Models

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The Patriots, the 49ers, and one way sports is different than business

You want a proven path to innovation? Find good ideas in one context, and try to apply them in a different context. The Wharton School gives us some examples: At Reebok, the cushioning in a best-selling basketball shoe reflects technology borrowed from intravenous fluid bags. Semiconductor firm Qualcomm’s revolutionary color display technology is rooted in
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The Wall Street Journal, calculus, and your ticket to the party

Last week, The Wall Street Journal ran an article titled “Calculus Is So Last Century”. The main idea? Industry today is focused on big data. And big data analysis leans more heavily on probably and statistics than calculus. Here’s one quote from the article: Accompanying the proliferation of new data is noise, and a major
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The psychology of precise numbers

The Harvard Business School published a cool article last week. It’s titled “When Negotiating a Price, Never Bid with a Round Number”. The premise is that precise numbers communicate intelligence. What is precise? Asking for a raise of $4,100, rather than $4,000, for example. The added precision subconsciously tells your boss that you’ve really done
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The fruit stand as a metaphorical business model

Business can be complicated. When you think about large companies with international operations across tons of product lines, you find a lot of complexity. It helps to simplify things. When I’m in that situation, I turn to the fruit stand. Almost all businesses can be described as a fruit stand, as long as you give
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Build models to engage your career sponsors

About a year and a half ago, I was asked to forecast future revenue for a few of our businesses in a particular area. We would then use those forecasts to help decide how much to invest in our business, and where. I had to forecast parameters that would dictate how much our customers would spend
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As you spend more time outside of the technology organization, you’ll hear more metaphors. One of my favorites: nine women can’t make a baby in a month. For this metaphor, the project deliverable is the baby. The project resources are the women. The saying means that adding more resources won’t make the deliverable appear more
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