December 2011
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Day December 22, 2011

5by5 | The Critical Path #18: Who's Paying for My Lunch?

Dan and Horace ponder why some companies are more mysterious than others. We ask whether transparency and simplicity of business models is a sign of strength or weakness. We compare the measurement, creation and capture of value and why we should celebrate the mortality of businesses.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #18: Who’s Paying for My Lunch?.


Who is being reasonable now?

Last week Horace wrote about the apparent “reasonableness” of analyst Apple estimates. He explained how the consensus for Apple’s growth was always deeply pessimistic because its performance could be argued to be anomalous. It was just too good to be true. We reproduce the chart here:

The estimates look like characteristic “tell-tales” of a company running strong into the wind.

This conservatism in the face of rapid growth sounds “reasonable” but is it always practiced? And what about the ability of this conservative strategy to predict dramatic changes in growth? To test, we started to look at the predictions for RIM. RIM has also enjoyed strong growth over a similar time frame as Apple. How did analysts predict its performance? The following chart was prepared using the same technique as the one for Apple[1].

Sponsor: OmniFocus five step jumpstart

My thanks to the Omni Group for sponsoring the site again this week.

Today we’re highlighting the OmniFocus task management software again. We are hoping you are going to take advantage of the free trial available.

To that end, here’s a quick 5-step jumpstart.

  1. Capture everything. Take 15 minutes to move things out of your head and in to OmniFocus. Anything from long-term goals (earn pilots license) to quick errands (card for mother).
  2. Define next actions. “Earn pilots license” deserves its own project. Move it to your library and decide what to do next.
  3. Organize actions with contexts. “Research area flight schools” might be assigned to a Mac context for googling, “card for mother” to Walgreen’s.
  4. Now do stuff. If you’re at the office, focus on work projects to get stuff done! At home, take care of errands.
  5. Review mode. Take time to consider each active project. Does it need more work?

Find out more about OmniFocus here, and don’t hesitate to ask questions.


5by5 | The Critical Path #17: Working with Clay

Horace interviews James Allworth, author, Fellow at the Forum for Growth and Innovation at Harvard Business School, and a former Apple employee. James describes what it’s like working with Clayton Christensen and takes us on a journey through the latest academic and applied research being conducted on the theories of disruptive innovation.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #17: Working with Clay.