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Make Informed Decisions with Business Intelligence Software

Peter Drucker was right. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Business intelligence matters because making decisions based on information rather than on gut instinct is crucial to healthy business practice. Its no secret — businesses that collect and analyze their data and take appropriate action based on the resulting insights are more successful than […]

How firms like Quora scale to billion dollar valuations

Q&A site Quora, launched in 2009 by former Facebook execs Charlie Cheever and Adam D’Angelo, has quickly become the 140th most-trafficked site on the internet (out of an estimated 1 billion total sites). It’s also one of the most highly valued, with $160M raised in funding and a valuation of $1B. And that’s all before […]

Leverage Resources Outside of Your Firm

Lessons from Uber & Airbnb: Leverage Outside Resources

Airbnb, with only 8 years in business, was valued at $25.5B, eclipsing Marriott ($21B) and Hilton ($25B). Onlookers marveled as Airbnb, with one-tenth the staff, achieved such breakthrough results without owning any real estate. By leveraging the unused guest bedrooms of its hosts, Airbnb is a poster child example of an economic phenomenon described in […]

Improving customer experience: show us the money

A lot of folks, myself included, have been writing about customer experience lately. This year has even been labeled the Year of the Customer, as companies scramble for new strategies to keep customers happy—and away from competitors.  It’s common wisdom that happier customers will spend more, stick around longer, talk you up to their friends, […]

To deliver the best customer service, “dare to be bad”

  An attribute map will show you where to spend money improving customer experience, and where not to bother.   If you’re like me, you probably want your company to offer customers the best of everything—friendly service, good value, attractive pricing, convenience, highest-quality product, etc. It’s only natural for businesses to shoot for every star […]

The new customer experience: show them you care, but make it quick

By now you’ve probably heard that millennials—aka Gen Y, born between 1982 and 2000–have officially overtaken baby boomers to become the country’s largest demographic segment. Right now the difference is only a couple of percentage points, but the new skew is already rewriting the rules for customer experience. Millennial consumers are demanding tap-of-the-app technology for […]

Help your workplace get inspired

When I was a kid, I loved to rearrange the furniture in my room. Shuffling things around made my same old stuff look different, and way better. The process made me feel happy and energized. Even doing homework was almost fun. I didn’t know why changing my room around made me feel so good, but […]

How to make accidental innovation a business purpose

Like most of us, I’ve had my share of accidents—luckily, nothing major. Accidents happen all the time, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. But sometimes an accident can be a discovery in disguise. Take the story of Post-Its—actually, it’s two stories. In 1968, Spencer Silver, an engineer at the 3M Corporation, was […]

A tale of three companies (only two still standing)

In a previous post I talked about industry bottlenecks, and how unblocking them can lead to exponential growth for your business. Now I want to share stories of three companies that found profitable, innovative ways around their industry’s barriers, along with some thoughts on why only two are still in business. Competitive Advantage: More Stores […]

4 questions that lead to a 10x competitive advantage

In a previous post (Fix Your Bottleneck First), I wrote about the importance of fixing a bottleneck in your business. Unblocking a business constraint can have a positive impact on everything from profitability to workplace morale. But what if you want more than an incremental increase? What if your business is stuck on a plateau […]

Fix your bottleneck first, then improve elsewhere

Does your business have a bottleneck? Most companies do. It’s a place somewhere in a manufacturing or business process where an obstacle clogs up the workflow, slowing progress to the next stage. The obstacle can be outdated technology, inefficient communication, inadequate staffing or any number of other problems. No matter what’s slowing the flow, all […]

The Experience Web, Part III: A good offense is the best defense

If you follow our blog, you’ve already heard me talk about the Experience Web and the ways that it’s changing how your consumers find and interact with you on the internet. Companies like Google, LinkedIn, and Amazon continue to create new strategies that keep users’ time and money within their own environments, and they do […]

Is it time to rethink your company’s relationship with Facebook?

Personally, I have an ambivalent relationship with Facebook. It’s great for staying connected with family and friends from back home and keeping up with the Bears Den 512 group here in Austin, but it can also sap my time if I’m not careful, and the targeted ads in the sidebar are kind of creepy and […]

The 3 critical questions to ask your software development company

In our 14 years of business, I’ve been asked all sorts of questions by prospective clients. In hiring our team, I’ve also had the opportunity to ask a lot of developers questions. Through this experience, I’ve learned that there are three really important questions to discuss. Now I’m certainly not recommending you only ask your […]

Web App Growth [infographic]

This infographic from LinkedIn focuses on how U.S. small businesses are using social media to drive growth.

The Lean Startup [infographic]

Eric Ries' Lean Startup infographic outlines the activities and strategies behind his Lean Startup methodology for quickly building viable businesses.

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