Link: Geoffrey Moore interview: innovation alone is not enough

Of interest: a new interview in Innovations magazine with Geoffrey Moore (author of Crossing the Chasm and his new book Dealing with Darwin) is available for download here. Moore’s new book takes a look at how innovation alone is not enough… “Innovation also requires an investment strategy that puts your resources where they count, and a people strategy that aligns those resources with the best skills of all your employees.”

An interesting viewpoint in the interview:

Q: How can companies reignite their growth engines?

Moore: “You have to self-fund. But where are you going to get the resources? My view is that you have to extract resources from context to repurpose for core.

“I’ll give you an example. Right now, Microsoft is getting beaten up. Everyone is saying Google is winning the IQ awards, and Microsoft is brain-dead. The reason why Microsoft is in such trouble is they have to put all their resources into their two franchises, Windows and Office. But
Darwin says no. You have to continue to meet the revenue commitments of those context franchises, but you have to do it with fewer resources, so that you can take some resources and spend them on core, on whatever type of innovation will work for you. This is how they did manufacturing at Cisco Systems. They centralized it, they standardized it, they modularized it, they optimized it, and then they outsourced it.”


David Pogue on how great customer service breeds loyalty

Generally, I like what David Pogue has to say. Today in his daily mail he covers “Business 101: Quality Customer Service Breeds Customer Loyalty.” (registration required)

In it, he talks about the experience he had with a popular online electronics retailer, one that I must confess I have never used. (My wife will find that quite alarming, as she thinks I’ve been a customer of just about every major computer and electronics etailer on the web).

What struck me in the column today was not the great price, the web user experience or the fast shipping… Mr. Pogue wrote about something that made a much bigger impact on him: the customer experience he had with the company. He talks about how Crutchfield has a “hyper-service-oriented approach” that has “generated a massive audience of rabid and repeat customers.”


This from today’s article

“Sure enough: when the package arrived, there was Crutchfield’s installation manual, with the company’s “we’re here to help you” toll-free number printed in 60-point type on the first page.

“What are they, nuts!? They are actually *inviting* people to call them for free technical support? Don’t they have any idea how that idea will kill their revenue stream? Haven’t they learned anything from the computer industry?

“Above all, I can’t help wondering why nobody else has questioned the wisdom of the current “go away, customer” attitude that prevails in the penny-pinching computer and software industries.”

There’s part of that last sentence, that software companies have developed a “go away, customer” attitude, that rings true and in some ways is not quite correct. If anything, a number of companies have increased the ways in which you can interact with the company, making it easier than ever before to get help with a software problem. But problems and inconsistencies do still exist. Contrast the above experience with this well-documented and discussed poor example…

“The response was overwhelming. More than 1,000 readers weighed in with comments, many lamenting their own customer service horror stories with the vendor. Ferrari was interviewed on the Today show. Google news lists 32 news accounts of the incident. The recording was downloaded more than 65,000 times from YouTube. Demand was so high that Ferrari’s blog server crashed. You can read his story here.”

I’ve talked about my good OEM support experiences with Dell and examples of how our own OfficeLive team makes the connection with customers during their beta. More on that later, but I wanted to point out that every time we interact with a customer and a partner, we should view these as an opportunity to influence and delight our customers.

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Of interest & Links: FAS’ intern site on Preparing for a disaster

Last year I blogged about being prepared for a disaster. Tonight a reader sent me a link to on boingboing’s entry on the new ReallyReady web site (created by a summer intern at the Federation of American Scientists) which “beats the Department of Homeland Security’s site.”

“The Federation of American Scientists hopes to achieve two purposes with

  • To provide clear and correct information to citizens interested in preparing themselves and their families for an emergency

  • To persuade the Department of Homeland Security to take a serious look at and their policy on the accuracy of information and to make important changes that will help Americans to prepare for terrorist attacks or natural disasters.”

I have to agree: it’s clear, concise and easy to understand. 

There are links to three sep sites: ReallyReady America, ReallyReady Business and ReallyReady Disabilities (self explanatory).

I also like their really useful links:

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Blake’s ‘Ultimate List’ of Microsoft Software and resources

Blake Handler has posted posted on his Spaces blog his “Ultimate List of Free Windows Software from Microsoft.”

