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16 April 1999

"History is a set of lies agreed upon."
-- Napoleon Bonaparte

NPR reminded me this morning that oh, yeah, we're also still bombing Iraq. I practically forgot all about it...

The Parable of the Boiled Frog (recounted in the first link below) has always resonated with me as a particularly apt metaphor for my work situation. Turns out it may not be strictly true:

  • Next Time, What Say We Boil a Consultant [Fast Company]
    Professor Doug Melton, Harvard University Biology Department, says, "If you put a frog in boiling water, it won't jump out. It will die. If you put it in cold water, it will jump before it gets hot - they don't sit still for you."

Even so, I agree with this writer:

  • November 1998 mailing list archive [Learning-org]
    Scott Simmerman writes:
    Maybe it isn't true, but it is a good metaphor. After all, Deming said: "All models are wrong, some models are useful."

Oo, here's a nice set of organizational caveats, one of which is the frog parable:

  • Self Limiting Learning Disabilities [The CEO Refresher]
    The way organizations are designed and structured, the ways jobs are defined, and the way we have been taught to behave and think in organizations create fundamental learning disabilities.

    Individuals within organizations are fixated on short term events, and the explanations that go along with them. The explanations may be true, but they distract us from seeing the longer term patterns of change that underlie the events, and from examining the causes of those patterns.

    "When was the last time someone was rewarded in your organization for raising difficult questions about the company's current policies rather than solving urgent problems?"

Noted by several sites: The most extreme face of Apple loyalty, the EvangeList, is shutting down, having done its job. Since the company's doing fine now (6 straight quarters of profit, beating analysts' estimates each time), having a zealous attack dog defend it is probably counter-productive anyway.

In the latest quarter, they made $135 million, up from $55 million a year ago.

  • Apple Quarterly Financial Results - April 1999 [MacInTouch]
    Apple sold 827,000 computers in the quarter, including 350,000 iMacs and nearly 400,000 Power Mac G3s.
  • Apple market share is up significantly [MacCentral]
    According to PC Data, Apple's share of retail and mail order sales for the first two months of the fiscal 1999 second quarter that ended March 27 was 11.3%, double a year ago. ZD Storeboard says the company's market share in February was 12.5%, the highest since the time the iMac was introduced. In Japan, market share is 18.4%, up from 7.4%.

Looking forward to the new portables coming this year...

That's all the time I have. I'm still swamped at work, but I'm finally taking real steps to stop being swamped (hopefully with the side-effect that I'll have more time to write). More on this next week.

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