Archive for the 'Strategy' Category

the cluetrain manifesto. the end of business as usual. rick levine, christopher locke, doc searis, david weinberger.

the cluetrain manifesto. the end of business as usual. rick levine, christopher locke, doc searis, david weinberger. 2000 ISBN 0736202444. This came out over 20 years ago after  Eric Raymond’s  The Cathedral and The Bazaar. What is insightful about re-reading the manifesto is to see so much of what was predicted has slowly come about.  Once again this proves the wisdom of the crowds as this document was put together from many thousands of conversations on the early web.  Yes, some of the references are dated ( As in no longer what they were) but the truth of this work is evident. The 95 theses are here

Read the whole manifesto if you can here.    I took away:

  • That markets were originally conversations and business is a conversation.
  • The pervasive web opens the web of secrecy behind business and govt so people can talk again to people.
  • People want to do a good job if you let them, and many enjoy making clients/customers happy.
  • There is another set of rules beyond the org chart ( those who get things done).
  • The future is the intersection of choice and interruption
  • Real people employ humour to connect
  • Hear the questions of the heart through the web
    • children talking to  children
    • who is this person really like?
    • poor connecting with the poor
    • listen to ideas in context
    • information is tied to what voice?
    • be smart not just Google it
    • which stories are worthy?
  • Bring forth the human story.

If you work in tech it is worthwhile to read this manifesto it is still valid and useful.

How Design Makes the World. Scott Berkun.

How Design Makes the World. Scott Berkun. 2020.  A journey into design literacy

The author poses  four powerful questions for us:

1. What are you trying to improve?
2. Who are you trying to improve it for?
3. How do you ensure you are successful?
4. Who might be hurt by your work, now or in the future?

In explaining design and the world around us he makes very telling and simple arguments.

What to ask of things you see around you:

What were they trying to improve?
Who were they trying to improve it for?
How successful were they?
What hidden constraints could explain its weaknesses?
Who were the powerful people who made these decisions?
Who paid for it?
Did people come first, or a technology, or an organization?
What message is the style sending to you? Who is included
or excluded from participating?
What systems is this design a part of?
Where in the natural world, or in another culture, might
there be a better solution for this problem?
Does this design create flow or conflict
What new problems does this design create if it’s
successful?
What are you going to do about all of this? (If in doubt,
start a conversation.)

 

Very useful book to anyone who designs and builds.

run_frictionless. Free a founder from a sales role. Antony Coundouris

run_frictionless. Free a founder from a sales role. Antony Coundouris. 2018.  A concise road map and workbook on how to build a sales system that allows a founder to step away from daily driving sales. Using four quadrants to lay out the building blocks with many examples and a  full case study the author takes you through all the work and stages needed to be followed.   The quadrants are

  • Who we serve
  • What we serve
  • Who we are
  • How we serve

Under each are many statements of work to be done, how to do it and why you do it.

This is a useful book for any startup founder or those who are still driving all the sales after many years.

There is a better  way.

Play Bigger. How pirates, dreamers, and innovators create and dominate markets. Alan Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead.

Play Bigger. How pirates, dreamers, and innovators create and dominate markets. Alan Ramadan, Dave Peterson, Christopher Lochhead.   2016.  ISBN 9780062407610.   This book was referenced in Traversing the Traction Gap so I had to read it.  It is very good and specifically addresses category creation, which is something that wildly successful companies do over and over. The authors take you through a proven  methodology of becoming a category kind. ( For many types to organizations and individuals). You will appreciate the highly specific and recognizable examples used by the authors.  Unlike other books in this genre , it has the benefits of depth and thought coming from the experiences of four individuals.  It could be a life changing book for executives and individuals.  But you need to want to be more than better, you want to be recognized as different  ( Apple is not just better, it is different)

Finite and Infinite Games. A vision of life as play and possibility. James P. Carse.

Finite and Infinite Games. A vision of life as play and possibility. James P. Carse. 2012. ISBN 9780029059807.   A seminal book on the subject, (Game theory)  which has became quite topical in the technology world with speakers such as Simon Sinek.  This is a deceptively thin book that will warrant several rereads to tease out the ideas Carse puts forward.  I would very often find myself lost in the ideas and then the author would hit me with a particularly resonating section. This would be sufficient to push me into the next few sections.  I found the first few sections challenging and then it caught in the dialectal discussion. Like the Phenomena of Man by DeCardin, this can be a mind changing book, full of life lessons.

