Next Five Minutes; Excellence Dividend; People and AI; Hotel Cut-off
April 5, 2018
How to Keep Winning; Nick Saban; Pep Guardiola; the Process; CEO Boot Camp
April 26, 2018

Best Biz Book 2018; Top 50 Leaders; Prediction Machines; Important Record; Co-Founder Priceline Keynoting

"…insights for scaleups"


World's Top 50 Greatest Leaders Fortune's list is out today and topping the list are "The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and other schools." Only 12 of the 50 are business leaders not including Bill and Melinda Gates (#2) for their foundation efforts. Worth a minute to scan down through the list.

Jeff Hoffman Closing Keynote Entrepreneur (,, proven CEO, author, Hollywood film producer, and producer of a Grammy-winning jazz album in 2015, Jeff Hoffman is attending and keynoting our spring 2018 ScaleUp Summit in collaboration with Bloomberg LIVE May 22 – 23, New Orleans (the equivalent of reading a dozen books in two days).

Best Biz Book 2018 (so far)AI is the rage and was the main topic at the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos. But how do mere mortal mid-market firms use it, economically, to scale? This week three professors from U of Toronto, the global epi-center of AI, published a book titled Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence. It is the most practical book I've read on the topic – and if you only read one book in 2018, this is it so far. The five-page "Introduction" is excellent. And if that's too long, read the three "Key Points" on page 5. SPro and book club members will receive a copy next week. Then come hear co-author Avi Goldfarb keynote the ScaleUp Summit in Collaboration with Bloomberg LIVE.

AI Doesn't Bring Intelligence notes the co-authors of Prediction Machines:

Our first key insight is that the new wave of artificial intelligence does not actually bring us intelligence but instead a critical component of intelligence-prediction.

In short, AI/machine learning helps you "see around corners" as the late Steve Jobs was famous for doing. From predicting mechanical failures to pending health issues to potential customer/employee exits, the first company in any industry to harness the power of AI will have a leg up on the competition. Where would better prediction help you avoid problems? Where is there drama in your business? Again, please take time to read this well written and insightful book on how to figure this out and apply AI in a practical way – then decide on your first "prediction machine" initiative.

Amazon's AI Initiatives This Bloomberg article highlights how Jeff Wilke (the other Jeff!) is leading Amazon into the world of AI. His focus is on helping customers do practical things. Notes the article:

"I don't think they (Amazon) want to be the people who beat the world champion in Go," says Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and a computer science professor at the University of Washington. "They want to be the people who roll out very successful AI-based products."

Fun Fact: the article highlights that Amazon's revenue is less than 1% of the global retail market of $25 trillion, proving you don't need huge market share to have a viable business (haha). Please take 2 minutes to read how Wilke is dealing with Trump's threats to raise postal rates and other challenges facing this retail giant.

Amazon's AI Hurting Scaling Up (less expensive version available)? given the popularity of Scaling Up, Amazon's AI has been premium pricing the book (I have no control over the price and make no more or less – Amazon pays me a fixed fee). If you would like copies for less than half the $20+ Amazon is charging, you can get a box of 20 for less than $10 each plus shipping. NOTE: Quantity of 1 means one box of 20 books. Yes, a little confusing! We're getting a new storefront.

Training and DisciplineAI should help better predict when a jet engine might fail but its only as accurate as the data it receives. Seems the standard visual inspection which occurred two days before an engine failed on a Southwest flight this week, wasn't sufficient. Our prayers go out to the family of Jennifer Riordan. She was the first accident-related fatality in a record nine years on US airline flights, and the first for Southwest Airlines in their 51 year history – an impressive record credited to continuous learning and discipline (kudos to former navy pilot Tammy Jo Shults for landing the crippled plane). The airline industry will issue directives in a couple weeks that correct this problem (more frequent ultrasound inspections on certain engines) in hopes of setting another record before an accident fatality. The key is process improvement driven by checklists. Where do you have drama in the business that needs examined and the process corrected?

Big Data Meets Biology and Fortune's latest magazine features a series of articles on how big data is driving healthcare revolutions everywhere. One example that serves as a productivity lesson for all of us:

(John) Hopkins's Scheulen says the technology functionally expanded the hospital's capacity by 15 or 16 beds without the need to add, well, actual beds.

The other huge gain will be on the patient side – both in helping predict health issues to putting more control of the healthcare process in the hands of patients. And this technology is already saving lives as detailed in the featured article noted above. Where could better prediction provide you significant productivity gains?

Virtual Choir Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre was the closing keynote for EO's Global Leadership Conference (and 30th anniversary celebration) in Toronto this week. Proving the power of creating a new genre within an industry and then owning it's two words, Whitacre created the world's first "Virtual Choir." Piecing together the first virtual choir piece with contributions from 185 voices from 12 countries in 2010, his latest choir features 5905 singers from 101 countries. The music and visuals are groundbreaking – worth a few minutes even if just background music while cranking email. What two words do you own? How could you tap into more free talent to drive your business model and brand like ALL the unicorns (companies that scale to a billion valuation quickly) do?

Scaling Up Magazine Excited to share the inaugural issue of our new quarterly magazine full of business insights from top industry thought-leaders and business gurus. Click here to view!

Scaling Up is published in partnership with Carle Publishing – Want to differentiate & position your company as a leading authority in the marketplace? Contact them today!

CEO-BOOTCAMP: Spend 3.5 days with Verne, serial entrepreneur John Ratliff, and 9 other CEOs in a beautiful retreat setting, addressing the constraints holding back you, your business, and your industry. May 29 – June 1; October 2 – 5; and January 15 – 18, 2019

COACHING: Have you ever wondered if working with a coach might accelerate your company's growth, exponentially? Do you have what it takes to move the dial from good to great? Contact us at [email protected] for more information.

EXITING: Thinking about selling the business for $40 million or more? Want to get 25% to 200% more than you thought? Request the whitepaper from the Exit Strategies Summit at Harvard from Denise Richmond at (610) 299-6466 or email at [email protected]


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Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.