Have Better Meetings

We all attend too many.  This is a given.

Most communication that occurs in meetings falls into 5 classifications:

But only two types of meeting communications are valuable:

  1. Requests – When you need something from a meeting participant, be clear and precise.  Your request should include full details and a deadline
  2. Promises – These are commitments made by a person to fulfill requests.  That is why specificity is critical.  As the meeting leader, your follow-up is to define the requests, promises and timing. One record for executing against the promises

Here is how Google runs a meeting.  They are a pretty good company – http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-run-a-meeting-like-google-2010-1

And a look at Apple’s process.  They make pretty good stuff – http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669936/meetings-are-a-skill-you-can-master-and-steve-jobs-taught-me-how

As for the other three communication types, they are still important, but use e-mail, the water cooler or other interactions for them.

Stop accepting mediocrity and wasting time.  Take action now.  You, your calendar and your clients will be much happier.


Are you kidding me?

So much is changing so fast. Are you keeping up?  Speed, change, innovation.  Moving faster all the time.  The research firm Gartner believes the personal cloud will replace the PC as the center of our digital lives in 2014.  So in less than 2 years the PC as we know it is dead.  Hey PC, we hardly knew ya!  Just as Steve Jobs predicted.  We are now definitely in the post PC world.

That cloud thing is becoming really important really quickly.  For consumers and businesses.  We have covered a number of emerging business opportunities recently but we are really at the tip of the iceberg.

Cloud services will become the glue that connects the web of devices that users choose to access their daily life in the cloud. The new iPad may be the most impressive piece of computing hardware ever seen. Yet its true power is held back by large enterprise software corporations that cannot keep pace with the new devices designed with cloud computing in mind…. It’s as if they’ve completely ignored one of the most successful computing platforms ever built, outselling the total number of PCs its closest competitor sold last quarter.

With the new iPad sold out, it seems only a matter of time that those not on board with the cloud — and with their wares available on any device — will face an existential question.

Here are the headlines for you:

  • Users are more technologically-savvy and have very different expectations of technology.
  • The internet and social media have empowered and emboldened users.
  • The rise of powerful, affordable mobile devices changes the equation for users.
  • Users are innovators.
  • All users have similar technology available to them.
  • People are visual – Sounds like an iPad to me
  • Apps rock – they are great, they are pervasive and they are awesome
  • Why have a lot of stuff on your hard drive when you can access your stuff in the cloud when you need it
  • Mobile rocks and will be the primary way we interact with the web – desktop dead – being tethered dead, Niedermeyer dead

OK, I digress.  But the headline is, no more big hard drives, you will just put it in the cloud, so wherever you are you can access it.  Only portability you need now is your access device.  Take a look at what is coming soon.

Hey it is now in the cloud and easy to find. As my friend Johnny says, “Are you kidding me?”


Image is Everything!

Our expectations have changed.  Our information requirements have changed.  The web started it, we adopted it, but now we have an insatiable appetite for information.  We want knowledge, advice, guidance, facts and we want it right now.  We want the ability to engage with a product, a destination, an adventure, a sport or anything else that we are interested in.  Armed with smart phones, cameras, scanners, QR codes and the like, we are fully empowered to become intimately familiar with just about any object in the world in real time.

After a decade of near-obsessive Googling, instant access to information with the right (textual) input is now expected, a way of life. The next frontier is visual info-gratification: consumers accessing information about objects encountered in the real world, in more natural ways and while on-the-go, simply by pointing their smartphones at anything interesting.  And just as ‘going online’ is no longer limited to sitting in front of a computer, discovery will no longer be tied to text search. People will be able to immediately find out about (and potentially buy)  anything they see or hear, even if they don’t know what it is or can’t describe it in words.

Here are some pictures of some of the most famous buildings and places to shop on New York’s fifth avenue (The Apple Store, Saks Fifth Avenue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

Here are some of the possibilities of visual information.  How about if you just pointed your phone at the location and the following happened:

  • Apple Store – When was it built, what is the glass made from, did Steve Jobs ever visit the store, how many iPads have been sold from this store, what are the store’s hours, make an appointment at the genius bar, what is on sale today, what is on sale in the next 30 minutes, what’s new on iTunes
  • Sak’s Fifth Avenue – What designer scarfs are carried in the store, when was the building constructed, who owns Saks, what other companies are in the building, what was there before Saks, what is on sale
  • St. Patrick‘s – Mass times displayed, history of the church was presented, who was married in the church, what are the church dimensions, what type of marble was used, how high are the spires, how many candles, what is the seating capacity etc.

Just point and know.  A guided tour on history, products, sales or anything else that is important to you.  Your choice of course, on your phone or tablet, available whenever you want it.  Now that is just so cool!

Here are some examples of applications that are providing this type of insight right now:

  • Shazam – listens to any song or commercial and identifies it for you immediately – Name of song, artist, etc.
  • Skin Scan – is an app which allows users to scan and monitor moles over time, with the aim of preventing malignant skin cancers. The app tells users if a visit to their doctor or dermatologist is advisable.
  • Star Chart – enables users to point their phones at the sky to discover details about the objects or constellations they look at

The days of using text as your primary search tool are coming to an end.  Still a ways to go, but the future is about images 🙂

Let me know what you think about this blog by commenting below.