Will it be the Best or Worst of Times? | Driving Eureka! #7


This week the lead article is about confronting the reality of a potential economic downturn in 2019 and what you can do about it.   

The book excerpt is the call to action from the closing of the book.

The Craft cocktail gives us a taste of luxury.



P.S. If I could ask a small favor. Please, go to your favorite online bookstore and if you've read Driving Eureka! or the earlier reader copy entitled, Innovation Engineering leave a review and let folks know how much you enjoyed it!

Best and Worst of times in business and innovation

Will it be the BEST or the WORST of Times 
for YOU in 2019?

With the news speaking of a coming financial decline in 2019 I’m reminded of the famous lines from Charles Dickens 1859 novel A Tale of Two Cities that I spoke once in London…

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…

After 40 years of corporate work - I have seen this cycle before. For various reasons, be it oil shortages, over priced internet stocks, banking stupidity or “unique” trade and debt policies in Washington - there is a dip in the economy. 

Over the years I’ve learned that it’s the BEST OF TIMES for those who reinvent. I founded the Eureka! Ranch at the start of a recession - with amazing new offerings and did very well. When the next recession came we got caught without new offerings and it was painful. And so it’s gone - when we were innovative we won when not we lost.

When the economy is tough - the smart executives and consumers are interested in ideas that are MEANINGFULLY UNIQUE. They make conscious purchasing decisions. The time for marketing puffery and design fluff is over. They want real solutions to their real challenges.

So NOW is the time…

  • To Invest in BIG IDEAS - Big, Bold Patentable Breakthroughs
  • To Invest in YOURSELF - to learn how you can think and work faster and smarter
  • To Invest in YOUR TEAM - to create stronger collaboration

OK - I can read your mind. You’re thinking that I’m “preaching” but NOT “practicing” my advice. To prove that CEO, Maggie Nichols and the Eureka! Ranch team are “walking the talk” click here to see the opening keynote from our recent innovation conference where I lay out some AMAZING new Big Idea Consulting, Training and Software innovations for 2019.

My personal attitude is that if an economic decline happens WE ARE READY. It won’t be fun, it won’t be easy. But every time we’ve gone through a decline with amazing new offerings we have come out of it bigger and stronger.

YOU TOO CAN DO IT… Get Up, Get Out, Get Going!



Driving Eureka it's a Dicken's of a Time

Driving Eureka! Book Excerpt:
It's a Dickens of a Time

Those organizations that are leading change in their industries are winning. Those that are “reacting” to the forces of change are losing.

During a recent speech at the UK Marketing Society’s annual conference in London, I thought it would be funny to recite Charles Dickens.

It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom, it is the age of foolishness. It is the season of light, it is the season of darkness. We have everything before us, we have nothing before us. We are all going direct to heaven, we are all going direct the other way.

A few laughed, most didn’t. I would learn later that most saw it as confirmation that today was indeed the worst of times.

The life cycle from monopoly to commodity used to take decades. Today, because of the internet, it’s often measured in less than a year. The consequence is acceleration of Joseph Schumpeter’s Creative Destruction—organizations that don’t innovate are destroyed by those that have embraced a mindset of never-ending, continuous innovation.

The new reality was made clear following the recession of 2008, when the marketplace didn’t bounce back like it had in the past. The good news, from my perspective, is that the world as we knew it is NEVER coming back. The world has changed, rewarding those who innovate, and destroying the profitability of those that don’t.

A survey of CEOs we conducted in 2011, for  the US Department of Commerce, quantified the gap between those who innovate and those who don’t. The survey found that those who had an innovation mindset following the recession realized significantly better business results three years after the recession of 2008.

Sales Growth: +84% for innovators versus +4% for non-innovators

Profit Growth: +96% for innovators versus +13% for non-innovators

Employee Growth: +64% for innovators versus +1% for non-innovators

A similar study with CEOs of companies in Ireland found nearly identical results. I’ve found similar patterns in qualitative interviews in Korea, Vietnam, Turkey, Mexico, Spain, and Italy. Today we live in a global economy. And, no matter where you live if you’re not meaningfully unique, you better be cheap. 

The root cause for the differences in results was that when the recession hit, those who embraced innovation quickly pivoted. They changed their offerings, realizing nearly double the percentage of company sales in products or services that they didn’t offer three years before (37% versus 19%). They also went after new customers, nearly doubling the percentage of sales from new customers (domestic and export) versus three years before (43% versus 23%). 

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Craft Rye Cocktail the Spanish Martini

Craft Cocktail Recipe:
Spanish Manhattan - Sweet Luxury

I hope we don’t have a recession but if we are going to have one - lets enjoy a bit of luxury taste in the process. This cocktail is a twist on the classic Manhattan. You can get a decent Px Sherry for $30 something. I suggest you keep it in the fridge after you open it.

Ingredients for Manhattan:

Pedro Ximenez (PX) Sherry
Nobel Oak Rye (or another local craft rye whiskey) 

Directions for Classic Manhattan Style Cocktail:

1.) Add 1 oz of PX Sherry to a rocks glass, 2.) then add 2 oz of Noble Oak Rye, 3.) add ice and stir 13 times.

Directions for MY FAVORITE Spanish Manhattan:
1.) Add 1/2 oz of PX Sherry to a rocks glass, 2.) the first 4 ingredients and 7Up to taste, 3.) gently stir 13 times, 4.) Garnish with Lemon & Orange slices and serve.

Doug Hall

The Driving Eureka! Newsletter is a compilation of case studies, new techniques, thought provoking insights, an occasional rant, and excerpts from my books 



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