Multi-Faceted May Equal Multi-Stupid

by Linda Henman, Ph.D.

As I open my refrigerator each morning and evening, a plethora of thoughts floods my mind. Some mornings I think of work and what will come that day. Some evenings I reflect on my day and plan the next. At other times, thoughts of meals and guests take over.

At no time—and by that I mean not once—have I ever thought, “This refrigerator needs tweeting capacity.”  Perhaps I expect too little of my appliances. I demand that my washing machine clean clothes and insist that my vacuum cleaner suck up dirt. Never did I pine for a day when either could also let me watch a video.

But the new Samsung refrigerators can! You can hook your wifi to the frig, check email, tweet, get the stock reports, and even watch a movie. And all I wanted was a thing that would dispense ice and make stuff cold. Call me twentieth century, but I prefer a specialist.

I should mention that the refrigerator to which I refer is on a “We’re not kidding. We want to get rid of this stuff” sale at Best Buy, but they actually call this a Fourth of July Sale.( Apparently I’m not the only luddite who doesn’t care about complicating a cooling machine with pricey add ons that only promise to compromise the integrity of the machine’s capability to cool stuff).

Samsung made the mistake this time, but Pepsi, Continental, United, and Walmart have also fallen into the trap of trying to be all things to all people. No one wants health food from Pepsi or designer clothes from Walmart. Everyone wants lower cost airlines, but unless the airline has done its homework, chances are it will end up in a low-cost war with Southwest and lose its uniform shirt.

Success is tied to doing something really well—better than your competition and better than others in your position can do it. Exceptional performance starts with talent, but then the discipline to develop the talent takes over and explains ultimate excellence.

There are no shortcuts.  George Carlin once advised, “If you nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some schmuck will buy it.” He was probably right, but you might have to offer the new product at drastically reduced prices over a major holiday.

If you found these tips from Linda Henman, Ph.D. of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in her self-paced, downloadable courses at


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