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What will Apple do without Jony Ive?
June 27, 2019 | Financial Times | by Tim Bradshaw, Global Technology Correspondent.

Sir Jonathan prepares to move on from Apple to launch his own new venture, LoveFrom, after more than two decades at the Silicon Valley giant.....As a company worth nearly $1tn, Apple today is financially secure. But Sir Jonathan's looming departure will once again raise questions about its future. 

This is not the first time that Sir Jonathan’s role has evolved. In recent years, his design expertise has extended beyond crafting Apple’s pocketable devices. He helped retail chief Angela Ahrendts overhaul its stores, from fixtures such as its tree-lined “Genius Groves”, down to simplifying product packaging. 

More significantly, he oversaw the company’s long-planned move to its new headquarters, Apple Park, which was first conceived with Jobs back in 2004 and designed in partnership with British architects Foster + Partners.....Speaking at a Wired magazine event in 2018, he appeared to suggest that he was back for the long haul, saying: “There’s an awful lot to do and an awful lot of opportunity.” ....Apple Park...brought Apple’s entire design team together for the first time into one purpose-built studio, with industrial designers sitting side by side with font and interface designers......Perhaps the most important legacy that Jon Ive leaves . . . is the team.”.......By Apple’s outsized standards, the tight-knit group of people who work on product design is small. It runs to just a few dozen people out of an organisation that employs some 132,000 staff.....
Yet the team wields a disproportionate influence inside the Cupertino-based company. With an extensive array of tooling and fabrication equipment that is rarely found outside a manufacturing plant, the studio explores new product categories and the materials that might build them, from unique blends of aluminium to ceramics. 

They define not only a product’s appearance but how its software looks and feels, how it responds to gestures, even how an iPhone or Watch gently vibrates to give a user “haptic feedback”. 

“No group within Apple has more power than the industrial designers,” ......Jonathan Ive has thousands of patents to his name, encompassing the original iPod and iPhone to more obscure innovations, including the iPad’s magnetic cover, the Apple Store’s wooden tables and a lanyard used to attach an iPod to a wrist......Jonathan’s departure is likely to reopen a debate that has been simmering for several years — namely how will Apple come up with a new hit product that can match the unprecedented success of the iPhone, whose record-breaking profits propelled Apple to become the first trillion-dollar company last year........it may be that no single product ever will top the iPhone — for any tech company, not just Apple. It is a question that hangs over Silicon Valley as the industry casts around for a new platform, be it virtual reality or smart speakers, that might become as ubiquitous and essential as the smartphone.........Apple is also putting greater attention on an expanding portfolio of online services, including games, news and video........Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive have both pointed to healthcare as a potential new market for Apple, building on the Watch’s new capabilities for detecting heart irregularities.....Healthcare is just one example of how the battleground has changed for Apple in recent years. Despite pioneering virtual assistants with Siri, Apple found itself outflanked by Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant in both sales of smart speakers and artificial intelligence capabilities.

New blood at Apple

Some analysts believe that new blood could invigorate Apple’s response to these challenges. Alongside the high-profile departures of Ms Ahrendts and Sir Jonathan, Apple poached John Giannandrea from Google to become its head of machine learning and AI strategy, as well as Hollywood veterans Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amberg from Sony Pictures Television to run its push into original video. 

“The apparent acceleration in the pace of change within Apple at the executive level reflects the paradigm shift the company is undergoing from a hardware-driven story to ‘Apple as a service’,....... the most significant concern for investors will be that Sir Jonathan’s departure will take away another arbiter of focus and product direction that Apple had already lost with the death of Jobs.....Jonathan’s focus is growing beyond the steel and glass borders of Apple Park, saying he wants to “solve some complicated problems”. .....“One defining characteristics is almost a fanatical curiosity,” he said. “But if you don’t have the space, if you don’t have the tools and the infrastructure, that curiosity can often not have the opportunity to be pursued.”

LoveFrom itself defies traditional categorisation. “I have no interest in creating yet another design agency,” he said firmly. “What’s important is the values and what motivates that collection of people …Small groups of people, I think as Apple has demonstrated over the years, can do some extraordinary things.”

 

 

 
Alexa  Apple  Apple_IDs  Apple_Park  artificial_intelligence  breakthroughs  curiosity  design  departures  exits  Google_Assistant  haptics  healthcare  Jonathan_Ive  LoveFrom  new_categories  new_products  patents  services  Silicon_Valley  Siri  smart_speakers  subscriptions  teams  Tim_Cook  virtual_assistants 
june 2019 by jerryking
Cashew foie gras? Big Food jumps on ‘plant-based’ bandwagon
MAY 18, 2019 | Financial Times | by Leila Abboud in Paris and Emiko Terazono in London

* Boom in meat and dairy substitutes sets up ‘battle for the centre of the plate’
* Nestlé recently launched the Garden Gourmet's Incredible burger in Europe and plans to launch it in the US in the autumn in conjunction with McDonald’s.
* Burger King has partnered with a “foodtech” start-up to put meat-free burgers on their menu.
* Pret A Manger is considering a surge in its roll-out of vegetarian outlets as it looks into buying UK sandwich rival Eat.

A change is afoot that is set to sweep through the global food industry as once-niche dietary movements (i.e. vegetarians, then the vegans, followed by a bewildering array of food tribes from veggievores, flexitarians and meat reducers to pescatarians and lacto-vegetarians ) join the mainstream.

At the other end of the supply chain, Big Food is getting in on the act as the emergence of plant-based substitutes opens the door for meat market disruption. Potentially a huge opportunity if the imitation meat matches adoption levels of milk product alternatives such as soy yoghurt and almond milk, which account for 13% of the American dairy market. It is a $35bn opportunity in the US alone, according to newly listed producer Beyond Meat, given the country’s $270bn market for animal-based food. 

Packaged food producers, burdened with anaemic growth in segments from drinks to sweets, have jumped on the plant-based bandwagon. Market leaders including Danone, Nestlé and Unilever are investing heavily in acquisitions and internal product development.

Laggards are dipping their toes. Kraft-Heinz, for example, is investing in start-ups via its corporate venture capital arm and making vegan variants of some of its products. Even traditional meat producers, such as US-based Tyson Foods and Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods, are diversifying into plant-based offerings to remain relevant with consumers.......“Plant-based is not a threat,” said Wayne England, who leads Nestlé’s food strategy. “On the contrary, it’s a great opportunity for us. Many of our existing brands can play much more in this space than they do today, so we’re accelerating that shift, and there is also space for new brands.” .....a plethora of alternative protein products are hitting supermarket shelves... appealing to consumers for different reasons....(1) reducing meat consumption for health reasons... (2) others concerned about animal welfare...(3) concern over agriculture’s contribution to climate change......As Big Food rushes in, it faces stiff competition from a new breed of start-ups that have raced ahead to launch plant-based meats they claim look, taste and feel like the real thing. Flush with venture capital funding, they have turned to technology, analysing the molecular structure of foods and seeking to reverse-engineer versions using plant proteins......Not only are the disrupters innovating on the product side, they are rapidly creating new brands using digital marketing and partnerships with restaurants. Big food companies, which can struggle to create new brands, often rely on acquisitions to bring new ones onboard.....Aside from the quality of the new protein substitutes, how they are marketed will determine whether they become truly mass-market or remain limited to the margins of motivated vegetarians and vegans. The positioning of the product in stores influences sales, with new brands such as Beyond Meat pushing to be placed in the meat section rather than separate chilled cabinets alongside the vegetarian and vegan options.....Elio Leoni Sceti, whose investment company recently backed NotCo, a Chile-based start-up that uses machine learning to create vegetarian replicas of meat and dairy, believes new brands have an edge on the marketing side because they are not held back by old habits. 

