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jerryking : competitive_advantage   58

What You Need to Know to Pick an IPO
April 7, 2019 | WSJ | By Andy Kessler.
Dig up dirt on the competition and board members, and buy to hold long-term.......How do you know which IPOs to buy? No, not to trade—you’d never get it right. Lyft priced at $72, traded at $85 on its first day, then closed at $78, only to fall to $67 on its second day. It’s now $74. I’m talking about buying and holding for a few years. Yes I know, how quaint.

The trick is to read the prospectus. What are you, crazy? That’s a couple hundred pages. Well, not the whole thing. But remember, where the stock trades on its first day is noise....... So understanding long-term prospects are critical. Here are a few shortcuts.

(1) First, glance at the underwriters along the bottom of the cover. On the top line are the banks putting their reputation on the line. If the one on the far left is Goldman Sachs , Morgan Stanley or JPMorgan , you’re probably OK.
(2) open the management section and study the directors. Forget the venture capitalists or strategic partners with board seats—they have their own agendas. Non-employee directors are the ones who are supposed to be representing you, the public investor. And their value depends on their experience.
(3) OK, now figure out what the company does. You can watch the roadshow video, look at prospectus pictures, and skim the offering’s Business section. Now ignore most of that. Underwriters are often terrible at positioning companies to the market.......when positioning companies, only three things matter: a monster market; an unfair competitive advantage like patents, algorithms or a network effect; and a business model to leverage that advantage. Look for those. If you can’t find them, pass. Commodities crumble........read the Management’s Discussion and Analysis. Companies are forced to give detailed descriptions of each of their sectors and products or services. Then flip back and forth to the Financials, looking at the items on the income statement and matching them up with the operations being discussed. Figure out what the company might look like in five years. And use my “10x” rule: Lyft is worth $25 billion—can they make $2.5 billion after-tax someday? Finally there’s the Risk section, which is mostly boilerplate but can contain good dirt on competition.
(4) Put the prospectus away and save it as a souvenir. Try to figure out the real story of the company. Do some digging.
(5) My final advice: Never, ever put in a market order for shares on the first day of an IPO.
10x  advice  algorithms  Andy_Kessler  boards_&_directors_&_governance  business_models  competitive_advantage  deception  due_diligence  howto  IPOs  large_markets  long-term  Lyft  network_effects  noise  patents  positioning  prospectuses  risks  stock_picking  think_threes  Uber  underwriting  unfair_advantages 
april 2019 by jerryking
Five things we learnt from Apple’s latest launch
March 27, 2019 | | Financial Times | Richard Waters 3 HOURS AGO.

(1) With its move to services, Apple's balance sheet and installed base of users have taken over as the main source of competitive advantage....Apple has barely scratched the surface in selling content and services for the 1.4bn iPhone, Macs and other devices in active use.
(2) there is a chance to carve out a trusted position at a time when other internet giants are under fire. Think of it as a Disney for digital services: a trusted brand built around a set of values that stand above the crowd.
(3) there is still room for innovation at the margin, which should have a halo effect for the brand. The new credit card with Goldman Sachs is a case in point.
(4) Apple’s main way to make money — selling hardware — leaves it with a dilemma as it makes the move into services. .... it will be hard to get a return on the huge spending on entertainment unless it spreads that investment across the largest possible audience — which means reaching beyond its own hardware. This tension between vertical and horizontal business models — capturing more of the value from its own devices on the one hand, selling a service for everyone on the other — is not new for Apple.

(5) after more than a decade of the App Store, Apple’s relationship with many of the companies that have relied on the digital storefront to reach their own customers is about to change utterly...How will Apple promote its own services to its users, and what will this mean for iOS as a platform for third party apps? Spotify’s antitrust complaint to the EU this month is likely to be the harbinger of more challenges to come.
antitrust  Apple  Apple_IDs  App_Store  balance_sheets  Big_Tech  competitive_advantage  consumer_finance  credit_cards  cross-platform  EU  halo_effects  hardware  iOS  Richard_Waters  services  Spotify  streaming  subscriptions  turning_points  user_bases  web_video 
march 2019 by jerryking
‘Businesses Will Not Be Able to Hide’: Spy Satellites May Give Edge From Above
Jan. 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Cade Metz.

In October, the Chinese province of Guangdong — the manufacturing center on the southern coast that drives 12 percent of the country’s economy — stopped publishing a monthly report on the health of its local factories.

For five consecutive months, this key economic index had shown a drop in factory production as the United States applied billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese exports. Then, amid an increasingly bitter trade war between the United States and China, the government authorities in Beijing shut the index down.

A small start-up in San Francisco began rebuilding the index, lifting information from photos and infrared images of Guangdong’s factories captured by satellites orbiting overhead. The company, SpaceKnow, is now selling this information to hedge funds, banks and other market traders looking for an edge.

High-altitude surveillance was once the domain of global superpowers. Now, a growing number of start-ups are turning it into a business, aiming to sell insights gleaned from cameras and other sensors installed on small and inexpensive “cube satellites.”..... satellite analysis will ultimately lead to more efficient markets and a better understanding of the global economy.....as well...as a check on the world’s companies and governments....use satellite imagery to track everything from illegal mining and logging operations to large-scale home demolitions. .....All of this is being driven by a drop in the cost of building, launching and operating satellites. Today, a $3 million satellite that weighs less than 10 pounds can capture significantly sharper images than a $300 million, 900-pound satellite built in the late 1990s. That allows companies to put up dozens of devices, each of which can focus on a particular area of the globe or on a particular kind of data collection. As a result, more companies are sending more satellites into orbit, and these satellites are generating more data.

And recent advances in artificial intelligence allow machines to analyze this data with greater speed and accuracy. “The future is automation, with humans only looking at the very interesting stuff,” ......The start-ups buy their data from a growing number of satellite operators, and they build the automated systems that analyze the data, pinpointing objects like cars, buildings, mines and oil tankers in high-resolution photos and other images........What began with satellite cameras is rapidly expanding to infrared sensors that detect heat; “hyperspectral” sensors that identify minerals, vegetation and other materials; and radar scanners that can build three-dimensional images of the landscape below.....
artificial_intelligence  automation  competitive_advantage  indices  imagery  informational_advantages  infrared  insights  reconnaissance  satellites  sensors  slight_edge  surveillance  trade_wars 
january 2019 by jerryking
Luxury Brands Buy Supply Chains to Ensure Meeting Demand
Nov. 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By Mark Ellwood.

The luxury markets are booming to such an extent that brands look to ensure they can meet demand by buying companies that supply their raw materials.

In the last six years, David Duncan has been on a buying spree. This Napa Valley-based winemaker and owner of Silver Oak Cellars hasn’t been splurging on fast cars or vacation homes, though. He’s been buying up vines — close to 500 acres in Northern California and Oregon.

It’s been a tough process, at times: He almost lost one site to a wealthy Chinese bidder. It was only when he raised his offer by $1 million that he clinched the sale at the last moment. At the same time, Mr. Duncan also took full control of A&K Cooperage, now the Oak Cooperage, the barrel maker in Higbee, Mo., in which his family had long held a stake. These hefty acquisitions are central to his 50-year plan to future-proof the family business against a changing luxury marketplace.

As Mr. Duncan realized, this market faces what might seem an enviable problem: a surfeit of demand for its limited supply. The challenge the winery will face over the next decade is not marketing, or finding customers, but finding enough high-quality raw materials to sate the looming boom in demand. Though there might be economic uncertainty among the middle classes, wealthier consumers are feeling confident and richer because of changes like looser business regulations and lower taxes.
affluence  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  brands  competitive_advantage  core_competencies  future-proofing  high_net_worth  high-quality  luxury  raw_materials  scarcity  supply_chains  sustainability  vertical_integration  vineyards 
november 2018 by jerryking
Lex. London and Europe:hard-wired advantages
July 7, 2017 | Financial Times | Lex.

This hints at a wider strength. Laying cables across the sea was a high-risk venture in the 1850s. The risk was deemed worth taking because London was the financial centre of a trading empire. The city’s present-day concentration of expertise in areas like forex, trade finance, risk management, insurance and law is also a function of this mercantile history. Other European financial centres tend to have more specific strengths, such as asset management in Dublin and Luxembourg, or banking in Frankfurt.

More fibre could be installed across Europe, but that alone will not alter much. Europe’s politicians and regulators will find it harder to replicate London’s other strengths, however much they may wish to capitalise on the UK’s departure from the EU or secure regulatory oversight of euro-related clearing.

Their best hope of doing so is ham-fisted policymaking in the UK. There are precedents aplenty. President John Kennedy gifted London the Eurobond market in the 1960s. The Parti Québécois helped Toronto supplant Montreal as Canada’s financial capital in the 1980s. It is much easier to drive business away than it is to attract it — something the UK government, pondering its “red lines” over things like immigration and the remit of the ECJ, should bear in mind.
transatlantic  London  ECB  regulators  policymaking  competitive_advantage  epicenters  Brexit  poaching  red_lines 
august 2017 by jerryking
Buying Competitive Advantage - YouTube
"clock speed"
privileged insights = unfair advantages
value-creation plans

Due diligence helps create privileged insight which needs to be tied to a value creation plan that helps you to achieve it.
competitive_advantage  KPMG  proprietary  insights  customer_insights  clock_speed  value_creation  due_diligence  unfair_advantages 
may 2017 by jerryking
Why It’s Not Enough Just to Be Disruptive - The New York Times
By JEREMY G. PHILIPS AUG. 10, 2016

Short-term success may be driven by exceptional execution; long-term value creation requires building a defensible model.

Any microeconomics textbook will tell you there are limited sources of competitive advantage. The most valuable companies combine several reinforcing strands, like scale and customer loyalty.....

While it is hard to stay ahead solely through superior execution over an extended period, it is sometimes enough in the short term to draw a deep-pocketed buyer where there are strong, immediate synergies. Creating enormous value over the long term requires turning a tactical edge into some form of durable advantage....Superior tactical execution can still create real value, particularly where it provides ammunition for a bigger war (like Walmart’s battle with Amazon). And in the long term, value is created not by disruption, but by weaving together advantages (as both Amazon and Walmart have done in different ways) that together create a barrier that is hard to storm.
disruption  value_creation  Gillette  competitive_advantage  execution  books  slight_edge  Amazon  Wal-Mart  microeconomics  short-term  long-term  barriers_to_entry  compounded  kaleidoscopic  unfair_advantages  endurance  synergies  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions 
august 2016 by jerryking
How to pick startup ideas
Slava Akhmechet: cofounder of RethinkDB — an open-source distributed database designed to help developers and operations teams work with unstructured data to build real-time applications.

How to pick startup ideas

25 Feb 2015
ideas  howto  self-deception  storytelling  unstructured_data  competitive_advantage  competition  entrepreneur  start_ups 
november 2015 by jerryking
Canadian economy suffers from the myth of comparative advantage - The Globe and Mail
ANDREW JACKSON
Canadian economy suffers from the myth of comparative advantage
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Mar. 05 2015

Consider the recent bid by China to assist in the design, build and operation of high-speed trains in Ontario, perhaps in return for preferred access to raw resources. China is seeking to displace Bombardier, one of our foremost innovative companies, in our own domestic market.

Just as instructively, Bombardier is entering into joint aerospace production deals with Chinese companies, in large part because that is the key to access to the Chinese market. China wants to import our raw resources, not out trains or our planes, and wants to build up a competitive aerospace industry.

The key point here is that China has a competitive advantage based upon still relatively low wages (though they have risen a lot) and is also creating a competitive advantage in sophisticated industries through active industrial and managed trade policies. While we talk about comparative advantage, they are shaping trade and production in their own developmental interests.
industrial_policies  China  Bombardier  high-speed_rail  competitive_advantage  competitiveness_of_nations  comparative_advantage  myths  international_trade  economics  HSR 
march 2015 by jerryking
Hunting the gazelle
DECEMBER 7, 2007 | The Globe and Mail | by SEAN WISE.

If one is attempting to build relationships with fast growing companies, how does one decide which ones (of the thousands of small companies starting out) will become big companies - big enough to justify the cost of investing in them now?.......in an effort to ensure a shared nomenclature, here's a communal taxonomy to help classify the various types of ventures encountered.

• Mice are small companies that are likely to stay small. Think "Bob's Pizza"- they can serve a great slice of 'za but it is unlikely they will double in size annually.

• Elephants are large companies whose growth is constant, but at a low level. Think Royal Bank. Its revenues grow annually, but it is so large that the growth is negligible over the short term, yet noticeable over the long term. Unfortunately, these companies have a high client acquisition cost.

• Dogs are medium to large companies that are experiencing low or negative growth. Think "AOL". A great company, but its revenue is shrinking. In the venture capital business, I often refer to these companies as kennel capital, i.e., companies that should be put to sleep.

• Gazelles are young companies that are experiencing extreme, massive growth. For those that pitch them early, the CAC is low and carries with it a high return on investment. Think "Facebook".

