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jerryking : latent   25

Big Companies Should Collaborate with Startups
Eddie YoonSteve Hughes
FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Growth is increasingly hard to come by, so large companies are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs to help them find it. In the food and beverage category, growth came from 20,000 small companies outside of the top 100, which together saw revenue grow by $17 billion dollars.
Despite that aggregate revenue growth, not every startup is successful — in fact, the vast majority will fail.

Ironically, startups and established companies would both improve their success rates if they collaborated instead of competed. Startups and established companies bring two distinct and equally integral skills to the table. Startups excel at giving birth to successful proof of concepts; larger companies are much better at successfully scaling proof of concepts.

Startups are better at detecting and unlocking emerging and latent demand. But they often stumble at scaling their proof of concept, not only because they’re often doing it for the first time, but also because the skills necessary for creating are not the same as scaling. Startups must be agile and adapt their value proposition several times until they get it right. According to Forbes, 58% of startups successfully figure out a clear market need for what they have.

In contrast, big companies often end up launching things they can make, not what people want.

Successful collaboration between startups and established companies must go beyond financial deals: it must be personal and mission-oriented.....areas of emerging and latent demand are often highly concentrated.... spend time physically in hotbeds specific to your sector. ....met people...walk the aisles ...... explore up and coming datasets. SPINs is a retail measurement company that covers the natural and organic grocers. Yet too many companies don’t even bother to acquire this data because they dismiss it as too small to matter.....Just as important as personal knowledge are personal relationships. ...spend time with customers....skew more toward emerging customers......connect with key people who have tight connections with both startups and established companies in your industry.....collaboration needs to be mission-oriented, meaning it has to be focused on something larger than financial success. ......Executives who wish to tap into the growth of these smaller companies will find that having a big checkbook is not going to be enough, and that waiting for an investment banker to bring them deals is the wrong approach. A mercenary mindset will only go so far. When big companies try to engage with startups, a missionary mindset will create better odds of success.
large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  scaling  start_ups  collaboration  face2face  personal_meetings  personal_touch  information_sources  personal_relationships  personal_knowledge  HBR  growth  funding  M&A  success_rates  latent  hidden  proof-of-concepts  mindsets  missionaries  mission-driven  Mondolez  cultural_clash  Gulliver_strategies 
march 2017 by jerryking
The Sensor-Rich, Data-Scooping Future - NYTimes.com
APRIL 26, 2015 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

Sensor-rich lights, to be found eventually in offices and homes, are for a company that will sell knowledge of behavior as much as physical objects....The Internet will be almost fused with the physical world. The way Google now looks at online clicks to figure out what ad to next put in front of you will become the way companies gain once-hidden insights into the patterns of nature and society.

G.E., Google and others expect that knowing and manipulating these patterns is the heart of a new era of global efficiency, centered on machines that learn and predict what is likely to happen next.

“The core thing Google is doing is machine learning,” Eric Schmidt....The great data science companies of our sensor-packed world will have experts in arcane reaches of statistics, computer science, networking, visualization and database systems, among other fields. Graduates in those areas are already in high demand.

Nor is data analysis just a question of computing skills; data access is also critically important. As a general rule, the larger and richer a data set a company has, the better its predictions become. ....an emerging area of computer analysis known as “deep learning” will blow away older fields.

While both Facebook and Google have snapped up deep-learning specialists, Mr. Howard said, “they have far too much invested in traditional computing paradigms. They are the equivalent of Kodak in photography.” Echoing Mr. Chui’s point about specialization, he said he thought the new methods demanded understanding of specific fields to work well.

