who is a top notch expert in one of the hottest fields, Big Data Analytics. As the name implies, he is an expert at creating … Continue reading

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What Pain-Killer Is Your Product?

Let’s say this: there are no magic bullets. They simply do not exist. Nonetheless, your product may eliminate some, even some important, areas of pain from a customer. William Mougayar, an excellent curator and writer from StartupManagement.org, writes how even … Continue reading

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The Cage vs the Door: A Facebook-Twitter Story

Every business wants to lock in its users. Even businesses built around openness, easy-in/easy-out, would far prefer that their users stay inside their services. It is often just a question of how the company goes about attempting to keep users … Continue reading

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Show Me The Money: Don’t Talk About Yourself!

The other day, I saw some marketing collateral from a small startup trying to sell to very large companies. They had just about every buzzword under the sun, repeated multiple times: “advanced visual tools,” “gain insights”, “advanced algorithms.” Best of … Continue reading

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Building The Next Generation

Most business owners have a short-term focus: this year, maybe the next. Even startup founders tend to have a long-term vision, but are very focused on what can grow the business¬†right now. Public companies (with a few rare exceptions, notably … Continue reading

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Being Half Pregnant

When I worked airline security in the early 1990s, the senior executive who trained us would constantly repeat, “ladies and gentlemen, there is no such thing as half -pregnant! Either you are, or you are not!” In that context, he … Continue reading

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Forced to Make Money? AT&T, Newspapers and Bezos

Here is an interesting statistic. In 1985, right at the forced breakup of AT&T, their revenues were $1.36BN, or $2.47BN in inflation-adjusted 2005 dollars, according to the official government CPI calculator. But in the same 2005, AT&T had revenues in … Continue reading

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Setec Astronomy: Too Many Secrets?

The NYTimes had an insightful article on the downside of Setec Astronomy, or Too Many Secrets. Within the hundreds of thousands of ¬†“Secret” documents released by Bradley Manning to WikiLeaks, the number of true secrets was infinitesimal. Why do government … Continue reading

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Price vs Rewards? Do Positive Motivators Work?

In an earlier article, we discussed “congestion pricing”, or more generally, capturing maximum value using price discrimination. As an aside, I mentioned research being performed by Stanford attempting to use positive motivators (rewards and lotteries) rather than negative motivators (price, … Continue reading

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When an the Old Bait and Switch Really Isn’t… and How to Manage It

The other day, I was looking at prices for a simple round trip international flight. Like most people, I searched on online sites like Expedia, known airlines’ Web sites, and my travel agent. I also look at the ITA Matrix, … Continue reading

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