From a cash flow perspective, all four business animals start at similar points, however, they diverge rather quickly. The green Mouse stays fairly consistent, growing and shrinking its cash flow over time - possibly as a result of seasonal conditions. Never is it losing money, but it's never really hitting it big, either. The yellow Elephant starts in the best cash flow position and grows consistently at a relatively reasonable CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate - a common business term used to represent the annualized growth of the business). Backing an elephant is never a bad idea, it is in fact, the safest bet (no one ever got fired from trying to land an Elephant). Unfortunately, Elephants are hunted by all, and this in turn, drives up the customer acquisition cost (CAC).......The Gazelles are where it's at from a business development (aka hunting) perspective. Gazelles tend to have the highest CAGR. They're also non-bureaucratic, and are flat in their organizational chart, which contributes to shorter sales cycles and lower CAC.

How to pick a Gazelle?
(1) Focus on those in industries with CAGR > 25%. If an industry is growing annually by 25% or more, then even those companies who finish second or third in their niche will do well. After all, a rising tide floats all boats.

(2) Look for Scalability. If a company can scale, it means they can produce their products for ever-increasing margins (i.e., the 1000th widget costs less to make than the 10th).

(3) Focus on Sustainable Competitive Advantage. If the company you are reviewing lacks any sort of proprietary intellectual property (i.e., patents), or has no barrier to entry, how will they stop others from flooding the market and eating their lunch? Gazelles continue to grow faster than their competitors by being able to differentiate their offerings to their clients.

(4) Look for the 10x rule. Being a little better, a little faster; or a little cheaper isn't enough to turn a startup into a Gazelle. For that to happen, a company has to offer a solution that is 10x faster, 10x better, 10x more secure, 10x cheaper, etc. To sustain double digit growth over the long term, and/or to obtain dominant market position, you will need a 10x solution, a solution that is exponentially better.

The Bottom Line

Whether you are a startup, an angel investor looking to back the best startups, or a service provider looking to serve either, you need to be able to spot high growth companies earlier than others. You need to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff - the potential world leaders from those that will become kennel capital.

If you are looking to find the next Google, Facebook, or Workbrain, you need to strap on your pith helmet and start tracking the Gazelles. Doing so will most likely ensure the greatest returns on your efforts,
10x  barriers_to_entry  business_development  CAGR  cash_flows  competitive_advantage  culling  customer_acquisition  gazelles  high-growth  howto  return_on_effort  scaling  small_business  start_ups  taxonomy 
february 2015 by jerryking
CPPIB chief urges Canada to diversify, aim investments at emerging markets - The Globe and Mail
JANET MCFARLAND
The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Jan. 26 2015

Canadian companies need to “think bigger” and aim investments at Asia and other fast-growing regions of the world to improve the country’s international business success....Canadians have to think more about “the scale of the world in which we live” and realize how “puny” the country is in terms of the global population and global markets, Mr. Wiseman said in an interview prior to his remarks. More people are entering the middle class in China and India each year than live in Canada, he noted, but many Canadian businesses still do not aspire to tap those markets.

He pointed to the example of Chinese smart-phone manufacturer Xiaomi Inc., which has become one of the world’s largest handset makers within just five years. The company designs phones, but contracts out all its manufacturing, and has aggressively taken on giants such as Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

“There’s no reason why a company like that couldn’t exist here in Canada, selling handsets into China and India,” Mr. Wiseman said. “But we don’t think that way. We think about our own market, and we think about defining success within a much smaller realm than the world that is around us."... all companies need to understand their competitive advantages and exploit them, and Canada’s multicultural and multilingual population is one of the country’s most under-tapped competitive advantages.
diversification  private_equity  CPPIB  CEOs  Xiaomi  Asia  emerging_markets  multilingual  multicultural  competitive_advantage  internationally_minded  beyondtheU.S.  thinking_big  Mark_Wiseman 
january 2015 by jerryking
Kobe’s competitiveness ‘scares a lot of people that are just comfortable being average’ - The Globe and Mail
JON KRAWCZYNSKI
MINNEAPOLIS — The Associated Press
Published Monday, Dec. 15 2014
Bryant has been compared to Jordan for a long time, in part because he dared to chase him. Where Bryant is every bit Jordan’s equal is in the tenacity that has kept him going through a torn Achilles tendon, bone-on-bone friction in his knees and now the painful rebuilding of a proud franchise.

“His competitiveness drives him in the off-season to work to be able to play at the level he plays,” Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders said. “His competitiveness during the games to dominate offensively and defensively and then his competitiveness of wanting to win. He’ll challenge teammates if need be and will do whatever it takes to try to get that edge.”

It’s the only way Bryant knows. And he learned by studying the best.

“I think when you look at Michael’s [Hall of Fame] speech,” Bryant said, referring to a speech in which Jordan cited those who he perceived to have gotten in his way over the years. “People really got a chance to see how he ticks and it scared a lot of people, right? But that’s just the reality of it. You can’t get to a supreme level without channelling the dark side a little bit.”

Bryant’s willingness to embrace the darkness has, in his own eyes, cast him as one of the league’s villains.
NBA  athletes_&_athletics  competition  competitive_advantage  basketball  Kobe_Bryant  competitiveness  Pablo_Picasso  averages  tenacity  injuries  dark_side  villains 
december 2014 by jerryking
TMX’s Eccleston says Canadian exchanges need new technology - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 03 2014

The new head of TMX Group Ltd. says the stock exchange company needs to diversify and develop new technology products to help counter the impact of Canada’s highly cyclical commodity-dominated markets...“What we can’t do is simply let them all sit as totally separate entities,” he said. “They all run as verticals. But the challenge is how do you take those things and understand how to use the capabilities to create more integrated solutions that give you some competitive advantage?”...he needs to create a strategy for a portfolio of TMX businesses.

“I think it’s time to start thinking about TMX as not a group of exchanges and clearing businesses, but really a very strong technology-based organization that happens to manage exchanges, clearing businesses, risk-management business, data businesses and a number of other things,” he said.
TMX  Lou_Eccleston  product_development  stockmarkets  first90days  trading_platforms  bourses  Bay_Street  capabilities  competitive_advantage  diversification  new_products  portfolio_management  systems_integration 
december 2014 by jerryking
Business School, Disrupted - NYTimes.com
MAY 31, 2014 | NYT | By JERRY USEEM.

The question: Should Harvard Business School enter the business of online education, and, if so, how?

