Corporate Coping And The Failure To Adapt

Corporations are interesting places. Sometimes their intrinsic functions work flawlessly, much to the surprise of new arrivals. Other times they work, but only because their participants have taken to alternative routes which slightly impede the process. Worse yet, are those – typically large, typically monopolies or there about – institutions which fail nearly everyone’s definition of “timely” and are a far cry away from be characterized as “nimble” or “agile”. Those are foreign terms reserved only for marketing literature and repeated ad nauseum to the unentrenched observer. More likely is that they are simply a daily utterance from exasperated employees in the form of  “I really wish we were more …”
What many fail to ascertain is that the latter examples illustrate – at best – coping, and – at worst – flat out failure to adapt.
Both of these institutions are therefore failures in execution. The processes have, or will if left unchecked, mutated from simple and necessary to over-regulated Rube Goldberg machines. And thus both institutions will ultimately fail their staff, their partners, and their customers.
I don’t have a solution to present, merely a sympathetic ear, and an understanding that the alternatives do exist, but that they are probably with the fast moving competitor.

HBR: ‘The New Science of Viral Ads’ and My Screen

In this month’s (March 2012) Harvard Business Review, Thales Teixeira describes 5 issues that hurt a videos chance of going viral and how one might address them in his artilce “The New Science of Viral Ads”.  I have no issues with his points, however I would like to see some constraints (or transparency) placed around the findings. Throughout the article Thales uses the terms such as: digital marketing, video ads, and online viewers.  My question arises from the “which screen” are we talking about issue? That is, when this research was conducted did it exclusively happen in front of a PC and if so, do these findings also hold for true cell phone or tablet viewers?

I ask, because I know my tolerance and my behavior varies greatly by device. At home, with my very high speed broadband connection, I am significantly more tolerate of ads. As a result I will say that:

  • I am more likely to watch an ad
  • I will watch a longer ad

However this behavior is does not hold for my cell phone. As some of you know, I have the Samsung’s Nexus phone on Verizon’s 4G network – which means I have (usually) fast download times. So why the difference? Simple, the data plan. At home I’m not restricted to a monthly data limit or at least it’s so high I never reach it or worry about it. However, on my cell phone I do have a data limit and as AT&T has reminded us in recent days, this is also true for individuals with “unlimited” plans.
In other words, watching an video costs me much more than my just attention, it costs me kilobytes, which I loath to give up because:

  • overage charges
  • data throttling

Therefore my tolerance is significantly lower on my cell phone. In fact on my cell phone pre-rolls annoy me, which means I don’t care how good the video –  I just want it to end. This brings up the next point Thales cites (in Problems #3 and #4) a “60 second ad”. If I get a 60 second ad on my cell phone,  I’ll back out the screen. Forget it, I’m not watching it, the cost is simply too great when compared to value of the actual content I’m after. The one exception is that if the ad is recommended to my by a friend then I’ll trust that the sender feels it’s worth my time, attention, and bandwidth.

My Chrome for Android beta

Today Google released a beta of Chrome For Android and since I’ve got a Samsung Nexus I qualify. You can read up on all the gory details in the official blog post.  I installed it simply for the sync with desktop feature. I’ve tested it out too and it works fine. There are a couple gotchas with it though:

  1. If you opened a tab and you weren’t signed into Chrome to share, then that tab will not get synced when you do sign in.  Probably should be expected, but it did throw me at first. If you wanted it synced, go to your desktop Chrome and refresh, it will then get synced.
  2. I’ve found the Last synced: status to be suspect. Mine shows either “Now” or ‘5 mins ago’. I’ve never any other status.

Remember folks, it is a beta.

Here’s the official video.


Google solves for x

Today Google launched a new conference, who’s stated goal is where the “curious can go to hear and discuss radical technology ideas for solving global problems”. If you watch the video, it is about finding a huge problem – one that affects the world – and then reframing the problem as  a challenge. A challenge which can be addressed rather than accepted, through technology and radical ideas, and I would presume, collaborative efforts.
Techcrunch compared it to TED, which I can understand, however I would argue that this conference is more focused on ‘doing’ rather than ‘contemplating and observing’. This is about finding solutions to complex problems, which involves the ‘heavy lifting’. I must say, Google has me intrigued.

Video below

SQL Server 2012 – Long Time Coming

Seems like a long time coming, but Microsoft has announced that SQL Server 2012 will be released on March 7, 2012. If you happen to have been at the PASS Summit 2011 in October you’re probably excited by this release. (From what I was told,  SQL Server 2012 is looking very impressive. ) Here’s the agenda for the release event and here’s the free registration.  Here’s the new feature list, of which I here Always On is the big thing.

Jawbone gets it right!

Kudos to Jawbone today! After numerous user complaints that their UP wristband suffered reliability issues, they have decided to make a wise branding move and offer refunds.  I’m sure it will hurt financially but it will benefit the integrity of the brand.

Here’s their letter to users.


Call it arrogance or inexperience or just plain crazy, but innovation is about having a healthily disregard for the impossible.
It’s only crazy when you refuse to change your approach or view based on new facts.