Bozo Explosions in Your Company

Avoid the Bozo Explosion

From Guy Kawasaki’s Art of the Start:

“Steve Jobs has a saying that A players hire A players; B players hire C players; and C players hire D players. It doesn’t take long to get to Z players. This trickle-down effect causes bozo explosions in companies.

If there is one thing a CEO must do, it’s hire a management team that is better than he is. If there is one thing a management team must do, it’s hire employees who are better than it is. For this to happen, the CEO (and management team) must possess two qualities. The first is the humility to admit that some people can perform a function bet- ter than they can. Second, after making this admission, they need the self-confidence to recruit these people.”

Once upon a time in an America, Far, Far Away…

Things seem crazy now, but what were times like when our forefathers started this nation? Perhaps many thought the nation was doomed? Perhaps many couldn’t fathom Abraham Lincoln as president? Perhaps his ideas were too radical?

Change is complicated.

Time will tell how all of this turns out. We need to be one nation and use our power of numbers to ensure things don’t steer out of control. Listen to all media, not just the media you prefer. Sometimes the media you don’t like has some interesting insights. Certainly, listen to the media assassins at No Agenda Show. You’ll learn things about media and media in other nations that you may not have considered. If you don’t understand the show at first, give it a few listens—the jingles and unique perspectives will make a lot more sense. Visit the show page at NoAgendaShow.com or search on Overcast or iTunes.

Where Goeth Tesla and its Model X?

Earlier today I read an OpEd on Autoblog, Let’s Face It: Tesla’s Model X was a Mistake. While I don’t subscribe to this clickbait, it caused me to think more about Tesla, the Model 3 and their future.

The article asserted the Model X was a mistake, because the project became bloated insanity?—?they basically threw in every feature they could think of. Tesla probably sees this as a technological achievement and a landmark of carmaking. Certainly, themodelx Model X is impressive. Those Falcon doors are fun to watch (after the initial novelty wears off, does one start to agonize over their speed, or lack thereof). In fact, all the doors can open as if you have an invisible valet. It’s all very cool for a production automobile.

Back to the article: I think Tesla must continue upscale. I left this comment on Autoblog and sharing here:

The Model S has crept up from its $50k-ish pricing to over $100k depending on equipment. I read the average selling price is $85k. To me, this is indicative of a strategy to gain more profit to offset the costs and lack of scale. The Model 3 cannot scale to the numbers everyone expects?—?Tesla doesn’t have the infrastructure. Car showrooms are not Apple Stores?—?the complexity of distribution and support is too great.

Model X is the right strategy, albeit an overly complex one (I’m very concerned about their reliability). Continuing to go upscale is Tesla’s only hope. There simply isn’t enough margin to play in the $45k arena, especially considering their lack of scale.

I predict Model 3 will cost a lot more than anticipated?—?I’m guess around $65k base price. They’ll justify the cost by comparing it to a loaded up BMW 3-series with Tesla’s tech advantage.

With the Volkswagen Group showing prototypes of 300-mile range EVs and publicly speaking of nearly 200-mile range Golfs (around $35k), I’d be very concerned to be Tesla. At 2% of the US market, EVs account for a pittance and aren’t profitable. If the market grows into a real market, Audi will introduce a modern crossover with 300-mile range, for under $100k that is supported by a large dealer network. At that point, I would probably not want to be holding Tesla stock.

Not all is lost, Tesla can remain a strong, profitable niche player, just like an Aston Martin and be profitable. They can continue to move the technology forward and innovate. Plus, there’s battery packs and power systems they can market?—?so there’s a lot of upside in the whole company. As a car company, though, they need to reign in the hyperbole a bit and enjoy being the unique player they’ve become.

This also posted on Medium

Why I’ve Switched Back to Mail on iPad

After reading countless articles and looking for a better way to consume email on the iPad, I decided on Accompli, which ultimately became Outlook post Microsoft acquisition. I enjoyed Outlook’s speed, the swiping features and a few other things. After using it for about 2 years on two different iPads, I’ve done something that’s not very technorati acceptable: I’ve returned to Apple Mail.

