Need I comment further?

8 February 2006

Read this…Ross Mayfield’s Weblog: Service Level Disagreement

Knowing your business

25 January 2006

Mark Cuban has a very interesting post at What business are theatres in? where he writes:

didn’t take me long to realize that the business of the Mavericks was
not selling basketball, it was selling a fun night out and creating a
favorable brand identification with our team and our players, with the
hope that people would be excited to buy merchandise , products and
services from us.


It didnt take me long to realize that the business of   Landmark Theaters was very similar.   At Landmark, our business is not showing the biggest movies from the biggest studios…

He goes on to look a the benefits to be gained by employing multiple
revenue streams. In one of the comments, a respondent points out that
whenever you go to a concert, you can always buy the artist’s latest CD on the way out. Not so at a movie.

(Migrated from a previous life blog, originally posted on 2005-01-25)

Specious citations – urban legends

24 January 2006

It is interesting how some "facts" take on a life of their own without actually being well documented.

The latest one that I'm tracking down is the assertion that adults need "8 to 10 meaningful touches each day" for "emotional and physical health". This assertion is made by Gary Smalley and John Trent in The Blessing at the end of chapter 3 and cited in footnote 10 as sourced from

UCLA Monthly. Alumni Association News. March/April issue 1981. pg. 1

There are several problems with this source:

  1. It is not (so far) verifiable – no authors are cited. If it really was a "scientific study" with legitimate results, then the results should be published in a real journal or reported at a suitable professional
    conference. If either of these really happened, then the citation
    should be to an authoritative source, not an "alumni news" magazine.
  2. If it really is a monthly publication, why does the issue span two months as if it is a bimonthly publication? This raises questions about the validity of the citation as well.

I've written to the authors of The Blessing, Gary Smalley and John Trent to see if they can provide additional information about this citation. Stay tuned for updates…

(Migrated from a previous life blog, originally posted on 2006-01-24)

Update 1 – April 2006: I've contacted the UCLA alumni association and the UCLA Library Archives – so far neither of them can find the purported article. 

Yet another approach to spam

18 January 2006

Here’s another approach to spamvertising:
The ‘Kick A Spammer In The Nuts Daily’ idea… – and at least one guy gives in for now anyway…

Meetings are a hassle

18 January 2006

The findings of a research study are reported in | Research | Bored meetings:

"It is impressive," Luong and Rogelberg write in their summary, "that a general relationship between meeting load and the employee’s level of fatigue and subjective workload was found". Their central insight, they say, is the concept of "the meeting as one more type of hassle or interruption that can occur for individuals".

Ya think?!

Interesting review of _Solving Tough Problems_

5 January 2006

In How to Save the World, Dave Pollard quotes from Solving Tough Problems:

I’ve worked with these senior managers for decades. They have no energy. They have turned into turnips. They don’t want to do anything. They like having excuses. They are all making big salaries and feeling no pain. They have the perfect cover for anything: Our bosses won’t let us do anything.

and goes on with a lot of other interesting observations about meetings and participant archetypes.

Repetitive Information Injury

5 December 2005

See Rands In Repose: Repetitive Information Injury

Interesting looking tool here…SynchroEdit

5 December 2005


SynchroEdit is a browser-based simultaneous multiuser editor, a form of same-time, different-place groupware. It allows multiple users to edit a single web-based document at the same time, and it continuously synchronizes all changes so that users always have the same version.

Yet more on measurment & innovation

5 December 2005

IdeaFestival: How to discourage innovation: measure everything

Do total quality management, six sigma and ISO 9000 programs discourage innovation?

More on Process vs. Innovation

5 December 2005

Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity. Many-to-Many:

Six or seven years ago, ATT asked me to spend some time helping them figure out their web hosting offerings, and after some preliminary work, it became clear that there would be no mainstream hosting business, because the cost to the customer would be too high to be competitive. This was not because ATT was buying expensive hardware; it was because their minimum hosting processes imagined layers and layers of dev, stage, and live servers, and a complex array of user management interfaces. When ATT asked how the existing hosting companies could provide their services so cheaply, I said that the competition was simply offering shell access, and that people could FTP anything they liked to the server or telnet in and write stuff directly on a live box.

ATT was aghast, of course, at such laxity, but in fact, it was this kind of simple, process-lite attitude that helped the net spread generally, and it was ATT’s "Quality of Service" attitude that marginalized them.

Glad we don’t have that problem here…