The Strategic Diamonds of Firms – Kaizen and Innovation

The Strategic Diamonds of Firms - Kaizen and

Nowadays firms can choose from several types of strategies, according to the vision of its managers and leaders, and according to the market in which the organization operates. However, in this article we distinguish two large Strategic Diamonds: Kaizen and Innovation.

Kaizen or Continuous Improvement, is a Japanese term well known and applied by many companies. This is part of Operational Excellence, whose main aim is focused in reduce operating costs, improve processes and working within a permanent culture of improvement. The fist Strategic Diamond we can understand with The Shingo Prize, a standard model for ”create excellence in organizations through the application of universally accepted principles of operational excellence, alignment of management systems and the wise application of improvement techniques”.

The Shingo Model has two elements: the house and the Diamond. The house details the principles of operational excellence and the power of balancing efforts across all the dimensions, while the Diamond represents thetransformation process for embedding the principles of operational excellence into the organizational culture. Leer más “The Strategic Diamonds of Firms – Kaizen and Innovation”


This Industry Is Full of Crap :: Freelance WordPress Developer Amber Weinberg

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Forgive me for my harsh tone of voice today, I’ve had a rough week dealing with a stupid site with stupid code (my own). My mood became worse when I read my Twitter feed at the end of the day – to realize that our industry is simple, and utterly full of crap.
I fully realize that by calling it out and complaining about it, I’m most likely adding to the issue at hand, but I can’t stand it anymore – I must say something. I’ve been making websites since I was 13, which (I’m sad to say) was 13 years ago. I’ve been in “the industry” for 6 years now. I’ve met some fantastic people, while also coming across some people that are meaner than the popular kids in middle school.

First off, I’m tired of people coming out and say “OMG YOU MUST DO THIS!1!1!!11!”. I’m been in the industry long enough to know, that there’s nothing in the web world that you must do, in terms of coding or design techniques. Technically, you could still eek out a living building static sites in tables. Yep, that still happens.
Just because a developer doesn’t want to use that fancy framework or new gidjit, doesn’t make them stupid, or less of an “expert” as you are. I’ve actually been called stupid because I refuse to use LESS or SASS. I’ll be the first to tell you right now – even if the practice of using preprocessors does stick around for the long run, I doubt you’ll even run into clients who won’t hire you because you don’t use it. Or at least, I don’t want to work with clients who insist on using buzzword technologies when having no clue what they’re for or do (I once had a client who insisted on using responsive design, and when they saw the site “moved” around, were upset it didn’t match the full version PSD exactly).
It’s important that you constantly improve yourself and what you do. It’s not important what everyone else says you should be doing. Same goes for responsive vs set pixels, pixels versus ems, browser versus Photoshop and multiple versus singles H1s. Find what works for you and what YOU feel is the correct way of doing things and just do it.

I love the fact that as a freelancer, I can choose who ever I want to work with – both in terms of clients and other freelancers. I’m no longer stuck with a coworker I hate. I’ve worked with so many freelancers that it’s easy for me to see just how different we all do things and run our business.
I will say that the number one complaint new clients have when they come to me is that the freelancer never delivered on-time. I’m not just talking about pure product deadlines but also about actual timely conversation.
Pure and simple: if you’re going to run a business, act like a business. If you promise to stay up every single night and work 24/7 until you finish that project, then by god, you better do it.
And dont’ disappear from a project for days and weeks on end. While I try to only answer and empty my inbox once a day, I do do it at least once a day and do my best to send an answer back to everyone within 24-48 hours, even if I don’t have any new news for them. At least they’ll know I’m not out partying or sitting at my desk twiddling my thumbs. They know I’m still on it.

Perhaps my overarching issue today is the issue with people. We’re an industry of spoiled people. We get to sit at our desks everyday doing something really cool. We don’t have to stand all day, work in the sun or break our backs with manual labor. We get to do something that regular people can’t understand so we’re think we’re cool. We’re not.
I’m tired of hearing from all the fellow females in our industry about the disgusting hate mail they get. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard any of my male colleagues tell me they get hate mail that tells them they’re stupid bitches and their work sucks and they hope this email makes them cry. Nor have they told me that they get emails telling them how pretty and sexy they are. Let’s stop that. Edit: This paragraph was apparently unclear to a few – I’m tired of hearing that this is happening in our industry because I think it’s disgraceful that people send them – I’m not hating on the people who receive these emails and talk about them at all….
Let’s also stop whining, ok? Every time a company does something that we don’t like, we run around crying. This world (mostly) runs on a free market, and if you don’t like Apple’s policies, or Googles TOS or Adobe’s attitude, etc, etc, don’t buy from them. There are always alternatives and you need to weigh the pros and cons of what’s more important: the product you need, or being able to smugly say you stuck it to the company. Let me tell you something: they don’t care.
Twitter doesn’t care, Facebook doesn’t care – none of these guys care. They have enough people who are happy enough to use their services. Move on. Find something else more important to whine about – like stupid Firefox being the ONLY browser to not render properly *glare*.
Every week there’s something totally unimportant that people have to whine about like it’s the end of the world. Also, please stop passing judgement and calling someone who does things different from you “stupid” or “wrong”.

