Burn rate (4): black beans and rice (or: cutting costs for a longer runway)

Of course, efficiency is a virtue. Waste is… wasteful, makes everyone worse at their jobs, and reduces the number of possibilities open to you and your team. Knowing where it goes Good financial management is essential for this, of course: you need to know what’s being spent, on what and who by before you can make savings. Get help! The…

Maximising components vs maximising systems

Some examples to illustrate what it means to maximise components rather than systems – and why it’s best avoided: Sports teams with star players that don’t gel as a team – maximising individual talent at the cost of collaboration, team spirit and collective hunger. (See Leicester City’s 2016 Premiership win as an example of the opposite). This applies to all…

Peter Drucker on management as a discipline

If you can’t replicate something because you don’t understand it, then it really hasn’t been invented; it’s only been done. When I published The Practice of Management fifty years ago [in 1954], that book made it possible for people to learn how to manage, something that up until then only a few geniuses seemed to be able to do, and nobody could replicate…

The new possible

My sister (let’s call her Sharky) bought me a book for Christmas. Sharky lives in Argentina. She bought the book from a shop in the UK. I’m on holiday in a remote part of Indonesia. She bought the book, told me about it, and I was reading it, in less than ten minutes. This is the new reality – actually,…

Counting stamps

Examining the economics of the mail, he [Charles Babbage] pursued a counter-intuitive insight, that the significant cost comes not from the physical transport of paper packets but from their “verification” – the calculation of distances and the collection of correct fees – and thus he invented the modern idea of standardised postal rates. James Gleick – The Information: a History, a…