• Building Product: Avoiding the Data-Driven Trap

    I spent part of the weekend with some friends who are in the early stages of a new startup. While we don’t always talk shop, it’s inevitable that someone will open up about their latest challenges. The conversation we had ended up being interesting enough that I wanted to cover the topic with my readers. The discussion started with a simple statement from a founder and chief marketing officer who is looking to disrupt the healthcare payment space. She made the statement “our approach to product is 100% data-driven”. She’s a fantastic marketer ... Read More »

  • Hardware as a Service – AV is about Services and not Things

    No industry is immune to change, and this is even more true for technology-based economies whose life cycles can be measured in time spans as short as three months. If you’ve worked in the audio-visual (AV) industry in the past decade, you’ve witnessed a hardware-centric community transform itself into one driven by software and innovation.  I’m a computer scientist that’s found my way into the AV community almost by accident.  I’m glad it happened because it’s given me the opportunity to witness the revolution of a $12B stable hardware industry into an innovative ... Read More »

  • Empirical Thinking -Or- Part 2 of Honesty with Customers (and Yourself)

    Information is (accessible) everywhere. It’s changed the way we think, problem solve, and interact. In an age where developers can cut/paste code into demo products, marketers can re-purpose infographics into rapid-fire click-bait, and anyone with 10 minutes on the right Wikipedia page can sound like an expert – it’s worth asking: what skills can we foster that remain valued? There are plenty of these skills – deep cognition for example, or the ability to see connections no one else sees, create new generalizations, and make an inference to collect more information. I’d ... Read More »

  • Be Honest with Your Customers and They’ll Be Honest with You

    I recently came across a marketing brochure from a competitor that outlines 'facts' about their offering and our own. The 'facts' turned out to be nothing more than marketing fantasy. Perhaps it’s my academic background, but unsubstantiated facts almost make me break out in a rash. Later in this article, I’ll outline the tests I ran to show their claims are wrong.  But I asked myself, why don’t we do something similar? It also made me ask, what role should marketing play at our company? I would argue that a successful marketing team ... Read More »

  • You’re Not Good at Everything – 3 Keys to Collaborative Success

    Collaboration is so far past being a buzzword that it’s almost become kitschy.  Nearly every booth at the upcoming 45,000+ attendee ‘InfoComm’ conference will figure out a way to entwine the word collaboration in their messaging somewhere.   But collaboration is truly important.  It’s at the core of how the workplace is changing to accommodate modern workstyles.  Collaboration can leverage everyone’s expertise in open forums, transforms serialized presentation meetings (i.e. PowerPoint) into parallelized problem-solving sessions, and encourages employee engagement.  Selfishly, embracing collaboration can invigorate your own career: by being aware of its personal ... Read More »