“The new consumer looks at the consequences of consumption and believes that health and beauty come from within,” said one industry veteran who used to run Birds Eye owner Iglo. “They’re less convinced by the functional-based arguments that food companies are used to making, like less sugar or fewer calories. This is not the way that consumers used to make decisions so the old guard are flummoxed.”...Dan Curtin, who heads Greenleaf, the Maple Leaf Food's plant-based business, played down the idea that alternative meats will eat into meat sales, saying the substitutes were “additive”. “We don’t see this as a replacement. People want options,” he said. 

 
animal-based  Beyond_Meat  Big_Food  brands  Burger_King  CPG  Danone  diets  digital_strategies  food_tech  hamburgers  Impossible_Foods  Kraft_Heinz  laggards  Maple_Leaf_Foods  McDonald's  meat  Nestlé  new_products  plant-based  rollouts  shifting_tastes  start_ups  tribes  Unilever  vegetarian  vc  venture_capital 
may 2019 by jerryking
This is nut loaf, will Beyond Meat crash? | FT Alphaville
9 HOURS AGO By: Jamie Powell

Beyond Meat is the only pure-play plant-based protein company listed.
Beyond_Meat  green  hamburgers  Impossible_Foods  IPOs  new_products  plant-based  pure-plays  shifting_tastes  Tyson  vegetarian 
may 2019 by jerryking
Tyson Made Its Fortune Packing Meat. Now It Wants to Sell You Frittatas.
Feb. 13, 2019 | WSJ | By Jacob Bunge

Tyson’s strategy is to transform the 84-year-old meatpacking giant into a modern food company selling branded consumer goods on par with Kraft Heinz Co. or Coca-Cola Co.
.....Tyson wants to be big in more-profitable prepared and packaged foods to distance itself from the traditional meat business’s boom-and-bust cycles. America’s biggest supplier of meat wants to also be known for selling packaged foods........How’s the transformation going? Amid an historic meat glut, the company’s shares are worth $4.9 billion less than they were a year ago—and are still valued like those of a meatpacker pumping out shrink-wrapped packs of pork chops and chicken breasts....Investors say the initiatives aren’t yet enough to counteract the steep challenges facing the poultry and livestock slaughtering and processing operations that have been the company’s core since....1935.....Record red meat and poultry production nationwide is pushing down prices and eroding Tyson’s meat-processing profit margins. Tariffs and trade barriers to U.S. meat have further dented prices and built up backlogs, while transport and labor costs have climbed. .......The packaged-foods business is itself struggling with consumers gravitating toward nimbler upstart brands and demanding natural ingredients and healthier recipes........Tyson's acquisition of Hillside triggered changes, including the onboarding of executives attuned to consumer trends. Tyson added managers from Fortune 100 companies, including Boeing Co. and HP Inc., who replaced some meat-processing officials who led Tyson for decades. The newcomers brought experience managing brands, understanding consumers, developing new products and building new technology tools, areas Tyson deemed central to its future......A chief sustainability officer, a newly created position, began working to shift Tyson’s image among environmental groups, .....Shifting consumer tastes have created hurdles for other packaged-food giants, such as Campbell Soup Co. and Kellogg Co. .... the meat business remains Tyson’s biggest challenge. In 2018 a flood of cheap beef, fueled by enlarged cattle herds, spurred a summer of “burger wars,” meat industry officials said. .......investment in brands and packaged foods hasn’t insulated Tyson’s business from these commodity-market swings. ........The company is also trying to improve its ability for forecast meat demand..........developing artificial intelligence to help Tyson better predict the future.........Scott Spradley, who left HP in 2017 to become Tyson’s CTO, said company data scientists are crunching numbers on major U.S. metropolitan areas. By analyzing historic meat consumption alongside demographic shifts, the number of residents moving in and out, and the frequency of birthdays and baseball games, Mr. Spradley said Tyson is building computer models that will help plan production and sales for its meat business. The effort aims to find patterns in data that Tyson’s human economists and current projections might not see. ......Deep data dives helped steer Tyson toward what executives say will be one of its biggest new product launches: plant-based replacements for traditional meat,
Big_Food  brands  Coca-Cola  CPG  cured_and_smoked  data_scientists  forecasting  Kraft_Heinz  meat  new_products  plant-based  predictive_modeling  prepared_meals  reinvention  shifting_tastes  stockpiles  strategy  sustainability  tariffs  Tyson 
february 2019 by jerryking
Brands Invent New Lines for Only Amazon to Sell WSJ
Jan. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By Annie Gasparro and Laura Stevens.

Amazon gets exclusive products, while brands receive faster customer feedback, marketing support and increased sales.......To build a big line of exclusive products on its site, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.95% is pushing other brand manufacturers to do most of the work.

The online retail giant is asking consumer-goods companies to create brands exclusively for Amazon after finding that developing them on its own is too costly and time-consuming.....Amazon’s initiative is the latest example of the e-commerce giant flexing its muscles in order to offer the lowest prices and widest selection, as it seeks to cut into the market share of big-brand manufacturers.....Manufacturers generally benefit from selling their products through a range of retailers. Also, they risk cannibalizing higher-margin sales of their main brands by offering comparable products under different labels. But those entering deals with Amazon view the arrangement as a golden opportunity.

In exchange for creating exclusive products, the brands get help launching their products on Amazon.com, faster customer feedback when testing new products, marketing support, and, of course, revenue from the sales. They also can appear at the top of search results—a big draw given that Amazon’s platform lists an estimated 550 million items......Speed was paramount. “We had to take what would normally be 12 to 24 months of development to 90 days,”....Amazon, on its own, has been quietly adding to its in-house brands in recent years. Analysts estimate the site now offers more than 100. ....Amazon sometimes promotes its own brands higher in search results on its site, like “Amazon’s Choice” and sponsored items, or as default results in voice searches using Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.

In-house brands often generate a higher profit margin for retailers, including Amazon, and can draw in customers because they can’t find those brands elsewhere. But developing a new brand and formulating products takes time..... the program offers manufacturers a way to “launch brands and products directly to Amazon customers.”

Amazon is increasingly important for consumer-product manufacturers. It now accounts for roughly half of all sales online,.....Amazon’s program also can be used for “orphan brands” that manufacturers have stopped selling or that never made it to market.....Amazon has no issue going full-court press on private label, and pursuing all these brands. If the quality and pricing architecture don’t fit and they have to pivot, they’ll do so,” said Todd Mitchell, president of Compass Marketing Inc., which works with Amazon. “They’re not limited to the constructs of shelf space.”
accelerated_lifecycles  Amazon  brands  cannibalization  CPG  e-commerce  exclusivity  fast-paced  in-house  manufacturers  new_products  orphan_brands  private_labels  product_development  product_launches  shelf_space  speed 
january 2019 by jerryking
The joy of boring business ideas
April 11, 2018 | Financial Times | 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  unglamorous  smart_homes  eco-friendly  reinvention  home_based  new_businesses  new_products  millennials  fin-tech  credit_scoring  personal_finance  boring  buying_a_business  Dollar_Shave_Club  Harry’s 
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
How to Develop a Product Strategy: 3 Ways Market Research Can Help
Market research can assist businesses with their product strategy by identifying growth opportunities. When developing a strategy, businesses must consider how their product or service solves consumer problems, how their product is different from others and how their competitors address the same consumer needs.
market_research  new_products 
january 2018 by jerryking
Among the iPhone’s Biggest Transformations: Apple Itself - WSJ
By Tripp Mickle
June 20, 2017

The iPhone was so revolutionary it raised expectations that the company would introduce radical new products regularly, said Patrick Moorhead, a technology analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. “That’s what I call the leadership burden,” Mr. Moorhead said.

