Awkward Meetings – Volume I

The woman at the front of the room, closest to me, knew exactly what was going on, was loving every second of it, and was (mostly) silently laughing her ass off.

At a recent working session with a client, we were chatting during a break and the conversation veered into the subject of awkward meetings…I had a good time recalling a few, and figured I’d share them here.




So, in no particular order, I present to you: Awkward Meetings – Volume I.

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Posted in Careers, Everything, Marketing

Book Report: Zone to Win

Zone-to-Win_coverSMALL“Each zone has its own distinctive dynamics—one for revenue performance in the current year, one for productivity initiatives to foster and fuel that that performance, one for incubating future innovations, and one for taking such innovations to scale. Each zone follows its own local playbook… All four interoperate to enable an established business either to onboard a net new line of business while still maintaining its established franchises or to fend off a disruptive attack on one of these same franchises.” (Zone to Win)

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Posted in Books, Leadership, Management

Book Report: Co-Create

co-create-cover“So how do you get on the radar of someone who may not even be in the market for the value you offer? The only strategy you can actually control at this point is to ‘listen louder’ to identify when an individual initially enters the discovery phase. What can you do to create inbound inquiries? What can your organization do to invest in ways to be more visible, more ‘findable’ by individuals? This is the ideal opportunity for you to create compelling content, highly personalized and relevant to your target audience. Help them learn and discover new approaches, challenge their assumptions, but above all, lend a hand in their discovery process.” (Co-Create)

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Posted in Books, Leadership, Marketing

So I started a company.


This morning I officially launched my new marketing agency, Cromulent Marketing.

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Book Report: The Confidence Game

The Confidence Game - Why We Fall for It...Every Time“After reading this chapter, you will be intrigued by all of these forays with exceptionalism. But you will remain convinced that you, personally, have already properly taken them into consideration. Your present understanding of yourself and of the world around you is now fairly objective. Everyone else, however, is a potential sucker. (The Confidence Game)

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Posted in Books, Everything, Math and Science

Book Report: Lost Science

lost-science-coverFerguson has really done a tremendous job researching her subjects and bringing them to life, including enough detail to make things very vivid without overwhelming the reader, and putting everything into context by explaining the focal scientist’s contemporaries, political environment, other interests, and so on. These aren’t dry listings of historical facts; instead, they’re entertaining and enthralling true-but-almost-unbelievable tales that drew me in and carried me away.

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Posted in Books, Everything, Math and Science

Doomed from Inception: The Horizon 2 Gap in the Real World


“Horizon 2 initiatives are doomed from birth.” – Goeffrey Moore, in Escape Velocity

In case you’re not familiar with The Three Horizons Model of portfolio management, and how it maps to the Growth/Materiality Matrix, here’s a crash course:

  • Horizon 1 refers to current businesses that generate today’s cash flow; investments made here are expected to delivery returns in 0 to 12 months
  • Horizon 2 refers to high growth businesses of tomorrow; investments today are expected to generate significant returns in the 12- to 36-month range
  • Horizon 3 refers to long-term growth businesses, for which returns are more than 36 months away

Horizon 2 is a tricky beast. In Escape Velocity (click on the link to read my book report, complete with diagrams)Geoffrey Moore says: “Horizon 2 investments are expected to pay back significantly, but not in the year of their market launch. Typically they are fast growing from birth but come off a small base and need time to reach a material size. Moreover, because market adoption is rarely linear, there are often fits and starts before they catch fire. In the meantime, however, they are making material demands on go-to-market resources in the current year without generating corresponding material returns, and so they demand patience.”

Sure, you can sell stuff today to pay the bills, but your growth is expected to come from Horizon 2; consequently, they’re a crucial part of your business’ strategy.

So why do Horizon 2 efforts often end in disaster?

In this post, I share some of my own experiences working with Horizon 2, and intersperse with more insights from Mr. Moore, in the hopes that it’ll help you out in your own product endeavours.

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Posted in Management, Marketing

Book Report: Natural Born Heroes

natural-born-heroes“For most of human history, the art of the hero wasn’t left up to chance; it was a multidisciplinary endeavor devoted to optimal nutrition, physical self-mastery, and mental conditioning. The hero’s skills were studied, practiced, and perfected, then passed along from parent to child and teacher to student. The art of the hero wasn’t about being brave; it was about being so competent that bravery wasn’t an issue. You weren’t supposed to go down for a good cause; the goal was to figure out a way not to go down at all. (Natural Born Heroes)

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Posted in Books, Everything, Sports

Book Report: Mindware

mindware-coverSociety pays dearly for all the experiments it could have conducted but didn’t. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, millions of crimes have been committed, and billions of dollars have been wasted because people have bulled ahead on their assumptions and created interventions without testing them before they were put into place. (Mindware)

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Posted in Books, Everything, Leadership, Math and Science

Provocation-Based Marketing in Action

“Rather than resign themselves to hearing the standard ‘Sorry, we have no budget for that,’ some vendors—even some very young start-ups—have found a way to reach their customers’ resource owners and motivate them to allocate the necessary funds. Using what we call provocation-based selling, they persuade customers that the solutions they bring to the table are not just nice but essential.”

That’s a quote from In a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers, an article written by Philip Lay, Todd Hewlin, and Geoffrey Moore, and published in the Harvard Business Review in March, 2009.

The article – I only read it for the first time a few days ago – reminded me of an exercise/experience I had in early 2017, although I think it’s more accurate to describe my own experience as provocation-based marketing.

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Posted in Marketing

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