Logic goes a long way

…if the mission of these aliens calls for stealth, they seem surprisingly incompetent. You would think that creatures technologically capable of traversing the mind-boggling distances between the stars would also know how to turn off their high beams at night and to elude our primitive infrared cameras.

Astrophysicist Adam Frank, “I’m a Physicist Who Searches for Aliens. U.F.O.’s Don’t Impress Me”, The New York Times

Agree 100 %. When weird stuff happens it is ok to revert to your sense of logic and common sense. It is most often a pretty good guide for what to believe and what not to.

Transitions are hard

There may be a fantastic new innovation which could significantly improve performance for the company if it were implemented.

But in order to implement the innovation, you need to go through a temporary change, a transition phase, where for a period things could be less stable than they were previously.

It is this fear of the reduction in stability which can cause resistance to actually implementing the innovations, as people fear what the change may bring.

And so many companies prefer to stay on their first lower mountain peak, not willing to go down into any valley, even if they can see higher peaks ahead of them.

“Stability”, Nick Skillicorn, Idea To Value

Wise words.

I have seen it play out many times in corporates, but I have lacked the words to adequately describe it.

The interesting question is, whether it applies to startups, who have got past the first launch and seen the first traction too?

No excuses

When you understand your customer, magic happens, and brilliant results follow. If you don’t put time into understanding your customer, then you’re setting yourself up for a battle or, worse, failure.

“The Complete Checklist To Truly Understand Your Customer”, Scott Middleton, Product Coalition

This is an eternal truth. Yet a lot of startups – and other companies for that matter – still don’t prioritize it.

It’s a potentially life-threatening mistake for your company. And, honestly: There are no excuses. If in doubt how easy it is to do, if you just put in the effort, this checklist is a great starting point.

RIP display ads biz model

Google can own over half of the digital advertising market, cut its direct rival off at the knees, and receive widespread praise for having done so, even as users give out less personally identifiable information in exchange for being more easily profiled. Yay?

“Google’s Ad Announcement, The Privacy Sandbox, Google’s Advantage”, Stratechery ($$$)

The display ad market has long being a dying horse as a business model. Google is effectively putting the last nail in its coffin by going with cohorts and tracking through browsers rather than traditional cookies.

They own everything, and they are the only ones with the scale to make it truly work.

Game over.

If business reliant on display advertising as their business model haven’t woken up yet and started transforming their business model yet, this is the final call.

The good firefighter

[Firefighters] understand that while the innovation might help the company overall, they fear that they might lose the success and respect they have built up by becoming good at solving problems in their current manner. Their identity is so closely associated with their work. If there is no need to go the extra mile anymore, they ask themselves how they can prove their value.

“Firefighters prevent innovation”, Nick Skillicorn

There is some truth to this. But it is also not doing justice to some of the best firefighters.

Because there are firefighters out there who not only put out fires but tirelessly work on helping ensure the prevention of new fires or old ones flaming up again.

They should be considered crown jewels of their organizations and treated as such. Absolutely priceless superstars that any organization should be lucky to have.

Call it what it is

This fight was not “Facebook v. Australia.” Or “Facebook v. journalism” even though some ignorant or dishonest people are making it out to be the case. This was always “Rupert Murdoch v. the open web.” We may not like Facebook in the role of the defender of the open web (and it’s far from the best representative for the open web). But Facebook saying that it won’t pay a link tax is a defense of the open web and against Rupert Murdoch. It’s the right move, and whatever else you may think of Facebook, the company deserves credit for taking the right stand here.

“The Bizarre Reaction To Facebook’s Decision To Get Out Of The News Business In Australia”, Mike Masnick, Techdirt

100 % correct. Same problem applies in Denmark and other places. It’s more or less the last stand of failed news media executives, who have decided they can’t innovate themselves out of the tidal changes of the digital age, so they need to revert to applying pressure – seek protection money – through government intervention.

They should also fail – and fail miserably – on this one.

Beware of bolts of lightning

…despite the infinitesimally small odds of getting hit by a bolt of lightning, approximately 240,000 incidents happen each year. Technically, it could happen to me or you. But a strategy to increase your chances of being hit while simultaneously hedging on a positive outcome is akin to trying to get hit by a very small bolt of lightning.

There’s no such thing. And you can’t predict it, no matter what you saw in Back to the Future.

r/wallstreetbets and the Lesson of Viral Exposure for Startups“, Joe Procopio

Going viral is not a viable business strategy. Just as betting on only being hit a tiny bit by lightning is just stupid.

Take a walk

As you identify an especially difficult decision or problem, to be able to have a solid hour or more of time to consider the problem, largely uninterrupted (be sure to turn off your phone’s notifications), can fundamentally change the quality of your understanding and your conclusions.

“Deep Thinking”, Marty Cagan via Silicon Valley Product Group

Marty Cagan is right: More people should spend more time taking long walks and just contemplate things, BEFORE they react to them.

A lot of things would probably end up better, if we did that more – thinking before reacting/speaking.

I am not very good at taking long walks myself. Maybe I will come to rue this rare Covid-19 opportunity as a missed opportunity.