My latest Huffington Post article is up at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-edge/effectively-leading-teams_b_12791460.html
and starts a little like this:
Building and growing an organization is fun! Doing so certainly comes with a unique set of challenges, but for the most part they’re interesting and morale is high, which makes the job all kinds of interesting. Managing an organization that is static or shrinking can totally suck if you don’t do it right.
krypted November 5th, 2016
Posted In: Business
growth, hyper growth, leadership, notjamf, slowing down
Published a bit of a different article with SellingPower than my usual stuff. This one is on Sales Methodologies, published with SellingPower.com at http://blog.sellingpower.com/gg/2016/07/the-top-10-sales-methodologies-you-should-consider-for-your-business.html
Hope you enjoy, if you’re into the salesy types of things!
krypted July 28th, 2016
Posted In: Business
The increase in the use and complexity of technological assets in the healthcare sector has been on the rise in the recent past. Healthcare practitioners have moved from recording data manually to keeping Electronic Health Records. This eases the accessibility and the availability of data to the health practitioners. Further, electronically stored data makes it possible for patients to receive high quality and error-free care, improve decision making process because medical history is available and also makes it possible to provide safer and more reliable information for medication. Despite, the numerous advantages that the use of technology in healthcare has, there is also a threat of patients data leakage that lingers around. According to a research by Garrison and Posey (2012), medical identity theft has far more consequences in comparison to the typical identity theft. In average, every medical theft case can cost $20,000, and represents a substantial privacy violation. For this reason and more, it is important for healthcare institutions to protect patient data by securing technological assets within the institution. This article will explore the different methods used to secure the technological assets, with an emphasis on mobile devices.
The first method is limiting access to the electronic health records to only a few individuals. According to Gajanayake et al.(2014) suggests that there are different models of limiting access to the records. The first step is to ask for authentication, this will prompt them to verify their identity. This could be achieved by giving the authorized individuals unique passwords for identification and also by performing biometric scans of the individuals. This step will eliminate the possibility of unauthorized access to the technological access. The second step is to limit the type of information that one is supposed to access. This could be made possible using certain access models. Examples of models that have been proposed include Discretionary Access Control (DAC),Mandatory Access Control (MAC) and Role Based Access Control (RBAC). The DAC restricts access to certain commands such as’ write’, ‘read’ and ‘execute.MAC controls access by assigning information different levels of security levels. RBAC is based on the rights and permission that depend on the roles of an individual. These models normally apply to the security of electronic data. Other assets such as the hardware could be protected physically by limiting authorization to their storage rooms and also limit the location in which they are expected to be used at. Limiting access ensures that those that are not authorized to access the information are locked out of the database.Hence, this is an important strategy in protecting patients’ data.
The second method is through carrying out regular audits on the electronic system and the individuals handling the technological assets. Audit controls record and examine the activities that involve access and use of the patients’ data. This can be integrated into the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system or used to monitor the physical movements of the individuals that have access to the records. In addition, HIPAA requires that all health institutions that use the EHR system should run audit trails and have the necessary documentation of the same (Hoofman & Podgurski,2007). Some of the information collected during audits includes the listing of the content, duration and the user. This can be recorded in form of audit logs which makes it easy to identify any inconsistencies in the system (Dekker &Etalle ,2007). Further, monitoring of the area where the hardware have been placed for used should be done. This can achieve by use of recorded video, which monitors the activities of individuals who use the system. This can also be audited regularly and any inconsistencies noted (Ozair et al., 2005) Carrying out audits of the technology assets of the healthcare institution will help to monitor the daily use of the system which will enable the identification of any abnormal activities that may endanger patients’ data.
The third method is the setting up of policies and standards that safeguard the patients’ data. These policies may vary from one institution to another. For instance, the employees should be prohibited against sharing their passwords and ID and they should always log out their accounts after accessing the system. The authorized individuals would also be properly trained about these so that they are aware of their importance. In addition, these policies should be accompanied by consequences which will impact the users. This will ensure that they follow the policies to the letter. The set of policies and standards are to ensure uniformity in the protection of patients’ data (Ozair et al., 2005).
