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Why You Should Try to Be a Little More Scarce
May 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Cindy Lamothe.

* Conventional wisdom tells us we should eagerly embrace every opportunity that comes our way, but playing a little hard to get has its advantages.
* Robert Cialdini, a leading expert on influence and the author of “Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.”
* John Lees, a Britain-based career strategist and the author of “How to Get a Job You Love.”
* Liz Ryan, founder of Human Workplace and the author of “Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve.”
* Shirli Kopelman, author of “Negotiating Genuinely: Being Yourself in Business,”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Studies show that opportunities are seen to be more valuable as they become less available.....the scarcity principle says that people are more attracted to those options or opportunities that are rare, unique or dwindling in availability,”. The underlying principle is “reactance”: Essentially, when we think something is limited to us, we tend to want it more....it’s possible to harness this concept and increase our appeal in things like negotiations and career advancement.....if you find yourself becoming overzealous over every little opportunity that comes your way, here are a few ways to keep things in balance:

(1) Be less eager - Appearing readily available can work against you....This comes down to economics — if you’re in low supply and high demand, you’re worth more. Making something harder to get, “tends to increase at least the perception of the value, if not its actual value.”....tell people that you're “..selective with who you work with, but you would consider working with or for them.”... “Well, I do have a couple of other projects that I’m working on. However, I could prioritize this for you if you want.”

(2) Don’t jump the gun - It’s easy to become excited when an unexpected opportunity presents itself, Ms. Ryan said, but remember that your power in any negotiation is related to your ability to walk away. Once you have interest, channel that into due diligence, Mr. Lees said. “Research the organization as if you were going to invest half your life savings in it,” he said. It’s also important to continually check in with your gut, Ms. Ryan added, and remember: Don’t accept an offer before fully considering the terms.

(3) Know your market value - continually assessing our market worth, “so that if an unexpected opportunity comes up, you don’t have to rush and do a slack job on this crucial factor.”...Keep an updated spreadsheet on hand with a list of your skills and achievements so you can quickly review it when you have an offer. You also have to know how much to charge for your services beforehand. The idea is to plan ahead so you’re not scrambling in the moment.

(4) Adopt an abundance mind-set - Recognizing that there are unlimited possibilities can give you the security and confidence you need to create successful outcomes. ....reframe how we use scarcity and abundance in our own head before we can apply it outwardly. When you worry about all the things you’re going to lose out on if you don’t take a particular opportunity, you’re using the scarcity mind-set on yourself rather than as a persuasion strategy, he said. “You’re at a real disadvantage mentally.”

(5) Trust the process - appearing less available isn’t about limiting our enthusiasm or being unnecessarily hard on ourselves. It’s about trusting in our own self-worth so we can be proactive, experts say. This means mindfully aligning our excitement into strategy....“Emphasize the uniqueness of your resources and your collaborative approach"
abundance  bank_shots  books  conventional_wisdom  job_search  Managing_Your_Career  mindsets  opportunities  overeagerness  overzealous  preparation  scarcity  selectivity  self-worth  think_differently  unexpected  walking_away 
may 2019 by jerryking
Ikea looks to launch sales platform that would include rival products
February 12, 2019 | Financial Times | Richard Milne in Almhult.

Ikea is exploring the launch of an online sales platform offering furniture not just from the famous flat-pack retailer but also from rivals as part of its big transformation...........

Torbjorn Loof, chief executive of Inter Ikea, added: “It is also about how you connect. If you take home furnishings, for instance — how you connect communities, how you connect knowledge, how you connect the home. It’s not only furniture, it’s paintings, it’s the do-it-yourself part. There are many different constellations that can and will evolve over the years to come.”
Alibaba  Amazon  brands  clothing  e-commerce  experimentation  fashion  furniture  home-assembly  Ikea  leasing  opportunities  platforms  retailers  third-party  Zalando  rivalries  digital_strategies  Torbjörn_Lööf  coopetition 
february 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
abandoned_fields  analog  bespoke  books  counterintuitive  creative_destruction  David_Sax  digital_artifacts  digital_cameras  disruption  hard_work  high-risk  high-touch  innovation  Kickstarter  new_businesses  niches  off-trends  opportunities  photography  print_journalism  small_business  start_ups  structural_decline  travel_agents 
december 2018 by jerryking
Bryan Roberts of Venrock on Seeing Problems as Opportunities - The New York Times
by ADAM BRYANT OCT. 13, 2017

Bryan Roberts always tries to interact with people who put other people front and center, rather than themselves. His reasoning....People who are self-directed generally gather accomplishments and accolades and are very happy to tell you about them. When people are company- or mission-directed, it manifests as humility, and they generally push credit off onto other people.....You’ve been at Venrock for 20 years. How many pitches have you heard from entrepreneurs over the years?

Probably about 25,000. I hate getting pitched, by the way. The part of the job I love is when you and I have decided to work together to go solve a problem that the world thinks can’t be solved.

I don’t like sitting on one side of the table trying to discern the problems you’re leaving out while you give me the world-is-a-bed-of-roses version of what you’re trying to do.

The pitches are just a means to a small number of relationships where we can go do something extraordinary.

I imagine you interview executives for your portfolio companies. How do you hire?

I start off most interviews with, “What can I answer for you?” It tells me a lot, including how knowledgeable they are about the company, how much they’ve thought about the interview and what they care about. I leave it very open-ended and listen to where they go. I can tell an enormous amount from that.

Then I say to them, “If we take the next step, I’m going to do a bunch of reference checks. I’ll find 10 people who know you, including names you won’t give me. How will they describe you?”
vc  venture_capital  Venrock  problems  problem_solving  opportunities  serving_others  hiring  open-ended 
october 2017 by jerryking
The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching. - The New York Times
By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN, Photographs by JOSH HANER
JUNE 15, 2017

Mr. Ovink is the country’s globe-trotting salesman in chief for Dutch expertise on rising water and climate change. Like cheese in France or cars in Germany, climate change is a business in the Netherlands. Month in, month out, delegations from as far away as Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans make the rounds in the port city of Rotterdam. They often end up hiring Dutch firms, which dominate the global market in high-tech engineering and water management.....From a Dutch mind-set, climate change is not a hypothetical or a drag on the economy, but an opportunity.....the Dutch strategy is It is, in essence, to let water in, where possible, not hope to subdue Mother Nature: to live with the water, rather than struggle to defeat it. The Dutch devise lakes, garages, parks and plazas that are a boon to daily life but also double as enormous reservoirs for when the seas and rivers spill over. You may wish to pretend that rising seas are a hoax perpetrated by scientists and a gullible news media. Or you can build barriers galore. But in the end, neither will provide adequate defense, the Dutch say.