“Microsoft has over 150 FREE Windows Programs available for download — but finding them all is extremely difficult. Until now, thanks to the Road to Know Where!

I’ve included this in a past comment and wanted to report it here as Spaces recent changed the URL format…

“Thanks once again for your understanding on the URL changes. This was critical to us being able to scale the service. We know the pain this caused and this decision was not taken lightly. We have no plans to change the URL from its <spacename> format.”



How much does spam weigh? (And what to do about it)

Often when meet and talk with our customers and partners, I hear some of the same concerns that impact their satisfaction with our products and services: PC security, quality and reliability of our products, and issues with email around spam and phsihing. Starting this weekend I am posting more info, tips and feedback on how we’re meeting some of these issues. I kicked it off on Friday with my reference to the anti-spyware addition to OneCare, and yesterday on Windows Defender.

Today, it’s about email and how to reduce spam.

First, just how much of a problem is this?

Microsoft IT reported in 2005 that the company received about 10 million e-mails per day via the Internet, with up to 90 percent filtered out as spam. In addition, a recent report cited that the company blocks more than 3.4 billion spam messages per day from reaching the inboxes of MSN Hotmail customers.

On an individual level, I read that average person gets only 1.5 personal letters each week, compared to 10.8 pieces of postal junk mail. This amounts to 560 pieces of junk mail per year per person. Recent research estimates that 80 percent or more of all e-mail sent these days is spam. In 2004, enterprise users reported receiving an average of 29 unsolicited messages a day, more than a four fold increase from 6.2 spam messages per day in 2002, and 3.7 messages in 2001.

So, how do spammers get your address? A couple of years ago, the The Center for Democracy and Technology released a report on their six month study, “Why Am I Getting All This Spam?” They found that e-mail addresses posted on web sites or in newsgroups attract the most spam, as spammers most often harvest addresses from the web. Just like the big search engines, spammers have automated web bots (called ‘spiders’) collect as many email addresses as possible from web sites. (Here’s a link with more details on how spammers get addresses.)

Now let’s make this personal.

A month or so ago, after grumbling about how much of our curb-side recycling was junk mail, I decided to take a closer look at what we receive in the post. And over the last couple of weeks, I kept a running total of how much mail we received at home, counting the number of pieces of mail and the aggregate weight. (Yes, my wife questioned my sanity, but I explained that it’s all in the effort to improve customer satisfaction.) I divided what we received into two piles: mail we wanted or had requested (bills, notices and the occasional letter) and mail that was junk (flyers, catalogues, credit card offers, solicitations from companies we’d never heard of before…).

Over the course of two weeks, we collected a little more than the reported national averages:

  • 36 pieces of mail, totaling 2 lb 6oz (or about 63 pounds a year), and
  • 80 pieces of junk mail, totaling 10 lb 6.6oz (a little more than 270 lbs per year)

Now that doesn’t sound like much, but in comparison let’s look what came in just to my personal email address at home: 232 pieces of junk mail. That’s 149 caught by my Outlook spam filter and 83 snagged by my internet service provider. If that junk email were junk postal mail filling my post box, it would weigh close to 31 pounds. Over the course of a year, we’re looking at more than 6,000 junk emails, at a total weight of about 792 pounds.


At an average of two to three seconds per email, that’s at least four to five hours of my life a year just deleting spam mail (and that estimate is on the low side).

The Crabby Office Lady’s latest tip of the month includes a link to an entire site devoted to fighting spam and sharing news about those nasty spammers and phishers. Here is one of her favorite tips:

  • Turn off auto return receipt acknowledgement: Some spammers put a “delivery” or “read” receipt request in their e-mails. If your e-mail program (or mail server) automatically confirms these receipt requests you will just be confirming your address is valid (= MORE SPAM). We would recommend you either turn this feature off or make sure it is set to “prompt” first before sending.

For information on how to do this in Outlook, read Change automatic response to read receipts.

We also have a section on our web site, Microsoft Security at Home: E-mail, which provides information and resources to help you reduce the risks of spam, viruses, identity-theft schemes, and hoaxes, while enjoying the benefits of email.  

More info:

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