Widget Weirdness

My Delicious widget (over there —->) is acting strangely. In Firefox it has not updated to reflect my current delicious bookmarks in a couple of weeks, but in Safari I get a couple of the newer bookmarks but not all of them.

This is one aspect of widgets that troubles me, there is little in the way of administrative interface that helps you figure out what is going on when something doesn’t work right.

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Open the Spigit

"spigit is a platform that provides professionals the ability to showcase new ideas and innovations and in the process build their professional network. Companies and Entrepreneurs can obtain feedback-contributions-ratings from employees, partners and customers. Through our proprietary simulation they can build and refine an idea, find the right resources to contribute, create buzz, and calculate a multitude of targeted metrics to provide insight into viability and simulate the likelihood of success."

Spigit is an interesting concept, crowdsourcing meets market simulator. I haven’t spent a lot of time on the site, it’s been on my to-do list and I like what I saw in my first pass through it.

New ideas are defined and validated, once those two steps are successfully completed the idea moves into the virtual stock market where idea shares are traded. Pretty straightforward, more so than Cambrian House but like that site it also relies a little too heavily on site specific vocabulary.

In general I really like these projects because they encourage sharing of ideas and that leads to development of ideas. Successful entrepreneurs generally agree that innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum and every successful company is the result of a series of evolutions brought on through interactions with the marketplace. Spigit offers entrepreneurs a place to test run their ideas with little cost and low risk.

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Mattel’s CEO Should Think Before Answering

I watched an interview with Mattel CEO Bob Eckert about the massive toy recall(s) they have been undertaking as of late.

Interviewer: Mr. Eckert, should consumers feel confident about the safety of Mattel toys?

Eckert: Yes they should, we have the highest quality standards in the industry…”

My first thought was “if you have the highest quality standards in the industry why are you recalling 9 million toys because of lead paint?”. My second thought was that if they really do have the highest quality standards in the industry, it’s not saying much about the industry as a whole.

This is a great example of a CEO talking in powerpoint bullets instead of answering a question with a thoughtful and reasoned answer. Eckert is not believable and as a result he further damages his brand; do you think he actually believes what he is saying? The first rule for doing interviews should be to count to two before answering any question, taking that time to actually think about your answer.

As a side note to this story, my wife runs a company that manufactures good in China for major retail brands such as Nike and Disney. I asked her about this story and she explained how companies often just source out contract manufacturing in China sight unseen, focusing only on price and delivery schedules. Her clients actually send their QA teams to her factories, and also test samples from every container she ships into the U.S. This Mattel story isn’t about quality standards, it’s about not having them for manufacturing assets they don’t control.

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