Interesting elsewhere – 17 December 2009 to 6 January 2010

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

An Amazing Citizen Service Anecdote

I am quite impressed. No email, no social software, no e-government here: A proof that service levels does not always relate to the use of technology.

Intranets and urban sprawl: a postcard from down under « Sharon O’Dea

Here’s are some ways to prevent or fix urban sprawl on your intranet:

1. Decide what your intranet is for.
2. Get to know your audience.
3. Best before end.
4. Is this yours?
5. Remember the law of diminishing returns.
6. Help people find their way around.
7. Raze your city to the ground.

What Do You Really Sell? The Starbucks vs. Peets Story

Are Starbucks and Peets in the coffee business or the internet service provider business? Well, clearly, if it was all about the coffee, I’d have chosen Peets.

What struck me is the realization of how much peripheral services and add-ons have made products and services about much more than the products and services themselves; Starbucks and Peets don’t sell coffee. They sell an experience. And so do you.

(h/t @antlerboy)

The Elves Leave Middle Earth – Sodas Are No Longer Free

Startups go through a metamorphosis as they become larger companies. They go from organizations built to learn, discover and iterate, to predominately one that can execute adroitly having found product/market fit…
As startups scale into a company, founders and the board need to realize that the most important transitions are not about systems, buildings or hardware. It’s about the company’s most valuable asset – its employees.
Great companies do this well.
(Interesting implications even for organisations where the soda has never been free, via @marxculture)

Links » The Rational Rejection of Security Advice

This paper looks at the cost to users of implementing security advice, versus the cost of failing to do so, and concludes that the advice we give is far too expensive.
(via @spartakan)