Saturday, October 29, 2005

"Look for what is missing. Many know how to improve what's there; few can see what isn't there" William H. Swanson

My sincere thanks to Mr. Swanson for his kindness in sending me a copy of his "Swanson's Unwritten Rules of Management". The above, Unwritten Rule Number 4, is taken from his powerful little book of wisdom. It goes on to state "Always think about what's missing; it's amazing what you'll find." At the end of his book he says "People sometimes ask me what I believe are the essential qualities of leadership. To me the qualities of leadership boil down to: Confidence, Dedication, Integrity and Love...true leaders don't just have these traits - they apply then and instill them in others." Great stuff! Exceptional book!

John Battelle has posted his interview with Google's Omid Kordestani, a good read...

Is Google a technology company or a media company?

We're absolutely deep in advertising, but let me clarify. The difference between us and our competition is that we innovate through applying technology. The angle of a media company is you're packaging content or advertising inventory. We look at ads as commercial information, and that goes back to our core mission of organizing the world's information. When people in the media world hear this, they say, "What are these guys talking about?"

What do you see as the future of advertising?

The measurability of online advertising will extend broadly to all areas of media. You have companies spending billions of dollars on television. As more and more consumers adopt technologies like TiVo, I think you'll be able to have much more useful forms of advertising -- more targeted, more measurable, and with new pricing models. Just imagine if we made it possible for our advertisers to quickly publish relevant ads that could range from the local plumber on one end to Super Bowl commercials on the other.

Read the entire interview here

Bob Shannon continues to amaze. This gentleman of exceptional skills and considerable gifts has decided to favor us with fresh servings of his smart writing. This time around he is posting must reads at Joel Denver's site AllAccess (free rr). Check out Bob's fine work "All Them Big Dogs" located in the Career Tools section of Joel's site. Thanks to Joel for adding this killer content and thanks to Bob for sharing more of his very cool pov. We can all learn something from Bob Shannon.

When Craig Newmark recommends a book, I buy it. Ambient Findability is by Peter Morville and Craig writes...

I just read the book, and recommend it. Peter deals with big issues that we're all struggling to grasp. the notion is that the web is place which is a network of places... and how do we think about that, or get around. O'Reilly tells me it is on back order, check it out here

Great to get emails from WCCO Stars Denny Long and Mike Lynch. Both of these gentleman are at the top of their game and they are each a joy to listen to. Via Infinity's RadioMat this morning I was able to catch Denny along with the great (and always uber-cool) Charlie Boone and news ace Bruce Hagevik. Also heard his royal highness The King having a discussion with my old pal and odds maker to the odds makers Morgan Mundane. Thanks for the tips Morg, I now need to run to the ATM. Great radio, it just does not get any better. My understanding is WCCO is #1 in cume and aqh share in the just released Arbitron, congrats and cheers to Wendy Paulson and the stars of her show. As Paul Drew often said "Being #1 requires no explanation"

Our new favorite hotel in the Twin Cities is Graves 601 Hotel, a fine property with the worst possible name. Here's a cut from Zagat...

“Cool comes to Minneapolis” via this “gorgeous” property whose “ultramodern” decor scheme and “dim lighting” make some think they’re “walking into the film The Matrix”; rooms outfitted with “comfortable beds”, plasma TVs, high-speed or WiFi access, baths with Hermès soap and “awesome” rain showers, and the “great bar” at Cosmos restaurant, are all “très

Our highest recommendation, a very cool experience indeed. Avoid the high rack rates and get a very good deal by booking via their site which you may find here

We enjoyed our stay at the property during a recent trip to the cities to catch the latest Cirque du Soleil production Corteo. We remain in the debt of Infinity honcho and mensch Wes Spencer who encouraged us to go and was our guest at our first Cirque du Soleil production many semesters ago. "It's a circus without elephants" he said.

Fortune's David Kirkpatrick writes...

I’m pessimistic that large old-guard media organizations will be able to compete effectively in such a software-driven world. The Yahoos, CNETs, Googles, and MSNs—coming as they do from their roots in software—are likely to have fundamental advantages. It will probably turn out to be considerably easier for tech companies to turn themselves into media companies than for media companies to become savvy about tech.
Of course, the old media can always buy or rent technologies that have been developed elsewhere. But those who develop their own will be the ones with a competitive advantage in a world of fickle consumers and constant change.

Ongoing expensive research and development will be critical, but the very concept is anathema to most media companies. Today’s big media companies try to differentiate themselves with the quality of the news, information, or entertainment that they deliver, not with how it is delivered. The problem is that now they need to do both.

David is correct. How serious a firm is will be reflected in their budgeting and spending for cap x, r&d and talent; the acid test of a firm's resolve will be revealed in the magnitude of these investments most importantly their tech investment. I give Infinity CEO Joel Hollander high marks for the major progress he has made in this area since the first of the year. Joel is reimagining - to steal from Tom Peters - an Infinity that is way different from the one Mel ran. Read all of David's writing, Big Media's Challenge - Taking on the Tech Giants, here