That has made innovation more difficult in some ways, former employees said. Apple developed products that were linked to the iPhone, such as the Apple Watch and AirPod headphones, but was late to pursue hot internet-connected home devices like Nest’s thermostat and an intelligent speaker like Amazon’s Echo.

“There was a real opportunity missed there,” said Mr. Cannistraro. Still, he said, Apple recognizes and supports innovative ideas internally and executes better than competitors. “The right ideas tend to be the ones that get through.”
iPhone  Apple  transformational  Amazon  breakthroughs  Echo  expectations  innovation  Nest  new_products  smart_speakers 
june 2017 by jerryking
Can 3G Capital Keep Thriving on Acquisitions and Cost Cutting? - The New York Times
By STEVEN DAVIDOFF SOLOMON MARCH 7, 2017

the larger question about 3G is whether it is possible to keep creating value by acquisition. At some point, you might think, the music stops playing.

Were that to happen, it would become clear how much long-term value is actually being created, and how much of the gains are short-term lifts from acquisitions and cost cuts. Restaurant Brands, for example, has reduced costs but revenue has remained relatively flat. Last quarter, Kraft Heinz’s revenue fell 3.7 percent.

In other words, with flat revenue, income has to come from somewhere, and you can only slash so much.

It’s a model that private equity firms don’t follow. To be sure, they also cut costs, but private equity also prides itself on revenue expansion and innovation. And the reason is simple: If the merger and acquisition pipeline dries up, so does the growth.....one has to wonder if a firm can succeed simply by cutting. To be sure there will be some gains and value made from the cuts, but eventually part of running a business means actually building something.

Like it or not, that will require spending on new products and the business itself, something 3G’s managers appear to hate above all else, as opposed to simply acquiring more companies.
3G_Capital  mergers_&_acquisitions  cost-cutting  new_products  private_equity 
march 2017 by jerryking
Growing a Different Apple - The New York Times
January 2, 2017 | NYT | By Vindu Goel

Founded in 2014 by three former senior managers from Apple’s iPod and iPhone groups, Pearl has tried to replicate what its leaders view as the best parts of Apple’s culture, like its fanatical dedication to quality and beautiful design. But the founders also consciously rejected some of the less appealing aspects of life at Apple, like its legendary secrecy and top-down management style.

The start-up, which makes high-tech accessories for cars, holds weekly meetings with its entire staff. Managers brief them on coming products, company finances, technical problems, even the presentations made to the board....Pearl’s siren song was appealing: Make the roads safer by giving tens of millions of older autos the same high-tech safety features that the newest models have.....Like Apple, though, Pearl is playing the long game. Engineers are already testing self-parking technology and other driver-assistance features for future products. So far, the company has raised $50 million from prominent venture capital firms, including Accel, Shasta Ventures and Venrock, but Mr. Gardner said it would need to raise more money in 2017.
Apple  alumni  design  detail_oriented  organizational_culture  accessories  automotive_industry  automobile  safety  Pearl  new_products  long-term 
january 2017 by jerryking
Fast Response to ‘Brexit’ News: A Pop-Up Paper Finds Success in Britain - The New York Times
By NICOLA CLARK SEPT. 13, 2016 | NYT |

“It kind of dawned on me: Here was an audience that was so clearly identifiable and passionate,” said Mr. Kelly, a longtime British newspaper executive who is now chief content officer of Archant, a large British newspaper group. “If there ever was a time for launching a new newspaper, this is it.”

Less than two weeks later, in early July, The New European, a weekly print newspaper, hit newsstands nationwide. The paper, conceived as a finite, monthlong experiment, is now going into its 11th week after proving a surprisingly profitable hit with readers.....Some midsize publishers have focused on portfolios of smaller-scale titles that can be produced using the same infrastructure of presses, distribution and marketing networks. Those economies of scale can significantly reduce the marginal costs — and the risks — of developing new print products....earlier experiments, aimed at general-interest audiences, failed to capture enough demand from readers and advertisers to justify their publishers’ relatively modest initial investments....The New European was conceived as a niche publication--the 48 % of Britons who voted on June 23 to stay in the European Union Since it was meant to be short-lived, Archant avoided spending huge sums on market research or publicity campaigns. “We never set out to actually create a long-term brand,” “The way we structured it was to make money on a four-week run.....successful pop-up titles could be linked to popular political or social movements, or major sporting events like last month’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
pop-ups  newspapers  digital_media  Brexit  experimentation  new_products  product_launches  United_Kingdom  economies_of_scale  epiphanies  event-driven  events  social_movements  contextual  cost-structure  print_journalism  short-term  niches  short-lived  sports 
september 2016 by jerryking
How to Avoid the Innovation Death Spiral | Innovation Management
By: Wouter Koetzier

Consider this all too familiar scenario: Company X’s new products developed and launched with great expectations, yield disappointing results. Yet, these products continue to languish in the market, draining management attention, advertising budgets, manufacturing capacity, warehouse space and back office systems. Wouter Koetzier explores how to avoid the innovation death spiral....
Incremental innovations play a role in defending a company’s baseline against competition, rather than offering customers superior benefits or creating additional demand for its products.
Platform innovations drive some market growth (often due to premium pricing rather than expanded volume), but their main function is to increase the innovator’s market share by giving customers a reason to switch from a competitor’s brand.
Breakthrough innovations create a new market that the innovator can dominate for some time by delivering new benefits to customers. Contrary to conventional wisdom, breakthrough innovations typically aren’t based upon major technological inventions; rather, they often harness existing technology in novel ways, such as Apple’s iPad.......A recent Accenture analysis of 10 large players in the global foods industry over a three-year period demonstrates the strategic costs of failure to innovate successfully. Notably, the study found little correlation between R&D spending and revenue growth. For instance, a company launching more products than their competitors actually saw less organic revenue growth. That’s because the company made only incremental innovations, while its competitors launched a balanced portfolio of incremental, platform and breakthrough innovations that were perceived by the market as adding value.
attrition_rates  innovation  howto  life_cycle  portfolios  Accenture  breakthroughs  platforms  LBMA  Mondelez  product_development  new_products  product_launches  kill_rates  incrementalism  R&D  taxonomy  disappointment  downward_spirals  baselines  marginal_improvements  correlations  moonshots 
march 2016 by jerryking
Gearing Up for the Cloud, AT&T Tells Its Workers: Adapt, or Else - The New York Times
FEB. 13, 2016| NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

For the company to survive in this environment, Mr. Stephenson needs to retrain its 280,000 employees so they can improve their coding skills, or learn them, and make quick business decisions based on a fire hose of data coming into the company.....Learn new skills or find your career choices are very limited.