It is of course possible that both things are true: Big companies like Google and Amazon will have lots of commodity data analysis, and specialists will find niches. That means for most of us, the answer to the future will be in knowing how to ask the right kinds of questions.
sensors  GE  GE_Capital  Quentin_Hardy  data  data_driven  data_scientists  massive_data_sets  machine_learning  automated_reasoning  predictions  predictive_analytics  predictive_modeling  layer_mastery  core_competencies  Enlitic  deep_learning  niches  patterns  analog  insights  latent  hidden  questions  Google  Amazon  aftermath  physical_world  specialization  consumer_behavior  cyberphysical  arcane_knowledge  artificial_intelligence  test_beds 
april 2015 by jerryking
Innovation: If you can’t make yourself obsolete, someone else will - The Globe and Mail
GUY DIXON
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Jun. 26 2014

I think at the root of the problem is a deficit of ambition [i.e. a lack of chutzpah or audacity] The larger the corporation, the safer they become. What I’ve witnessed, certainly between 2008, 2009, is this deficit of ambition.....All of our research points to the fact that companies that do manage and measure innovation outperform those that don’t. You can put resources into place, and that’s where managing it comes in: deploying resources that will support innovative, new ideas; ensuring that you have a strong knowledge architecture – and that it is a formal, systemic thing, so that people access knowledge that is already developed; ensuring access to markets – that’s a structural element. Do your people have access to customers and markets?; and actively managing talent and selecting people and promoting them and ensuring that they have an orientation toward innovation and the development of new ideas....What percentage of turnover or revenue is presented by products that have been introduced in the past number of years? And for different companies, in different industries, that’s going to vary. Companies that are very successful treat that number as sacrosanct for the sales projection for next year and the bottom line for next year....Way too many companies are focused on market share versus the modern metric of, ‘Are we gaining a disproportionate share of opportunity?’ [Is this distinction something to be explored with the help of sensors, location-based services and the LBMA??] And then we’re back to this abandonment thing.
Managing_Your_Career  organizational_culture  innovation  metrics  ambitions  opportunities  market_share  complacency  measurements  talent_management  ideas  obsolescence  disproportionality  latent  hidden  self-obsolescence  large_companies  new_products  Fortune_500  brands  Guy_Dixon  outperformance 
june 2014 by jerryking
Look beyond the obvious to understand an artwork
Sir, Gillian Tett (" The lost art of finance ", March 15) rightly argues that a more creative approach to finance would be beneficial and that art can be a useful means of gaining a fresh perspective....
finance  Wall_Street  art  museums  fresh_eyes  letters_to_the_editor  artists  artwork  art_galleries  Gillian_Tett  perspectives  paintings  interpretation  latent  art_appreciation 
may 2014 by jerryking
Deloitte: Companies Engage in ‘Hidden Market for Data Monetization’ - The CIO Report - WSJ
January 23, 2014 | WSJ | By Michael Hickins.

Companies are engaging in “a hidden market for data monetization,” and are starting to “trade data among themselves for mutual benefit,” according to John Lucker, Deloitte LLP’s market leader for advanced analytics and modeling. The question they still haven’t wrestled to the ground is how much is too much data, and when does trading data cause consumers to revolt.
data  monetization  exhaust_data  privacy  data_marketplaces  CIOs  hidden  latent 
february 2014 by jerryking
The Four Best (and Worst) Uses of Market Research| Page 2
April 9 2013 | | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine | by Taddy Hall

Experience and research suggest that CEOs of many companies look for growth in the wrong places and in the wrong ways, thereby missing opportunities and leaving them for the newbies. In a sense, though, this is good news: success lies in doing things differently, not spending more.

Specifically, there are four approaches organizations often take, none of which reliably lead to the actionable insights business leaders need:

Seek and profile large, growing and profitable markets
Solicit feedback from current best customers
Segment markets based on customer attributes, such as demographics, or based on product characteristics like “high end” vs. “low end,” “regular” vs. “light,” etc.
Benchmark progress against competitors

In each case, it is easy to see why an industry leader might have interest in the findings; however, these outputs speak primarily to aspects of the existing business or to the franchises of other established players. In other words, mapping current demand reveals little to nothing of the less-visible latent demand that is essential fuel for transformational innovation. As Henry Ford mused a hundred years ago: if he’d asked folks what they wanted, they would have asked for faster horses. Echoing Ford, Steve Jobs noted that consumers can’t describe what they’ve never experienced.
market_research  disruption  Clayton_Christensen  high-end  latent  insights  growth  opportunities  transformational  customer_insights  innovation  large_markets  market_segmentation  customer_risk  actionable_information  hidden  Henry_Ford  Steve_Jobs  market_share  static  dynamic  segmentation  missed_opportunities  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  unarticulated_desires 
april 2013 by jerryking
Surprise business result? Explore whether it is a hidden opportunity
June 18, 2007 | G&M pg. B8 | George Stalk Jr.

