Monday, October 31, 2011

7 Billion Day today

The United Nations Population Fund designated October 31, 2011 as the day on which world population will reach a population of 7 billion people.

The world had already reached the population of 6 billion on October 12, 1999 and a population of 5 billion twelve years before that on July 11,1987.

The day has been officially designated The Day of Seven Billion. United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon has been planned to speak at the United Nations building in New York City on the population size and the issues that it will raise, along with promoting the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)'s new program named 7 Billion Actions, which will seek to: "Build global awareness around the opportunities and challenges associated with a world of seven billion people".

Learn more at

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

popchips - a little fun back in snacking

I really enjoyed this brand of chips on a flight last weekend.

It was new to me, and surprisingly, I liked it.

 Good copy, too:  "we don't fry it (unhealthy). we don't bake it (undelicious). we take the finest all-natural ingredients, add a little heat and pressure, and pop! it's a chip. the only thing added is a flavorful blend of seasonings for a snack so delicious and crispy, you won't even notice it's (we hesitate to say) healthier."

I plan to pick up a bag at the store.

Monday, October 24, 2011

5 techniques to beat the "Shiny Object" Syndrome

"Variety is the spice of life. But if you – like me – view the world as an exciting buffet of opportunities to learn, try and create new things, you know that variety can be dangerous," writes Jack Canfield in his latest success newsletter.

Rather than seeing things through to completion, you abandon the goals and projects you’ve already started to chase after whatever new thing has just caught your eye.

Jack calls this “shiny object” syndrome, and it has derailed the success of many people who could be very successful – if they only could maintain their focus long enough to complete a goal.

If you often abandon commitments in favor of new interests and projects, Jack offers 5 techniques he's found helpful in evaluating new opportunities.
  1. Postpone Your Decision
  2. Use Review Board
  3. Inner Board of Advisors
  4. Forced Choice Technique
  5. Muscle Testing

Read the full article for details on these 5 tips to ensure that any new opportunities you choose to pursue will support, rather than detract, from your existing commitments. Click to

As Jack sums it up, "By resisting the adrenaline rush that comes from starting something new, you’ll find it easier to complete more of what you start – delivering a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to beat."

Sunday, October 23, 2011

50K Frenzy start/finish line crew

I sure had a good time with my fellow team members at the start/finish line of the inaugural Foothills 50K Frenzy in Boise yesterday. 

Rich and Wayne were on their game.  (I think they trained better than I did.)

Thanks to Michael Lebowitz of Long Run Picture Company for being on the course and at the finish taking great photos.

Friday, October 21, 2011

1st running of the Foothills 50K Frenzy in Boise

Tomorrow is the day!

The inaugural Foothills 50K Frenzy in Boise, ID.

This race is the first “official” 50k in the Boise foothills. It will feature running on one of the best trail networks in the West.

The goals for this race are to:
  • Showcase the tremendous natural resources of the Boise foothills
  • Give area ultrarunners a close-to-home venue for a trail ultra
  • Educate current and potential trail users on proper trail etiquette
  • Set an example for a quality ultra trail race in the Boise area
A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Ridge to Rivers Trail System.

Congratulations to Jenny for organizing such a terrific event.  Good luck to the 141 runners.  And kudos the the 75 volunteers who will on the course in support.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

End anti-LGBT bullying

Wear purple & make your profile pic purple for #SpiritDay 10/20 at #LGBT

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

HEALTH MEGA-TREND #4: Consumers value peace of mind from financial security

Lately I’ve been sharing some highlights from Datamonitor’s global consumer trends report.

TREND #4: In their financial well being, consumers value the peace of mind that emanates from financial security

All of the financial anxiety in recent years has led consumers to seek the “economics of happiness” which more heavily influences their emotional well being.  Financial anxieties increase consumers’ focus on the short-term.

As a result, they prefer financial moderation, exercising more financial prudence and control.  The implication is that growing levels of financial moderation will place additional pressure on the growth of upscale premium products and further intensify value consciousness.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

3 personalities of my Honda CR-Z

Honda has been my car brand for more than 3 decades.