Sales Differentiation. 19 powerful strategies to win more deals at the prices you want. Lee B. Salz

Sales Differentiation. 19 powerful strategies to win more deals at the prices you want. Lee B. Salz.  2018.  ISBN 9780814439913.  This book delivers what it says and more. The core of differentiation is talking about value as the customer sees it. There are no wasted words in this book, it is current, concise and hits the topic hard.  Any salesperson and sales manager will get much out of the time spent reading and rereading this book. Its totally enjoyable – I could not put it down.  Might just be the best sales book of the year, IMHO

Traversing the Traction Gap. Bruce Cleveland.

Traversing the Traction Gap. Bruce Cleveland. 2019. ISBN 9781635765748.  With a forward and collaboration with Geoffrey Moore this promises to be a very important book in the tech sector. The author and his group Wildcat Ventures has analyzed the getting to and through the Chasm in more detail  than ever before.  In our gotomarket practice we have seen the truths that Cleveland puts forward in many iterations in too many companies. A startup and young company should have this book handy through the several years and rough times that they need to weather.  Much of the necessary hard stuff can be planned for and mitigated if you follow what this book has to say.  It goes beyond MVCategory, through MVProduct to MVrevenue, to category lead then traction and scaling. The insights on the right team at all stages  is worth the price of the book.  This may become the tech book of the year.

Donald J Trump. A president like no other. Conrad Black.

Donald J Trump. A president like no other. Conrad Black. 2018. ISBN 9781621577881.  Well Black does take on unpopular biographies ( Nixon and now Trump).  He is always well spoken, careful and detailed in his language.  By following a chronological method – from Trump  ancestors roots and his own personal and business development, Black does put Trump into a context.   The strongest section for me was the detailing of how Trump was able to recognize a deep seated unhappiness in the populous and harness it into a steady base and build a swelling momentum prior to and during the race for the Presidency.  Black was one of the first to recognize this coming of the demagogue and was not surprised with the result.   With this chronology approach you can see how very long Trump has developed the attitudes he has and espouses.  Also you  are led to recognize the failures of the prior four presidents and their entourages which opened the door for  Trump coming on the scene.  Black has no time for the Democrats nor a do nothing partisan Senate and Congress.  He is acerbic toward the national press and  Washington commentators- so color Black well within Trump’s Republican/conservative aura.

This book will not make you like Trump any more then before and you will still cringe at his looseness with language and malapropisms.  However Black may let you be a little less terrified of Trump daily and perhaps recognize his negotiation tricks learned in New York and now being attempted internationally.  The book moves quite well , will occupy the East – West airflight and halfway back. Reading it is not time wasted.

Malcolm McDonald on Key Account Management. Malcolm McDonald & Beth Rogers

By June of 1948 Sanders Aviation Company had t...

Malcolm McDonald on Key Account Management. Malcolm McDonald & Beth Rogers. 2017. ISBN 978 0 7494 8077 6.  MacDonald is a giant in the field of marketing  and is one of Rocket Builders goto authors when we need to really dig into a topic. This co-authored book is very readable, current and immediately useful to enterprise sales and marketing teams who wish to look at their markets strategically.  I liked the entire book as it did a very clear job on describing and using the three levels in ABM and then how to id where to use and apply KAM. The liberal  use of case studies and experienced practitioners to describe how to use all this was excellent.   I really appreciated the work in Chapter 3 on auditing how you were doing and mapping out where you could go. The author is diligent at asking you to use measures and metrics that can be used and are useful.  As well Chapter 5 is good at mapping value, how to apply measures and package it so it can be taken to your clients.   Well worth the modern sales and marketing executive and strategic practitioners time to read and use this book

Becoming Facebook. The 10 challenges that defined the company that’s disrupting the world. Michael Hoefflinger.

English: Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO of Fac...

Becoming Facebook. The 10 challenges that defined the company that’s disrupting the world. Michael Hoefflinger. 2017.  The author is a Zuckerberg fanboy – but as he lays it out in this book,  there are good reasons for it.  This book has reaffirmed to me why I retain my original Facebook shares.  The author clearly shows as an insider who understands how technology business grows why Facebook should stay on a tear.  Clearly written as well.