better, study of - Pete Carapetyan's personal blog

Ribbon Farm: Business Logic Clarity

25 Sep 2010
Posted by Pete Carapetyan

Information is stupid when it is not actionable, and that counts double when there's just too much of it.

This blog on addresses that issue. 7 simple tests to keep your enterprise steering in the right direction.

Take for example an entrepreneur like myself who has proved that he can't rely on instincts. I am compelled to read business books frequently to keep myself focused on any kind of reasonable plan of attack. The solution then becomes the problem. Excellent insights are always gained. But how to convert them into a simple enough approach that I can go about my daily work without getting bogged down?

RibbonFarm to the Rescue:

Venkat Rao writes RibbonFarm, a blog that is often famous because of Venkat's courage to see simplicity where others only see details. I enjoy following it because he brings out ideas and holds them up in his hand for all to see, then spins them around for inspection, making unique observations. The trails of comments that the thousands of readers leave can be just as insightful as the articles themselves. But enough about Venkat.

In his latest work, Venkat aggregates the thought processes behind prominent thinkers from Drucker to Andreessen within a nice visual, almost kinesthetic 7 position switch. It's really just an infographic, but it affords the viewer an instant look at where his enterprise is doomed to eventual failure or mediocrity, because if any of the 7 switches is off, the enterprise is going to run out of steam.

The allure of simplicity is like heroin for those such as myself who can't even remember which of the many things we are supposed to focus on that day. What should really get our attention? Very helpful.

Is this another form of Tea-Party-like over-simplification?

Maybe you're thinking "Yeah Pete, that sounds like a bunch of Tea-Party-like over-simplification." Selected chess moves become a religion, then every action is compared against a limited set of chess moves to see if it is "right" or not. Smart becomes stupid by just applying the overly simple rule set in complex situations where it doesn't fit. Cognitive dissonance at it's finest.

That is the brilliance of Venkat's aggregation. He doesn't prescribe rules - he offers 7 tests. If your management actions end up passing each of these 7 tests, success may be within range. That's not prescriptive, it's simply a test. The rules, the action sets - all that is yours to worry about, all Venkat proposes is the simple test of their effectiveness, to take at the end of the day.

If one or more of the 7 tests fails, you probably know what area to work on the next day. What better information to have than that?


Even at his best, Venkat can be wordy, but this is an article you can just skim and still get the gist of it. You won't want to, because the detail is pretty exciting. But the infographic at the beginning really does the trick, so that might be all you need.

If you visit this article, please leave comments, because hell raising is important in this genre. So many loud voices, so few original thoughts. These are ideas that deserve to be bounced around and kept alive.