“A smart city has to have a comprehensive, holistic vision beyond levees and gates,” as Arnoud Molenaar, the city’s climate chief, put it. “The challenge of climate adaptation is to include safety, sewers, housing, roads, emergency services. You need public awareness. You also need cyber-resilience, because the next challenge in climate safety is cybersafety. You can’t have vulnerable systems that control your sea gates and bridges and sewers. And you need good policies, big and small.

And what holds true for managing climate change applies to the social fabric, too. Environmental and social resilience should go hand in hand, officials here believe, improving neighborhoods, spreading equity and taming water during catastrophes. Climate adaptation, if addressed head-on and properly, ought to yield a stronger, richer state......the Dutch view: “We have been able to put climate change adaptation high on the public agenda without suffering a disaster in many years because we have shown the benefits of improving public space — the added economic value of investing in resilience.

“It’s in our genes,” he said. “Water managers were the first rulers of the land. Designing the city to deal with water was the first task of survival here and it remains our defining job. It’s a process, a movement.

“It is not just a bunch of dikes and dams, but a way of life.”
adaptability  climate_change  Dutch  floods  industry_expertise  Netherlands  opportunities  resilience  Rotterdam  sea-level_rise  sustainability  smart_cities  social_fabric 
june 2017 by jerryking
How Glencore AG became a giant in the global agriculture trade - The Globe and Mail
ERIC REGULY
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
LAST UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 03, 2017

Interested in acquisitions, Glencore AG has accumulated an extensive network of grain assets around the world, and has no plans of stopping
Eric_Reguly  Glencore  soybeans  CPPIB  Argentina  ADM  Bunge  Cargill  Louis_Dreyfus  oilseeds  Viterra  agriculture  growth  opportunities  Rotterdam  grains  logistics  storage  transportation  trading  agribusiness  supply_chains  Marc_Rich 
may 2017 by jerryking
5-Step Primer to Entering New Markets
| Inc.com | BY KARL STARK AND BILL STEWART, Co-founders, Avondale.

Expanding into a new market can be an effective way to leverage your core business for growth. But it takes a disciplined process to accurately assess the potential of each growth opportunity, because a bad bet can bog down your business.

Investing the appropriate level of resources in market analysis, selection, and entry method can create a foundation for success in the chosen market. We suggest following five steps to properly assess the opportunities and risks of a new market.

1. Define the Market
2. Perform Market Analysis
3. Assess Internal Capabilities
4. Prioritize and Select Markets
5. Develop Market Entry Options
marketing  growth  core_businesses  market_entry  new_markets  capabilities  frameworks  market_definition  market_analysis  self-assessment  market_opportunities  market_assessment  generating_strategic_options  assessments_&_evaluations  opportunities  Michael_McDerment  primers 
october 2016 by jerryking
Demise of Big Box Retailing in Canada
Arlene Dickinson
The demise of so many big box retailers in Canada leaves a real opportunity for entrepreneurs to fill the markets evolving needs. I believe that the future of bricks and mortar retai...
entrepreneur  opportunities  women  big-box  retailers  customer_experience  small_business  angels 
march 2015 by jerryking
The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking By Eli Broad
We started by looking at some of the industry's most fundamental operating principles, what most people would call the basics. They represent the strongest, stickiest — and most unexamined kind of c...
conventional_wisdom  critical_thinking  quotes  moguls  unexamined  patronage  benefactors  assumptions  innovation  opportunities  Eli_Broad  thinking  unconventional_thinking  assessments_&_evaluations  unreasonableness 
february 2015 by jerryking
The Dangers and Opportunities in a Crisis
October 7, 2012 | NYTimes.com | By HUGO DIXON, Hugo Dixon is the founder and editor of Reuters Breakingviews.

Wherever one turns — politics, business, medicine, ecology, psychology, virtually every field of human activity — people talk about crises. But what are they, how do they develop and what can people do to change their course?

The first thing to say is that a crisis is not just a bad situation. When the word is used that way, it is devalued. The etymology is from the ancient Greek: krisis, or judgment. The Greek Orthodox Church uses the term when it talks about the Final Judgment — when sinners go to hell, but the virtuous end up in heaven. The Chinese have a similar concept: The characters for crisis combine parts of those for danger and opportunity.

A crisis is a point when people have to make rapid choices under extreme pressure, normally after something unhealthy has been exposed in a system. To use two other Greek words, one path can lead to chaos; another to catharsis or purification.

A crisis is certainly a test of character. It can be scary. Think of wars; environmental collapses that destroy civilizations of the sort charted in Jared Diamond’s book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed”; mass unemployment; or individual depression that leads to suicide.

But the outcome can also be beneficial. This applies whether one is managing the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the current euro crisis, the destruction of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico or an individual’s midlife crisis. Much depends on how the protagonists act.

Students of crises are fond of dividing them into phases. For example, Charles Kindleberger’s “Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises” identifies five phases of a financial crisis: an exogenous, normally positive, shock to the system; a bubble in which people exaggerate the benefits of that shock; distress when some investors realize that the game cannot last; the crash; and finally a depression.

Although there is much to commend in Mr. Kindleberger’s system, it is too rigid to account for all crises in all fields. It also downplays the possibility that decision makers can change the course of a crisis. A more flexible scheme that leaves space for human agency to affect how events turn out has just two phases: the bubble and the crash......The bubble is typically characterized by mania and denial. Things are going well — or, at least, appear to be. Feedback loops end up magnifying confidence...............Manic individuals do not know their limitations and end up taking excessive risks — whether on a personal level or in managing an organization or an entire economy. As the ancient Greeks said, hubris comes before nemesis........But before that, there is denial. People do not wish to recognize that there is a fundamental sickness in a system, especially when they are doing so well........The ethical imperative in this phase is to burst the bubble before it gets too big. That, in turn, means both being able to spot a bubble and having the courage to stop the party before it gets out of hand. Neither is easy. It is hard to recognize a sickness, given that there is usually some ideology that explains away the mania as a new normal. The few naysayers can be ridiculed by those who benefit from the continuation of the status quo.

What is more, politicians, business leaders and investors rarely have long-term horizons. So even if they have an inkling that things are not sustainable, they may still have an incentive to prolong the bubble.......The crash, by contrast, is characterized by panic and scapegoating. People fear that the system could collapse. Negative feedback loops are in operation: The loss of confidence breeds further losses in confidence. This is apparent on an individual level as much as on a macro one.