You may ask why?

There are some key Apple Mail features often overlooked by App reviewers. Conversely, Apple has done things to improve Mail’s interface and functionality. For example, implementing swipes (made famous by the now defunct Mailbox App) has made Mail a more efficient tool. With a bit of tweaking, you make find Mail a better choice than the third party mail clients for iOS.

The features I’ve missed since moving away from Apple Mail:

  • Auto Outgoing Mail Account: I have a 11 email accounts on my iPad. Nothing is more annoying (read: embarrassing) than sending an email from the wrong business account. Apple Mail’s ability to recall the account you normally use to send mail to a specific recipient makes it idiot-proof. Strangely, I haven’t found another client that does this. For this reason alone, I prefer Apple Mail, but there’s more.
  • Portrait Mode: Mail’s portrait mode is simple and beautiful. Looking at an email in full-screen portrait mode is a joy. Pinch and zoom, just like iPad always promised. The Inbox slider elegantly slides away and doesn’t take up valuable portrait-screen real-estate. For some annoying reason, Microsoft doesn’t allow this in Outlook. No pinch and zoom in portrait mode and no full-screen email. Actually, Outlook will show you an email in full screen, but only in an email thread! If you want to see a full-screen email, have a recipient send another email, click the little dots within the thread and it works. Lame. After sending Microsoft  countless feedback about this, I’ve given up.
  • Creating Calendar Events: I use Fantastical as my main calendar App (and you should, too–it’s awesome). Fantastical uses iOS calendar services to display events. Apple Mail does a great job of detecting times, places, people and simply holding “10AM” in an email gives me the option to add the event. This is time saving and elegant. Outlook’s integrated calendaring is great if you live in one App, but I don’t live in one App.
  • Click-a-Link Compatibility: when you click a link in some other App, it always defaults to Apple Mail. Consider it a limitation in iOS, but I’m tired of fighting the annoyance with copy/paste. Click and go is a lot faster.
  • Loading Images: I don’t want images to load when I open an email. I’ve found one of the easiest ways to curtail spam is to load images only when I allow it. Why is this? Most spammers include a single pixel image in HTML email that signals to their servers, “example@xyzmailservice.com opened their mail!” Once that happens, you’re on their list. I wish Apple would move the load images link to the top of the email window from the bottom, but it’s an annoyance I’ve decided to accept for now.
  • Notification Control: In Notification settings in iOS you can set specific notifications by email account. If you get unimportant mailing list mail in one email account, simply turn off the notifications for that account. Whats more, you can alleviate the badge count by mail account on the App’s badge. This way, when you look at the badge count, you can see the count of new mail you care about.
  • VIP: this is one of those silly features that you miss. When you get it back, you think, “wow, I should really use this.” If I’m working clients and don’t want to miss their email whilst sifting through hundreds of unread email, I label them as VIP. Tap on the little star in the Inbox drawer and boom–all your currently important mail is there. Pro-Tip: tap the little “i” to see and edit your VIP list. Pretty nice.

Outlook for iOS is a great App. There is a lot to like about it. Yet, after fighting it for so long, I’ve happily reverted back to Apple Mail. I’ve tweaked the swipe settings (swipe left  to delete, etc), the archive/delete default settings with Gmail accounts (one account defaults to archive, one to trash) and limited the inbox previews to 1 line for more visible mail on the inbox (you can reduce to none). I’ve read complaints regarding speed, yet I’miPad_Mail not experiencing that with iPad Air 2. Perhaps the hardware has caught up to the code in this case? I find Mail to be very responsive. I’ve read that search is slow and even “useless” with Mail, but in my experience it seems competent searching 11 email boxes simultaneously. I particularly like Spotlight’s ability to search by person and not necessarily the email account.

On iPhone, I use Spark and recommend you take a look at that. If they make an iPad version, I’ll likely switch to that. To me, the Spark guys have really re-thought the email client. On iPad, however, there’s nothing better than Apple’s Mail client. You may need to tweak it and massage it for your preferences, but once you do, it’s quite rewarding to use.