Here's a list of no nos:
- Everyone knows that ______
- Well, (fill in industry pundit here) says that _______
- It would cost too much money to ____
- (your favorite goes here)
That's not to say that there isn't some good stuff out there. An electrical engineer in the 70's told me 90% of all problems are caused by poor connections. Isn't that the truth (and it works on so many levels)?
Here's what brought this to mind. We were eating at our favorite Mexican restaurant where you can get Coca Cola from the fountain or a glass bottle imported from Mexico (the local grocery store carries it too). And they sell a lot of bottles. Mexico Coke has cane sugar. U.S. Coke has corn syrup and there is a *huge* difference in taste. But no bottler uses that formula in the U.S. Why? Who knows, but they're missing a big opportunity.
Secondly I found an awesome Internet streaming oldies station from Chicago, BigOldiesChicago. While everyone else has a safe play list of 500 songs, these guys have 5,000 and they use the old play lists from the greats like WLS and WKNR along with the same jingles (talk about serious flash backs).
And lastly Tom Peters goes on a rant about the Fortune 500 CEO's being "special":
Dodger, my 5-year-old Aussie, could have done a better job. (He could have bitten anybody who tried to make a $500K loan to someone who had never had a job or paid a bill and signed his name with an "X"; and peed on the pants of any 22-year-old University of Chicago PhD who said, "With my clever algorithm I've designed what's called a 'derivative'—it'll make risk a thing of the past." Yes, had Dodger bitten and peed on schedule, the likes of Citigroup would be ten or twenty billion ahead of their current position.)
Grant has an excellent post called on assumptions:
Watching for blind side hits is difficult because it means knowing our assumptions. And this is hard because assumptions are not for knowing, they are for making. For instance, in the late 1980s, I don't think anyone at Coke believed that a new brand could use the Mom and Pop corner store as a platform from which to stage an industry coup. I mean, get real. The Mom and Pop store was too small, too quirky, too amateur. Right? Wham! By the time, Coca-Cola understand what had happened to it, Snapple had stolen a march on the market.
So if it's a sound idea, do it. If it's an assumption, watch it. I worked with a guy who couldn't go to the head unless he talked to at least three industry experts. Never had an opinion of his own that wasn't a derivative of someone else. Sad.