Blog Archives

#1: This Isn’t Lil’ News

Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway has officially been named the head basketball coach of the University of Memphis.

This announcement comes after Tubby Smith was fired from this position a week ago. With this hiring, Penny has now made the coaching leap from the prestigious AAU and high school sidelines to the college game to great fanfare. The people of Memphis and its basketball team seem excited for his triumphant return (Penny played two seasons at Memphis when university was called Memphis State from ’91-’93).

“Hardaway was introduced at a Tuesday news conference that was open to the public, leading to a pep-rally atmosphere.”
–Jeff Goodman, ESPN Insider

And one well-known former competitor had some very nice things to say about one of Orlando’s famous Magic men.

FYI – Penny Hardaway is my favorite basketball player of all-time. And it still feels very wrong that he never won an NBA title. Add onto that list his unfortunate string of injuries. Despite all of that, in his prime, Penny was one of the best players on court at any given moment. But more than that, he’s proven during his post-NBA career that he’s an even better man off the court.

Memphis signed a winner in Penny Hardaway in ways that aren’t singularly measured on the hardwood, but equally away from it.

P.S. It would be fun to see Chris Rock reprise his role as Lil’ Penny in some way…

Curb Your Sales Pitch

When someone (or some company) gets it, as in really gets it, that’s worthy of a spotlight.

Apple is the tech company that doesn’t act like a tech company. And, because of that approach, Apple became the leading personal technology firm in the world. Maybe they took a page from Jason Alexander’s book pamphlet Acting Without Acting.

When you’re browsing in a store without any specific focus, do you find it helpful or less than helpful when the salesperson approaches/sprints to you with their commission-based agenda? Most people, I would imagine, would respond with annoying less than helpful. As consumers, we’re well aware that the employee is the store’s personalized informational resource. But, like most situations in life, we’ll ask for help when we need help.

Turns out, Apple executive Angela Ahrendts feels the same way. Ms. Ahrendts recently sat down for an interview with Norah O’Donnell on CBS This Morning.

Apple’s mentality of selling without selling is certainly a multi-faceted, top consumer strategy in the digital era. And this modus operandi should be applied to more than just selling tech products or acting. If you act like a salesperson, you’ll be treated like a salesperson. But if you act differently than people expect, then you’ll be treated differently than people expected.

Imagine the possibilities.

iPad Before iPhone Except After (Fore)seeing the Future

Wednesday is the perfect day for wisdom.

And random wisdom is the best.

The serendipitous moments that have generated inspirational ideas are some of my favorites. So much of life is unknown day-to-day and these instances of fortuity are proof of the boundless world we live in that can change for the better in a heartbeat. The trajectory of planned events can suddenly (and so frequently) take an amazing detour without warning. Without diving too deep into the psychological dynamic of unforeseen tangents, please click on the video below that features the late Steve Jobs revealing a secret of his initial business plan for a revolutionary product (for another revolutionary product, mind you) because of his gut decision to follow an inspirational moment during a developmental cycle that took him off his predetermined innovative path.

Embracing an inspirational aha moment (however small) can change your life, your business and, in some cases, possibly even the world.

While we may never definitively know if the chicken or the egg came first, we do know why the iPhone came before the iPad. And the answer is insanely great.

Changing IDEOlogy

IDEO’s approach to innovation and business deserves one very succinct word:

Amen.

Diversity is not restricted by race or gender, but expands in equal capacity and wonder to thought process. How we think certainly varies based on our gender and our personal experiences growing up in different places, as well as growing up in the same place as our peers. Incredibly, there are no limits to creativity, especially if (and when) we adopt a more lively dynamic to be initiated for problem-solving.

This is where IDEO comes into play to redefine not only what we innovate, but how we innovate in the 21st century with proof from the late 20th century. And this solution is people-centric. Keep in mind this aforementioned proof includes the very first mouse for Apple, as directly requested by this guy who went by the name of Steve Jobs. Exploring what IDEO’s founder David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley deem as “creative confidence” that’s currently in concert with Stanford University has the potential to gradually revolutionize not only how universities design curriculum, but also how businesses in a myriad of industries could (and should) approach hiring and operating in the not-so-distant future.

Currently, there is IDEO (the company), IDEO U (offering online courses for the public) and D.School (Stanford Graduate Students).

To put a finer point on it, IDEO is Silicon Valley’s transferable future to us all.

While no “app” is necessary, the application of IDEO’s ideas should be downloaded ASAP.