And today, my Honda CR-Z is almost like 3 cars, with its unique personalities for “Sport", "Hybrid”, and "Econ".

The instrument panel of my CR-Z is a perfect reflection of this. There is a specific purpose and philosophy behind the 3-color lighting. When used effectively, it can be an incredible tool for enhancing my driving experience.

Watch the video and you'll see why I love it so much.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Dr Pepper 10 is For Men Only

Dr Pepper 10 is For Men Only [Video]

Now that's brand positioning.  State who the brand is NOT for.  Nice.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

6 Methods of Practice-Focused Research for New Product Conception

We all must keep up with trends – and even attempt to stay ahead – of new developments in health science, patient management, technology, evidence-based guidelines, reimbursement, and regulations.

That’s what makes the understanding of a physician’s practice such a critical component of product innovation.

Read about six techniques I propose on my company's blog at

Thursday, October 06, 2011

5 insights on pricing & reimbursement of diagnostics

The reimbursement of diagnostics is a key consideration for both diagnostic providers and payers.  This is true because while 5% - 7% of the hospital cost is incurred through the use of diagnostics, they are used in about 70% of healthcare decisions.

It has been very challenging to develop an optimum price, especially for emerging diagnostic technologies such as molecular diagnostics – because evidence-based pricing does not suffice for such technologies.  This complicates the scenario for early movers in diagnostics.

Moreover, there has been an on-going issue with respect to existing technologies, as companies have an immense need to re-consider their pricing strategies to deal with cost and demand versus reimbursement issues.

Hence, it is crucial to identify the best pricing strategies to maintain reimbursement for innovative diagnostics.

In a recent report from BusinessInsights, the analysts conclude:

  1. A procedure has a higher chance of getting insurance coverage, if it reduces the overall treatment costs.
  2. The recent reduction made by the CMS in the reimbursement amount for non-facility units is expected to impact the diagnostic devices market especially in the form of a lack of innovation.
  3. Reimbursement structures are restraining the growth of innovative technologies such as molecular diagnostics.
  4. An OEM’s pricing is fundamentally based on its desired Return-on-Investment and the overall cost of manufacturing its equipment.
  5. Fair Value Pricing and Risk Sharing Pricing are the new methods of pricing within healthcare diagnostics.

Read more in the full report.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

HEALTH MEGA-TREND #3: Ethical well being reflects convergence of ethics and emotions

I’m continuing my series of updates from the Datamonitor’s report on New Developments in Global Consumer Trends.

TREND #3: Ethical wellbeing reflects a convergence of ethicality and emotional well being.

The survey shows that “direct altruism” has been negatively impacted by financial pressures and a sense of being overwhelmed by everyday lifestyle responsibilities.

On the other hand, “indirect altruism” is gaining momentum as time-poor consumers want to feel good about themselves through consumption rather than what they do in terms of behavioral & lifestyle sacrifices.  Taken together, this means environmentalism and health are more inter-related than many realize.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

4 primary performance objectives of a Global Key Account Manager

The number of companies establishing and implementing international procurement strategies is increasing rapidly in today’s competitive marketplace. 

To facilitate our clients success in this market environment, we have supported the approach of Global Key Account Management approach. 

As with most large companies, our clients’ brands are used worldwide in life science research and medical treatments.  While the products’ features remain a vital core of the sales process, now customer-focused applications – with unified services and solutions – are more integral to improving our customers’ efficiency, thereby reducing unnecessary overhead, costs, and delays.

In the role of Global Key Account Manager, one would be responsible for building and maintaining customer relationships at multinational life science companies, pharma and biotech corporations, and integrated health delivery networks.  The manager drives the cooperation and coordination of sales, technical support, and customer service to deliver on behalf of international customers with sites around the globe.

The right person will develop business development plans and sales programs to fulfill customers’ research needs, in order to open new opportunities and obtain increased sales from global accounts.

