When building a…


When building a business, time and energy will often be in short supply. This means you won’t always have the luxury of making a fully informed decision. Since collecting and analyzing data consumes resources, it’s important to weigh the benefits of a data-driven decision against its costs. If the data-driven path will cost more than the value of its potential upside, don’t bother.

Robert J Moore, When the Cost of Big Data is Too High

Paraphrase and …


Paraphrase and repeat back what you hear. You may think you get what the other person is saying, until you attempt to restate their message in your own words. When they’ve finished speaking, paraphrase what they’ve said to make sure you’ve heard the actual meaning and intent of their words. Consultant Guy Harris suggests saying things like,”I heard you say … . Is that correct?” and ”If I understand correctly, your concern is … .”

Tip #4 from Intuit on being a better listener.

Contract Award Notice Analysis


Companies have protested more Army contract awards in the last 18 months than any other Defense Department agency’s awards, and the Veterans Affairs Department tops the list as the most protested non-Defense agency….

“…according to an analysis by the open data supporters at GovTribe.”  Interesting discussion of contract award notices over at Next Gov.

A graphic depicting the discrenpancies:

To build trust …


To build trust and confidence in the cloud, evolution from existing platforms and architectures is key. At the same time, however, decision-makers should embrace the widest possible view of what constitutes IT architecture, taking physical constraints into account at every level.

Key finding from a paper at Gigaom that tackles “how organizations can benefit from aspects of technology that lie beyond the corporate boundary — that is, the cloud — without being hampered by sometimes-artificial technological, organizational, and financial constraints.”  Read the rest here.

Quoted: OMB on Cloud Computing


Government is at the very beginning of the third major shift in computing paradigms with the cloud, following the ages of mainframe and client-server computing … The global market for cloud services is estimated to be $158 billion this year, growing to $244 billion by 2017. However, federal government spending on the cloud is currently only a small percentage of this, with around $3 billion of its annual $80 billion IT budget spent on cloud services.

Scott Renda, the Office of Management and Budget’s cloud computing and federal data center consolidation portfolio manager.  Via GCN.

Quoted on Elevator Pitches: Stefan Töpfer


Don’t bore people with unnecessary details about your business. They don’t need to know that you were the first to bring a product to the market or that you borrowed money from your parents to get started – just boil it down to what your product or service can do to improve the life of the person you are talking to at that moment.

Stefan Töpfer gives good advice on successfully pitching your business.  Our favorite is above, but head over for the other four.

Connect with your Employees’ Vision


Employees are normally keen to share their ideas and take part in new initiatives, but business leaders need to make sure that they are encouraging this participation. [Vice president of strategy and advisor relations at FirstSource, Michael] Roy notes that companies with the highest participation rates tend to be ones which encourage employees to contribute. He recommends that business leaders identify how the improvements will impact staff and then highlight the findings to get additional buy-in.

Cynthia Clark at 1 to 1 Media on the value of engaging your employees for crowdsourcing ideas.

Medium writer R…


Medium writer Robyn Scott suggests taking 30 seconds after an important meeting to write down the strongest takeaways…The goal here isn’t to take detailed notes or remember every specific thing. That’s what note-taking during the meeting is for. Instead, take those 30 seconds to write down the strongest impressions you have or the most notable things you felt afterwards.

Great lifehack for business meetings and conferences.