In the Porter model, all of a company’s activities should be mutually reinforcing. By integrating everything into one, cohesive fortification, “any competitor wishing to imitate a strategy must replicate a whole system,” Professor Porter wrote.

In the Christensen model, these very fortifications become a liability. In the steel industry, which was blindsided by new technology in smaller and cheaper minimills, heavily integrated companies couldn’t move quickly and ended up entombed inside their elaborately constructed defenses.
HBS  deanships  disruption  Michael_Porter  competitive_strategy  steel  competitive_advantage  Clayton_Christensen  Colleges_&_Universities  Ivy_League  MOOCs  business_schools  Nitin_Nohria  blindsided  blind_spots 
june 2014 by jerryking
Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage - NYTimes.com
November 15, 2013, 9:02 am 8 Comments
Finns Pitch Frightful Weather as a Competitive Advantage
By MARK SCOTT

In Europe’s crowded technology scene, cities are eager to differentiate themselves from local rivals.

London has its connections with global finance. Berlin has a thriving local arts and music community. And Helsinki has its wintry weather....“Weather is a competitive advantage for us,” said Christian Lindholm, a local entrepreneur, who – like many in Finland’s tech community – spent several years working at Nokia. “Too much good weather would be bad for us.”

The Finnish tech industry is going through a reboot as focus shifts from struggling Nokia, which is selling its cellphone division to Microsoft for $7.2 billion, to some of the country’s smaller companies.

The most recent success is Supercell, the local online gaming company...tech firms are also benefiting from the investment flowing into companies based in and around Helsinki. With a lack of Finnish early-stage investors to back start-ups, much of the funding still comes through government support, including from Tekes, the country’s technology and innovation agency, and other state-backed venture funds.

The government money varies from one-off grants for research and development at universities to six-figure investments aimed at boosting start-ups efforts to market their products in international markets.
cities  competitive_advantage  differentiation  Europe  EU  Finland  Finnish  games  healthcare  Helsinki  mobile_applications  Nokia  start_ups  state-as-facilitator  weather  winter 
november 2013 by jerryking
Six clues your innovation process is broken
Oct. 20 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | by HARVEY SCHACHTER.

1. Innovation is episodic
2. The process is invented from scratch
3. Resources are held hostage
4. Innovations are force-fitted into existing structures
5. Applying the same criteria to innovation
6. Insisting on the venture meeting its plan
Harvey_Schachter  innovation  warning_signs  strategy  competitive_advantage  shortcomings  problems 
october 2013 by jerryking
Checked your demographics lately?
August 30, 2013 | Adam Smith, Esq.| Bruce MacEwen.

So, to all the non-equity partners in the crowd, this is not about you. Rather, what follows is written from the perspective of someone who thinks a lot about the industry’s long run.

One of the strongest indices of organizations’ competitive strength over time is the ability to align and renew itself faster than rivals. As Scott Keller and Colin Price wrote in Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage (Wiley, 2011):

Organizational health is about adapting to the present and shaping the future faster and better than the competition. Healthy organizations don’t merely learn to adjust themselves to their current context or to challenges that lie just ahead; they create a capacity to learn and keep changing over time. This, we believe, is where ultimate competitive advantage lies.

This is about, in a word, people.

We know talent matters, we pay through the nose roof for headhunters to deliver lateral upon lateral, the statistical majority of whom will disappoint, we recruit the “best and the brightest” from law school (the statistical majority of whom, etc.), and yet when it’s time for our organizations to be agile and responsive to changing client expectations and market conditions, we find ourselves throttled. How can this be?

Change—real not superficial, meaningful not trivial, lasting not flavor-of-the-month—requires people to go above and beyond. [JCK: high achieving or overachievers] It’s not comfortable, and comfortable people won’t do it. This is where, I believe, the performance hazard of too many non-equity partners in a firm begins to come in.
law_firms  Bruce_MacEwen  workforce  workforce_planning  high-achieving  overachievers  partnerships  change  organizational_effectiveness  organizational_learning  adaptability  learning_agility  books  disappointment  discomforts  competitive_advantage  talent  complacency  the_best_and_brightest 
september 2013 by jerryking
Why empathy is an economic necessity - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013

The world is full of wonderfully engineered, but poorly designed products – with no eye for how the average person might use it. This highlights a certain quality that isn’t taught in business schools but can make a huge difference for companies developing new products: empathy.

Empathy is the ability to see the world through someone else’s eyes. It’s far more than just being a nice person. If properly developed, empathy can give you and your company a distinct competitive edge. Negotiating a contract, dealing with workplace conflicts, coming up with a marketing campaign, or dreaming up the next must-have consumer gadget all require the ability to see the world through eyes that aren’t your own.

Sadly, managers and human resource departments too often neglect the interpersonal skills that are so essential to achieving results. Along with other aptitudes such as story-telling and creativity, empathy is underappreciated by many in the corporate board room. The fact that we even call them “soft” skills implies that they’re less important....The ability to see the world through the eyes of others is an economic imperative. If empathy were given the attention it deserves, companies would find new ways to please their customers. Innovators would dream up systems that save time and money. Conflicts would be resolved more easily. And maybe – just maybe – engineers would design products that are simple to use.
empathy  product_development  design  skills  storytelling  Todd_Hirsch  UX  usability  competitive_advantage  under_appreciated  people_skills  new_products  interpersonal_interactions  soft_skills  delighting_customers  product_design  economic_imperatives  must-have_experience 
august 2013 by jerryking
What are the first three questions you should ask before investing in a private company? - Institute for Individual Investors
February 22, 2008

1) What is the background of the key people in this business and what have they each accomplished in this type of business in the past? As part of that question, what is their best accomplishment and what is the worst mistake they have made in business?
2)What competitive advantages does the business have? The competitive advantages should be laid out in the business plan.
3)What could go wrong and prevent the start-up from achieving its goals? If the key people do not have a list of what could go wrong, you should not invest in the start-up, because they have not done a thorough job of planning to make the start-up successful.
angels  due_diligence  privately_held_companies  thinking_tragically  think_threes  team_risk  investing  investors  questions  competitive_advantage 
march 2013 by jerryking
Identify new growth niche and how you can profit
March 19, 2013 | Financial Post | By Rick Spence.