What does it take to capitalize on anomalies systematically?

For starters, you need to have metrics and information systems that are sufficiently refined to 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.

The next step is to separate wheat from chaff: those anomalies that signal a potential business opportunity from those that are merely one-time events. The key is to examine the pattern of unusual performance over time. The customer who consistently buys high volumes or the market that outperforms the average year after year are, by definition, not random. Is there an underlying cause that can be identified and then replicated elsewhere?

Finally, you need to understand the precise mechanisms that animate the anomalies you identify. Why is the unusual pattern of performance happening? What specific features of the product or the local environment or the customer experience are bringing it about? Don’t accept the usual first-order explanations. It’s not enough to know that a particular customer has been loyal for years; find out precisely why.

It’s up to senior management to create the forum for asking why and to persist until the question is answered with genuine insight.
metrics  George_Stalk_Jr.  BCG  anomalies  growth  opportunities  customer_insights  surprises  systematic_approaches  quizzes  ratios  pattern_recognition  insights  questions  first-order  second-order  OPMA  Waudware  curiosity  new_businesses  one-time_events  signals  noise  overlooked_opportunities  latent  hidden  averages  information_systems  assessments_&_evaluations  randomness  5_W’s 
january 2013 by jerryking
Learning to Love Volatility: Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Antifragile
November 16, 2012 | WSJ | Nassim Nicholas Taleb

In a world that constantly throws big, unexpected events our way, we must learn to benefit from disorder, writes Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Some made the mistake of thinking that I hoped to see us develop better methods for predicting black swans. Others asked if we should just give up and throw our hands in the air: If we could not measure the risks of potential blowups, what were we to do? The answer is simple: We should try to create institutions that won't fall apart when we encounter black swans—or that might even gain from these unexpected events....To deal with black swans, we instead need things that gain from volatility, variability, stress and disorder. My (admittedly inelegant) term for this crucial quality is "antifragile." The only existing expression remotely close to the concept of antifragility is what we derivatives traders call "long gamma," to describe financial packages that benefit from market volatility. Crucially, both fragility and antifragility are measurable.

As a practical matter, emphasizing antifragility means that our private and public sectors should be able to thrive and improve in the face of disorder. By grasping the mechanisms of antifragility, we can make better decisions without the illusion of being able to predict the next big thing. We can navigate situations in which the unknown predominates and our understanding is limited.

Herewith are five policy rules that can help us to establish antifragility as a principle of our socioeconomic life.

Rule 1:Think of the economy as being more like a cat than a washing machine.

We are victims of the post-Enlightenment view that the world functions like a sophisticated machine, to be understood like a textbook engineering problem and run by wonks. In other words, like a home appliance, not like the human body. If this were so, our institutions would have no self-healing properties and would need someone to run and micromanage them, to protect their safety, because they cannot survive on their own.

By contrast, natural or organic systems are antifragile: They need some dose of disorder in order to develop. Deprive your bones of stress and they become brittle. This denial of the antifragility of living or complex systems is the costliest mistake that we have made in modern times.

Rule 2:Favor businesses that benefit from their own mistakes,not those whose mistakes percolate into the system.

Some businesses and political systems respond to stress better than others. The airline industry is set up in such a way as to make travel safer after every plane crash.

Rule 3:Small is beautiful, but it is also efficient.

Experts in business and government are always talking about economies of scale. They say that increasing the size of projects and institutions brings costs savings. But the "efficient," when too large, isn't so efficient. Size produces visible benefits but also hidden risks; it increases exposure to the probability of large losses.
Rule 4:Trial and error beats academic knowledge.
Rule 5:Decision makers must have skin in the game.