..Events move extremely fast, and decisions have to be made rapidly........The key challenge is to make effective decisions that avoid vicious spirals while not embracing short-term fixes that fail to address the fundamental issues. With the euro crisis, for example, it is important to improve competitiveness with structural reforms and not just rely on liquidity injections from the European Central Bank.

In this phase, no one denies that there is a problem. But there is often no agreement over what has gone wrong. Protagonists are reluctant to accept their share of the responsibility but instead seek to blame others. Such scapegoating, though, prevents people from reforming a system fundamentally so that similar crises do not recur......Crises will always be a feature of life. The best that humanity can do is to make sure it does not repeat the same ones. And the main way to evolve — both during a bubble and after a crash — is to strive to be honest about what is sick in a system. That way, crises will not go to waste.
blaming_fingerpointing  books  bubbles  clarity  crisis  dangers  decision_making  economic_downturn  Jared_Diamond  market_crash  opportunities  risks  scapegoating  societal_choices 
february 2015 by jerryking
Where to Look for Insight
Mohanbir Sawhney Sanjay Khosla
FROM THE NOVEMBER 2014
Innovation isn’t a department. It’s a mindset that should permeate your entire enterprise.

No matter the venue, the feedstock for innovation is insight—an imaginative understanding of an internal or external opportunity that can be tapped to improve efficiency, generate revenue, or boost engagement. Insights can be about stakeholder needs, market dynamics, or even how your company works.

Here are Seven Insight Channels
Anomalies

Examine deviations from the norm
Do you see unexpectedly high or low revenue or share in a market or segment? Surprise performance from a business process or a company unit?

Confluence

Find macro trend intersections

What key economic, behavioral, technological, or demographic trends do you see? How are they combining to create opportunities?

Frustrations

Pinpoint deficiencies in the system

Where are customer pain points for your products, services, or solutions? Which organizational processes or practices annoy you and your colleagues?

Orthodoxies

Question conventional beliefs
Are there assumptions or beliefs in your industry that go unexamined? Toxic behaviors or procedures at your company that go unchallenged?

Extremities

Exploit deviance
What can you learn from the behaviors and needs of your leading-edge or laggard customers, employees, or suppliers?

Voyages

Learn from immersion elsewhere
How are your stakeholders’ needs influenced by their sociocultural context?

Analogies

Borrow from other industries or organizations
What successful innovations do you see applied in other disciplines? Can you adapt them for your own?
customer_insights  HBR  analogies  anomalies  toxic_behaviors  trends  pain_points  assumptions  innovation  insights  conventional_wisdom  travel  laggards  copycats  dilemmas  extremes  orthodoxy  immersive  deviance  learning_journeys  leading-edge  unexpected  mindsets  frictions  opportunities  opportunistic  consumer_behavior  feedstock 
november 2014 by jerryking
WWE champ, fitness goddess Trish Stratus shares how she kicks butt - The Globe and Mail
Sep. 21 2014 | The Globe and Mail | COURTNEY SHEA.

Here, some of her other secrets to success.

(1) The calm in the middle of the ring. Take time every day to disconnect is so important for having perspective. For Trish Stratus, hot yoga is her stress-eliminating device.

(2) Preparedness is a weapon. Trish's mentor, Robert Kennedy,the then publisher of magazines Oxygen and MuscleMag, gave her the opportunity to do a photo shoot. He told her about it two months in advance, set her up with a trainer and said, “Go get ready for it.” Trish's formula for success, is "preparedness meets opportunity". Many people are given opportunities in life, but they aren’t able or willing to prepare for them. Opportunities happen more often then you think but you have to be ready for them.

(3) I am woman, hear me headlock. Setbacks occur, but keep busting your butt out there, keep working, keep working, and eventually people will realize and recognize your contribution. Sometimes having to overcome hurdles is also a chance to make a mark.

(4) To get it right, write it down. Take notes. Make (to-do) lists. Keeping track of things can enhance awareness, mindfulness, and even inspiration.

(5) Authenticity matters (even in scripted wrestling). The best wrestlers– the ones that have longevity and resonate most with the audience – are almost always when it’s an amped-up version of the actual personality.
authenticity  calm  disconnecting  fitness  hard_work  hotties  inspiration  journaling  lessons_learned  lists  mentoring  mindfulness  models  note_taking  opportunities  personal_energy  preparation  self-awareness  setbacks  To-Do  readiness  women  yoga 
september 2014 by jerryking
Baseball or Soccer? - NYTimes.com
JULY 10, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks
Is life more like baseball, or is it more like soccer?

Baseball is a team sport, but it is basically an accumulation of individual activities. Throwing a strike, hitting a line drive or fielding a grounder is primarily an individual achievement. The team that performs the most individual tasks well will probably win the game.

Soccer is not like that. In soccer, almost no task, except the penalty kick and a few others, is intrinsically individual. Soccer, as Simon Critchley pointed out recently in The New York Review of Books, is a game about occupying and controlling space. If you get the ball and your teammates have run the right formations, and structured the space around you, you’ll have three or four options on where to distribute it. If the defenders have structured their formations to control the space, then you will have no options. Even the act of touching the ball is not primarily defined by the man who is touching it; it is defined by the context created by all the other players.
“Soccer is a collective game, a team game, and everyone has to play the part which has been assigned to them, which means they have to understand it spatially, positionally and intelligently and make it effective.” Brazil wasn’t clobbered by Germany this week because the quality of the individual players was so much worse. They got slaughtered because they did a pathetic job of controlling space. A German player would touch the ball, even close to the Brazilian goal, and he had ample room to make the kill....Most of us spend our days thinking we are playing baseball, but we are really playing soccer. We think we individually choose what career path to take, whom to socialize with, what views to hold. But, in fact, those decisions are shaped by the networks of people around us more than we dare recognize.

This influence happens through at least three avenues. First there is contagion. People absorb memes, ideas and behaviors from each other the way they catch a cold....Then there is the structure of your network. There is by now a vast body of research on how differently people behave depending on the structure of the social networks. There is by now a vast body of research on how differently people behave depending on the structure of the social networks. People with vast numbers of acquaintances have more job opportunities than people with fewer but deeper friendships. Most organizations have structural holes, gaps between two departments or disciplines. If you happen to be in an undeveloped structural hole where you can link two departments, your career is likely to take off.

Innovation is hugely shaped by the structure of an industry at any moment. ...Finally, there is the power of the extended mind....our very consciousness is shaped by the people around us. Let me simplify it with a classic observation: Each close friend you have brings out a version of yourself that you could not bring out on your own. When your close friend dies, you are not only losing the friend, you are losing the version of your personality that he or she elicited....Once we acknowledge that, in life, we are playing soccer, not baseball, a few things become clear. First, awareness of the landscape of reality is the highest form of wisdom. It’s not raw computational power that matters most; it’s having a sensitive attunement to the widest environment, feeling where the flow of events is going. Genius is in practice perceiving more than the conscious reasoning.

