I, Pencil

Those who are concerned that China’s economy will surpass ours should consider the following “required reading.” China just announced to great fanfare that after years of effort and millions in investment, it has managed to produce… a ballpoint pen! (This was accomplished in the US about 80 years ago).  Before you read on, check out… [Continue Reading]

“Disruption”: Dumb Luck or Deep Understanding?

We often think of “disruption” as belonging to the realm of startups or big, but innovative and relatively young companies like Google or Apple.  Is it luck…is it art… or is it science?.   One really old, really large company that makes many products you use every day knows that disruption upon occasion can be due… [Continue Reading]

From the Brink of Extinction to Winner: Are there Lessons for Your Company?

We celebrate comebacks, like so many other events, because they are rare.  These stories are valuable because, as John Henry Newman observed over 100 years ago, “history offers lessons, not rules.”   A turnaround for the times is a company that came back from the brink of oblivion to a level of success that includes a… [Continue Reading]

Driving Miss Daisy (and everyone else)

The wonderful film  “Driving Miss Daisy”  portrayed an aging wealthy widow who could afford to hire a chauffeur to drive her when she no longer could. The driverless car touted by Google and others will make it possible for all of us to have chauffeurs when we no longer can (or should) be behind the wheel.… [Continue Reading]

Gladwell on the Preconditions for Disruption

The great innovations that have become part of the fabric of our lives were once extraordinarily disruptive.  Check out this short article that summarizes remarks made by Malcolm Gladwell this week at the World Business Forum on the “preconditions” for  effective disruption; the first consisting of being somewhat  “disagreeable.”

“How We Got to Now”

The past 150 years has seen more innovation and invention since people started, well,  innovating and inventing.   But what made all this possible?   If you’re curious about how the world you live in came to be, check out this two page executive summary of a wonderful new book  “How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that… [Continue Reading]

Think Like a CEO: If You Build it, They MIGHT Come

Henry Ford once remarked that he didn’t do market research because if he asked people want they wanted they would have said a faster horse!  He trusted his instinct as to what the customer would want even if they themselves could not articulate it today.  He built it and they came. (Though he did famously get it… [Continue Reading]