Dec 31, 2012

Most popular and my favorite blog posts of the year 2012

As I mentioned in the previous post, I wasn't as active blogger this year that I was hoping to be. This is my 52nd post for the year, so it makes it one per week. Last year I blogged twice per week, so the drop is quite big. Still people kept visiting and reading my blog and the visitor amount raised steadily with the rate of about 100 more readers per month.
  
Five most popular blog posts this year

Here's a list of my most read blog posts for the year 2012. There's one from 2011, but that was read mainly during this year.
  1. Book review - Swim Smooth: The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers and Triathletes
  2. Good multitasking skills means good single tasking 
  3. Book review: Leading the Revolution by Gary Hamel
  4. Book review: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
  5. Cultural differences can make culture's diverge (from 2011)
Book reviews played the big part on my blog attractiveness. That's normal due to the fact that most of the posts were about book reviews. Luckily there's two other blog posts in the top list to prove to myself that people are interested on other things as well.

The blog post, cultural differences can make culture's diverge, was actually written long time ago already in August 2011. At that time, it got the normal interest of less than hundred reads. Just lately, it for some reason got attention again. Within latest couple of months people started to read and share it again. That's the reason it got to the list.

My own favorite blog posts this year

These are posts that I think has a good point and are written quite ok, but they didn't get the attention I would have wanted. That happens quite often, the posts that I think are interesting are not read a lot and then vice versa.  Here are the posts that I appreciate and want to raise from this year for another change.
Go check some of these out and leave comments if you think those are important or good ones.

Where does my readers come from?

I haven't opened this up ever before, but I think it's a time to do this also. In the very first year of this blog, my readers came naturally from Finland. Now that I have blogged regularly about three years, situation has changed. There's wide variety of people from many different countries visiting. I really appreciate that one.

Here's the list of countries where visitors come to my blog with percentages of visits
  1. USA (about 40%)
  2. Finland (15%)
  3. Ukraine (< 10%)
  4. Russia (< 10%)
  5. UK (< 10%)
  6. Germany (< 5%)
  7. China (< 5%)
  8. France (1-2%)
  9. Canada (1-2%)
  10. India (1-2%)
Thanks for everyone who has visited and read some of my posts this year.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Dec 30, 2012

Wordle 2012 - Visualization of topics covered in my blog 2012

This year has been different. Due to my Triathlon enthusiasm and new job I haven't blogged as much I would have wished for. Here's a visualization (Wordle) of most common words used this year in my blog to give a picture what I have blogged about. I have removed the most common English words to give a better view to actual subjects:

It's quite easy to see books have been the main blogging interest of the year. I'm bit surprised that people raises as such a high word in my writings. I 'm happy that that there are so many positive words which are used often: goog, interesting, easy and believe.

Without the word "book"


Because book seemed to play such a big part of my writing, I did a wordle without the word book also to show the other words better. Here's the one without the word book:

This tells it even more clearly, I have been able to stay positive in my writings. I've tried to keep sports out of this blog, but at least swimming has sneaked in. Business and companies are there also. I would have thought that I've written more about experiences, but that's smaller that business for example. Design, which I do like a lot, is not even on the list. That needs to change for the next year.

Want to create you own?


If you want to create your own Wordle about your blogging, the most reliable way I have found to do it with blogger is this. First get all feed items for this year with this: [blogname]/feeds/posts/default?redirect=false&max-results=[here the amount of blog post this year]. Then select all text there and paste it to you text editor. Then you can remove something before pasting it to wordle.

My previous years wordle's can be found from here: Wordle 2010 & Wordle 2011.


Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Dec 22, 2012

Book Review - The Non-Designer's Design Book

This book had been a long time in my reading list. I've wanted to read The Non-Designer's Design Book by Robin P. Williams for few years already. I've read some design books before and customer experiences are also my favorite work subject. Design is such a big part of experiences, that I've wanted to learn much more about that subject for some time.

I had read so many good reviews about the book, that expectations towards the book was high. When I received the book and started scim the book through I was bit amazed. I had imagined it to be somewhat different. I was bit disappointed at first.

When I finally started to read the book, I totally loved it. It went back to the very basics of design. It goes through the basic concepts of Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity. Understanding and following these basic elements would make many documents and presentations so much better. The best thing is, that book explains all of these with ease and fun.

The later section of the book concentrates on text and fonts. Understanding fonts was really a new thing to me. I do see text differently after reading this book. I've known that there are many different fonts out there, but I haven't really realized how those work together and what is the difference of all those. Now I've scratched the surface on typefaces and I definitely want to learn more.

This book should be mandatory in all the schools, where presentations and documents need to be created. We would have so much more informative and pleasant reading experiences if everyone would have read at least the first part of the book. The fonts section was fun for me, but I can imagine it won't be for everyone.

It was fun, easy and important book to read. I highly recommend this to everyone.
 
Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Dec 14, 2012

Book review - Social Boom! by Jeffrey Gitomer

I recently read Jeffrey Gitomer's Social Boom! This wasn't a book that belong to my to read list, but I still read it because we had some LinkedIn related ideas flying around the office. I wanted to check if there would be some good tips about business social media for us.

Contents of the book as such are quite good. It goes trough the most important social media's from business point of view and tells how one could create sales leads with social media. Book didn't offer much new for myself, but that might be due to me being quite familiar with Social Media's already.

The style of the book was much too American for me. There was big bold letters and amazing words used all the way through the book. I think it was made for American sales man. For silent northern European it was awful to read. I felt like someone was shouting to me and slapping my face all the time.

I do like that people don't care about what others have to say. Jeffrey Gitomer seems to be just this kind of a guy. He talks straight and teaches what he has learned. I do appreciate that. He just feels much too arrogant for my taste.

I don't actually recommend this to anyone. It is not bad as such, but it is not fun to read. It felt bit like watching some bad daily discussion TV show, where there's too much drama on everything. There must be better written books about business social media than this one.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Dec 12, 2012

Book Review - If You Want to Write by Brenda Ueland

I always enjoy writing. Even though I wouldn't really feel like writing, when I start writing, it always makes me happy. That was the reason I wanted to read, what was said to be the best book about writing, Brenda Ueland's If You Want to Write.

It would be easy to state that the book is old fashion and don't reflect todays writing. It was originally written already in 1938. The style of the book and some of the writing there are quite old fashion, but the idea itself is live and kicking.

