Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller

I haven't had a chance to read this book but the description sums up enough for me:

Jeff Rubin

For more than 20 years, Jeff Rubin has been known as one of Canada’s top economists, and a major voice for the energy sector. In Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller, Rubin uses that background to project what our world will look like in the near future, as oil reserves dwindle and global economies suffer. This book is not aimed at economists and money managers, though. It speaks directly to the average reader, and should serve as a dire warning of the severe consequences of oil dependency in our everyday lives.

With its central argument that a combination of rapidly dwindling oil supply and ever-increasing oil dependence will cause a continuing cycle of worsening recessions and depressions, this book projects a bleak future.
As transportation and environmental costs increase due to high oil prices and carbon regulation, Rubin argues, international trade will dry up and the age of globalization will end. The resulting fallout will force governments and businesses to create and support localized economies, and eschew international trade and transport.

In the tradition of writers like George Monbiot and Sir Nicholas Stern, Rubin presents some difficult truths that readers may find intimidating. Dense with statistics pointing to the inevitable collapse of the world as we know it, this book may not be an encouraging read.
Unlike Monbiot and Stern, who put forth a plan to slow the collapse, Rubin’s focus remains squarely on preparing readers for the kind of world that is coming, rather than trying to slow that inevitable outcome.

In a world where consumption in developed countries shows little sign of slowing and oil usage is skyrocketing, we need someone with Rubin’s background to predict what the likely results will be. Rubin’s perspective clearly falls more into the realm of futurism than economics, but because he excels at taking complex economic data and applying them to the everyday lives of his readers, this book functions successfully as both explanation and warning.

Rubin is sure to incite controversy with some of the central ideas in this book, but given that the world he envisions seems increasingly likely to materialize, Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller could turn out to be the exactly the book that readers are looking for, or that they need.

What do subprime mortgages, Atlantic salmon dinners, SUVs and globalization have in common?

They all depend on cheap oil. And in a world of dwindling oil supplies and steadily mounting demand around the world, there is no such thing as cheap oil. Oil might be less expensive in the middle of a recession, but it will never be cheap again.

Take away cheap oil, and the global economy is getting the shock of its life.

From the ageing oilfields of Saudi Arabia and the United States to the Canadian tar sands, from the shopping malls of Dubai to the shuttered auto plants of North America and Europe, from the made-in-China products on the shelves of the Wal-Mart down the road to the collapse of Wall Street giants, everything is connected to the price of oil

Interest rates, carbon trading, inflation, farmers’ markets and the wave of trade protectionism washing up all over the world in the wake of various economic stimulus and bailout packages – they all hinge on the new realities of a world where demand for oil eventually outstrips supply.

According to maverick economist Jeff Rubin, there will be no energy bailout. The global economy has suffered oil crises in the past, but this time around the rules have changed. And that means the future is not going to be a continuation of the past. For generations we have built wealth by burning more and more oil. Our cars, our homes, our whole world has been getting bigger in the cheap-oil era. Now it is about to get smaller.

There will be winners as well as losers as the age of globalization comes to an end. The auto industry will never recover from this oil-induced recession, but other manufacturers will be opening up mothballed factories. Distance will soon cost money, and so will burning carbon – both will bring long-lost jobs back home. We may not see the kind of economic growth that globalization has brought, but local economies will be revitalized, as will our cities and neighborhoods.

Whether we like it or not, our world is about to get a whole lot smaller.

Blue Ocean Strat Ch 5

Reach Beyond Existing Demand

Challenge 2 conventional strategy practices

1) the focus on existing customers

2) the drive for finer segmentation to accommodate buyer differences

- the more intense the competition is, the greater the resulting customization of offerings – risking creating ‘too small’ target markets

Companies should take a reverse course.
Instead of concentrating on customers, they need to look to noncustomers. And instead of focusing on customer differences, they need to build on powerful commonalities in what buyers value. This unlocks a mass of customers that did not exist before

By looking to noncustomers and focusing on their key commonalities – [Callaway Golf] see how to aggregate new demand and offer the mass of customers & noncustomers a leap in value.

Where is your locus of attention – on capturing a greater share of existing customers, or on converting noncustomers of the industry into new demand? Do you seek out key commonalities in what buyers value, or do you strive to embrace customer differences through finer customization and segmentation? To reach beyond existing demand, think noncustomers before customers; commonalities before differences; and desegmentation before pursuing finer segmentation.

3 Tiers of Noncustomers

1) Buyers who minimally purchase an industry’s offering out of necessity but are mentally noncustomers. They are waiting to jump ship & leave the industry as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Given a leap in value they will stay & their frequency of purchases will multiply [Pret A Manger]

Noncustomers tend to offer far more insight into how to unlock & grow a blue ocean than do relatively content existing customers.

Key reasons 1st tier noncustomers want to jump ship? Look for commonalities across their responses.

2) People who refuse to use your industry’s offerings; they see your offerings as an option to fulfill their needs but have voted against them. [Callaway example: country club tennis players that could choose golf but didn’t]

Refusing noncustomers: People who either do not use or cannot afford to use the current market offerings. [JCDecaux, street furniture, found that municipalities could offer stationary downtown locations, where people tended to wait a few minutes and hence had time to read & be influenced by ads]

What are the key reasons 2nd tier noncustomers refuse to use the products/services of your industry? Look for the commonalities across their responses.

3) Noncustomers who have never thought of your market’s offerings as an option. By focusing on key commonalities across these non customers & existing customers, co. can understand how to pull them into their new market

Unexplored noncustomers have not been targeted or thought of as potential customers, b/c their needs and the business opportunities associated with them have somehow always been assumed to belong to other markets. [Joint Strike Fighter]

Focus on the tier that represents the biggest catchment at the time.
Also explore whether there are overlapping commonalities across all 3 tiers.

1st reach beyond existing demand to noncustomers and desegmentation opportunities as you formulate future strategies.

If no such opportunities can be found, you can then move on to further exploit differences among existing customers. But in making such a strategic move, you should be aware that you might end up landing in a smaller space. You should also be aware that when your competitors succeed in attracting the mass of noncustomers with a value innovation move, many of your existing customers may be attracted away b/c they too may be willing to put their differences aside to gain the offered leap in value.

Blue Ocean Strategy Part 2 Ch 4

Ch 4

- most plans don’t contain a strategy at all but rather a smorgasborg of tactics that individually make sense but collectively don’t add up to a unified, clear direction that sets a company apart – let alone make the competition irrelevant.

- What seems to be a very big difference to the ( ) manager may not be important to customers, who look at the complete offering. Some managers will define the competitive factors according to internal benefits.

- A common mistake is to discuss changes in strategy before resolving differences of opinion about the current state of play. Another problem is execs are often reluctant to accept the need for change; they may have a vested interest in the status quo, or feel time will eventually vindicate their previous choices.

- usually a highly determined leader or crisis prompts execs to seek blue oceans
- asking execs to draw the value curve of their company’s strategy can bring home the need for change – as a wake up call to challenge existing strategies

- send a team to the field to see face-to-face; how people use or don’t use their products
- this is often outsourced – they rely on the reports other people (often at 1 or 2 removes from the world they report on) have put together
- The 1st port of call should be the customers. Do not stop there. Also go after non-customers. When the customer is not the same as the user, extend observations to the users (Bloomberg).
- Not only talk to these people, watch them in action. Identify the array of complementary products & services consumed alongside to give insight into bundling opportunities
- Ex. Parents going to movies need babysitters = cinema + onsite childcare service

- A visual strategy fair was held, including execs but mainly reps the managers had met with: noncustomers, customers of competitors, & some of the most demanding customers
- They were given no more than 10 minutes to present each curve, on the theory that any idea that takes more than 10 min. to communicate is probably too complicated to be any good. Pictures were hung on the walls so the audience could easily see them.
- After 12 strategies presented, each judge (an invited attendee) was given 5 sticky notes & put them next to their favourites.