The fourth method that could be implemented to protect patients’ information is through the application of various security measures to the software and the hardware. The software can be protected through encryption of data, using firewalls and antivirus software’s to prevent hackers from accessing the data. Intrusion detection software can also be integrated into the system. These measures will protect the data from individuals who intend on hacking into the system online and accessing information for malicious purposes. The hardware could be protected by placing security guards at different stations where patients’ data is stored so that he ensures that no unauthorized person gets access to the area or no one tampers with the system or steals it. This step will ensure that the hardware is kept safe from intruders and people with malicious intent.
Protecting patient data starts with the software systems that house the data. The databases that warehouse patient data must be limited to only those who need access and access to each record must be logged and routinely audited at a minimum. Data should only reside where necessary. This means that data should not be stored on devices, at rest. For Apple devices, device management tools such as the Casper Suite from JAMF Software both help to keep end users from moving data out of the software that provides access patient data, and in the case of inadvertent leakage of data onto unprotected parts of devices, devices should be locked or wiped in case of the device falling outside the control of a care giver. Finally, the integrity of devices must be maintained, so jailbroken devices should not be used, and devices and software on devices should always be kept up-to-date, and strong security policies should be enforced, including automatic lock of unattended devices and strong password or pin code policies applied.
In summary, the protection of patients’ data in this technological era should be given a priority. In consideration of the frequency and losses that are experienced due to leakage or loss of private patients’ information, more should be invested in maintaining privacy and confidentiality of data. This can be achieved through controlling access to the electronic data and the gadgets that hold it, carrying out regular audits on the access of the system, creating policies and procedures that ensure that data is secures and finally through, putting in security measures that guard against loss and leakage of the information. All these measures will aid in alleviating the risk of patients’ data and maintaining their privacy and confidentiality which is the main agenda.
Dekker, M. A. C., & Etalle, S. (2007). Audit-based access control for electronic health records.Electronic Notes in Theoretical Computer Science
Hoffman, S., & Podgurski, A. (2007). Securing the HIPAA security rule. Journal of Internet Law, Spring
Garrison, C. P., & Guy Posey, O. (2012). MEDICAL IDENTITY THEFT: CONSEQUENCES, FREQUENCY, AND THE IMPLICATION OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS AND DATA BREACHES. International Journal of Social Health Information Management
Gajanayake, R., Iannella, R., & Sahama, T. (2014). Privacy oriented access control for electronic health records. electronic Journal of Health Informatics
Ozair, F. F., Jamshed, N., Sharma, A., & Aggarwal, P. (2015). Ethical issues in electronic health records: A general overview. Perspectives in clinical research
krypted June 29th, 2016
Posted In: Apple Configurator, Business, iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Small Business
DAC, iPad, iPhone, mobile, RBAC, Securing patient data
Had the idea for this one during a yoga class the other day. It starts out like this:
This may sound a little surprising, but yoga and business have a lot in common. Yoga teaches us about depth and focus. But as I’ve learned, yoga can also provide valuable lessons about how to successfully run a business. And not just in regards to emotional IQ. Here are some of the top lessons that I’ve brought to how I do business from my yoga practice.
Read on here…
Anything I missed?
krypted June 26th, 2016
Posted In: Articles and Books, Business, personal
Business, practice, yoga
An hour into my first Reddit AMA with some super-excellent JAMFs!
AMA w/ Charles Edge and the Apple management experts at JAMF Software from macsysadmin
krypted June 24th, 2016
Posted In: Apple Configurator, Articles and Books, Business, iPhone, JAMF, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment
JAMF, reddit AMA
My next Huffington Post piece is up. This one is on Soft Skills. The original was about twice as long, so eventually I’ll post the rest here. But for now, hope you enjoy.
I often hear entrepreneurs say that they hire based on soft skills, because they can’t be taught. I’ve been hiring and guiding people for 20 years, and I vehemently disagree. In some cases, people don’t want the social graces. In others, people (especially really smart people) rarely have the patience. But, provided you are willing, you can train yourself how to work well with others. Just ask Zig Ziglar, one of the best sales people and a famous motivational speaker. He made a career out of training people how to develop soft skills.
To read the rest of the article, click here
krypted March 10th, 2016
Posted In: Business
huffington post, soft skills, Training
I started playing Dungeons and Dragons in about the 5th or 6th grade. I didn’t get good at it for awhile. And once I got good at it, I didn’t play much longer (insert reference to “The Best Days of My Life” here). Along the way, I learned a few lessons that until I got older, I didn’t realize were great life lessons. I also learned a lot that helped me later in life in the business world. Here’s a few you may or may not agree with (and yes, the image is of a box sitting on my table at home:).
