Sunday, November 23, 2014

More Xavier Austen Pictures

Xavier and I did Google hangouts yesterday.  He is a person of few words.  It means anything he does say has a lot of weight.


I like the long time (like 20+year) bike law in Idaho that allows cyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs.  Lets get that through in Guelph/Ontario.  Good video on it here.

On Procrastination:

“I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”  Jerome K. Jerome

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Xavier Charles Estill Austen

I am once again a proud grandfather.  

Mother Laura and baby are both doing well and healthy.

Xavier Austen. 5 lbs 15 oz, 19.5 inches, born 19 November 2014 at 1:46 pm.  He arrived about a month early.  He already is trying to be punctual - a skill that will serve him well in life.

I am not sure what is with the toque - he lives in Texas and they have no snow.  Perhaps he is just trying to make a fashion statement.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Statistical Success Yes - But Long Term Measurements are Tougher

The advent of the internet and internet advertising seemed to push a move towards measuring direct results.  Spend $1000 on ads and see if it yields $1000 in results.    Statistically experiment with small tests to see if it pays more to advertise with this catch phrase or that, with green or blue, in the morning or night etc.

I am a big believer in split run testing.  Try multiple experiments to see what works best.  Test on small samples before spending money on larger ones.

Measure everything to figure out the repeatable system that yields success.

This same measurement and documentation is what Michael Gerber pushes in his classic book series E-Myth.  He proposes that all businesses should McDonaldcize themselves.  Have detailed process manuals so anyone can do the job.  And work continually on figuring out how to make the process better.  He advocates that the entrepreneur should work ON the business - not IN the business.

I have been doing some Growth Coaching with some medium sized companies.  I have been promoting that for those who are about to hire a sales force.  Figure out a model and repeat it.  Most of them already use that for their internet marketing so it is surprising that they would find it new to do this in growing a sales team.

Formulas work.

And that could be the end of the story but it is not.  The problem with many long-term challenges are the outcomes do not happen fast enough to know exactly what works and what does not.  This is where entrepreneurial intuition comes in.  We never really know what will work but we have to choose intuitively to do them.

I read there may be a chocolate shortage.  Apparently we may be hitting peak chocolate - the point where demand outstrips supply.  For some, I am sure that crisis is more important than peak oil even.


People have a very narrow "comfort range".  We artificially extend that with heat, air conditioners and various clothing.   We also seem to "complain" about it which solves nothing.

I actually think the current touch of snow is gorgeous.