Friday, January 29, 2010

Guy Kawasaki's Art of Innovation

In Guy Kawasaki's latest book, "Reality Check," he lists 11 recommendations for companies trying to innovate.  Buy this excellent book for the first ten, but I will give you the last one:

Don't let the bozos grind you down.  The bozos will tell a company that what it's doing can't be done, shouldn't be done, and isn't necessary.  Some bozos are clearly losers—they're the ones who are easy to ignore. The dangerous ones are rich, famous, and powerful.  Because they are so successful, innovators may think they are right.  They're not right, they're just successful on the previous curve, so they cannot comprehend, much less embrace, the next curve.

Guy's comment really hits home for Partner Intelligence's automated BI conversion software.  Seven years ago, I was told it couldn't be done.  Once I did it, I was told that I shouldn't have.  On one hand, they said I was crazy for eliminating so much money that could be made with the status quo of rewriting applications manually.  On the other hand, they denied there was really any money to be made with automated conversions.

Yesterday, one of my clients disclosed that a BI software vendor told them (be sure to hear this sentence in your mind with a very sophisticated accent), "we once considered the idea of automating legacy report conversions but decided there was no market for it."

I was pleased that Guy called them bozos and I didn't have to do that myself.

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About Me

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I am a project-based consultant, helping data-intensive firms use agile methods and automation tools to replace legacy reporting and bring in modern BI/Analytics to leverage Social, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Visualizations, and Predictive Analytics. For several world-class vendors, I led services teams specializing in providing software implementation and custom application development. Based on scores of successful engagements, I have assembled proven methodologies and automated software tools.

During twenty years of technical consulting, I have been blessed to work with smart people from some of the world's most respected organizations, including: FedEx, Procter & Gamble, Nationwide, The Wendy's Company, The Kroger Co., JPMorgan Chase, MasterCard, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Siemens, American Express, and others.

I was educated at Valparaiso University and the University of Cincinnati, graduating summa cum laude. In 1990, I joined Information Builders, the vendor of WebFOCUS BI and iWay enterprise integration products, and for over a dozen years served in branch leadership roles. For several years, I also led technical teams within Cincom Systems' ERP software product group and the custom software services arm of Xerox.

Since 2007, I have provided enterprise BI services such as: strategic advice; architecture, design, and software application development of intelligence systems (interactive dashboards and mobile); data warehousing; and automated modernization of legacy reporting.