Second, predictive models will be less useful. Baseball is wonderful for sabermetricians. In each at bat there is a limited range of possible outcomes. Activities like soccer are not as easily renderable statistically, because the relevant spatial structures are harder to quantify.
David_Brooks  baseball  bridging  career_paths  Communicating_&_Connecting  soccer  social_networking  strategy  spatial_awareness  fingerspitzengefühl  innovation  negative_space  predictive_modeling  job_opportunities  job_search  competitive_landscape  think_threes  large_companies  opportunities  contextual_intelligence  wisdom 
july 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 [JCK: 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  playing_it_safe  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  systematic_approaches 
june 2014 by jerryking
5 Things Super Lucky People Do
Mar 17, 2014 | Inc. Magazine | BY Kevin Daum.

1. Play to your strengths. So much time and energy is wasted trying to do things you probably don't do very well. Author and Inc. columnist Lewis Schiff learned from his survey of incredibly wealthy people that they got that way by focusing only on what they do best. Everything else you can delegate, or you could find a partner to compensate for your weaknesses. That way, you will shine where you excel and attract opportunity. Good things come to those who emanate success.

2. Prepare in advance. Unlucky people often get that way because they're reactive and unprepared for whatever comes. People who have stored food and water in their basements aren't lucky to find themselves prepared when disaster strikes, they used forethought to make sure they had what they might need just in case. I personally scoff at this horrible recent trend of disparaging business plans because things change constantly. The point of a business plan isn't to follow it no matter what, it's to establish a structure for smart decision making that allows you to succeed no matter what the future might bring.

3. Start early. Some people seem to have more hours in the day. I myself don't need more than six hours of sleep and am constantly finding ways to be more efficient. I use that extra time to start my projects well in advance. My rewards aren't dependent upon the time of day that I take action. (This column is being written at 3 a.m.) But it does matter that I'm beginning to explore projects I expect to complete months or years from now. So many people only want to put their energy into things that provide immediate gratification. The most fortunate people I know are the ones who planted seeds early and now reap that harvest of happiness.

4. Connect with as many people as possible. The key to success is access to opportunity. Access comes from influence. If you're influential, people will come and bring opportunities to you. The bigger your following, the more powerful your influence. The only way to build a big following is to provide value to many people. You have to provide the sort of value that will cause people to spread your thoughts far and wide, attributing credit to you when they do. Are you creating that kind of value? If not, figure how you can.

5. Follow up. Opportunities often come and go because people don't respond in a timely manner. I'm always amazed when people ask me for something and I respond only to never hear from them again. Three months ago, a young woman asked me if I hire interns or assistants. I replied immediately saying I'm always willing to consider hiring people who bring value to my work. I asked her how she thought she could enhance what I could do. I never heard from her again. Perhaps she now considers herself unlucky that opportunity doesn't come her way. I believe that following up is often more powerful and impressive than the act of initiating.
tips  luck  Communicating_&_Connecting  opportunities  JCK  focus  preparation  readiness  value_creation  networking  following_up  self-starters  overachievers  strengths  affirmations  forethought  weaknesses  individual_initiative  unprepared  chance  contingency  partnerships  high-achieving  early_risers 
march 2014 by jerryking
Incognito
October 2003 | Report on Business Magazine | by Doug Steiner.

"...He always seemed a step ahead, and he did it by working harder, thinking harder and trading harder—and in ways that the competition couldn't quite grasp."

Steiner's 10 rules for making serious money:

1. Economists say investing is a zero-sum game It isn't. Money moves to smart hands quickly, and lazy investors pay a price. Tiger Woods became the been golfer by practising a lot. How many prospectuses have you read in bed after the news?
2. Really good investors rarely crow. If there is $5 to be made from a trade, there will be loss than $2.50 after you've blabbed about how smart you are. There are traders who quietly take home $10 million a year. They live beside you in a modest house and drive a beat-up Nissan.
3. The best follow rules and they‘re patient. They may not invest for months. One great trader I know wanted to buy a house in a fancy neighbourhood. He spent more than a week in the registry office on his vacation, searching the title on each property in the neighbourhood to find what buyers paid and how much of that was mortgaged, going back 20 wars. He got a good deal. He does the same amount of homework investing.
4. Sharp traders never add to losing positions. Too many headaches.
5. Smart investors. when puzzled about when to sell. wonder if they should buy more. If they don’t think they should buy more,they sell.
6. The most information wins. If you like a company, phone some people who work there. Apply for a job. Try their products. Phone the shipping dock to find out if they're busy.
7. Get a Bloomberg terminal. Bloombergs have more information in them than you can use, but smart people use a lot of it.
8. Following really smart traders around the market is hard. Most have more money to invest in a position than the arbitrage or opportunity can handle. They leave few tracks.
9. Great investors an: like great athletes—they see opportunities that others don’t. Often you don't realize that what they've made the most money on is even fungible.
10. If you can't do it yourself, find someone who likes the foldouts in annual reports more than anything. Their management fees are usually worth it. And they usually don't have slick marketing brochures.
absorptive_capacity  arbitrage  Bay_Street  Bloomberg  dedication  Doug_Steiner  hard_work  hedge_funds  humility  idea_generation  investment_advice  investing  investors  money_management  obscurity  opportunities  overlooked_opportunities  patience  perception  primary_field_research  prospectuses  rules_of_the_game  self-discipline  sleuthing  slight_edge  smart_people  traders  training  unfair_advantages  zero-sum_games 
december 2013 by jerryking
Who's Your Daddy?
July 20, 2013 | NYT |By MILES CORAK

Better job opportunities for the children of the top 1 percent deepen our cynicism about how people get ahead....Hard work and perseverance will always be ingredients for success, but higher inequality has sharply tilted the landscape and made having successful parents, if not essential, certainly a central part of the recipe....THE Danish and Canadian top 1 percent certainly have their share of privilege: the Gus Wenners of the world, talented or not, are not rare. A recent study published by the Russell Sage Foundation showed that about 30 percent of young Danes and 40 percent of Canadians had worked with a firm that at some point also employed their fathers. This is more likely the higher the father’s place on the income ladder, rising distinctly and sharply for top earners. In Denmark more than half of sons born to the top 1 percent of fathers had worked for an employer for whom the father also worked, and in Canada the proportion is even higher at nearly 7 of every 10.

