Is the bloom off the rose?

Chris Matyszczyk has a nice piece over on Cnet:  What would Apple have to do to ruin your relationship?

One answer is: Be seen as violating what you consider as the moral bond between you & Apple, and Matyszczyk lists several possibilities:

  • Apple starts to knock off early by producing things that look like, well, knock-offs of other Apple products. Or worse, of things that are already out there.
  • So what if Apple keeps on suing to defend the patently indefensible? What if Apple sues BlackBerry with a claim that it has the patent on the, um, keyboard? Do we suddenly look at Cupertino and feel the love has died? Do we decide that we were in love with a bully and, well, nobody likes a bully? Continue reading

It’s not change

I am affiliated with the Executive MBA for Families in Business program at Kennesaw State University near Atlanta. We use Boyd’s framework as the strategy component of the course, and although the students become proficient in Boyd by program’s end, you sometimes wonder how they’re doing in applying it in their own businesses.

So it’s always good to hear a success story. Here’s an interview that one of our alums, Mikee Johnson, did recently with a business website here in South Carolina. He’s CEO of a lumber treatment company, Cox Enterprises, that weathered the housing downturn and is now back on its expansion track.

You’ll find Boyd woven throughout, but pay close attention around 8:10 where he notes that “it’s not change, it’s the speed of change” that drives business strategy nowadays.

You might recall from New Conception for Air-to-Air Combat (chart 24):

He who can handle the quickest rate of change survives.

If you’re interested in information on the EMBA program (and we may admit non-family students on a space-available basis), please contact the director, Kristi Stoudenmire, at


Veterans Day 2012

Where I live in South Carolina, we have a Veterans Association, and a couple of times a year, a few of us form up and march in a mini-parade. We have vets from WWII on (you have to be 55 or older to live here), and although most of us are not combat veterans, we feel it’s important to honor those who did go into the line of fire.

My late father definitely falls into the latter category: veteran of Bataan, where he won the Silver Star, and survivor of 3 1/2 years in Japanese prison camps. Later, he commanded the 1st Recon Squadron of the famed 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment. I wear his 2A/C unit crest on my hat, next to my Air Force pin.

There is a lot of controversy over our occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, but we need to keep those discussions separate from our acknowledgement of those who served honorably there and in our country’s other battles.

Here’s to you, Dad. Toujuors Pret.

A Romney win

Whether you supported Obama, Romney, or whether the word “support” overstated your interest in the affair, the 2012 presidential election is a wonderful case study in how our orientation guides our observation.

Peggy Noonan has another of her perceptive columns in the November 8 Wall St. J. (subscription required). Early on, she gives a link to her column of three days earlier where she predicted “I think it’s Romney” and then laid out all the reasons why. Looking back, every one of them was an anecdote — a tired-looking Obama, the perceived enthusiasm of the Romney crowds, the number of yard signs in Florida. As she summarized it: “All the vibrations are right.” Continue reading

In his year

Many years ago, I asked a Saudi friend of mine if he didn’t long for the day democracy would come to the Kingdom (Scotch is not that hard to find over there if you know the right people, and he was the right people). He smiled and answered to the effect “Look, I have a business to run. It’s not my job to pick the government. That’s what we have a royal family for, and honestly, I think they do a better job than your system of letting anybody vote, whether they graduated sixth grade or not.” Continue reading