In the business world, the solution is simple: Bonuses that go to managers whose firms subsequently fail should be clawed back, and there should be additional financial penalties for those who hide risks under the rug. This has an excellent precedent in the practices of the ancients. The Romans forced engineers to sleep under a bridge once it was completed (jk: personal risk and skin in the game).
Nassim_Taleb  resilience  black_swan  volatility  turmoil  brittle  antifragility  personal_risk  trial_&_error  unknowns  size  unexpected  economies_of_scale  risks  hidden  compounded  disorder  latent  financial_penalties  Romans  skin_in_the_game  deprivations  penalties  stressful  variability 
november 2012 by jerryking
A Mindset, Not a Technology | Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management | Find Articles
Dec 15, 1999 | Folio: The Magazine for Magazine Management | Tony Silber.

But technology improvements only enable. They're a means, not the end. The real commitment has to be a companywide understanding of how valuable a fully developed database marketing operation is--especially for magazine publishers, who, because of their lists, already have a rather sophisticated picture of their customers. Database marketing--data mining, data warehousing, one-to-one marketing, whatever you want to call it--is really a mindset, an approach, a framework for doing business. And it remains, to me at least, unclear how many publishing companies are really maximizing the inherent, but often latent, value of their databases. That's why we decided to do this issue.
data  data_driven  databases  marketing  frameworks  Condé_Nast  mindsets  latent  companywide 
july 2012 by jerryking
Investment Strategies in Private Equity
Summer 2003| The Journal of Private Equity | Varun Sood
Adverse selection arises in a market
where buyers cannot accurately gauge the
quality of the product that they are buying. It
suggests that in such a case, the marketplace
most likely will contain generally poor-quality
products. This concept, also referred to as the
“hidden information” problem, is well known
in areas such as insurance and banking. In
simple terms, the theory is that there will
always be a seller for a poor-quality good,
because a seller of such items will always want
to sell. Therefore, by “self-selection,” poor quality
goods will be overrepresented in offers
made to buyers as well as in those accepted for
purchase.
private_equity  asymmetrical  moral_hazards  investing  strategies  overrepresentation  self-selection  adverse_selection  latent  hidden  Gresham's_law 
november 2011 by jerryking
The Door-To-Door Billionaire Daryl Harms knows how to turn dull businesses into big profits. But can he really do it with your garbage? - May 1, 2003
By Ed Welles
May 1, 2003

