Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 4/27/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: When John Lindsay was mayor of New York he was called upon to speak at a major event with a sophisticated crowd. He referenced French philosopher Albert Camus (pronounced “kamoo”) but pronounced the name as “kam-us.” Many attendees, unable to believe he would make such a mistake, assumed he was referring to an obscure Greek philosopher by the name of “kam-us.” There’s a line in Fiddler on the Roof, where Tevye, singing “If I Were A …


Frauds and Thieves

Today I received a notice from the International Patent & Trademark Office in the Czech Republic (of course) that I owed $2,225 (nice number) to continue the registration of one of my trademarks internationally. I receive a couple of these a month originating  from various small countries in Europe. These are fraudulent, just as much as the Nigerians who tell you that a great inheritance awaits you if you just send some money first, and the hackers who use others’ …





SEO: Seriously, Egregiously Overrated

Every day we’re besieged by people from foreign lands extolling the virtues of search engine optimization and how they can dramatically improve our business if we send them money. And every day we hear all over the social media here at home from “social media marketing experts” about how they can dramatically improve our business if we send them money. I think very few of any of these people have ever been successful at selling anything except selling this kind of …


The “Why” Is Often Obvious But Missed

Bentley loves to run up and down the yard at full speed every morning. He does it maybe a dozen times. I tried to figure out if he were trying to beat squirrels out of hiding places, or get a quick view of everything, or playing alpha dog. Then I finally go it. He just likes to run. I was being too “deep” about a simple, surface phenomenon. In my high school days, as an exchange student, I toured Cold …


Alan’s Monday Morning Memo – 4/20/15

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

This week’s focus point: The tighter the comparison, the better the distinction you can identify. “Apples and oranges” is meant to convey a poor distinction, not a good one. But comparing a McIntosh with a Delicious apple is a tight comparison. Thus, comparing best and worst performers doesn’t provide as much useful, specific information as comparing best and next-best. This is why realtors and appraisers spend so much time evaluating house sales according to “comparables,” homes in the area which …



Why People Don’t Move

1. They listen to the wrong people (like the nutcase on Facebook claiming that milk kills). There are more people giving advice to coaches today than there are good coaches. 2. Complexifying. Our job is to simplify, but we think that making things tediously complex adds to our gravitas. It creates gravity, not gravitas. 3. Seeking perfection. This murders excellence (even more than milk), and it saps initiative and speed. 4. Fear of critique. I have news for you, the …