A company is nothing more (and nothing less) than three things: people, processes and purposes. In the language of the software engineer these would be inputs, algorithms and specifications. In the language of classical business analysis they are assets (or resources), organization structures and business models. In military theory, these are logistics, tactics and strategy.
This is the trinity which allows for an understanding of a complex system: the physical, the operational and the guiding principle. The what, the how and the why.
If you’ve been in the game 30 minutes and you don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.
I think for many such people pop physics is playing a role that could otherwise be played by religion. It provides a sense of awe and mystery about the universe and gives a sense of there being answers to big questions. For many people I don’t think any kind of understanding is important at all. It’s more the comfort of knowing that somewhere there exist people who are working on the big mysteries of life the universe and everything.
Is High Energy Physics Overrepresented In Popular Culture?
Our policy, like that of many companies, is not to comment on future plans or work in progress. There are many good reasons that companies as big as Apple and as small as one-person shows adhere to such a policy. One reason is to keep attention focused on what is already available. Another is that keeping your mouth shut about work in progress is a way to implicitly under-promise and over-deliver. When a company says “We plan to ship X in the next three months” and it turns out to take six months, customers are naturally disappointed.
When you say what’s coming next, people naturally want to know when. And when you tell them how long you think it will take, you’re giving them a guess, but to the customer it feels like a promise. And at heart, we’re all optimists about how long our work will take. In short, talking about work in progress and future plans is often a recipe for disappointing your customers.
Banks say a safe mortgage is a maximum of 3 times the buyer’s annual income with a 20% downpayment. Landlords say a safe price is set by the rental market; annual rent should be at least 9% of the purchase price, or else the [purchase] price is just too high.
You yourself are gratified by some music, arrangements of noises, and again essentially nonsense. If I were to kick a bucket down the cellar stairs, and then say to you that the racket I had made was philosophically on a par with The Magic Flute, this would not be the beginning of a long and upsetting debate. An utterly satisfactory and complete response on your part would be, “I like what Mozart did, and I hate what the bucket did.”
The reason a [new] product deserves to exist is that it can do a job that needs doing and that few, if any others can also do it. This happens when the job is unstated and difficult to perceive. Put another way, the difficulty behind jobs-to-be-done based design is that jobs are never plainly evident. In contradiction to invention, where the problem being solved must be as clearly stated as its solution, value-creating innovation meets new and unarticulated needs. Even when created, the value is more subtly perceived, often only after prolonged use.
The Internet [eg: Google, Facebook] runs on the arbitrage between a consumer service market where everybody consumes but nobody pays and a separate data market where nobody consumes and everybody pays.
The complexity of services means that they are usually found in more advanced so-called service economies and rare in less developed so-called goods economies.
Economists have observed this process and even have a name for it: servitization: The process whereby almost all sufficiently advanced products are indistinguishable from services.
Branding doesn’t start with the logo. It is not primarily a visual discipline. Your brand is what you stand for. Branding is more about content than shape. It is who you are, not how you look. The shape should represent your inside, your content. Your brand architecture is your information architecture.
The hard part is defining what your brand is and what it aims to become. Your brand strategy follows your brand ambition, and your visual identity mirrors your overall brand ambition. Identity is not just how you look, it is what you say, what you do, what you are.
A company is defined as the sum of three values: Resources, processes and priorities (RPP). Everything of value can be classified into these three categories.
When one company buys another it’s the equivalent of one set of RPPs trying to engulf or swallow another set of RPPs. The simplest (naïve) interpretation is that an acquisition is the purchase of Resources in terms of customers, sales, profits, etc. It might be of assets like employees, intellectual properties, brand etc. I say this is naïve because Resources are the easiest to value because they can be measured and valuing only what can be measured while ignoring what can’t be measured is deeply mis-pricing.
There’s a zen concept of a finger pointing at the moon. If I show you this [points at the moon], I’m not trying to show you the finger, I’m trying to show you the moon, but the moon is really far, so all I’ve got is the finger.
Skepticism is ok.
What I worry about is when you go from being in the default mode of being curious about new things, to the default mode of being suspicious about new things.
A tractor, a go-kart, and a Ferrari all perform about the same if you’re only traveling 1 inch.
Weeks of undirected work can save you hours of planning.
Ugly programs are like ugly suspension bridges: they’re much more liable to collapse than pretty ones, because the way humans (especially engineer-humans) perceive beauty is intimately related to our ability to process and understand complexity. A language that makes it hard to write elegant code makes it hard to write good code.