Sparks: What other companies need unlikely solutions? How could you help them with data management, management of perishables, or guaranteeing consistent quality?
Sparks: What niche information markets could you develop and own? Or, what services could you offer to celebrity startups that have everything except business experience?
Spark: Retailers are eager to lock up new brands to differentiate themselves. How can you help more marketers achieve a competitive advantage?
Spark: What other marginal products and businesses will tech giants such as Google and Facebook drop next? How can you help users adjust? Or, what under-performers should you be trimming from your own product roster?
Sparks: Designers and builders should target early adopters eager for a colour makeover.
Spark: Where else can you find a business whose margins are so huge that Buy-One, Get-Three-Free makes sense? Or, when big names are offering value propositions like this, how can you retool your promotions and sales to compete?
Spark: How could you solve major problems like these without a supercomputer?
Spark: Gadgetry is changing so fast that even markets you thought had stabilized are wide open to new ideas. How can you use hot new technology to disrupt your industry?
Rick_Spence  growth  niches  entrepreneur  kill_rates  IBM_Watson  massive_data_sets  celebrities  ideas  entrepreneurship  new_businesses  solutions  disruption  under-performing  early_adopters  competitive_advantage  perishables  information_markets  adjustments  data_management  culling  differentiation  retailers  brands 
march 2013 by jerryking
Economist Ricardo Hausmann Says U.S. Should Reinvent Manufacturing
January 4, 2013 | MIT Technology Review | By Antonio Regalado.

[ less keen on setting up entire industries at home and instead try to insert themselves into global supply chains. Sometimes this means changing, not just exploiting, their comparative advantage.]

Using complexity theory and trade data, Hausmann looks at what a country is good at making and predicts what types of more valuable items it could produce next.

That sounds plain enough, but the results of Hausmann’s analyses are often surprising. A country with a competitive garment industry might want to move into electronics assembly—both need an industrial zone with quality electrical power and good logistics. A country that exports flowers may find it has the expertise in cold-storage logistics necessary to spark an export boom in fresh produce.
economists  manufacturers  reinvention  competitiveness_of_nations  industrial_zones  competitive_advantage  economies_of_scope  linkages  policymaking  kaleidoscopic  comparative_advantage  supply_chains  value_chains  capabilities  cold_storage 
march 2013 by jerryking
Divide and Conquer: Competing with Free Technology under Network Effects - Academic Article - Harvard Business School
Summer 2008 | HBR |by Deishin Lee and Haim Mendelson

Abstract

We study how a commercial firm competes with a free open source product. The market consists of two customer segments with different preferences and is characterized by positive network effects. The commercial firm makes product and pricing decisions to maximize its profit. The open source developers make product decisions to maximize the weighted sum of the segments' consumer surplus, in addition to their intrinsic motivation. The more importance open source developers attach to consumer surplus, the more effort they put into developing software features. Even if consumers do not end up adopting the open source product, it can act as a credible threat to the commercial firm, forcing the firm to lower its prices. If the open source developers' intrinsic motivation is high enough, they will develop software regardless of eventual market dynamics. If the open source product is available first, all participants are better off when the commercial and open source products are compatible. However, if the commercial firm can enter the market first, it can increase its profits and gain market share by being incompatible with its open source competitor, even if customers can later switch at zero cost. This first-mover advantage does not arise because users are locked in, but because the commercial firm deploys a divide and conquer strategy to attract early adopters and exploit late adopters. To capitalize on its first-mover advantage, the commercial firm must increase its development investment to improve its product features.
early_adopters  late_adopters  networks  network_effects  free  competitive_advantage  product_launches  open_source  competitive_strategy  customer_adoption  first_movers  locked_in 
january 2013 by jerryking
Competitive Analysis for Competitive Advantage
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
Who are my relevant competitors?
What are the criteria to determine customer value creation?
What are the priorities for competition?
Compared to the leading competitors, how do we look on each criterion?
On which criteria are we better?
On which criteria are they better?
How can we better position ourselves on our "strong" criteria?
How can we improve the customer's perception of our "weak" criteria?
Where should we allocate resources?
Where will future changes come from in my competitor's strategies?
On what key customer "value criteria" will they change?
How can we anticipate these changes and "reposition" our strategy most effectively?
Ivey  frameworks  competitive_advantage  market_segmentation  Five_Forces_model  value_chains  competitive_strategy  strategy  products  product_strategy  competitive_intelligence  experiece_curves  cost_analysis  comparative_advantage  customer_segmentation 
december 2012 by jerryking
Why Big Data is the new competitive advantage
July / August 2012 | Ivey Business Journal | by Tim McGuire, James Manyika, and Michael Chui
competitive_advantage  McKinsey  massive_data_sets  exhaust_data 
july 2012 by jerryking
Gain a competitive edge by preventing recalls
Aug 2003 | Quality Progress pg. 41.| Tavor White & Renata Pomponi.

Product recalls are a serious problem for consumer products companies. A conservative estimate indicates each recall costs more than $8 million on average to the company in reimbursement to consumers, recall execution costs and compensatory damages from litigation. This translates into a cost of more than $6 billion a year to the consumer products industry. The estimate does not include lost sales due to reduced marketplace credibility and lost market share. Companies can sharply reduce product safety risk and the number of recalls by implementing best practices to improve product safety and quality. Consumer products companies are under intense pressure to commercialize new products as quickly as possible. This pressure to get products out quickly means safety checks and balances are often overlooked. Consumer products companies can adopt both preventive and proactive practices to sharply reduce product safety risk and resultant costs. Some companies apply these practices and manage safety issues well enough to use their safety record and high quality as a competitive advantage. These companies have institutionalized best practices and achieved impressive results...If rushing a product to market before it is ready results in a costly product recall, however, then the decrease in time to market comes at the expense of time to profitability-a more meaningful measure....In fact, our root cause analysis of product recalls found more than 75% can be traced back to shortcomings in product development.
ProQuest  product_recalls  root_cause  product_development  competitive_advantage  checks_and_balances 
june 2012 by jerryking
Will This Customer Sink Your Stock? Here's the newest way to grab competitive advantage: Figure out how profitable your customers really are. - September 30, 2002
By Larry Selden and Geoffrey Colvin
September 30, 2002

Get ready for a big idea that's about to sweep through most companies: managing the enterprise not as a collection of products and services, not as a group of territories, but as a portfolio of customers. Of course, managers have always known that some customers are more profitable than others. But it's amazing how many executives, like those of that big retailer, haven't the least idea just how profitable (or unprofitable) individual customers or customer segments are.
customer_profitability  Geoff_Colvin  Dell  RBC  Fidelity_Investments  HBC  customer_lifetime_value  customers  retailers  banks  data_mining  data_driven  competingonanalytics  competitive_advantage 
april 2012 by jerryking
"Auditioning for Money": What Do Technology Investors Look For?
Spring 2003| The Journal of Private Equity | Colin M. Mason and Richard T. Harrison.

