Links for June 10 2012

  • Why We Need More IT Leadership, Not Less by Susan Cramm on Valuedance

    Quote: IT leaders need to provide a different kind of leadership than they have provided in the past.  Since it is impossible for the 5% (or so) employees in IT to satisfy all the technology needs of the other 95%, IT needs to transition from delivering IT to the organization to delivering IT through the organization by enhancing self-sufficiency and innovation.

  • Michael Lewis — Don’t Eat Fortune’s Cookie | Farnam Street

    Quote: All of you have been faced with the extra cookie. All of you will be faced with many more of them. In time you will find it easy to assume that you deserve the extra cookie. For all I know, you may. But you’ll be happier, and the world will be better off, if you at least pretend that you don’t.

  • BYOD blowback drives more IT underground by Barb Darrow on GigaOM: Cloud Computing News

    Quote: So what to do? Forrester recommends that IT staffs be encouraged to stop fighting the rank-and-file and really learn about the tools they want to use and, where possible, facilitate rather than fight that use.

  • The unforgiving arithmetic of the funnel by Seth Godin

    Quote: The common mistake is to reflexively come to the conclusion that the only option is to make more noise, to put more attention into the top of the funnel. The thinking goes that if a big audience is getting you mediocre results, a huge audience is the answer. Alas, a huge audience is more difficult than the alternatives.

  • Five Ways to Ruin Your Innovation Process by Rita McGrath on Harvard Business Review

    Quote: So, there you have it. Five patterns of behavior that should be early warnings to any executive serious about the innovation process, and some suggestions about avoiding them. The good news is that there is a growing body of knowledge about innovation that can help make the whole endeavor less fraught, more reliable, and even more fun.

  • Fear Is Not Something To Be Afraid Of by Danny Brown

    Quote: But you know, fear is a good thing. Fear is what spurns us to experiment. Fear is what leads us to overcoming hurdles and reaching far higher plateaus on the other side. In short, fear is our friend.
    It’s right to be afraid. That’s common sense. We know that we’re not in the greatest of times – anyone who says otherwise isn’t accepting the facts.

  • Customers Don’t Want More Features by Donald Reinertsen and Stefan Thomke on Harvard Business Review

    Quote: Determining which features to omit is just as important as—and perhaps more important than—figuring out which ones to include. Unfortunately, many companies, in an effort to be innovative, throw in every possible bell and whistle without fully considering important factors such as the value to customers and ease of use. When such companies do omit some planned functionality, it’s typically because they need to cut costs or have fallen behind schedule or because the team has failed in some other way.

  • Ending Knowledge Cartels by Dave on academhack

    Quote: To me it is simple, we have a bizarre situation where we give away our product for free to these cartels who then turn around and sell it back to us. We give away our knowledge for free the only question is do we want to give it away to the public or to the cartels. Overcoming the knowledge cartels in the academy is simply a collective action problem. That is all we have to do is act together. Acting alone has costs, but if we collectively resist the cartels we solve the problem. To be sure there are complex solutions needed to replace the cartels, but the first step is overcoming them—which is shockingly simple. I offer 10 steps to take to achieve this goal.

  • Microsoft Innovates But Falls Short on Capitalizing By Preston Gralla on Computerworld

    Quote: In fact, though, Microsoft has been out front on a number of occasions. It’s not that it can’t innovate. It’s that it doesn’t do a good job of turning innovations into market-changing products.

On Fear

As you may know, I kadabble  in the stock market. BTW – Kadabble…that’s a word my friend Ron Roll created…its his word for ‘dabble’. I think.

I’ve written about the market in the past.  See Stop Chasing. Start Focusing and How project management made me a better trader/investor for some of my stock market ramblings.

Beginning in December 2011, the S&P 500 (and the market in general) has been moving in a nice steady upward climb.   During this climb, there have been people expecting a quick roll-over and a fast move down…and others expecting a continued climb up.

The smart traders have been long for a while. The smarter traders have been looking for a small pullback the last few days.  This pullback is necessary, they say, to help the market consolidate and get ready for more upside.

In recent weeks…many more people besides the ‘smarter’ traders have been talking about that pullback. They’ve been rooting for it even.

This week, we got a piece of the pullback…and maybe the entire pullback.  On Monday and Tuesday, we saw the S&P 500 come down almost 3%…which is the pullback that a great number of traders were looking for.

Now that we have the pullback…are these same traders who’ve been looking for the pullback exited?  Are they throwing money at the market?


Most aren’t. Rather than throwing their money at the market (like they said they would)…most are now sitting around chewing their fingernails and worrying about the market.

So…here we are.  These people got what they asked for. But…then they ignored the opportunity.

Why?  Fear?  Inattention?  Misunderstanding?

Who knows why these people aren’t following up with their plans…but honestly…its not something that just afflicts traders.

I see it all the time in business too.

Think about all the strategic plans you’ve run across in your life…how many of those plans have been fully implemented? How many of those plans have been written up and talked up…then nothing happens?  For me…I’ve seen a lot of these plans written up and sit on a shelf.


Because people are afraid. They are afraid of trying and failing. I can understand that…fear is a big ol’ hairy wall that stops us in our tracks.

But…when you ask for something…and get it…you better grab it and run with it.

If you don’t…someone else will.

Image Credit: Day 122 – FEAR By CraigGrocott on flickr

If you'd like to receive updates when new posts are published, signup for my mailing list. I won't sell or share your email.