Choosing not to preserve a 1000 year old Viking ship doesn’t really surprise anyone in Norway.
For Americans who are used to their own country putting mere 75 year old documents behind bullet proof glass, though, nothing could be more confusing than the longstanding debate about the fate of the Oseberg ship – a remarkably well preserved 1200 year old Viking ship unearthed from a burial site in Norway in the early 20th century.
I have been spending this week in Norway for a series of events and meetings, and yesterday I had the chance to visit the fascinating Viking Ship Museum on the western side of Oslo in a small peninsula called Bygdøy. For over ten years there has been a proposal and debate about possibly moving the ship to a new museum in Bjørvika, Oslo. The hesitation is understandable. Such an old ship may be too fragile to move. And the long term effects of today’s preservation techniques are unknown.
In the current museum, there is a video of a scientist talking about how the preservation techniques used nearly 100 years ago actually caused artifacts to disintegrate over time – the exact opposite effect of what was intended. Ironically, this also leads to the “strategic waiting” debate that the museum struggles with today.
Should the preservation team of archaeologists and scientists preserve the artifacts and ships with currently known best practices, or wait for a newer and better technology to be developed by our future scientists?
This is the same question we might be faced with ourselves as it relates to business strategy. Wait or launch? Use what you have or wait for something else to come along?
Entrepreneurs often say go. Historians say wait. The difference comes from how much patience you have to wait for results.
And that’s ultimately what strategic waiting comes down to – calculating how much you are willing to pay for short term results versus the time cost of waiting and acting later (and presumably more strategically).
In other words, are you better off waiting like an American … or a Norwegian?
Today was a big day for the Netherlands. Back in January, the Dutch Queen Beatrix decided to abdicate her throne to pave the way for the next generation of loyalty to take over. Today was her final day as queen, as her son Willem-Alexander became the new King and youngest monarch in Europe. As it turns out, Dutch royalty have…Read More >>
The “Ballbarrow” was never really a product destined for greatness. Replacing a wheel in a traditional wheelbarrow with a ball hardly qualifies as a groundbreaking technological innovation. But it does solve a problem. Great inventions usually do. And when James Dyson first created and produced his Ballbarrow, it was a hit with gardeners seeking an alternative that wouldn’t leave wheel…Read More >>
Last week no one cared what my Twitter name was – and I was thrilled about that. At dozens of social media centric events, the Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or Pinterest question has become the de facto proof of purchase. People write their Twitter names on their nametags. They try desperately to distill their own social credibility into a…Read More >>
Imagine you’re a chef. You have spent the last twenty years learning your craft. Studying ingredients and cooking techniques. Working for sometimes maladjusted and dictatorial restaurant owners or lead chefs. And now you’ve made it. You have your own kitchen that you lead – and you’re recognized. Your food has made it onto the plates of celebrities and maybe even…Read More >>
There is plenty of advice out there on how to create a great presentation. Most of it centers on two pretty common pieces of advice: Tell more stories. Use bigger fonts. Neither is always easy to do, but the more events I attend – the more I realize a single fact that still manages to surprise me about why people…Read More >>
It is tempting to search for the next big thing. There were no shortage of journalists sent to SXSW this past weekend for their annual quest to answer exactly that question. And this year many came up empty — or at least indifferent. Some even skipped the event completely. Of course we like to see winners and losers. And SXSW…Read More >>
About four years ago I started getting a lot of unsolicited emails from women. My first book, Personality Not Included, had just come out and readers were emailing me with their own stories of how having a personality had made a difference in their own careers. While school often teaches us that we must remove our personality from “professional” communication…Read More >>
There are exceptions to every rule. That’s what we like to think, isn’t it? We are all unique in our own way. No two people (or snowflakes!) are alike. There’s no shortage of cliches to describe the same thing. The Snowflake Mindset says that everything is unique and we should never forget our differences. The mindset works particularly when when…Read More >>
Summary: The story of why I decided to start the world’s first true “Concierge Marketing” service for large and mid-size brands. It all started because I knew the one thing I didn’t want to do. About three months ago I left my role at one of the biggest marketing agencies in the world and the only thing I knew for…Read More >>