- Judges could put all 5 on 1 strategy if they wanted. The transparency & immediacy of this approach freed it from the politics that sometimes seem endemic to the strategic planning process. Managers had to rely on the originality and clarity of their curves & their pitches. [example: we’ve got a strategy so cunning you won’t be our customers, you’ll be our fans]

- After notes were posted, judges were asked to explain their picks, adding another level of feedback to the strategy making process. Judges were also asked to explain why they did not vote for the other value curves

- They also learned buyers from all markets had a basic set of needs and expected similar services. If you met those common needs, customers would happily forgo everything else. Regional differences became significant only when there was a problem with the basics. This was news to many people who had claimed their regions were unique.

- Then draw a new strategy canvas


- Relationship Management Raise
- ease of use
- security
- accuracy
- speed
- market commentary
- acct executives
- corporate dealers Create
- confirmation
- tracking

- Once future strategy is set, communicate it in a way that can be easily understood by any employees. A one page picture showing its new & old strategic profiles can be distributed to show every employee where the company stood & where it had to focus its efforts to create a compelling future.

- Senior managers who participated in developing the strategy met with their direct reports to walk them through the picture, explaining what needed to be eliminated, reduced, raised and created to pursue a blue ocean. Those people passed the message on to their direct reports.

- The new picture becomes a reference point for ALL investment decisions. Only those ideas helping move from the old to the new value curve were given the go-ahead.
- The ability of suggested/requested items/ideas to meet the new value curves strategic needs was the chief metric by which it was judged.

- When business units present their strategy canvases to one another, they deepen their understanding of the other businesses in the corporate portfolio and fosters the transfer of strategic best practices across units

- Samsung has established an annual Value Innovation conference presided over by all its top execs. This is one way they establish a common language system, instilling a corporate culture & strategic norms that drive its corporate business portfolio to blue oceans

- Do your business unit heads lack an understanding of the other businesses in your corporate portfolio? Are your strategic best practices poorly communicated across your business units? Are your low performing units quick to blame their competitive situations for their results? If yes to any to these, try drawing & sharing strategy canvasses.

Pioneer-Migrator-Settler (PMS) map

– business offering unprecedented value; blue ocean strategists; most powerful sources of profitable growth – have a mass following of customers; value curve diverges from the competition

- business whose value curve conform to the basic industry shape; me-too business; stuck in a red ocean, will not contribute much to future growth

- somewhere between; extend the industry’s curve by giving more for less but don’t alter its shape; improved value but no innovative value

- Revenue, profitability, market share, and customer satisfaction are all measure of a company’s current position. Contrary to what conventional strategic thinking suggests, those measures cannot point the way to the future; changes in the environment are too rapid. Today’s market share is a reflection of how well a business has performed historically.
- Value & Innovation should be used instead as important parameters for managing businesses

o Innovation gets companies out of the rut of competitive improvements

o Value because innovative ideas will only be profitable if they are linked to what buyers are willing to pay for

- In pushing their businesses toward pioneers, be aware that even though settlers have marginal growth potential, they are frequently today’s cash generators. On the other hand, pioneers have max growth potential but often consume cash at the outset as they grow & expand. Manage your portfolio of businesses wisely to balance between profitable growth and cash flow at a given point in time.

Difference Between Lean and six sigma

Lean and Six Sigma are in no way related. Anyone who thinks they are would benefit from a deeper understanding of lean and some background on six sigma’s origins at Motorola.

The term ‘Lean Sigma’ is an attempt to provide the best of both worlds and rarely produces the cultural changes necessary to support & sustain lean transformation.

SIX SIGMA is a tool used to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability.

6sigma programs are generally long duration and focus heavily on statistical methods & measurement;

A six sigma process is one in the products manufactured are statistically expected to be free of defects (3.4 defects per million).

It has its applications;
however the people involved do not necessarily employ a deep understanding of the processes they are improving.

The result is often lack of ownership by the people doing the actual daily work, so changes do not stick.

The “find it - measure it - analyze it - fix it” to save dollars fast approach often leads to point improvements that may even be CONTRARY TO LEAN PRINCIPLES.
- some 6sigma solutions have actually led the organization away from lean and increased total cost

LEAN is a management system, a culture, and a philosophy, focused on providing value to the customer and removing waste.
It requires the engagement of all employments and the transformation of how we manage.
It is NOT just a set of tools, or about workforce reductions and eliminating people.
Lean can be a growth strategy to create new opportunities based on Customer Focus to only provide value.

Most problems people apply 6sigma to can be solved at the root cause using common sense by an empowered front line worker - eliminating the need for any 6sigma statistical analysis.

There may be points in a lean organization where 6sigma can be used.
Organizations should not focus on any one quality improvement tool but on the appropriate tools for each specific problem. Too many company managers embrace popular programs, like SixSigma, ignoring waste reduction and other variability reduction methods that can also provide
huge improvements. Within a targeted area, a blended application of tools will have a much greater impact than focusing on a few select projects.

Lean philosophy focuses on overall system effectiveness; 6sigma focuses on point improvements.

Lean thinking is a way of operating an organization; 6sigma a tool.

There is no Six Sigma in Lean; just like there is no hammer in ___________.
A carpenter may require the use of a hammer if he has the need to strike some thing, however there are many other tasks he is responsible for that require his thinking.

Blue Ocean Strategy Part 2 Ch. 3

Part 2: Formulating Blue Ocean Strategy

Ch. 3 Reconstruct Market Boundaries

There are 6 fundamental strategies underlying many companies’ strategies. Most companies typically do the following:

1) Define their industry similarly and focus on being the best within it
2) Look at their industries through the lens of generally accepted strategic groups and strive to stand out in the strategic group they play in
3) Focus on the same buyer group, be it the purchaser, the user, or the influencer
4) Define the scope of the products and services offered by their industry similarly
5) Accept their industry’s functional or emotional orientation
6) Focus on the same point in time – and often on current competitive threats – in formulating strategy

Reconstruct accepted boundaries defining how to compete:

1) Look Across Alternative Industries

a. Alternatives are broader than substitutes.
b. A company competes not only with other firms in its own industry but also with companies in those other industries that produce alternative products or services.

Substitutes: products having different forms but offering the same functionality/core utility

Alternatives: products having different functions/forms but the same purpose

- sellers rarely consider how their customers make trade offs across alternative industries. A shift in price, change in model, even a new ad campaign can licit a tremendous response from rivals within an industry, but the same actions in an alternative industry usually go unnoticed.

- Many companies focus on delivering the most sophisticated technology instead of delivering exceptional value, leading to building overcomplicated offerings that miss the key commonalities valued by the mass of people.

- NetJets

- What are the alternative industries to your industry?
- Why do customers trade across them?

2) Look Across Strategic Groups Within Industries

a. Strategic groups are generally ranked by price & performance; each jump in price tends to bring a corresponding jump in some dimensions of performance.

b. Most companies focus on improving their competitive position within a strategic group. (ex. Luxury cars compete with luxury cars, economy with economy. Curves). Neither strategic group tend to heed what other strategic groups are doing because from a supply point of view they do not seem to be competing

c. Break out of this narrow vision by understanding which factors determine customers’ decisions to trade up or down from one group to another

i. Champion prefab houses
ii. Curves, Sony walkman,

d. What are the strategic groups in your industry?
e. Why do customers trade up for the higher group, and why do they trade down for the lower one?

3) Look Across the Chain of Buyers

a. Most competitors converge around a common definition of who the target buyer is.

b. Purchasers of the product may differ from actual users
c. In some cases there are important influencers.
d. These groups may overlap or differ, and they frequently hold different definitions of value

e. An industry typically converges on a single buyer group
f. By looking across buyer groups, companies can gain new insights into how to redesign their value curves to focus on a previously overlooked set of buyers (pharmaceutical companies vs. insulin users)
i. Bloomberg focused on users
ii. Novo Nordisk

- What is the chain of buyers in your industry?
- Which buyer group does your industry typically focus on?
- If you shifted the buyer group to your industry, how could you unlock new value?

4) Look Across Complementary Product & Service Offerings

a. In most cases other products/services affect their value.

b. Untapped value is often hidden in complementary products/services. They key is to define the total solution buyers seek when they choose a product or service. Think about what happens before, during and after your product is used. (movies & babysitters)

c. Buses & maintenance – the transit bus industry did not have to be a commodity price driven industry, but bus companies, focusing on selling buses at the lowest possible price, had made it that way.

d. Buses were normally made from steel (heavy, corrosive, hard to repair). NABI adopted fibreglass – cut costs of maintenance by being corrosion free, body repairs faster, cheaper, easier because fibreglass does not require panel replacements for dents & accidents; damaged parts are cut out & new fibreglass materials are easily soldered. Light weight cut fuel consumption, more environmentally friendly, required lower powered engines & fewer axles, resulting in lower manufacturing costs & more space inside the bus

- What is the context in which your product or service is used?
- What happens before, during & after?
- Can you identify the pain points?
- How can you eliminate these pain points through a complementary product/service offering?

