AWSI: Talkin’ Logos & Force Friday…

Rolling into the holiday weekend, it struck us as interesting the multitude of stories we saw “trending.”

Logo changes:
Really? In the same week, both Google and Verizon unveiled new versions of their respective logos and the webosphere went nuts.



Okay, maybe that’s too strong. But stories appeared from a number of sources that you may not have expected (Popular Science anyone?). Academia (Knowledge@Wharton) weighed in as did Adweek. We’ll touch upon their takes in a separate post.


Apple’s Event: We tried the best we could to swat away the persistent rumors about what Apple will (and won’t) unveil on Wednesday (9 September). That game gets old. In fact the only story that shook us from our malaise was the one delving into “Tick-Tock Cycles.”

Now that’s an image we can see in our minds’ eye.

The context? The lead story in The Wall Street Journal titled “Apple’s Latest Challenge: Topping Its Own Success.”

Apple tends to release new iPhones in a “ticktock” cycle. In a “tick” year, it offers a major redesign, such as last year’s bigger displays. In the following “tock” year, it refines the design and sometimes makes bigger software changes.

Also noted… in the “tock” year, revenue growth is typically lower.

Tommie smirked when he read this, noting that he was amused on how innovation cycles were being described. And Doc hit Google to discover that the “ticktock” is an Intel thing.

He found a story by Steve Wildstrom from 2011 that describes how Intel “has long followed a two-year product cycle it calls tick-tock,” where they introduce new chips based on a major change in process technology in “tick” years with the “tock year bringing refinement within the existing process. This two-year cycle gives Intel the time it needs to perfect fabrication and reap the benefits of the investment in process change.

Wildstrom noted Apple is falling into a similar pattern with the iPhone, with the 4S being “a tock” to iPhone 4 tick.

Totally makes sense. And with this year being a potential 6S release year, we are trying not to get sucked into the Apple media cycle. After all, the mouse house has loaded up our week end (as in end of the week) news cycle with “Force Friday.”

Target's Force Friday Push

Target’s Force Friday Push

What the FF? The week ended with a huge united “Force Friday” push with a number of retailers making “The Force Awakens” movie-related toys, apparel and other miscellaneous products available in advance of the next Star Wars film (which has a release date that’s still far, far away– as in mid-December).

Will there be Star Wars fatigue? We think so. There appears to be too many businesses that have tied their revenue growth to this upcoming film. Star Wars merchandise is becoming ubiquitous — which is a sure fire path to “meh” land. Too bad, so sad.

All Day– Hurray!  At least we have all day breakfast to look forward to, thanks to MickeyD’s move away from the 10:30am grill switch-over deadline.  It’ll be interesting to see how the ecosystem of franchisees handle the new equipment and mode of operation required to make the McMuffins happen in the noon-o’clock hour (and beyond).

We were intrigued by a story appearing in The Wall Street Journal which detailed some of the things that need to happen at the various locations.  Per the Journal story:

  • Operators need separate grills to ensure that raw eggs don’t come into contact with burgers.

The task force identified a small model for eggs that sits on rolling carts, which carry utensils used just for eggs and can be moved for the best fit in each McDonald’s kitchen.

  • Operators also needed new toasters, because existing units can only be adjusted to warm either hamburger buns or muffins, which toast at different temperatures.

Now, most restaurants are being outfitted with two toasters connected together that can toast both buns and muffins at the same time.

Surprised to see that the capital equipment investment was going to range from $500 to $5,000 per restaurant, depending on what equipment the franchisees already have.  We expected the amount to be a lot higher.


Overall, we liked how a task force was assigned to really think this though on an operational and emotional level. Buy-in from the franchisees and an affordable, logical path for making the transition is key.

This is another developing story we’ll be watching.

AWSI-Wrap & Take-away:  From Logos to Tick-Tock to Force Friday to All-Day McDs, the take-away from the week is that there is a lot of activity going on around us with a ton of fluidity. Nothing is cast in stone.

Companies and the people who work for, and lead them, are in a state of constant adjustment.

  • Embracing the Dynamic Equilibrium: If you have a solid core, you’ve got what you need to embrace change and keep moving on your personal journey –with a renewed sense of purpose. You grow and adapt. You acknowledge that your daily challenge is to commit time to explore what’s around you while also carving out time to be a better you — skills refinement and feeding a curious mind is an ongoing thing.

We look forward to seeing where the journey leads and hope you do too.

-The Gang


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