Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Business Lesson from a Dream

Last night, I was in the middle of a dream, which was realistic up to that point.  Then, in the dream, I came across two dogs who suddenly, as a synchronized pair, swooped into the air, did a loop, landed, and repeated it.

At that moment, some part of me realized I was in a dream, and I woke up.

The business lesson? Everything may appear to be fine but, with discernment, you can spot inconsistencies.  This is how you troubleshoot complex issues and identify points for improvement / innovation. 

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Amazon's new AI Shop Assistant and Decision Simplicity

Amazon's new AI shop assistant is an example of "decision simplicity", which is a component of my Strategic Simplicity® Framework. 

Decision simplicity is about adding value to your customers by enabling them to make better decisions without being overwhelmed by choices and data. 

This is a very important competitive advantage in today's Attention Scarcity Age.

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Saturday, January 13, 2024

Disney's Minerva Mouse

I just found out that Minnie Mouse's real name is Minerva. How did I not know that?

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Friday, January 12, 2024

George Carlin Humor

"Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backward."

- George Carlin

© 2024 Praveen Puri

"Evil" Baby Carrots

I saw an article today criticizing baby carrots.  The truth is that:

1. Sales of carrots (which are healthy) increased after baby carrots came on the market.

2. Baby carrots are cut out of flawed, misshapen carrots that grocers would never sell, thus reducing food waste.

It's that Puritan work ethic stuck in our subconscious: if something makes things easier and more convenient, there must be something wrong with it...
© 2024 Praveen Puri

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Developing Expertise as an Independent Consultant

This brilliant blog post from fellow consultant Tom Critchlow describes how an independent consultant can keep his/her practice fresh and interesting, while developing a unique expertise:

In fact, I think it's even useful for people inside corporations because, these days, things change quickly and organizations are flatter and provide less training.  Thus, even employees have to take control of their own career development.  

It's about focusing around an open-ended research question that greatly interests you.  By then exploring the question through your work, and writing about it, you develop an expertise, and keep yourself from getting bored.  Instead of feeling like your career progression is horizontal, you try to extract lessons from each engagement to try and advance your answers and understanding of your topic.  This helps you have an identity and makes you feel that you are advancing in your career, even if there is no formalized career ladder.

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

NFL Coin Toss Twist

Turns out that the NFL coin toss has a bit of a twist.  Many fans think that, if you win the toss, it means you decide whether to kick or receive in the first half, and then the other team gets to do the same in the second half, but it doesn't.

Instead, winning the coin toss means that you get to decide whether you'll make the decision in the first half or the second, and the other team gets to decide in the other half. 

There's a subtle, but important difference. 

A good way to illustrate it is with the fact that a player recently got benched by the coach because he made a mistaken call after his team won the toss.  His team wanted to kick off to start the game, and get the ball to start the second half.  So, he said, "We want to be on defense", which is another way of saying "we want to kick off." 

But, because of the way the rule works, you should NEVER say you want to kick off.  You can say that you want to receive but, if you want it in the second half, you should say "defer".

"Defer" means that you will choose whether to kick or receive in the second half, and you'll let the other team decide now.  In other words, no team ever chooses to kick off.  

1. If they want the ball now, they say "receive."  Then, the other team will call receive in the second half.

2. If they want the ball in the second half, they say "defer."  Then, the other team will choose to receive, and they will choose to receive in the second half.

If, instead, you win the coin toss and say you will kick off, then the other team will choose to receive in the second half, and they will get the ball first in both halves.

In short,  the NFL coin toss rule is not an example of Strategic Simplicity®.

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Animal Actors Are Already Being Replaced By AI

Human writers and actors went on strike earlier this year, partially in response to the risk that AI could replace them. In fact, I read an article in the latest Economist about how AI is already replacing animal actors.

For now, AI is mostly replacing exotic animals, like bears and lions.  Their trainers are starting to retire and/or cut back the number of animals they work with.

Dogs and cats are slower to replace with AI, because people are more familiar with them and can still tell the difference.  AI humans are even easier for audiences to detect–so far.

© 2024 Praveen Puri

Monday, January 1, 2024

Green Ahead of His Time

"I believe that water will one day be employed as fuel, that hydrogen and oxygen, which constitute it, used singly or together, will furnish an inexhaustible source of heat and light."

– Jules Verne, 1875

© 2024 Praveen Puri