The main idea in the book is, that everyone is talented and have something to say. In the book Brenda tells in her unique way stories about what it is to really write from one's heart. That's the key message and carrying theme over the book, people will listen to you, if you really tell things from your inner self.

That's a message I sincerely believe. Being open and not worrying too much about what others have to say makes your writing much better. The book and my experience tells that it is not easy. There's always the fear of shame and critisism that keeps us not telling things as we really think.

I did like the book. It's not the best one I've read this year, but it's a good one. The message there is quite simple and there is only her words to take as proof. It's not a normal guide to something, but it's more of journey to be more honest to oneself.

It's bit hard to recommend this book to certain people. It's for those who already are a bit genuine enough to take over 75 year old book about writing to their hands.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Nov 27, 2012

How to get best books for presents


The best way to get the books you want as Christmas presents is to order those yourself. The problem normally with that approach is that, you don't get to feel the surprise effect when opening your presents.

I've done so, that I order books for myself more than a month early for Christmas. Then I hide all the data about those books from my regularly used viewers as Gmail and GoodReads. When I receive the books I don't open those at all, but wrap those to gift papers.

Voila! I have forgotten what books I did order and I do get the best and most suitable books for me as Christmas presents. Also I get to feel the surprise effect.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Nov 22, 2012

Book Review - Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman


Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is an excellent book. It's a perfect view to today's knowledge on people's behavior, decision making, rationality, economics and many more sides of human behavior. Author, Daniel Kahneman  is a Nobel prize winner on his work on economical psychology. He might be the best person in the world to tell about human behavior and it flaws on decision making.

This book is a really comprehensive view to everything around decision making and rationality. It looks the subject via so many points of view that it is bit exhausting. As an admired scientist he explains everything thoroughly and wants readers to understand the science behind each theory. This is both refreshing and laborious. I did appreciate, that backgrounds of each theory was explained to me, but sometimes it required an excellent concentration to really understand all that theory.

This is not an easy book to read. I don't recommend this to people who haven't ever read anything with a psychological view point. It is easier to read this, if you know at least something on human behavior. This book goes so much deeper on many theories that all the background information is useful.

I found the whole book really interesting, but professionally most interesting parts were about estimating, probabilities and flaws on those. Estimating in SW industry has been such a hot potato for a long time. This book gives one brilliant view from psychological view point, why we are so bad at estimating. Maybe there would be something to learn to all SW people in this book also.

As said, book digs deep to so many different areas, that there's no point on opening all of those up in here. If you are interested in human behavior in economic or decision making sense, you shouldn't miss this book. It is important book on that area. The most important I've read so far.

Even though Daniel Kahneman is a scientist, he writes in quite interesting way. Book is not hard to read for its text, but because it's so full of important insights. For a non native English speaker though, as I am, it was sometimes bit hard to follow. Still I got on track with some recaps. Reading this does take time, but it is worth every second.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Nov 20, 2012

Who would pay for the news paywall?

Paywall discussion has really got off in Finland when today our largest newspaper Helsingin Sanomat started a paywall on their site. It's a loose paywall, with offers 5 weekly views if you hit the site directly, if you come there via Facebook or Twitter it is always available. In addition there's already published many different ways to go round the paywall on other ways.

I don't think it matters whether breaking the paywall is easy or hard, it will always be the minority who go round the paywalls anyway. There are many different kind of paywalls out there, but in this blog post, I'm discussing about the free visits per time type of paywalls.

What wonders me the most in paywalls is, that what is the target group for those? It can not be the casual users, since they do get to see the content anyways and prices are much too high to pay for a few articles the don't. Also it can't be the active social media users, since they get their news from free sources or know how to go round the paywalls easily. So it must be the most loyal customers who are already paying for the printed news. That's how you reward your customers.

The first big paywall of NY Times have been recorded as success, but there's dark clouds on top of its success story. NYT stock price dived with 3Q results when it was notified that ad revenues had dropped substantially. Also there's a doubt out there that many of the users of paid service have received huge discounts for the service. The default price is 15$ for month, but according to some stories there has been huge discounts all the time available and the actual prices have been closer to 1$ per month. There's no real evidence on either price. And then, let's be honest, NYT is a special kind of news house in the world. There's only couple of that big and famous who really has the capacity and the brand to produce such a unique stuff that people would be willing to pay for.

The word about our local paywall debate. Helsingin Sanomat offers free access to their content via Facebook and Twitter. That means that basically only the people who actually go to their site for news are the ones who are affected. Not to be rude, but it is only the loyal and stupid user who will end up paying for the service. Maybe I'm a special kind of web wanderer, but I rarely hit for any sites for news. I rely on news feed services and social media to gather the information for me.

In the long run I believe sites with paywalls will lose their customer bases. The main question then is, that can the paying customers fill the gap in lost ad revenue. I don't believe so, but I'm not the one who have estimated the business case for these ones.

People certainly are willing to pay for media. People have learned to pay for sport and movie channels. People pay for music and books still after digitalization. Paying for media content as such is not the problem. The experience is. How an website could be good enough experience to be paid for. Books, magazines and newspapers have the physical experience with them. Music and video will evoke feelings in everyone. So what is the experience daily news could awake? Maybe the tabs will save the news industry?

My bet is that visits per time based paywalls will not be viable solution in the long run for the daily news. It might be for really specific niche areas that any other medias are not reporting at. Default for the web is free, to pay for, there must be really excellent experiences available. For now I haven't seen any with news services.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Nov 14, 2012

Mind wandering and happiness

I watched this nice TED talk about mind wandering and happiness. I actually got bit surprised on it's message. It suggests that people are happier when they are focused and don't let the mind wander.

It is a bit counterintuitive, but then on the other hand books like Flow and Drive tells exactly about those things. And I've noticed the same on myself, I'm lot happier, when I have things to focus on and I keep on doing things. When I start wander, time slows down and I'm bored quite soon.

It's refreshing to watch, so please check it out.

Matt Killingsworth's TED talk:


Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Nov 1, 2012

Why incompetent people succeed?

Everyone knows at least few of these people. They seem very incompetent on what they do, but still they seem to progress on their career all the time. They might do things totally opposite to your own thinking and it often seems that they don't get lot of things done. So how on earth they then succeed and get promotions and new jobs?

