Down is not the only way to drill

November 1, 2017

In analyzing data for competitive intelligence, we have all heard the call to “drill down”, “go deeper”, “find more detail”. And that is the right thing to do – most of the time.

Sometimes, just do what the late Isaac Asimov suggests:

“I have always found in my work…that zeroing in tightly on a particular problem is self-defeating. Why not relax and talk about something else, and your unconscious mind – not laboring under the weight of concentrated thought – may solve the problem for you.[1]

Can that work in CI analysis? Oh yes.

Let me draw your attention to a provocative piece in a recent Business Week. There the author looked at Apple’s research labs around the world. It seems the author was sitting back, (not up close), and noted that

“many of [Apple’s Inc.’s research labs] are near companies with specialties the device giant wants to develop. Curiously, a number have lost employees to Apple since it came to town.[2]

Read it, and see how looking away from the small details created the bigger picture.

[1] Isaac Asimov, Foundation’s Edge, Doubleday, New York, 1980, p. 90.

[2]  Alex Webb, Apple’s Global Web”, Business Week, October 9, 2017, p. 23. Also listen to author Alex Webb discussing this.

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