This is on a par with the United States, where, according to a 2006 study, up to half of jobs are found through families, friends or acquaintances, with higher wages being paid to those who found jobs through “prior generation male relatives” who actually knew the potential employer or served as a reference.
nepotism  movingonup  income_distribution  self-perpetuation  winner-take-all  inequality  privilege  myths  opportunities  The_One_Percent  income_inequality  hard_work  compounded  upper-income 
july 2013 by jerryking
Why the U.S. is the player with all the right cards | Business without Borders
June 6th, 2013 | Business Without Borders | by Susan Bourette.

(1) Similarly, harnessing the promise of “big data” could yield productivity gains across many sectors. The United States is uniquely positioned to capture the opportunity given that it has led technological development and owns a disproportionate share of the world’s data assets, the report states.

To put this into perspective, McKinsey has analyzed big data’s potential in four large and markedly different sectors: retail, manufacturing, health care and government services. “In these sample sectors alone, we estimate that the widespread use of big data analytics could produce up to $635 billion in productivity gains and cost savings, resulting in an incremental increase of at least $265 billion in annual GDP by 2020,” the report says.

(2)Canada has a unique opportunity to capitalize on its reputation as a global food superpower, Mr. Barton says, giving a much-needed boost to the industry, which has seen its ranking fall to the seventh-largest global producer from third in recent years.
McKinsey  opportunities  U.S.  Dominic_Barton  cost_savings  productivity  Rhodes  agribusiness  massive_data_sets  food 
june 2013 by jerryking
The Four Best (and Worst) Uses of Market Research| Page 2
April 9 2013 | | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine | by Taddy Hall

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

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

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

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

What does it take to capitalize on anomalies systematically?

For starters, you need to have metrics and information systems that are sufficiently refined to identify anomalies in the first place. Knowing the average margins and market share isn’t enough; look at the entire range of outcomes—across customers, geographies, products, and the like. This allows you to surface out-of-the-ordinary results for closer inspection.

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

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

It’s up to senior management to create the forum for asking why and to persist until the question is answered with genuine insight.
metrics  George_Stalk_Jr.  BCG  anomalies  growth  opportunities  customer_insights  surprises  systematic_approaches  quizzes  ratios  pattern_recognition  insights  questions  first-order  second-order  OPMA  Waudware  curiosity  new_businesses  one-time_events  signals  noise  overlooked_opportunities  latent  hidden  averages  information_systems  assessments_&_evaluations  randomness  5_W’s 
january 2013 by jerryking
Two Women Pitch In During Hard Times And Find Big Rewards
July 20, 1999 | WSJ | By HAL LANCASTER.

Two Women Pitch In During Hard Times... Hard times don't necessarily mean hunkering down or looking for greener pastures. It can be a time to take on more responsibility and expand your skills.
Hal_Lancaster  Managing_Your_Career  opportunities  hard_times  opportunistic  bankruptcies  women  adversity 
december 2012 by jerryking
GO AHEAD-JUMP!
February 26, 1996 | FORBES ASAP | by Andy Kessler.

…"get that lard out of your chair, storm into the corner office, fire yourself, and start your own enterprise".

"Opportunities abound to build on the shoulders of giants"
"It’s never been cheaper to be an entrepreneur"
"The market has never put a bigger spotlight on entrepreneurs"
" I’m talking about opportunity. Success you must provide."

Lastly, as far as risk goes:

"You say you’re worried about blowing your life savings? If you’re any good, you can always get more money by going back to a big company."
Andy_Kessler  entrepreneurship  advice  large_companies  opportunities 
december 2012 by jerryking
Trends and Opportunities in Agriculture An Executive Interview with Lowell Catlett 1
Volume 11, Issue 4, 2008 |International Food and Agribusiness Management Review |H. Douglas Jose 􀁌
agribusiness  trends  opportunities  farming  agriculture 
october 2012 by jerryking
As Netflix’s plot thickens, CEO strives to hone an edge
Sep. 10 2012 |The Globe and Mail | OMAR EL AKKAD - TECHNOLOGY REPORTER.

While such expansion helps to quickly build Netflix's customer base, it tends to hammer the bottom line. The company's business model relies on paying for content licenses up front, and then slowly making its money back through customer subscription fees. However, that means Netflix is currently losing money in many of its overseas markets – about $100-million a quarter from its United Kingdom and Latin America operations. Even in Canada, where Netflix constitutes the biggest single use of consumer Internet bandwidth, Netflix is only now starting to break even.
Netflix  Reed_Hastings  licensing  licensing_rights  subscriptions  streaming  web_video  challenges  opportunities  piracy  Omar_el_Akkad  competitive_landscape  digital_media  slight_edge 
september 2012 by jerryking
Si Cuba
July 2004 | Robb Report Worth | Philips Peters
Cuba  opportunities  ADM  Cargill  Fidel_Castro  FDI  sanctions 
august 2012 by jerryking
Opportunities in Distressed Securities
March 28, 1995 | Finance Weekly | by Martin Sass, CEO of M.D. Sass Investors Services, a New York Cky—based investment management firm.

Some of the best investment opportunities lie in post-bankruptcy investing....Five factors contribute to success in distressed-security investing: high absolute return potential; astute, rigorous financial analysis: expertise in the bankruptcy and restructuring process; investment flexibility (i.e.. the ability to invest both long and short, as well as anywhere in the capital structure ranging from senior debt to subordinated debt to equity): and portfolio diversification....Another important task is making an informed estimate of the time it will take to realize the forecasted value and any likely intervening events (i.e., litigation, negotiations and other elements of the restructuring process) that will affect that value and/or the duration of the workout. A workout of a distressed
situation could take anywhere from six months to five or more years. This makes a difference when figuring your annualized return.
distressed_debt  capital_structure  howto  workouts  bankruptcies  investors  opportunities  restructurings 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Opportunity Gap - NYTimes.com
The Opportunity Gap
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: July 9, 2012

Decades ago, college-graduate parents and high-school-graduate parents invested similarly in their children. Recently, more affluent parents have invested much more in their children’s futures while less affluent parents have not.

They’ve invested more time. Over the past decades, college-educated parents have quadrupled the amount of time they spend reading “Goodnight Moon,” talking to their kids about their day and cheering them on from the sidelines. High-school-educated parents have increased child-care time, but only slightly.

A generation ago, working-class parents spent slightly more time with their kids than college-educated parents. Now college-educated parents spend an hour more every day. This attention gap is largest in the first three years of life when it is most important.

Affluent parents also invest more money in their children. Over the last 40 years upper-income parents have increased the amount they spend on their kids’ enrichment activities, like tutoring and extra curriculars, by $5,300 a year. The financially stressed lower classes have only been able to increase their investment by $480, adjusted for inflation.

