Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Weekly Recap - Back Office, Steve Jobs, Rain in Durango


It wasn't a week fully of rad shredding... No mountain bike or bouldering glory! It was all rain, and cold at that in Durango, CO this week. Alas, it was time to work hard and reflect on a lot going on this week. 


To start of my weekly review, I have to give notice to a trend I've been seeing and one that is timely with Steve Job's unfortunate passing... 


Years ago I switched to a MAC, and I'm never going back! To start, the quick keys. I can do most of what I need without using a mouse. The value of a MAC isn't just usability. MAC's won't get the conflicker worm according to a recent interview with Terry Gross on Fresh Air (http://www.npr.org/2011/09/27/140704494/the-worm-that-could-bring-down-the-internet). They just work, and don't get sick. But the biggest trend I've been seeing is in the hospitality space... WhenToManage Restaurant Solutions is a SaaS technology platform providing high-end to Quick Serve restaurants advanced business intelligence, labor scheduling and inventory management solutions. And what I've seen is an industry  is full of PC's. From the client-side Point of Sale (POS) systems like Aloha and Micros to the back office computer in the owners office. However, slowly but surely this has been changing. Ipads and Ipods have started to infiltrate the PC barriers of entry. Servers are taking orders from these devices. Operators are also managing their POS infrastructure on Ipads. In other words, the restaurant transaction (how a server puts in an order) world is changing! Now, throughout my day, and as I demonstrate our technology to operators or work with our customer base, I'm seeing more and more MAC users. They want a different way of doing things. According to one restaurant operator I spoke to, the movement away from PC's isn't so much driven by the top. The staff comes to interviews with Iphones and they ask if "the software they use to access their schedule can be used with a MAC". I guess the bigger trend is people want to use what they want... 


The second story I wanted to bring to the table is a continuing debate I've been having with my mentors and peers. It is all about tactics and less about strategy! I brought this up in a previous post, but I can't help but continue to push on this topic, especially when I think about Steve Job's passing. What made Steve Job's great was his relentless focus on the details (the tactics). Sure he had a vision: build great products. But what made him so innovative was sticking to what makes people use his products - um, the details. I've worked with some executives in my career who differed with me on this topic. To them, it was all about the "high-level" as though that was the most critical function in an organization. Totally disagree here... The thing that makes great companies and winning armies are the ground troops. It is one person, a lieutenant or VP of Sales (plugging myself here), who doesn't quit! Who focuses on getting things done. Who fails, tries again and again, and then succeeds. These are the people who get the glory, and for good reason. They are the ones suffering and who have the customer or battlefield story to tell. If I were to build a great company, I'd hire doers who have the ability to walk the direction I want them to walk, but who aren't afraid to pivot or change course entirely. Oh, and the ability to speak up and say: YOU HAD BETTER WALK THIS WAY.


Finally, it is the conclusion of bike season and the sales are HOT... Be sure to check out these brands. I am... 







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