About the author
Amber Weinberg specializes in clean and semantic XHTML, CSS and WordPress development. She has over 10 years of coding experience and is pretty cool to work with. Amber is available for freelance work, so why not hire her for your next project?

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Real Talk: Why Money Matters To Women

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You guys may have seen our AskWomen video series, where we got some real women to have some drinks and answer your questions about whether a guy can ever get out of the friend zone, whether size matters and whether body hair is a deal breaker. Well, here’s a single girl’s opinion on more of your questions. Readers have been kept anonymous.


Q: I recently went on a date with a young woman who said she doesn’t date men her age because they “don’t have a lot to offer.” I took this as a very shallow and materialistic response. Because of today’s economy, has it become increasingly OK for a person to put more emphasis on what a partner has to offer monetarily and be able to do so without being considered materialistic? Or is love still enough for some women?


A: According to the Universal Order of Women handbook (in some sects, it’s Womyn), I really shouldn’t be telling you this, but we’re friends, right? We are? OK. Come closer. Closer. Here it is: All women are not the same.

We don’t look the same, we don’t dress the same, and we certainly don’t all want the same things. All we universally have in common is a vagina (and sometimes not even that). That being said, I’ll try to answer your question the best I can, both from my perspective and from an overall one.


Some women have chosen to follow a traditional path in life, which means settling down with a man who can support them, bearing and raising children, and taking care of the home and family. I don’t judge them for that, because I believe feminism is about choices, not limitations. But I definitely can’t speak for those ladies, let alone quantify their financial needs. (I suppose you could break it down to the lifetime cost of a child, multiplied by how many children she wants, and add a geographically average mortgage and living expenses to it, but that seems a bit intense). So if you want this kind of lady, then I really can’t help you as I have no idea what on earth they want.


But if you’re looking to land a more career-oriented woman, or even a creatively ambitious one, the stakes are a bit different. I won’t say money is completely off the table as a consideration, because if a woman works hard to support herself she probably doesn’t want to spend all her money supporting a man with no means. But even that is not always the case. Here’s the thing: A goal-oriented woman (whatever those goals may be, from climbing the corporate ladder to being a successful artist to building an entrepreneurial empire) usually wants a goal-oriented man.


A man’s bank account matters a lot less to me than his ambition and drive. Recently a very attractive retail employee was interested in me, and I told my friends I didn’t want to date him. Here’s why: It isn’t because he folds shirts all day (OK, maybe a tiny bit); it’s because beyond that job, I didn’t see any indication that he wanted any more out of life.


He wasn’t a writer pursuing his dream of penning the great American novel, or a business-savvy web designer trying to get his own company off the ground, or a musician struggling to make it (although dating band dudes is a whole ‘nother enchilada of no thanks), all while making ends meet with this job. This job in and of itself (or any comparable job) is all he seems to want out of life. I want more, much more, and so I can’t see myself with someone who doesn’t. Which means whether he was a shop keep or a decently salaried office drone or a high-paid miserable accountant, I wouldn’t want to be with him.


So, anonymous reader, what your date may have meant when she said younger men “don’t have a lot to offer” is that perhaps they’re not as driven and ambitious as older men who are more set on their paths and hungry to be better at their chosen “thing.” But poor thing is wrong, because there are plenty of older dudes who are also captains of the S.S. No Aspirations, and, believe me, it’s not their maiden voyage.


Age isn’t a factor here, and neither is materialism. It’s more intangible than that: It’s a shared future. At least that’s my take on it. Your date also might have just been a trife bitch, in which case, I can’t really speak to her state of mind because I’m way cooler and would totally love to go to Chili’s with you (which is where I imagine you took her, as they have excellent meal deals).


Choose more wisely, and you’ll find a girl who has the same end game as you: happiness. Or as my homegirl J.Lo put it, “Love don’t cost a thing.” She also said that, to her, staying real is like breathing, but I don’t really know what that means, so let’s just end this here.


