Monday, May 24, 2010

The Knothole Conundrum

In marketing – especially product marketing - we every now and again run into a conflict between what is and what should be when it comes to product releases.

Perhaps it happens when development slips the schedule on a specific feature, or perhaps Marketing wants to pull in the announcement to hit a specific date coinciding with a trade show or other event. Maybe you’ve just got wind of a competitor planning to pull the rug out from under you…whatever the cause, occasionally someone will say, “Well, we can still launch on time as long as we clearly document this ‘temporary’ constraint.”

I call this classic release challenge the Knothole Conundrum.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Jeffrey Taylor Wadsworth Graduation Speech

Thank you all for joining us here today to recognize Jeffrey’s achievements and to celebrate his graduation from Babson College. If you haven’t yet experienced a classic Kirby kid-speech, be forewarned. You may want to grab a napkin…this usually gets a little messy…

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Angels over Arizona

She calls herself SkyAngel, btw, which is perfect don’t you think? She is what Seth Godin describes as a lynchpin. I see her as a model for what the word ‘work’ means. In a thoughtful New York Times write-up, Adam Cohen vamps on Studs Terkle’s reflections on Working, “Even for the lowliest laborers, Mr. Terkel found, work was a search, sometimes successful, sometimes not, "for daily meaning as well as daily bread."

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A fine stew...

It’s a lousy job.

Get ‘em on, get ‘em off. Hussle up the newbies and –in-frequent fliers. “Stow your gear, and get the heck out of the way, you dopes. Move it, we got schedules to meet, and you got a hundred people waitin’ on the jetway for you to step out of the aisle.” You know the poor things just want to scream by the time the doors close and the seatbelt/life vest demonstration starts.

It’s a really lousy job, getting worse by the day.

Tough hours, away from home half the time, crappy airport hotels, crappy airport restaurants. Company bustin’ your chops to cut costs and reduce service levels at every turn. Smaller, more crowded planes. Longer flights. Shorter turnarounds. Crankier customers. Now they even want them to help clean the airplane.

Coffee, Tea, or Me? Not hardly, no more. The days of Sinatra’s magical Starry Eyed, Rarified Air are long gone. Ya, maybe the Southwest crews try to inject some humor, but even they know the whole experience of air travel just plain stinks – for passengers, crews, everyone.

But in the midst of this lousy, grating, fingernails-on-a-chaulkboard, if-you-kick-my-seat-again-some-overhead-luggage-is-going-to-shift-unexpectedly-on-your-freaking-head, world...OCCASSIONALLY a light shines, a bright surprise burst on the vast gray mediocrity of air travel. OCCASIONALLY, someone actually still gives a hoot.