Competence is subjective. The ones who are competent on technical stuff often see that there are incompetent managers flying around in the organizations. That might be absolutely true, they might be quite incompetent on their technical skills. On the other hand they might have some other skill that is such a good one that is tackles the incompetence in tech stuff.

Another aspect of incompetence is priority. I have been always in RnD organizations, so I still the think the world from RnD focus. I sometimes see people, who don't understand products and processes to create products, as incompetent to do almost any job in organizations. Then when I'm surrounded with people from sales background, they don't see RnD to be that important, if important at all. They think that sales is the thing that keeps companies alive, not great products.

Point of view to the organizational success determines persons priority and priority often has a direct effect on quality of doing. Those who don't think marketing material is a key to companies success, often are quite poor to help on doing those. And therefore they might look to be incompetent when you are working with them.

Surely there are differences in skills with all people. Some are not as quick learners than others and some just can't see the big picture or can't understand the details. The main thing there is, that when thinking someone as incompetent, I've started to think about the strengths of the person. There must have been some skills that have brought her there. Then observing the person more closely, there almost always have been some things that she is such a good at that it overrules the other incompetences.

It's always better to try to learn from others than just envying what they have achieved. It is hard. Everyone has the little beast inside trying to say bad things about others to yourself. Just stay strong and fight back.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Oct 29, 2012

Who would solve my customer problem - portable music device for running

I have problem with current music players. Most of the music on the go is listened in smart phones. These smart phones are getting bigger and bigger on display size. At the same time music is going to monthly payment mode where you can always listen all the latest music.

I'm really happy on both of the trends at their own, but these create a problem for me when put together. I would like to listen music while running and smart phones are too big to carry with. On the other smart phones are the only platform where you can get your monthly music with you.

Old iPod shuffle is by far the best music device for running ever made. There's this easy clip on, it weigths nothing and it's easy to use with single clicks. Perfect for any sports and sports wear.

Here's a challenge for some hardware product company. Create a device which can hold for example 200-500 songs from Spotify or some other monthly based music service. Create it to be small enough for small pockets in running wear. Make sure there is a large enough button to change songs when it is in the pocket. And keep it simple.

I can guarantee there will be many sports people who will buy it.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

P.s If this device exists already, please hire a proper product manager and marketing people to let the running audience to know about it.
 

Oct 15, 2012

Book review: The Gifts of Imperfection

Latest book I read was The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. It was at the same time one of the hardest and easiest books I've read for a long time. It was easy and enjoyable to read, but the subjects did hit hard sometimes.

The book is about soft values, about love, life and wholehearted living. It might sound as nonsense, but it's actually supported with lots of scientific material. Also Brene Brown herself has Ph.D and is a research professor at university. So these soft values has lots and lots of backup material to support the story.

The whole idea of the book is that admitting to be imperfect, makes life much more enjoyable. It talks about subject as busyness, shame, being uncool, being vulnerable and many more. The subject did hit me straight many times. I do too often feel shame and think what others think of me. I even felt shame reading this book in the train. It has a heart on its cover and many hearts in pages. It might sound stupid, but I caught myself thinking what others might think of me reading a book filled with hearts.

This is actually what the book is about. It's about authenticity and having the guts to be who you really are. People nowadays try to fit in so much, that they are not enjoying living their lives.

Luckily I did found somethings similar to my thinking at the book. One of the key messages in the book was that in order to really love others, you need to love yourself first. And not in a cocky way. I do agree this fully, but I'll let the book to explain the details, for not putting words to Brene's mouth. It is a subject many might think differently.

It is an excellent book, which I believe too few guys have the courage to read. It talks so much about the soft values and being vulnerable, that it is hard to read. I did enjoy it a lot and try to become stronger by agreeing on being imperfect. This is a good read for everyone, but I believe it's too difficult for the people who don't have their hearts at list bit open for being vulnerable. 

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Oct 13, 2012

Don't listen to your customer, watch them

One of the best advices, for creating great products and services, I've heard is: "Don't listen to your customers, watch them". Asking people what they want or would prefer often gives irrelevant answers. When watching how people behave, there can be noticed patterns, that will tell how they would like things to work. Their verbal answers might tell a different story.

Watching people's behavior will guide to the sources of what people really are missing. It's quite common to say different things than actually do. People try to be smarter than they really are and try to give creative answers to the question about how would they like things to work. Watching the behavior, is for that reason, more important than just listening.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Oct 8, 2012

Book review - The Agile Gene: How Nature Turns on Nurture

Some of the readers of this blog might hope this book is about Agile SW development, but it is not. The Agile Gene is book from Matt Ridley about genetics, evolution and how people are people. It starts form really early in first studies about human and behaviors. It tells a full journey to the latest genetics researches.

The main question in the book is the long lasting debate on nature, meaning the DNA and inherited things and nurture, the things that environment effects on people. It goes trough studies from both sides and digs deep in to the main pillars of the both explanations.

One by one it starts to get more obvious that there is no one explanation on this question. Nature plays it part on growing, but nurture also has a big effect on many things. The most surprising there is that genes actually work with environment to make things possible. So those are not only enablers or disablers, but can adjust to the environment.

I have to admit the book was quite hard to follow sometimes. It went such deeply to some of the scientific subjects, that it would have required some more basic understanding of genetics to follow fully. Still mainly it was fun and interesting to read. Matt Ridley knows how to write in very interesting form.

Reading the book I had to change my mind many times. On some points I was sure that genes are the main influencer of what we turn out to be, but then after some tens of pages I again thought that environment is the important thing. I can't remember a book that have mixed my head more during reading the book than this was. That said in a good way.

I recommend this book to those who are interested on psychology, genetics or evolution. It requires interest towards those subject, otherways it becomes too technical to read. I enjoyed it a lot. It goes to the one of the best books I've read this year.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Oct 4, 2012

We Are Not Responsible For Lost Or Stolen Valuables - Why?

Lobbies of so many companies have the sign "We Are Not Responsible For Any Lost Or Stolen Valuables" next to their coat rack. It has always bothered me. I'm coming to visit your company, and you ask me to leave my jacket and stuff here. Then you state that no, we will not make sure it will be safe here.

So what if a company would actually take the responsibility of the jackets and stuff. I know the lawyers would say, that it's too much of a risk to take the responsibility of property of others. Is it really? For me that would actually state that this company is different and can be trusted. It would be an act of kindness and trustfulness to take care of my jacket and stuff while I'm visiting there.

For so many companies, the risk is actually such a minimal, that it would really have any financial effect whatsoever to company's result.

Why companies couldn't think differently and be kind? Why every company always need to cover their backs for everything? Why every company needs to be made from the same mold?

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Sep 29, 2012

Book review - Swim Smooth: The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers and Triathletes

Due to my Triathlon enthusiasm in past year, I've got into swimming also. As to my nature, I have to get to know the technical jargon about swimming, that I would be able to learn to swim smoothly. For that purpose I found a perfect book, 300 pages about freestyle swimming - Swim Smooth: The Complete Coaching System for Swimmers and Triathletes.

Swim Smooth is book by Paul Newsome and Adam Young, both have a long background on swimming, but even more background on coaching swimming. They have a Swim Smooth named swimming training center in Australia and very useful web page also about swimming.

I must admit, that I thought there can't be written 300 pages about freestyle swimming so, that every page would make sense, but I was so wrong. Book is filled with good information, training tips, technique and useful pictures explaining all the things in detail. When reaching to the end of the book, I even thought it fell bit short.

Book starts from the basics of swimming and explains every part of swimming in great detail. For training purposes, book introduces 6 different swimmer types and give tips on improving swimming to all of those. It also says that there is no one best way to swim, it's always about the body and personal preferences.

If you are on to improving your freestyle swimming or into triathlon, this is a must read book. It stops the speculation on what is good and what is not for swimming and gives statistics and technique advices to all aspects of swimming. It has even its own section to open water swimming.

Only minus I have to give the book is that it became expensive to me. I have ordered swimming training equipment with about 100 euros only due to this book. I believe those will pay back to me on better swimming training sessions and eventually as a better swimmer in next triathlon races.

For freestyle swimming, this book is my bible now. I'm not going to look for any other book or training sites for a long time.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Sep 26, 2012

Price of the coding - is it a nationality issue?

Couple of weeks ago Finnish magazine 3T got their hands on secret internal report from an large Finnish company about efficiency of coders in different countries. Report stated that even though Indian coders cost approximately 30% of what Finnish coders do, Finnish ones are 4,5 times more efficient than their Indian counterparts. This then means that Indian coders turn to be 35% more costly than Finns eventually. (Source: (in Finnish) 3T - Salainen selvitys: Intialainen koodaus on suomalaista kalliimpaa).

I've worked with at least, Finnish, Indian, Chinese, Russian, Polish, Turkish, Slovakian, British, French, Mexican, US and Canadian coders and I have to say nationality doesn't make a difference. Despite the nationality there are really efficient coders and coders who just can't make it happen. There are noticeable national differences on work methods, but those don't explain the efficiency.

Trend in buying coding from some specific country drives to the situation, that there are too much demand for the knowledgeable resources. In these countries some less capable people do get hired and easily sold to high demand customers in countries where coding prices are high. This might make it look like coders in some countries are less capable than in others.

In countries where price of coding is higher, only the efficient ones get to keep their jobs. When the competition is fierce, less capable ones turn to do something else than coding (I bet many of you think managing of the coding now).

I like to believe that, in most of the cases price of the coder is irrelevant. Good coder can easily be 100 times more efficient than some other. I don't mean they make code 100 faster than others, but they can make much more clear code and create much less errors than others. So the overall result might be 100 times less work was done for some piece of software.

Also a good team can make a difference. Team with good internal ways of working, like code conventions, code review practices, architectural guidelines and open discussions will improve efficiency dramatically. These in their own sense make evaluation of SW project length a challenge. It's the team and following their efficiency that make it possible to estimate what's the cost and time of certain SW project.

There are noticeable differences in efficiency of certain coders and team of coders. I don't believe it's a nationality issue, it's always about how competent the individual and the team is. It doesn't make buying of SW development easy. What it should state to the buyers though, is that price is small function in SW development efficiency. There always need to be other measurements in use, to know the real price of the coder and the team.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Sep 24, 2012

Marketing on it's best - Zenrobotics

Zenrobotics is a Finnish company, who have invented really important product. They've made a robot that can identify and collect different materials from trash and this way improve recycling a lot. Their product is cool and meaningfull, but what I love the most, is their marketing videos.

This is a perfect example of an extremely enjoyable marketing video, where still the product plays a key part. There's many entertaining product videos and adverts out there, but too often the actual product doesn't really play a part on it. In this one, the robot plays a key part.

Check the video out:


Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Sep 22, 2012

Cat lives with a thank you

There's Finnish proverb (Kissa kiitoksella elää) which translates to a "Cat lives with a thank you". And to be a Finnish proverb, it is actually a cynical one, stating that it's only the cats who live with a thank you and people need a lot more.

This proverb, or saying as we Finns call these, came to my mind when I visiting a potential customer few weeks ago. It was so called cold meeting, where a guy had promised to see us to hear more about offering. In the very beginning the guy started to tell who well our productization has been done. He really praised our productization so much, that I, as a humble Finn, didn't want to say I had made most of it.

That episode though was something that motivated me for many weeks. The thing I had worked for several weeks or months paid of and I got a thank you from someone, who had no motivation what so ever to flatter me.

This reminded me once more, that you can never tell too much about the thing you appreciate. It so easy to complain about things, but it's always harder to say thanks to the ones who would earn it.

I promise to give more positive feedback in the future. It helped my motivation for many weeks. Maybe it helps someone else too.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Sep 3, 2012

Book review - The New Edge in Knowledge

I read The New Edge in Knowledge: How Knowledge Management Is Changing the Way We Do Business. This was a book I purchased to understand knowledge management possibilities in our client companies. So it was purely out of professional interest about the subject.

After reading the book, knowledge management feels more of a bureaucratic nonsense than it did before the book. It introduced knowledge management to require lot of efforts and big organization to get it working. I just have to disagree with that.

Big part of the book was explaining the obvious of knowledge management. There wasn't really anything innovative presented for knowledge management, tools and processes were common and common sense.

Examples presented in the book was from big companies, I don't consider really leading edge of any sort. Those were big successfull companies, which I believe have all the methodologies of the world in use and succeed despite those. I didn't find any actual proof, that knowledge management would have really made these companies special.

I do believe knowledge management and learning organizations are important. I disagree the bureaucratic, comprehensive programs build to increase knowledge sharing. Knowledge sharing comes from open atmosphere and good enough tools for it.

As a final touch, style of the book couldn't be considered as exhilarating or inspiring. It could have easily been 50 pages shorter than it was. I can't really recommend it to anyone. There must be better books for knowledge management.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Aug 22, 2012

Book review: What matters now by Gary Hamel

Gary Hamel is one of the most influential business thinkers nowadays. He has lot of things to tell in his latest book What matters now. It's a book about innovation, management innovation and how to make a world a better place. So it's a book about many thoughts, that come together in Gary's mind.

I finished the book about a week ago and I'm still bit puzzled, what it was all about. There was so many good things presented there and so many good examples around the world, that it takes time to digest it. Maybe the main message there is, that management practices in use are old and these don't help to get the full potential out of the people in companies.

Gary Hamel has found really interesting examples from very different kind of organizations all around the world to demonstrate how management and organizational behaviour can change. There are organizations from churches to small and huge companies in very different industries presented. The main similarity between examples is, that there has been in these organizations few people who have wanted to make a change in how their organization operate.

The book was really interesting and inspiring. It raised a lot of questions and gave some answers. It brought lot of seeds for ideas, but left also many questions to wonder. It was easy to read, but hard to digest.

I really like the way Gary Hamel writes. It's always interesting and easy to read, whatever the subject is. I recommend it for everyone interested in organizational improvement and new management practices. It's an important book which raises questions and thoughts. It's a pleasure to read.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Aug 17, 2012

In IT need for business case means no business case

I've come to a conclusion, that when an IT investment needs a business case to prove its existence or purchase, then it is not worth of it.

When IT investment is good enough, everyone will know its benefits and it will help the company to operate better than previously. When main arguments for acquiring a software is that it will save money from somewhere, its not really worth of investement.

I'm not saying money doesn't matter. Of course there needs to be considerations how much IT or SW investments costs, but that shouldn't ever be the driving force for any investment. If it is, company getting the SW or IT might be in trouble soon.

Great companies have the best tools for their internal development and processes. They never settle for the most cost effective ones. They search for the best ones out there. Sometimes those are the cheapest ones, sometimes more expensive ones. Sometimes those are out of the box, sometimes tailored for the company and sometimes company has to create those themselves. The important factor is the value those bring to the company, not the price tag.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Aug 9, 2012

Idea to Reality - Cartoon of our product

One morning several months ago I got an idea to create a cartoon of our product at work. The idea came when I started to think what would be the simplest possible form to explain what our new product actually does.

I drafted a version of this cartoon to a paper shortly and went off to introduce it to my colleagues. I was happy to notice they were excited about the idea and we started to improvise even more what the cartoon could be like.

Panel from Contribyte Asset Browser cartoon
Next challenge was to find someone to draw it. That turned out to be much simpler task that I anticipated. I just googled for finnish cartoons and found one, that had done in a style we wanted. Then we mailed to her and she promised to make it.

After specifying the cartoon in more detail, we explained it to the artist to draw it. She understood us easily and well and we got beautiful cartoon in couple of weeks. .

I'm quite proud what we as a small team were able to pull out. Check out the full cartoon from our company website to judge yourself: Asset Browser Cartoon.

This is part of the productizing process of our new product. Based on feedback what we have received this was definitely a good exercise. This was a lesson that even with limited resources it is possible to do really many things on supporting the productization of a new product. It didn't actually cost us much in money or in time compared to so many other things in marketing.

I urge everyone to be more playful and fun even in business to business marketing. Nowadays it is mainly just plain boring. It doesn't have to be.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jul 28, 2012

How easy it is to lose a customer in web

I'll tell a story about me. I'm a web consumer, I buy lot of things from many different webstores around Europe. I have been quite loayal consumer of Chain Reaction Cycle's, but they lost my loyalty with a thing that wasn't really their fault. I think it's a perfect story of how easy it is to lose a customer in web nowadays.

For my triathlon hobby I was looking for aerobars for my bike. As I've used to I headed to CRC to check their offering. And as usual they had really good offering and very competitive prices for aerobars. I selected one set of aerobars and checked from the details view, that clamb diameter 31mm was suitable for my handlebar. I went on and I bought the item.

About week later aerobars arrived and I went straight on to try those on my bike. I was bit amazed to notice those didn't fit, those were for 26mm handlebar. I started to investigate why this had happened and noticed that CRC had different information in buy and description sheets of that product. I had actually ordered aerobars for 26mm handlebar by accident.

I mailed them to tell what had happened. In couple of hours they mailed me back saying that this was unfortunate, but it my own fault due that information next to buy button had said it to be for 26mm handlebar. I could return the product, but I would need to pay the postage.

I do agree that it was part of my fault, but that is not the point in web consuming. Person who was handling my ticket should have noticed that I was a loyal customer. I had ordered within 6 months 953 euros worth of equipment from them in six different orders. He could have said that they are sorry for the mixup and pay the postage back for replacing aerobars to suitable ones.

What did happen was that I started to look for other options. I hadn't even looked for options for a long time. Now I started searching and got a really nice deal from another webstore. Just like that they lost one loayal customer.

These type webstores are all about small profits and they are trying to cut down costs on every possible place. These kind of webstores are still more than anything else all about cash flow and masses. They should do everything possible to keep customers happy. And this was all about 15 euros worth of postage expenses. Not much for me, and nothing for CRC.

To note, I have nothing against CRC. I still think it's an exceptional webstore with really good pricing and product catalog. This is just a story of me noticing they are not the only ones.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jul 23, 2012

Future prediction videos

I really like these future prediction films. It's nice to see how view of the future is such a different by different people. In these future prediction films only one thing is for sure, future will never look like that.

Still in each of the videos there's always some things that makes sense and could perhaps become true in the future. This video is made out of Electrolux Design lab competion. It's a mixture of home and home electronics for the future.



Many of the ideas are quite cool and even bit realistic. Nice to see if any of the ideas will actually fly in coming 20-30 years.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jul 16, 2012

Book review - The Innovator's Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

The Innovator's Dilemma has been stated to be business literature classic. Book by











Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jul 13, 2012

Great example of clear but bold website layout

Much too often news websites are designed to be newspaper like. Small pictures are here and there between the text. Layouts of the page are optimized for small screens and don't really use the capabities of the screens nowadays.

