smartphoneI love the kind of analysis that Horace Dediu from Asymco does. This one is all about the growing adoption of smart phones to the detriment of ‘dumb’ phones. It got me to thinking.

Buying Smart Phones or ‘smartphones’ still at the end of the day boils down to the fact that you are buying a device. But to do what ?

If you buy an iPhone simply to make Phone calls – and make no use of any additional iPhone / Smart Phone features – well – not too smart would be one conclusion !!

So I wonder what kind of usage you would need to see on a Smart Phone that would allow Horace to qualify you in as a Smart User.

If we could work that out – I think that would expose some interesting analysis.

At the end of the day – if the salesman sells you a smart phone – because that is what all the cool people are doing ….. why wouldn’t you ? And if you did – and ONLY used it to make phone calls – I guess that puts you at one end of that particular spectrum.

This relates tangentially to how people seem to have no idea how to use most of the stuff they have got – let me re quote from this earlier post.

Most people don’t even know what they have got. Be it email, word, a browser – people do not know how it all works. Here’s an interesting data point (sorry – I cant attribute this – or even confirm it is accurate – I tried but failed), still – how many features requested by microsoft word users are already available? I was told today 70%. Half that number and the result is just as mind boggling,

I believe smart phones are no different. I think this also explains why people get so excited about the device and the form factor – that is the tangible, visible, got this cool new thing ….. but really – the excitement SHOULD be about what it does, how it helps, is life simpler …

#justthinking

Peter PrincipleJudith Kavanaugh ( @newsj44 ) commented on this post from yesterday – ‘Product Is The New Consulting’ … and wrote that  “90 percent of the waste in big corporations is from ego, incompetence or defensiveness. And they often travel together in sort of a trifecta.”

It tickled me because I do have a running meme about the death of the Large Corporation.

How apt that Defensiveness, Incompetence, Ego could be EXACTLY what causes that death.

Thankyou Judith for reminding me of The Peter Principle.

frameworksWhen offered a solution that would positively affect their company in the next 12 months – but could impact their results in the next 3 – 80% of CEOs in large US corporations said they would not go ahead.

… funny – Paul Polman must read the same stuff – see below – though he remembers 75%) … still either number is fundamentally depressing. (I will ‘re-find’ that quote and post it when I do !

Yesterday, I posted this piece about long term thinking in a short term economy. Of course the problem is driven by the quarterly financial reporting that IS the US business world. Everyone plays the game – with one very interesting and notable exception that I heard about yesterday …. Unilever  – who have “putting an end to quarterly reporting and (are) changing the company’s compensation system accordingly.”

Great interview on NPR with Kai Ryssdal BTW.

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Bob Young… it’s here now … has been for a while actually.

In case you missed it … Techcrunch Interviews LuLu Founder – Bob Young – he of Red Hat fame – and though he doesn’t exactly say “Self Publishing Isn’t The Future” – why would he – there is no doubt that when he founded LuLu 11 years ago – there were a lot of ‘nay sayers’ who wrote it off as just that.

Of course – that would be EXACTLY those people who are today suffering at the hands of the self publishing industry ….. don’t forget – Amazon is a major player in that space as well – not to mention Apple –  that continues its own march to that drum.

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JP-FractalIt’s a long story – but ‘Fractals’ has been part of my persona for over 20 years. It all started when I was at a cross roads in my business career – and I set up a company that was called ‘Fractal Communications’. The principle was a ‘piece of nougat’ in my brain that said that business processes at the largest level all the way to the smallest are in many ways self similar. My company was to be focussed on attention to detail – at each and every level, so that I could (still do in fact), apply the same principles to my work programs today.

Back then I could be running large multi-country events with thousand of attendees – or producing a script for Inside Sales to use to get attendees to a new seminar, or even writing a direct mailing piece. (remember – I did say this was a while back).

History took over – and I moved to the USA – “life” – to quote Mr John Lennon – “is what happens when you are busy making other plans”.

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… but first you got to hear it.

Now, I entirely understand that the LinkedIn business model is to sell my CV to recruiters, not give me useful tools to manage my network. I also understand that all the mediocre me-too news-aggregation is a way to try to get me to spend more time on the site, rather than visiting every month or two.  But really, it needs to get the basics right. It needs to give me useful tools. Right now it’s a not-very-good CV database with an interface that would be second-rate a decade ago, that I have no reason to stick with if something remotely, you know, useful  came along.

So, Reid Hoffman is a genius, with a great vision. I just wish he’d join LinkedIn, and implement some of it.

This is now so bad that the company has announced a ‘Contacts’ app for iPhone – which as far as I can see is simply LinkedIn without all the useless junk that’s been piled on top. What would we say if Google announced a new ‘Search’ app, or Facebook a new ‘share stuff with your friends’ app? Contacts is what LinkedIn IS – it shouldn’t be a side-project.

The full article

This just caught my eye.

First, make sure that you have a dynamic, constantly refreshed strategic “vision” for what your organization (or unit) will look like and achieve 3-5 years from now. I’m not talking about a strategic plan, but rather a compelling picture of market/product, financial, operational, and organizational shifts over the next few years. Try to develop this with your direct reports (and other stakeholders) and put the key points on one page. This then serves as a true north to help guide key decisions.

Second, make sure that your various projects and initiatives have a direct line of sight to your strategic vision. Challenge every potential investment of time and effort by asking whether it will help you get closer to your vision, or whether it will be a building block to help you get there. Doing this will force you to continually re-balance your portfolio of projects, weeding out those that probably won’t move you in the right direction.

Finally, be prepared to take some flack. There may be weeks, months, or quarters where the results are not on the rise, or don’t match your (or analyst) expectations. Long-term value, however, is not created in straight lines. As long as you’re moving iteratively towards the strategic vision on a reasonable timeline, you’re probably doing the right things. And sure, you can always do more. But just make sure that you’re doing things for the right reasons.Here’s what I think ….

Read the full article :: Thinking Long-Term in a Short-Term Economy – Ron Ashkenas – Harvard Business Review

I cant say I have tried ALL of these – but definitely a lot of them. The problem is that there isn’t a single one that does it for me …. how about you?

So Here Are The Questions

  • Any you would add ?
  • Any you would vote up / down ?

Here Are The Choices

Comments below please – and I will take the action to group it all together as an extension to this post.