antipaucity

fighting the lack of good ideas

above the cloud storage

Who wants to go into business with me?

I’ve got a super-cool storage company idea.

Load up a metric buttload of cubesats with radiation-hardened SSD storage, solar power, and [relatively] simple communicaton stacks (secured by SSH or SSL, of course), and launch them into orbit.

You think cloud storage is cool? What about above-the-cloud storage?

Pros:

  • avoid national jurisdictional rules, since the data will never be housed “in” a specific country
  • very hard to attack physically
  • great reason to use IPv6 addressing

Cons:

  • expensive to get the initial devices into orbit
  • software maintenance on the system could be annoying
  • need to continually plop more cubesats into orbit to handle both expanded data needs and loss of existing devices due to orbital degradation

Who’s with me?

35 great questions, part 5

Part 5 of 5 in my condensed reprint of Inc’s article, “35 Great Questions” from the April 2014 issue. (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4)

  1. Who have we, as a company, historically been when we’ve been at our best? –Keith Yamashita
  2. What do we stand for – and what are we against? –Scott Goodson
  3. Is there any reason to believe the opposite of my current belief? –Chip Heath & Dan Heath
  4. Do we underestimate the customer’s journey? –Matt Dixon
  5. Among our stronger employees, how many see themselves at the company in three years? How many would leave for a 10 percent raise from another company? –Jonathan Rosenberg
  6. What did we miss in the interview for the worst hire we ever made? –Alberto Perlman
  7. Do we have the right people on the bus? –Jim Collins

35 great questions, part 4

Part 4 of 5 in my condensed reprint of Inc’s article, “35 Great Questions” from the April 2014 issue. (part 1, part 2, part 3)

  1. Did my employees make progress today? –Teresa Amabile
  2. What one word do we want to own in the minds of our customers, employees, and partners? –Matthew May
  3. What should we stop doing? –Peter Drucker
  4. What are the gaps in my knowledge and experience? –Charles Handy
  5. What am I trying to prove to myself, and how might it be hijacking my life and business success? –Bob Rosen
  6. If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would he do? –Andy Grove
  7. If I had to leave my organization for a year and the only communication I could have with my employees was a single paragraph, what would I write? –Pat Lencioni

35 great questions, part 3

Part 3 of 5 in my condensed reprint of Inc’s article, “35 Great Questions” from the April 2014 issue. (part 1, part 2)

  1. Are we changing as fast as the world around us? –Gary Hamel
  2. If no one would ever find out about my accomplishments, how would I lead differently? –Adam Grant
  3. Which customers can’t participate in our market because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions? –Clayton Christensen
  4. Who uses our product in ways we never expected? –Kevin P Coyne & Shawn T Coyne
  5. How likely is it that a customer would recommend our company to a friend or colleague? –Andrew Taylor
  6. Is this an issue for analysis or intuition? –Tom Davenport
  7. Who, on the executive team or the board, has spoken to a customer recently? –James Champy

print-at-home plans

Someone needs to start a business selling print-at-home furniture/home-improvement plans that include parts lists (and, ideally, costs) from their local Lowes / Home Depot / TrueValue / Ace / etc.

Most folks who want to tackle small projects don’t want to buy books or magazines that may (or may not) include what they’re interested in – but which will definitely include loads of stuff they’re not.

Having a simple webstore that offered complete build instructions, parts lists, and approximate costs (both dollars and time) would be awesome.

I’m thinking something like an on-demand version of eMeals, but for your workshop.

35 great questions, part 2

Part 2 of 5 in my condensed reprint of Inc’s article, “35 Great Questions” from the April 2014 issue. (part 1)

  1. What counts that we are not counting? –Chip Conley
  2. In the past few months, what is the smallest change we have made that has had the biggest positive result? What was it about that small change that produced the large return? –Robert Cialdini
  3. Are we paying enough attention to the partners our company depends on to succeed? –Ron Adner
  4. What prevents me from making the changes I know will make me a more effective leader? –Marshall Goldsmith
  5. What are the implications of this decision 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years from now? –Suzy Welch
  6. Do I make eye contact 100 percent of the time? –Tom Peters
  7. What is the smallest subset of the problem we can usefully solve? –Paul Graham

you don’t need ideas – you need questions

Paul Graham asserts that startup ideas aren’t what’s important – and, in fact, think you need an “idea” is a major roadblock.

Convert your thinking from “idea” to “question”, and you have a potential curiosity to explore, tweak, develop, and deliver.

Your best work is going to come when you’ve thought about the problem but didn’t know you were thinking about it.

So stop trying to get an idea – ask questions, and chase them down.