Harms spots trends sooner and bears down harder than most entrepreneurs--a combination that has made him wildly wealthy, if not exactly famous. But his next venture--more on that later-- just might transform him into a household name on the order of, say, Warren Buffett. Like Buffett, Daryl Harms, 51, patiently trolls for perfect businesses in which he can build long-term value via his Masada Resource Group, based in Birmingham. He hunts down overlooked opportunities that don't trade on trendy brand names or cutting-edge technologies...When selling cable service, Harms went block to block, zeroing in on houses with the tallest antennas. Other salesfolk reflexively bypassed such homes because they assumed that better reception wasn't an issue for them. Harms targeted those customers first. "I told them, 'I can see you stand tall. Of all the people on the street you understand the value of TV,' " he recalls saying. " 'If we put cable in, you can compare it with what you have now. If you don't like it, we'll come back and take it out.' " Such "influencers," in Harms's lingo, made it easier for him to convert whole blocks....Spurred by a poll that showed that 92% of Americans considered themselves "environmentalists," Harms and his employees spent a year studying the recycling market only to decide that the real money lay in garbage. From there they sought out the best ethanol conversion technology. Having found it--at the Tennessee Valley Authority--they worked for five years to tweak the science, an effort that has earned Masada 18 patents. "Today's risky business climate warrants thoroughness," Harms says..."The theme is that there is always a consumer need to be addressed," explains Wheeler. "People will always talk on the phone, watch television, and produce garbage."...Asking the right question, it seems, comes naturally to Harms. Entrepreneurs fail, he believes, because they "get too microscopic in their thinking. In business it's very easy to get the right answer to the wrong question." According to Wheeler, Harms failed to ask the right question when he set up a venture called Postron, which allowed cable TV subscribers to receive their bills via cable and print them out on a printer attached to their TVs. What Harms didn't ask, says Wheeler, was "whether consumers wanted another piece of hardware." They didn't...Harms finds customers where no one else thinks to look. When he started selling burglar alarms in 1985, he didn't target high-crime areas. Instead he identified places where the perception of vulnerability was greatest--which he determined by calculating how much space the local paper devoted to crime. The first cellphone license he sought was for a desolate stretch of highway between Lincoln and Omaha rather than in a major population center. Why? Because, as Page says, "what else were people going to do in their cars but talk on the phone?" Aside from overlooked customers, Harms seeks another component to every business: recurring revenue of roughly $25 a month per user. "That's a bite that most people can get used to paying," he reasons. For him it translates into healthy cash flow, which fosters predictability and enables a business to survive hard times. Besides, "the more reliable the cash flow, the higher a multiple of that cash flow you can get for your company," he notes.
entrepreneur  moguls  counterintuitive  overlooked_opportunities  unglamorous  latent  hidden  cash_flows  questions  missed_opportunities  wide-framing  hard_times  predictability  consumer_needs  subscriptions  thinking_big  asking_the_right_questions 
november 2011 by jerryking
The builder who revived a beloved brand brick by brick
Jul 18, 2011 FT. Andrew Ward. Jorgen Vig Knudstorp ; CEO Lego.
as head of the Danish toy maker, he helped restore the fortunes of a
national institution...Knudstorp saw that painful measures were needed
to turn the company around: layoffs, some mfg. was off shored to eastern
Europe & Mexico, and asset sales of theme parks & non-core
products....One of the hardest challenges for any CEO is to get to the
truth of what a biz is doing right & wrong - & to avoid
complacency when things are going well. Don`t dismiss the 1 % who
complain. Listen extra hard to that 1% because they usually represent a
much bigger proportion of silent unhappiness."

Lego tries to get at the truth by basing a large proportion of managers'
bonuses on customer satisfaction surveys of retailers, parents &
children...Knudstorp maintains a wide netwk of global business &
academic contacts from his time at McK and, before that, at biz schools
in Denmark, the UK & US, and describes himself an eclectic reader.
ProQuest  Lego  CEOs  Denmark  Danish  turnarounds  family-owned_businesses  theme_parks  toys  latent  hidden  complacency  customer_satisfaction  McKinsey  dissatisfaction  complaints  unhappiness 
july 2011 by jerryking
Executive Learns From Hack - WSJ.com
JUNE 21, 2011 By EVAN RAMSTAD.

• Trust the authorities.
• Stay open and transparent."
• Learn IT and know where vulnerabilities are. "These days, the CEO
should understand the basic structure of hacking even though he cannot
do programming. A CEO has to make tradeoffs and organizational
decisions.
• Create a philosophy that drives IT decisions. "Up to a few years ago,
the hacking route was very simple. But these days, there are so many
holes. Smartphone applications, so many websites … so the CEO has many
decisions to make.
• Reassess plans for products and services. Understand that each
application creates a new route for hacking. The real cost is not the
development cost. It's also the cost of hacking exposure.
Hyundai  South_Korea  blackmail  consumer_finance  IT  lessons_learned  cyber_security  product_development  product_management  hacks  data_breaches  vulnerabilities  new_products  hidden  latent  tradeoffs  CEOs 
june 2011 by jerryking
Who Is James Johnson? - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
June 16, 2011 . Brooks' point is that some of the most serious scandals
are not salacious, occur slowly and receive little media attention. And
so it was with Fannie Mae, a quasi-govt. agency tasked with the effort
to expand home-ownership. Fannie's executives engaged in
self-aggrandizement and Fannie became a cancer that helped spread risky
behavior and low standards across the housing industry....Gretchen
Morgenson, a Times colleague, and the financial analyst Joshua Rosner
have written “Reckless Endangerment,” a brave book that exposes the
affair in clear and gripping form.
scandals  David_Brooks  books  self-aggrandizement  Fannie_Mae  inconspicuous  obscurity  latent  hidden 
june 2011 by jerryking
On a smarter planet, answers are hidden in the data
The biggest leaps forward in the next several decades—in
business, science and society at large— will come from insights gleaned
through perpetual, real-time analysis of data. With nearly 2 billion
people on the Internet (and counting), and with more and more of the
world’s systems becoming digitally aware, there is greater diversity in
the forms and shapes data is taking—transactions of every kind, rich
media, social media....Yet, while data is growing at an exponential rate
in volume and
complexity, time is not. Which is why no organization, city or country
can afford “enterprise amnesia.” Whether your goal is
to remain competitive or to change the world—or both—you need to
capture, understand and use all of your data. And that,
in turn, is why the new science of analytics must be core to every
leader’s thinking.
IBM  advertising  data  philosophy  hidden  latent  data_driven  analytics  Freshbooks  massive_data_sets  filetype:pdf  media:document  insights  real-time  leaders 
april 2011 by jerryking
The New Alchemy At Sears
APRIL 16, 2007 | BusinessWeek | By Robert Berner.

