The Day the Sun Set on Amacus – by John Cousineau

John Cousineau is a friend of mine. He’s taking a break now, but I wanted you all to read his last post on LinkedIn.

Previously posted in December, 2017 on LinkedIn

Twenty-one years ago, I founded The aim was simple: help firms profit from innovative uses of available technology and information.

What a journey it’s been.

For the past 16 years, we’ve helped sales teams improve their results by improving their practices. It all began with a challenge from the PGA Tour: grow ticket sales for the AirCanada Championship. They doubled their ticket sales in 2 weeks. Everyone involved was elated.

Today, it’s over. Yesterday, our business closed.

A short reprise on the state of AMACUS at closure: users could simultaneously eliminate performance blindspots, continuously improve, and do both at speed. It blended the wisdom of:

  • Ed Tufte, on the need to create data visualizations that create new conversations. From a sharper, richer, view of what’s going on and how well it’s working.
  • Peter Senge, Steven Spear, and John Hagel, on imperatives and methods for speeding what’s learned in the flow of what’s done.
  • Nassim Taleb and General Stanley McCrystal, on de-risking the execution of strategies fraught with complexity and uncertainty.
  • Tim Brown, on design thinking.

The highs we witnessed were many. And occurred in many industries. In every successful situation, there were two common themes: a hunger amongst Reps to figure things out; and leaders who actively did their part to make it happen.

We did all of this at a time when sales organizations are typically failing to perform to expectations. Many are under enormous pressures to improve performance. And struggling to find ways to do so. A kind of ‘quiet desperation’.

Sounds like perfect timing, right? Wrong.

From what we’ve seen, the sales industry isn’t trusted by other parts of the business. When people don’t trust one another, their odds of learning from each other suffer immensely. Worse than that, it breeds a culture in which everyone’s out to prove how good they are, rather than improve how good they are. What’s to learn if you ‘know’ what works?

Such a mindset is a serious barrier to better. And it proved to be a block to our growth. The concept of testing, with such folks? Testing for evidence that proves they’re right. Your testing machine doesn’t prove that? “It’s all your fault”. An industry that’s hell bent on fixing blame for disappointing results is going to endlessly struggle to fix the root causes of those disappointing results.

In the end, life goes on. Someday, perhaps, those involved in and around B2B sales will wake up to the idea that there’s tons of room to improve. And an imperative to get there. As buyers needs and choices continue to evolve.

Hope I live long enough to see it happen.

I’ll be the 1st person applauding those who get there.

In the meantime, my deepest gratitude to those of you who’ve been a part of this. Enormously proud of what we collectively accomplished.


About John Cousineau, who’s taking a break:

John’s spent over 30 years accelerating business performance by revealing, with analytics, what’s required to do so. His mantra: help teams find ways to out-perform expectations. By learning their best ways to do so. With practice, agile methods, and fast feedback.

He’s been doing it for a while. Dropped his first deck of punch cards in 1977. Used his first spreadsheet in 1980. Had his first email account in 1981. Co-produced the first internet video for the PGA tour in 1999. Through these and other early learning opportunities, John’s found ways to drive better business results by helping people do their daily work with more impact. From seeing their impacts more clearly and quickly.

He’s had the privilege of doing so with top-grade organizations such as the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Forrester Research, Schenker Global Logistics, Tectura, Zend Technologies, Industry Canada, GP Strategies, and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Relations.

Over the past 10 years, he’s written over 200 blog posts. Some x-syndicated to Forbes,, and CustomerThink. Known to some as ‘Bracket Man’ for his equation abstractions, on social media, of ideas he sees as worth noting.

He’s hung up his mouse. At least for now.


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