“There is a need to retool yourself, and you should not expect to stop,”....People who do not spend five to 10 hours a week in online learning, he added, “will obsolete themselves with the technology.” .......By 2020, Mr. Stephenson hopes AT&T will be well into its transformation into a computing company that manages all sorts of digital things: phones, satellite television and huge volumes of data, all sorted through software managed in the cloud.

That can’t happen unless at least some of his work force is retrained to deal with the technology. It’s not a young group: The average tenure at AT&T is 12 years, or 22 years if you don’t count the people working in call centers. And many employees don’t have experience writing open-source software or casually analyzing terabytes of customer data. .......By 2020, Mr. Stephenson hopes AT&T will be well into its transformation into a computing company that manages all sorts of digital things: phones, satellite television and huge volumes of data, all sorted through software managed in the cloud.

.......“Everybody is going to go face to face with a Google, an Amazon, a Netflix,” he said. “You compete based on data, and based on customer insights you get with their permission. If we’re wrong, it won’t play well for anyone here.
Quentin_Hardy  AT&T  cloud_computing  data  retraining  reinvention  skills  self-education  virtualization  data_scientists  new_products  online_training  e-learning  customer_insights  Google  Amazon  Netflix  data_driven 
february 2016 by jerryking
A Seismic Shift in How People Eat - The New York Times
By HANS TAPARIA and PAMELA KOCHNOV. 6, 2015

....Consumers are walking away from America’s most iconic food brands. Big food manufacturers are reacting by cleaning up their ingredient labels, acquiring healthier brands and coming out with a prodigious array of new products. ....Food companies can’t merely tinker. Nor will acquisition-driven strategies prove sufficient, because most acquisitions are too small to shift fortunes quickly. ....For legacy food companies to have any hope of survival, they will have to make bold changes in their core product offerings. Companies will have to drastically cut sugar; process less; go local and organic; use more fruits, vegetables and other whole foods; and develop fresh offerings. General Mills needs to do more than just drop the artificial ingredients from Trix. It needs to drop the sugar substantially, move to 100 percent whole grains, and increase ingredient diversity by expanding to other grains besides corn....a complete overhaul of their supply chains, major organizational restructuring and billions of dollars of investment, but these corporations have the resources.
food  foodservice  brands  supply_chains  innovation  shifting_tastes  Nestlé  Perdue  Tyson  antibiotics  trends  Kraft  supermarkets  fresh_produce  OPMA  consumer_behavior  General_Mills  iconic  consumers  McDonald's  ingredient_diversity  seismic_shifts  new_products  Big_Food 
november 2015 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
TMX’s Eccleston says Canadian exchanges need new technology - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Dec. 03 2014

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

“I think it’s time to start thinking about TMX as not a group of exchanges and clearing businesses, but really a very strong technology-based organization that happens to manage exchanges, clearing businesses, risk-management business, data businesses and a number of other things,” he said.
TMX  Lou_Eccleston  product_development  stockmarkets  first90days  trading_platforms  bourses  Bay_Street  capabilities  competitive_advantage  diversification  new_products  portfolio_management  systems_integration 
december 2014 by jerryking
From healthy fries to segways: Why most products fail - The Globe and Mail
SUSAN KRASHINSKY - MARKETING REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 18 2014,

The vast majority of new product launches end up failing.

In fact, 72 per cent of new products are failures, according to a global study released by Bonn, Germany-based marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners. The firm surveyed 1,615 managers in 40 countries. It found that most newly launched products fail to meet their profit targets “because companies neglect or ignore essential pricing and marketing activities in their new product development processes.”.... set aside a budget for research to measure customer demand for the product, as well as what people are willing to pay for it......So many products are launched that haven’t established basic things, such as research into the need of the product, the efficacy of the product, testing the product with consumers,”

marketing a new product:

1. Is there a market for the product?
2. Can you own the name?
3. Do you have data that prove the idea has merit?
4. Do you have a credible, knowledgeable spokesperson who can talk about the product?
5. Have consumers or customers used the product and will they talk about their experience (hopefully positively)?
6. Have you had everyone you are talking to sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement)?
7. Can you identify a third party who can corroborate that the world needs this product that will go on record?
8. How long will it take to manufacture the product and will you meet the deadline for the market (season, trade show, holiday)?
9. Do you have money to capitalize the manufacturing and launch of the product?
10. Do you have a business plan and a budget?
11. What is your day job and can you do both?
attrition_rates  stage-gate  failure  marketing  Susan_Krashinsky  new_products  product_development  products  product_launches  kill_rates 
september 2014 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
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.
ideas  idea_generation  STEM  imagination  tacit_data  Roger_Martin  Rotman  critical_thinking  innovation  customer_insights  books  interpretation  curiosity  OPMA  organizational_culture  cross-pollination  second-order  new_businesses  learning  connected_learning  constant_change  Irving_Wladawsky-Berger  worthwhile_problems  new_products  mental_dexterity  tinkerers  adjacencies 
february 2014 by jerryking
American Girl dolls coming to Canada’s Indigo stores - The Globe and Mail
Marina Strauss - Retailing Reporter

The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Oct. 29 2013

Indigo has been rapidly expanding beyond books to toys and other children’s products along with gifts and home wares to make up for declining book sales in the digital age.

Robert Gibson, an analyst at Octagon Capital, said Indigo will probably test the two American Girl boutiques and then roll out more across Canada – as many as 15 in major urban locations by fiscal 2015. “Because these are big ticket items, we don’t believe they will initially be in every store.”

He predicted that Indigo will drop weak-selling book space and replace it with the American Girl boutique
Marina_Strauss  Indigo  retailers  collectibles  toys  bookstores  new_products 
november 2013 by jerryking
Why empathy is an economic necessity - The Globe and Mail
TODD HIRSCH

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Aug. 14 2013

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

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

Sadly, managers and human resource departments too often neglect the interpersonal skills that are so essential to achieving results. Along with other aptitudes such as story-telling and creativity, empathy is underappreciated by many in the corporate board room. The fact that we even call them “soft” skills implies that they’re less important....The ability to see the world through the eyes of others is an economic imperative. If empathy were given the attention it deserves, companies would find new ways to please their customers. Innovators would dream up systems that save time and money. Conflicts would be resolved more easily. And maybe – just maybe – engineers would design products that are simple to use.
empathy  product_development  design  skills  storytelling  Todd_Hirsch  UX  usability  competitive_advantage  under_appreciated  people_skills  new_products  interpersonal_interactions  soft_skills  delighting_customers  product_design  economic_imperatives  must-have_experience 
august 2013 by jerryking
What Data Can’t Do - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 18, 2013

there are many things big data does poorly. Let’s note a few in rapid-fire fashion:

* Data struggles with the social. Your brain is pretty bad at math (quick, what’s the square root of 437), but it’s excellent at social cognition. People are really good at mirroring each other’s emotional states, at detecting uncooperative behavior and at assigning value to things through emotion.
* Data struggles with context. Human decisions are embedded in contexts. The human brain has evolved to account for this reality...Data analysis is pretty bad at narrative and emergent thinking.
* Data creates bigger haystacks. This is a point Nassim Taleb, the author of “Antifragile,” has made. As we acquire more data, we have the ability to find many, many more statistically significant correlations. Most of these correlations are spurious and deceive us when we’re trying to understand a situation.
* Big data has trouble with big (e.g. societal) problems.
* Data favors memes over masterpieces. Data analysis can detect when large numbers of people take an instant liking to some cultural product. But many important (and profitable) products are hated initially because they are unfamiliar. [The unfamiliar has to accomplish behavioural change / bridge cultural divides]
* Data obscures hidden/implicit value judgements. I recently saw an academic book with the excellent title, “ ‘Raw Data’ Is an Oxymoron.” One of the points was that data is never raw; it’s always structured according to somebody’s predispositions and values. The end result looks disinterested, but, in reality, there are value choices all the way through, from construction to interpretation.

