The various musings of Michael Hiles

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Austin Kleon: Steal Like an Artist

Austin Kleon is an interesting dude with a bold openness that’s refreshing. In fact, every academic and engineering person on the planet needs to read his book. There’s this mindset that suggests a person can only be relevant if they’re purely innovative and come up with something totally new. Austin busts through these ideas, demonstrating…

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CES 2017: Techstars Eureka Park


CES is an awesome place for tech in general. If you really wanted to find a high concentration of emerging, disruptive tech, Techstars’ Eureka Park was the place to be. Incidentally, it was the place I spent probably the most time talking to all the startups and innovators. Eureka Park was at the Sands Convention…

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Five Pillars of Economic Development


The term “Smart Cities” seems to be all the rage these days. Whether it’s a buzzword or not remains to be seen. However, there does seem to be an awful lot of new interest in technology applications to civil and social models. I spent a lot of time in GovTech in the past, so it’s…

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Catalyst 2016 – Dayton Ohio’s startup and innovation showcase

The Dayton, Ohio, startup community held their 2016 Catalyst event this morning. It was a great event featuring several of the showcase presentations of new technologies and startups coming out of the Dayton area. I attended the event with my friends from Ascend Innovations, who were also very much a part of the event. Candace…

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Leadership information superiority is the path to opportunity


Holy moly, that’s a mouthful of a title. Ok, let’s simplify it. If you have superior information, you’ll have more opportunity. As the future is uncertain, the only thing relatively clear is that much of what we will experience in the future will be different from the past.

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Newspapers and Traditional Media STILL Trying to Figure Out Digital

Traditional media is still trying to figure out this digital thing. A few days ago, a friend and business colleague posted a link to her Facebook account. It was a news article about how the Dallas Morning News was “going digital”, and essentially “starting over”.

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What is a Product Manager?

I work with a lot of clients who want to build some kind of digital solution or software product to solve a business problem. A lot of what I do for clients falls into the category of being a “hired gun” product manager. In the past, software development and the packaging of a product as…

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It’s Not About Ideas, It’s About Making Ideas Happen

There’s a glut of ideas on the market. There’s a shortage of execution on all those wonderful ideas. Ideas are a dime a dozen. People spend an inordinate amount of time coming up with billion dollar ideas. Then they work to protect those ideas as if any idea, by itself, is gold. They work to keep the ideas…

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The Fundamentals of Strategic Decisions

Business leaders are constantly faced with decisions. Most are about more tactical issues like day-to-day operations or shorter range and smaller impact issues. However, from time-to-time, business leaders are faced with making some decision that carries a much deeper impact on the future of the business as a whole.

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What is a “Responsive Organization”?

Former General Electric CEO, Jack Welch, once said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” As the march towards evolving business in the knowledge economy continues, many organizations are already identifying and embracing the idea that all human communities, including organizations and…

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