Cyclingtips is a fresh exception to the too common website layout. They really use big good pictures to fill the screen and the story. Check for example this article about tour de France's yesterday's stage - Chasing The Tour | Stage 11 – The Nail In the Coffin.

Here's a screenshot of their page.


Other news websites should learn from this. When people start to scroll they can scroll further. Large good quality pictures really make a difference.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jul 2, 2012

Team day activity - Real life human hunt

I with few others were assigned to arrange team day with quite low budget. It was also stated, that it should be something that wasn't done before. The list of what they had done before, was quite a long one.

After brainstorming a bit, we got the idea of a getaway. We would escape from rest of the group and let the others to wonder where and what is going to happen. The we would start giving hints and tips where we are and what we are doing. The idea was that they would start chasing us and after finding we would move together to arranged place to eat and party.

We looked for different alternatives how to actually make the idea happen. We realized we need a app with which we could share our location and others could follow. We started to look from Foursquare and other location share apps to find a perfect one, but none of those actually did the trick. Finally one day we hit to an app called Glympse which was a perfect match for our needs. With Glympse we could share our exact location in a map for 10 minutes and then disappear totally.

In order to make this hunt even better, we made a blog to blogger, which we the fugitives and the hunters could post photos and text on the fly. This would give a little spice to the hunt.

At the scheduled team day, none of the others knew what was going to happen. About an hour before the team was scheduled to start, we the fugitives one by one left the office. Then 14:55, 5 minutes before the team day start, we send a mail to the rest of the group: "Team day has been kidnapped". We stated that we decided to keep the party ourselves and tell you later what it was like. We wanted to give them one change: for the next 2 hours, we will be appearing for 10 minutes via Glympse every 20 minutes. If they could find us within that 2 hours, they could join the party.

Idea and execution worked perfectly. We were bit afraid that, would our people actually be playful enough to start chasing us. That worry was unnecessary. First chasers started chasing from our first 14:55 mail,5 minutes before the chase start. We deliberately attached a photo to the first mail, which had a hint of our location. Of course that was a trick from our end to get some of the hunters to leave to wrong direction. That worked out perfectly.

The whole thing worked out perfectly. One group of hunters got us quite fast, but some had to use more than an hour to catch us. It was a fun team day and I recommend to try it out. It's a fun way to spend some time outside and playing a real life game.


Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jun 19, 2012

I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Book Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen was one that I got recommended by my old boss, who got into barefoot running sometime ago. I bet this book had a big part on his turning to barefoot running. Still I  didn't have much expectations towards the book at the first place, but it turned out to be one of the best books I've read for few years.

Author, Christopher McDougall starts the story from his problems with his feet. There the journey goes all the way to the one of greatest ultra-marathons ever arranged. During the journey there's so many colorful persons and stories, that book feels more like a fiction than true and teach-full story. Still it's a true story about running and who we are and what's our history.

Almost hidden between the fun ride, there's lot of scientific studies and interviews from respected experts on running, physiology and training. McDougall writes so well, that these often so boring scientific sections are actually really interesting and complement the book to its full glory. At the same time, book is an interesting story about Tamahura indians, ultra-running and science behind running injuries.

Reading this book will make you run and enjoy more out of it than before. Also you will most probably learn more about you as human more than you thought beforehand. It's a wonderful book, filled with great insights from very different perspectives.

There's not a single group of persons I wouldn't recommend on reading this. It's just pure fun.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jun 13, 2012

Facebook - the thing our parents used to do

Will Facebook become "the thing our parents used to do"? Idea that our kids will talk in 15 years from now about Facebook as the thing our parents used to use seems bit amusing, but it might become reality soon.

I think it's quite likely that this will actually happen. I can't actually tell a one thing in media that is the same now that was with our parents. They didn't have mobile, TV barely had colors, not to mention Internet and everything there. So why in earth wouldn't change happen as fast with social media also.

Surely there's a lot value in Facebook currently, but will it really last for 10-15 years? I doubt it.. It's now about eight years old and most of the users have been there less than 3 years. So it's easy to say it's still fresh and new. When it will be 15-20 years old, there will definitely be other viable options to keep in touch with friends.

Facebook surely might be live and kicking in 10-15 years from now for sure, but it's not definitely going to be the cool thing out there the young kids will use. I bet it will become the "thing our parents used to do". And as we all know, kids definitely don't want to be like their parents.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Jun 6, 2012

Book review - Steal like an Artist by Austin Kleon

I read Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative by Austin Kleon. I've seen and read many books similar to this, telling how to be creative, but still this was bit different.

Austin Kleon tells in funny and direct way how creating art or innovative stuff isn't that cool and hip all the time. There is the dull side on creativity also. Being creative requires focus, self control and being dull. It's fun to hear these things from person who is really thought to be creative. I strongly second his opinions.

It was such a fun book to read. It didn't even feel like a book, it almost felt like a short movie. Pages and ideas kept flying past so fast, that I didn't even notice reading the full book.

So to whom the book would be for? Easiest would be to say that everyone should be more creative and should read it, but especially this is for those who want to be creative. The most important lesson is that creativity is always based on something and requires work. And being dull is not that bad really.


Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

What's the good intention other has in mind?

Sometime ago my old boss tough me this learning about arguing. When someone starts to argue with you on something, always think: "What's the good intention other have in mind when they disagree with you." I think this might have been learning from NLP or something, but the main thing is that for me it has worked well.

When I get feedback or someone disagrees with me, most often its nothing personal. Most often the other party has something worrying in their mind, but they can't really speak it out loud. Instead of only disagreeing, I've learned to start to finding out what's the thing worrying or why someone wants to do something differently.

It's not easy, but its worth of trying. Always think from the positive side: "what's the good intention other has in mind, when disagreeing."

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

May 31, 2012

Book review: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle


I read the book Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. It's a book about learning and talent. Talent isn't natural born, it is always learned. There might be some genetic issues that make it easier to learn to become good at something, but after all it is always about learning.

This book is a journey to talent hotbeds, places where talent seem to be grown and at the same time journey to human brain to understand how the talent grows. Daniel Coyle visits quite different places and introduces many interesting people about creating talents. Also he introduces lates findings on how myelin, the white stuff in brain actually makes people to perform better.