This is not to argue that big data isn’t a great tool. It’s just that, like any tool, it’s good at some things and not at others. As the Yale professor Edward Tufte has said, “The world is much more interesting than any one discipline.”
massive_data_sets  David_Brooks  data_driven  decision_making  data  Nassim_Taleb  contrarians  skepticism  new_graduates  contextual  risks  social_cognition  self-deception  correlations  value_judgements  haystacks  narratives  memes  unfamiliarity  naivete  hidden  Edward_Tufte  emotions  antifragility  behavioral_change  new_products  cultural_products  masterpieces  EQ  emotional_intelligence 
february 2013 by jerryking
It’s the P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as the I.Q. - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: January 29, 2013

If America is to sustain the kind of public institutions and safety nets that we’re used to, it will require a lot more growth by the private side (not just more taxes), a lot more entrepreneurship, a lot more start-ups and a lot more individual risk-taking — things the president rarely speaks about....Facebook, Twitter, cloud computing, LinkedIn, 4G wireless, ultra-high-speed bandwidth, big data, Skype, system-on-a-chip (SOC) circuits, iPhones, iPods, iPads and cellphone apps, in combination, have taken us from connected to hyperconnected.... the old average is over. Everyone who wants a job now must demonstrate how they can add value better than the new alternatives....Indeed, when the digital revolution gets so cheap, fast, connected and ubiquitous you see this in three ways, Brynjolfsson added: those with more education start to earn much more than those without it, those with the capital to buy and operate machines earn much more than those who can just offer their labor, and those with superstar skills, who can reach global markets, earn much more than those with just slightly less talent....How to adapt? It will require more individual initiative...more of the “right” education than less...develop skills that are complementary to technology rather than ones that can be easily replaced by it... everyone needs to be innovating new products and services to employ the people who are being liberated from routine work by automation and software. The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.
career_paths  entrepreneurship  innovation  network_density  risk-taking  Tom_Friedman  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Andrew_McAfee  MIT  curiosity  passions  semiconductors  automation  software  new_products  life_long_learning  Pablo_Picasso  individual_initiative  safety_nets  intrinsically_motivated  winner-take-all  Cambrian_explosion  superstars  cheap  fast  ubiquity  digital_revolution 
january 2013 by jerryking
Bolthouse Farms Unveils Innovation Center - Yahoo! Finance
Bolthouse Farms – Wed, Jan 16, 2013

Bolthouse Farms unveiled its state-of-the-art, Innovation Center today at the company's headquarters in Bakersfield, CA. The facility is designed to accelerate new product development and enhance current Bolthouse Farms offerings across the company's portfolio of beverages, salad dressings and fresh carrots. The Innovation Center will integrate marketing and research to create new products intended to help consumers make healthy food choices.
Bolthouse_Farms  innovation  fresh_produce  product_development  new_products  accelerators 
january 2013 by jerryking
Growth Hacker is the new VP Marketing | @andrewchen
The rise of the Growth Hacker
The new job title of “Growth Hacker” is integrating itself into Silicon Valley’s culture, emphasizing that coding and technical chops are now an essential part of being a great marketer. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modeling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virality is embedded at the core of a product. After product/market fit, they can help run up the score on what’s already working.

This isn’t just a single role – the entire marketing team is being disrupted. Rather than a VP of Marketing with a bunch of non-technical marketers reporting to them, instead growth hackers are engineers leading teams of engineers. The process of integrating and optimizing your product to a big platform requires a blurring of lines between marketing, product, and engineering, so that they work together to make the product market itself. Projects like email deliverability, page-load times, and Facebook sign-in are no longer technical or design decisions – instead they are offensive weapons to win in the market.

The stakes are huge because of “superplatforms” giving access to 100M+ consumers
These skills are invaluable and can change the trajectory of a new product. For the first time ever, it’s possible for new products to go from zero to 10s of millions users in just a few years. Great examples include Pinterest, Zynga, Groupon, Instagram, Dropbox. New products with incredible traction emerge every week. These products, with millions of users, are built on top of new, open platforms that in turn have hundreds of millions of users – Facebook and Apple in particular. Whereas the web in 1995 consisted of a mere 16 million users on dialup, today over 2 billion people access the internet. On top of these unprecedented numbers, consumers use super-viral communication platforms that rapidly speed up the proliferation of new products – not only is the market bigger, but it moves faster too.

Before this era, the discipline of marketing relied on the only communication channels that could reach 10s of millions of people – newspaper, TV, conferences, and channels like retail stores. To talk to these communication channels, you used people – advertising agencies, PR, keynote speeches, and business development. Today, the traditional communication channels are fragmented and passe. The fastest way to spread your product is by distributing it on a platform using APIs, not MBAs. Business development is now API-centric, not people-centric.

Whereas PR and press used to be the drivers of customer acquisition, instead it’s now a lagging indicator that your Facebook integration is working. The role of the VP of Marketing, long thought to be a non-technical role, is rapidly fading and in its place, a new breed of marketer/coder hybrids have emerged.
growth  marketing  hacks  blogs  Silicon_Valley  executive_management  virality  experimentation  trial_&_error  coding  platforms  executive_search  CMOs  measurements  growth_hacking  APIs  new_products  lagging_indicators  offensive_tactics 
december 2012 by jerryking
Following Up With Dan Brown, Inventor of the Bionic Wrench - NYTimes.com
November 26, 2012, 7:00 (share with Paul Boldt)
Following Up With Dan Brown, Inventor of the Bionic Wrench
By GENE MARKS

we definitely need some changes if our country is ever going to protect our significant investments in innovation. Most people do not know it, but we have a double standard in the protection and punishment of intellectual property theft. Without going into all of the detail, the punishment for willful copyright and trademark infringement is a criminal penalty. This is a very strong deterrent for copyright and trademark infringement. The punishment for willful patent infringement is a civil case and not a criminal case. As it stands today, this piracy model for patent theft allows infringers to proceed unchecked for years in the marketplace, often destroying the market, business, and investment of the patent rights owner. The current system forces the victim to fight a protracted and expensive legal battle. If Congress were to simply make those cases of willful patent infringement a criminal case, and we began holding the responsible individuals and officers of the companies personally accountable — as it is in willful infringement of copyrights and trademarks — I believe these infringers would think long and hard before they risked infringing a patented product....Unfortunately, the sales cycle in this business runs well ahead of the delivery cycle. Pioneering a new product into a retailer is very challenging, especially when attempting to convince a buyer whose paradigm is almost totally based on purchasing imported products at very low costs. That is why we worked so hard with Sears to prove the viability of the product and sales program.
Sears  patents  patent_law  inventors  intellectual_property  litigation  sales_cycle  double_standards  delivery_cycle  new_products  retailers 
november 2012 by jerryking
The Global Entrepreneur
December 2008 | HBR | by Daniel J. Isenberg

* More and more start-ups are being born global.
* By tapping resources or serving customers across nations, entrepreneurs can take on larger rivals, chase global opportunities, and use distance to create new products or services.
* Distances, differences in cultural contexts, and paucity of resources are the main challenges new ventures face.
* Successful entrepreneurs are clear in their purpose, strike alliances from positions of weakness, are able to manage global supply chains, and can establish multinational organizations from the outset.
HBR  start_ups  small_business  entrepreneur  internationally_minded  supply_chains  new_products  globalization  Diaspora  networks  microproducers  DanieI_Isenberg 
august 2012 by jerryking
Strategic Innovation: Dr. David Dunne Outlines the Potential of "Disruptive" Technologies
June 2004 | GFTC-Newsletter | David Dunne.

