Overhead : Tactic vs Strategy

Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do; Strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do.

Savielly Tartakower (French-Polish Chess Grandmaster)

Overheard : On cutting down “stuff”

We’re good as humans to committing to things that are positive. That’s very motivating for us. We’re bad at trying to avoid things that are negative

Cal Newport in conversation with Tim Ferriss

Cal was speaking about how we are good at adding things that seem good to to us (facebook is good because we can communicate on the fly), but bad at avoiding negative things (being on facebook and doom scrolling is a bad thing). He instead suggests, just using technology for things you like (I will have facebook, but only follow and read messages from folks I want to).

Overheard : Watermelon Metrics

Watermelon Metric : Green (good) on the outside and red (bad) once you dig in.

Daniel Shapero (LinkedIn COO) on a post on LinkedIn

Some examples

  • If churn is down (looks green)… but when you look into why it’s down is because all of your customers left last year (very bad)
  • A manager’s EVS scores are up because everyone who was unhappy left
  • Brand awareness could be considered watermelon if it’s high but brand perception is poor.
  • The click-through rate of an email campaign is high, but when you dig in you learn that it’s because so many users are clicking in the footer to change their email preferences or opt out.
  • YOY Revenue is increasing (Green) – especially currently as businesses are raising prices to accommodate inflation – but when you dig in, you see profits are actually suffering (red)

HOWTO : Flex your muscles

A tongue in cheek headline :-). The post is not about body muscle, but about how you can flex your market power (muscle).

Here is a screenshot comparison of default apps settings in Microsoft Windows 10 and Windows 11. Notice how instead of just giving one option to change the default browser, Microsoft has moved the option to change it by file extension? Does a layperson even know the difference between htm, html, http and https? A clever way for Microsoft to make it a bit more difficult to switch away from edge (Microsoft’s new Internet browser). Some might even call it sinister 🙂

Update Oct 11 : Looks like the main stream media is catching up on this. The Verge has a post on this topic https://www.theverge.com/22714629/windows-11-microsoft-browser-edge-chrome-firefox

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Interesting article on Arstechnica (https://arstechnica.com/science/2021/10/revealed-the-secret-notes-of-blue-origin-leaders-trying-to-catch-spacex/) about an internal memo from Blue Origin. The memo is about the discussion and feedback from senior leadership at Blue Origin on a report put together by an external consulting company on challenges facing Blue Origin.

Bezos is famous for growing Amazon into a behemoth by focusing on principals like Customer Obsession, Hire and Develop the best, Frugality… https://www.amazon.jobs/en/principles .

Wonder why he did not implement the same tried and tested playbook at Blue Origin.

My take, it is as important to have a team that can execute on your vision as it is to have a vision.

Culture eats strategy for breakfast ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


What happens when a private equity company buys one of your favorite tools? Prices go up 50% :-). At the same time, the cost of running this business has gone down (other than people cost) considering you can get faster, bigger infrastructure at the same or lower cost. Am using the public pricing of the big cloud providers (Amazon, Microsoft, Google) as reference. (https://www.isi.edu/~calvin/ec2.htm)

In the market for something that is as effective as lastpass and doesn’t cost as much.