The book is easy to read, filled with excellent examples and interesting facts. Even the very technical parts of brain and nervous system is explained in the way that I could understand.

Those who want to learn how to learn, or learn how to teach, this a good book for you. I highly recommend this for parents too. This gives good understanding what are the things that really affect on learning.

It's great book, about interesting and important subject. I loved the book and I bet many other would also.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

May 2, 2012

Two types of people, people who like to do the things they are good at and then those who don't

Some time ago I heard a phrase that I have been thinking since. It claimed that there are two types of people, those who like to do what they are best at and those who want to do things that they are not good at yet.

So often people are encouraged to find the things they are good at and then keep on working on those skills. This has been seen the best way to succeed, learning a solid skill in something. That's so easy to agree and cope with.

I, on the other hand, have never liked to do things I'm good at. At least, not the very same things, I've already done couple of times. I've always been looking to do things I've never done before or stretch the tasks to whole new level. Then I really have something to learn.

It was relief when I heard presenter stating this phrase in one conference I attended. I finally got the impression that maybe I'm not alone with my thinking. Maybe for some it's natural to try out to handle these new tasks with skills learned from other tasks and not to enjoy using skills you are good at.

For example, I always like playing games with people who are better than me. I don't like losing, but I hate winning an opponent which wasn't really a good one. Same goes with everything, I rather fail couple of times, than succeed with too easy performance.

So don't worry if you don't want to do the things you are good at. I've got so far raising the bar or taking new challenges always when possible. Sometimes I've had to do the stuff I'm good at, but I really like most to do the things I've got lot to learn.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 28, 2012

Perfect customer experience, answer questions before those are asked

I was reading Trendwatching latest issue on (R)etail (R)evolution and they mentioned Threadless in their article. I went to their website, because of interest on cool concepts and T-shirts.

Living in Finland has one disadvantage, often the new cool stores don't deliver to here. Often you need to go through the whole website to find out if they deliver here and what it costs.

I was so pleased, when after skimming 10 seconds of skimming thought the website, I noticed that they answered to my question before I even asked it.


As a customer experience fanboy and product manager, I just love what they do. This is the perfect way to serve a customer. Surprise customers with answers they haven't yet even asked. Thanks to Threadless.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 21, 2012

Book review: Leading the Revolution by Gary Hamel

Leading the Revolution was a book I found from my friends bookshelf, when we were visiting them. He hadn't read the book and I hadn't heard anything about it beforehand, so I got the luxury to read it without many expectations towards it. Gary Hamel as a person was familiar to me, but this book wasn't.

Book is about innovation. How radical and continuous innovation is only way companies can stay on the top and profitable. Also it tells how people outside the top management can be the ones who drive the innovation in companies.

The book could be divided in two parts. The first one tells interesting ideas about innovation and how innovation works in companies nowadays. The second part tells with examples about innovation. This is quite normal division in books, but in this one, time of writing makes the division special case. Book was published in August 2000, almost at the highest peak of dot-com bubble. Business world and companies were living a special age.

1999-2000 were years that innovation was highly appreciated. Wildest ideas were appraised and stock values were growing at enormous speeds. This can be seen from the book. Book uses lot of examples from companies like Enron, Charles Schwab and Yahoo. Also Silicon Valley area overall is highly appraised in the book. Of course this questions credibility of the book and it's ideas. Lot of success stories from this book have turned out to be disappointments at the end.

I don't want to judge one of world leading business thinkers from selecting examples that didn't succeed at the end. I actually think, that these examples and failures proves the point of the book. Only the ones who can really keep on reinventing their business concepts can live at the top for longer time. No one saw at that time that Google, Facebook and Apple would be dominating the technology and innovation world as much as they do nowadays. The same way, no one saw what was going to happen to some of these companies used as example in this book.

Even though at this time it might look highly unlikely, it is actually probable that in 10 years, Google, Facebook and Apple have lost their spots at top. Same have happened to almost all big, mighty companies. They fly high, lose the sight and then they will crash hard.

It was refreshing to read innovation theories from 10 years back. Most of it is totally valid even today. This book unfortunately lost part of it's value with dot-com bubble and Enron scandal. This shouldn't change the fact, that book is full of good thinking of how companies should support innovation and reinvent their business models often enough. I liked the book and with these known shortcomings, it's still a good book to read.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 13, 2012

Good multitasking skills means good single tasking

Once in a while someone states that it's essential nowadays have good multitasking skills. Then at the same time someone else states, that you need to learn to focus on one thing to really get things done. This seems like conflict, but I think neither is really wrong or right.

Fact is that in work and personal life is more and more full of interruptions and new tasks to be done. People try to achieve more and more without making anything properly. The key for good task handling is a skill to be able to jump in to things fast and then focus on those.

Method to handle many things at the same time is to give full focus to one thing at the time, and not letting the others to disrupt your focus. Most important thing is the capability to switch tasks. It requires skill to let one thing go and jump into another. For many this is the hard part, they can't really let the other thing ago and for that reason are not able to concentrate on the new thing either.

There is couple of tricks I use for task switching. The number one thing is, there's always time for documenting the status. It doesn't take long to write down the thoughts, ideas and place you where, when you jump in to another task. When you learn it, it takes only 5-15 seconds. With doing this, your awareness can be totally focused on the new thing. Without short documentation, you need to try to keep your previous status on mind, and you can't focus on the new thing.

Second thing is closely related to the previous. In order to be able to document your situation fast, there needs to be ways to document it available. Either it's the textpad in computer, note taker in mobile or post-it with pen, these needs to be available and you need to have a practice of documenting the status with that tool. It's easy to learn, but you can't afford 30 seconds of waiting, where to document.

There are many good methodologies on concentrating on essential. I really recommend trying out habit 3 from 7 habits of highly effective people, personal backlog, personal kanban board, pomodoro or any other time and task management system. Even though these are excellent ways to learn to use your time more efficiently, these still don't change the fact that sometimes you need to change tasks rapidly. Either it is the phone, email, text or something that comes to your mind suddenly, you still need to be ready to act on it. For that, it's best to learn to change tasks fast on the fly.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 9, 2012

Learning from others

There's something to learn from everyone. Everyone have some skill or practice that they are good at and also some habit or practice that they could do much better. There's learnings in good and bad.