5) Look Across Functional or Emotional Appeal to Buyers

a. Competition tends to converge on one of 2 possible bases of appeal.

b. Some industries compete principally on price, and function largely on calculations of utility; their appeal is rational.

c. Other industries compete largely on feelings; their appeal is emotional.

d. The appeal of most products is rarely intrinsically one or the other. It is usually a result of the way companies have competed in the past, which has unconsciously educated consumers on what to expect. Companies’ behaviour affects buyers expectations in a reinforcing cycle. Over time, functionally oriented industries become more functionally oriented; emotionally oriented industries become more emotionally oriented. No wonder market research rarely reveals new insights into what attracts customers. Industries have trained customers in what to expect. They surveyed they echo back “more of the same for less.”

e. 2 common patterns:

i. emotionally oriented industries offer many extras that add price without enhancing functionality. Stripping away those extras may create a fundamentally simpler, lower priced, lower cost business model customers would welcome

ii. functionally oriented industries can often infuse commodity products with new life by adding a dose of emotion

1. ex. Swatch

2. The Body Shop – transformed the emotionally driven industry of cosmetics into a functional, no nonsense cosmetics house

3. QB House (Japan) – moved away from 1 hour ritual [$27 - $45] to basic cuts in 10 min. [$9], raising the hourly revenue per barber nearly 50%, lower staff costs & less required retail space per barber

4. Cemex (Mexico) – shifted the orientation of its industry from functional to emotional. In Mexico cement was typically sold to the average do it yourselfer in an unattractive market with more noncustomers than customers. Few additions built as most families spent $ on community festivals/celebrations. Contributing to these events distinguished oneself in the community; not was a sign of arrogance/disrespect.

a. Therefore most of the poor had insufficient savings to purchase building materials, even though having a cement house is a Mexican’s dream.

b. Cemex launched Patrimonio Hoy. 10 people contribute 100 pesos/wk for 10 weeks. Each week a draw is made to see who wins the $1000 pesos in each of the 10 weeks, so all participants win once and receive enough to make a large purchase.

c. Instead of spending the winnings on a celebration, it is directed towards building room additions with cement. Cemex positioned cement as a loving gift.

d. Cemex set up a building materials club winner would receive the winnings not in pesos but the equivalent in building materials to complete an entire new room, delivery included, construction classes on how to, and a technical advisor who maintained relations through the project.

e. Competitors sold bags of cement; Cemex sells a dream, with innovative financing & construction know how.

f. They also through small festivities for the town when a room is finished to reinforce the happiness brought to the people & tradition

g. 20% more families are building additional rooms; families are now planning 2-3 more rooms than before; Cemex experiences 15% monthly growth, selling cement at higher prices. It has tripled cement consumption by do it yourselfers.

h. Predictability of cement quantities to be sold through this program has dropped their cost structure via lower inventory costs, smother production runs, & guaranteed sales (lowering the cost of capital). Social pressure makes defaults on payment low.

5. Pfizer with Viagra
- shifted the focus from medical treatment to lifestyle enhancement

6. Relationship businesses (insurance, banking, investing) have relied heavily on emotional bond between broker & client, and are ripe for change
- customers do not need hand holding & emotional comfort traditionally provided if the company does a better job of paying claims rapidly & eliminating complicated paperwork.
- Direct Line uses information technology to improve claims handling & passes saving on to customers through lower insurance premiums
- Vanguard Group (index funds) and Charles Schwab (brokerage services) are doing the same in the investment industry transforming emotionally oriented businesses based on personal relationships into high performance, low cost functional businesses

Does your company compete on emotional appeal, what elements can you strip out to make it functional?
If you compete on emotional appeal, what elements can you strip out to make it functional?
If you compete on functionality, what elements can be added to make it emotional?

6) Look Across Time

- external trends affect businesses over time (environmental movement, internet, Lean philosophy)

Traditional companies:
- ask in which direction a technology will evolve, how it will be adopted, & whether it will be scalable.

Blue Ocean Strategy:
- ask how the trend will change value to customers and impact the company’s business model

By looking across time at what value a market delivers today to the value it might deliver tomorrow firms can shape their future. Finding insight in trends observable today.

3 Principles to assessing trends across time

Trends must
1. be decisive to your business
2. be irreversible
3. have a clear trajectory

Working backwards from the future vision, identify what must be changed today to unlock the new water.

Apple & music sharing over the internet.
They also removed the key customer annoyance of having to buy the whole cd.

Cisco identified growing demand for high speed data exchange. 80% of all internet traffic today flows through Cisco products.

CNN – 1st real time news network
Sex in the City – acted on trend of increasingly urban & successful women struggling to find love & marry later in life

What trends have a high probability of impacting your industry, are irreversible, and are evolving in a clear trajectory?
How will these trends impact your industry?
How can you open up unprecedented customer utility?

Blue Ocean Strategy: Part 1

Part 1

P viiii
These ideas are not for those whose ambition in life is to get by or merely to survive.

Pick unattractive industries

To win in the future, companies must stop competing with each other. The only way to beat the competition is to stop trying to beat the competition.

Consider 2 sorts of oceans: red oceans and blue oceans. Red oceans represent all industries in existence today. This is the know market space. Blue oceans demote all inductees not in existence today. This is the unknown market space.

In the red oceans, industry boundaries are defined and accepted, and the competitive rules of the game are known. Here, companies try to outperform their rivals to grab a greater share of existing demand. As the market space gets crowded, prospects for profits and growth are reduced. Products become commodities, and cutthroat competition turns the red ocean bloody.

Blue oceans are defined by untapped market space, demand creation, and the opportunity for highly profitable growth.

Although some blue oceans are created well beyond existing industry boundaries, most are created from within red oceans by expanding existing industry boundaries. In blue oceans, competition is irrelevant because the rules of the game are waiting to be set.

It will always be important to swim successfully in the red ocean by out competing rivals. Red oceans will always matter and will always be a fact of business life. This will not be sufficient to sustain high performance; companies need to go beyond competing. To seize new profit and growth opportunities, they also need to create blue oceans.

The overriding focus of strategic thinking has been on competition based red ocean strategies. Part of the explanation for this is that corporate strategy is heavily influenced by its roots in military strategy (officers, headquarters, troops, front lines). In this way, strategy is about confronting an opponent and fighting over a given ____ that is both limited and constant. To focus on the red ocean is therefore to accept the key constraining factors of war – limited terrain and the need to beat an enemy to succeed – and to deny the distinctive strength of the business world; the capacity to create new market space that is uncontested.


While supply is on the rise as global competition intensifies, there is no clear evidence of an increase in demand worldwide, and statistics even point to declining populations in many developed markets.

The business environment in which most strategy and management approaches of the 20th century evolved is increasingly disappearing.

Business literature typically uses the company as the basic unit of analysis. Book Creative Destruction- success attributed to some of the model companies is the result of industry sector performance.

Neither company nor the industry is the best unit of analysis in studying the roots of profitable growth.

The strategic move is the unit of analysis for explaining the creation of blue oceans and sustained high performance.

Don’t use the competition as a benchmark. Follow a strategic logic called ‘value innovation.’

Value Innovation focuses on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, opening up new and uncontested market space.

