Sunday, December 30, 2007
For my last post of the year, just a short note to say thanks for your support. We know that if a tree falls in the woods, and there is no one within earshot, it still makes a sound. Right?
If you blog, and no one reads it, did you really blog?
Well, I know that over 600 unique visitors stopped by in just December. The biggest month since March 2007. I know your time is valuable, so I really do appreciate each and every one of you that took time out of your day to stop by.
Do let me know what I can to help you reach your goals in the coming year.
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey
December 30, 2007
P.S. See you next year!
WWW.THROUGHPUT.US to test Live Support
I have tested a number of "live support" options over the years. PHP Live is next on the list. I can buy the source code for less than LivePerson charges per month!
So, stop by and see if I am available. It will also capture a message should I be offline.
P.S. Remember that companies on the Purple Curve test.
tag: Purple Curve Effect
Friday, December 28, 2007
Thank you America!
By more than 2:1, this post from my appearance on Ed McCullough's Talk of the Town earlier this month was the most viewed blog entry on my site for the year 2007. More than the Dettmer posts combined!
One word of caution, the WHHI-TV web site seems slow at times. I will assume it is all the traffic that I have been sending their way. They are investigating off-loading popular shows to youtube.
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah
Apple Wins the Supply Chain Race How? The short answer: People. The right People. But it was not all Steve Jobs. Ever heard of Tim Cook and his $500,000 sign on bonus? apple-supply-chain-circa-1999.html -ski tag: Tim Cook
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey and Dan Hanlon
One of my Heroes: re-founder of the Excelsior-Henderson Motorcycle company. Dan made a good run at it, and produced the Super X V-Twin in 1999 and 2000. Then the "dot com meltdown" dried up the capital markets. I owed #847 and spent a great Fourth of July in 2006 with Dan. On our bikes, of course.
This post comes in at number six for most popular post of 2007:
Check out the flickr link at the close of the post.
tag: Dan Hanlon
Sales Process Engineering
A fairly new post, but with a lot of action. Which is good. As Zig Ziglar says, "Nothing happens until someone sells something!"
I keep forgetting to ask Justin Roth-Marsh if he feels as strongly as I do, that the sales manager cannot effectively be the marketing manager? At least not once a company is up and running. A large amount of focus is required on vary different tasks, in order to do each function properly.
tag: Justin Roff-Marsh
Systems thinking is all around us. In business for sure, but sports too. Some would suggest that more often than not, sports is big business.
This series by guest blogger H. William Dettmer was well viewed.
Lifted from the pages of Purple Curve Effect, this post from June is number nine on the hit parade. It has helped that it is a link on WWW.THROUGHPUT.US, but it was still popular even before that reference.
As I have mentioned, Seth Godin's book "The Dip" opened my eyes on a number of fronts. Among them, the power of being first or second in a market (ala Jack Welch while guiding GE).
Consider the "dream" on this list of success factors the vanilla ice cream of tips.
tag: Throughput Tips
Time to review the year 2007 :: Number 10
You, the readers of my blog have spoken, and for whatever reason(s), this is the tenth most popular post during the last year:
I agree it is a worthy post, but it is from 2005. Lets call it an oldie but a goodie!
tag: H. William Dettmer and his Strategic Navigation
Thursday, December 27, 2007
It has been a few days...
Ever been busy? Speaking of blogs that I read, Jonathan Schwartz is one. He is CEO of Sun. Well, it has been a few weeks since I took time to see what he was sharing. This post about the differences in customers is good. Very good. Maybe even profound.
They had two rooms full of customers. CTOs in one room. CIOs in another. He are a couple of observations from the CEO that are huge for Sun:
- Not a single company in the CTO room paid for software. Many knew Sun exclusively from our work in the open source or academic arena - validating free communities as a vehicle to meet new opportunities, before they join the Fortune 100.
- In contrast, not a single company in the CIO room allowed free software without a commercial support contract. Not one. Validating the notion that for more mature/diverse companies, the cost of downtime dwarfs the cost of a support contract.
