Best Management Tool; Best Management Question; 3 Barriers to Scaling Up
January 2, 2014
52,000 Applicants; IBM’s 5 Predictions; 100 Best Places; Verne Webinar Tuesday
January 17, 2014

IBM’s $100 Million Venture Fund; End of Humans; Great Music; 4Es of Markets

"…keeping you great"

HEADLINES: (power of Artificial Intelligence)

Beattle's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" listen to this six minute rendition (hopefully through good speakers) of Juanito Pascual's version of a Beattle's classic while reading the insight. Juanito is one of the world's top flamenco guitarists (you'll see why at the 3:16 spot in the song) and is a regular performer at the Fortune Summits. His album debuts Feb 15 at the Sander Theatre in Cambridge, MA. I have four tixs to the VIP party and concert – first to email me gets them! Then click on this link and enjoy some great music.

Open Doors for Others — there isn't a simpler definition of what great leaders do than this. Bill Treasurer, in his latest book Leaders Open Doors, describes six unique opportunity doors leaders open to drive profits and performance. GazellesPro and book club members will receive his book next week. Then come hear Bill keynote the Leadership Summit May 13 – 14, Orlando.

The Final Invention — this is the name of a powerful book subtitled "Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era." Author James Barrat notes that intelligence always wins and computers will surpass humans in not the too distant future. Can we count on robots to remain friendly and supportive of humans? It's likely one of the most important questions of our children's generation. Have your children read this book.

IBM Announces $1 billion "Watson" Project — and IBM is offering $100 million in venture capital to companies willing to create artificial intelligent systems for business. If Watson can beat our best Jeopardy champs, might it also make better, faster decisions in business? Notes this Jan 8 Fast Company article "The platform is designed for users to ask Watson questions, with Watson giving answers — such as medical diagnoses for hard-to-diagnose diseases, or the likely outcome of business decisions — on the spot." I believe this is the beginning of the end of professional service firms as we know them.

Tax Optimization — with over 17,000 pages of tax code, does any business owner truly believe their tax accountant can suggest the best, most optimum tax strategy? No way!! And if you do any kind of international business, there isn't a firm on the planet that isn't just guessing at a strategy. I met Monday evening with one of the advisors to the Watson project and suggested that a tax optimization system should be one of the first applications of Watson to business. Any one of the insight readers up for submitting a proposal to IBM's Watson venture fund?

CrowdMed Diagnostics (wish I could invest) — and the crowd still remains a powerful collective intelligence system. After my rant about no one trusting institutions and preferring recommendations of the crowd, Jared Heyman emailed me about his latest venture CrowdMed. It is the world's first crowd-sourced medical diagnosis website. Notes Heyman, "We harness the wisdom of crowds to solve even the world's most difficult medical mysteries, much faster and less expensively than the traditional medical system. We're based in San Francisco and backed by some of the Valley's top venture capital firms (Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, NEA, Khosla Ventures & Y Combinator). I immediately emailed back and begged to invest, especially after seeing that Andreessen Horowitz is a top backer. Not an option right now.

Overhaul Your Strategy — my recent Fortune article highlights the key signs it's time to revamp your strategy and change up the 4Ps or 4Es of marketing. And when it comes to "Product" you better consider an artificial intelligence or crowdsourcing upgrade!! Take 2 minutes to scan the article including a link to the 4Es of marketing which should provide a powerful agenda for your marketing function in 2014.

What Technology Won't Replace — …at least anytime soon are performers. Replace my tax accountant with a computer, but not Juanito Pascual!! With 47% of jobs being replaced by robots this generation, the winners will be performers – of all kinds.


Need help implementing the Rockefeller Habits?

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.