- Build a great campaign and then if the game is good, expect your players to totally break it. In business, you create a situation where customers give you money. You build processes, procedures, marketable packages, and teams. These prepare you for the massive onslaught of all the moneys that are going to come in. You need to be able to build a product, sell the product, and potentially service the product long-term. Maybe you sell it, maybe you don’t. But if you’re not ready for the sales to happen, you won’t sell that much. How much work do you put into building a campaign, or game, in Dungeons and Dragons, if the characters are just going to go right off your script? How much effort do you put into building a business if the customers are just going to buy something from you that is completely different than what you thought you were going to sell? These are the same questions, and there’s no right answer to either (although there are tons of wrong answers). But understanding that when momentum strikes in a game and if you don’t have a good campaign built that is flexible, you won’t maintain that momentum, is key.
- If you have to stop the game to look up the rules, your momentum is lost. Games got way more fun as we better understood the rules. When you have to stop and look something up, the attention of the gamers can get lost on things like potato chips. Similarly, the attention of the market is lost when you have to stop a business transaction to review contracts, train employees, rebuild processes, and reengineer product. The better all employees are trained, the more likely they will respond quickly and appropriately to the market and not have their attention wander when you have to look up how to properly figure out what saving throw is required to keep from getting crispy from the breath of a red dragon.
- Have fun! There’s not much reason to play Dungeons and Dragons alone. If the game isn’t fun, you will invariably not have many people come back for a second or third campaign. In business, employees need to be engaged. Products and companies these days need to have a personality. Sure, you might make a great widget, but if it isn’t fun to come to work and make, sell, or support that widget, then you’re going to have a much harder time getting those things done. Fun brands, like fun games, drive engagement – and engagement amplifies your spend.
- You gain experience incrementally, but it shows in bursts. In Dungeons and Dragons, you gain experience points for doing things. When you accumulate enough, you go up a level. At that point, you might get a higher score for an ability, you might pick up proficiency with a new weapon, or you might get more hit points. Heck, according to your character class, a lot of cool stuff can happen. I find that in business, we slowly work our way towards a new level. We learn lessons along the way (like a Level 1 Cleric learns not to tackle a blue dragon alone). I was recently in a meeting where someone said that a department had reached a new level. In business, you kinda’ work your way there, learning lessons, training staff, expanding, contracting, etc. But all of a sudden, you realize “holy crap, we can now cast fireball spells!” When did it happen? Sometimes you don’t even know… But it’s usually obvious to everyone that a gap was closed, a threshold crossed, and it’s time to start building momentum for the next level, tackling more difficult monsters, arming up with better weapons, and maybe even picking up some new NPCs along the way!
- To sell, you need to be confident. When it’s your turn in a game, you may talk as your character would (I’ve heard some of the worst accents ever in these games). The more confident you are, the more the game is immersive. Without confidence, a Dungeon Master is likely to get walked all over. Most jobs in a company have way more of a sales component that most employees want to admit.
- Some players are just going to be more engaged than others, no matter what you do. Different people want different things out of a game of Dungeons and Dragons, their jobs, and this life in general. When I was taking MBA classes at Cornell, they referred to this as different people having their own motivators. These motivators influence how impactful various initiatives are. For example, some respond well to financial incentives. Others to social interactions or pats on the back. Some players have a math test the next day and are going to miss a game. Others are ridiculously into the game. Just because you put a lot of work into developing a campaign doesn’t mean that others are going to be into each and every game. Everyone will have more fun if the expectations for engagement with a given initiative are tempered and any involvement is looked at positively.