The best way to generate throughput in at least 80% of the businesses that I come in contact with, is to help them solve their customers' problems. "Find a need and fill it" is so much easier when you partner with your customer to address their real challenges.
As Schwartz correctly points out, "Which is both the challenge and the opportunity."
Ever put your money where your mouth is?
Mike Murdock has long stated that you get paid based on the size of the problems you solve in life. Not getting paid enough? Solve tougher issues.
One way to do that, is to base your pay on results. It is my hope that the shear size of the numbers involved get your attention. And hold your attention long enough to encourage you to investigate my message more than just a brief encounter.
P.S. Yes, this is partially in response to Jon Spoelstra's question: "What's it gonna take?"
tag: Results based Pay
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Yet to meet Jon, he is still a Mentor
I find myself turning to this book again (and again, and again...). It is that good. If producing results are important to you. This morning over coffee, I re-discovered this nugget:
"I've got a simplistic way of looking at success in business. I believe all major corporate problems stem from inadequate revenue."Jon goes on to say:
"I've never seen a company in trouble from having too much revenue."Well said. Profound. In fact, if that is truly your problem (too much revenue), I cannot help. However, if your organization is suffering from the inverse, give me a call.
P.S. Especially if you are trying to get your projects back on schedule. Project Management is as much art as it is science, allow me to share a technique known as "critical chain" with you and your organization. If due date performance is a four letter word around your office, call me today!
tag: Due Date Performance
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
A google alert sent me to Tiwari's blog
Where I found a very smart individual... with a passion for reading and sharing his discoveries with the world (in the spirit of the Open Source software movement).
I commented on one of his posts, then added him to my bloglines, where I then found this great post on Jim Collins and the "people are your greatest asset" amplification:
P.S. Tiwari: for me, the secret of GE under Welch was exposed by Seth Godin in the Dip. To cut to the chase: be number one or two in each market, or get out!
tag: People are Assets
Monday, December 24, 2007
A great mentor I do not know Holtz personally. Only by his deeds. With him at the helm of Notre Dame, I allowed my son to become a fan. I have always been a fan of the man. This post on the LeadershipNOW blog is another fact that I did not know, but rings very true with those stories that I hold dear to my heart. Throughput is simply a matter of setting a goal, and applying (a lot of) focus. It was a great pleasure to watch a bowl game a number of years ago, when Holtz and the Gamecocks sent Ohio State and Cooper packing. It is my understanding Cooper was good at raising funds. That still does not explain his tenure at OSU as head coach of one of the greatest entities in college sports. I stopped cheering for my then (I grew up in Ohio) favorite college team when Cooper was given his first contact renewal. As I recall, he had not beaten Michigan and did not get us to the Rose Bowl. Why renew his contract? Politics? Fund raising skills? Ohio State University lost site of the goal for a head coach: winning football games! And in those days, we felt a God-given right to go to the Rose Bowl every year. Another icon sent that message loud and clear: Woody Hayes. Lou Holtz has always understood the goal. But he has never compromised. This wiki entry is just one example of the man I consider to be the greatest football coach ever: Lou Holtz wiki entry My hat is off to the LeadershipNOW blog for granting me yet another vantage point into the thought processes of one of America's icons. A mentor worthy of further study. -ski
at 11:11 AM
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Okay. Really only one more idea.
And to be perfectly honest, it is the same idea, with a twist.
Time is running out, so I made a contribution directly to the fund. Consider selecting the, "AIDS in Africa, inspired by (RED)" option on the donation form. Regardless of their religion or business philosophy, most of my adult life, I have read stories and met people that tithe. As in "give a tenth" of their gross income away.
It is a principal. A universal law. Give and it shall be given.
Consider making a donation via one of the (RED) products, or directly to the Global fund. As they say, "no amount is too small." What a great way to start the new year!
The secure donation form may be found [here]
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey
P.S. Not interested in this charity? Share your passion with the world.
One person can make a difference.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Chicago Style Breakfast with Justin Roff-Marsh
Business can involve a lot of moving parts. It helps to have smart friends, especially when constraints move (and they will!).