- It places equal emphasis on value and innovation. Value without innovation tends to focus on value creation on an incremental scale, something that improves value but is not sufficient to make you stand out.
- Innovation without value tends to be technology driven, market pioneering, or futuristic, often shooting beyond what buyers are ready to accept and pay for.
- Distinguish between value innovation as opposed to tech innovation and market pioneering.
- It’s not bleeding edge tech or time of market entry, which sometimes exist, but more often do not
- Value innovation occurs only when companies align innovation with utility, price and cost positions.
- If they fail to anchor innovation with value in this way, tech innovators and market pioneers often lay the eggs other companies hatch
- Value innovation defies one of the most commonly accepted dogmas of competition based strategy: the value-cost trade off.
o It is conventionally believed that companies can either create greater value to customers at a higher cost or create reasonable value at a lower cost.
o Here strategy is seen as making a choice between differentiation and low cost.
- Blue oceans pursue differentiation and low cost simultaneously

- a strategy that raised _____ cost structure without substantially altering the _____ experience

- pay no head to the competition; instead of following the conventional logic of outpacing the competition by offering a better solution to the given problem – redefine the problem itself
- factors had long been taken for granted in the traditional _____ industry, which never questioned their ongoing relevance

- search risk
- planning risk
- scale risk
- business model risk
- organizational risk
- management risk

Strategy Canvas
- captures the current state of play in the known market space; allows you to understand where the competition is currently investing, the factors in the industry currently completes on

Value Curve
- basic component of the strategy canvas; a graphic depiction of a company’s relative performance across its industry’s factors of competition

- conducting extensive marketing research does not reveal blue oceans
- research found that customers can scarcely imagine how to create uncontested marketing space. Their insight also tends toward the familiar “offer me more for less.” And what customers typically want ‘more’ of are those products and service features that the industry currently offers.

- reorient your strategic focus from competitors to alternatives, and from customers to non customers

- Which of the factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated?
- Which factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard?
- Which factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard?
- Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered?

- yellow tail focused on 2 (1 the most popular)
- made retail shop employees the ambassadors
- simplicity allowed for minimizing stock keeping units, max stock turnover, min warehouse inventory
- the elite image did not resonate with the general public

Eliminate-Reduce-Raise-Create Grid
- pushes firms to simultaneously pursue differentiation and low costs to break the value-cost trade off
- immediately flags companies focused only on raising and creating & thereby lifting their cost structure and often over engineering products and services
- is easily understood by managers at any level, creating a high level of engagement in its application
- because completing the grid is a challenging task, it drives companies to robustly scrutinize every factor the industry competes on, making them discover the range of implicit assumptions they make unconsciously in competing

3 characteristics
- focus, divergence, a compelling tagline

- breaking the trade offs between speed of airplanes and the economy & flexibility of car transport

- companies let their competitors’ moves set their own agendas

- focus on 3 factors

- when a company’s strategy is formed reactively as it tries to keep up with the competition, it loses uniqueness

Compelling Tagline
- clean cut

A company’s explicit or implicit strategy tends to be trying to outdo its competition on the basis of cost or quality, signalling slow growth unless the firm benefits from being in an industry that’s growing.

It a firm’s market share doesn’t reflect investments in delivering high levels across all factors, if may be oversupplying customers. Offering too much of those elements that add incremental value to buyers.

Are there areas where a company is offering a high level on one competing factor while ignoring others that support that factor?

Are competing factors stated in terms buyers can understand and value, or are they operational jargon?

Job Searching

Job Searching

What skills do employers need?
- technical
- communication
- interpersonal
- teamwork


- learned through previous experience
- responding to client needs; supervising, dealing with customers, training, working directly with clients, leadership writing skills, problem solving, team work skills

Personal Management

- communication & enthusiasm (no one adds marks from school in their resume)
- organized
- able to prioritize
- time management

Technical skills

- looking for well rounded
o marks
o work experience
o extra curricular & volunteer
- looking for people who can make a strong contribution


- all current skills
- skills I’m developing
- what skills do I need to develop?

Looking for people to solve problems; provide solutions

- what is my level of skill in each area identify skill, level of proficiency, where applied  to differentiate resume (similar) to show who’s better  identify your role
- where have I used it before
o how can I prove that I have a skill at a certain level of proficiency
- results of actions; preferably concrete

Writing Skills – Improving

- write reports (short, 1-2 paragraph) on things you’re done and get someone with no knowledge in that area to read it; see if they understand

- what type of job do I want?
- What do I want to do with my skills
- Employers want to see you can be held accountable for things


- identify industries you want to work in and opportunities they present for you
- use paper, magazines, web
- get to know professors, etc. who sit on boards, involved with industries, get to know them


- who is in your network
- is about getting information and making more contacts
- it may take 8 – 10 contacts in 1 firm to get hired

25 second sales pitch; Name, problem I will solve by providing certain skills
Example: I’m ____ _____
I can increase your sales/productivity by ___%, let me have 10 min. of your time and I can explain how I can do this.
- your goal here is to get the 10 minutes**

Always follow up with them after interviews/meetings/resumes etc.

Career Services – goes over resumes & cover letters

If I can get my own job description & have it approved by faculty advisor

- key is to express your unique contribution
- summary
- helps reader find what they need to know
- emphasize strengths used in accomplishments
- no point form

- 2 pages, 12 point font
- a summary on the resume can be removed if cover letter is good (so as to avoid redundancy)

action – how did you perform it
result – what was the result

Job Application & Scheduling

Ex. - moved across country 2 times
- work ethic, motivation – independent dealer
- volunteered to host – shows client/personal skills


- know yourself – skills, goals, accomplishments etc
- know the organization – research it
- know what you want to do for the employer
- review resume & bring extra copies of resume & references
- ask thoughtful questions
- know time/place of interview, be there 10 minutes early
- know key points to tell interviewer
- know what you did effectively to get previous jobs
o what made the difference; the decision to get the job
- always backup skills; can use examples (concrete)
- follow interviews lead – shifting, uncomfortable; tired, bored
- ask: is this something…; would you like more info. on…

Types of Interviews
1) Informational
2) Behavioural/Situational
3) Stress
4) Telephone
5) Group

1) Informational
tell me about yourself (in relation to this position)
a. program
b. Interests
c. Accomplishments
- what are your greatest strengths & weaknesses
o how are you turning you weakness around
- why do you want to work here

2) Behavioural
- based on premises that past behaviour predicts future behaviour
- use past performance example
o answer – STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result)
- how do you describe the ideal candidate for this position

1st Day at Work

Before – visit company website
- more research on company products & competitors
- know contacts, location & leave early to ensure you are there on time (or make sure you have previously been there so you know where it is); map & # to get a hold of them by
- work permit if needed
- dress code

Arrival or That Day
- set goals, clarify responsibilities
- assess resources
- keep manager informed – input, progress

- if you are invited to a meeting
o it’s for a reason;
o it’s an opportunity to sell your ideas
o it’s probably for your input
o avoid personal use of computer (personal email or anything else not work related – people have a hard time with this simple thing)
o say thank you to those who help you
o avoid gossip (integrity), offensive language/jokes
o be prepared for change
 ex. Project you’ve been working on for 5 weeks & due in 3 days is suddenly completely different & due tomorrow

Tips from Tim Harris, Kevin Timms

- if you notice VP or upper management on an email somewhere adjust reply email accordingly (learn who players are in companies)
- use MSN messenger & technologies to assist work
- make a different voicemail everyday, so people know where you are and how to get a hold of you
- book – Connect in Business in Under 90s
- volunteer – go help in industry you want to get into; work for free
- offer to do anything in organization
- 85% of jobs are unadvertised; 15% are advertised and have 90% of the competition
- Networking
o Let people know when you move, change jobs
o Send out happy new years, x-mas greetings
o Let me know if you change contact info

- get as much time off as possible
- phone people before interview and ask them what kinds of things will I be doing there
- resume; key words – left to right
o implemented ________ ….
- Training courses – keep track of them
- Banked overtime – can be used as $ or time
- In interview ask what’s your overtime structure
- Meetings – know who will be there
- Initiate – social events, etc.
- Black Book – everything you do goes here
- Learn to recognize communication & learning styles of people

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Found this sheet of notes from years ago;

Self Knowledge – Mastery

1) Master Your Mind
– cultivate your mind
– quality of life  quality of thoughts
– no mistakes, only lessons

Secret of Happiness
- find what you truly love to do and direct all your energy towards doing it

Heart of Rose
- concentrate on the object of focus
- continuously return your attention to the object of focus if thoughts stray (20min.)