Sears is on the cutting edge of a financial innovation: it has created $1.8 billion worth of securities based on the brand names Kenmore, Craftsman, and DieHard. In essence, it has transferred ownership of the brands to another entity, which it then pays for the right to use the brands. The deal, carried off last May, was the biggest "securitization"
of intellectual property in history....Such daring shouldn't come as a surprise at a Lampert-run shop. When he looks at a company, he sees value hidden from plain view—value that traditional accounting methods often miss. That keen eye is what prompted him to buy up a majority of Kmart's bonds at a deep discount after it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2002. He saw that Kmart's real estate was deeply undervalued by creditors, and figured that would protect his investment.
He was right....Sears says there is nothing unusual about securitizing assets; many companies, including most of the largest retailers, evaluate alternatives to create value from their brands, real estate, and other assets.
Sears  intellectual_property  securitization  brands  hedge_funds  latent  hidden  financial_innovation  undervalued 
december 2010 by jerryking
Why Networking Isn't About Achieving Personal Gain
2004 | Wall Street Journal | By Barbara Moses. Good networkers
extend their connections beyond their immediate professional boundaries.
They cultivate relationships with people who know how to get things
done... They enjoy bringing together interesting people and ideas, and
they are as proud of making things happen for others as they are of how
many people are listed in their personal organizers. Skilled networkers
don't view staying connected with others as networking, seeing it
instead as exchanging information. The best networkers rarely expect a
personal payoff...having benefited from their contacts' kindness and
help, they`re seeking opportunities to reciprocate and hope they'll do
the same...Adept networkers are huge information synthesizers who can
see connections that aren't obvious between people, things and ideas.
From the initial presenting issue, they can identify a higher idea the
other person might not have seen and make creative referrals...they're
idea generators.
personal_connections  Barbara_Moses  connecting_the_dots  networking  tips  serving_others  Communicating_&_Connecting  idea_generation  ideas  non-obvious  latent  hidden  information_synthesis  referrals  value_added  packaging  personal_payoffs 
december 2010 by jerryking
Off the Shelf - ‘Fault Lines’ Concludes Global Economy Remains Vulnerable - NYTimes.com
July 31, 2010 | NYT | By NANCY F. KOEHN reviews “Fault Lines:
How Hidden Fractures Still Threaten the World Economy” by Raghuram G.
Rajan who concludes that the financial crisis erupted “because in an
integrated economy and in an integrated world, what is best for the
individual actor or institution is not always best for the system.” Like
geological fault lines, the fissures in the world economic sys. are
more hidden and widespread than many realize. And they are potentially
more destructive than other culprits, e.g greedy bankers, sleepy
regulators and irresponsible borrowers. Rajan, a finance prof at the U.
of Chicago and former chief economist at the IMF argues that the
actions of these players (and others) unfolded on a larger worldwide
stage, that is subject to the imperatives of political economies. He
cites 3 fault lines: domestic political stresses; trade imbalances among
countries; and the tensions produced when financial sys. with very
different structures interact.
book_reviews  economic_downturn  financial_crises  crisis  threats  interconnections  interdependence  books  systemic_risks  vulnerabilities  fault_lines  hidden  latent  regulators  uChicago  global_economy  imbalances 
august 2010 by jerryking
Googling Growth - WSJ.com
APRIL 9, 2007 | Wall Street Journal | by CHRIS ZOOK. Rapid
shifts in markets and technologies are forcing companies of all sorts to
change direction faster than ever. Many management teams are tempted
by "big bang" solutions: dramatic, transformative mergers or aggressive
leaps into sexy new markets. The success rate for major, life-changing
mergers is only about one in 10. For most companies, reinvention of a
core business doesn't have to involve such high levels of risk. The
solution lies in mining hidden assets -- assets already possessed but
not being tapped for maximum growth potential.
One way to open management's eyes to hidden assets is to identify the
richest hunting grounds, usually camouflaged as hidden business
platforms, untapped customer insights, and underused capabilities.
accelerated_lifecycles  Apple  assets  Bain  big_bang  business_models  Chris_Zook  core_businesses  customer_insights  GE  growth  hidden  high-risk  iPODs  latent  life-changing  M&A  mergers_&_acquisitions  moonshots  Nestlé  Novozymes  rapid_change  reinvention  resource_management  Samsung  success_rates  transformational  underutilization 
february 2010 by jerryking
How to be a packager
Posted by Seth Godin on June 29, 2009

