Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Innovation, Change and Ego

InformationWeek has some observations on innovation.
Down To Business: Who's In For Innovation? No, Who's Really In? Everyone's pro-innovation in theory, but because it can be disruptive and cost gobs of money, innovation wends its way into most organizations slowly.

At last week's Software 2007 power powwow, Salesforce.com chief Marc Benioff was one of the industry leaders talking up innovation. "The biggest untold story is we're going through the biggest renaissance in software," Benioff told InformationWeek's Mary Hayes Weier. "More innovation is happening now than in the last 10 years. Walk around this conference and you'll be amazed at what you see.

"Which gets us back to the innovation dichotomy. Everyone's for it in theory, and CIOs like Carter are devout practitioners, but because it costs money, in terms of budget dollars and disruption, innovation wends its way into most organizations slowly. It's especially hard for the biggest tech users and vendors. At Software 2007, after dismissing the McKinsey-Sand Hill finding that customers don't think large software companies are as innovative as smaller ones, SAP CEO Hasso Plattner acknowledged that his company's SaaS product plans, also revealed at the conference, are a year or two late. Then, to almost underscore the research findings, Plattner blamed the delay on SAP's need to meet Wall Street expectations and on "internal controversy." But innovation must march on, Plattner said: "The only advice I can give is, don't wait too long."

This is true of every business. I gave up my software company when the money chase vs technology cycle out ran me. It was a great idea. It's remnants sit in boxes in a storage locker. Along the way, I learned that one cannot wait to innovate. My experience and that of all around me showed that being slow to innovate cost money, talent and market opportunities.

Today's WSJ (paid area) has an interesting article on how innovation need not be totally new. How sometimes "Everything Old Is New Again" even in home milk delivery.

Small Dairies Profit From a Resurgence Of Home Deliveries
Firms That Held Out In Tough Times See Payoff in Higher Sales
Returning to your doorstep: the milkman

As American consumers rush toward healthier, home-grown foods, the old-fashioned trade of home milk delivery is making a comeback in pockets around the country. And that appetite for wholesome fare, coupled with rising gas prices, is giving an unexpected marketing boost to some tiny dairies and local milk distributors, helping them compete against larger rivals who saturate store shelves.At Crescent Ridge, Mr. Parrish says getting the average ticket order up has been key. And one of his best tools is the Web -- where customers can tweak their orders up until midnight on the day of delivery. Today, some 25% of customers order online, and the average Web order is 20% higher than non-Web orders. The company says it's investing $40,000 to overhaul and upgrade its Web site in the next six months.One of the dairy's newest challenges is figuring out how many products to sell. Having a large selection of items other than its own dairy products, such as macaroni and cheese, meat, and bagels, has boosted the average sale to between $20 and $25. It also helped the company compete when online grocery delivery companies, such as Peapod of Skokie, Ill., launched a grocery delivery service in its area.

The biggest disaster in home delivery of groceries was WebVan. Peapod and others were an outgrowth of the traditional store delivery business. WebVan was a pure Internet delivery business with sole purpose warehouses and delivery vans. There were a lot of people who made money. Even more lost money in the endeavour. The failure was not the product of lack of innovation. The failure was a direct result of too much success and not enough examination of that success. Too many egos got in the way or too many economic realities. We learn must from failure. We learn very little from success. When those who were successful in one arena come to another the presumption is that they possess the ski ls and discipline necessary as well as that both arenas and conditions are identical. That almost never happens. Things are different and the smart businessman reacts and responds to changed conditions. WebVan had some very smart people. They recruited some very successful people. They mistook raising capital with rising sales. They over built, over extended, under marketed and never got the customer base necessary to overcome their high costs.

The cycle looks to repeat itself in many ways. The short time from success to failure to innovation should allow the living memory of people to apply lessons learned the hard way. The Internet spurs innovation but it forces us to change the timing of our innovation and examination of mistakes and search for opportunities in the wreckage.

How fast do we learn the lessons of the Past? (Success and Failures?)

How do we apply them to opportunities that are only possibilities in the Present?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

This Is Not Good

Before the AIDS-HIV epidemic, we were anticipating the arrival of a drug resistant form of Tuberculosis, Typhoid, Diphtheria or other ancient disease. Most of these once ravaged humanity killing thousands at go, before retreating for a few years only to rise and attack again. We knocked them down with better diet, health care, water treatment, hygiene and personal habits.

The ready-steady-frequent use of antibiotics to cure -EVERYTHING- demanded by patients and given by doctors has produced a new strain that we do not have a drug for. The Anthrax scares showed that we have limited numbers of proven, tested, safe anti-biotics available.... And now from the SF Chronicle,
Sacramento Bee and S-J Merc News we get the following reports of a drug resistant for of TB in our midst. What would we do if this turned into an epidemic? 1,000 or 10,000 cases suddenly appearing with more coming?

This is a disease of opportunity. It is easily transmitted. It can lie dormant for years.

