Ideas have sex?

Yes.  You read that right.  Ideas work best when they have sex with other ideas.  

I know that none of this comes as a surprise to any of you.  When are we our most successful at driving new concepts into commercialization?  When we build off of each others’ expertise, we are able to take two ideas and create an offspring concept that is improved and probably better solves the problem.

If you would like to watch an entertaining talk on this subject, see Matt Ridley on TedX.

As you look around you, is there anything there that you could really make by yourself?  Everything we see and own comes to us after passing through the hands of many specialists and experts who each lend their ideas to the final delivered product.  And this makes us all better as it frees us up to do what we do best.

Ridley’s example on the Prosperity of Time relative to 1 hour of reading light at night was a great illustration of how the sharing of ideas and the cross fertilization of expertise can deliver great things to mankind.

            Year                                    Cost in Worked Seconds

                                               To “buy” one hour of reading light

        Pre-1800                      21600(6 hours) – think whale oil, candles,

             1880                      900 (15 minutes) – introduction of gas lamps

             1950                                                    8

             2010                                                  0.5

That is a 25% reduction in “cost” every 5.5 years.  This is the power of collaborating on new ideas.

So, think about these ideas:

  1.  What is my work specialization?  What is yours?
  2. Can we share to lighten the load?  I do what I do best as do you and we both prosper more.
  3. What can I do to drive exchange and construction of ideas between groups?
  4. What can I add to your idea to help it grow and thrive?

The power of this allows you to have things you do not understand at a reasonable cost.  Look at that LCD TV in your media room.  It is an amazing piece of technology with semiconductors, infrared emitters and receivers, advanced materials etc.   How much of that do you really understand?  But yet, they are nearly ubiquitous in the US for entertainment today.

So, communicate and cooperate when it comes to new ideas.  The collective intelligence with your team and partners will drive you forward faster and farther.

Have a great week!!


P.S.  Do you love America and appreciate Patriotism?  Here is a story about a little old man in a little spot in near Cape May, NJ showing his appreciation for those that have served and, in some cases, given their full measure.  Say thank you to a vet or an active military person.   Thanks Chris, Amanda, Nate, Kelly, Eric as well as all of your friends and comrades.;lst;1


Marketing IS your business!!

We all know that marketing is all about the 4 P’s – product, price, place, promotion – and the 3 C’s – customer, competition, company – but have you heard about the 5 T’s?(Adrian Ott, 2007)

Marketing can lead the organization with the information it provides.  Ideally, marketing turns customer voices into company choices.  These choices are investing in operations, R&D, marketing communications, people,  and acquisitions.  They guide the deployment of expensive assets.

To truly lead the corporation, the 5T’s are critical to drive sustainable growth:

Telesis –planned progress toward a new state  – (Total strategy per Ott) –  This is critical – planned action versus reaction.  Do you strategically manage your portfolio of products, new product development, acquisitions etc.?  What is your process to turn website browsers into long term customers or more importantly, fans?  Do you define where you will not invest as clearly as where you will?  Have you identified the “white space” or “Blue Oceans” where you can take your company?  I chose telesis as I value the planning to progress.

Techniques – these are the processes you will teach your team.  It will be the “way we do things here.”    Some will be immutable rules that are required.  However, vibrant and entrepreneurial teams  allow some freedom to make changes on the fly – experimentation if you will.  However, with this freedom comes accountability – admit mistakes, commit to teaching others the new technique, documentation of the experience, take ownership.

Tracking – Know speed and direction of your progress.  Use a dashboard based on your strategic goals.  Keep your focus on the future using the rearview mirror only to protect you from competition and avoid problems.  Do we have predictive models to help direct next actions?  Are our forecasts useful tools that we can depend on or are they just a once a year or once a quarter guess at what will happen?  How can we do better?

Technology – How do we integrate what we learn into the ongoing business intelligence of the organization?  We team with IT to look for solutions – Finance, Marketing, R&D, Operations.  Marketing specific opportunities are online customer interaction, market research management, customer resource management, decision making resources.  Can we make it easier for our customers to buy from us?

Talent – Do we have the right people in the right places and do we provide the right training to build to the future?  Do they fit well with the team and can they take there turn as a leader?

Make these part of your company’s foundation and you will be building a solid future.

Have a great week!!

Are you investing in fabulous or just good enough?

So often we invest in trying to be current. Why? When you look at the best, they are picking where the target will be in the future. As Wayne Gretzky said “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” What a great endorsement for learning how to envision the market trends!! Gretzky learned that from hours and hours of practice and game play. He “sees” the future position of the puck and his competitors letting him outmaneuvere them and score – Now that’s FABULOUS. But we can all do that.

While on the phone with a friend, he pined for the days when we had customers who wanted “the best” so they could build the best supercomputer. Now, it seems that everyone is asking for just “good enough.” While driving in the remnants of Ida on the east coast, it occurred to me that maybe it just seems that way. Maybe you are just hearing what they say and not knowing where they are really going. Knowing where your customer is going will allow you to deliver products that let them get there faster. Go to where they want to be. Sure, they will eventually replace your product but by then you should be skating to the next place where there is no competition!!

Listening to Governor Markel of Delaware, it is apparent that he is hoping that the state can invest in what can make the state fabulous. Looking at the efforts in Biotech, innovation, and with the support of companies like W.L. Gore & Associates, they may be able to get there. They seem to be trying to skate to where the future opportunity will be. Special thanks go here to Bob Dayton for his invitation to experience the local efforts.

All in all, a great week. Now, off to follow up with all of the great people I met.

PS: This is late due to family challenges. Please keep my mom in your thoughts. She was diagnosed with lung cancer and we are awaiting info on how early it was caught. Puts life in real perspective.