Seth was a book packager which has nothing to do with packaging and a bit more to do with books. It's a great gig and there are useful lessons, because there are dozens of industries just waiting for "packaging"....A book packager is like a movie producer, but for books. You invent an idea, find the content and the authors, find the publisher and manage the process. Book packagers make almanacs, illustrated books, series books for kids and the goofy one-off books you find at the cash register. Seth did everything from a line of almanacs to a book on spot and stain removal. It was terrific fun, and in a good year, a fine business.....there are advantages to this model (and not just for books).

First, the world needs packagers. Packagers that can find isolated assets and connect them in a way that creates value, at the same time that they put in the effort to actually ship the product out of the door. ...
Second, in many industries there are 'publishers' who need more products to sell. Any website with a lot of traffic and a shopping cart can benefit from someone who can assemble products that they can profitably sell. Apple uses the iPhone store to publish apps. It's not a perfect analogy, because they're not taking any financial risk, but the web is now creating a new sort of middleman who can cheaply sell a product to the end user. We also see this with Bed, Bath and Beyond commissioning products for their stores, or Trader Joe's doing it with food items.

Any time you can successfully bring together people who have a reputation or skill with people who sell things, you're creating value. If you find an appropriate scale, it can become a sustainable, profitable business.

The skills you bring to the table are vision, taste and a knack for seeing what's missing. You also have to be a project manager, a salesperson and the voice of reason, the person who brings the entire thing together and to market without it falling apart. Like so many of the businesses that are working now, it doesn't take much cash, it merely takes persistence and drive.

Here are some basic rules of thumb that I learned the hard way:

* It's much easier to sell to an industry that's used to buying. Books were a great place for me to start because book publishers are organized to buy projects from outsiders. It's hard enough to make the sale, way too hard to persuade the person that they should even consider entering the market. (PS stay away from the toy business).
* Earning the trust of the industry is critical. The tenth sale is a thousand times easier than the second one (the first one doesn't count... beginner's luck).
* Developing expertise or assets that are not easily copied is essential, otherwise you're just a middleman.
* Patience in earning the confidence of your suppliers (writers, brands, factories, freelancers) pays off.
* Don't overlook obvious connections. It may be obvious to you that Eddie Bauer should license its name and look to a car company, but it might not be to them.
* Get it in writing. Before you package up an idea for sale to a company that can bring it to market, make sure that all the parties you're representing acknowledge your role on paper.
* As the agent of change, you deserve the lion's share of the revenue, because you're doing most of the work and taking all of the risk. Agenting is a good gig, but that's not what I'm talking about.
* Stick with it. There's a Dip and it's huge. Lots of people start doing things like this, and most of them give up fairly quickly. It might take three or five years before the industry starts to rely on you.
* Work your way up. Don't start by trying to license the Transformers or Fergie. They won't trust a newbie and you wouldn't either.
Seth_Godin  howto  business_development  expertise  one-of-a-kind  licensing  patience  large_companies  voids  vision  persistence  change_agents  overlooked_opportunities  packaging  value_added  non-obvious  latent  hidden  information_synthesis  creating_valuable_content 
july 2009 by jerryking
Pandemics and Poor Information - WSJ.com
MAY 11, 2009 | Wall Street Journal | by L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Whenever there's a threat of epidemic, alongside early deaths comes the casualty of information. Asian governments at least learned from their recent experience of bird flu and SARS the importance of not covering up outbreaks. The still open question is how to assess warnings that health professionals make based on inadequate information. Almost by definition, the risk of an epidemic occurs when the one thing disease experts know for sure is that they don't know for sure what will happen.
"What new information would be sufficient to change your decision?"

