Archive for: October, 2010

To @Dell: Please pay attention to your customers

I apologize in advance, this is a rant.

I’ve been a loyal Dell customer for 7 years now, never had a problem until a few weeks a go. In the last month and a half I’ve been without my laptop for 4 weeks. A laptop that is only 10 months old has been to Dell twice. It’s had the mainboard, the fan, the heatsink and even the keyboard replaced. Can’t figure that last one out but ok thank you, too bad the real problem I sent it back to you isn’t fixed yet.

jorge's xps 1640


Don’t want to get into details as to why my laptop has been to repair center twice but let’s just say that XPS 1640’s have ‘loud fan’ issues and mine got the bug after I sent it the first time to Dell. Getting a bug on your laptop isn’t a very nice thing. I had to go to the Virus Removal Australia company to get the bug removed. It didn’t have this problem when I bought in December so why all of the sudden does it load the system fan even when idle? You have no answer. Worse yet this has been going on for awhile so it’s not like it’s a new issue, yet you didn’t let me know about it. You said you would fix it, didn’t tell me how but ok sounds good I’ll wait it out again since it’s under warranty.

A few days after I requested a dispatch to send my laptop back for another round I got an email from one of your XPS tech support reps asking me to send detailed information on what the problem is, which I gladly did. Anyway, I get my laptop back today and the problem persists and it makes me feel as though you changed the parts and sent it back to me without taking the time to see if the problem was fixed.

What’s worse about all of this is how you’ve wasted my time and yours too.

Why don’t you call me and ask me what’s wrong with it while you have it with you to make sure you’re covering all the bases? Why don’t you send me an email to tell me what you’re going to do to it similar to when a person goes into surgery? Why do you just send it back to me with the problem knowing that I’m probably going to call you back and request it get fixed again?

I could go on and on with questions but the point is you’re ignoring me, your loyal customer. And that my dear Dell is a BIG no-n0!

Anyways, tomorrow I’ll be calling you back with the same request. I hope you’re in it for another round because I plan on getting  my laptop back to the state it was when I bought it, flawless!

Good nite for now, I’ll let you catch your breath and meditate on how this affects your future relationship with me 😉

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Where change happens

“Individuals who get startled by the future weren’t paying attention.” – Gary Hamel

Change is the only constant. Knowing where, how and why it happens can mean the difference between being disrupted by a startup and staying relevant tomorrow.

Here are a few places where change happens:

  • The way we work.
  • The way we eat.
  • The way we move around the planet.
  • The way we build our homes.
  • The way we use and generate electricity.
  • The way we communicate.
  • The way we entertain ourselves.
  • The way we take care of our health.
  • The way we dress.
  • The way we get medically treated.
  • The way we learn.
  • The way we connect to other people.

But, still, we must remember that it’s not that hard to know what’s changing, it’s making sense of it that matters.

This is a not complete list, but I think it would be useful if we could build one. What do you think, where else does change happen?

UPDATE: Updated the list with Ralph Ohr’s suggestions in the comments.

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Innovation posts of the week: Ideas big or small?

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Innovation Book review: Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire

stoking innovation bonfire book

I had the opportunity to receive an advanced copy of  Braden Kelley’s (@innovate) new book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire a few weeks ago and I just finished reading.

While other books take a more high level approach to innovation, what I noticed is different with Braden’s book is his focus on eliminating the obstacles that prevent innovation from happening in an organization. This approach is easier to digest for the layman because it’s focused on anticipating problems they’ll immediately relate to as opposed to other books that take a more ‘big ideas’ approach. And there’s not a lot of the jargon that plagues other books on innovation.

The book has easy to follow checklists, summaries and simple to understand innovation use cases that you can come back to and won’t lose a beat. It covers the important stuff such as how to embed innovation into your organizational culture and how to sustain it.

Braden also added useful frameworks at the end of the book to provide the reader a solid road map to start with. It’s this practical approach that gives the book it’s value. You’ll just get it!

Whether you work in a big or small organization, Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire is a must read for both novice and experts alike. And with the need to get educated in the art of innovation and making it an integral part of your organization, Braden’s book should be on your reading list. Go get it!

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How to fight the confirmation bias

“It is difficult to lay aside a confirmed passion.” – Caius Valerius Catullus

Aha! you got an idea and you want to do some research to know if you’re idea has wings. You setup google alerts, hashtags about related topics on twitter, follow people in the know, join related groups on Linkedin, etc. You know the drill!

Soon after you start receiving information, this information looks familiar to you, it makes sense. Other people are talking about the same thing, you engage them and start exchanging ideas which start taking on a life of their own. This confirms your hunch, you get more excited because your idea has wings. Bangarang! you’re sure to be a gazillionaire!

Sound familiar?

This is the confirmation bias.

Whenever we have an idea, instead of searching for ways to prove our ideas wrong, we usually attempt to prove them correct. Once we see a pattern we do not easily let go of it, we keep digging and digging to see that pattern more and more. Sometimes there isn’t even a pattern there but we somehow ‘want’ to believe there is. You know all too well how this plays out in any organization.

Let’s change that. Time to turn off your lizard brain and engage your critical, truth seeking side of your brain.

In order to fight the confirmation bias let’s do the opposite: learn to spend as much time looking for ‘evidence’ that we are wrong as we spend searching for reasons that we are correct.

It’s not fun trying to prove we’re not the hotshots we think we are but the truth shall set you free.

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Being creative has more to do with being fearless than intelligent

Being creative has more to do with being fearless than intelligent.

Fearlessness gives birth to new knowledge. It’s only by taking the unknown path, the road less traveled that you’ll find and create new knowledge. Don’t be afraid to be wrong, what’s wrong is not being open to new ideas, to change, to stumbling onto unfamiliar situations to being the best you can be.

I propose we cultivate fearless curiosity to explore our own potential. With that I leave you with a quote from someone who knows a little bit of being fearless:

The greatest fear people have is that of being themselves. They want to be 50 Cent or someone else. They do what everyone else does even if it doesn’t fit where and who they are. But you get nowhere that way; your energy is weak and no one pays attention to you. You’re running away from the one thing that you own – what makes you different.”

–  50 Cent

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Madness creates opportunity

Act deliberately crazy and no one will want to compete against you.

If you’ve read The Thirty Six Chinese Stratagems, then you’re familiar with the statement above. Here’s the stratagem if you don’t know it:

Feign madness but keep your balance
Hide behind the mask of a fool, a drunk, or a madman to create confusion about your intentions and motivations. Lure your opponent into underestimating your ability until, overconfident, he drops his guard. Then you may attack.

Grant McCracken wrote a post a few days ago that shines a light how Skechers is using said stratagem to compete against Nike, it’s worth a read.