As a result, behavior gaps are opening up. In 1972, kids from the bottom quartile of earners participated in roughly the same number of activities as kids from the top quartile. Today, it’s a chasm.
David_Brooks  parenting  achievement_gaps  opportunities  social_classes  purchase_decisions  opportunity_gaps  college-educated  working_class  attention_gaps  affluence  behavior_gaps  super_ZIPs  self-perpetuation  values  unfair_advantages  upper-income  high-school_graduated 
july 2012 by jerryking
Opportunities for Entrepreneurs_Consolidating Fragmented Service Industries
Spring 1986 | New Management Vol. 3. Iss, 4; pg. 23. 5 pgs | Krauss, Carol Gibbons.

There are many opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to establish a successful business in the fragmented service industries. Reasons for fragmentation include: 1. the need for personal selling or delivery of a highly customized product, 2‘ local variations in environment or demand. and 3. inability to achieve economies of scale. Several possible strategies to overcome these fragmenting factors exist 1. Introduce a higher level of professionalism 2. Transform a service from a specialty into a commodity‘ 3. Separate portions of a mixed service and specialize in one aspect. 4. Change the delivery system by replacing some personal interaction with either automation or more customer participation To take advantage of these business opportunities. one must have a creative mind that is open to new organizational designs. The goal is to create a flexible formula that can be replicated
consolidation  entrepreneur  fragmentation  opportunities  personal_selling  small_business  start_ups  strategic_planning  economies_of_scale  fragmented_markets  roll_ups  professionalization 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Young & Restless of Technology Finance
November 1993| The Red Herring | Anthony B. Perkins.

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

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

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

The HERRING: Sequoia's image on the streets of Silicon Valley is that you are the Los Angeles Raiders of venture capital--the tough guys who are quicker than the other firms to boot the CEO or pull the financial plug.
Moritz: We are congenitally incapable of pouring good money after bad. Some people. for their own will thrust us into a position to be harbingers of bad new to management, which is all right. But we do not want to continue propping up a company if we think its chances for success have evaporated. We would be wasting our money as individuals and wasting the money of our limited partners. There have been very few instances where we decided to stop funding a company and have regretted it.
The HERRING: What ’s the hardest part of your job?
Moritz: We usually don't make mistakes when it comes to assessing market opportunity. And we are reasonably accurate in predicting how long it will take to bring a product to market. The great imponderable is to judge accurately and predict how well a president is going to be able to run the business. It is easy to mistake the facade for reality
The HERRING: ‘What characteristics does Sequoia look for in a company president?
Moritz: Frugality, competitiveness. confidence, and paranoia.
venture_capital  vc  howto  Kleiner_Perkins  Sequoia  career_paths  Michael_Moritz  no_regrets  endurance  frugality  competitiveness  paranoia  self-confidence  market_sizing  market_windows  team_risk  market_opportunities  ambitions  large_markets  sticktoitiveness  entrepreneur  perseverance  indispensable  Plan_B  off-plan  champions  reference-checking  unknowns  assessments_&_evaluations  opportunities  unsentimental  wishful_thinking  illusions  overambitious 
july 2012 by jerryking
When Opportunity Knocks and Knocks - NYTimes.com
August 15, 2007 | WSJ| By BRENT BOWERS.

''We boomers are searchers,'' she said. ''We've done a lot, and we want to merge what we like to do with our plans of what to do next. Or, we may not want to do something we've done before; we might want to try something entirely new. So the question becomes not just, 'What business will I run?' but ''What will I do with my life?' ''

Ms. Smith applauded Mr. Weitz for taking his search so seriously. ''There will be more and more people like him, and they will give a new definition of entrepreneurship,'' she said.

Acting as matchmaker, I set up a phone conversation between searcher and strategist.
search_funds  baby_boomers  entrepreneur  yoga  opportunities  passion_investing  passions  entrepreneurship 
june 2012 by jerryking
Supermarket Challenges and Opportunities for Producers and Shippers: US Experience1
February Quarter 2005 | Farm Policy Journal Vol. 2 No. 1 |Roberta Cook
Extension Marketing Economist, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

The United States fresh fruit and vegetable market place has undergone consolidation in recent years, the
result being fewer, larger buyers who cater for large retailers. A large proportion of fresh produce is now
sold directly by shippers to retailers, bypassing intermediaries and wholesale markets. Transactions in
this consolidated market place involve more complex sales arrangements which can include off-invoice
fees and also quality, packaging and food safety requirements. More buyers in the food retail industry
are moving to seasonal and annual contracts which vary considerably for any given commodity. The
foodservice industry is also increasingly purchasing directly from shippers based in production regions.
Consolidation of food retail grocery stores has induced consolidation of shippers as firms attempt to match
the scale of the few, larger buyers. Shippers are now more market orientated and seek growers willing to
make changes necessary to be part of a more tightly controlled, yet geographically dispersed supply chain.
Contracts between shippers and producers are typically not fix-priced contracts, and focus on meeting
year-round consumer demand. Shippers reduce seasonal supply variation using imported products which
has implications for early and late season producers who may permanently face lower average prices.
Ultimately producers benefit by marketing through a shipper who can accurately reflect both shortand
longer-term market signals and can also assemble larger supplies of consistent quality products.
grocery  supermarkets  shippers  fresh_produce  OPMA  farming  agriculture  fruits  vegetables  consolidation  challenges  opportunities  Roberta_Cook 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute
CAPI is proactively addressing the challenges of the next five to ten-year period in order to advance the success of Canada's agriculture and agri-food sector. The Institute aims to provide primary producers, processors, and food manufacturers with new opportunities, and to provide benefits to consumers in rural and urban settings. CAPI is working toward a competitive, sustainable, and healthy agri-food sector.
agriculture  farming  think_tanks  agribusiness  opportunities 
may 2012 by jerryking
What Business Would You Start?
Mar 1, 2002 | Inc. Magazine |By Thea Singer.

The simple answer to the question 'How do you do this?' is, you find a really large market -- or one that's going to be large -- that's inefficient, and you come up with a breakthrough way of delivering value to customers that nobody has ever done before.
start_ups  advice  entrepreneur  opportunities  Dell  demographic_changes  financial_services  healthcare  education  travel  large_markets  inefficiencies 
may 2012 by jerryking
It’s Not What you Know, Or Who You Know, But How You Know
The key distinction here is the Justificationist focus of large organization managers and the falsificationist focus of venture
fund managers...Mihnea Moldoveanu
Mihnea_Moldoveanu  Rotman  venture_capital  vs  decision_making  large_companies  opportunities  entrepreneurship 
april 2012 by jerryking
Doing business in Africa
October 2011 | Canadian Lawyer Magazine | Written by Paul Brent
Africa  law_firms  mining  opportunities  South_Africa  lawyers 
november 2011 by jerryking
Be prepared for when opportunity knocks
Oct. 24, 2000 | The Financial Times p4.|Daniel Muzyka.
Business opportunities are becoming more fleeting and difficult to grasp.