* What does the company do?
* How big is the market?
* Who are the customers? (a) Existing customers; (b) target customers;(c) what constitutes an ideal customer? (d) Who actually writes the cheque?
* What is the competition?
* What is the company's technical edge over the competition (the USP)?
* How is the product/service a solution to the needs of potential customers?
* What is the route to market?
pitches  Communicating_&_Connecting  presentations  auditions  angels  venture_capital  vc  private_equity  criteria  uniqueness  competitive_advantage  start_ups  questions  screening 
march 2012 by jerryking
Manufacturing: The end of cheap China
Mar 10th 2012 | HONG KONG AND SHENZHEN | The Economist

The era of cheap China may be drawing to a close. Costs are soaring, starting in the coastal provinces where factories have historically clustered (see map). Increases in land prices, environmental and safety regulations and taxes all play a part. The biggest factor, though, is labour...If cheap China is fading, what will replace it? Will factories shift to poorer countries with cheaper labour? That is the conventional wisdom, but it is wrong....Louis Kuijs of the Fung Global Institute, a think-tank, observes that some low-tech, labour-intensive industries, such as T-shirts and cheap trainers, have already left China. And some firms are employing a “China + 1” strategy, opening just one factory in another country to test the waters and provide a back-up.

But coastal China has enduring strengths, despite soaring costs. First, it is close to the booming Chinese domestic market. This is a huge advantage. No other country has so many newly pecunious consumers clamouring for stuff.

Second, Chinese wages may be rising fast, but so is Chinese productivity. The precise numbers are disputed, but the trend is not. Chinese workers are paid more because they are producing more.

Third, China is huge. Its labour pool is large and flexible enough to accommodate seasonal industries that make Christmas lights or toys, says Ivo Naumann of AlixPartners. In response to sudden demand, a Chinese factory making iPhones was able to rouse 8,000 workers from their dormitory and put them on the assembly line at midnight, according to the New York Times. Not the next day. Midnight. Nowhere else are such feats feasible.

Fourth, China’s supply chain is sophisticated and supple. Professor Zheng Yusheng of the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business argues that the right way to measure manufacturing competitiveness is not by comparing labour costs alone, but by comparing entire supply chains. Even if labour costs are a quarter of those in China to make a given product, the unreliability or unavailability of many components may make it uneconomic to make things elsewhere.
China  cheap  comparative_advantage  competitive_advantage  competitiveness  factors_of_production  flexibility  Hong_Kong  low-cost  manufacturers  measurements  productivity  supply_chains  think_tanks 
march 2012 by jerryking
Exploiting Canada’s resources can be a fool’s game - The Globe and Mail
Jeffrey Simpson | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012
Jeffrey_Simpson  productivity  natural_resources  competitive_advantage 
february 2012 by jerryking
A Middleman Who Doesn't Feel Squeezed by China
September 15, 2005 | New York Times |By JAMES FLANIGAN

Henry Fan expects growth from acquiring distressed apparel firms and gaining the size and strength to withstand the risks of supplying big retail companies even at the low prices that Chinese imports are dictating....Fan says he believes he can continue to compete by using the expertise he gained in the worlds of technology and finance to build an international supply network to handle the growing trade.

"We have overseas offices in Hong Kong and in many parts of China as well as Bangladesh and Thailand," he said. "We can design products here or overseas and ship them anywhere; we can tackle the job in numerous ways." In short, he wants to make Basic Elements a central part of the new supply equation of Chinese factories and American retailers.
intermediaries  Chinese  China  apparel  competitive_advantage  strategy  supply_chains  middlemen  economic_clout  Hong_Kong  Bangladesh  Thailand  roll_ups 
october 2011 by jerryking
Marc Andreessen on Why Software Is Eating the World - WSJ.com
My own theory is that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy.

More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense......Software is also eating much of the value chain of industries that are widely viewed as primarily existing in the physical world. In today's cars, software runs the engines, controls safety features, entertains passengers, guides drivers to destinations and connects each car to mobile, satellite and GPS networks. The days when a car aficionado could repair his or her own car are long past, due primarily to the high software content. The trend toward hybrid and electric vehicles will only accelerate the software shift—electric cars are completely computer controlled. And the creation of software-powered driverless cars is already under way at Google and the major car companies.....Companies in every industry need to assume that a software revolution is coming. This includes even industries that are software-based today. Great incumbent software companies like Oracle and Microsoft are increasingly threatened with irrelevance by new software offerings like Salesforce.com and Android (especially in a world where Google owns a major handset maker).

In some industries, particularly those with a heavy real-world component such as oil and gas, the software revolution is primarily an opportunity for incumbents. But in many industries, new software ideas will result in the rise of new Silicon Valley-style start-ups that invade existing industries with impunity. Over the next 10 years, the battles between incumbents and software-powered insurgents will be epic. [the great game] Joseph Schumpeter, the economist who coined the term "creative destruction," would be proud.....Finally, the new companies need to prove their worth. They need to build strong cultures, delight their customers, establish their own competitive advantages and, yes, justify their rising valuations. No one should expect building a new high-growth, software-powered company in an established industry to be easy. It's brutally difficult.
Marc_Andreessen  Andreessen_Horowitz  software  physical_economy  creative_destruction  Joseph_Schumpeter  software_is_eating_the_world  delighting_customers  physical_world  high-growth  Silicon_Valley  competitive_advantage  incumbents  the_great_game  electric_cars  cyberphysical 
august 2011 by jerryking
Lessons From a Soloist Who Reached the Inc. 500 List
November 8, 2007 | Inc Magazine | Posted by Terri Lonier

Recognize and Seize Opportunities - Lesson: Where others see problems,
creative soloists envision business opportunities.
Cut to the Chase --- Lesson: Candor can be a refreshing alternative for
clients, and can create a competitive advantage.
Keep Cash Flowing -- Lesson: Mixing project sizes and timetables keeps
cash flowing, builds skills, and sustains interest.
Do or Delegate---Lesson: Expand your company without increasing overhead
by creating a virtual team of experts you can rely on.
Focus on Profits, Not Revenue --- Lesson: Stay focused on profits and
net income, particularly when facing the siren call of growth.
Work the Network -- Lesson: Invest in creating and sustaining long-term
professional connections that lead to mutual success.
Choose Growth Carefully ---- Lesson: When facing decisions about growth
and the lure of higher revenues, consider all aspects, personal and
professional, immediate and long-term.
solo  ksfs  opportunities  networking  lessons_learned  entrepreneur  virtual_teams  competitive_advantage  cash_flows  jck  candour  growth  delegation 
december 2010 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: The Scarcity Shortage
Aug. 27, 2007 | Seth Godin.

