Pursuit of Excellence / Paradox of Perfection

The New Yorker ran an essay by Tad Friend describing the growing effect of entrepreneurial boot camp Y Combinator on the prevailing ethos of Silicon Valley and the funding practices of venture capitalists. The piece profiled Sam Altman, the successor to Y Combinator’s founder and its guiding spirit, Paul Graham. If Graham’s name sounds familiar,…

The Soul in the New Machine? Try Delight

What is the nature of delight? A principle of pleasure. Perhaps a sense of mystery unfurled. A tinge of magic. Consider this: today your vehicle alerts you when the oil needs to be changed, the tires are low, or it needs service. But in tomorrow’s world, the onboard computer sends an alert to the dealer…

The Future of Truth in Business

“Truths are illusions of which one has forgotten that they are illusions.”  — Friedrich Nietzsche, from “On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense” “Never tell a lie when you can bullshit your way through.”  — Eric Ambler, from “The Dirty Story”   Ever since the US Presidential election, it has become fashionable to lament that we…

What Is an Excellent Insight?

In the economy of innovation consulting, insights are an important currency. Insights are how we package our understandings of human experience, and they are bought and sold every day because business leaders know that the human context is the heart and soul of meaningful and differentiated offerings. Insight is core to how consultancies deliver value…

Understanding Product Leadership

There are a number of different approaches and strategies that can be used to successfully reach excellent outcomes in product design. As Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema outline in The Discipline of Market Leaders, there are three major value disciplines: operational leadership, customer intimacy, and product leadership. Here, we will examine some examples of the…

Intelligence Delivers Excellence

Why Adopting a Threat-Focused and Intelligent Approach to Financial Crime Will Help Drive Fintech Success The 21st century has been characterized by an interconnectedness that impacts every aspect of business and society. This level of connection itself is not new, especially in business, where there have always been long, connected chains of actors, actions, and…

Technology and Religion: Prayer in 2020

“We see things not as they are. We see things as we are.” – Babylonian Talmud Religion has always capitalized on technological shifts to drive adherence and converts. The astrolabe (think GPS for medieval explorers) was developed to help traveling Muslims face Mecca at prayer times. The first use for the printing press was to…

2020: Living in an Era of Connected Cars

In the upcoming era of connected devices, internet connected cars will become a major facet of the exploding Internet of Things (IoT). Chinese tech giant Alibaba recently launched an “internet car” in partnership with SAIC, which is powered by its own operating system – YunOS. The car offers its passengers a range of futuristic features,…

The Future of Financial Crime

The past century has seen a huge shift in the financial services landscape – from the growth of retail banking (as we know it) in the late 1800s; to Diners Club developing the first credit card in 1950;
 and the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto’s invention of Bitcoin, the world’s first fully virtual currency, in 2008. The…

The Future Isn’t Your Friend

Future thinking needs a dose of cosmic pessimism if it’s to have any utility at all. I recently spent a week at Ohio University in the verdant college town of Athens, lecturing at a NASA-sponsored summer program that trains students from 
around the world for careers in the space industry. Over several intense and lengthy…