Jennifer B. Davis
I just received a great little article by Patrick Lencioni, an author who I highly recommend. You can sign up for their newsletter here. It was about the design of office spaces and how it affects employee interaction.

"The biggest problem with traditional office space is what it suggests about the importance of individual versus collective work. By placing greater emphasis on privacy than openness and collaboration, companies unconsciously encourage people to see their work as being primarily individual. Whether we‘re talking about line employees in cubicles or senior executives in walled offices, workers are almost trained to seek out greater separation and space."

What is your favorite work environment? Private in an office, yards or time zones away from your colleagues? In an open environment for collaboration?

About a year ago I worked on a full-scale office redo and I found it very inspiring to visit some office showrooms. I loved Herman Miller, whose innovation is award-winning. They had these great "bee-hive" designed cubes with 120-degree angles (instead of the traditional square 90-degree cubes). If you are interested in this sort of thing, I'd definitely recommend you taking a field trip to a local showroom or checking out their research white papers.

Jennifer B. Davis
"Brick walls exist to prove how much you really want something. They are only barriers to those who don't want it bad enough. They are there for the OTHER people."

This is a paraphrase from a lecture from beloved professor with terminal cancer who provided his "Last Lecture" on achieving dreams which is now a website, book, and Diane Sawyer interview.

Highly recommend watching the video at the link above.
Jennifer B. Davis
"Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance." - Kurt Vonnegut
Is this true? Or are some people "starters" and others are "finishers"? Some people are idea generators that can kick-off any number of great projects, but lack the skills or perseverance to see it to the end and maintain it. Are there folks that are actually better at maintenance and continuous improvements? Is it a flaw of human character or a personality test?

Would people rather build a kit car than change the oil? Would people rather build a house than clean it? Would people rather build a server, design software, or create a company, than join something that is already a success?
Jennifer B. Davis
"We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys." - Eric Hoffer

What are you playing around with today and might actually be the next big thing for your business?

Years ago I worked for a software company and while we were developing software, one of the programmers came up with an innovative prototyping tool. We showed this tool to some other folks who loved it and over time, that tool became the best selling product of the company. Something that wasn't on the roadmap at all when the company began.

I wonder how many businesses start like this., an innovative service that brokers companies and their customers, started as a way to handle support requests for the sale of excess and obsolete marketing items from defunct internet start-ups in the early 2000's. Twitter started as a side project and has become huge.

What are your side projects, again that you are playing around with, that should be moved to the core of your effort?

Jennifer B. Davis
Volvo promises an injury-free car by 2020. Is is a marketing ploy, a safety-conscious consumer's dream, or a product liability ligitigator's windfall? Judge for yourself.
Jennifer B. Davis
Fellow blogger and old college classmate, Jennifer Jeffrey, had a great quote on her blog the other day:
"Give up all other worlds, except the one to which you belong" - David Whyte

I thought this was a beautiful and thought provoking. I am not sure what context the phrase was originally penned or to what circumstances David was referring to, but it made me think about the power of focus.

Here are few things to keep in mind when focus is a priority:

1. Horizon
What does success look like? On what should you focus? To what "world" do you "belong"?

2. Perspective
What worlds are you willing to give up to allow you to belong in one world completely? One must be aware of their surroundings, so to speak, in order to focus.

3. Discipline
Just like a photographer will wait all day for the right light or move their tripod dozens of time to capture the right angle, so focus in any task requires discipline and persistence.
Jennifer B. Davis
Simplicity is the name of the game now-a-days. The new Evite alternative called Mobaganda takes that a step further. Without having to register, you can create an invite, email it to people and track their responses via RSS feed. The design is ugly (my personal opinion, I am sure), but the concept is cool. It is build on the Google Application Engine, in case you care about those kind of things.

I learned about it several weeks about on Twitter (@stirman is the person behind the launch). To keep tabs on cool things like this you can follow me at
Jennifer B. Davis
There is a funny quote on the top of the Viximo site..."Blog: because you're not a real startup unless you're filling the internet with more crap." This tongue-in-cheek quote reminded me to remind you about my other blog over at There you can keep tabs on the software development (in semi-stealth mode) of Remarkable Tributes and more. Check it out!

