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Articles

CRITICAL THINKING FOR BUSINESS

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Introduction

The formalized process for directing problem solving is core to the academic process. Can business decisions be improved with a more disciplined approach to evaluating new information?

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WAS JOHN BOYD THE INSPIRATION FOR TOP GUN’S ‘MAVERICK’?

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Colonel John Boyd’s exploits are legendary. As an Air Force Fighter Weapons School instructor, he issued a standing challenge that he could beat any pilot in a simulated air combat fight in less than 40 seconds or less. Expert pilots from around the services challenged him for the chance to win $40 (equivalent to $250 today) but he never lost the bet. 1

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CONFUSION AT A HIGHER LEVEL- COL. JOHN BOYD Q&A VIDEO

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Introduction

I am pleased to sponsor the restoration of Colonel John Boyd’s presentation at Air University. It is one of the few known surviving videos of his briefings.

The video covers a range of topics from his experiences on the FX/F-15 program, the importance of cross functional teams, and the Toyota Production System. It is worth watching the video just to hear his account of Shigeo Shingo and Taiichi Ohno.

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LEAN STARTUP 2013- PUBLIC INTEREST GROWS 350% IN THE LAST 18 MONTHS, WHERE TO NEXT?

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Public interest in the Lean Startup management discipline has grown 350% in the last 18 months. Major media outlets such as Forbes, CNN, and Time have featured stories on the movement and its leader, Eric Ries. Lean Startup concepts such as Pivot and MVP are beginning to penetrate mainstream business usage. The rapid growth of interest and media exposure has evoked a question: is Lean Startup an emerging management discipline, or a passing business fad?

The Gartner Hype Cycle, while primarily used to assess new technology adoption, can also be used to evaluate IT methodologies and management disciplines. 1

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CONSTRAINTS AND CREATIVITY AT GOOGLE

product development

Marissa Mayer discusses the counterintutive notion that the existence of constraints improves the creative process.

A lot of times it’s when you say, “Okay, Google Desktop Search. We want it to run on 90 percent of computers, so, you know, it can’t have a memory footprint larger than 8 megs, and it can’t take more than this amount of disk, and what can we do with that? How will the files need to be stored, and what kind of data will we be able to search, and what features can we rule out?”

That’s when you see a lot of really interesting innovation happen, is when you actually pen in the constraints.

LISTEN, KID…GO BACK TO WATERFALL AND YOU WILL BE FINE

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This is a great clip from Eric Ries’ DC Lean Startup visit in August 2012.

He describes the difficulties that you face when speaking against the dominant paradigm.

I was really surprised to learn that his opinions on development practices actually caused IMVU to fail their technical due dillegence in a funding round. It gives a whole new context to the origins of the Lessons Learned Blog and the Lean Startup movement.