Tools, Productivity, And Bright Shiny Distractions

by Tim Berry

Is this you?  Over and over again, you fall off on regular consistent organizational practices like to-do lists, emails, planning, backing up your computer … then you run across some cool new productivity tool. You jump on the bandwagon enthusiastically, promising yourself that you’re finally going to get organized and stay organized. You spend happy... Read More »

US Productivity Trends

Disturbing Questions About Productivity and Technology

by Tim Berry

Have you heard the standard cliche: "Necessity is the Mother of Invention?" In business productivity, in my experience at least, the old standard is reversed: the new truth is that Invention is the Mother of Necessity." For example: Spreadsheets and... Read More »

Data Analysis

Invention is the Mother of Necessity: Technology and Productivity

by Tim Berry

Have you heard the standard cliche: “Necessity is the Mother of Invention?” In business technology and productivity, in my experience at least,  the old standard is reversed: the new truth is that Invention is the Mother of Necessity.” For example: Spreadsheets and Budgeting: When I started in business analysis back in the middle 1970s we... Read More »


What’s In It For You from The Startup America Partnership

by Tim Berry

So how cool is this? The Startup America Partnership is offering a collection of real business tools and resources, mostly web-based, to help high-growth startups. This was announced at the White House a year ago this month. Here’s what I wrote then on this blog: The Obama White House [Feb. 1, 2011] announced its Startup... Read More »


Folk Wisdom Reversal: Necessity Isn’t the Mother of Invention

by Tim Berry

This will be hard for anybody under 50 to believe, but there was a time when word processing and spreadsheets were a real productivity advantage. Are you old enough to remember Visicalc, or maybe SuperCalc? In the very early 1980s, most business people still did budgets with paper and calculator. The spreadsheet power user was... Read More »


The Pull of Bloat and Feature Addiction

by Tim Berry

This one struck a nerve: This is by Jason Fried, founder of 37 Signals, in How to Kill a Bad Idea earlier this month at He’s talking about how software and websites grow too big. The software grows. Version 2.0 comes along. It does more than Version 1.0. More features, more options, more screens,... Read More »


Guy Kawasaki and the Zen of Not Zen

by Tim Berry

I admit it. I got really jealous of all the Zen of this and Zen of that writing, dating all the way back to the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which I wanted to like, tried to like, but couldn’t. Yes, I gave into the horrible temptation, and even posted Zen and... Read More »


Easy Spreadsheet Plans a Session or Meeting.

by Tim Berry

I often have to engineer a workshop or presentation to fit into a few hours with topics divided into segments, and times set up for breaks. That’s just hard enough to do that I sat down the other day and looked up the Excel functions so I could set it up and then shuffle and... Read More »

A Bad Idea

What Business Plan Software Shouldn’t Do

by Tim Berry

The ideal business plan software doesn’t write your text or do your numbers. Instead, it helps you with the mechanics of managing the links between the different numbers, and the main topic outline, laying out the page if you need to print it, and giving you ideas, questions to answer, and suggestions. I just saw... Read More »


Pricing IQ Test You’re Sure to Fail

by Tim Berry

I admit it. Pricing is often baffling to me. Test your pricing IQ by answering these 10 simple questions. 1. Why is an iPhone application expensive at $4.99 but a magazine can sell for $6.95, and a no-frills 20-ounce cup of coffee for $2.50 without anyone getting up in arms? 2. Why is a gallon... Read More »