Monthly Archives: July 2012

Do we really need 10,000 hours?

Malcom Gladwell makes the case for a ten thousand hour path to expertise in his book Outliers.

Simple math tells me, with forty hour weeks, fifty weeks a year, you’ll reach that plateau in five years.

We’re in Pre-Sales.  We haven’t got five years.  We’ve got until the demo date, likely set by the sales rep.*

What can we do with one hundred hours?  Invest it wisely.  Now go!

*With an eye towards return-flight scheduling convenience.

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Everyone recognizes the leader- he’s the one in front.

But is it in your customer’s best interest to pick the frontrunner?

There are so many ways of getting to the lead; some deserved, some not:

  • Being there first
  • Staying close and passing at the last moment
  • Carrying on when everyone else gives up
  • Being pushed to the front
  • Cutting the line
  • Standing still while everyone regresses
  • Building an insurmountable lead and then resting
  • Running your own race

Which are you this time?

In golf they don’t ask how, they ask how many.

In business, your customer might be wise to focus on how the frontrunner got there.

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Too many TLAs are a PITA

And poorly placed pronouns are puzzling.

We owe it to our audiences to be clear, not confusing.


When we start using Three Letter Acronyms (TLAs) and pronouns because we assume the audience knows what the TLAs mean or because we’re too rushed to type or speak the words out, we risk confusing them.


When we start using TLAs and pronouns because we assume the they know what they mean or because we’re too rushed to type or speak them, we risk confusing them.

We learn sequentially, getting stuck on what we don’t understand until we resolve that problem. If your audience is still working out what you’ve said and you’ve gone down the road, they’ll abandon the journey.

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Why so competitive?

Because we like to win


Because we like to compete

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You can’t collaborate without labor

Enterprise solutions are embarking on a collaboration train, offering improved and very usable tools for notifying, sharing, messaging, and decision-making right alongside the traditional business transactions of orders, returns, credit-checks, and reports.

Unfortunately, having the right tools doesn’t fix the bookshelf. You have to use them. You can’t collaborate without some labor. The collaboration journey requires an investment of time. You have to be the I in the team who does the heavy lifting. Let’s call that investment, oh, leadership.

Eventually, another person will benefit from your collaboration efforts* and they’ll join in the conversation, multiplying the collaboration value. Collaboration spreads grass-roots, individual by individual. This is good; you can’t force collaboration any more than you can force labor.

*They’ll also recognize your leadership and you’ll have gained a fan.

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Some ‘Splaining to do

We’re not here to teach, though we are here to explain.

We take our user interfaces, technology stacks, business processes, data, and reports and present a tasty jambalaya to our audiences.  We take complexity and convey simplicity through a memorable theme and three bullet points.*

We take an audience from “I don’t get it,” to “I want to get it.”

It’s some ‘splaining we do.

*because two aren’t enough and four is too many

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