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Change aversion: why users hate what you launched (and what to do about it)

Photo by Dirk Gently

Aaron Sedley
UX Researcher, Google
Apr 24, 2012

Change is good. When a product becomes more fun or makes us more efficient, we embrace change. Technology startups often lead the way, rapidly iterating in an ongoing effort to create better experiences for their users.

But dealing with change can be difficult. We’ve all experienced it. For example, moving to a new city or changing jobs might be positive in the long term, but can be formidable in the short term. When products change and advanced users suddenly become novices, you should expect anxiety to result.

What is change aversion?

Change aversion is the negative short-term reaction to changes in a product or service. It’s entirely natural, but it can be avoided — or at least mitigated. I’ll share what we’ve learned and offer some principles for minimizing the negative consequences of change aversion.

Stakes are higher than ever to launch changes in a way that minimizes anxiety and discomfort. Users of technology products (especially online) often face sudden changes they can’t control. When these changes generate strong reactions, people often turn to social media to vent — amplifying individual voices into a torrent of angry petitioners, digital torches in hand, demanding a return to the familiar, older, “better” product.

As a startup, you may not (yet) have a large user base to upset when you change your product. Early on, changes are expected and the risks of alienating users are often outweighed by the benefits of a better product experience for users. But keep in mind that at some point the balance may shift, and people who are happily using your product will react negatively to changes — unless you’ve planned ahead to minimize their change aversion.

Here are the broad categories of software product changes:

  • Infrastructure changes: improvements to speed, reliability, and scalability of existing functions
  • Functional changes: adding or modifying product features
  • Interface changes: visual redesigns, interaction changes, information re-architecture

Of these, interface changes are the real hornet’s nest, where upsetting users’ established habits and expectations can have dire consequences.

How to avoid (or mitigate) change aversion

A savvy change-management strategy can cut down on negative reactions, focus users on benefits, and make the change more successful. While we’re still learning with every launch, some principles are emerging to mitigate change aversion:

1. Warn users about major changes. Unexpected changes catch people off-guard and can provoke a defensive response. A simple message can set users’ expectations, for example: “Soon we’ll be introducing a redesigned site with new features to improve your experience. Stay tuned!”

2. Clearly communicate the nature and value of the changes. An explicit description can help users to appreciate the changes from your perspective. For example: “We’ve redesigned our site. It’s now cleaner to save you time. Here’s how it’ll help you…”. With framing like that, users will be less prone to change aversion, such as: “Ugh, it looks totally different. I don’t know why they did this, and I wish they hadn’t messed with it.”

3. Let users toggle between old and new versions. Giving users control over the timing of the change can cut down on feelings of helplessness. Allow them to play in the new sandbox before removing the old one.

4. Provide transition instructions and support. If a city changes its street layout, residents need a map of the new streets and a way to direct lost people to their destinations. The same principle applies for your product’s alterations.

5. Offer users a dedicated feedback channel. Without a way to connect with those responsible for the changes, users will vent publicly and further entrench their negativity. Users will respect you more if you actively solicit their opinions.

6. Tell users how you’re addressing key issues they’ve raised. This completes the feedback loop and assures users that their feedback is critical to prioritizing improvements. Try a simple message like: “We’ve been listening to your feedback about the changes we’ve made. Based on your comments, here’s what we’re doing…” Leer más “Change aversion: why users hate what you launched (and what to do about it)”

The HackStore, la tienda libre de aplicaciones para Mac

“El principal problema con el Mac Appstore es que ellos limitan a los usuarios en todo, sin darles la oportunidad de expandir esos limites.

Esto no es correcto, porque son los usuarios quienes deben decidir que aplicaciones deciden instalar en sus sistemas, y cuales no”


– Este es el manifesto con el cual The HackStore se abre al mundo, con un look’n feel muy similar a la tienda de aplicaciones de Mac, pero repleto de aplicaciones que nunca pasarán los filtros tradicionales de Apple. Algo así como un Cydia, pero para Mac OS X.

Descubriendo el arte ASCII oculto en la Web

Es bien sabido que muchos desarrolladores ocultan arte ASCII como comentarios en el código de sus programas/sitios Web.

Resulta que un programador “curioso” se propuso detectar el código ASCII oculto en un gran pedazo de la Web (la lista one millon top de Alexa) y descubrió una cantidad asombrosa de increíbles obras digitales.

Pueden verlas todas en su blog, además de conocer como desarrolló el script que le permitió detectar el arte oculto de forma sencilla.



Aquí tienen las nuevas gráficas de Sony. Me gustan. Son simples, divertidas y encima, asociándose a grandes estrellas de la música. Han sido realizadas por la agencia Welcomm Publicis Worldwide.

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