P.S. I don't know what Viximo does (something about designers creating "virtual gifts" over social networks) and I might not be able to endorse them at all, but I did enjoy their contact us page (the best I have ever seen) which provides actual directions for your carrier pigeon to make a delivery and instructions on how to send a smoke signal (in HEX, no less).
Jennifer B. Davis
I have been missing web seminars left and right recently. I generally love to attend a few each month (usually tuning in while multi-tasking on other things), but have had to miss some good ones recently. They generally send me one of those "we are sorry you are a loser" emails to allow me to tune into a recording of the call. So, in an effort to redeem myself, I thought I would send along links to some of the recent ones I have missed (and some I attended) to help them spread the word and possibly to contribute to the personal and professional development of my loyal readers.

Topic: Web Marketing for Small Businesses
Description: Based on Stephanie Diamond's new book by the same title. See
Audio Recording Link: (note this is an MP3 recording that you will need to download and save onto your computer to listen)
Note: Elizabeth Marshall hosts which is a great resource for these type of "virtual book tour" events.

Topic: Rules for Renegades Series
Description: A call with Alex Mandossian hosted by Christine Comaford-Lynch, author of Rules for Renegades and CEO of Mighty Ventures.
Audio Recording Link: (note this is an MP3 recording that you will need to download and save onto your computer to listen)
Note: In anticiation of her upcoming Rules for Renegades Summit, Christine is doing a series of these calls that might be of interest to you.

Topic: Storytelling and Strategy: Accelerating the Success of Your Organization
Description: Mickey Connolly from Conversant (author of Communication Catalyst) talks about collaboration and storytelling.
Recording Link: (registration required)
Note: They also provided a few white papers which might of interest. One is the Ten Laws of Collaboration and the next is The Five Sense Solution.

Topic: Meatball Sundae
Description: Seth Godin talks about his new book
Recording Link: Here is another link from Corvent to similar content:
Note: Seth's presentation is interesting as there is nearly no words in the PowerPoint. Only pictures, some of which are fantastic!

Below is a list of upcoming free Web Seminar events that you can sign up for yourself:

American Marketing Association - Upcoming Events:

ReadyTalk Web Seminar Series RSS Feed of Upcoming Events: They also have a podcast feed, if you'd rather.
Jennifer B. Davis
Perhaps it is because I am thinking about all things entrepreneurial or because I am grateful to be back in my old stomping grounds, but I have been thinking recently about featuring some of my favorite local service providers on this site. Here is a list of some of my Portland, Oregon area favs.

Insomnia Coffee: A group of moms get together here each 1st and 3rd Thursday nights at 8 PM for fun and support. The coffee and ambiance is fun any time! They feature live music on weekend nights and are super family friendly. They are at SE 53rd and Baseline in Hillsboro.

Fresh Thyme Soup Company: Chef Randy makes up batches of made-from-scratch soups each day. Fantastic flavors! They are a great lunch place and even have take-out options if you want to pretend you made it yourself for dinner.

Extreme Pizza: My former colleague (ex-colleague?) Alan and his wife just started up an Extreme Pizza shop on Cornell and 188th in Beaverton/Hillsboro a few weeks ago. We tried it out the other night and found the toppings piled high and the cheese light (think: non greasy pizza). It was delish! They deliver as well.

Tres Bon Salon: I have seen several hair stylists at this salon in the Bethany area of Beaverton/NW Portland and can say that all of them are great. I am currently going to Carla, aka "cowlick tamer," who is fun and a really fantastic stylist.

For the Health of It Massage Therapy: Ok, this last one I might not even want to mention. Monica is the best kept secret of all. If you want a "fluffy" relaxing, put-you-to-sleep massage, keep on shopping. But if you are looking for a serious kink wrangling, Monica is the one. Another ex-colleague of mine, she has found her true calling. If you want to get in touch with her, let me know.