Random Thoughts On Maturing Companies and Start-Ups. When Do You Need A Reset?

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In an interesting conversation with clients this week and discussions were around the question: “should companies plan for the distant future (10 years and beyond) and what is needed to get out of a death spiral where a slow death is in the making?”

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There is a big difference between growing with age and growing old. With age, it sometimes comes with wisdom. With more than a dozen of C-suite execs that I have worked with or coached, for most of them, the wisdom came one day after they had passed the age of 50. Growing comes with age, which sometimes take away the energy and urge to make radical change. Ask…
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Five Deadly Mistakes of Organization Transformation That Leaders Must Avoid.

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So you are ready to transform your organization? You want your organization to leapfrog the industry? You want to deliver above industry average growth? And do you know what are the most common mistakes that leaders and even very smart and experienced leaders make? The most common one is sticking with the usual way, the easy way and the proven way. There is no usual, easy and safe way if the company has not been doing well or satisfactorily underperforming. It is not just about making a good product anymore. Leaders need to ask how does one make a meaningful contribution to society with product?

Whenever I was tasked to help global enterprises to move the next level, the first thing I did was to stop…
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Thank You Robert Downey Junior For The Nine Creative Short Films You Created to Celebrate The HTC M9. Honestly, I Don’t Quite Get It.

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Thank you, Robert Downey Jr, for the nine inspirational short films you created to celebrate our all-new HTC One M9. Honestly, as HTC's CMO and the client who commissioned you the project and telling everyone it is a great idea, I am really not getting it. At least not all of it. I just want to be honest about it.

I am considered a very creative person and, as a designer, I appreciate all kinds of art from surrealism to post-modernism. I understood the concepts explained to me by team RDJ before we started this project and I deeply appreciate all the effort and enthusiasm you put into this. It was a lot of hard work and…
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Design Leadership Is More Than Simplicity. It Is About Design Discipline.

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El·e·gant, an adjective and define or characterized by or exhibiting refined, tasteful beauty of manner, form, or style. Marc Jacob? Chanel? Jil Sander? Hermes? All are unquestionably elegant by design in the fashion world. How about smartphones or interfaces? Can they be elegant? Or what about customer experiences? Can you describe a banking or customer service experience as elegant? Most people don’t.

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Is elegant a word reserved solely for tangible product? The design world likes to use words such as “elegant”, “simple” and “user friendly”, many designers understand how to subtract in creating simple and elegant design solutions. Human factors usually subtract…
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The Most Successful Wearable Design Is All About Balance, Benefit, Beauty And Behavior.

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This is the billion-dollar question: “How do we create the iPhone pr Walkman of wearables?” and “How do we create sub-ecosystems around these wearables?” At the CES who this year, you can still see everyone displaying their newest or not-so-new wearable ideas. No one can afford to miss the train but most of the wearables out there now are just toys and eventually will become thrown aways. I can’t find a reason anyone would want to buy most these so called wearables. Google glass is officially a failed experiment, or at least for now. GoPro is a stellar success and Apple will enter that game soon. They have been granted a patent for a wearable camera…
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The Come Back Of Hardware. Is Software Becoming A Commodity?

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The world is suddenly obsessed with smart technologies and this time around it seems unstoppable. Our everyday electrical and mechanical industrial object will now be occupied and ran by software and connected to the cloud. It also means each object (as small as some smoke detectors and as large as automobiles) will now be equipped with tons of sensors and can be able to adapt to different environment and individual needs.

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It is essential that the next wave of industrial revolution will make us more efficient and empowered (and more human I…
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Action Cam King GoPro Is Turning Our Life Into A Movie. HTC and Others Also See The Opportunity.

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When I was at a GoPro event earlier this year I saw how the crowd reacted to it and it is more than a product, it is now a movement. The little mountable camera is a brilliant example of how innovation can shape the industry structure of digital imaging and created a new path of growth under the radar screen of all big players from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Lumix and others for cameras and the Logitech, Microsoft, HP and others for video cam.

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This little wearable camera company did an amazing job (now a US$10 Billion market cap company) invented a completely…
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The Biggest Idea These Days Other Than “Wearables” Is “Destructables”. We All Need It.

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I think the biggest idea today other than “wearables” is “self-destructables” and it is exactly what we need these days. OK this is the first time you hear this. "Destructables: is the biggest unmet need because privacy just might be the biggest enemy of big data and googleglass. This trend is gaining momentum – think “ephemeral media” which is a way to make any digital assets including photos, texts, emails, posts that can self-destruct once they’re delivered, read or triggered by an event. I would pay for that service.

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With…
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The Bionic Man/Woman Is Now Possible! It Gives New Meanings To Wearables!

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Remember that Six Million Dollar Man TV Series? When ace test-pilot Steve Austin's crashed, he ended up in a poor shape that his only chance of survival was to replace human spare parts with technologies. That was the beginning of “wearables” I supposed. The government decided to invest millions to use the latest technology to rebuild him with cybernetic parts which gave him superhuman speed, response and strength and the superagent.

Thirty-five years later, DARPA's Reliable Neural-Interface Technology (RE-NET) is working on it and  trying to improve the speed and accuracy of neural interfaces. Such interfaces can happen in the brain, as in the case of Hemmes, or someplace else farther down the line, closer to the…
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The Future of Wearables? Everyone Will Get It Wrong. And The Winner Won’t Be Google, Apple, Sony Or Microsoft.

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Wearable is hot. It is supper hot. The billion-dollar
question remains, “How do we create the iPhone of wearables?” and “How do we create
sub-ecosystems around these wearables?” and "What new business model opportunities will emerge?" The buzz is here but the money is not
here yet. Everyone is betting on it and no one can afford to miss the train. Most wearable out there are just toys for the geeks. I can't find a reason anyone wants to buy this Sony Watch. Wll now everyone can see my Facebook messages. What is dumb idea! OK I can use it to tell time and the weather.  Apple’s
iWatch or…
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