Point of View Archive

  • Your employees, your customers and your products

    I love this Jack Welch quote from a recent Financial times article on the future of Capitalism. “On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world.  Shareholder value is a result, not a strategy…your main constituencies are your employees, your customers and your products.” This […]

  • Use of technology in another part of the building industry

    I had the pleasure yesterday of meeting Stephen Williamson.  He is the principle owner of a company called which like BuildDirect, is focused on using technology to reduce costs and deliver a better customer experience. Prior to BuildDirect, I co-owned a development company that built single family homes. I remember how […]

  • My personal New Years goals

    I am a big believer in goals. Visualizing your future state and then building towards it. I have set goals every year since I was 18 years old. My goals have really centered around three main themes 1) business, 2) financial and 3) personal development. I typically set high goals and […]

  • Interesting analogy on how social media works

    I love this video and how it compares Twitter, Facebook and the rest of the tools to “parties” and a blog to a home.

  • Happy Holidays

    I want to wish all our friends a fantastic holdiay season and the best of 2009. As someone who has spent some time in the “doghouse” myself, I thought you might find the following clip quite funny. All the best, Jeff  

  • Authenticity is key to success using social media in business

    I followed the US Presidential election closely, and was really interested how Barack Obama used the new tools of communication through the primary process and on to his landslide victory. Obama had a message of hope that inspired a nation, but I do not believe that without the new tools […]

  • Talking with Geoff Smart, Author of Who: The A Method for Hiring

    I recently read a book that is I think will go down as one of the business classics. It’s a must read for any business leader dedicated to superior performance.

    The tiltle of the book is WHO: The A Method for Hiring. The premise is that most companies focus on the “what” rather than the “who” and that hiring A-players is the most important part of any leaders job. A-players are the right superstar for the job, meaning that they not only have the skills to be successful but they also fit within the culture of the company.

  • Our use of blogs and social media as a way of showing our transparency and engaging in direct conversations with our customers is really showing some traction., a prominent site in the technology community just wrote a great article on BuildDirect.  Full article can be seen HERE .

  • Enterprise as its best is an emotional, vital, innovative, joyful, creative, entrepreneurial, endeavor that elicits maximum concerted human potential in the wholehearted service of others.  Tom Peters, Atlanta Growth Conference

    Growth Conference in Atlanta
  • Outside or inside?

    The August numbers for new construction of houses and apartments came out today and they were lower than expected bringing them to their lowest level in 17 years, a seasonally adjusted rate of 895,000 units. Prices of homes are falling quickly causing massive losses to financial institutions, which in turn […]

  • Great TEAMS win!!!!!

    Back in 2001, just before the tragic events of September 11th, BuildDirect was in the process of closing on a $15 million dollar round of financing to enable us to hire and build the company faster. Our technology, while nearing completion was still not ready, and we still had a […]

  • Transparency: products and product reviews

    So about a year ago, we started automatically adding the feedback from our customers to our product review tabs for all customers to see. We never edit them (except for grammar, vocabulary, and other practical reasons, but never for intent). What our customers say about the product is put directly on the site for everyone to see.

  • Leadership in tough times

    Tom Peters has a great blog post on leadership in tough times. For those serving the building industry, it is particularly relevant because the blog post originated from a speech he recently gave to the Pacific Coast Builders conference. From the post: “I spoke last Friday to the Pacific Coast […]

  • Is transparency worth the risk?

    Something that has been on my mind for some time now, is the thought of transparency in business. It is something that invokes a strong reaction, both positive and negative. I have seen this reaction, even in our own management team as thoughts move from advantages to risks. I am […]

  • The impact of tightening credit

    Interesting remarks from Eli Broad, Billionaire investor and founder of KB homes, one of the nations largest home builders. “I think housing is going to continue to have a corrosive effect on consumer psychology and the economy in general to a far greater extent than people think, or even far […]

  • Vicious cycle of tightening credit

    I came across an article that does a great job in explaining the current credit crises and what is in store as the United States enters an era of tightening credit.  It echos many of my thoughts in a previous post here where I said that “it all comes down to […]

  • Every Abundance Creates a New Scarcity

    Now that the Internet is revolutionizing the way we search for information, I want to pose a question: Do we have more or less time than before? I know from my perspective, even though the world’s information is readily available, there is far less time in the day. Chris Anderson […]

  • The Long Walk through the Dark Forest

    A couple of years ago I was asked to help the Conference board of Canada with its commercialization strategy that it was preparing for the Canadian government. The Conference Board assembled a Leader’s Roundtable on commercialization with the intent of improving commerce in Canada. Although I was honoured to help, […]

  • The best leadership development course I have ever attended

    I spent the last couple of days in Seattle attending a workshop called “Mastering the Rockefeller habits” by Verne Harnish. I took my entire management team along and it I can easily say that it was the best leadership development course that we have ever attended.  Click HERE for more on Gazelles workshops.  One of […]

  • The gold rush in housing – Perspectives from the bubble

    The “gold rush” in housing created unprecedented demand. From a products perspective, it created demand for building materials from flooring to decking to everything in between as new suppliers entered the market to fill the needs. It was not just manufacturers, suppliers, and home builders that wanted in. Everyone wanted […]

  • What is the Long Tail?

    The long tail is a term coined by Chris Anderson. I have had the privilege of hearing Chris speak and I can tell you that it is one of the best speeches I have heard in how it relates to business.The Long Tail is a theory that suggests that given […]

  • Without wanting to use this blog as an advertsement for BuildDirect, there are times that I am very proud of the team and company we are building.  Recognized by the British Columbia Premier’s Technology Council: In the construction industry, BuildDirect, a BC company, has revolutionised the distribution of building materials. By approaching the manufacturers directly, they have cut the costs that accrue through the manufacturer’s marketing and shipping efforts. Through volume buys, innovative logistics software, and online purchasing, BuildDirect has become the single‐most cost efficient distribution channel”.  Learn more at BC’s Premier Technology Council and to view its World Class Members here.

  • Housing’s impact on the economy

    On a couple of my previous posts I commented on the housing market and its implications for the overall economy. News today of National City raising 7 Billion dollars or Bank of America missing expectations doesn’t come as much of a surprise.   At National City, net charge offs or loans that it doesn’t […]

  • Corporate Values

    I had an interesting discussion with one of our partners recently and I thought the topic would make a good blog post. I believe that for any company to become truly great, and have enduring success, a company must have a strong set of core values. My experience is that […]

  • Why I decided to write a building materials blog

    I think I offer a unique perspective of the building industry from the standpoint that I started with the intention of creating something truly special. Although Rob Banks and I started the company from my house in 1999, our ambitions were never to create just another “.com” Our intentions […]