Silicon Valley State of Mind, a blog by John Weathington, "The Science of Success"
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    Welcome to a Silicon Valley State of Mind, thoughts tips and advice based on the consulting work of John Weathington, "Silicon Valley's Top Information Strategist."

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Silicon Valley State of Mind

Tips, thoughts, and advice based on the consulting work of John Weathington, "The Science of Success."

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Posted by on in Operational Excellence

A few days ago I completed an experiment to see if it was safe to shower with my iPhone; here’s an update. Anxious to start my new morning routine in stereo, I jumped in the shower, cranked up the Wall Street Journal, and started about my business. In very short order, I realized there was a slight glitch in the production rollout of this process, and I needed a hot-fix. I found myself in a situation similar to my blog rollout, only a little less serious.

Everything I tested worked fine so no worries on the condition of the phone; however, I didn’t test for sound quality. The sound played fine through the iPhone, it just wasn’t loud enough to overcome the noise of the shower. In retrospect, even if I had tagged this as a CTQ (critical to quality—it’s a Six Sigma term), there’s no reasonable way I could have tested for this. So, I had to make an in-flight adjustment (aka hot-fix, and based on the temperature of the shower, this was literally a hot-fix).

I quickly searched Amazon for a bluetooth shower speaker, and I came up with the Hipe Waterproof Bluetooth Stereo Shower Speaker. With a product name like this how could I go wrong?!

I was right, problem solved. This thing is awesome. I’ve already tried it a few times, and this speaker cranks, much louder than I need for the shower.

When I posted the news of my original experiment, Olaf, a good friend of mine from grade school suggested that I post a picture from the shower to see what the quality’s like, so this one’s for Olaf! This is the Hipe hanging on the wall, a few seconds after I finished my shower. As you can see, the water’s not really an issue for picture quality; however, the steam fogs up the lens. If I tried to take this picture during my shower, it would be a big blur. Fortunately (for everyone involved), I don’t anticipate taking many pictures while in the shower!

So, there you go: test, release, hot-fix, success! All is good.

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Posted by on in Program Management

The subscription functionality on the blog works now, so please subscribe to my blog—really!

If you click “subscribe to blog” at the Silicon Valley State of Mind blog, a small window will appear asking for your name and email. As you may expect, when you subscribe in this way, you’ll get an email delivered every time a new post is made. When I rolled out the website a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t realize this wasn’t working. I guess I should have tested it, but it slipped my mind. So yesterday, my colleague Dave Gardner who runs the popular Business Execution Insights blog sent me a note to tell me my new blog had a bug.


Although it wasn’t the best news, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, so I was working with the techies in Malaysia last night to figure out what was going on. Of course we resolved it, and it’s fixed now. Not only is this fixed, but since we were already under the hood, we tweaked a few more things that should make the site work better.

Although I’m not thrilled to fix this in production (i.e. after it has already been released to the world), I don’t have any regrets. It’s important to move when you think you’re ready—forget about set, and just go. Don’t get me wrong, there’s value in the set phase, but it’s usually not enough to justify the cost in time. Most people and organization undervalue time: as if it’s free. Time is not free at all! Time is probably the most precious resource you have because its not at your discretion to spend and it cannot be replenished.

By the way, you still need ready, don’t try to skip over that step! Planning is important, but over-planning is foolish. When you approach a project—large or small—think about your objectives and reasons first. Then, think about priorities to help you gauge your time. Finally, come up with at least one alternative or path that seems to make sense.

Then just go.

You’ll need to make adjustments, but that’s okay. Learn to anticipate these “realtime opportunities for improvement”, and build competence in adjusting quickly in the moment. Valuing time like this will pay dividends many times over. It took me less than an hour to fix the subscribe problem—if that’s the worst of my problems, I’m in good shape.

And, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

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