Scarcity has a lot to do with value. Scarcity is the cornerstone of our economy. The best way to make a profit is by trading in something that's scarce.

How to deal with the shortage of scarcity? Well, the worst strategy is whining--about copyright laws/fair trade/how hard you've worked. etc. Start by acknowledging that most of the profit from your business is going to disappear soon. Unless you have a significant cost adv. (e.g. Amazon's or Wal-Mart's), someone with nothing to lose is going to offer a similar product for less $.....So what's scarce now? Respect. Honesty. Good judgment. L.T. relationships that lead to trust. None of these things guarantee loyalty in the face of cut-rate competition, though. So I'll add: an insanely low-cost structure based on outsourcing everything except your company's insight into what your customers really want to buy. If the work is boring, let someone else do it, faster & cheaper than you ever could. If your products are boring, kill them before your competition does. Ultimately,
what's scarce is that kind of courage--which is exactly what you can
bring to the market.
scarcity  Seth_Godin  customer_loyalty  respect  judgment  honesty  whining  trustworthiness  inspiration  entrepreneurship  proprietary  cost-structure  relationships  kill_rates  courage  customer_insights  insights  competitive_advantage  low-cost 
october 2010 by jerryking
Is Optimism a Competitive Advantage
August 13, 2009 | BusinessWeek | By Michelle Conlin. The
link between a company's employee engagement and its bottom line is
real: the more engaged the workers, the higher the sales and profits
employee_engagement  competitive_advantage  ROI  layoffs  corporate_universities 
august 2010 by jerryking
How We Built a Strong Company in a Weak Industry
CompanyCrafters| by James D. Price. Reviews Roger Brown's
February 2001 HBR article, "How We Built a Strong Company in a Weak
Industry". Entrepreneurs Linda Mason and Roger Brown started daycare
giant Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: BFAM), and along
the way built a company with over $600 million in annual revenue and a
market cap of $1 billion.

As Brown explained in his fascinating Harvard Business Review article,
"How We Built a Strong Company in a Weak Industry" (February 2001),
smart business folks, inc
daycare  entrepreneur  business_models  innovation  competitive_advantage 
june 2010 by jerryking
Another View: Peering Clearly at the Future - DealBook Blog - NYTimes.com
April 20, 2010 | New York Times | by Mike Kwatinetz and
Cameron Lester of Azure Capital Partners who explain how they examine
the the market dynamics of successful start-ups. "Here are our five
principles:

1. Lower component costs and improvements in component technology
enable new platforms to emerge.

2. New platforms breed new application winners.

3. Creating a new ecosystem creates substantial competitive
advantage.

4. Economics always matter, such as a cost advantage for the
start-up or strong return on investment for customers.

5. A leap in user experience can drive substantial adoption.
competitive_advantage  cost_advantages  customer_adoption  customer_experience  ecosystems  forecasting  investment_thesis  investors  platforms  ROI  rules_of_the_game  start_ups  step_change  UX  venture_capital 
april 2010 by jerryking
The Ultimate Start-Up Challenge? Hyper Growth - WSJ.com
MARCH 10, 2010 | Wall street Journal | By TERI EVANS. Fast
growth is often an entrepreneur's dream, but it can come with
repercussions, including customer-service snafus and staffing chaos. If
not managed well, it can also wreck a company culture, which can put a
young company in "serious danger," according to Rob Wolcott, a professor
of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Kellogg School of Management.

"In many ways, culture is the one thing that gives you long-term
competitive advantage because it's something that is very difficult to
copy," .[perhaps see Paul Graham on doing things that don't scale] Mr. Wolcott says. "When growth becomes too hot to handle, so to speak, then everyone starts focusing on the urgent and sometimes misses the important."
growth  start_ups  challenges  size  scaling  organizational_culture  revenge_effects  competitive_advantage  uniqueness  customer_service  repercussions  staffing  chaos  high-growth  unscalability 
march 2010 by jerryking
How to Be a Smart Innovator - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 11, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by Nicholas Carr,
who talks about the right way to be creative --and the wrong way. Mr.
Carr says, companies need to be prudent --even conservative --in where
and how much they encourage innovation. He reminds us that innovation
isn't free, that it's quite expensive and quite risky. Managers need to
bring the same kind of discipline to deciding where to innovate as they
would normally bring to any other kind of management question.
Innovation initiatives and innovation investments should be connected to
a firm's broader business strategy and its areas of competitive
advantage: mfg. processes or its supply chain or its products themselves
or branding and marketing areas. You don't need to always shoot for
home runs in innovation. Further, innovations can be useful if, instead
of causing disruptions, mend those disruptions or help regular customers
(late majority) adapt to new technologies or new innovations--bridging.
adaptability  breakthroughs  bridging  competitive_advantage  contrarians  Daniel_Pink  disruption  Freshbooks  howto  incrementalism  innovation  innovators  Nicholas_Carr  smart_people  strategy  taxonomy 
february 2010 by jerryking
A dizzying world of insight lurks beyond the averages
Aug 27, 2007 | The Globe & Mail pg. B.6 | by George
Stalk Jr. "A gloriously rich world is hidden from us by "averages." We
manage our lives and our businesses with averages....But as soon as we
choose an average on which to make a decision, we cut ourselves off from
more nuanced information that might lead to a better
decision....drill[ing] down behind the averages can yield rich insights.
What businesses are we in? Where are the opportunities to raise
prices? How fast can we grow this business? How much time does it
really take us to do things? Other intriguing, insightful questions
include: How much money does it take to run this business? Just what do
our customers want? Where do we make our money in this business? Who
are our real competitors? Do our averages conceal sources of
competitive advantage? Looking behind the averages often yields new
strategic and operational paradigms that can help make better decisions
and ensure they are acted upon daily.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
identify anomalies in the first place. Knowing the average margins and market share isn’t enough; look at the entire range of outcomes—across customers, geographies, products, and the like. This allows you to surface out-of-the-ordinary results for closer inspection. (June 18, 2007 | G&M pg. B8 | George Stalk Jr).
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
base_rates  George_Stalk_Jr.  strategic_thinking  insights  BCG  management_consulting  competitive_advantage  questions  extremes  laggards  decision_making  anomalies  leading-edge  quizzes  ratios  second-order  averages  5_W’s 
october 2009 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: Creating sustainable competitive advantage
October 14, 2009 | Posted by Seth Godin listing the things one
can do, whether web company, service business, manufacturer, etc. to
create a sustainable competitive advantage.
Freshbooks  5_Blocks_Out  Seth_Godin  competitive_advantage  business_models  howto 
october 2009 by jerryking
No time like bankruptcy for squeezing competitors
July 13, 2009 |The Globe & Mail | George Stalk Jr.