Opposition Thinking
- be aware when thinking negatively and replace them with positive – think cheerful and energetic

The Secret of the Lake
- relax, visualize all you want to be and attain in your life
- mentally rehearse actions in a tense situation

2) Follow Your Purpose
- purpose of life is a life of purpose
- set goals and act on them


Step 1
– form a clear mental image of the outcome

Step 2
– pressure yourself positively by:
- telling everybody
- and by punishing myself if I don’t follow through with my commitment (Icy Waterfall)

Step 3
– Never set a goal without a timeline (Date & Time)
– Write it down

Step 4
Perform the activity for 21 days in a row: Habit

Step 5
Enjoy the process; laugh & love everyday

Investment Psycho

According to an article from the National Post Tue. Sept 20, 2005

Functional psychopaths make the best investment decisions because they can't experience fear.

Fear stops people from taking even logical risks.

Apparently the ability to control emotions helps performance in business and the financial markets.

They think this explains why more people invest in bonds than stocks, when equities historically offer a higher average return.

Money & Barter

Here's an interesting article I read in the Toronto Sun September 18, 2005 Section D which got me thinking about the monetary system.

I'd put it up but I need to figure out how to upload the PDF

It mentions how

The money system is programmed (not deliberately) to cause certain behaviour. It promotes competition and short term thinking; forces economic growth; undervalues care, education & tasks crucial to maintaining society.

People do not compete for markets & raw material, they compete for money.
Banks put money into circulation by means of loans. As soon as someone negotiates a loan, money is created & begins circulating. The bank expects the loan recipient to pay back the principle and interest, but the bank does not create the interest; therefore some people must lose money or go bankrupt in order to put others in the position to pay off their loans.

This collection of interest results in a concentration of wealth - those with money automatically get richer.
The system forces society into an endless loop of economic growth; new money must constantly be put into circulation to pay off old loans.

It says greed and competitive drive are not inherent human qualities. They are continuously stimulated by the kind of money we use. There is more than enough food and work for everyone.

There is merely a scarcity of money.

Business have to make money today. Governments bear the responsibility for the future of society.

So if anyone knows how to upload a PDF here fill me in or find a link to the article

Carlos Slim Helu of Mexico

whose holdings span telecom, banking, energy, tobacco and more

Slim said shortly afterward that he wasn't concerned about his ranking or taking over the top spot, but he expressed differences with Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and Gates, the chairman and co-founder of Microsoft Corp.

"It's not about having who knows how many bonds, to spend them on whatever one wants or live it up all year," said Slim, an engineer who wears modest suits and whose main indulgence appears to be expensive cigars. "I don't have apartments abroad. I don't have a house abroad."

Slim, who owns Mexico's dominant phone company and has holdings throughout Latin America, said his vision of a businessman's role in the world is at odds with that of Buffett, who announced last year he would donate $1.5 billion every year to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"It's very interesting, because he leaves those who are running his affairs the responsibility of being very profitable," Slim said of Buffett. "If they're inefficient or don't get real-term returns, they're not going to be running anything."

"Our concept is more to accomplish and solve things, rather than giving"
- adding that building businesses often does more for society than "going around like Santa Claus."
"Poverty isn't solved with donations."


Slim says he is unfazed by the criticism. "When you live for others' opinions, you are dead. I don't want to live thinking about how I'll be remembered,”


keeps them busy so they’re not loafing around

Mar/Apr 2009 Canadian Manufacturers & Exporter Magazine

Mar/Apr 2009
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporter Magazine

P 27
- expect infrastructure suppliers, health care providers, IT companies, energy firms and any company that is less dependent than average on the US consumer to fare better than most manufacturers

p 28
- www.threadless.com , Chicago. T-shirts created, submitted & rated by the public
- Local Motors, Massachusetts, www.local-motors.com custom cars

p 29
- book Changeable and Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems, El-Maraghy, 2008
p 30
- Industrial Machine & Mfg. Inc. Saskatoon
- McCoy Corporation, Edmonton

- The other course is to conserve, to manufacture in Canada not only the preliminary processes, but also the succeeding processes and export the products in a finished state.

P 52
- Edson Packaging Machinery Ltd. Hamilton. in early Feb 2009, the company received a record # of orders from abroad

We’ve heard from the media about the economic devastation; now we need the media to report on the manufacturing companies that are prospering and moving on

The E Myth Revisited

Gerber, M

Probably better to just read the whole thing to ensure you understand it.

- People who are exceptionally good in business have an insatiable need to know more
- Problem with most failing businesses is not that their owners don’t know enough about finance, marketing, operations – they don’t, but they can learn – but they spend their time and energy defending what they think they know. The greatest business people are determined to get it right no matter the cost.
- there is something uplifting, some vision, some higher end in sight that “getting it right” would serve
- extraordinarily grounded people, compulsive about detail, pragmatic, down to earth, in touch with seamy reality of ordinary life. They know a business doesn’t miss the mark by failing to achieve greatness in some lofty, principled way, but in the stuff that goes on in every nook and cranny of the business – on the phone, between the customer and a salesperson, on the shipping dock, at the cash register
- possess an intuitive understanding that the only way to reach something higher is to focus their attention on the multitude of seemingly insignificant, unimportant, and boring things that make up every business.
- a genuine fascination for the truly astonishing impact little things done exactly right can have on the world
- small businesses simply do not work; the people who own them do
o they’re doing the wrong work
Fatal Assumption:
if you understand the technical work of a business, you understand a business that does that technical work

- “I wonder what that business would be?” is the truly entrepreneurial question.
- How could I do this differently; how could I totally change my experience of this business?
- with growth, comes change
- most businesses are operated according to what the owner wants as opposed to what the business needs
- the owner and the business are one and the same thing; if you removed the owner from an infancy business, there would be no business left
- if you have a good business it is inevitable you will get to a point where there’s more work than you can possibly get done
- you realize your business has become your boss
- the technician turned business owner has a focus upside down; they see the world from the bottom up rather than from the top down; they have a tactical view instead of a strategic view; you only see the work that has to get done, and (wrongly) immediately jump in to do it.
- if you want to work in a business, get a job in someone else’s, instead of your own, because while you’re doing all the work, there’s something much more important that isn’t getting done. It’s the work you’re not doing, the strategic work. The entrepreneurial work, that will lead the business forward.
- The technician avoids the challenge of learning how to grow a business. To be a great technician is insufficient to the task of building a great small business. Being consumed by the tactical work of the firm leads only to a complicated, frustrating and demeaning job.
- In a business like that what your customers are buying is not your business’s ability to give them what they want but your ability to give them what they want – that’s what’s wrong with it
- If a business depends on you, you don’t own a business – you have a job. And that’s not the purpose of going into business
- the purpose of going into business is to get free of a job so you can create jobs for other people.
o To expand beyond your existing horizons. So you can invent something that satisfies a need in the marketplace that has never been satisfied before.
- You can’t have it both ways; You can’t ignore the financial accountabilities, the marketing accountabilities, the sales and administrative accountabilities; your future employees’ need for leadership, for purpose, for responsible management, for effective communication, for something more than just a job in which their sole purpose is to support you doing your job. Let alone what your business needs from you if it’s to thrive: that you understand the dynamics of a business – cash flows, growth, customer sensitivity, competitive sensitivity, etc.
- If all you want from a business of your own is the opportunity to do what you did before you started your business, get paid more for it, and have more freedom to come and go, your greed – self indulgence will eventually consume both you and your business.
- When you have a business & it’s going so well that it seems you don’t have time to do everything and you’re going crazy; that no one I swilling to work as hard as you work. That no one has your judgement, or your ability, or your desire, or your interest. That if it’s going to get done right, you’r ethe one who’s going to have to do it. That you are the master juggler of everything so it gets done. That the boss always changes his mind about what needs to be done, and how. It’s that you simply don’t know how to do it any other way.
- the job of the owner: to prepare yourself and your business for growth
- to educate your self sufficiently so that, as your business grows, the business’s foundation and structure can carry the additional weight.
- There is no other choice if your business is to thrive
- It’s up to you to dictate your rate of growth as best you can by understanding the key processes that need to be performed, the key objectives that need to be achieved, the key position you are aiming your business to hold in the marketplace.
- Ask the right questions: Where do I wish to be? When do I wish to be there? How much capital will that take? How many people, doing what work, and how? What technology will be required? How large a space will be needed, at benchmark 1, 2 & 3? What are your contingency plans when you make mistakes?
- plan, envision and articulate what you see in the future for yourself & employees; write it down, clearly, so others can understand it; otherwise you don’t own it. Concretely committed to paper
Technicians perspective Entrepreneurial perspective
What work has to be done How must the business work
Sees the business as a place in which people work to produce inside results for the technician, producing income See the business as a system for producing outside results for the customer, resulting in profits
Starts with the present, then looks forward to an uncertain future with the hope of keeping it much like the present Starts with a well defined future, coming back to the present with the intention of changing it to match the vision
Envisions the business in parts, from which is constructed the whole Envisions the business in its entirety, from which is derived its parts
A fragmented vision of the world An integrated vision of the world
Future is modeled after the present day world Present day world is modeled after his vision

p 108
- Why People Buy. Louis Cheskin. New York: Liveright Publishing Corporation, 1959
- Marketing for Business Growth. Theodore Levitt. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974