At some point, sooner or later, your constraint will move to the other side of the line. The line that I ask every business owner to draw in the sand. The one where I instruct them to consider this remark carefully:
"Look at the line. Every business in America (probably the world, but I cannot say) has just one constraint. One constraint worthy of my attention. Worthy of your attention. On the left, the "internal" constraint. On the right, the "external" constraint. Which is your constraint?"
Pretty simple, right? For a reason. Boyd's OODA Loop. But I digress.
When (not if) your constraint becomes external, you will need help. Justin Roff-Marsh and Ballistix kinda help. I had a good friend and business colleague tell his staff this week that my forwarding this notice to him was the spark he needed to take another look at my recommendation (to investigate Justin's organization's breakthrough in Sales Process Engineering).
High praise indeed.
Click the photo to register. I am sure it will sell out.
P. S. See you in Chicago. My constraint just moved to the right.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Total Matrix Planning :: The Tool :: TMx
First things first (disclaimer): I am compensated for my efforts in the promotion of TMx.
When Tony Rizzo calls, I make every effort to take the call. Regardless of my other activities. He rarely finds it necessary to call without emailing first, to see what time might work best.
A few months ago, Rizzo called out of the blue, and wanted me to apply some of my eCommerce expertise to a problem he was facing. I told a bit of the story in this TV talk show interview with good friend Ed McCullough:
Long story, short: I added the real-time online invoicing component to TMx. Then, I started playing around with it... and got no where! So I called Rizzo back, and said, "Show me how this thing works!"
He did. Now, it is a major component of my Critical Chain project management efforts. Do you have any idea how much time (and therefore, money) is wasted by starting on projects that should never have been released, simply due to inadequate project plans? I do.
Thousands of man-hours per year. Wasted.
Guess what? TMx is available for free. Yes. Free. A 100% complete and fully functional TMx is available (with a 30 day evaluation period) for download on Rizzo's web site:
Check it out. BTW (by the way), it is now light years ahead of what I first experienced just 90 days ago... but if you still cannot "make it work", Rizzo's email is included with the tool, and he encourages the end user to contact him with any questions. Or concerns.
Or enhancement requests.
P.S. Do check out the requirements section, it does not work with every possible configuration. And yes, I have asked for an Apple Mac version.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
It was my pleasure to once again spend time with Ed on WHHI-TV's "Talk of the Town". The recent launch of my sales and marketing company WWW.THROUGHPUT.US was the topic.
This link will take you to a "flash" enabled page, where you will see icons on the bottom of the page, each representing episodes of recent TV shows on Hilton Head Island. My episode is scheduled for Wednesday, December 19, 2008 on Time Warner channel 3.
Look for the icon that says, "Purple Curve" or "Purple Effect" and simply click it.
Let me know what you think.
P.S. In case you did not know, Ed is also mentioned in my book, "Purple Curve Effect".
P.P.S. For best results, make sure you have the latest flash player installed, and I set my Apple Mac Mini to give unlimited disk space to the whhitv domain. Use the Adobe toolbox:
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah
Monday, December 17, 2007
Place in the "no common sense" file...
I have used VistaPrint for years. Free business cards, just pay (inflated) shipping costs. Loved them. Promoted them to others.
Well, I ordered some new biz cards, and they were to be delivered on 12/12/2008 via DHL. Great tracking online (via DHL), but I notice that my package was last scanned in Atlanta at 2:11am on the 12th, and during the day, it has not moved.
Not a good sign.
I call DHL.
"No delivery today sir, fogged in at Atlanta. It happens."
Okay. But why is it not moving? Call them back on the 13th, as it still shows the last activity on the 12th at 2:11am. "As soon as it hits the next center, it will be scanned." Long story, short: today is the 17th and DHL says it last saw my package at 2:11am on the 12th. DHL assures me that as soon as it shows up, they will call me.
I do not fault DHL. Too much. I tried to explain that someone should look in Atlanta for the package, but they really did not appreciate my suggestion. They have procedures to follow.