SAN FRANCISCO - Virulent TB strain linked to 7 cases in SoMa

Sabin Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 05/12/07
A San Francisco man is hospitalized in critical condition with a highly drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis that killed a patient last year and is responsible for a string of cases linked to a South of Market residency hotel catering to the poor. The...
Drug-resistant TB poses pandemic risk - Rapidly spreading virus will kill half of sufferers, experts say

Peter Finn, San Francisco Chronicle, 05/04/07
A virulent strain of tuberculosis resistant to most available drugs is surfacing around the globe, raising fears of a pandemic that could devastate efforts to contain TB and prove deadly to people with immune-deficiency diseases such as HIV-AIDS. Known...

Bay City News Service

San Francisco health officials are struggling with a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis that since late 2005 has killed one person and sickened six others.

Health investigators believe the strain came from the former Soviet Union and infected tenants in a Tenderloin residential motel, said Dr. Masae Kawamura, director of the tuberculosis control section of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Federal budget cuts threaten progress against TB in state, officials say

By Dorsey Griffith - Bee Staff Writer

Published 7:50 pm PDT Friday, March 23, 2007

California - the nation's leader in tuberculosis cases and deaths - logged its lowest TB rate in history last year, but health officials say federal budget cuts are undermining efforts to keep the infectious disease from spinning out of control.

The state's case rate dropped by 4.2 percent last year, to 2,781 cases, but California continues to experience the highest number of TB cases and deaths in the country, including among children.

In addition, California has a significant share of cases that are resistant to one or more first-line drugs that can otherwise cure the disease if taken as directed.

A 12 percent cut in TB control funds from the federal government - with additional cuts expected - can only make matters worse, said Dr. Sarah Royce, chief of the state's Tuberculosis Control Branch.

WHAT IS TUBERCULOSIS-? (see Answers.com for almost TMI)

The following is from
Science and Technology Encyclopedia

An infectious disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is primarily an infection of the lungs, but any organ system is susceptible, so its manifestations may be varied.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is transmitted by airborne droplet nuclei produced when an individual with active disease coughs, speaks, or sneezes. When inhaled, the droplet nuclei reach the alveoli of the lung. In susceptible individuals the organisms may then multiply and spread through lymphatics to the lymph nodes, and through the bloodstream to other sites such as the lung apices, bone marrow, kidneys, and meninges.

The development of acquired immunity in 2 to 10 weeks results in a halt to bacterial multiplication. Lesions heal and the individual remains asymptomatic. Such an individual is said to have tuberculous infection without disease, and will show a positive tuberculin test. The risk of developing active disease with clinical symptoms and positive cultures for the tubercle bacillus diminishes with time and may never occur, but is a lifelong risk. Only 5% of individuals with tuberculous infection progress to active disease. Progression occurs mainly in the first 2 years after infection; household contacts and the newly infected are thus at risk.

Many of the symptoms of tuberculosis, whether pulmonary disease or extrapulmonary disease, are nonspecific. Fatigue or tiredness, weight loss, fever, and loss of appetite may be present for months. A fever of unknown origin may be the sole indication of tuberculosis, or an individual may have an acute influenzalike illness. Erythema nodosum, a skin lesion, is occasionally associated with the disease.

The lung is the most common location for a focus of infection to flare into active disease with the acceleration of the growth of organisms. There may be complaints of cough, which can produce sputum containing mucus, pus- and, rarely, blood. Listening to the lungs may disclose rales or crackles and signs of pleural effusion (the escape of fluid into the lungs) or consolidation if present. In many, especially those with small infiltration, the physical examination of the chest reveals no abnormalities.

The principal methods of diagnosis for pulmonary tuberculosis are the tuberculin skin test (an intracutaneous injection of purified protein derivative tuberculin is performed, and the injection site examined for reactivity), sputum smear and culture, and the chest x-ray. Culture and biopsy are important in making the diagnosis in extrapulmonary disease.

A combination of two or more drugs is used in the initial therapy of tuberculous disease. Drug combinations are used to lessen the chance of drug-resistant organisms surviving. The preferred treatment regimen for both pulmonary and extrapulmonary tuberculosis is a 6-month regimen of the antibiotics isoniazid, rifampin, and pyrazinamide given for 2 months, followed by isoniazid and rifampin for 4 months. Because of the problem of drug-resistant cases, ethambutol can be included in the initial regimen until the results of drug susceptibility studies are known. Once treatment is started, improvement occurs in almost all individuals. Any treatment failure or individual relapse is usually due to drug-resistant organisms. See also Drug resistance.

The community control of tuberculosis depends on the reporting of all new suspected cases so case contacts can be evaluated and treated appropriately as indicated. Individual compliance with medication is essential. Furthermore, measures to enhance compliance, such as directly observed therapy, may be necessary. See also Mycobacterial diseases.

If you're coming to San Fran Cisco, be sure to pack some anti-biotics in your bags... It is a disease of opportunity. It is easily transmitted. If a person coughs straight up in an elevator the bacteria can float for up to 30 minutes. Once infected a person may live without symptoms for years until the body is weakened by starvation, disease, injury or wound, or stress.... We Californi-Os don't have any stress...