If everybody’s doing everything, then who’s accountable for anything?
- you have to find other people to do the tactical work to free yourself up to do the strategic work
- instead of working IN your business, you need to focus on developing a business that works.
- Regarding employees, how can you give the person responsible for the work the best possible experience.
- only when the (sales) operations manual is complete is an ad for a salesperson run.
- In other words, have the process down before bringing someone in to do it, and hire someone who lacks experience in that area so they learn your method instead of installing that of a competitors.
- it’s critical if you are to begin your business all over again that you’re able to separate yourself from the roles you need to play. To become independent of them, rather than these roles becoming dependent on you.
- the system will become your solution to the problems because of the unpredictability of your people
- the ___ attractively prepared, the service attentive yet unobtrusive.
- to sign and not have done the work is grounds for instant dismissal
- How do you get employees to do what you want?
- create an environment in which ‘doing it’ is more important to your people than not doing it. Where ‘doing it’ well becomes a way of life for them.
- their first day should be unforgettable
- He seemed to be saying that what we were going to talk about was the most important thing on his agenda that day, that discussing my job was more important to him than doing the work that was going on at the time.
- He was hiring me to do something much more important than just work
- The work we do is a reflection of who we are
- There is no such thing as undesirable work; there are only people who see certain kinds of work as undesirable. People who use every excuse in the world to justify why they have to do work they hate to do. People who look upon their work as a punishment for who they are and where they stand in the world, rather than as an opportunity to see themselves as they really are.
- We give everyone who comes to work at the hotel an opportunity to make a choice. Not after they’ve done the work, but before.
- make sure they understand the idea behind the work they’re being asked to do.
- There was an idea behind the work that was more important than the work itself.
- The customer is not always right, but whether he is or not, it is our job to make him feel that way.
- Everyone who works here is expected to work toward being the best he can possibly at the tasks he’s accountable for. If he’s unwilling to act like it, he should leave.
- Business is a place where everything we know how to do is tested by what we don’t know how to do, and that the conflict between the 2 is what creates growth, what creates meaning.
- The true combat in a practice hall is between the people within ourselves.
- the degree to which they buy into your game doesn’t depend on them but on how well you communicate the game to them – at the outset of your relationship, not after.
The Rules of the Game
- most people today are not getting what they want. Not from their jobs, not from their families, not from their religion, not from their government, and, most important, not from themselves.
- the hiring process
- You don’t need professional managers to manage to your standards; all you need are people who wish to learn how to manage to them; people who are as personally committed to those standards as you are.
- Managers manage the system by which your business achieves its objectives; the system produces the results; your people manage the system
- The Hierarchy of systems in your business:
1) How We Do It Here
2) How We Recruit, Hire, and Train People to Do It Here
3) How We Manage It Here
4) How We Change It Here
- if is the system, not only the people, that will differentiate your business from everyone else’s.
- when it comes to marketing, what you want is unimportant;
- it’s what your customer wants that matters
- Demographics & psychographics – 2 pillars of a successful marketing program
- Construct a Prototype to satisfy his unconscious needs
- shade of ____ has an extraordinarily high appeal and preference to ____’s Central Demographic Model
- the colour _____’s Central Demographic Model consumer know it can depend on
- ‘find a need and fill it is’ inaccurate; it should say “Find a perceived need and fill it”
- because if your customer doesn’t perceive he needs something, he doesn’t, even if he actually does.
- If you know his demographics, you can understand what those perceptions are, and then figure out what you must do to satisfy them & the expectations they produce
- there isn’t a function or position within the company that is free of asking marketing questions: “What must our business be in the mind of our customers in order for them to choose us over everyone else?”
- it is how well integrated that process is, how totally and completely connected each part of the process appears in relation to the rest of the process, that will determine how successful you are at getting them to come back for more.
- the customer you’ve got is one hell of a lot less expensive to sell to than the customer you don’t have yet.
- the purpose of a system: to free you to do the things you want to do
- structure is what you do. Substance is how you do it
- every written or verbal communication with anyone who comes into contact with your business is a soft system.
- Keep the curtain up
- The curtain is your comfort zone;
- Your comfort zone has been the false mask you put on because it was safe when your spirit was not.
- The curtain you have placed in front of your face and through which you view the world.
- The tight little cozy planet on which you have lived, knowing all the places to hide
- Your comfort zone has seized you before, and it can seize you again, when you’re least prepared for it, because it knows what it means to you. Because it know how much you want to be comfortable
- Comfort overtakes us all when we’re least prepared for it. Comfort makes cowards of us all

Assault on Lake Casitas

Brad Alan Lewis

- the path to peak performance requires rigorous practice and unbending intent. This approach to athletic training is easy enough to describe in the abstract, but it is extremely difficult to grasp and embrace in practice.
- His struggle to maintain a focus of mind and body, moment to moment, in both practice and performance.
- The process of athletic training was for Lewis a relentless pursuit of competitive success. Beneath each episode of competition, whether in practice or performance, raged a far more profound and private struggle – a struggle of will. Lewis’s intensely personal struggle mirrors the struggles of all who pursue perfection, whatever the discipline. One’s competitors are, on a deeper level, merely reflections of one’s own possibilities and limitations, of one’s strengths and weaknesses, one’s hopes and fears. This is the exquisite mystery, and the majesty, that lies at the heart of the sport. It is the mystery of personal exploration. It is the majesty of personal exploration. It is the majesty of self-realization through an unending quest for completion.
- The challenge of perfection is a potent seduction to the human spirit. Even the first moment of involvement with a discipline such as rowing potentially embodies the promise of perfection. And each incremental advance in strength, or endurance, or technique – each confrontation with and extension of personal limits – hints of some final moment of completion. It is this possibility of perfection, this promise of completion, that guides and motivates the practice. The material rewards, the praise and exaltation, although powerful, are secondary.
- Intuitively, instinctively, we seem to know that such moments of completion are accessible. For some, the purposeful quest for perfection becomes a passion, even an obsession. It may be that an athlete must be obsessed to achieve the level of performance that Lewis and Enquist attained. Passion is certainly essential. Yet passion and obsession are by no means sufficient. To often this potent energy is twisted and deflected in the heat of elite competition, as the focus narrows and the intensity builds. Perceptions become distorted. One opponent becomes a barrier to success rather than an indispensable partner in the pursuit of peak performance. Losses in competition are perceived as defeats at the hands of an adversary rather than failures of one’s own will, leading to despair and blame rather than insights and growth. And because personalities and passions frequently are inflated in the heat of competition, their clashes and embraces can be dramatically intensified. The deep mutual respect among competitors – a fatigue and frustration – may be forgotten, lost in the fervor of the competitive moment. Put simply, navigation in the rarefied atmosphere of consummate practice and elite competition is profoundly difficult. Everywhere there are distractions and seductions that threaten to blunt or deflect the focus.
- Passion simply is not enough. It must be harnessed to the will. Then, through a relentless exercise of will, this energy must be brought to a focus of maximum intensity, and the point of focus must be directed with precision and purpose within each successive present moment of practice. If left unharnessed, the passion to excel will deflect the mind from its focus on the present moment of practice, moment to moment, day to day. Properly focused, passion can propel the practitioner to the edge of perfection.
- Assault on Lake Casitas charts Lewis’s course in his pursuit of perfection. It is not a straight and narrow path. It is a path paved with defeats. Along the way, there were mistakes of judgment and failures of will. There were dead ends and detours, distractions and seductions. But Lewis persevered, even when seemingly lost in the depths of adversity. He rose from each failure stronger and more focused in mind and body.
- And ultimately, in concerti with his doubles partner, he reached the summit of his discipline.
- Lewis analogizes his quest for completion to the assembling of a great puzzle. In the finals the puzzle can together; in these precious moments of peak performance, the years of practice found expression as a unified whole that was vastly greater than the sum of its parts. And then these magical, almost religious moments of near perfect wholeness were gone. The center could no hold. The monumental force of will that bound the puzzle pieces in perfect sync for those few minutes of peak performance could exist only in the present moment of total focus. And as the puzzle fell apart into its pieces, and as the pieces themselves gradually disintegrated over the months and years following those glorious moments of completion, this simple truth emerged:
o the force of will that binds the puzzle is found only in the focus of mind within the present moment. It is this truth that lurks between the lines of Assault on Lake Casitas.
o It is a truth that cannot be learned too often or too well

- I loved the simplicity of (sculling). No one was to blame for a bad (stroke). No one got mad at me when I was late for practice. If things didn’t go well, I had no one to look to but myself.

