Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun. I remember that McDonald’s commercial like it was yesterday. Now, decades later, I’m still fascinated with ‘special sauce’, just not the sauce on a Big Mac. The topic is universal. What makes companies and groups successful? This article from Harvard Business Review about corporate survival examines the increased failure rate of companies that start today versus those that started before 1980. Their research found that, “firms listed after 2000 spent more than twice as much as earlier firms (in percentage terms) on organizational capital and half as much on physical assets…..But that advantage is a double-edged sword, they add: The good news is the newer firms are more nimble. The bad news for these firms is that their days are numbered, unless they continually innovate.” Innovation encompasses special sauce. Some companies find it by creating a
Ack! This story about Eugene Kaspersky complaining about Microsoft including antivirus software with Windows 10 touched a nerve. I had flashbacks to the litigation against Microsoft and Internet Explorer bundling in the late 1990s. Fast forward 16 years later from the browser showdown and we see that Internet Explorer is currently only the third most widely used browser in the market. That doesn’t sound like a monopoly to me. Could there be parallels to this story and a lesson for Kaspersky? What happens when like-products compete on value, ease of use, and reputation in the marketplace? There’s plenty of room for competition in anti-virus software market too. Will the best antivirus packages step forward? Microsoft In my experience helping friends with personal computer issues at home, I found that most have the antivirus installed that was bundled with the computer. But typically the free trial subscription has expired. That’s certainly
I carry a paper notebook with me through the work week to records notes, thoughts, and action items. I prefer not to take my laptops into meetings because it helps me stay focused on participating in the meeting. The content of a meeting, or other interaction, is often the source of ideas or even blog posts! Typically I transform my notes into an electronic system or put them in a to-do list. As I was reviewing my notes from this past week I found this thought: “We want a formula to solve our problems.” ___________________ What would our business be like if every problem had a formula to follow for a guaranteed answer of success? That would be great. Sign me-up. Books are released every week with answers to common or recurring questions and problems. They give us checklists, rules, and procedures to find success. The ideas, the process, and
Sometimes when I read books I realize the author’s point is a variation or derivative of another concept that I studied in the past. It’s doesn’t mean the two authors thoughts are necessarily linked in any-way. I just get the same basis from each of their thoughts as I consider application in my life. Here’s an example: In Start with Why Simon Sinek talks about the power of understanding ‘why’ we do something and its relationship to ‘how’ and ‘what’ we do. He argues successful companies are started with a ‘why’ by an individual or group. ‘Why’ is the driving idea for inspiration and innovation. When companies lose sight of ‘why’ they are in business and solely focus on what they produce, the results are not as beneficial to employees and customers. I linked Sinek’s idea to basing management decisions on a long-term philosophy, (even at the expense of short-term
This week I said good-bye to my father-in-law Mario Rognoni. It was a time of remembrance, celebration, and reflection. As best I can describe him, Mario Rognoni lived life to give life. He cared more about personal interactions than personal possessions. He cared more about giving money to those in need than making money for his own needs. He cared more about the possibilities of the future than the failures of the past. Mario was an eternal optimist. He saw possibilities where most people saw none. He embodied the phrase “Carpe Diem”. May your soul rest in peace Don Mario. You left the world better than you found it.