Daniel Muzyka explains why and what you can do to prepare for them
Daniel_Muzyka  opportunities  preparation  transient  impermanence 
november 2011 by jerryking
Why You Should Stop Being a Wimp
Aug. 3, 2011 |BNET|By Suzanne Lucas |Ever met a successful
wimp? No such thing. The person who succeeds in the world of work isn't
the person that refuses to take chances. Business owners must take
financial & personal risks, evaluate mkts. & spot gaps which
they try to fill. Sometimes they commit to paying other people’s
salaries before knowing for sure if they’ll bring in enough $ to pay
their own. Successful sales people go out every day & risk rejection
in order to sell their products. You can't expect customers to
call. SVPs didn’t get there by keeping their head down & doing
precisely what their bosses asked of them. They looked for new
opportunities, suggested new paths for the biz, made difficult
decisions..This isn’t advice to be irrational, nor rude. Be politely
firm. Think through your plans–you must have plans in the 1st. place.
Do take risks where there is potential for payoff, do speak up in
meetings, do work your ass off and do ask for the recognition you
deserve.
advice  chutzpah  financial_risk  hard_choices  hustle  independent_viewpoints  indispensable  individual_initiative  intrinsically_motivated  It's_up_to_me  jck  ksfs  opportunities  overlooked_opportunities  owners  personal_payoffs  personal_risk  recognition  rejections  risk-taking  self-starters  speaking_up  uncharted_problems 
august 2011 by jerryking
Stop Looking for Ideas, Look for Problems to Grow Your Business - India Chief Mentor - WSJ
April 19, 2010, | WSJ | By Gautam Gandhi. Stop looking for
good ideas. That’s right, you read this correctly. Please don’t speak of good ideas ever again. Instead tell me about good problems. They'll most likely bring a business opportunity, Where are the problems?

If you look around there are problems everywhere. Question things you
take for granted and think to yourself: Is there a better way? When you
have your next business meeting, whether it is with a client or
customer, ask them what their biggest problems are. You will be
surprised by what people tell you. Hopefully, you will start to notice
patterns and will soon identify a problem to solve. Better still, if it
is a problem that affects you directly.

When you think of the problem that you are going to solve, ensure that:

You are tackling it for a sizable market
People are willing to pay for your solution
You assess your rivals

The last one is important. Never think: “I don’t have any competition.”
growth  problem_solving  pattern_recognition  idea_generation  problems  challenges  worthiness  messiness  uncharted_problems  large_markets  competition  questions  ideas  assumptions  criteria  India  pain_points  discernment  curiosity  dissatisfaction  opportunities  inquisitiveness  Michael_McDerment  worthwhile_problems 
july 2011 by jerryking
Africa Spends $50 Billion Each Year on Food Imports, Group Says
Apr 15, 2011 | Bloomberg | By Moses Mozart Dzawu. Africa
pays $50 billion each year on food imports and will need to invest $39
billion annually for the next 15 years in order to become
self-sufficient, said Akinwumi Adesina, vice president of the Alliance
for a Green Revolution in Africa. The continent faces problems with a
“lack of storage facilities, infrastructure and marketing of
agricultural produce,” he said in Accra, the Ghanaian capital, today. If
Africa doubles its agricultural output by 2015, the continent’s annual
gross domestic product would increase by 5.5 percent, Adesina said.
African governments need to develop strategies to get banks to boost
lending to the industry, he said.
Africa  food  importing  ideas  opportunities  farming  agriculture  infrastructure  problems  challenges  fresh_produce 
april 2011 by jerryking
Next year, be ahead of the competition
Dec. 27, 2010 | Financial Post | Rick Spence

Look for ways to add more value. In tough times, most marketers look for
ways to claw back some of the value they offer their customers, as a
way to preserve margins; you can stand out by offering more. Henry Ford
said it best: "The man who will use his skill and constructive
imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how
little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed."
Rick_Spence  advice  self-improvement  opportunities  opportunistic  value_creation  perks  hard_times 
december 2010 by jerryking
Four VCs on Evaluating Opportunities
May 2, 2005 | HBS Working Knowledge | by Mike Roberts and
Lauren Barley. What makes for the ideal entrepreneurial opportunity?
To learn about the frameworks firms use when evaluating potential
venture opportunities, Mike Roberts, executive director of the Arthur
Rock Center for Entrepreneurship, and HBS senior research associate
Lauren Barley recently interviewed four venture capitalists from leading
firms in Silicon Valley.
vc  venture_capital  opportunities  frameworks  HBR  start_ups  entrepreneurship  evaluations  assessments_&_evaluations 
december 2010 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
Lessons From a Soloist Who Reached the Inc. 500 List
November 8, 2007 | Inc Magazine | Posted by Terri Lonier

Recognize and Seize Opportunities - Lesson: Where others see problems,
creative soloists envision business opportunities.
Cut to the Chase --- Lesson: Candor can be a refreshing alternative for
clients, and can create a competitive advantage.
Keep Cash Flowing -- Lesson: Mixing project sizes and timetables keeps
cash flowing, builds skills, and sustains interest.
Do or Delegate---Lesson: Expand your company without increasing overhead
by creating a virtual team of experts you can rely on.
Focus on Profits, Not Revenue --- Lesson: Stay focused on profits and
net income, particularly when facing the siren call of growth.
Work the Network -- Lesson: Invest in creating and sustaining long-term
professional connections that lead to mutual success.
Choose Growth Carefully ---- Lesson: When facing decisions about growth
and the lure of higher revenues, consider all aspects, personal and
professional, immediate and long-term.
solo  ksfs  opportunities  networking  lessons_learned  entrepreneur  virtual_teams  competitive_advantage  cash_flows  jck  candour  growth  delegation 
december 2010 by jerryking
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
What Knockoffs Can Teach Companies About Chinese Markets | Co.Design
Sep 8, 2010 | Fast Company | by Makiko Taniguchi & Eddie
Wu. Fakes and knockoffs often express unmet desires that big firms miss.
Learn from them...Countries, from the U.S. to Japan, regularly accuse
China of copying designs. Indeed,MNCs in these countries spend an
inordinate amount of time and money trying to prevent their products
from being copied. But Shanzhai -- "copycat" design --represents a vast
business opportunity. Shanzhai is an open platform for grassroots
innovation: Apple, Nokia, and Samsung smartphones get copied, but the
knockoffs adapt the original designs in ways that appeal to Chinese
customers. E.g., Shanzhai designers might add a flashlight, key in areas
with unstable electricity. The effect is to make products accessible to
common folks in terms of price, aesthetics, values, and needs. Shanzhai
designs are an opportunity for international companies to introduce
Chinese consumers to their brands, and then observe how local Chinese
culture adapts their offerings.
counterfeits  China  customer_insights  discoveries  pattern_recognition  ideo  opportunities  innovation  design  adaptability  patterns  copycats  unarticulated_desires  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  emerging_markets  brands  multinationals  aesthetics  knockoffs  creative_appropriation  cost-consciousness  low-income  affordability 
september 2010 by jerryking
Facing Budget Gaps, Cities Sell Parking, Airports, Zoos, Other Assets - WSJ.com
AUGUST 23, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By IANTHE JEANNE DUGAN.