“Innovation is essential, and must be a central mission in any firm which hopes to succeed,” says Dr. Dunne. “And it’s easier for some, like food retailers, than for others,like food manufacturers. It makes sense for manufacturers to see what it is that retailers are doing, and learn from that example.”.....It takes about 3000
new ideas to generate only four reasonably viable products, only one of which will be truly innovative --and generating those 3000
new ideas requires constant effort.”....."Examining product experiments to see what was supposed to happen and what actually did happen can also provide a wealth of knowledge and new ideas. Finding inadequacies in underlying processes and finding ways to address those inadequacies can be fruitful, as can taking advantage of demographic changes, new knowledge, and changes in perception, mood, and fashion.”
disruption  innovation  private_labels  experimentation  new_products  CPG  manufacturers  food  agribusiness  Rotman  grocery  supermarkets  change  ideas  lessons_learned  retailers 
july 2012 by jerryking
Go Ahead, Take a Risk
June 22, 2004 | WSJ | By ADRIAN SLYWOTSKY

What are the risks you should be taking but aren't? Most managers treat risk as an unwanted byproduct of the business. They think narrowly of financial, operating, and hazard risks, such as currency fluctuations, employee fraud, and earthquakes. And they defend themselves through practices like hedging, internal controls, and insurance.

But disruptive strategic risks can be a much larger source of value destruction for a firm. I looked back to the bull market of the 1990s to analyze movements of the Fortune 1000 stocks; even then, before the market collapsed, 10% of stocks lost over one-quarter of their value in a single month, primarily because of strategic-risk events.

The most successful companies do not try to simply minimize strategic risk; they embrace such risk by making prudent bets in their growth-oriented strategies. Strategic risks include not just the obvious, high-probability events that a new ad campaign or new product launch will fail, but other less-obvious risks as well: Customers' priorities will change quickly -- as when baby-boomer parents quickly migrated from station wagons to minivans, catching most automakers off guard. New technology will overtake your product -- as mobile telephony has stolen market share from fixed-line voice. A one-of-a-kind competitor will render your business model obsolete -- as the Wal-Mart tidal wave has washed over mid-range department stores.

Although insurance and hedging can't address strategic risks, there are an array of countermeasures that can, including these three:
1) Smart sequencing for new growth initiatives. Look for incumbents that are moving deliberately, leveraging existing assets and customer relationships to gain the experience, knowledge, and reputation necessary to take the next step with confidence.
2) Proprietary information to reduce the risk of each new initiative. Gather and generate proprietary information that produces a depth of insight into the customer's needs and activities that traditional suppliers cannot match. This will make you a supplier of choice, reducing bidding volatility and allow you to plan with greater certainty.
3) Double betting to minimize the risk of obsolescence. When several versions of a new technology are competing to become the standard, it's impossible to predict which will prevail. So smart managers make double bets. Betting on both Windows and OS/2 positioned Microsoft to be the winner, regardless of which operating system prevailed.

Traditional risk management seeks to contain losses. But that's just one-half of the growth equation. By embracing strategic risk, Cardinal, JCI, and other risk-savvy companies have raised their growth potential in addition to reducing their economic volatility. That's important at a time when aggregate market growth is sluggish: The biggest risk of all is not to take the right growth risks for the business.
leaps_of_faith  Adrian_J._Slywotzky  risk-taking  proprietary  sequencing  scuttlebutt  information  growth  strategic_thinking  Mercer  Oliver_Wyman  product_launches  nonpublic  low_growth  slow_growth  insights  customer_insights  value_destruction  disruption  insurance  new_products  obsolescence  countermeasures  volatility  customer_risk  one-of-a-kind  hedging  overly_cautious  risk-aversion  de-risking  double_betting  risk-management  bull_markets  customer_relationships  dark_data  risk-savvy  internal_controls  financial_risk  risks 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Sales Learning Curve
July-August 2006 | HBR | Mark Leslie and Charles A. Holloway

Because new-product launches often take longer and cost more than expected, many promising offerings are prematurely aborted. Smart
companies give themselves time and money enough to climb the sales learning curve before ramping up the sales force.
HBR  sales  new_entrants  product_launches  learning_curves  new_products 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Superball Economy - WSJ.com
March 3, 2003 | WSJ | By ANDY KESSLER.

Design is cheaper. If you look closely, Silicon Valley has very few manufacturers left. Chips are made in Taiwan, boards assembled in China or Thailand. We are now a Valley of designers. And there are lots of programmers and chip-heads and communications protocol folks walking the streets willing to work for much cheaper than three years ago. Office space is plentiful. Word has it there is space available for 50 cents per square foot per month, down from $12.

Bandwidth is cheaper. Global Crossing spent $12 billion on undersea fiber optics that someone is going to buy for $250 million. WorldCom and others have strung the U.S. with more fiber than in Frosted Mini-Wheats. And it won't be just for phone calls. Find companies that use that cheap bandwidth, and you'll find the boom.

Video is cheaper. Napster music sharing was child's play compared to what is next. Hours of video can be captured, stored and shared with today's cheap PCs and broadband lines. Jack Valenti, call your office.

Wireless data is cheaper. The Federal Communications Commission set aside frequencies for hospitals and microwave ovens that might interfere with phones or radar. This Industrial, Scientific and Medical block of spectrum is known as the junk band. While stupid telecom companies overbid for spectrum for third generation 3G cell phone devices, clever engineers figured out how to hop around the junk band -- letting out-of-work programmers surf job listings at Starbucks. Intel is putting these radios in many of their chips.

Distributed computing is cheaper. Google uses 12,000 cheap PCs to log the Internet so you can look up your neighbor and figure out how much she makes. Even distributed programming is cheaper. Microsoft's biggest problem is far-flung programmers creating operating systems like Linux at home in their pajamas. Bill Gates is reportedly all over the Valley asking for help to combat this "Open Source" nuisance.

About the only thing not cheap is capital. Venture capitalists are stingy, the IPO window is closed, and stocks are at four-year lows. Hmmm. Forget that last boom, it's ancient history. Look for new products not possible or too expensive three years ago. Slam down your new Superballs and be ready.
Andy_Kessler  Silicon_Valley  economic_downturn  protocols  recessions  optimism  design  bandwidth  open_source  new_products  distributed_computing  venture_capital  IPOs  inexpensive  cheap_revolution  abundance  economic_dynamism  leaps_of_faith  FCC  overpaid  wireless_spectrum 
may 2012 by jerryking
GE Chief Charts His Own Strategy - WSJ.com
September 23, 2003 | WSJ | By CAROL HYMOWITZ.

"We're living in a world of more volatility, higher environmental risks and slower growth," says Mr. Immelt. "Companies that depend just on acquisitions to get growth will be left behind. The only way to get growth is to differentiate oneself with new products and services."
Carol_Hymowitz  GE  Jeffrey_Immelt  slow_growth  new_products  risks  volatility  differentiation 
march 2012 by jerryking
Interview: The cellphone anthropologist
11 June 2008 | New Scientist | by Jason Palmer.

