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Archive for December, 2006

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‘We’re on track to disaster – enjoy Xmas’

I know plenty of great people at TelstraClear in NZ. Their comms team must be spinning in circles this morning after the CEO’s Christmas email to employees leaked to the media. Full of motivational beauties like:

“Oh yes, we lack the killer instinct – we are too tame, too lame, and too timid to call ourselves a challenger.

“A challenger winds their opposition, kicks them down to the ground, and then makes them bleed like something from a Quentin Tarantino movie and then finishes them off – fast.

“In comparison, we are like a Walt Disney Bambi character. We are not Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, we are more like Captain Feathersword in The Wiggles, all bluster and no action.”


Right now, we are on a trajectory to disaster … we are being out-marketed, out-smarted and out-gunned in the marketplace. We are too slow in reacting and we lack the killer instinct,” Freeth said in the message, first published by Australia’s Communications Day.

Freeth said their parent, Australia’s Telstra, was expecting the $14.8 million profit and that at some point in the next few weeks he would have to inform chief executive Sol Trujillo TelstraClear would not hit the target.

“Two weeks ago, Sol’s parting comments to me were he feeds those who feed themselves. Well, based on our current forecast, we will be anorexic and starving by the end of this financial year,” said Freeth.

There will be a few employees that this actually does motivate. But one of the key communications rules for any CEO is that when broadcasting, you are communicating to all employees. There is a fine line between straight-talk and inflamatory negativity. And, context is everything – did they forget Christmas all together?

Link to ‘We’re on track to disaster – enjoy Xmas’, says Freeth – 22 Dec 2006 – Business

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Merry Christmas…

I’ve been posting light over the past week. Incredibly busy closing out the quarter, board meetings, getting ready for the ramp into 2007 and much more.

Thanks to you all for your friendship and support in 2006. It’s been an incredible year of opportunity and growth. Our appreciation for friends and family was only heightened with the loss of a Fleishman colleague this past week.

Thanks also to all of you that have taken the time to participate on this blog. Your genuine thoughts and comments have meant a lot.

Best wishes for 2007!

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Prediction Markets at

Good read over at Read/Write web and the Software Abstractions Blog. Quick summary.

  1. Prediction Markets are a great mechanism to extract knowledge already present within the organization and to make better predictions
  2. These markets highlight both the collective wisdom which no one person knows individually, and common knowledge which no one is willing to talk about openly
  3. They work properly only when they have an adequate number of knowledgeable participants who work individually
  4. Participants must have reasonable incentives (financial or social) to make their efforts worthwhile
  5. If the group is large enough, the ratio of experts vs amateurs does not have much impact; often, the real experts are unexpected
  6. The results of a Prediction Market are probabilities; they must be confirmed through other, external, means

Loved the idea of tracking team progress against a goal using collective wisdom and predictive markets theory. This should be a feature in all project management software.

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Forrester can’t stand up for falling down over iTunes

 THe Reg takes Forrester to task for wimping out on some terrific research into Apple’s iTunes’ sales growth:

Forrester says it wants the spin today to focus on other aspects of its research other than the 65 per cent drop. It can’t quite agree on the spin – “growth has slowed” says researcher Remy Fiorentino while Josh Bernoff says sales have “levelled”.

Bernoff is correct when he urges caution: we reported his warning not to extrapolate from a few quarters in our reporting – and put the ‘collapse’ in inverted commas. A ‘collapse’ it is indeed – few businesses can afford to ignore a 65 per cent in sales – but when married to the Neilsen data, we suggested that this brief era in the history of digital music may be drawing to a close – and the next one beginning.

It’s a pity today that beseiged by parties who have vested interests, and their own agendas, Forrester wants to downplay the implications of its valuable work – and instead it finds itself doing crisis management on behalf of Apple.

Source: Forrester can’t stand up for falling down over iTunes | The Register

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They’ll Get Over It…

It’s been interesting watching Kiwi’s get all excited about the arrival of iTunes. Much like I was when it first arrived. Today though. it’s a different story. iTunes still does the syncing and I love using it to get at all those podcasts. But that’s it. Seems I’m not the only one as iTunes remain flat in the US market:

“IPods are not sitting around generating dozens and dozens of transactions every quarter,” said Josh Bernoff, a principal analyst for Forrester Research. “People buy a certain number of songs, and then they stop.”

I’m also one of the few people that watch video on their iPod – the downloading is just painful but on planes or treadmills, nothing beats watching TED speeches or Blade

Why? Maybe they get frustrated with the DRM as I did. OK, buying songs one at a time seems cool until you realize how many you’ve bought and how unportable, limited in use and incompatible (e.g. with Sonos) they are.

Then you get a Sonos with Raphsody at home and it’s pretty much game over inside the house as I simply pay a small monthly fee for all the music we can eat. Just love it. I use Raphsody for sampling and then buy CDs on Amazon.

iTunes has become a terrific music storage and management platform for me. But its no longer a place I shop.