March 2018
« Aug    

Throwing Good Money After Bad

When do you pull the plug? Part 2


Knowing when to walk away is important, and often I walk away long after it is wise to go. It took the abrupt realization that my startup had run out of money to realize that the time had come. We needed to put more money in to keep it [...]

Back Up? What Back Up?

It can be hard to face up to the obviously stupid things we do

The story goes that Saint Patrick was partway through baptizing an Irish king, when he looked down and noticed he had put the metal tip of his bishop’s staff through the poor fellow’s foot. When he apologized, the king replied that he had [...]

What Do You Need to Know?

Tool: How the military makes sure everyone knows what the boss wants to know

Soldiers love their acronyms and the more convoluted, the better. ”Commanders Critical Information Requirements”, or CCIR, is a mouthful, but still decipherable as “What the Boss wants to know”. It’s one of those military ideas worth copying.

Everyone serving in the first Gulf War knew that Norman [...]

Turn the Map Around

Tool: Like “measure twice, cut once”, good advice can be deceptively simple.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, I was an army officer. Films emphasize action, but most soldiering is “hurry up and wait” and, for officers, endless planning. Armies like organization and our planning was very structured. One of my tasks was to [...]

Let’s say the Euro does crack up… what’s in it for me?

What would a potential or even worst case scenario look like for the PIIGS?

There is no shortage of people willing to speculate on whether or not the Euro will survive or the fates of various indebted member countries, but surprisingly little talk of what a break up or default would look like. Adjectives like “bad” and [...]

Raspberries Happen

How much do you enjoy the finger-pointing and recriminations?

I’ve been busy and I’m probably not the only one. It’s the time of year where a lot of us are busy. Things pile up and blogs get neglected. The unexpected happens and it sometimes takes odd forms – like raspberries.

Raspberries are perfectly pleasant. My stepmother makes an outstanding [...]

Patents, IP, and Protecting the Recipe for Your Secret Sauce

No matter what you do, know that protecting your IP is an active process. 

It is surprising how many people actually believe that a patent will protect their intellectual property. A patent is a perfectly good tool, but it does no good all by itself. There is no ever vigilant force of superheroes standing guard over the [...]

Socks, Then Shoes

It’s all about the basics

Almost any professional golf or tennis coach will tell you that they spend most of their time teaching the basics. Golfers forget to keep their heads down. Tennis players fail to follow through. No one, no matter what the sport, seems to remember that footwork is key.

Regular readers know that this site is [...]

You're Not Lost Until You Run Out of Gas


Why Plan B – and the means to execute it – matter

The zipper was invented to fasten shoes. Columbus left Spain looking for the Far East. Apple spent a fortune on the Newton. Sometimes good ideas do not work out exactly the way we expect they will. Decades after the first patent, the zipper became a [...]

Supplier Risk and the PIGS

The waste squeezed out of supply chains over the past twenty years has increased efficiency, but it may have also increased supply chain risk

Whether or not your firm has any direct connection to Portugal, Italy, Greece, or Spain, uncovering your resulting risk exposure may matter more than you think. Your suppliers may have suppliers in these [...]