How do phones fit in?
The common denominator between cultures, regardless of age, gender or context is: keys, money and,
if you own one, a mobile phone. Why those three objects? Without wanting to sound hyperbolic,
essentially it boils down to survival. Keys provide access to warmth and shelter, money is a very
versatile tool that can buy food, transport and so on. A mobile phone, people soon realise, is a great
tool for recovering from emergency situations, especially if the first two fail.

What uses surprised you?
In a country like Uganda, most mobile phones are prepay. What we saw was that people are using their
phones as a kind of money transfer system. They would buy prepaid credit in the city, ring up a phone
kiosk operator in a village, read out the number associated with that credit so that the kiosk operator
could top up their own phone, then ask that the credit be passed on to someone in the village - say,
their sister - in cash....

With this level of informal innovation going on, can you bring anything extra to the table?
I'm not going to give you the bland corporate answer - "we do this research and then six months later a
product drops off the factory line that perfectly reflects our vision" - because the world is much messier
and more interesting than that. But, for instance, we did a study on phone sharing in Uganda and
Indonesia, and within a year - which is really quick when you're talking about hardware changes - we
had two products out which support multiple address books,
Nokia  interviews  anthropology  mobile_phones  UX  prepaid  emerging_markets  Uganda  credit  Jan_Chipcase  ethnography  Indonesia  anthropologists  insights  new_products 
october 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  ideas  idea_generation  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  process-orientation  large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  unarticulated_desires  Michael_McDerment 
august 2011 by jerryking
Technology Devices Either Sell Big or Die Fast - NYTimes.com
August 23, 2011 | NYT | By JENNA WORTHAM & VERNE G.
KOPYTOFF. In recent years, technology companies have been cutting their
losses with increasing speed...These days, big technology companies —
particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet
industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every
release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is
the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper
indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer
over time. ...this accelerated lifecycle of high-end hardware is being
described as “Darwinian.” ...Companies kill new products more quickly
now because of the higher cost of staying competitive, ..The crush of
tech bloggers and Twitter-using early adopters .. raises the stakes
around how well new products perform in the marketplace...One needs
everything in place: the content, the applications and the
experience--to have a reasonable chance at success.
attrition_rates  product_launches  speed  product_development  hits  blockbusters  winner-take-all  accelerated_lifecycles  social_media  kill_rates  new_products  Jenna_Wortham  Darwinian 
august 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
Strategies for the Chemical Industry: How to Create a World of Opportunities
March 01, 2006 | Chemical Equipment | Anonymous. Few would
deny that opportunities exist in chemicals, but prevailing wisdom
suggests that the chemical industry is a mature sector. Maturity,
though, lies in the eye of the beholder. Large parts of the sector are
solid, plodding even, but they produce decent returns and could produce
more. Exciting areas of research are opening up new products as well
as product application frontiers. The industry has weathered stock
market storms fairly successfully over the past 25 years and there is
little to suggest that it will not remain robust. That’s the view of
Florian Budde, Heiner Frankemolle and Utz-Hellmuth Felcht, editors of
the just updated book “Value Creation: Strategies for the Chemical
Industry.”
chemicals  howto  book_reviews  strategic_planning  opportunities  investments  value_creation  new_products  mature_industries 
december 2010 by jerryking
Dragon on hunt for 'new product ideas'
Nov 6, 2010. | Financial Times pg. 36 | by Jonathan Moules.
Richard Farleigh, who rose to fame as an investor on the TV show
Dragons' Den, has claimed that he is now busier than ever putting $ into
ambitious start-ups. The serial entrepreneur claimed that now is a
crucial time to be doing deals because so many promising ventures are in
need of cash. "At times like this you have to be investing, rescuing
things and doing good deals," he said. "There are a lot of people out
there that cannot get funding and they are relatively low risk."
Farleigh has made more than 70 investments to date in a variety of
sectors, including the private members' club Home House in London. His
preference is to back disruptive business models where he can help
develop strategy. "The kinds [of businesses] I am interested in are new
product ideas. They can have monopoly pricing and a large share of a
new market."
ProQuest  opportunistic  opportunities  start_ups  serial_entrepreneur  United_Kingdom  angels  ideas  new_products 
november 2010 by jerryking
When Being First Doesn't Make You No. 1 - WSJ.com
AUG.12, 2004|WSJ|CRIS PRYSTAY.In Jan. 2000--almost 2 yrs.
before Apple.'s iPod hit the mkt.--Singapore-based Creative Tech.
unveiled a similar prod.: an MP3 player w. a tiny hard drive that stored
hundreds of hrs. of music. In biz., though, being 1st doesn't always
make you No. 1. Creative is best-known for its Sound Blaster audio cards
for PCs, a product category it pioneered & dominates. But it's
still a niche player; annual sales are a tenth of Apple's. Apple ran
mktg. rings around Creative even in its own backyard. For iPod's
Singapore launch in late 2001, Apple plastered the CBD with funky
posters & ran a hip ad blitz in movie theaters.Creative's response
finally came last month, when it began sponsoring a children's TV show
& running its 1st-ever TV ad campaign--but only in Singapore.
"There's been a big shift in our biz, & right now, our biggest
challenge is mktg.," concedes founder/CEO, Sim Wong Hoo. "But I'm
stingy. I don't want to waste $ unless I know it's going to work."
branding  Xerox  Ricoh  image_advertising  Apple  iPODs  competitive_landscape  product_launches  Singapore  first_movers  fast_followers  consumer_electronics  marketing  new_products  new_categories  category_killers 
october 2010 by jerryking
Tarnished Brands at Bargain Prices: Will the Tech Sector's Latest Growth Strategy Pay Off?
June 09, 2010 | Knowledge@Wharton | Anonymous. "...The big
difference between what's happening in the tech sector and a traditional
leveraged buyout is that there is little to no debt involved in the
recent tech deals." ..."The challenge for the acquirers is that they
have to integrate their targets and then create a new market or product
category. "
growth  strategy  mergers_&_acquisitions  M&A  technology  fallen_angels  post-deal_integration  tarnished_brands  turnarounds  new_products  new_categories 
june 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.
stage-gate  attrition_rates  intrapreneurship  corporate  failure  filetype:pdf  media:document  success_rates  criteria  new_businesses  new_products  large_companies  brands  metrics  benchmarking  kill_rates 
april 2010 by jerryking
Moving On Up - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 25, 2004 | Wall Street Journal | By SCOTT KILMAN.
Agricultural firms are looking for a new growth model. They're hoping
it's vertical integration. From California pistachio farms and Iowa hog
farms to Florida orange groves, entrepreneurs are building businesses
that control all the processing steps between the farm gate and dinner
plate. By coordinating the processing, either through direct ownership
or contractual relationships, these firms are trying to put their own
stamp on commodities in order to create brands and new products.
agriculture  vertical_integration  farming  fresh_produce  commodities  data_driven  growth  branding  product_launches  brands  new_products 
february 2010 by jerryking
Green-Products Makers Crank Up Marketing - WSJ.com
JANUARY 11, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by ELLEN BYRON And
SUZANNE VRANICA. Some leading makers of environmentally friendly
household products are boosting their marketing firepower, mounting a
broader challenge to manufacturers of mainstream consumer goods by
launching major marketing campaigns, introducing new products and
upgrading their management teams with consumer-product industry
veterans. These firms compete with the likes of P&G and the Reckitt
Benckiser Group.
Seventh_Generation  Method_Products  green  consumer_goods  environmentally_friendly  P&G  new_products  CPG 
january 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
Creating A Killer Product
10.13.03 | Forbes Magazine | by Clayton M. Christensen & Michael E. Raynor.