Learning is often in the beginning mimicking others. We first do as others do in same situations. Then some get to the next level on understanding why things are done as they are. For most of the things learning is always mimicking the behavior of others.

It's important not to be stuck with learning only from those who you admire. There's something in every person that should be learned. It's important to keep your senses open. Otherwise you lose many potential learnings.  

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Apr 7, 2012

Mixed reality glasses

I've been intrigued by these augmented/mixed reality glasses since I first saw those. At the same time, those feel such unusable due to interfering with your vision, but still looking such a convenient on having your hands free. I can only imagine what rules and laws will be invented to regulate the usage of those. There's still something so cool about those. Here's the latest Google project "Project Glass", which seems to have an actual prototype already existing.
 

There's nothing really new in this Google concept though. Here's few years old concept video about the same subject from Nokia. I just hope that Google is more serious and longer in the way to actually implement this than Nokia was. i haven't head anything about this project since this video.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Mar 25, 2012

Book review: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

This time I read book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by













Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Mar 18, 2012

Why there is so much Business Jargon?

I'm nowadays working in business to business environment. There, even more than b2c, everything is said with business jargon. It seems to be much better to say things with terms that doesn't really mean anything or are hard to understand. I keep on wondering , what is the point of that?

I define business jargon as explaining things more complicated than what they really are. For example email could be defined in business jargon as rich multi point communication platform enabling visual messaging between small or large groups. And camera would be a small carryable technical device, with possibilities on capturing thousand of moments to visual images anywhere in the world.

I hope you understand what I mean with business jargon with those examples It's hard to pick examples without embarrassing anyone, but the main point is that business jargon is saying easy things in really complex ways. If you want to check some examples there are many companies creating services or products in b2b sector that have some level of business jargon visible in their website.

I honestly don't understand it. Why couldn't things be said as those are. The same happens often in b2c business also. Take the mobile world as an example. Everybody is talking about, that there will LTE or 4G in this and that device. What they should say, there's going to be 10 times faster network speed on those devices. For normal people LTE doesn't mean anything.

Companies are often quite bad with communication. I believe one problem is the center of universe effect I blogged few weeks ago. They think that they need to tell every little detail on themselves, rather than focusing on getting the basic message through. Another thing is, that people in an industry get so familiar with their terminology they believe that everyone knows the terminology. That problem is part of business jargon effect. People are using terms that other people don't understand.

I've been doing lot of communication material in my new job at Product Manager at Contribyte. That's the reason communication issues have been in my mind lately. In few weeks we going to release some of the material to public. It will fun to hear and see how well I've managed to tackle the center of universe and business jargon effects. Maybe I have walked to the exact traps I'm saying everyone else does. Maybe that's too common to avoid. I at least know that those effects exists. Let's soon see what people think about those.

Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Mar 13, 2012

Book Review - Triathletes Training Bible

For a change I read something totally different than the business related books I've read lately. I'm in a transformation process from team sports and games towards endurance sports. So I wanted to go to the master source of endurance training, so I picked up Triathlete's Training Bible by Joe Friel. I found so many good recommendations on it, I had to give it a try. And I didn't regret a minute.

Book is about training for triathlon. But it's not only about triathlon as such. It gives so much good basic knowledge about endurance training, nutrition and training planning, that it's an excellent book for anyone. I honestly learned more about endurance training from this book, than I've learned from any other sources counted together.

Big part of the book is creating a training diary. This part is quite specifically for triathlon and duathlon, but you can learn the basics of creating a training plan for any other sports. If you are triathlete or you want to become one, you have to read this book. It has something for everyone. It has tips for the most advanced guys, but also for the novices.

It's hard to say anything bad about this book. Maybe the worst thing is, that it really is like a bible; it's big and heavy. It's convenient to carry with, but there's good justifications for it's big size from pictures and tables in it. It also has lots of pages on it, but I actually felt sorry, that the book ended, not that it had too many pages.

I guess the hardest part of the book is, that it's impossible to take all the things you've learned to in action once. Managing the things presented in this book, easily takes tens of years, maybe a lifetime. It's a book I at least want to own, not borrow. I've made it full of marks on the first reading and I keep on going back and forth it all the time. It's one of the books every endurance athlete should own.
Written by +Henri Hämäläinen

Mar 5, 2012

Communication flaws - Center of a universe effect

It is really common that companies think that they are much more important than they really are. I've seen it happen almost with every company I've worked with. Companies often think, that everyone is interested on them, tries to find their secrets and their products are the most important in the world. I call this center of a universe effect.

This effect is a real problem with many companies. It can be seen in presentations, websites and basically with any communication. Companies think that their brands and products are in a center of universe and they need to tell every little detail of their doings to everyone. This is where they go wrong. Communication should be focused on basics and delivering the most important aspects, not all the minor details. The few companies, like Apple, who could be said to be in the center of the universe, they seem to still focus on telling only the most important things. Maybe that's their secret.

The same goes with secrecy. Companies tend to use millions of Euros for keeping things secret. That's so funny, since there isn't that many companies who's doings are so important, that exposing those secrets would actually make any difference to anyone. Sure many companies have something they consider competitive advantage and want to keep it secret, but most often they are really exaggerating how interesting their secrets really are.

Companies should learn that they are not in the center of a universe. Communication should start from basics and focus on the basics. Definitely there are company fanboys, that want to learn more than just ordinary people, but communication shouldn't be focusing on them, but on the basics. Even big and well known companies need to focus on telling what their product is for. Too often companies think that everyone already knows them and their products and waste time on communicating details that other end doesn't understand due to lack of basic knowledge.

Center of universe effect is related to business jargon. When these two are put together we get presentations in conferences, articles in web and printed brochures that no one really understands. I'm sure you have read or seen these ones. For example someone can speak for 30 minutes without people understanding a word. The same goes with articles, there can be 20 pages about a subject in a such a strange point of view that no one really understands anything. This would be fine if those would be meant for specific audience, but in many cases those are for potential customers. And if potential customers don't understand what you are saying, you are in trouble.

Anyone who is related to communication or sales inside a company know what I'm talking about. It's so easy to slip on the other side of line, to believe that others know every piece of you. Just remember, you are not the center of the universe.
Written by +Henri Hämäläinen