- Don’t dominate the game. Everyone should have a say in how games go. There’s going to be natural alphas in any group. But try and give everyone ample time to play and talk about what their character is doing. And if some people don’t have that much to say, that’s fine. Just routinely return to them and give them the opportunity. This is how a game, meeting, brainstorming session, town hall, etc can be run. If one player is dominating the game, it’s a great idea to step in and keep them from doing so. How you go about doing so will become a skill that you hone for decades. And try not to be that person. Another skill you may hone for the rest of your life…
- When the 20 sided dice goes missing, it was probably the paladin that took it. Yup, stop blaming the thief. The person who prefers to play a Lawful Good paladin might just be living vicariously and might not be the eagle scout everyone thought they were. Don’t jump to conclusions when things happen in the professional world. Gather all of the information. Especially when there’s an accusation to be made. When you’re trying to isolate a problem with a process or product, perform your due diligence. Root cause analysis, etc. Of course, you’ll need that 1d20 back eventually the game is to go on…
- You are invariably going to outgrow the game. People don’t stay in the same position forever. You need to build a growth path. You don’t want your level 5 Drow Elf Ranger to stay level 5 forever. You want to be prepared for how the game will play out with higher level characters, and maybe even keep a funnel of lower level characters and employees who can work their way up into higher positions. And when a player decides to leave the game, you need a succession plan. It’s easier in Dungeons and Dragons than in business. Sure, you can switch classes, just like employees can switch departments, but it’s a pretty linear path for most in the game. In the real world, everyone will have something different they want out of a job and it’s the job of a servant leader to help them get there, even if it means helping them soar to new heights at another organization. It’s best though, if you can provide a growth plan that keeps your awesome people in house, of course… But sometimes a player’s going to go off to college. Maybe they’ll come over and take over as the Dungeon Master when they come home though. So stay in touch. Also stay in touch because you just plain like them and want to be friends…
- Morale is optional in Dungeons and Dragons, but not in the business world. Morale was a slightly more advanced feature for Dungeon Masters. Basically, if a creature or retainer fails morale check (2d6), it will disengage from a battle and retreat. If it sucks to work at your company, or on your team, your employees will do the same. If you don’t work on morale, you won’t find yourself with talented employees for long.
- What happens when you turn a bag of holding inside out? Some things, you’ll never know. But, you can’t wait until you know every detail in business. You see, the cost to gather tooooo much intel can outweigh the opportunity cost of jumping into something. Every now and then you have to trust your gut. But, when you do, maybe turning that bag of holding opens a black hole and ends the game, or maybe it takes you to a whole new level.
- It’s about the journey, not the destination. Sure, you could rush through a dungeon, or a forest of kobolds in record time. But why? Killing all the kobolds is going to get you experience points, which add up until you get to the point where you can tackle golems and orcs and dragons. At work, try and be thorough. I find that I can get 90 percent of a project done in no time. That last 10 percent is the hardest, and where I learn the most. It’s also where the polish can be seen by others. You obviously need to complete projects, but it’s the journey towards all of your goals (the projects, the learning, etc) that really matter. And if you’re rushing through everything, it will show. Plus, there’s usually a low chance you’ll get some kind of magic item off a kobold…
- Eventually, your fighter has to work on more traits than just strength. The easiest character to play is usually a fighter. You’re just kindof a tank. You can walk into a room and fight and kill monsters. In Dungeons and Dragons, each character has a number of different abilities. These include things like Dexterity, which helps a thief to pick locks and all characters to avoid getting hit. There’s also intelligence, wisdom, constitution, charisma and strength. Each class of character will need different abilities to be higher than others. And as you level up you receive adjustments you can add to abilities. Naturally, a player will work on the abilities for their class first. For example, if you have a fighter, you’ll increase strength and constitution (which gives you more hit points), or if you have a thief you’ll work on dexterity. But, as the character progresses, you’ll invariably work on different abilities to unlock more advanced features of your class. The same is true at work. Let’s say you write code for a living (which many consider the magic-user of the business world these days). Eventually, you may choose to manage a team, become a scrum master, or manage products. For each of these, it will greatly help if you’ve dedicated a little time to working on your charisma ability. So while public speaking and management classes might not seem all that awesome for a code monkey, well, they will suit you well later in the game of your career.
- The more junk you have the slower you move. Each item that your character finds in the game will weigh you down a little. Eventually, when you find items, you’ll have to choose what you carry and what you leave behind. And sometimes, you’ll find yourself leaving behind things that you fought huge battles with monsters to attain. It’s hard to let go of things, but sometimes you have to. At work, you might have projects that you want to continue with but have to let them go to move into a new position. You might have equipment that you love but can’t keep. You might have data on your computer (or phone or iPad) that’s just wasting space. Keep in mind, that there’s a weight to that data, even if only mentally. Learn to let things go. Sometimes the character simply can’t move to the next room with a massive bag of treasure on their back.