The privatization trend is being spurred by a cottage industry of consultants, lawyers and bankers. Allen & Overy, a New York law firm, dubs it "rescue investing" and recently provided investors a booklet on "jurisdictions of opportunity"—municipalities whose laws, budget woes and credit ratings make them most likely to make deals [jk: unexploited_resources ].

"More public-private partnerships for public infrastructure in the U.S. have reached commercial and financial close than during any comparable period in U.S. history," the booklet says.
airports  assets  austerity  cities  cottage_industries  cutbacks  deal-making  dealmakers  divestitures  entrepreneurial  fallen_angels  infrastructure  investors  law_firms  lawyers  municipalities  opportunities  opportunistic  parking_lots  pitches  PPP  privatization  prospectuses  rescue_investing  unexploited_resources  vulture_investing 
august 2010 by jerryking
Nine hard truths
September 2005 | PROFIT magazine | By Rick Spence. The
immutable laws of being your own boss, and five ways to transcend them
all. 1. the 40-hr. workweek is not your friend. 2. Everyone is looking
for something new. But no one has any money for anything new. 3. All
the people you meet at a networking function are trying to sell you
something; 4. The phone doesn't ring by itself--make your own calls if
you want the phone to ring. 5. At any given time, everyone you want to
contact is in a meeting. 6. Basic courtesy is deader than Sir John A.
Macdonald. No one returns phone calls anymore. 7. Allies are like
employees: hard to find, hard to live without. 8. Opportunities are all
around you, but differentiating between an "opportunity" and a genuine
source of revenue-that's hard. 9. Most of the people you meet at large
corps. dream of working for themselves. KSFs: 1. Know what your market
wants. 2. Get yourself a peer group. 3. Trust in karma. 4. Be brave. 5.
Give it away.
motivations  inspiration  Rick_Spence  rules_of_the_game  ksfs  pay_it_forward  self-employment  owners  entrepreneurship  opportunities  karma  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  revenue_generation  interpretation  second-order  hard_to_find  courtesies  hard_truths  it's_up_to_me 
february 2010 by jerryking
Mining the golden years
Feb. 19, 2010 | The Globe & Mail | by RASHA MOURTADA.
""Aging is the largest growing business in the world," says Jane
Barratt, secretary-general of the Toronto-based International Federation
on Ageing. "It's going to happen to all of us." Furniture and home
design are key. "It affects everything from the height of the bed,
automatic taps in the bathroom, how to get in and out of furniture," Dr.
Barratt says. "In Japan, we already have kitchen cabinets that can go
up and down to adjust for height."

Equally as important are technology advances in the home that will
support independent living. Smart phones are being transformed from
Web-browsing devices to tools that can measure vital signs and deliver
that information to family and doctors. Sensor technology that will send
alerts if a person with dementia wanders beyond certain boundaries is
being developed. And we're already seeing communication tools that will
more easily enable older people to stay in touch with family.
Rasha_Mourtada  aging  opportunities  demographic_changes  baby_boomers  furniture  design 
february 2010 by jerryking
Fire Yourself -- Then Come Back and Act Like a New Boss Would
OCTOBER 9, 2006 | Wall Street Journal | by CAROL HYMOWITZ.
..."companies must repeatedly reinvent themselves to stay
strong...companies can't survive as they once did by churning out the
same products or services in the same way year after year. The most
successful companies don't wait until they're in trouble or are
overtaken by rivals to make changes. The trick is to analyze portfolios
constantly, to move quickly to shed weak businesses and to gamble on new
opportunities without making the company unstable...."Windows of
opportunity open and close so quickly today, you can't just mull
decisions right in front of you. You have to look around the corner and
figure out where you need to go,...learn how to change directions fast.
...
IBM  Intel  Andy_Grove  reinvention  opportunities  nimbleness  speed  agility  windows_of_opportunity  accelerated_lifecycles  portfolios  pre-emption  kill_rates  portfolio_management  unstable  instability  assessments_&_evaluations  Carol_Hymowitz 
december 2009 by jerryking
The Uber Mentor, Mentors Article
Sept. 1, 2002 | Inc. Article | By Elaine Appleton Grant.
If you needed life-changing advice and could make only one phone call,
who would be on the other end? For some, the answer is Peter Drucker.
He listens carefully and asks a lot of questions.
He brings a wealth of knowledge to bear in conversations with his
advisees. He's a Renaissance man who is incredibly well-read, draws upon
an enormous breadth of experience, and has an astonishing memory. He
both defines the landscape and identifies what Buford calls "the void"
in that landscape -- what is needed now. Finally, he works only with
those people who take his counsel seriously and act on it.

He encourages people and helps them believe in themselves. A Drucker
truism: a good mentor or manager builds on people's strengths and helps
them make their weaknesses irrelevant.
advice  competitive_landscape  life-changing  mentoring  opportunities  Peter_Drucker  questions  Renaissance_man  voids  weaknesses 
december 2009 by jerryking
Pop-Ups Grow Up; With Gossip, Phobias and Hitchcock, A Kids' Genre Gets New Dimensions
Robert J. Hughes. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Dec 15, 2006. pg. W.1
publishing  opportunities  Gadi_Prager  phobias 
november 2009 by jerryking
Corner Office - Drew Gilpin Faust - Leadership Without a Secret Code
October 31, 2009 | NYTimes.com | Interview with Drew Gilpin
Faust, president of Harvard, conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
deanships  Drew_Gilpin_Faust  leadership  CEOs  Harvard  michael_porter  strategy  improvisation  opportunities 
november 2009 by jerryking
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