Alexander's question (AKA 'Dr. Alexander's question') is a question used to uncover assumptions and associations that may be confusing your judgment. Asking what information would be needed to change your mind can help bring faulty reasoning to light, and it can also point out what facts you should be researching before committing yourself and others to a course of action.

The uncertainty about the longer-term threat of the current swine flu is a
reminder that nature is more complex than mathematical models.Scientific
hypotheses can then be tested, but this approach has limits when it
comes to predictions.
"Alexander's Question," named for a physician who had posed a canny
question of his fellow experts: What information might make the group
change its mind about the need for immunization? Focusing on it would
have led to more focus on uncertainties: the trade-off between side
effects and flu, the difference between the severity of the flu and its
spread, and the choice between mandatory vaccinations and stockpiling in
case of later need. Decision makers should ask themselves what new
"knowns" would change their views.
pandemics  epidemics  risk-assessment  L._Gordon_Crovtiz  information_flows  information  decision_making  immunization  critical_thinking  uncertainty  assumptions  questions  Dr.Alexander's_Question  information_gaps  hidden  latent  facts  change_your_mind  problem_framing  tradeoffs  flu_outbreaks  side_effects  vaccines  stockpiles  information-poor  CDC  unknowns 
may 2009 by jerryking
How to Get a Job - Careers Articles
Mar 30th 2009 |Fortune Magazine | By Jia Lynn Yang,
writer-reporter

It's brutal out there. But the people getting hired aren't necessarily
the most connected -- they're the most creative. From food diarists to
Twitter stalkers to candidates tapping the "hidden" job market, here's
what's working now.
job_search  career  Managing_Your_Career  Trends  résumés  howto  creativity  hustle  coverletters  hidden  latent 
april 2009 by jerryking
Six Ways Companies Mismanage Risk - HBR.org
March 2009 |Harvard Business Review | by René M. Stulz
(Charles Waud & WaudWare)
Financial risk management is hard to get right in the best of times. Stulz explores 6 ways institutions usually drop the ball:
1. Relying on Historical Data
2. Focussing on narrow measures
3. Overlooking knowable risks
4. Overlooking concealed risks
5. Failing to communicate
6. Not managing in real time
HBR  risk-management  execution  failure  risks  measurements  unknowns  financial_risk  hidden  latent  Communicating_&_Connecting  signaling  real-time  disclosure  mismanagement  overlooked 
march 2009 by jerryking
If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You Rich?
December 27, 2008| Adam Smith, Esq.: An inquiry into the
economics of law firms....| Blog post by Bruce MacEwen
# What are the unspoken assumptions behind this piece?;
# If what the author is saying is correct, what happens next?;
# Does this align with most things we read in the past few months or is
it squarely at odds with the consensus--and then who's right?;
# What are the author's presumed biases, predilections, and
hobbyhorses?; and
# Last and most important--but hardest!--of all, does it spark any new
ideas in your mind? What have you been taking for granted that might be
due for a challenge or an update or a revisionist note?
innovation  lawyers  critical_thinking  Bruce_MacEwen  strategic_thinking  assumptions  smart_people  biases  predilections  questions  aftermath  latent  hidden  insights  ideas  next_play 
march 2009 by jerryking

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