- Energy draining monsters are the worst! As mentioned earlier in this article, once you reach a certain number of experience points (pretty much double from the previous level up) you get to move up in levels. However, occasionally you find undead monsters that can drain experience points from you. Ghosts, ghasts, ghouls and other monsters are the total suck. They can set you back pretty far. And sometimes permanently. We all know people that just suck the life right out of you at work. They always talk about how they tried an initiative and the initiative didn’t work, so they don’t want to try anything else. They always go back to the good old days and these days everything sucks. These energy draining attitudes must be vanquished. Regrettably, in Dungeons and Dragons, that often requires magic items. Positivity and strategy are the magic weapons in the corporate world. Results speak for themselves, so they are the vorpal sword of the board room!
- The best business happens in a pub. Yup, you’re not gonna’ buy that crazy Staff of Wielding in a regular-old blacksmith’s shop. Instead, sometimes you do your best business in a bar. Or a golf course. Or at church. When you’re in these places, be you, but don’t be afraid to let business happen where it happens!
- Teams need to be diverse. A party of 6 fighters really isn’t going to make it far. Nor 6 clerics. You need a couple of fighters, a cleric (to heal everyone), a magic user (maybe an elf), a thief (likely a halfling), etc. A well rounded adventuring party is key to the success of a campaign. The same is true for many teams at work. Different experiences and different backgrounds bring different ideas and perspectives. And bring everyones game up a notch. Of course, sometimes your half-orc rogue will spar with your paladin. But the team is better for having everyone together.
- Sometimes you have to retreat. A 4th level barbarian walks into a bar… It sounds like a joke, until it ends “and get shot with lightning by a level 36 drow lich-king. A/B testing, pivoting, fail fast. Have an open mind. Be creative, but if your initiatives aren’t working out, get out of the bar, before you get lit up. Having said that, let things play out. Sometimes the lich-king just hits you with a riddle and might give you treasure rather than have you dual it out. Modern business acumen is to try things, let initiatives play out, but be prepared to change course. Don’t be afraid to admin that you were wrong. This is a common trait of people who are right a lot.
- The best loot is free. I guess it’s according to how you define free. Organic growth is always best when possible. Buying customers, buying products, buying teams, etc are all problematic in their own way. Sometimes you do those things so that you can get to market quicker. But when you go into a dungeon and try and take on a stretch goal of killing yourself a giant spider, you’ll get rewarded by great loot. That +2 longsword will do you well. And it’s better to get it that way than to get it in a store.
- Sometimes you get a critical miss, sometimes you get a critical hit. In Dungeons and Dragons, if you’re trying to stab a monster, you roll the dice to see if you hit it. There are certain numbers on a dice that might have your character inflicting extra damage, because you hit an artery or something like that. There are other numbers that might cause you to actually stab yourself. There’s a certain amount of chance to everything we do. Maybe a critical miss is to get fired by your biggest customer for something you had no control over. Maybe a critical win is to have your largest deal ever come in during the last couple weeks of a year so the year ends historically awesome sauce. Maybe you ship software with a huge bug. Maybe you have some widgets made and they fall off a cargo ship on the way from China. I’ve seen it all. Sometimes things backfire. The best plan, have a backout plan. And be prepared for the critical hit pushing your business forward a year or two with one deal. If you don’t try, you might not get it!
krypted January 26th, 2016
Posted In: Business
Business, campaign, Dungeons and Dragons, lessons to live life by, rules
I started working at JAMF a little over a year and a half ago. And one of my favorite things about the on boarding process here is the emphasis on continuing education that was handed down to me. I was given two books to read on my first day. Then, during my get-the-cool-aid on boarding (aka Zero Month), I had a couple of pretty rad JAMFs go through a list of books they felt were essential and review the books from my first day. Theeeen, I had meetings with Co-Founder and CEO at the time Chip Pearson, where he would stop meetings and order me books. It was a book nerd’s heaven I tell ya’.
And like other heavenly nerd things, I thought I’d share it with you here. So here’s 25 good business books that I either read or re-read since I’ve been here (in no specific order):
The Blue Ocean Strategy
. This book outlines a specific market condition they call a “red ocean”, which is when a market is so saturated that the players in that market start to drop prices and engage in cut-throat tactics. The premise is that rather than entering a market with the same product that everyone else has, you might as well look for a different market. I’ll expand this and say a different market segment as well. It’s a delightful and quick read. Very interesting little book, and much more business than you’d think given the tone (which makes the prose easy to get through).
