A Little of This and a Little of That


Best sentence I read this week

Deutsche Welle writes about the battle for the top spot in global sales volume between GM, Toyota and Volkswagen. While GM and Volkswagen measure the race by numbers, Toyota President Akio Toyoda has a bit different take on things: “What truly defines being No. 1 is an eternal pursuit for which there is never an answer.”

Eternal pursuit for which there is never an answer” … now that is something to think about.

Summit Time

The annual Lean Accounting Summit is drawing near. It is only tradition that keeps it named thus. It is actually a gathering of the leading companies and thinkers regarding lean management – how the best (leanest) companies manage their businesses. Accounting is at the core, but the Summit goes way beyond that.

October 17 and 18 in Orlando – you really ought to be there, along with the CEO, the CFO and anyone else in a position to put the company on an entirely new trajectory

If you have to fool people into buying your product you are in big trouble

A couple of interesting articles with a common theme this week: The Detroit Free Press writes about $14.3 billion in “gray charges” – the charges that hit your credit card or bank account for the monthly subscriptions and so forth for the ‘free thing’ you bought but missed the fine print about having to cancel to avoid paying for it every month forever.

On a similar note, the Wall Street Journal writes about “de-sheeting” – reducing the number of sheets in a roll of toilet paper, but charging the same price.

Sure, both practices are legal, but everyone knows they are attempts to fool customers into buying something they don’t want, or thinking they are getting more than they really get. I have worked with many, many good companies – lean ones and companies almost fanatical about customer value, and none of them are guilty of either practice. Seems to me that if you have to mislead customers in order to get them to buy your product you are in deep trouble. Hard to imagine it leading to long term success.

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