P 51
- do everything as if your life depends on it. Sign your name to every job. Every word and every actions counts.
- a saw guard was too dangerous. It made you sloppy, unaware of the madly spinning blade. You couldn’t trust a saw guard. Better to work without a net, without a saw guard. He intensity was greater, more concentration, total commitment, better results.
- “you don’t ever want to feel too good”

3 Rules
Mike Livingston
1) “You must approach each test with the seriousness and passion that you would use to prepare to challenge your death. You must prepare – not to die – but to battle for your life in each moment, with every faculty and power available to you.”

When compared to the ordinary concept of winning and losing, “battling for my lie” required a whole different level of consciousness. Mike’s words reassured me that I was right to be obsessed, to train as if nothing else mattered.

2) “You must purge yourself of all thoughts of self importance and all inclination to judge either yourself or others. You must go to power with humility and deep respect.”

A conscious effort has to be made to go after humility, to maintain respect for coaches and other (scullers), along with various helpers, spectators, and even more prejudiced onlookers. The opposite spectrum is pride.

3) “You must assume full responsibility for choosing to pursue power. Know that you alone have chosen to be tested, and then proceed without doubt, remorse, or blame. You alone are responsible.”

Abandon all the usual excuses. Taking complete responsibility is the premier rule.

- The guy who cut the rafters screwed you up, but you should’ve known better than to put them up without checking the length. The bottom line is – you have to start over.
- Do it right, and finish it. Very simple – do it right, and finish it. If it takes you a month, then take a month. You can’t quit, and you can’t do it wrong. Get a payday out of this roof, or it’ll haunt you until you die. Now you know: Do it right, and finish it.
- Carl Hilterbrand



cover: The Sculler by: Scott Roop

Kiss or Kill

Mark Twight

I don’t care about what I climb, only how it affects me. Success merely punctuates the experience.
Social Darwinism in choice of team members. Composed of the nation’s best climbers. They want they’re flag on top, so they send their nations best to put it there. What is needed for success is a leader and a few crack troops,
..petty conflagrations erupt from the fact that the (climbing) itself is not the most important thing to the team players. Trivial social conflicts prevent or soil successful expeditions all too often.
Unspoken, unorganized competition is the only way to force alpine climbing standards higher
As technological and psychological advances increase, the danger and difficulty of the routes must be raised as well to maintain an equivalent human experience.
We are not satisfied repeating what others have done.

By failing to outgrow traditional practices while opposing new methods and style,

The public, the vicarious adventure-parasite consumer, can trudge slowly up the wall with the slow-moving climbers and imagine themselves doing the same thing.

You are what you do; thus, if you do nothing, you are nobody. If you once did great things, you think you are great. You coast along on dead, preserved laurels, lifeless and wasting away.
“I spent 12 weeks on crutches after knee surgery. During recovery I surrounded myself with wannabes, pretend-to-bes, has-beens, and never-will-bes. I met people who wasted their talent or were afraid of it. They taught me why I hadn’t become a good climber. Like them, I was afraid to succeed, scared to commit. I didn’t want to be any better than anyone else. Eventually, I sickened of people, myself included, who don’t think enough of themselves to make something of themselves – people who did only what they had to an never what they could have done. I learned from them the infected loneliness that comes at the end of every misspent day. I knew I could do better.
The progress I made during physical therapy blossomed into drive. I began training the softness out of myself. I worked to become hard. I vocally put down mediocrity. I pushed myself to extremes and set off on a series of trips.
Some people chase pain harder than others, consciously or subconsciously. Some use it to inflate their sense of self importance. Others test their will by working through it. Each of us has a threshold someplace short of serious harm. Kevin’s different. His definition of pain is more highly evolved than ours. He’s willing to hurt himself permanently to get what he wants. In a conversation about calories, he told me that there is always something left to burn, even if it’s brain matter…I learned to overcome myself.
The abattoir – best chapter
(crows) To weak to attack anything living, they feed on the deceased and discarded. Just like we feed on our memories to nourish us.
Why prolong life? Why imagine what I’m doing is anything special, that I’m contributing rather than breathing air and eating food another might need?
Everyone dies, equalized by it.
Some found justice in religion, choosing a particular god to suit the situation best.
Meaning and rationale are digestive agents. They make it easier to be a survivor.
…assign (name here) death value at a human level; turning it into an act of god cheapens it, absolves him of any responsibility. In (name here) case it was 100% his act. He was human. He failed. He paid.
Must realize you are 100% responsible. There is ‘I can’ and ‘I can’t’; there is no ‘I will try’ 98% means hitting the ground.
Every cell must believe the situation serious. If you think you can survive a fall, you will take that fall. If you think you’re going to heaven or will become a bright light illuminating your friends from a parallel universe, you won’t fight hard enough to live through the shit. If you believe dying is an act of fate, you cede control over both your life and your death. You put someone or something else behind the wheel.
But if you’re convinced that once you die, it is all over, you’ll fight with every last calorie to keep hold of what you have now. You’ll do whatever it takes to stay alive – alive in the present.
Soloing means self sufficiency, independence, and the strict refusal to let other people influence decisions.
Each member of a partnership must accept responsibility for the influence they have on their team mate.
After a very hard route it’s important to settle down, to review things. It’s dangerous to get caught up in the euphoria of success and become greedy.
Whenever I feel sure of myself, certain that I can solo a rout, I quit. It is good to have some fear.
It’s a choice, an acceptance of extreme responsibility, and it preserves the quality I enjoy most – uncertainty, the thing supportive people and fixed ropes/safety devices destroy.
When they responded by telling me what I proposed was impossible, I didn’t argue. I never said, though, that I wouldn’t do it.
A little advance planning goes a long way toward fooling the public, especially if they want to believe you.
Surviving is succeeding. “Come back alive, come back as friends, get to the top – in that order.”
Self confidence cannot be based on the approval of others. Somewhere inside me I found the courage to stand alone, believing in myself without needing an audience. My reluctance to let myself be influenced by others is (mis)understood as antisocial.
I realized I hadn’t achieved anything. Others would think I had. They’d congratulate me with unreciprocated camaraderie. The parasites would gather around, growing fat on a diet of vicarious little calories.
Going away alone without broadcasting my intentions beforehand protects my freedom, leaving only private dreams and goals to live up to.
Recall I’m adept at cutting away anything I perceive to be holding me back. I’ve used the knife on my country, my family, and finally – with no small amount of hesitation and fear – my wife. It wasn’t clean; it wasn’t pretty. I killed a part of me when I did us in. I slapped convention and everyone who believed in us in the face. I soiled the proud institution of marriage beneath my selfish feet and think about it every single day.
Confessing does not absolve me of guilt or make it easier for anyone affected by my acts.
Every situation in life has its black side. Every human being on this planet would love to make that side go away. Wishing it away, ignoring the danger and the consequences, they can make believe it no longer exists. I refuse this option.
I wonder what we might have done (together) had I not been afraid of feeling more pain.
Most men don’t have a list like mine at all because they live life insulated from living and dying.
Saying “I’m going to hell with the lid off”
I do it because I can. I climb because it hurts, and the pain gives me perspective. It’s not necessarily about ‘fun’.
Men who refuse to recognize that other, more capable men will come after them, men who may climb the routes clean.
For whom idle chat is preferable to the loneliness of silence.
Even though I don’t fit in, there is no reason to complain.
The common availability of high-quality terrain causes complacency. It makes them wait for perfect conditions – which makes their remaining plums ripe for plucking.
He schemed with the cunning instinct that keeps hunted men alive.
Those guys gave it all they had, and then gave more.
All I have to do is get through this moment. Then the next. It’ll be easier after that.