The Idea Factory:
When I was in college, I wanted to lead R&D at Bell Labs. Or Xerox. This is the story of Bell and all the breakthroughs and ideas they came up with. It’s a fantastic little book. And a must-read for those who want to play the innovation game.
There are so many things that a lot of books on how to start a business, or write a business plan, or go get VC don’t cover. This is really a tacticians look at starting a company or business unit. It’s concise and easy to read, with real life examples and tons of things that I’ve seen first hand. I’m not sure you can truly appreciate it until you’ve been there a couple of times, but if you have it’s great to know you’re not the only one!
Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance:
Before IBM was a juggernaut, it was a juggernaut. But between those two stages, IBM was in serious peril. Then Louis Gerstner came and changed what IBM was, how IBM operated, and helped to turn them into a new kind of awesome. When he retired, he wrote this book. While it’s part euphoric recall, anyone who wonders WTF in big companies should read this book. I think it helped me better understand why some of the things that used to frustrate me happen, and understand more about what it takes to run a truly global organization.
This was a pretty weird business book. Because it was written like a piece of fiction. I appreciated the change-up after a year of reading so many books on business. The thesis is really that you should be in touch with yourself and your clients in a very Jerry Maguire way. It’s simple, but an easy read with a few really good points to take away (such as not to scoff at the competition when they do seemingly hippy things).
Guerilla Marketing Weapons:
100 tips on getting more out of marketing. ‘Cause who doesn’t want that? If you read this, keep a notepad handy. It’s got a lot of basic, easy things. But it’s got a lot of ideas that you’ll want to capture while they’re fresh as well.
Notes to a Software Team Leader:
This book is about self organizing teams. ‘Cause developers don’t need managers as much as we seem to think. But they do need structure, like all teams.
Trust Me, I’m Lying:
PR gone wrong. There’s a lot of great tips in this book from a “don’t do this” standpoint. Euphoric recall as a teaching mechanism. The dark side of PR.
Crossing the Chasm:
This book is about how some tech companies go mainstream (and uber-profitable) and how some just don’t. There is a chasm between early adoption and mainstream. Why? How do you keep from getting caught in it? Great items this book does a great job covering. If you’re in the startup/innovation/tech scene, you simply have to read this book; it’s a classic.
The Art of the Start
: Another classic (one I wish I’d of read years earlier), Guy Kawasaki takes aim at startups, looking to secure VC or bootstrap. Lots of great tips. Lots of good stories. From a veteran of the startup community, just without the grizzled aspects many of the veterans can get.
: I’m just gonna’ throw in another book. This one tells the story of how Kawasaki got his start at Apple and has some parallels drawn between his time in the jewelry industry and marketing. It’s a good book. If you only have time for one of his books, read Art of the Start. If you have time for two, get Enchantment.
The Icarus Deception
: Play it safe? Listen to the smart people? Sure. Don’t fly too low either. But make your own way. It’s a great title from Seth Godin. And check out his blog here
Ideas Are Free
: This book caused me to setup meetings with people who would never think of tag lines and other creative items. I had mixed results, but it was abso-frickin’-lutely worth it. Not only do non-creatives have lots of good ideas, they also have lots of great responses to being included.
: How does Zappos end up with such a fanatical fan base? Support. If you’ve ever returned something to Zappos, you know what I mean. Everything about shopping there is a great experience. Not everyone can expend the resources they do, as support isn’t as integral a part of their strategy as it is at Zappos. But there are lots of
The Innovator’s Dilemma
: The thesis: there are waves of innovation and you have to keep releasing disruptive tech to stay on those waves. If you listen to customers too much, you might miss out. If you don’t go downmarket eventually someone else will. If you don’t read this book, you won’t get all these fantastic tips.
The Lean Startup
: Fail fast. It’s a good thesis to a book. Don’t fail too fast. I think they forgot to tell you when the breaking point is. But there are lots of stories and tips in this book that can help any fledgling product or business. And it’s well worth the time and money. Probably my second favorite book on the list.
: Why schedule a 60 minute meeting when a 15 minute meeting (er, spike) will do? Lots of great little tips in this book from the people behind 37 Signals and Ruby.