Three in five new-product-development efforts are scuttled before they ever reach the market. Of the ones that do see the light of day, 40% never become profitable and simply disappear.

Most of these failures are predictable--and avoidable. Why? Because most managers trying to come up with new products don't properly consider the circumstances in which customers find themselves when making purchasing decisions. Or as marketing expert Theodore Levitt once told his M.B.A. students at Harvard: "People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole." ...Managers need to segment their markets to mirror the way their customers experience life--and not base decisions on irrelevant data that focus on customer attributes. Managers need to realize that customers, in effect, "hire" products to do specific "jobs."...Why not put in tiny chunks of real fruit to add a dimension of unpredictability and anticipation--attacking the boredom factor. A thicker shake would last longer. A self-service shake machine that could be operated with a prepaid card would get customers in and out fast.

Improvements like this would succeed in building sales--but not by capturing milk shake sales from competing quick-service chains or by cannibalizing other products on its menu. Rather, the growth would come by taking business from products in other categories that customers sometimes employed, with limited satisfaction, to get their particular jobs done. And perhaps more important, the products would find new growth among "nonconsumers." Competing with nonconsumption often offers the biggest source of growth in a world of one-size-fits-all products. ...One option would be for RIM to believe its market is structured by product categories, as in: "We compete in handheld wireless devices." WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!...But what if RIM structured the segments of this market according to the jobs that people are trying to get done? Just from watching people who pull out their BlackBerrys, it seems to us that most of them are hiring it to help them be productive in small snippets of time that otherwise would be wasted, like reading e-mails while waiting in line at airports....Features that do not help customers do the job that they hire the BlackBerry for wouldn't be viewed as improvements at all. ...Brands are, at the beginning, hollow words into which marketers stuff meaning. If a brand's meaning is positioned on a job to be done, then when the job arises in a customer's life, he or she will remember the brand and hire the product. Customers pay significant premiums for brands that do a job well.
Clayton_Christensen  Michael_Raynor  Innosight  prepaid  innovation  market_segmentation  customer_experience  arms_race  branding  product_development  education  Colleges_&_Universities  Theodore_Levitt  disruption  new_products  customer_segmentation  observations  nonconsumption  hiring-a-product-to-do-a-specific-job  one-size-fits-all  BlackBerry 
september 2009 by jerryking
No time like bankruptcy for squeezing competitors
July 13, 2009 |The Globe & Mail | George Stalk Jr.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are also broader strategies to consider. Among them:

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

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

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

Force the sale of attractive assets held by your bankrupt competitor. A competitor in protection is not its own boss. The creditor committee is likely to care more for the cash it can get from an asset sale than who buys the assets.
bankruptcies  BCG  competition  competitive_advantage  consignment_pricing  geofencing  George_Stalk_Jr.  hardball  lawsuits  marketing  new_products  offensive_tactics  poaching  product_development  supply_chain_squeeze  tough-mindedness 
july 2009 by jerryking
Finding opportunities with deep customer 'discovery'
February 23, 2009 G&M column by GEORGE STALK JR.

One approach that works for customer-supplier partnerships is something we call "discovery," which goes beyond cost reduction tactics to find opportunities for increasing revenues and improving entire processes....The discovery process goes behind traditional contact points to explore issues that affect the hand-offs, such as consumer usage, retail merchandising, promotional effectiveness and pricing.

By using fact-based analysis, information technology and strong project management, discovery has transformed purchasing department contacts into broader, deeper relationships, helped suppliers and customers create new value in their businesses, and led to dramatically more innovative products and services.
opportunities  business_development  George_Stalk_Jr.  discoveries  partnerships  process_improvements  IT  LBMA  OPMA  customer_insights  cost-cutting  BCG  merchandising  pricing  handoffs  purchasing  relationships  new_products 
february 2009 by jerryking
Six Deadly Orthodoxies of Recessions | Articles | Homepage
Jan./Feb. 2009, article in CEO Magazine by Pierre Loewe and
Dave Jones
* Reduce costs selectively, not indiscriminately, monitor carefully the
impact of cost cuts on staff.
* Don't stop investing - seek undervalued assets and opportunities to
upend rivals who only think of retrenching.
* De-risk and lower the costs of innovation efforts by reaching outside
company and by conducting well-designed experiments.
*If your company has developed a new product or business that
significantly enhances the customer value proposition, a recession is
the time to introduce it and get a lasting advantage over more timid
competitors.
*A recession is the time to bypass incremental cost reduction efforts
and to focus employees' energy on innovation aimed at dramatic cost
reduction.
*Even if you have to curtail innovation efforts to conserve cash,
maintain a sufficient level of activity so you can ramp-up efforts
quickly, retain your key innovators, and tap the pulse of the changing
dynamics of the mkt.
innovation  rethinking  lessons_learned  recessions  Michael_McDerment  counterintuitive  CEOs  Daniel_Pink  Freshbooks  economic_downturn  orthodoxy  conventional_wisdom  breakthroughs  new_products  de-risking  cost-cutting  new_categories  undervalued  incrementalism  marginal_improvements  experimentation  moonshots 
february 2009 by jerryking
Recession 101: Courses for a Crisis - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 18, 2009 WSJ article by ALINA DIZIK. Article focuses
on how business schools are dreaming up a series of new offerings. Some
schools are changing the focus of programs by combining classic business
topics with rapidly developing research about the downturn. To that
end, business schools are creating new exec-ed courses in the space of
weeks or months.
executive_management  executive_education  business_schools  Colleges_&_Universities  MBAs  economic_downturn  nimbleness  speed  agility  windows_of_opportunity  accelerated_lifecycles  operational_tempo  new_products  product_launches 
february 2009 by jerryking
Tough Times Call For New Ideas - WSJ.com
FEBRUARY 14, 2009, WSJ column by KELLY K. SPORS. The savviest
entrepreneurs aren't hunkering down trying to wait out the financial
storm. They're rethinking their business models & strategies based
on the assumption that consumer spending won't be rebounding to
prerecession levels. People may want new types of products and services.
So entrepreneurs are finding new sales channels, trying new marketing
tactics and promotions, forming strategic partnerships, etc.
adversity  rethinking  marketing  innovation  business_development  Kelly_K._Spors  strategies  business_models  entrepreneurship  economic_downturn  recessions  new_products  hard_times  ideas  idea_generation 
february 2009 by jerryking
Ping - How Google Decides to Pull the Plug - NYTimes.com
February 14, 2009 NYT article By VINDU GOEL on how Google
evaluates budding projects, its key tests for continued incubation, its
use of its own employees as a test bed, and its use of product-specific
blogs to communicate and listen to, the public.
attrition_rates  stage-gate  Daniel_Pink  Freshbooks  decision_making  business  innovation  Google  exits  trial_&_error  commercialization  projects  kill_rates  test_beds  assessments_&_evaluations  Communicating_&_Connecting  testing  blogs  new_products  Michael_McDerment  culling 
february 2009 by jerryking

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