Note [write “I am” to give the reader experience]
It hurts. I hate it. It’s necessary to improve. I do it.

It is easiest to blame pain on those who act in their own self-interest.
Involved themselves with women who had no idea what they were getting into. Many women had never taken second place to anything, much less the mountains. I loved several despite the fact they were no conscious of their own plans to rein me in. Few manage to confront their programming.
We grow up believing the sanctity of one relationship that lasts “forever.” Those who break the pattern are vilified. But when the right man finds the right woman, neither makes huge concessions to appease the other.
In going against the grain and defining my own limits myself.
I need an exercise in competence to do away with self-doubt.
You’d do well to read your own writing sometimes.
Put IT away instead of giving IT away. Sharpen the power and direct it precisely, instead of giving the shotgun blast to everyone who will listen. If you don’t shine it then they can’t bask in it. Every one of them just wants what he believes is his or her share, to hold any fcking way they please. Say this instead, “Here asshole, hold it like this, it’s how I think you should hold it.”
Don’t patronize me. Leave me alone with my weakness. I’m not giving you my best, which makes me detest me. My sickness insists I take your small portions of praise, your interest and your joviality as nourishment. But I don’t need you. I can get over needing you to help me feel worthy of you. I’ll take this doubt and transparency and I’ll armour myself against you with it. I’ll turn it into drive. Being frightened of talent makes a man waste his talent; and that is wasting life. I want instead to use my time.
The guerrilla strike; supernaturally fast, with little margin for error, fragile in the extreme.
I take car, these days, not to waste any precious time by (climbing) with someone whom I do not love or respect.
How can I be tired while climbing on the mountain when I have become the mountain
There is a way out. Live the lifestyle instead of paying lip service to the lifestyle. Live with commitment. With emotional content. Live whatever life you choose honestly. Give up this renaissance man, dilettante bullshit of doing a lot of different things (and none very well by real standards). Get to the guts of one thing; accept, without casuistry, the responsibility of making a choice. When you live honestly, you can not separate your mind from your body, or your thoughts from your actions.
Learn the reality of your own selfishness. Quit living for other people at the expense of your own self, you’re not really alive.
What you need is uncertainty…drive you harder

Americans jealously guard what knowledge and power they have. We don’t share or communicate because it may deny us the 15 minutes of fame we’re “entitled” to. This selfishness prevents rapid progress and development. It blinds us to the fact that evolution as a process never stops. An open ended supply of new participants brings fresh ideas and energy; thus, you isolationist attitude holds us back.

Happily, I am climbing for myself, not them, I can easily quantify my experiences and what they contribute to or subtract from me.
Neither of us cares what the self proclaimed guardians of tradition and ethics think one way or the other.
We urge others to do exactly as they please because we certainly do.
It matters little what you do, as long as you say what you do. Admit it. Believe in your actions enough that you don’t care what others think. Attack traditional values. Right or wrong, we must constantly determine whether these values are defensible. Don’t go along with what people say. You, the doer, empower them, not the other way around.
Every man must establish his own values and ask himself why he behaves as he does.
“He” often assumes the values and traditions established by… whom, in fact?
Why should you care what these judges say, unless of course you’re climbing for the approval of others and not for yourself? Look in the mirror and think about it.
I don’t care what hierarchy says, I don’t have to.
He was ruthless when someone let him down, which is always attractive.
For my chosen lifestyle, wrecking my lungs is counterproductive.
The publics demand for stronger vicarious sensations.
In football you must earn your right to play against the best team through a laborious, structured elimination process. In climbing, if you want to try the most difficult route in the world, you are free to do so. You may fail, but there are no restrictions against trying.
I abdicate the right of judgement to no man.
Petty personal battles rage between the most talented practitioners. They savage each other in pursuit of contracts, peer recognition, or the need to appear superior. The conflict crosses oceans and generations, allowing a look at the ugly underbelly of human nature.
We all pass judgement when we feel threatened. I try to recognize when I behave this way now. Recognition is the first step toward changing a bad habit, they say.
Folks call it whatever their egos need to hear.
Intolerant about empty words and arrogant about action.
I’m an elitist prick and I think posers have polluted mountaineering. They replace skill and courage with cash and equipment. They make the summit, not the style, the yardstick of success.
What my true motivation for helping was, and why I enjoyed being so skilled at it. – because it further justifies your elitist attitude.
Until such critics confront the likelihood of death, they can’t understand how easily ethics are traded for continued existence.
There was gradually born within me the tendency towards positive acceptance of pain, and my interest in physical suffering deepened.
How far are we going to take this? The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed.
How far a disciplined mind can take the man that isn’t particularly strong, or brave.
I test the power of a will according to the amount of resistance it can offer and the amount of pain and torture it can endure and know how to turn to its own advantage.
Hear and forget.
See and remember.
Do and understand.
A lifetime before death: How much a man can live in a short time.
No time to cry: “Do what must be done and don’t say maybe.”
We don’t have to prove a point because we live it.

Lean Solutions


Goal is to satisfy consumption
- lean production works in every company, industry and country where it is seriously tried
- customer experience is deteriorating
- consumption should be easier due to better cheaper products; instead it takes growing time and hassle to get our products to work together & properly
- making consumption more satisfying; the next challenge for business

5 trends confronting buyers
1) choice requires more decision time; more channels to obtain with; customized
2) mass production decreasing; more activities & decisions to make
3) shift form service to self service economy; needs capital goods to manufacture our own value; ex. PDA replacing secretary
4) households changing which causes time & energy pressure for consumers
5) internet growth blurring distinction between production and consumption, drawing customer into the process; ex. Customer has to check if it is making its way to their house

Chap 1
- obtained, installed, maintained, integrated, repaired, upgraded & recycled
- claiming more of the customers unpaid time & blurring line between consumption and production

6 Principles of Lean Consumption
1) Solve my problem completely
2) Don’t waste my time
3) Provide exactly what I want
4) Deliver value where I want it
5) Supply value when I want it
6) Reduce the # of decisions I must make to solve my problems

- today the product is not the problem
- consumers Gemba – path they take to solve their problem
- identify each step
- is each step necessary? Ask for each step
- remove unnecessary steps

scheduling an appointment = making an order
line = queue

Typical Experience: Parts Unavailable when consumer and vendor are strangers, when failure to describe the nature of the problem up front, or share any data on the products ‘as is’ condition

Time is not time and value cannot be accurately estimated by time simply using a clock.
We do not measure it all the same way.
For example, Time spent waiting for a train on a dark platform in a dangerous area is perceived as longer than it really is. Time on train dozing / reading is perceived shorter than it really is
- trains should run more frequently as opposed to faster, or security in waiting area should be increased to save time as perceived by the traveller. And the person making the decision should be basing it on the user’s needs and experiences.

- Steps that seem unnecessary, whose outcome is uncertain seem to take longer; hassle time; unhappy face
- Steps that seem to create value and where a successful outcome is assured seem to take less time; happy face
- Successful consumption process seeks to minimize hassle time

Chap 2
- walk through 2nd Gemba to see what firm is actually doing to serve its customers
- how ppl feel about the process determines how well they do their jobs, and how well they deal with the customer
- identify interconnection points between the consumption and provision streams where the consumer and provider directly engage each other; often the point of greatest dissatisfaction on both sides
- for steps from employees point of view – identify hassle time; unhappy face and fulfilling work experiences; happy face
- a failure in any one step disrupts the entire consumption process
- the best approach is to prevent any failures form happening in the 1st place
- the lean help desk encourages the customer to say a lot more about the problem, even though this may take considerably more time, and also develops linkages that trace the problem back to the source where it can be eliminated