Execute or Die
Ian Lurie Jul 15 2010
This is a rant. Anyone reading this, understand that you’re not the target. No specific person has done any one thing that made me crazy. I was born that way.
But for the sake of future generations, corporate America, get it through your goddamned thick heads that talking, planning and philosophizing is 100% worthless if you don’t do stuff, and do it right.
Execute. Or die.
It seems like I can’t sneeze without infecting some slack-jawed ‘leader’ who just steepled his fingers and said “I’ll take that under advisement” or “Let’s put that on the list for Q4”.
Oh, helpless turd, why do you behave this way? I know: You have a salary. You have a board of directors who spend board meetings checking their Blackberrys. You’ve got your pet vendors and pet consultants who buy you nice lunches. And no one’s gonna fire you as long as you don’t screw up.
So you sit there.
Like a turd.
I hate you. You’re committing a crime.
Your company could be doing 20% better. 30% better. It could be creating new stuff. Instead, you rehash the same crap, hoping marketing can shine things up a bit.
Companies abroad quietly eat your lunch. Mazda creates the 6s while GM is still trying to tell me a Buick Skylark is sporty. The movie industry tries to tell me that the 4th remake of The Hulk will be better.
Small companies start up and eat your dinner. I can use Microsoft Project, which requires a separate project management team just to install it. Or I can use Basecamp, which sets up in 30 seconds and can handle all but the most complicated projects.
Figure it out. Execute or die.
Oh, and by the way…
You’re about to say “Shut up, Ian. You can’t do any better.”
Maybe not. But I’m not pulling down a ten-figure combination of salaries plus bonuses, either. I am not trying to tell anyone I have a magical solution, or that I’m capable of leading some major corporation. I’m just a guy.
Which means: If I’m noticing your ascension to turdhood, so is everyone else.
Execute or die
You’re bitching about the last two presidents, complaining about foreign competition, saying your employees don’t work hard enough. The government doesn’t protect you. Your staff don’t care. The other folks cheat. Your company is ‘complicated’ or has ‘fiefdoms’ that you don’t want to mess with.
This is your fault. No one’s buying your stuff because you don’t make anything worth buying. The fiefdoms are there because you allow it.
Look at the really successful companies. Big companies that make lots of money and really cool products and stay popular with their customers. Look at your little pile of poo. Then figure out the difference:
OK, I’m done.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More