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Fri 10 Jun 2005

"He who's not busy being born, is busy dying"

Category : Commentary/busybeingborn.txt

"He who's not busy being born, is busy dying". That's Bob Dylan, and I wrote about this sometime back in connection with a book I was reading then, "The Creative Economy - How People Make Money from Ideas" by John Howkins.

I picked up Andy Grove's book, "Only the Paranoid Survive" from my book shelf, turned to the back cover and, whaddaya know, there's a blurb from Steve Jobs. (This book came out, let me see, in 1996.)

"This book is about one super-important concept. You must learn about Strategic Inflection Points, because sooner or later you are going to live through one." - Steve Jobs, CEO, Pixar Animation Studios.

So, what is this Strategic Inflection Point of which he speaks? From the jacket notes :

"Grove's contribution to business thinking concerns a new way of measuring the nightmare moment every leader dreads - the moment when massive change occurs and all bets are off (italics added). The success you had the day before is gone, destroyed by unforeseen changes that hit like a stage-six rapid. Grove calls such moments Strategic Inflection Points, and he has lived through several. When SIPs hit, all rules of business shift fast, furiously, and forever. SIPs can be set off by anything: mega-competition, an arcane change in regulations, or a seemingly modest change in technology.

"Yet in a watchful leader's hand, SIPs can be an ace. Managed right, a company can turn a SIP into a positive force to win in the marketplace and emerge stronger than ever."

Apple is heading into one such tornado. And Steve Jobs looks like he's prepared.

Posted at 4:05AM UTC | permalink


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