March 1st 2015

Value Proposition Design. How to create products and services customers want. Osterwalder, Pigneur, Bernarda & Smith

Business Model Canvas Poster download (http://...

Value Proposition Design. How to create products and services customers want.  Osterwalder, Pigneur, Bernarda & Smith. 2014. ISBN 9781118968055. A textbook, workbook and piece of graphic art all in one.   In our practise we help companies discover their value proposition and it is quite a bit of hard work for them.  This is a thorough look at the process with a terrific front end explanation as to why this is so important.   the book is a significant contribution to the field.  It should be required reading for all technology companies ( and more) . Clearly written , but you will need a lot of thinking time as you work through this process.

February 23rd 2015

Amp Up Your Sales. Powerful strategies that move customers to make fast, favorable decisions. Andy Paul.

English: Empty seats Sales man seats sit empty...

Amp Up Your Sales. Powerful strategies that move customers to make fast, favorable decisions. Andy Paul.2015. ISBN 9780814434871.  Andy Paul ( Zero Time Selling) is a very insightful sales guy for today’s markets. He invariably hits it out of the park in writing well , with content that is “monday morning  ready”.  He will show you how to truly differentiate and stand out in your market. The focus is on how you sell , not what you sell,  with a clear distinction between process and method.  His insight into value is fresh and what you need. Its early in 2015 but this will be another top line book for salesmen this year!.

February 20th 2015

Thoughts on Costa Rica Jan 2015

A beach in the Guanacaste Province.

Costa Rica (our most recent trip)  is the belly button of the Americas, it encompasses just 0.03% of the world’s land mass (total area is 51,100 sq km) with over 500,000 plant and animal species. Any animals & plants that are traveling north and south have to go through CR. CR has 10 climatic zones and more flora & fauna than any place in the Americas. Eco-tourism is extremely important because tourism is CR`s largest industry. Not only are the Costa Ricans very proud of their country they are also very careful about the ecology.  CR has no mineral or oil & gas industry ( this despite having many great mineral deposits), so their major exports are fruit & vegetables. Therefore each climatic zone has their own specialties. Guanacaste is the area where they grow most of their melons, guavas, papayas, and pineapples. The climate ranges from dry tropical forest to lush jungle in the south. Costa Rica’s terrain varies between coastal plains and rugged mountains with three mountain ranges and over 100 volcanic cones, several of which are major volcanoes. For expats living in CR the only tax is on income earned in CR. Your international income is tax exempt, no capital gain taxes. Property taxes are very low, but there is a 13% sales tax on products and a 10% service charge in restaurants.

English: Tamarindo Beach, Guanacaste, Costa Ri...

Unlike Mexico, the prices are higher (similar to Canadian prices), there are limited amount of fresh fruit stands and open markets where one could purchase fresh vegetables, meat and seafood BUT the water is drinkable in CR which is a big plus.  Lessons learned, book your rental car before you arrive.  No deals once you are in country. Lots of import duties make most things you would buy about the Cdn prices.

Our condo is the Bougainvillea Condominiums situated on the grounds of the all-inclusive five-star Westin Golf Resort & Spa. The resort is situated in the Guanacaste Region of CR’s North Pacific Coast and nestled between 2400 acres of lush forests and the beautiful Conchal Beach (Playa Conchal) with its sparkling azure waters. The condo overlooks the beautiful 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Championship Golf Course which surrounds the hotel. Conchal Beach, a two and a half mile crescent of white sand was named for the tiny crushed shells from which the beach is formed. This idyllic stretch of beach overlooks the Catalina Islands, a popular spot for diving and snorkeling.

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February 16th 2015

Duct Tape Selling. Think like a marketer- Sell like a superstar. John Jantsch

English: John Jantsch

Duct Tape Selling. Think like a marketeer- Sell like a superstar.  John Jantsch. 2014. ISBN 97811591846338.  I have been a fan of John’s work since Duct Tape Marketing first came to market. Now John has built up a substantial sales and marketing consultancy based on his work helping companies build up their programs. John is a customer oriented marketeer/writer and his material reflects this new reality for  sales and marketing.  Much of what we find/use in our practise aligns with John’s point of view.  His sales and marketing hourglasses approach is invaluable.  This is a must have book for the 20% of the salespeople/sales managers who want to grab 80% of the market.  It is not an easy task, what you learn in this book is so valuable that I say just get over it and get to work.   Kudos to John for making this book a thorough, well researched yet easy read.  I suggest this book for a 4 hr round trip air flight.

February 4th 2015

Destress To Success. Solving stress and winning big in relationships, wealth and life itself. Leo Willcocks.

English: Flowchart for problem solving.

Destress To Success. Solving stress and winning big in relationships, wealth and life itself. Leo Willcocks. 2013.  This book surprised me. It was well written, clear with a delightful non judgmental tone to it. I thoroughly enjoyed it  to the point that I read it in two sittings. The author is able to take any example and make a very clear learning point out of it.

Lately I am measuring authors how much depth they bring to the topic,  how clearly they articulate their points and the applicability to real issues.  I am just tired of convoluted prose that in the end makes me feel stupid.

This book is a real star and one I highly recommend.  Its useful in your personal and professional life.  I just wish I had read it 35 years ago.  Great for a 3 hr plane ride – read it twice – ire also on the return trip.

