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Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts - HBR
John Chambers
FROM THE MAY 2015 ISSUE

Mr. Chambers said that customers are the best indicators of when to make investments in new technology. “That’s one reason I spend so much time listening to CIOs, CTOs, and CEOs during sales calls,”
HBR  Cisco  anticipating  ksfs  transitions  indicators  market_intelligence  John_Chambers  IBM  layoffs  CEOs  market_windows  disruption  customer_relationships  sales_calls  CIOs  CTOs  listening 
may 2015 by jerryking
HOW TO SELL FRESH PRODUCE TO SUPERMARKET CHAINS
March 1999 | | Bobby G. Beamer, Adjunct Professor, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Virginia Tech.

The most common approach to penetrating the fresh produce market has been to identify market windows created by seasonal production variations in major production areas. To attract buyers, local producers have attempted to fill market windows left open by established marketing channels. This production
approach to marketing fails to consider the needs of their customers: the retail supermarkets and their buyers.
However, by adopting a marketing approach , growers can establish better long-term relationships with their customers and capture more benefits than merely competing with other producing regions on price. Marketing efforts must begin before production as growers learn about buyers` needs and
requirements, including grade, quality, packaging, and delivery, in addition to learning which individual produce items are needed. The marketing approach, then, requires that growers produce what they can sell rather than trying to sell what they have produced. With the emphasis on variety in the produce section, Virginia growers may find more production opportunities in the specialty item category than by attempting to meet the shortages created by seasonal production
variations.

the average produce department in 1994 occupied 12 percent of the total store space but generated almost 17 percent of the average profits for the store. Previous research (Runyan, et al .) identified the following problems that can hinder the development of a good relationship between buyers and producers:
∑ lack of consistent quality,
∑ uneven sizing and grading,
∑ product too mature,
∑ lack of advance notice of product availability,
∑ inadequate removal of field heat, and
∑ lack of organization among local growers.

CONCLUSIONS
This study confirms the conditions for market entry described by Ryan, et al .: consistent grading for quality, even sizing, proper product maturity; removal of field heat; anticipated arrivals; and grower organizations. Merchandisers stressed the importance of good relationships, stating that new producers would have a hard time penetrating the market because of the loyalty factor established between growers and buyers. Part of this relationship is that ì. . . even at a cheaper price, itís going to be hard to pry us away from [our usual suppliers] because they provide consistent size, color, packing, and delivery. If we call them up and say that weíre short and need another truck load, theyíll have it here for us this
afternoon.îThe existence of these relationships emphasizes the need for the producer to get to know the market.
Rather than trying to compete with existing relationships, producers need to identify commodities having inconsistent supplies or poorly established supply relationships.

During interviews, produce merchandisers consistently expressed doubts about the willingness of small-scale, local produce growers to adopt practices conducive to the establishment of relationships . Although small-scale producers lack the economies of size that enable large-scale producers to invest in equipment and facilities, new institutions, such as the shipping-point markets, may provide small firms with the support needed to establish market relationships. However, such marketing support may be coming at the wrong end of the production process. Traditionally, fruit and vegetable growers, like many people involved in agricultural production, view their role primarily as commodity producers. The primary emphasis is placed on producing a good product, while marketing is viewed as strictly a post-harvest activity. One merchandiser related the story of a new producer who grew several acres of Daikon, a large, hot Japanese radish. The producer was disappointed to discover that after harvesting the crop no one was interested in purchasing it. Such a problem could have been avoided if the grower had invested some time, prior to production, in market research. Unfortunately, many producers still follow this approach in the production and marketing of fresh fruits and vegetables
fresh_produce  supermarkets  grocery  howto  market_windows  statistics  profitability  barriers_to_entry  farming  agriculture  Virginia  decision_trees  WaudWare  OPMA 
april 2013 by jerryking
Darwin and Demon: Innovating within Established Enterprises
July-August 2004 | HBR | Geoffrey A. Moore

Innovation comes in many forms--products, processes, marketing, business models, and more. Which kind should you be pursuing? It depends where are you in your product category's life cycle.
innovation  HBR  product_launches  taxonomy  life_cycle  market_windows  sales_cycle  Geoffrey_Moore  intrapreneurship  product_category  new_categories 
december 2012 by jerryking
The Young & Restless of Technology Finance
November 1993| The Red Herring | Anthony B. Perkins.

We think that marketing is everything. We try to help our companies figure out what is going to set them apart. We encourage companies to define their biggest risks-up front, work hard to put the risks behind them, and then move forward with very innovative marketing...During the interview process, you see whether entrepreneurs have passion and tenacity. The hardest thing to determine is their ability to stick-to-it. Entrepreneurs need to be very dynamic, wi11ing to adjust. And that's why an important part of our process is checking references, we have to be convinced the entrepreneur has never give up, even when things get tough. In other words, when Plan A work, because Plan A never works, we like to hear entrepreneurs say "That's O.K.,Plan B is on its way. I've twisted this valve and turned this knob and I really think we've figured it out." What we don't like to hear is "Well,it didn't work out...sorry." We also like to see entrepreneurs who are singularly focused on building -great products that fill distinct market needs. We are less interested in people who like nice digs, hype,and PR.

Moritz: ‘We have a very tight on making sure there is a sizable market opportunity in front. of us before we make an investment. We are much more focused on market growth potential and the ability for a company to reach a market successfully and profitably. We have also demonstrated as a firm and individually the ability to get companies off the ground with a small amount of fuel. We like to start wicked infernos with a single match rather than two million gallons of kerosene. This is clearly a differentiated way of getting a company put together. This approach has terrific benefits for the people who start the companies and for all our limited partners. You might say that we have a morbid fascination with our ROI, as opposed no the amount of dollars we put to work. And this is a very different message than you get from a lot of other venture firms.
The: HERRING: How often does a Sequoia partner actually go in and help operate a company?

Moritz: Pierre is the great unsung hero of Cisco Systems. He spent a tremendous amount of time at the company. working behind the scenes helping to make sure the engineering department was designing and getting new products to market. People don't realize the significant contribution Pierre made to Cisco because Don's name is on the hubcaps as the chairman of the company. The ability we have to help operate companies is a useful tool in our arsenal.

The HERRING: Sequoia's image on the streets of Silicon Valley is that you are the Los Angeles Raiders of venture capital--the tough guys who are quicker than the other firms to boot the CEO or pull the financial plug.
Moritz: We are congenitally incapable of pouring good money after bad. Some people. for their own will thrust us into a position to be harbingers of bad new to management, which is all right. But we do not want to continue propping up a company if we think its chances for success have evaporated. We would be wasting our money as individuals and wasting the money of our limited partners. There have been very few instances where we decided to stop funding a company and have regretted it.
The HERRING: What ’s the hardest part of your job?
Moritz: We usually don't make mistakes when it comes to assessing market opportunity. And we are reasonably accurate in predicting how long it will take to bring a product to market. The great imponderable is to judge accurately and predict how well a president is going to be able to run the business. It is easy to mistake the facade for reality
The HERRING: ‘What characteristics does Sequoia look for in a company president?
Moritz: Frugality, competitiveness. confidence, and paranoia.
venture_capital  vc  howto  Kleiner_Perkins  Sequoia  career_paths  Michael_Moritz  no_regrets  endurance  frugality  competitiveness  paranoia  self-confidence  market_sizing  market_windows  team_risk  market_opportunities  ambitions  large_markets  sticktoitiveness  entrepreneur  perseverance  indispensable  Plan_B  off-plan  champions  reference-checking  unknowns  assessments_&_evaluations  opportunities  unsentimental  wishful_thinking  illusions  overambitious 
july 2012 by jerryking
Bottom lines are under pressure
Jun 14, 2004 / Plant. : Vol. 63, Iss. 7; pg. 46, 1 pgs /
Jayson Myers. Accelerated innovation also brings tremendous challenges.
It's shortening product life cycles and creating new and more demanding
customer expectations. More than 25,000 new consumer products were
launched in the North American market last year. Some manufacturers are
facing a market window of only a few months before the competition steps
in or customer requirements change. For example, the life cycle of
electronic components is about 18 months.
ProQuest  Canadian  manufacturers  innovation  margins  product_launches  market_windows  accelerated_lifecycles  customer_expectations 
november 2010 by jerryking
Four Lessons from Y-Combinator's Fresh Approach to Innovation
June 12, 2009 | HarvardBusiness.org | by Scott Anthony.
1. You can do a lot for a little.
2. Tight windows enable "good enough" design.
3. Business plans are nice, not necessary.
4. Failure is an option.
Also: Their main motto is (that startups should) "make something people
want". Another prominent theme in their approach is its
hacker-centricity.
Scott_Anthony  innovation  decision_making  lessons_learned  Paul_Graham  Y_Combinator  frugality  demand-driven  constraints  failure  design  customer-driven  insights  market_windows  good_enough 
october 2009 by jerryking

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