Its about time.

I am glad to see the candidates telling the press to "Go Fly A Kite". There is no reason to release ones tax returns. Most folks can't read their own.

Most reporters don't read their own or the Candidates. They pay someone to make some hay about who donated what to whom and ignore the actual cash paid in amounts (Quick! Tell me how much Kerry paid in cash in 2003?).

It is irrelevant and about time. Gee there may be some good that comes from this two year long process...

Only 18 months to go until we get to vote-!!

Aren't you excited?

Happy Mothers Day-! Canadian Style

Canada has discovered the benefits of being the first country to achieve zero population growth.

For the generation that's brought Canada's fertility rate to below replacement levels, such idylls can only become increasingly rare. With 1.5 children per couple, our best hope is a quiet death in a clean facility where the immigrant workers speak our language. And that's only the human face of demographic decline. The economic face is hardly more appealing: unfilled labour markets, reduced GDP and no tax revenues to pay for health care -- to name a few.

Canada isn't the only country in this predicament. According to America Alone, Mark Steyn's self-described and penetrating rant on "demography, Islam and civilizational exhaustion," the developed world has gone from 30 per cent to 20 per cent of global population. Greece has 1.3 births per couple -- the "lowest low" from which no society has ever recovered; Russia, where 60 per cent of pregnancies are terminated, has the fastest-growing rate of HIV in the world and, by 2050, 60 per cent of Italians will have no brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts or uncles. In the developed world, only the United States, with a 2.1 birth rate, is replacing itself.

Along the way from then to now, Canada has also discovered STDs and the high cost invitro fertilization, read the article.

Like the 1970's Coming Ice Age, the Population Bomb was going to destroy the planet. We still have a "Population Explosion" but it's not so serious since its only the non-whites who are breeding. we cannot say anything as some brown skin folk view it as a form of genocide.

We now have Global Warming and Rich Americans who are the enemy this go-round... Those Americans are just too ignorant to know that the world is coming to an end unless they commit economic suicide. Maybe we just need fewer experts, fewer political action groups and fewer chicken politicians to spend tax money running from one fad to the next... Imagine what could have been accomplished if the million upon millions spent on population growth, climate control and related issues had been left in the hands of the citizenry?

What would we have done with all that money in our pockets?

Strong Woman Needs Weak Man

Bill Clinton is doing much more than offering advice and opinion. He is proving that his wife is incapable of winning the Presidency in her own right.

The New York Times reports that
Bill Clinton’s connections, and his endless supply of chits, only begin to capture his singular role in his wife’s presidential candidacy, advisers and friends of the couple say. He is the master strategist behind the scenes; the consigliere to the head of “the family,” as some Clinton aides refer to her operation; and a fund-raising machine who is steadily pulling in $100,000 or more at receptions.
Who helped him in 1992? Who played this role in his elections? Did Hillary perform similar duties?

That concern was crystallized by a question that arose at the Republican presidential debate this month: “Would it be good for America to have Bill Clinton back living in the White House?” The question underscored the sheer oddity of the Clintonian package deal redux.

Friends say the couple has learned from the mistakes of his 1992 race and has avoided again promoting a two-for-one bargain (which, in her camp’s view, cut against the tradition of voting based on a candidate’s merits alone). Campaign advisers also say that Mr. Clinton is simply too busy with his charitable work to be a full-time candidate spouse at his wife’s side.

When will he become an issue? He is becoming THE issue. Everything else is irrelevant.

In the campaign’s current plan, Mr. Clinton will not appear regularly at large public events for Mrs. Clinton until the fall, though the timing largely depends on how well she is doing, advisers say. He is adding more income-generating speeches than usual to his personal schedule now, so he has more free time in the fall and in 2008 to campaign for her, advisers add. Still, they note that Mr. Penn has not mapped out which states Mr. Clinton would visit during a general election campaign, if Mrs. Clinton wins the nomination, but that both men see Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Virginia as Republican-leaning states that Mrs. Clinton might contend in.
He is going where she is not popular? When will they get the idea that the world has changed greatly since 2000? Will we ever get beyond Monica and the Clinton Scandals? Will Hillary ever address his role, his history? Will she ever speak to us honestly about him and her relationship? Is this about America or Clinton's place in history?

Indeed, Democrats close to Mrs. Clinton remain keenly aware of his foibles and blind spots. In private, these allies are blunt: He has disappointed her before, most painfully with Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment. He can be undisciplined, and his love for the cut and thrust of politics could unleash that side, especially if he believes her campaign is in trouble.
It must be in big trouble if he has his own plane, own press group and holds his own fund raisers. What more could he be doing? What is she doing?

What will she do when she is President? Will she turn to him to save the nation?

How strong a candidate and President will she be? Do we want someone so weak that they cannot run on their own campaign? Even Gore and Kerry took responsibility for their errors. Who will take responsibility for her failures? Who will take responsibility should they succeed?

Republicans don't fear a strong woman... Hillary is not a strong woman. His presence show her weakness. The more often he appears the weaker she really is.

Nothing belies her inabilities like his presence