Thursday, October 22, 2009

We're Moving!

to a WordPress platform. Please check out the new blog design and re-subscribe to

I've migrated all the content from this blog to the new site.

Thanks everyone!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Must See

Yet another fantastic TED talk. Tip of the hat to Gene Wrights blog....

Monday, August 10, 2009

World of Mouth

Thanks to Shannon for sending this along....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

To Be Honest....

I do a lot of writing at work - email, memos, general communication.

The other day my boss was reviewing something I'd written before we published it.

He was stopped dead in his tracks over the phrase "to be honest".

"Aren't we always honest?" he asked.

I had used it as a throwaway phrase without thinking much about it. I was sharing the fact that a change in company policy benefited both our employees and (to be honest) our company.

Perhaps I should have said "to be clear" or perhaps I should have discarded the phrase entirely.

To be honest (wink) I wrote it without thinking.

When writing, brevity and clarity matter.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Presentation to MSOE MBAs

As requested, here's a copy of the presentation I gave last night at MSOE. Enjoy.

20 Ideas In 20 Minutes Rev5

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Inertia is Expensive

It's interesting how we take business services for granted. You hire a company to provide a service. They do a good job for you and the next year, raise their rates 3-5%. Year after year this practice continues.

Everyone is happy. Your payroll service or cleaning service or web conferencing service meets your needs. Where's the problem?

In business, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. We're pre-programmed to solve problems, to fix things, to make people, processes and products better. With this mindset, why would anyone take the time to look at non-problems?

Even if you see an opportunity to save some cash on these services, we usually do a mental accounting of the effort it would take to change suppliers and quickly decide in favor of the status quo.

After all, change is difficult and how would your company react to a change from a good (but expensive) vendor, if the change had some hiccups? Most of us would argue that the potential savings aren't worth the personal or business risk.

Your current vendors count on that. They provide good service and in return, take their incremental increases year after year.

The wild card in this arrangement is technology. New web based services change the game. They put more traditional businesses at risk, if their customers take the time to look. I'm not advocating that you should change out good vendors - just keep them honest.

Recently our company made a couple of calls to competing vendors only to find that we could be saving as much as 50% on some business services. During these challenging economic times, these savings can easily add up to real savings!

You don't have to change vendors - just keep them honest. If you discover huge potential savings, let your current supplier know that YOU are aware of the opportunity. You may be able to negotiate savings without changing suppliers.

Until you actually look, you'll never learn the lesson.

Inertia is expensive.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How to Get Customers - Simply

After recently describing how to lose a customer in 3 easy steps, here's a refreshing post from the guys at 37signals, about how simple attracting customers can be.