The Global Key Account Manager might have four primary performance objectives:
  1. Develop business relationships with senior management of global key customers and develop global account strategies, in conjunction with sales and marketing management. 
  2. Create awareness of the company and its broad product portfolio across global organizations – and educate internal teams on the research, disease, and commercial interests of the customers.
  3. Build and improve cross-location relationships among global customers – together with the company’s market managers of local sales, marketing, and technical support 
  4. Analyze and report information gathered in customer contacts in preparation for account roadmaps, call reports, and use of CRM tools to track:
-      Customer annual volume
-      Consistent pricing levels
-      Standardized product specifications
-      Timing or scheduling of product usage
-      Number of orders placed and by what mechanism
-      Optimized size of orders and shipments
-      Stocking, packaging, and special requirements
-      Number and location of delivery sites
-      Sales call frequency and customer service follow-up
-      Purchasing and payment procedures and terms
-      Future potential and synergy with other products

The skills and characteristics of a successful Global Key Account Manager may include:

·    Expertise in analyzing, understanding, documenting, and communicating customers’ global capabilities, processes, and resources
·    Experience in creating global customer strategies and defining critical success factors
·    Ability to leverage internal company capabilities and resources across multiple locations
·    Mastery in reaching cross-functional agreement on a process to execute strategic customer plans

The background of a Global Key Account Manager should include proven:

·     Commercial awareness
·     Business performance to objectives
·     Advanced sales and marketing techniques
·     Business strategic planning
·     Financial, pricing, and contracting acumen
·     Interpersonal skills with senior level managers

Monday, October 03, 2011

6 skills to improve our mindfulness

There has been a lot of talk recently about information overload, the downsides to multitasking, and how focus and concentration have become novel ideas.

In her "Brand Liberators" blog last week, Maggie Hallett shared 3 examples to know if you're NOT being mindful, along with 6 skills to improve our mindfulness.


Sunday, October 02, 2011

Compass Summit: Taking Aim at Critical Global Issues in a New Way

Creating a forum for true interaction and exchange, the inaugural Compass Summit will gather influential global experts to examine some of today's most pressing problems, under the theme "What's Possible, What Matters, What's Ahead."

The conference runs October 23-26 at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, CA near Los Angeles.

With the backing of partners including Scientific American, McKinsey & Company, SWIFT, Intel, and Fenton, the format and agenda have been designed to ensure a level of connection and intimacy not found at other conferences. Compass Summit speakers and participants will consider critical issues through the lens of global citizenship, recognizing that human ingenuity is the ultimate renewable resource. 

"The global challenges we confront -- economic, political and social -- are growing increasingly complex," says Bruce Brandfon, Scientific American Vice President and Publisher. "The topics that experts and leaders will consider at Compass Summit are at the core of finding the solutions that we so urgently need."

The conference format encourages Compass attendees to engage in the conversation, ask questions and challenge ideas. 

National Public Radio's Ira Flatow will help guide the discourse on such topics as: 
  • The Impact of Social Networks on Organizations and Public Policy, 
  • The Future of Banking and Money, Jobs and the Economy in a Global World, 
  • Does Space Exploration Still Matter, 
  • Will There be Enough Food to Go Around, 
  • New Sources of Energy, and 
  • The Impact of the "Arab Spring" on the Cost of Oil.

While the conference topics may appear to be unconnected, their common ingredient is the global impact of innovation and advancing technology.  In a culture of far too many conferences and too little time, Compass Summit will stand out. 

Experts participating in the program include:

Mariette DiChristina
Editor in Chief, Scientific American
Topics: World Changing Ideas, What's Ahead 


Bill Joy
Senior Partner, Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers,
Topic: Finding the Right Balance of New Energy Resources 

Fabien Cousteau
Third Generation Explorer, Environmentalist, Filmmaker
Topic: Oceans in Crisis 


Bernard Lietaer
Currency Expert, Author of "The Future of Money"
Topic: The Future of Money 

Eli Pariser
Board President,, Author of "The Filter Bubble"
Topic: How We Get the News 

Tom Kalil
Deputy Director for Policy, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Topic: How Do Traditional Organizations and Expert Networks Co-exist 

Steve Cousins
CEO, Willow Garage, Robot Maker
Topic: The Promise of Robots 

For more information about Compass Summit, please click to: