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jerryking : new_businesses   53

‘We Know Them. We Trust Them.’ Uber and Airbnb Alumni Fuel Tech’s Next Wave.
March 13, 2019 | The New York Times | By Erin Griffith.

......“There are just not that many places to find people who have seen that kind of scale,” said Ryan Graves, Uber’s former senior vice president of global operations and a member of the company’s board.

Each city that Uber, Airbnb, Lyft or Postmates expanded into created a new set of operational, regulatory and business challenges. Regulators balked. Rival business operators resisted. Neighbors protested. And people abused the platforms, over and over.

Uber managers ran each city like a mini-start-up. “If you were the general manager of San Francisco or of Atlanta, you were the C.E.O. of your region,” ..... “It led to a really entrepreneurial approach from everyone.”......
Airbnb  alumni  Andreessen_Horowitz  gig_economy  IPOs  networks  new_businesses  on-demand  scaling  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  Uber  vc  venture_capital 
march 2019 by jerryking
Amazon to Launch New Grocery-Store Business
March 1, 2019 | WSJ | By Esther Fung and Heather Haddon.

Amazon is planning to open dozens of grocery stores in several major U.S. cities....as the retail giant looks to broaden its reach in the food business and touch more aspects of consumers’ lives......The new stores would be distinct from the company’s upscale Whole Foods Market chain. It isn’t clear whether the new stores would carry the Amazon name......Amazon in recent years has become increasingly focused on physical retail, posing a threat to traditional grocers. The new chain would help Amazon in fulfilling a yearslong initiative to build out a physical grocery presence, which was at one point potentially envisioned to reach more than 2,000 brick-and mortar stores in a variety of sizes and formats......Amazon is also exploring purchasing regional grocery chains with about a dozen stores under operation, one person said, that could bolster the new chain......Amazon’s further push into physical retail is its latest move far beyond its origins selling books and music on the web. Over the years it has become a cloud-computing giant, a major player in Hollywood entertainment and a burgeoning provider of logistics services. More recently it has emerged as a major competitor in digital advertising and launched forays in finance and health care......The new stores aren’t intended to compete directly with the more upscale Whole Foods stores and will offer a different variety of products, at a lower price point, these people said. Whole Foods doesn’t sell products with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives and sweeteners, among other quality standards.

Suppliers with big brands have hoped to have inroads into Whole Foods since Amazon bought the chain nearly two years ago. While Whole Foods has gradually expanded the big brands it carries—such as Honey-Nut Cheerios and Michelob beer—a conventional grocer can carry a much larger assortment of items. Amazon has had mixed results with its food-delivery business, and it wants to better understand how it can cater to grocery shoppers....Supermarket operators Walmart Inc., Kroger Co. and others are also trying to find ways to offer delivery and pickup to customers in a more cost-efficient manner...Amazon’s new grocery brand also comes as the retailer rolls out its cashierless Amazon Go stores in urban areas. It is testing that checkout technology for bigger retail stores. Meanwhile, Whole Foods is expanding its national footprint....For its new stores, Amazon is targeting new developments and occupied stores with leases ending soon.....Amazon doesn’t want restrictions on the type of goods it may sell at its stores and wants the ability to change the store and sell health and beauty products for instance......It is unclear whether these new stores will be cashierless, but they will be heavily tilted to customer service and pickup capabilities......a strategy where big retailers combine e-commerce with physical stores is the direction the industry is heading.
Amazon  BOPIS  bricks-and-mortar  cashierless  e-commerce  food  grocery  home-delivery  in-store  Kroger  new_businesses  physical_retail  rollouts  supermarkets  Wal-Mart  Whole_Foods 
march 2019 by jerryking
The opportunities left behind when innovation shakes up old industries
November 28, 2018 | The Globe and Mail | GUY NICHOLSON.

early meetings and phone calls were casual conversations with a couple of landscape photographers who specialize in golf.

The very nature of their business had changed fundamentally...After the Internet disrupted print magazines and media, they recast themselves as digital marketers, selling online rights to images created with high-tech arrays of digital cameras, drones and processing software. But even while embracing technology to take their work to new artistic heights, there were dramatically fewer places left for golfers to come across this art in print......Had their little corner of publishing been so thoroughly disrupted and abandoned that it now had more demand than supply? .....Technological innovation can be extremely disruptive and painful – and in the digital era, capable of changing entire industries seemingly overnight. But when creative destruction puts good things in peril, slivers of opportunity can emerge. After the masses and the smart money have flocked to newer technologies, formerly ultra-competitive spaces can be left wide open for innovation – abandoned fields for small businesses, start-ups and niche players to occupy.

It helps to offer a level of quality or service the bigger players consider uneconomical. Look at the travel industry, which has been thoroughly remade under waves of innovation: cellphones, digital cameras, GPS, Google Maps. Between internet comparison shopping and Airbnb, travel agents could have gone the way of the traveller’s cheque. But in the wake of all that disruption, tiny bespoke agencies specializing in advice, unique experiences, complicated itineraries and group travel have re-emerged to offer services too niche for the big digital players.....Similar things are happening in industries such as gaming, where video games have cleared the way for board-game cafes, and vinyl music, which survived the onslaught of MP3s and streaming music on the strength of nostalgia, millennial fascination and sound quality. As the rest of the industry moved into digital, neighbourhood record stores and small manufacturers picked up the pieces, catering to an enthusiastic subset of music buyers.

“We were growing very rapidly, not because vinyl was growing, but because a lot of pressing plants were going out of business,” Ton Vermeulen, a Dutch DJ and artist manager who bought a former Sony record plant in 1998, told Toronto journalist David Sax in his 2016 book The Revenge of Analog. Vinyl is back in the mainstream, but its disruption cleared the field for smaller players.

Abandoned fields aren’t for everyone. Building a business around an off-trend service or product can be a tough slog (jck: hard work)for fledgling businesses and entrepreneurs, and risky. In the case of the golf photographers, two dozen artists signed up to create a high-end subscription magazine. It’s beautiful, but with two years of work riding on a four-week Kickstarter campaign, there’s no guarantee this particular field will prove to have been worth reclaiming.

Of course, risk has always been part of small business. But a market waiting to be served – that’s a precious thing. As long as there is disruption, it will create opportunities for small businesses to reoccupy abandoned fields
analog  bespoke  David_Sax  digital_artifacts  disruption  high-risk  high-touch  innovation  niches  photography  print_journalism  small_business  start_ups  travel_agents  creative_destruction  new_businesses  opportunities  abandoned_fields  counterintuitive  Kickstarter  off-trends  digital_cameras  hard_work 
december 2018 by jerryking
Want to See What’s Up Amazon’s Sleeve? Take a Tour of Seattle
Sept. 23, 2018 | The New York Times | By Karen Weise.

Amazon uses Seattle as a living laboratory, trying out new retail and logistics models.

Some trials never leave the city. But others, like the use of independent contractors to deliver packages, have found their ways to the rest of the country and abroad. The pilots point to a company, with ambitions that at times can seem boundless, investing deeply in figuring out its physical footprint and how to provide convenience at a lower cost.....In 2015 when Amazon first tested the Treasure Truck, a decorated vehicle that drives around and sells a daily deal like smart watches or plant-based burger patties, it delayed the public debut at least twice before finally going live. .....
Amazon  Amazon_Books  AmazonFresh  Amazon_Go  bookstores  business_models  cashierless  experimentation  new_businesses  Seattle  pilot_programs  product_returns  delivery_services 
september 2018 by jerryking
‘You’re Stupid If You Don’t Get Scared’: When Amazon Goes From Partner to Rival - WSJ
By Jay Greene and Laura Stevens
June 1, 2018

The data weapon
One Amazon weapon is data. In retail, Amazon gathered consumer data to learn what sold well, which helped it create its own branded goods while making tailored sales pitches with its familiar “you may also like” offer. Data helped Amazon know where to start its own delivery services to cut costs, an alternative to using United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp.

“In many ways, Amazon is nothing except a data company,” said James Thomson, a former Amazon manager who advises brands that work with the company. “And they use that data to inform all the decisions they make.”

In web services, data across the broader platform, along with customer requests, inform the company’s decisions to move into new businesses, said former Amazon executives.

That gives Amazon a valuable window into changes in how corporations in the 21st century are using cloud computing to replace their own data centers. Today’s corporations frequently want a one-stop shop for services rather than trying to stitch them together. A food-services firm, say, might want to better track data it collects from its restaurants, so it would rent computing space from Amazon and use a data service offered by a software company on Amazon’s platform to better analyze what customers order. A small business might use an Amazon partner’s online services for password and sign-on functions, along with other business-management programs.
Amazon  AWS  cloud_computing  coopetition  partnerships  private_labels  fear  data_centers  unfair_advantages  data  data_driven  delivery_services  21st._century  brands  new_businesses  strengths  platforms  small_business  tools  rivalries 
june 2018 by jerryking
The joy of boring business ideas
April 11, 2018 |FT| by JONATHAN MARGOLIS
Slippers, razors and even gas boilers offer ripe pickings for profit and disruption.

Simon Phelan and his online gas boiler installation company, Hometree, are “aiming to replicate the success of online estate agent Purplebricks in an equally large, albeit more boring market: boiler installations.”......Start-ups doing anything new, cute or plain off-the-wall often struggle. .....Boring may be the new interesting.......Mahabis, a carpet slippers start-up, has sold close to a million pairs of its £79 product....another boring domestic product, razors, have proved to be a lucrative market for what are essentially tech companies, such as Dollar Shave Club (bought by Unilever for $1bn) and Harry’s.....It is not just products: dull-sounding online services also seem to pay off. London start-up ClearScore, a millennial-focused fintech company which offers users free credit scoring and personal finance guides, sold to Experian last month for £275m, after just three years in business......Phelan is pursuing gas boilers, not because he was interested in them, but because he was looking for a way into the growing smart-home sector. He wants to build a slick way to modernise boiler installation, so that by the time newer, more eco-friendly home heating technologies become standard he will already have a loyal customer base. This is why Hometree has more in common with tech companies than with local plumbers.

“Where I think people go wrong in entrepreneurship is building a product, rather than a business for the future,” says Mr Phelan....Making a neglected category simple and elegant is attractive.”

“All you have to do,” he concluded, “is not to see it as a gas boiler business, but a much bigger play......Phelan’s idea that new businesses need to be strategic rather than excitable about this or that gimmicky new product is one that other entrepreneurs would do well to follow.
disruption  Dollar_Shave_Club  unglamorous  smart_homes  eco-friendly  reinvention  Harry’s  home_based  new_businesses  new_products  millennials  fin-tech  credit_scoring  personal_finance  boring  buying_a_business 
april 2018 by jerryking
Amazon: The Making of a Giant
By Hanna Sender, Laura Stevens and Yaryna Serkez
Published March 14, 2018 at 5:30 a.m. ET
Amazon  e-commerce  Jeff_Bezos  new_businesses  new_products  retailers 
march 2018 by jerryking
Airbnb, Uber, Snap Aim to Show They’re More Than One Hot Product - WSJ
By GREG BENSINGER
Dec. 11, 2016

As IPO talk swirls, tech startups seek to demonstrate to investors they have a vision for long-term growth..... It's questionable whether unicorns can find new revenue opportunities that are complementary to their core business, but [which also] can help them find new customers.”
growth  Airbnb  Uber  Snap  new_businesses  product_extensions  core_businesses  unicorns  vision  long-term 
december 2016 by jerryking
Capital Markets 'Impediment' to Innovation - The CFO Report - WSJ
June 20, 2011, 10:05 PM ET

By MICHAEL HICKINS

Glenn Hutchins, the co-founder and co-CEO of private equity firm Silver Lake, believes the expectations of shareholders and analysts often prevent companies from investing in new businesses or technologies. “One of the largest impediments to getting all of this done is in fact the capital markets,” he said during the opening panel discussion of The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network Conference.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CFOs often find it tough to make aggressive, long-term investments because explaining the reason for “making a short-term diminution for the purpose of a long-term gain [to the equity markets] is very difficult to do.”

Still, companies need to be willing to overhaul their entire businesses, if necessary, to avoid being overtaken by aggressive innovators...He lauded Apple for being willing to promote something like the iPad despite the fact that the tablet may in fact destroy the computer maker’s iMac franchise. “Business model innovation is underrated,”.....Also speaking on the panel, HBS professor Clayton Christensen blamed a corporate culture born, ironically, of business school formulas that separate strategy and finance. “The business schools decided to teach strategy and finance [separately] and this got carried over into companies. [But] a lot of things that make sense financially make no sense strategically.”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
With the finance function certainly in mind, Christensen wrote that, “Managing innovation is the complexity of managing the resource allocation process.”
Silver_Lake  Clayton_Christensen  innovation  short-sightedness  strategy  finance  CFOs  long-term  impediments  capital_markets  business_models  Glenn_Hutchins  resource_allocation  expectations  new_businesses  new_products  investors'_expectations 
february 2015 by jerryking
James Surowiecki: The Startup Mass Extinction : The New Yorker
BY JAMES SUROWIECKI
MAY 19, 2014

"Starting a company may be easier, but making it a success isn’t. Competition is fierce, profits are scarce, and venture capitalists aren’t generous when it comes to later stages of funding. As Gideon Lewis-Kraus shows in “No Exit,” a new Kindle Single about startup culture, the life of a new company is often brutish and short. Though we may be seeing a “Cambrian explosion” of new companies, as The Economist recently put it, there’s a mass extinction going on, too.

The fact that most new businesses fail is hardly a secret. So why are so many people gambling on ventures that are likely to end badly?
start_ups  biases  overconfidence  failure  James_Surowiecki  new_businesses  Cambrian_explosion 
june 2014 by jerryking
A Vision of the Future From Those Likely to Invent It - NYTimes.com
May 2, 2014 | NYT | By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER and CHI BIRMINGHAM. Claire Cain Miller writes about tech for The Upshot, a New York Times venture that presents news, analysis and graphics about politics and policy

“Start new businesses that create jobs and solve real problems. Also, someone could create a Khan Academy that focuses on professional and vocational skills.”
REID HOFFMAN

“There is a bow wave of uncounted billions of dollars of philanthropic contributions that will unfold over the next 10 to 20 years from Silicon Valley.”
MARC ANDREESSEN
bow_waves  Claire_Cain_Miller  technology  future  trends  Reid_Hoffman  Marc_Andreessen  Peter_Thiel  personalized_medicine  Silicon_Valley  disruption  drones  new_businesses  philanthropy 
may 2014 by jerryking
Why Imagination and Curiosity Matter More Than Ever - The CIO Report - WSJ
January 31, 2014 | WSJ | By Irving Wladawsky-Berger.

How can you foster imagination and curiosity? This was the subject of the 2011 book co-authored by JSB: A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change. One of its key points is that learning has to evolve from something that only happens in the classroom to what that he calls connected learning, taking advantage of all the available resources, including tinkering with the system, playing games and perhaps most important, absorbing new ideas from your peers, from adjacent spaces and from other disciplines....How do you decide what problems to work on and try to solve? This second kind of innovation–which they call interpretation–is very different in nature from analysis. You are not solving a problem, but looking for a new insight about customers and the marketplace, a new idea for a product or a service, a new approach to producing and delivering them, a new business model. It requires the curiosity and imagination.
STEM  imagination  tacit_data  Roger_Martin  Rotman  critical_thinking  innovation  customer_insights  books  interpretation  curiosity  OPMA  organizational_culture  cross-pollination  second-order  ideas  new_businesses  learning  connected_learning  constant_change  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  worthwhile_problems  new_products  mental_dexterity  tinkerers 
february 2014 by jerryking
So Who Says a New Business Has to Be Small? - NYTimes.com
By ADAM BRYANT
Published: July 11, 2013 | NYT |

Interviews Mike McCue

I just needed to actually build something. And that was a good lesson — do something, build something and everything will happen from there....One of the biggest mistakes I made at Netscape was to focus too much on competition. Microsoft was trying to kill us. And that caused us to think about what we were going to do about Microsoft. What we really should have been thinking was: How do we focus on what our users want? Why did they love our product? How do we make it more of something that they love? So my advice is, every time you have a thought about the competition, replace that with a thought about your customer and you’ll do far better as a business. .... I ask people what’s driving them, and what’s motivating them. I’m looking for answers along the lines of: “I want to be a part of a great team. I want to learn from really great people. I love the people I’ve met here, and I’d love to just be part of this.” I also look for people who are into doing something really meaningful and great. So I’m looking to see if their answers are centered around those two pillars. I’m trying to build a culture that’s focused primarily on the camaraderie of the team, because we’re going on a really big, important and giant journey together.

I don’t hire anyone who doesn’t genuinely share that motivation, no matter how good they are on paper.
Flipboard  entrepreneur  start_ups  lessons_learned  IBM  serial_entrepreneur  new_businesses 
july 2013 by jerryking
New takes on data spawn new businesses - FT.com
January 15, 2013 | FT | By Brian McKenna.

DataSift, based in San Francisco in the US and Reading in the UK. It aims to help organisations improve their understanding and use of social media.

Kabbage, is an online lender to small businesses;

Big data does not just mean a lot of information. It also refers to so-called unstructured data – sensor data, social media outpourings, video and images – that does not fit neatly into the rows and columns of most databases.....

“What if one of the large online marketplaces bought a credit company? What would they do with it? They’d give cash to the businesses that were generating their online revenue. That was the germ of Kabbage,” he says.

From application to cash in the bank for small, mostly online, companies takes seven minutes. Kabbage monitors its borrowers by linking to and watching their private data sources: bank accounts, Twitter feeds, eBay and Facebook accounts, among others. Interest rates are between 2-18 per cent. The company’s 90,000 accounts are mostly in the US, but it is planning a UK launch in February.
massive_data_sets  data  data_driven  new_businesses  Kabbage  unstructured_data  DataSift  online_banking  product_launches  social_data  alternative_lenders  alternative_lending 
april 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
Memo to Staff: Take More Risks - WSJ.com
March 20, 2013| WSJ| By LESLIE KWOH
Memo to Staff: Take More Risks
CEOs Urge Employees to Embrace Failure and Keep Trying

Growth and innovation come from daring ideas and calculated gambles, but boldness is getting harder to come by at some companies. After years of high unemployment and scarred from rounds of company cost-cutting and layoffs, managers say their workers seem to have become allergic to risk.

Companies large and small are trying to coax staff into taking more chances in hopes that they'll generate ideas and breakthroughs that lead to new business. Some, like Extended Stay, are giving workers permission to make mistakes while others are playing down talk of profits or proclaiming the virtues of failure.
risks  risk-taking  daring  growth  innovation  new_businesses  failure  individual_initiative  idea_generation  large_companies  start_ups  boldness 
march 2013 by jerryking
Jobs, jobs, jobs! The future is brighter than you think
Feb. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Margaret Wente.

if the idea of working for someone else doesn’t appeal to barista girl, she’s in luck. Thanks to the IT revolution, starting your own business is easier than ever, as American thinker Walter Russell Mead has pointed out: All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. You can provide math tutoring to kids, music instruction, even long-distance psychological counselling. You don’t even have to be in the same country as your clients. You can find cheap marketing information to identify your potential customers, and you can reach them via social media. You can buy inexpensive accounting and billing software. If you have employees, you can even get HR advice online.

The IT revolution is wiping out entire industries, like bookstores and travel agents. But it is also creating virtually unlimited opportunities for new service businesses.
Margaret_Wente  entrepreneurship  Desire2Learn  disruption  self-employment  IT  millennials  Walter_Russell_Mead  bookstores  travel_agents  new_businesses 
february 2013 by jerryking
Push to exploit an ocean of information
Richard Waters Source: The Financial Times. (Dec. 10, 2012): News: p19

Like anticipating film demand and judging the effectiveness of window displays, much of the effort in the field of big data analytics is aimed at making existing companies more effective. Designing products, setting optimal prices and reaching the best prospects among potential customers are turning into data-driven exercises.

But it is also throwing up disruptive new businesses. Companies set up from scratch have the chance to draw on public streams of digital data to enter markets that were once closed to incumbents with long-established customer relationships and proprietary information. And such businesses come without the legacy technology platforms, entrenched business processes and cultural norms that make it hard for big groups to change.

"Even if you're not a bank or a healthcare company, you can play in banking or healthcare," says James Manyika, director at McKinsey's research arm.
massive_data_sets  Quantifind  Hollywood  Climate_Corporation  sensors  Euclid_Analytics  Kabbage  Factual  disruption  start_ups  McKinsey  data_driven  new_businesses  large_companies  open_data  legacy_players  digital_disruption  customer_relationships  legacy_tech  cultural_norms  Richard_Waters 
february 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
Right Questions
New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different management approach.Experimentation is only the first step in an extended, multistage process of business development. Each stage
introduces a different set of questions and challenges. (See the exhibit "The Right Questions.").Each stage also demands different talents and perspectives, and new leaders usually have to be brought in as businesses progress. The visionary who is well suited to leading a new business through its early experimental
stages is often poorly equipped to guide the venture through the expansion and integration stages, when sales and organizational skills become more important than bold thinking and creativity. Nor can performance measures remain immutable. Because new businesses are seldom profitable in their early, formative years, financial metrics
make little sense as a starting point for evaluation. Instead, milestones of various sorts-the number of prototypes in customers' hands; the number of times analysts mention a hot, new technology; the number of salespeople bringing in leads-are more useful indicators of early progress. During expansion, measures of market penetration and market share become important; as the business becomes established, traditional financial measures can be
installed.
asking_the_right_questions  start_ups  lean  experimentation  metrics  measurements  questions  new_businesses  Michael_McDerment 
december 2012 by jerryking
Growing at a Smart Pace
Growing at a Smart Pace

What Every CEO Should Know About Creating New Businesses
1 Ultimately, growth means starting new businesses.
Most firms have no alternative. Sectors decline, as they did for Pullman’s railroad cars and Singer’s sewing machines. Technology renders products and services obsolete—the fate Polaroid suffered, as digital cameras decimated its instant photography franchise. Markets saturate, as Home Depot is now finding, after establishing more than a thousand stores nationwide.
2 Most new businesses fail.
3 Corporate culture is the biggest deterrent to business creation.
New ventures flourish best in open, exploratory environments, but most large corporations are geared toward mature businesses and efficient, predictable operations.
4 Separate organizations don’t work—or at least not for long.
5 Starting a new business is essentially an experiment.
6. New businesses proceed through distinct stages, each requiring a different
7. New business creation takes time--a lot of time.
8. New businesses need help fitting in--"bridging"--with established systems and structures.
9. The best predictors of success are market knowledge and demand-driven products and services.
10. An open mind is hard to find.
growth  Thomas_Stewart  HBR  CEOs  Junior_Achievement  hard_to_find  start_ups  failure  organizational_culture  experimentation  trial_&_error  life_cycle  tacit_data  entrepreneurship  dedication  obsolescence  demand-driven  infrastructure  new_businesses  bridging  large_companies  customer-driven  market_saturation  Home_Depot  Fortune_500  mindsets  open_mind  decline  Michael_McDerment  Polaroid  digital_cameras 
december 2012 by jerryking
Oh, those lazy young people
Aug. 24 2012 | The Globe and Mail | Todd Hirsch.

The first thing a young person should do is get an education. Not coincidentally, postsecondary education has been a huge issue burning a hole in Quebec politics this summer. But rising tuition fees or not, there is no single factor more effective in boosting creativity and productivity than an educated work force.

Travelling or living abroad is also important. The human mind needs to see different patterns and systems in order to tap its full creative potential, and seeing how people and economies work in other parts of the world is enormously helpful for this.

Finally, working in the community offers tremendous benefits. By getting involved in an arts group, a not-for-profit charity, a neighbourhood sports league – it almost doesn’t matter what as long as the interests of others are at the forefront – self-awareness and empathy are enhanced. And from this flows innovation and creativity.

Economic productivity isn’t about working longer hours, nor is it about finding a warm body to fill a dead-end job. It’s about tapping human potential. It’s about spawning new industries – ones that perhaps need some risk-taker champions along the way. And it’s about inspiring a new generation of young Canadians to say “this is our economy.”
productivity  youth  creative_renewal  travel  creativity  Millennials  Todd_Hirsch  self-awareness  empathy  innovation  education  new_businesses  perspectives  volunteering  arts  nonprofit  human_potential  young_people 
august 2012 by jerryking
The Weakest Link
November 30, 2006 |Strategy + Business | by Nicholas G. Carr.

A product’s vulnerabilities can point the way to lucrative new business opportunities.

As John Campbell pointed out in a 1996 article in the journal of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the landing gear of the early 1930s, before the O-ring was introduced, is an example of a “reverse salient.” That odd term has its origins in descriptions of warfare, where it refers to a section of an advancing military force that has fallen behind the rest of the front. This section is typically the point of weakness in an attack, the lagging element that prevents the rest of the force from accomplishing its mission. Until the reverse salient is corrected, an army’s progress comes to a halt.

Historian Thomas P. Hughes was the first to apply the term to the realm of technological innovation. As described in his book Networks of Power: Electrification in Western Society, 1880–1930 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983), a reverse salient often forms as a complex technological system advances: “As the system evolves toward a goal, some components fall behind or out of line. As a result of the reverse salient, growth of the entire enterprise is hampered, or thwarted, and thus remedial action is required.” In technological advance as in warfare, the reverse salient is the weak link that impedes progress.
Nicholas_Carr  problem_solving  unintended_consequences  shortcomings  limitations  vulnerabilities  revenge_effects  new_businesses  weak_links 
july 2012 by jerryking
Starting Up in High Gear
July-August 2000 | HBR |An Interview with Vinod Khosla by David Champion and Nicholas G. Carr.

To create the kind of new wealth you’re talking about, we’re going to have to see massive investments in information technology. Where’s the money going to come from?

It’s going to come out of corporate budgets. Companies invest wherever they’re going to get the biggest returns, and right now that’s IT. Look at the trend in capital expenditures. Twenty years ago, information technology accounted for about 10% of capital expenditures in the United States. ...
Today, if you have a plan for a new business, you circulate it in the venture community and you get funded in a week. What you don’t get is an honest, painstaking critique. What are the downsides in your plan? What are the shortcomings? What are the weak links? The strengths of your idea get a lot of attention, but the weaknesses get ignored—and ultimately it’s the weaknesses of your plan that will kill you. A start-up is only as strong as its weakest link....
The first thing we focused on was getting the right set of people for the company—the right gene pool. We started out on the technical end. Pradeep had helped architect the Ultrasparc processor at Sun, so he had strong skills in building technical architectures and could apply those skills to routers. But he needed somebody with experience in building and operating an IP network, and he needed somebody who’d done operating systems software for routers and somebody who’d done protocols for routers. So we drew out a map that said, “Here are the ten different areas of expertise we need.” Then we made a list of the companies doing the best work in each area, and we listed the five people in each company who would make good targets. We went after those people, and piece by piece we assembled a multidisciplinary team that could make Juniper a leader.
IT  interviews  HBR  Kleiner_Perkins  start_ups  large_companies  management_consulting  Vinod_Khosla  executive_search  shortcomings  weaknesses  new_businesses  CAPEX  weak_links  Nicholas_Carr  talent_acquisition  gene_pool  expertise  team_risk  wealth_creation  cross-pollination  interdisciplinary  teams  protocols 
june 2012 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: On making a ruckus in your industry
Seth Godin on April 07, 2012

* Bring forward a new idea or technology that disrupts and demands a response
* Change pricing dramatically
* Redefine a service as a product (or vice versa)
* Organize the disorganized, connect the disconnected
* Alter the speed to market radically
* Change the infrastructure, the rules or the flow of information
* Give away what used to be expensive and charge for something else
* Cater to the weird, bypassing the masses
* Take the lead on ethics

(Or you could just wait for someone to tell you what they want you to do)
Seth_Godin  blogs  disruption  pricing  information_flows  free  ethics  niches  change_agents  disorganization  ideas  new_businesses  idea_generation  disconnecting  Tabla  game_changers  Play_Bigger 
may 2012 by jerryking
UNPRECEDENTED VOLATILITY A HALLMARK OF AGRICULTURE’S NEW AGE
* Have a plan for the future – perhaps a surprise to some, but many farmers don’t have a plan in place that paints a vision for where they want to take their operation over the next 2, 5 and 10 years.
• Have credit in place before it is actually required – it is human nature to leave things to the last minute.
• Implement a sound hedging strategy – in addition to the system of crop insurance in place in this country, there are many ways that Canadian farmers can take actions to manage their risk. Diversifying into new businesses is one example.
• Well-managed risk can pay off – at the same time, taking on some risk that is prudent and ts the risk pro le of the farming operation can pay off handsomely for farmers. In such a volatile and fast paced environment, there are bound to be some buying and selling opportunities that open up. Knowing when to take advantage of them can separate successful farms with those that muddle along.
• Know your costs – many producers have a good sense of how their top line is performing. But it is just as impor-tant to have a good understanding of the cost side of the equation.
• Maintain adequate liquidity and reasonable leverage – in order to mitigate the risks associated with increasing asset prices, it would be prudent for farmers to ensure that they have sufficient liquidity and manageable leverage if they are expanding.
• Use reasonable interest rate assumptions in assessing investment opportunities – even though borrowing costs are unusually low, farmers must be mindful of the fact that this low-rate environment won’t last forever.
agriculture  uncertainty  volatility  farming  liquidity  leverage  hedging  futures_contracts  diversification  new_businesses  risks  risk-management  risk-taking  OPMA  WaudWare  interest_rates  vision  long-term  never_forever  business_planning  credit  costs  anticipating  risk-mitigation  low-interest  cost-consciousness 
may 2012 by jerryking
The Disruption Opportunity
Summer 2003 | MIT Sloan Management Review | By Clark Gilbert

Three Phases of Disruption
Finding new customers
Realizing New Growth

(1) Disruption creates new net growth
(2) New customers must be found outside the established market.
(3) Disruptive technology is never disruptive to the customers who buy it.
(4) The new customer will make the disruptive path clear.
(5) A disruptive new business should start small and not be forced to grow quickly.
disruption  HBS  Clayton_Christensen  IBM  growth  newspapers  cardiovascular  customer_acquisition  new_businesses 
april 2012 by jerryking
Category Creation: Building Businesses That Turn Entire Industries On Their Heads | Fast Company
Krishna 'Kittu' KolluriThu Jan 19, 2012

Fundamental, revolutionary innovation--creating an entirely new category of product or service that didn’t exist before, or disrupting a category in a way that completely changes the game moving forward.

Play the Name Game - you have an adjacent category that is well established, the differentiators for your category must be clear. The importance of positioning cannot be overemphasized. How you communicate what sets your business apart must be an integral part of your market strategy, and naming your category--especially in the enterprise space--is a key part of that strategy.

Turn On the Customer Channel - Turn your best customers into spokespeople for the product by making them delighted evangelists for your vision--whether it’s a service, a product, or a transformation within a sector.
Play Well With Others - how do you carve out a niche--inspire, delight and build a loyal following--without inciting the predatory characteristics of adjacent players?

One approach is to create a go-to-market ecosystem that involves key technology partnerships. In most cases, your product will be part of the solution, but not all of the solution. Determine what it will take to build it out, and recruit other vendors who can participate. Form alliances so you can interoperate with those vendors and those products. Create partnerships to leverage sales channels, like OEMs or value-added resellers.

Be Your Brother’s Keeper (Sometimes)- toss around a competitor’s name in conversation. Sometimes it is more important to: (a) promote and evangelize your category than your company; and (b) give a nod to the competition. Why? Because the sandbox is more interesting if more than one person is playing in it.
competitive_landscape  disruption  ecosystems  innovation  game_changers  change_agents  evangelists  Flybits  new_categories  new_businesses  delighting_customers 
january 2012 by jerryking
How pizza delivers innovation - The Globe and Mail
Jan. 03, 2012 |Globe and Mail | by Todd Hirsch

Argues that as unemployment benefits expire, there aren’t too many jobs available, so very low-skill, unappealing jobs – pizza delivery, gas station attendant, etc. – will be reconsidered. Skilled Americans accustomed to much higher wages will find themselves accepting these low-paying jobs. On the surface, that’s bad news. What a waste of education and skill!

But within the husk of this sad state of underemployment lie the seeds of a whole new wave of innovation and creativity. Smart workers who find themselves in these menial jobs will say, “I could do better” or “I can do this differently” or “I have an idea that will revolutionize pizza delivery.” New businesses will be created, many of them improving on the old business models that dominated the pre-Internet age.

This is how economic innovation works. Clever people come up with ideas, which turn into business ventures, which then turn into the economic drivers of tomorrow.
innovation  unemployment  creativity  reinvention  low_skilled  business_models  smart_people  menial  new_businesses  Todd_Hirsch  underemployment  dissatisfaction  ideas  bad_news 
january 2012 by jerryking
Humanity´s Greatest Achievement
2 October 2006 | Wall Street Journal| Johan Norberg.

The people we should thank are the innovators and entrepreneurs, the individuals who see new opportunities and risk exploring them -- the people who find new markets, create new products, think out new ways to handle commodities commercially, organize work in new ways, design new technology or transfer capital to more productive uses. The entrepreneur is an explorer, who ventures into uncharted territory and opens up the new routes along which we will all be traveling soon enough. Simply to look around is to understand that entrepreneurs have filled our lives with everyday miracles.

Entrepreneurs are serial problem-solvers who search out inefficiencies and find more practical ways of connecting possible supply with potential demand.
entrepreneurship  problem_solving  entrepreneur  innovation  uncharted_problems  new_businesses  inefficiencies  explorers  exploration 
november 2011 by jerryking
Lunch Catered by Internet Middlemen - NYTimes.com
By DAMON DARLIN
September 24, 2011

San Francisco-based Cater2.me, delivers food from carts and small
restaurants to businesses that aren’t big enough to afford their own
chefs. The Web was supposedly eliminating the need for the layers of
brokers, agents, wholesalers & even retailers that separate the
consumer from the producer.

That has happened in some instances, e.g. drastically reducing the role
of travel agents. But consumers still need help and the Web has provided
the tools & the environment for companies like cater2.me to
flourish. It has made it easier for middlemen to reach consumers and
made it remarkably easy and inexpensive for these middlemen to create
companies to do just that.

While there has been a lot of talk about how the technology industry
does not create jobs on the scale of traditional manufacturing — a
shrunken GM still employs more people than a thriving Google — the
Internet has made it a lot easier to create a broad array of new small
businesses.
intermediaries  San_Francisco  disintermediation  5BO  delivery  food_trucks  middlemen  small_business  travel_agents  new_businesses  inexpensive 
september 2011 by jerryking
How to Be Like Apple - WSJ.com
AUG. 29, 2011 | WSJ | RACHEL EMMA SILVERMAN. Driving
Innovation: Mgmt. experts say there are specific ways firms can generate
and execute new ideas. Solicit input. Great ideas come from all levels
of the organization, not just the top. Provide workers time for
"unofficial activity," set time to work on creative ideas. Executing
ideas is often tougher than generating them. Companies need a clear
process to prioritize, resource & test ideas quickly and cheaply, so
that they can afford to experiment...Observation can help companies
understand not just what people say they want, but what they really
need. Clay Christensen says P&G's new-product success rate in recent
yrs. came from observing that people were concerned about how their
clothes smell (Febreze) & were always looking for simpler ways to
clean the floor (Swiffer.). P&G overhauled its new-biz strategy
after realizing that just 15% of its ideas, developed in more of an
ad-hoc approach, were meeting revenue & profit targets.
Apple  innovation  execution  Vijay_Govindarajan  P&G  business_development  Clayton_Christensen  new_products  kill_rates  success_rates  ad_hoc  new_businesses  slack_time  companywide  observations  experimentation  primary_field_research  large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  unarticulated_desires  Michael_McDerment 
august 2011 by jerryking
Mining of Raw Data May Bring New Productivity, a Study Says - NYTimes.com
May 13, 2011 | NYT | By STEVE LOHR.
(fresh produce) Data is a vital raw material of the information economy, much as coal
and iron ore were in the Industrial Revolution. But the business world
is just beginning to learn how to process it all. The current data surge
is coming from sophisticated computer tracking of shipments, sales,
suppliers and customers, as well as e-mail, Web traffic and social
network comments. ..Mining and analyzing these big new data sets can
open the door to a new wave of innovation, accelerating productivity and
economic growth. ..The next stage, they say, will exploit
Internet-scale data sets to discover new businesses and predict consumer
behavior and market shifts.
....The McKinsey Global Institute is publishing “Big Data: The Next
Frontier for Innovation, Competition and Productivity.” It makes
estimates of the potential benefits from deploying data-harvesting
technologies and skills.
massive_data_sets  Steve_Lohr  McKinsey  data  consumer_behavior  data_driven  data_mining  analytics  Freshbooks  digital_economy  fresh_produce  OPMA  Industrial_Revolution  datasets  new_businesses  productivity 
may 2011 by jerryking
Jules Kroll shakes up the ratings club
January 29, 2011 | CTV News | JOANNA SLATER. Mr. Kroll, 69,
is bringing his investigative chops to a new business: credit ratings.
It’s a corner of finance that remains indispensable even after the
leading agencies did a woeful job of gauging risks in the runup to the
financial crisis.

As banks packaged dicey loans into new investments, the major ratings
agencies affirmed that the structures were ultrasafe – until, of course,
it turned out they weren’t. That experience so scorched investors that
the market for such structures remains moribund to this day.

“The fans left the stadium a couple years ago,” says Mr. Kroll, a
gregarious one-time baseball and rugby player. “They didn’t feel they
could trust the referees or the scorekeeper.” The firm he now heads,
Kroll Bond Rating Agency Inc., aims to remedy that lack of confidence.
confidence  credit-ratings  due_diligence  Jules_Kroll  Kroll  new_businesses  risk-analysis  risk-assessment 
april 2011 by jerryking
IDEO's Axioms for Starting Disruptive New Businesses | Co.Design
August 24 | Fast Company | by Colin Raney who leads the
Business Design Community within IDEO. TAKE ACTION: Designing for Life's
Changes

1. Go early, go often
Building experimentation into your business is harder than you think.
Start small and stay focused. Try everything, but don’t try it all in
one prototype.

2. Learning by doing
Build value for the business as you prototype. If you fail, what will
you have learned? What will you salvage?

3. Inspiration through constraint
Don’t exhaust yourself searching for money and resources. The tighter
your constraints, the more creative your prototypes will be.

4. Open to opportunity
Look for unanticipated ways customers are using your offering. Their
improvisations may be the future of your business.
food_trucks  start_ups  tips  rules_of_the_game  ideo  unarticulated_desires  experiential_learning  prototyping  design  disruption  experimentation  new_businesses  constraints  unanticipated  improvisation  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  value_creation 
september 2010 by jerryking
Geoff Vuleta Has New Ideas for Consultancy Firms
June 1, 2010 | Fast Company | By: David Lidsky. The New
Zealander and former ad man develops large-scale growth initiatives for
major firms seeking $100 million-plus in new revenue. He makes money
only if the idea works: "
entrepreneurship  ideas  innovation  inspiration  large-scale  management_consulting  growth  jck  size  scaling  large_markets  new_businesses 
may 2010 by jerryking
Chapter_1.1_Catalyst_for_Growth.
Many corporations are not prepared to institutionalize
corporate entrepreneurship. There are no benchmarks, metrics or
performance criteria for corporate entrepreneurship. Many executives do
not know why new initiatives succeed or fail. A failure rate of fifty
percent for new initiatives is deemed acceptable.
intrapreneurship  corporate  failure  filetype:pdf  media:document  kill_rates  success_rates  benchmarking  criteria  new_businesses  new_products  large_companies  brands  metrics 
april 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - Start-Ups, Not Bailouts - NYTimes.com
April 3, 2010 | New York Times | By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. "we
also need to be thinking just as seriously and urgently about what are
the ingredients that foster entrepreneurship — how new businesses are
catalyzed, inspired and enabled and how we enlist more people to do
that". “Roughly 25 percent of successful high-tech start-ups over the
last decade were founded or co-founded by immigrants,” said Litan. Think
Sergey Brin, the Russian-born co-founder of Google, or Vinod Khosla,
the India-born co-founder of Sun Microsystems.
Kauffman_Foundation  entrepreneurship  start_ups  immigration  Tom_Friedman  Toronto  new_businesses  Silicon_Valley 
april 2010 by jerryking
Gap Widens Between Tech Richest and the Rest - WSJ.com
MARCH 16, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | Ben WORTHEN. A handful
of cash-rich companies are consolidating power in the technology
industry, using their wealth to expand into new businesses and making it
harder for small and midsize competitors to break through. Why the
industry is evolving this way is rooted in balance sheets. Over the past
2 years, Apple Inc., Oracle Corp., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and 6
other large tech companies have generated $68.5 billion in new cash,
compared with just $13.5 billion for the other 65 tech companies in the
S&P 500 Index combined. Because of their massive cash accumulation,
these companies can afford to take risks that smaller companies can't
at a time when the economy remains fragile. The result is a bifurcated
tech landscape, says Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at MIT's Sloan
School of Management.
Apple  barbell_effect  Ben_Worthen  Big_Tech  cash  cash_reserves  consolidation  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Fortune_500  Google  large_companies  market_power  Microsoft  new_businesses  Oracle  risk-taking  small_business  start_ups  trends  winner-take-all 
march 2010 by jerryking
Building a Platform for Growth
5/22/2006 | HBS Working Knowledge | by Donald L. Laurie,
Yves L. Doz, and Claude P. Sheer.
Sometimes building growth in mature industries means more than simple
product extensions or acquisitions. The answer? Develop "growth
platforms" that extend your business into new domains. An excerpt from
Harvard Business Review.
HBR  business_development  core_businesses  embryonic  growth  platforms  start_ups  spinups  product_strategy  product_extensions  growth_platforms  new_businesses  mature_industries 
february 2010 by jerryking
Tech's Future
SEPTEMBER 27, 2004 | Business Week | by Steve Hamm. Developing
countries require new business strategies as well as new products. .. A
new class of businesses -- tech kiosk operators -- is emerging to
provide computing as a service. With cash often in short supply,
pay-as-you-go programs are not only boosting cell-phone usage but are
catching on with computers and Web access as well. When these
technologies cycle back into the mature markets, it could change
everything from pricing to product design. To succeed in the developing
world, devices and software have to be better in many ways: cheaper,
easier to use, extra-durable, more compact -- and still packed with
powerful features. The resulting improvements will ultimately benefit
everybody from New Delhi to New York.
HP  BRIC  C.K._Prahalad  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  kiosks  new_businesses  new_products  pay-as-you-go  developing_countries 
december 2009 by jerryking
Speed Demons: How smart companies are creating new products -- and whole new businesses -- almost overnight
MARCH 27, 2006 | Business Week | by Steve Hamm. Speed is
emerging as the ultimate competitive weapon. Some of the world's most
successful companies are proving to be expert at spotting new
opportunities, marshaling their forces, and bringing to market new
products or services in a flash. That goes for launching whole new
ventures, too. (1) FIND NEW WAYS TO SPOT HITS; (2) KEEP YOUR LAUNCH TEAM
AGILE; (3), BREAK YOUR UNWRITTEN RULES; (4) HAND OFF TASKS TO
SPECIALISTS; (5) ONCE YOU HAVE IT RIGHT, REPEAT.
Steve_Hamm  speed  spinups  opportunities  operational_tempo  best_practices  new_products  new_categories  product_category  new_businesses  overlooked_opportunities 
october 2009 by jerryking
A whole new mind: why right-brainers ... - Google Books
Excerpt from 'A whole new mind: why right-brainers will rule
the future' By Daniel H. Pink. "Indeed, one of design's most potent
economic effects is this very capacity to create new markets... The
forces of Abundance, Asia, and Automation turn goods and services into
commodities so quickly that the only way to survive is by constantly
developing new innovations, inventing new categories, and (in Paola
Antonelli's lovely phrase) giving the world something it didn't know it
was missing.
============================================

See also Tom Friedman's piece ("We Need a Second Party" - NYTimes.com ) below:

The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries). Adding "imagination"
design  Daniel_Pink  innovation  storytelling  symphony  empathy  play  meaning  sense-making  new_businesses  new_categories  automation  abundance  Asia  developing_countries  imagination  Tom_Friedman  high-touch  special_sauce  skills  developed_countries 
october 2009 by jerryking
How Hard Could It Be?: Start-up Static | Printer-friendly version
March 2009| Inc. Magazine | Joel Spolsky

A new business is like a shortwave radio. You have to fiddle patiently with all the dials until you get the reception you want.
morale_management  failure  start_ups  Paul_Graham  new_businesses  pattern_recognition  tinkering  Joel_Spolsky  Y_Combinator  experimentation  trial_&_error 
april 2009 by jerryking
Minority Business Triumphs in Gotham by Steven Malanga, City Journal ...
Article on how NYC's minority entrepreneurs are bubbling up with ideas for new businesses
local  economics  economic_development  entrepreneur  new_businesses  ideas 
january 2009 by jerryking

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