The Biggest Thing Holding Back Big Data in the Enterprise (it’s not what you think)

The Biggest Thing Holding Back Big Data in the Enterprise (it’s not what you think)

As the father of young children, I take a keen interest in parenting and child development.

One of the most insightful and powerful concepts I have discovered comes from Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University.

In her book, Mindset, Professor Dweck discusses two differing views of intelligence: one where intelligence is deemed innate/static (a fixed mindset) and the other that believes intelligence can be developed given sufficient effort (a growth mindset).

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Beware of the Purple Unicorn (with Wings)

Beware of the Purple Unicorn (with Wings)

Recently, there has been a back and forth on how to properly interview job candidates. While I won’t wade into this debate, most companies doom their chances of a successful hire before their interviewers even get into the room with a candidate. This is because most hiring companies suffer from the ‘purple unicorn with wings’ syndrome.

The problem

Many companies don’t understand their hiring needs, and, as a result, have only a vague idea of what defines a great job candidate. This may especially be true for early stage companies run by first-time or technical CEO’s, who may have never hired finance, sales, or marketing people before, for example.

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Your Pricing Sucks! 6 Things to Do About It

Your Pricing Sucks! 6 Things to Do About It

Pricing is a painful subject at most enterprise software companies.

No one is happy with their current pricing (regardless of what it is).
Everyone thinks they can fix it (or at least make it better).
Sales, Finance, Product Management, Legal, Product Marketing all think they should own it (or at least have majority vote).

The biggest issue? Different groups have their own agendas when it comes to pricing. With conflicting input and the lack of an overall pricing strategy, companies make sub-optimal pricing decisions where no one’s needs are fully met, and everyone involved is left frustrated.

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The Importance of Thinking (and Talking) Big

The Importance of Thinking (and Talking) Big

Starting with why

I am a huge fan of Simon Sinek and his Golden Circle framework.

Having a clear, precise vision that you can articulate both internally and externally can serve as a powerful tool for inspiring and motivating others as Sinek explains using the examples of Martin Luther King Jr, the Wright Brothers, and Apple.

Oftentimes, people and organizations spend too much time on ‘what’ and little time understanding ‘why’. As such, vision is little more than a generic statement on a web site: it lacks meaning and is disconnected from everyday life.

Investing time to determine the right ‘why’ and then explicitly articulating it (i.e., talking big) can have very practical benefits for your company in terms of credibility, trust, and value.

Similarly, individuals can also benefit by better understanding their sources of motivation.

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IT is from Mars and Development is from Venus

IT is from Mars and Development is from Venus

Last week, I was having lunch with a former colleague. He wanted to get my feedback on a new online service he was developing. When we started discussing target markets and users (which he had not considered deeply), he immediately mentioned ‘developers and IT.’

This is not the first time I have heard developers and IT used synonymously and interchangeably.

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Cloud Just Got Real…

Cloud Just Got Real…

“Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats, living together! Mass hysteria!”

- Dr. Venkman, Ghostbusters

S**t Just Got Real

This past week, we witnessed the start of the ‘end of days‘ for traditional IT vendors.

There is a massive shift underway in enterprise IT. Although SaaS (Software as a Service) and cloud computing have existed for more than a decade, events this past week indicate that these technologies have crossed the chasm and gone mainstream. Traditional enterprise IT vendors are starting to feel the pain of  disruption. How else do you explain the once unthinkable occurring?

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Do Your Customers Buy Toasters or Toast?

Do Your Customers Buy Toasters or Toast?

Recently, I was talking to a colleague who was in the market for a new toaster. He lamented the vast number of options and choices available (e.g., defrost, extra wide for bagels, digital display, 4-slice, reheat, etc.) when all he wanted was one that would simply brown bread evenly on both sides.

In tech product management and marketing, we oftentimes become so enamored with the features of the toaster that we lose sight of what the customer really cares about: the toast.

Do your customers buy toasters or toast?

Make sure you understand the difference when planning and launching your next product.

Will the Real SaaS Please Stand Up?

Will the Real SaaS Please Stand Up?

“Cause I’m Slim Shady, yes I’m the real Shady
All you other Slim Shadys are just imitating
So won’t the real Slim Shady please stand up,
please stand up, please stand up?”

- Eminem

Recently, there has been an amusing back and forth debate around what constitutes ‘real’ SaaS (Software as a Service).  One side believes that if a solution is not multi-tenant, then it is not truly SaaS and is simply warmed-over on-premise software that is hosted. While the other side believes multi-tenancy does not matter provided you have a ‘modern application architecture’ (whatever that means).

This debate is silly.

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A Useful Product Service That Someone Should Create

A Useful Product Service That Someone Should Create

“I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Yes, sir.
Are you listening?
Yes, I am.
Plastics.”
- The Graduate

We are undergoing a renaissance in the business intelligence space.

It started with companies like QlikTech and Tableau who sought to empower departments and analysts who were frustrated with the lengthy, inflexible, and costly implementations of monolithic, traditional BI solutions (this new movement has oftentimes been referred to as ‘self-service BI‘ which is part of the overall ‘consumerization of enterprise software’ trend).

More recently, companies such as SiSense, Platfora, EdgeSpring, GoodData, and others have taken up the cause promising new insights with unprecedented speed, flexibility, and/or scale.

While I am excited by the flurry of activity and innovation in this space, there are glaring gaps that have yet to be addressed.

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