: Liz Wiseman loves putting newbies into roles and seeing how they do. And she’s had success at it. In this book, there’s a bit of a simplistic approach to that (not everyone can sit in every chair in a growing company). But the most important aspect of this book is that she defined a few types of people or places in life that “rookies” are and how you can engage those specific groups best. this was probably my favorite part of the whole book.
Keeping Up with the Quants
: Stats for marketing professionals. Unlike many of the books where there’s a thesis and then a lot of proving the thesis, this one is more of a longer collection of definitions, simple statistical formulas, etc.
Marketing In The Age Of Google
: The general thesis of this thing is that content is king. Write a lot of good stuff that people want to link to and your product will get natural listings that are hard to displace. There’s other good little tips here and there, but that’s the key message. There, saved ya’ some time. 🙂
Growth Hacker Marketing
: This is my favorite book on the list (like I said, no particular order). A fresh, interesting, cool, personal approach to getting your product branding in front of people. Some ideas cost a little. Some cost a lot. It’s great stuff. A must read in my humble opinion.
: A bit of a slow paced book, but (pun intended) it gains traction as it goes. The Entrepreneurial Operating System is a bit much for me. But when explaining it, there are a lot of really amazing lessons that you have to learn. Some you learn the hard way, some you learn in this book.
: Another Seth Godin book, this one focusing on using surveys, samples, contests, sales, and other marketing techniques to get in front of customers. The Purple Cow isn’t on this list, as I read it a long time ago. If you haven’t read it, check it out. If you have, check this out.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
: Things to do and not to do when marketing. Don’t send too many emails. Don’t send things that people don’t care about. But the most important part of this book, and pretty much the central thesis is to match with forces in the market. If you don’t do that, you won’t be able to get in sync with what customers want and how to grab their attention.
We were excited when Michael Lopp, who wrote this book, joined the board of JAMF Software. In part, it was because Zach (co-founder of JAMF) and I both hero worshipped his writing. This is a great book, and his blog is great as well!
krypted December 29th, 2015
Posted In: Articles and Books, Business
25 best business books, articles, Books, startups, tech companies
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But Apple says… But Microsoft says… But Google says… I hear this all the time. And the very first thing I often ask is Who at Apple, Microsoft, Google, or whatever vendor says that?
The reason I ask “who” is often because you can get conflicting responses from a vendor for a given question. Why’s that? When an organization gets bigger than 1, there are suddenly more perspectives than just one. When an organization gets bigger than 3, communication starts to get more challenging and it becomes harder and harder to have everyone on the same page. When an organization gets bigger and bigger (500, 10,000, 100,000), not everyone is actually privy to all the pertinent information. Or people don’t know what they can say externally.
Who? Developers. Sales. Systems Engineers. Professional Services. Subject Matter Experts. Managers. Executives. Resellers. Marketing. Professional Services Providers. Office Managers. Channel Managers. Product Managers. Each of these might tell you something different when presented with the same question. A developer might only see a small portion of a larger overall project, as they’re buried in the code of a specific binary, feature, or option. Someone in sales might be representing a feature or function as it’s communicated to them, not being overly technical. Someone in Systems Engineering might communicate the feature as they use it, but not how you plan to use it. Someone in Professional Services would often have exposure in the environments they’ve implemented a feature, but a feature might mean more to them.
And it goes on through the rest of the functions . Who can you trust? No one. Everyone. Yourself. I’ve always maintained that until I see a feature, I don’t trust it. And when it comes to how I plan to implement a feature, I love hearing from an organization how they’d like me to use it. Unless I get a consistent response about what something from a vendor means to me (and even if I do to some extent), I reserve the responsibility of planning what it means to me for the person responsible for the repercussions: me.
I keep saying feature. But I also mean strategy. Strategy can be equally, if not more complicated. Different people at different levels of organizations will have their own perspectives on strategy. And strategy of how you work with a vendor is more important than the tactics of how you implement a given feature. The direction you should be going is yours. Unless you hear otherwise. And then confirm that.
Anyway, what am I getting at with this article? Next time someone tells me “But Google says…” don’t be surprised when I say “who?” And you should say that as well, and judge the messaged based on the who.
krypted December 23rd, 2015
Posted In: Business
Business, strategy, tactics, who
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