Nov 11th, 2019

The 90 Minute Rule

The other day I had the distinct honor and privilege to spend more than an hour talking with LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner on stage at a Singularity University program. We touched upon many topics, the highlights of our conversation being beautifully summarized by the one-and-only Stephanie Crowley Papaioanu:

Graphic Recording

Among the many great comments, the piece which stood out for me was Jeff’s answer to a question from the audience on how he manages to stay not only sane with his extremely busy schedule but also finds the time for thinking deeply and innovating.

His answer is: “I schedule 90 minutes of unstructured time on my calendar every day. It might not be a continuous 90 minute-block every day but rather three blocks a 30 minutes — but every day I make room for thinking and serendipity.”

As trivial as this sounds, it is a huge commitment and something I believe we all would benefit from. How much of your daily schedule is blocked off for non-directed work, time for you to reflect, read, converse and think?

If Jeff can find 90 minutes in his schedule running LinkedIn — why don’t we all find the same amount of time daily?

Oct 21st, 2019

Learn to Read Weak Signals

An exercise I love to do in my talks recently, is to show folks the following chart:

Mobile Phone Usage

What you are looking at is the usage of mobile phones vs laptops/PCs and other Internet-connected devices over time in the USA. The question is: Imagine we are at the end of 2008 and you only know about the data for this year. Mobile usage is the tiny, red chevron you see...

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Oct 7th, 2019

Welcome to BBS (Business Bull$#!%)

I am traveling a lot these days. And with travel come long hours in airports and sometimes airline lounges. And pretty much every time I find myself in one of those, working away (or just zoning out), I inevitably overhear someone talking loudly on the phone. You can tell within seconds that it is a “business call”. Words such as “strategic relevance”, “cross-reference” or “best practice” get tossed around. Clients get called names in a...

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Sep 5th, 2019

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From (Their) Children

Let’s talk about something different today: Education.

One of the most common questions I get after one of my talks, is a variation of “What shall I teach my children in this world of ever-accelerating change?” Inevitably I start off my response with some variation of me (somewhat) jokingly telling the audience that they should begin by taking their kids out of school — as most schools just don’t prepare our children adequately for the...

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Aug 27th, 2019

The Brands They Are A-Changin'

In the not-so-old days brands were about signaling and trust.

Signaling is what a brand stands for; the property you align yourself with when you engage with the brand. The once glowing and now shiny Apple logo on your laptop shows the world that you are one of the creatives, a rebel, a non-conformist, one of the others and not a Windows user.

Trust is a shorthand for your believing in the product quality...

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Aug 17th, 2019

There is Always Someone Taller Than You

If you have ever met me, you know that I am tall. Tall as in “really tall” — somewhere between six feet four and six feet five (or 196 centimeter for those of you who are on the metric system). I am also pretty skinny, which makes me look even taller than I already am.

Whenever I meet people (particularly here in the US) who are taller than I, they tend to be broad-shouldered —...

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Aug 3rd, 2019

Applied vs Theoretical Knowledge

At be radical we developed a framework to help our clients predict and prepare for technological disruption. One of the core tenants of the framework is the notion that as a technology matures, you have to keep following the development path of a given technology — not just theoretically but practically. You gain very different insights into how a technology really works if you actually work with it as opposed to reading up on...

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Jul 25th, 2019

A Tale of Innovators and Status Quo Protectors

Building on my last post on “Forget T-Shapes”, let me share a conviction of mine — one which I have built over two decades working for and with small, medium and large-sized companies.

The story goes something like this:

In the beginning every company is in exploration and discovery mode. Ideas need to be tested, products and service being created, processes being established. Once a company finds product-market fit it turns its attention towards protecting...

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Jul 22nd, 2019

Forget T-Shapes

For a while now folks (especially those loosely connected to people management) have been talking about “T-Shaped People”: The fabled creature which is both a generalist and specialist at the same time. A concept I never fully understood – maybe as I never really encountered someone who is merely a specialist or a generalist. My experience was always that people are good at something and generally interested in many things.

The concept is, of...

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Jul 14th, 2019

Sweat Your Fundamentals

Something weird is happening in startup land as of late. For some reason, I see more and more pitch decks asking for money, whilst completely ignoring any and every explanation of how the startup expects to make money. No explanation of the revenue model. No financial modeling. No profit & loss calculation. Not even one of the all-to-common revenue slides showing exponential growth resulting in world domination (and gazillion dollars being made). At best you...

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