January 19th 2015

In the Beginning…Was the Command Line. , Neal Stephenson.

Cover of "In the Beginning...was the Comm...

Cover of In the Beginning…was the Command Line

In the Beginning…Was the Command Line. , Neal Stephenson. 1999. ISBN 9780061832901.  A short pithy and often hilarious essay by one of our eras better science fiction writers, coders and journalists.  I discovered that Neal had released quite a lot of his material into the public domain and in my searches found this essay.   Written about the time Apple was in a decline, Microsoft in the midst of antitrust suits and Linux was in a heyday, it is a great history lesson and guide for future programmers.   As an old UNIX programmer I know exactly what he is saying about its robustness and have at times decried that IOS is just a version of Linux, completely locked away from the bulk of the users.  This not a Cathedral vs Bazaar argument, but a simple story about how to get utility and usage out of what is available these days, if you want to.

A great comment, ” Apple has always been a hardware company first, using its software to protect the walled system system.  While Microsoft has chosen to be a software company,  using the cheap hardware out there, and forcing hardware manufacturers to write the code/drivers to work with Windows. , which extends Windows at no cost. ”

It will be interesting to see if his predictions play out – that OS  prices may inevitably  drive to zero.   Well written and useful if you like this kind of material.

A montage showing author Neal Stephenson and f...

January 11th 2015

Screw the Valley. A Coast-to-Coast Tour of Americas New Tech Startup Culture: New York, Boulder, Austin, Raleigh, Detroit, Las Vegas, Kansas City. Timothy Sprinkle.

Geographic center of the contiguous United Sta...

Screw the Valley.  A Coast-to-Coast Tour of Americas New Tech Startup Culture: New York, Boulder, Austin, Raleigh, Detroit, Las Vegas, Kansas City. Timothy Sprinkle. 2015. ISBN 9781940363301.  A very ambitious book.  Look at seven locations that are building up a tech economy, that are not in Silicon Valley. The author visited Detroit, New York City, Las Vegas, Austin , Kansas City , Raleigh-Durham and Boulder.  He met as many people, companies, accelerator/incubators, angels/VCs that he could and documented what he heard.  These locations are all going about this in their own way with or without government assistance.  The grass roots energy is considerable as is the commitment of local entrepreneurs who are paying their success back into the community. If your location/group/community is thinking about this path the book is a fresh view and there are some insights to be gained. The sheer size of this task allows you to forgive the very very odd mistake on why certain folks did very well.   Good read and it proves once again that cities can and will do it their way .

January 5th 2015

Aligning strategy and Sales, The choices, systems and behaviors that drive effective sales. Frank V. Cespedes

 

Aligning strategy and Sales, The choices, systems and behaviors that drive effective sales. Frank V. Cespedes2014. ISBN 9781422196052.   Forbes called this perhaps the best sales book ever. I found that this is true in many ways.  First it is hard to find a more thorough book that looks at the interaction of strategy with sales. As well this book details the inherent complexity and variability in sales roles and people. We know that this reproach works as we over the years have adapted our practice in sales /revenue improvement through much of what the author details.   Through iteration and adapting, many skilled sales leaders would find much to agree with in this book , and much that sheds a fresh view on things.  I would easily think this is the best sales book of the year.   I only add that our practice helps companies strengthen a sales framework  like in this book with a structured marketing framework that also aligns strategy with marketing.   This  is a good five hour read, the first time , but do not stop there.

More great  articles by the author

  •  http://hbswk.hbs.edu/faculty/fcespedes.html
  • http://www.gmpua.com/Marketing/worldmarket/cim/5479950.pdf
  • http://chiefexecutive.net/focusing-sales-leaders-right-effectiveness-metrics-4-easy-steps
  • http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/author/frank-v-cespedes
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbp-Rytdtr0
  • http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/how-to-identify-the-best-customers-for-your-business/
  • http://www.mbadepot.com/external_link.php?ID=18683
  • http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/08/you-cant-do-strategy-without-input-from-sales/
  • http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/industrial-marketing-managing-new-requirements/
  • http://blog.hubspot.com/blog-search?q=frank%20Cespedes
  • http://jakehuber.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/opportunity-reading-7.pdf

 

December 29th 2014

Scrum.. The art of doing twice the work in half the time. Jeff Sutherland

English: Jeff Sutherland, co-inventor of SCRUM...

Scrum. The art of doing twice the work in half the time. Jeff Sutherland. 2014. ISBN 978038534645.  The author was the co creator of SCRUM.  He has had a fascinating career and a major impact on how software projects are managed today.  This book is one pat about SCRUM and another part about how it can be applied (and is applied) to any team based endeavor. It is clear, concise and fascinating.  I read it in one sitting, so it is a good four plane ride book.  A very good book for leaders who want to make productive changes in their organization.

December 17th 2014

Bucket list trip . Marmaris, Fethiye and Rhodes

The trip of a life time, October in  Western Turkey ( Aegean yachting) and Rhodes ( the easy life)

Three posts by my wife. with all the pictures you need

at Anordman@blogspot.com, or click the links

Yachting the Aegean

All roads lead to Rhodes

Circle Island tour of Rhodes