In bankruptcy, your competitor's major issue is a shortage of cash - which is what led it into bankruptcy in the first place. Take advantage of it.

You can put pressure on that shortage by further straining your rival's ability to generate cash, or boost the cash it needs to run its business, forcing your competitor to yield market share, customers, product and service offerings. It is fight versus flight for the bankrupt competitor.

How to raise the cash ante? Consider some of the following tactics:

Introduce extended terms. Offer your competitors' customers longer payment terms. Your rival will either lose the business of customers that bite, or be forced to do the same, thus reducing its ability to generate much-needed cash.

Consignment pricing, where the customer pays only after the product is sold, is the ultimate extended term and will be difficult for a competitor in bankruptcy to match.

Boost marketing expenditures. Raising your advertising and point-of-sale spending will have a similar effect: Either your competitor will also have to spend more, or risk losing customers that you attract.

Lengthen the "tail" of the revenue stream. Add more after-sale services and spiffs - if your competitor has to do the same, it will raise the cash costs of getting and keeping customers.

Launch more products. New product development and introduction eats up a lot of cash - and a cash-short competitor is unlikely to be able to do the same. If you go all out, introducing many more new products than a bankrupt competitor possibly can, you could make your rival's offering obsolete in the minds of customers, forcing it into fire sales in a panic to raise cash.[JCK: panicked selling off of assets]

Pursue your competitor's most profitable customers (perhaps identified via geofencing). Good management teams know where their company makes and doesn't make money. Great management teams know this about their competitors.

This insight can be used to target customers, geography, products and services of the bankrupt competitor to gain market share.

The competitor will be hesitant to counter your move against its most profitable customers because it needs the cash these customers generate. It will be more likely to maintain the status quo with these customers in the hopes the cash will keep coming.

Lawsuits. Now is the time to file the lawsuit you've always wanted to. Your bankrupt competitor will not have the discretionary resources to fight and will likely come to terms quickly.

There are also broader strategies to consider. Among them:

Sell against the competitor. When companies are in trouble, customers may worry that they won't be around to service products or provide future upgrades.

This fear can be a powerful weapon: These customers may be persuaded to take their business to companies on a sounder footing.

Go after the best talent (poaching). Anxiety about the plight of the competitor will be just as rampant among your rival's employees and suppliers as it is among customers. You can leverage that angst by going after top talent and strong suppliers - and offer terms and conditions that your competitor will have a tough time matching.

Force the sale of attractive assets held by your bankrupt competitor. A competitor in protection is not its own boss. The creditor committee is likely to care more for the cash it can get from an asset sale than who buys the assets.
bankruptcies  BCG  competition  competitive_advantage  consignment_pricing  geofencing  George_Stalk_Jr.  hardball  lawsuits  marketing  new_products  offensive_tactics  poaching  product_development  selling_off  supply_chain_squeeze  tough-mindedness 
july 2009 by jerryking
The Globe and Mail: In hard times, our justice system gives us a competitive edge
Monday, April 6, 2009 | The Globe & Mai Page A13 | By
WARREN WINKLER

If a customer doesn't pay, a supplier fails to deliver, a competitor
misappropriates a patent or a business partner backs out of an
exclusivity agreement, you need to know, and the wrongdoer needs to
know, that you can go to court to get a remedy. This is known as the
"rule of law." While only a fraction of transactions wind up in
litigation, an effective court system must be there - just in case.
Canadian_justice_system  infrastructure  legal_system  rule_of_law  competitive_advantage  Canada  Canadian  institutions  institutional_integrity  hard_times 
april 2009 by jerryking
Battle Stations - Sunoco's Peter Whatnell talks about how IT departments can help their companies succeed in tough times
Dec. 8, 2008 WSJ interview of Sunoco's Peter Whatnell by Ben
Worthen. The source of competitive advantage is knowing how IT can help
your business. You should to be able to ask any CIO: Are you able to
describe in three minutes or less how your company makes money? To me
that's where it starts. And the answer isn't "we're in retail" or "we're
in the insurance business" or "we're an oil company," because everyone
is in retail or the insurance business or is an oil company.....We have three measures when we are looking to approve a project: First, what does this project do to support the company's strategy. The second is what is the business case. And the third is around risk. One of the components we look at under risk is organizational change. The more change that a project would introduce, the more risky we consider the project. That doesn't mean that you don't do it, but the attention you give to the change-management activities has to be far higher.
information  technology  competitive_advantage  Ben_Worthen  change_management  change  Sunoco  think_threes  corporate  CIOs  IT  hard_times  value_creation  organizational_change  risk-assessment 
february 2009 by jerryking
Mr. Clean Takes Car-Wash Gig - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 5, 2009, 9:49 A.M. ET WSJ article By ELLEN BYRON.
Procter & Gamble Co., under mounting pressure to find new sources of
revenue growth, is quietly experimenting with service businesses in
recent years. Car washing, dry-cleaning, and membership-based medical
services have all been looked at. Nathan Estruth, is the vice president
of P&G's FutureWorks, which develops new business ventures.
jck  automobile  business_development  competitive_advantage  P&G  car_washes  dry-cleaning_industry 
february 2009 by jerryking
Got a competitor on your radar? Make decisions like a fighter pilot
11-19-2007 Globe & Mail article by George Stalk,

Col. John Boyd concluded that difference between fighter pilots with the
most kills and all the others was that the leading scorers exercised
faster OODA loops (the pattern of Observation, Orientation, Decision and
Acting). The OODA loop, Col. Boyd postulated, is faster for a winner
than for a laggard (or loser). Col. Boyd's supporting data and
conclusion convinced the USAF to redesign not only its training of
pilots but the very nature of the equipment they used to insure that,
over all, its pilots had faster OODA loops than their opponents.
George_Stalk_Jr.  competitive_advantage  strategy  pilots  OODA  time-based  competition  USAF  decision_making 
february 2009 by jerryking
Upstart Quigo breaches mighty Google 'moat' - and I missed it
March 1, 2008 G&M column by Avner Mandelman on the need for
companies to build a protective moat (competitive advantage)--such an
advantage should GROW year after year. Once in place, it is easier to
calculate cashflow and cash flow certainty.
Avner_Mandelman  competition  competitive_advantage  cash_flows  certainty 
february 2009 by jerryking

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