So, I call VistaPrint today.
Suggest that DHL has lost the package, and ask them to rush a re-printing through their shop. Which, I thought to be a reasonable request. Silly me.
"Sorry sir, your 14 days will not be 'up' until tomorrow."
In other words, even though DHL lost the package, and has not scanned it since the 12th in Atlanta (and I am no where near Atlanta), they will not take any action until the service option I paid for —14 day option— they will ignore me. Normally I do not pay extra for expidited shipping, but really needed these cards sooner (rather than later). That will teach me.
"So, you are telling me that I must call back tomorrow, and report the shipment lost?"
Yes, that is exactly the course of action required. However, he was quick to point out that he would make a note of our conversation, so I would not have to rely all the details to the 'service' representative all over again.
How much customer service "common sense" does your organization have?
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Old West Setting
I spent a few days in the Old West recently (and yet, thoughts of some sort of time warp flooded my mind) near Northfield, MN. Shadows of the Old West is worth checking out.
"We are a group of people dedicated to preserving the history of the Old West in North America. Based in Minnesota, we travel across America performing reenactments and wild west shows, we specialize in Sesquicentennial celebrations, street theater, cowboy and mounted re-enactments and portray a wide variety of historical personas and old west characters. Also available for corporate events, private events and fundraisers as well as small and silver screen work."www.shadowsoftheoldwest.com
Tell 'em "Bart" sent you.
at 6:49 PM
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Friday, December 07, 2007
2008 Motor Trend Car of the Year.
This 304hp beauty is pure fun.
Life. Liberty and the Pursuit!
What are you passionate about? I would guess that I have owned close to one hundred cars. Not quite in my dad's league... but my heart is in the right place. Just as three motorcycles is about right (a bagger like the Kaw Vulcan Nomad, the Harley vRod, and the Buell 1125r), three autos is a great starting point.
For the road trip (300+ miles), I have yet to rival my Jaguar Vanden Plas. I still miss it, five years later. For boulevard stunts and late night Waffle House runs, the Merkur XR4Ti is still at the top of my list. Dated, methinks that the Viper might be a suitable replacement. Maybe not.
But for hopping around town or the short jaunt with the misses, the 2008 CTS has captured my imagination like no other. Cadillac took some of the sharp edges off, greatly improved the ride and handling, then refined the interior.
An American town car worthy of the chase.
P.S. I am thinking the expression ought to be something like, "Mom, Apple Pie, and a new Cadillac CTS in every garage. The New American Dream."
P.P.S. No. I am not (yet) a spokesperson for Cadillac. But I am available. Makes me think, I was reading about the Cannon Ball run in a biz magazine recently... what a thrill: walk into a dealership in New York city, buy a new CTS right off the showroom floor, and head out to LA. Setting a new record along the way. No radar detectors. No real planning. Just a quick trip across America. Oh yea, sorry, that would require one to exceed the posted speed limits. Never mind.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Why buy an Apple Mac reason number 227: the Remote Control
In this age of technology, it takes a lot to impress most of us. As it should. I wrote a passage in Purple Curve Effect concerning making purchases, where I asked a simple question:
Have you ever experienced
the “perfect” anything right
out of the box?
That was before my Mac Mini... and the simple little remote that was included (at no additional charge). Never owned a Mac? No problem. In about one minute flat, you will wield the device as if it you were born with it!
Recently, working with a lot of presentations, I thought to my self (maybe out loud, I do not recall with 100% certainty), I need to buy a remote clicker to advance the slides of my presentation. Like you have seen on PCs used for meetings to advance slides.
But as quickly as that thought occurred to me, I smiled, and remarked that Steve Jobs surely foresaw this requirement... if not Jobs, someone working on the Mac team must have demanded this feature be embedded into this micro-sized remote.
Sure enough, grabbing the remote off the desktop, "click" and "ta da!"
Right out of the box.
How intuitive are your products?
Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Finally, a professional web site
After playing with google's blogger for years, I have learned how to make a great web site in very short order. With almost daily revisions. Yet just the right amount of tweaks: