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jerryking : overlooked_opportunities   14

How Peloton is Marketing a $2,000 Bike Beyond the Rich - WSJ
By Alexandra Bruell
Oct. 25, 2017

When Carolyn Tisch Blodgett joined fitness startup Peloton as its brand marketing lead a year-and-a-half ago, the company’s executives were focused on promoting the functionality of their product -- a $1,995 stationary bike with an attached tablet and a $39-a-month subscription service for access to live and on-demand classes.

What they were missing, however, was a compelling brand story about the bike’s convenience and its role in connecting riders around the country, largely through a leaderboard that displays rider data, said Ms. Blodgett.

“My challenge over the last year-and-a-half has been telling this brand story,” she said. “We wanted to bring the product to life but also the brand.”

Ms. Blodgett also conducted research showing that the company had been targeting a core, affluent audience, but overlooking a less affluent consumer who was willing to splurge on a convenient fitness habit.

Peloton is now shifting gears with a new financing program ($97 per month for 39 months for both the bike and subscription service), an ad campaign that’s more relatable to a diverse consumer base and an NBC Olympics sponsorship.
Peloton  fitness  storytelling  brand_identity  brands  data_driven  connected_devices  subscriptions  overlooked  overlooked_opportunities  functionality 
october 2017 by jerryking
How Not to Drown in Numbers - NYTimes.com
MAY 2, 2015| NYT |By ALEX PEYSAKHOVICH and SETH STEPHENS-DAVIDOWITZ.

If you’re trying to build a self-driving car or detect whether a picture has a cat in it, big data is amazing. But here’s a secret: If you’re trying to make important decisions about your health, wealth or happiness, big data is not enough.

The problem is this: The things we can measure are never exactly what we care about. Just trying to get a single, easy-to-measure number higher and higher (or lower and lower) doesn’t actually help us make the right choice. For this reason, the key question isn’t “What did I measure?” but “What did I miss?”...So what can big data do to help us make big decisions? One of us, Alex, is a data scientist at Facebook. The other, Seth, is a former data scientist at Google. There is a special sauce necessary to making big data work: surveys and the judgment of humans — two seemingly old-fashioned approaches that we will call small data....For one thing, many teams ended up going overboard on data. It was easy to measure offense and pitching, so some organizations ended up underestimating the importance of defense, which is harder to measure. In fact, in his book “The Signal and the Noise,” Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com estimates that the Oakland A’s were giving up 8 to 10 wins per year in the mid-1990s because of their lousy defense.

And data-driven teams found out the hard way that scouts were actually important...We are optimists about the potential of data to improve human lives. But the world is incredibly complicated. No one data set, no matter how big, is going to tell us exactly what we need. The new mountains of blunt data sets make human creativity, judgment, intuition and expertise more valuable, not less.

==============================================
From Market Research: Safety Not Always in Numbers | Qualtrics ☑
Author: Qualtrics|July 28, 2010

Albert Einstein once said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” [Warning of the danger of overquantification) Although many market research experts would say that quantitative research is the safest bet when one has limited resources, it can be dangerous to assume that it is always the best option.
human_ingenuity  data  analytics  small_data  massive_data_sets  data_driven  information_overload  dark_data  measurements  creativity  judgment  intuition  Nate_Silver  expertise  datasets  information_gaps  unknowns  underestimation  infoliteracy  overlooked_opportunities  sense-making  easy-to-measure  Albert_Einstein  special_sauce  metrics  overlooked  defensive_tactics  emotional_intelligence  EQ  soft_skills  overquantification  false_confidence 
may 2015 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
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
Where Do Great Ideas Come From?, Starting a Business Article - Inc. Article
Oct 15, 2002 | Inc. Magazine | By Anne Stuart | To hear these Inc 500 all-stars tell it, it's not from books or market research; it's from keeping your eyes and ears open...

57 % of the Inc 500 CEOs surveyed got the original idea for their business by spotting an opportunity in the industry they worked in.
ideas  idea_generation  flavours  start_ups  filters  overlooked_opportunities  filtration  water  auctions  accessories  maintenance  ATMs  lighting 
june 2012 by jerryking
Bottom-Feeding from Blockbuster Businesses
March 2003 | Harvard Business Review | David Rosenblum, Doug Tomlinson, and Larry Scott.

Unprofitable customers are the pariahs of the business world. Marketing experts encourage companies to analyze the economics of their customer portfolios and ruthlessly weed out buyer segments that don’t generate attractive returns. Loyalty experts stress the necessity of aiming retention programs at the “good” customers—the profitable ones, that is—and encouraging the “bad” ones to buy from competitors. And customer-relationship-management software provides ever more sophisticated means for identifying poorly performing customers and culling them from the ranks.

On the surface, the movement to banish unprofitable customers seems eminently reasonable—what company, after all, can afford to waste precious resources courting and serving customers that don’t provide any payback? But writing off a customer relationship simply because it is momentarily unprofitable is at best rash and at worst counterproductive. Customers are scarce, and every one should be approached as a potential asset. Executives shouldn’t be asking themselves, How can we shun unprofitable customers? They need to ask, How can we make money from the customers that everyone else is shunning?

When you look at apparently unattractive segments through this lens, you often see what others are blind to: opportunities to serve those segments in ways that fundamentally change customer economics.
HBR  business_models  underserved  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  blockbusters  overlooked_opportunities  customer_segmentation  customer_profiling 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Door-To-Door Billionaire Daryl Harms knows how to turn dull businesses into big profits. But can he really do it with your garbage? - May 1, 2003
By Ed Welles
May 1, 2003

Harms spots trends sooner and bears down harder than most entrepreneurs--a combination that has made him wildly wealthy, if not exactly famous. But his next venture--more on that later-- just might transform him into a household name on the order of, say, Warren Buffett. Like Buffett, Daryl Harms, 51, patiently trolls for perfect businesses in which he can build long-term value via his Masada Resource Group, based in Birmingham. He hunts down overlooked opportunities that don't trade on trendy brand names or cutting-edge technologies...When selling cable service, Harms went block to block, zeroing in on houses with the tallest antennas. Other salesfolk reflexively bypassed such homes because they assumed that better reception wasn't an issue for them. Harms targeted those customers first. "I told them, 'I can see you stand tall. Of all the people on the street you understand the value of TV,' " he recalls saying. " 'If we put cable in, you can compare it with what you have now. If you don't like it, we'll come back and take it out.' " Such "influencers," in Harms's lingo, made it easier for him to convert whole blocks....Spurred by a poll that showed that 92% of Americans considered themselves "environmentalists," Harms and his employees spent a year studying the recycling market only to decide that the real money lay in garbage. From there they sought out the best ethanol conversion technology. Having found it--at the Tennessee Valley Authority--they worked for five years to tweak the science, an effort that has earned Masada 18 patents. "Today's risky business climate warrants thoroughness," Harms says..."The theme is that there is always a consumer need to be addressed," explains Wheeler. "People will always talk on the phone, watch television, and produce garbage."...Asking the right question, it seems, comes naturally to Harms. Entrepreneurs fail, he believes, because they "get too microscopic in their thinking. In business it's very easy to get the right answer to the wrong question." According to Wheeler, Harms failed to ask the right question when he set up a venture called Postron, which allowed cable TV subscribers to receive their bills via cable and print them out on a printer attached to their TVs. What Harms didn't ask, says Wheeler, was "whether consumers wanted another piece of hardware." They didn't...Harms finds customers where no one else thinks to look. When he started selling burglar alarms in 1985, he didn't target high-crime areas. Instead he identified places where the perception of vulnerability was greatest--which he determined by calculating how much space the local paper devoted to crime. The first cellphone license he sought was for a desolate stretch of highway between Lincoln and Omaha rather than in a major population center. Why? Because, as Page says, "what else were people going to do in their cars but talk on the phone?" Aside from overlooked customers, Harms seeks another component to every business: recurring revenue of roughly $25 a month per user. "That's a bite that most people can get used to paying," he reasons. For him it translates into healthy cash flow, which fosters predictability and enables a business to survive hard times. Besides, "the more reliable the cash flow, the higher a multiple of that cash flow you can get for your company," he notes.
entrepreneur  moguls  counterintuitive  overlooked_opportunities  unglamorous  latent  hidden  cash_flows  questions  missed_opportunities  wide-framing  hard_times  predictability  consumer_needs  subscriptions  thinking_big  asking_the_right_questions 
november 2011 by jerryking
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
Corner Office - The 5 Habits of Highly Effective C.E.O.’s
April 16, 2011|NYT|ADAM BRYANT
* Passionate Curiosity.
Share stories re. failures, doubts & mistakes. Ask big-picture
questions re. why things work the way they do & can they be improved
upon? Know people’s back stories, and what they do. Relentless
questioning can lead to spotting new opportunities, or helping
understand subordinates, and how to get them to work together
effectively.
* Battle-Hardened Confidence
The best predictor of behavior is past performance, & that’s why so
many CEOs interview job candidates about how they've dealt with failure.

* Team Smarts
* A Simple Mind-Set
Be concise, get to the point, make it simple. ...There was a time when
simply having certain information was a competitive advantage. Now, in
the Internet era, most people have easy access to the same information.
That puts a greater premium on the ability to synthesize, to connect
dots in new ways and to ask simple, smart questions that lead to
untapped opportunities.
* Fearlessness - Not status quo!
CEOs  leadership  teams  ksfs  contextual_intelligence  Managing_Your_Career  executive_management  curiosity  questions  mindsets  concision  confidence  critical_thinking  overlooked_opportunities  interpretation  connecting_the_dots  fearlessness  the_big_picture  subordinates 
april 2011 by jerryking
Seven questions that managers should ask
March 29, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Harvey Schachter.

Do you miss opportunities that others spot?

Despite massive investments in information technology and sophisticated data systems, many companies miss market shifts that rivals sense and exploit. To continually identify gaps in the market, you need real-time data, the ability to share it in your company, and the wisdom to supplement that data with direct observations in the field. He notes that Spanish retailer Zara, known for its capability to respond speedily to market shifts, has its designers, marketing managers and buyers work side-by-side in an open office setting that stimulates sharing and discussion.

Are your hydraulics broken?

Organizational hydraulics, Prof. Sull explains, are the mechanisms that senior executives use to translate corporate objectives into aligned actions by individuals across the organization. But in many companies, top executives deluge staff members with multiple, often conflicting, priorities, and everything plugs up. Alex Behring, chief executive officer of Garantia Investment Bank in Brazil in the 1990s, set out to repair the deteriorated organizational hydraulics in a railway bought from the government through such measures as capping the number of corporate priorities at five per year and requiring every employee to meet and negotiate with his or her boss both team and individual priorities for the year, again limited to five.

Do you reward mediocrity and call it teamwork?

In many organizations, he says, executives socialize bonuses in the name of teamwork, believing that differential payouts can stifle co-operation and long-term thinking. Variable pay represents a small portion of overall compensation, with the range of bonuses narrow. He argues instead for rewarding individuals who do what they say they will with outsized bonuses.

Are your core values a joke?

The most agile organization that Prof. Sull studied shared a core set of values: strong achievement ethic; personal responsibility by all employees for results; creativity to challenge the status quo; and integrity, to offset the temptation to cut corners when taking on ambitious goals. "Rather than print posters listing the values that then languish on conference room walls, executives should breathe life into the corporate culture by hiring and promoting individuals on the basis of the adherence to values," he says, noting that Reckitt Benckiser, a consumer goods company, created a pre-screening tool that allows potential employees to assess their fit with the organization.

Are you talking about the wrong things?

Managers spend about three-quarters of their time in discussions, and need to be adept at four different types of conversations that facilitate execution: making sense of volatile situations; deciding what to do, not do, or stop doing [Sounds a lot like Peter Drucker] ; soliciting and monitoring commitments by others to deliver; and making corrections in mid-course. Beware of executives who excel at only one type of discussion, and struggle with or avoid the others.

Have your Vikings become farmers?

Effective executives are like Nordic Vikings, who attacked when they saw an unprotected spot, and retreated when they realized they couldn't win. Do some of your executives have that same instinct, or are they all like farmers, more interested in protecting and tilling their current fields?

Do you rely on heroic leadership?

The economic crisis forced many executives into firefighting mode but, over the long haul, you need leaders who can build up your organization's execution strength in a disciplined way. "Senior executives who dash from crisis to crisis are a sign of organizational weakness, not leadership strength," Prof. Sull warns.
Harvey_Schachter  IT  Donald_Sull  observations  questions  wisdom  conversations  sense-making  real-time  data  mediocrity  overlooked_opportunities  Peter_Drucker  missed_opportunities  long-haul  primary_field_research  core_values  Zara 
march 2010 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
Mark Cuban a change genius: Entrepreneur sees it as an opportunity waiting to happen
Nov 10, 2000 | National Post. pg. C.2 | by Ellie Rubin.
Discusses a WORTH magazine profile of entrepreneur Mark Cuban. Rubin is
struck by his approach to creating opportunity--his unique ability to
exploit change. Inefficiencies, opportunities and frailties: the only
thing you can depend on in business is change--embrace it! In doing so,
you will inevitably bump up against an opportunity waiting to happen.
Or, in "Cuban" terms, you will develop "a knack for spotting
inefficiencies, opportunities and frailties." The best way to scope out
inefficiencies within an industry is to create a product or service
that has a certain sense of urgency to it, or "high pain threshold"
opportunities. By focusing on an area of inefficiency that is creating
dramatic financial, human resource or market share pressure, one will
find that the decision makers who are managing this "pain" are eager to
invest in a sound and reliable solution--quickly.
creative_thinking  opportunistic  frictions  opportunities  constant_change  rainmaking  entrepreneur  Mark_Cuban  inspiration  inefficiencies  problem_solving  wealth_creation  urgency  pain_points  overlooked_opportunities  human_frailties 
october 2009 by jerryking
How to be a packager
Posted by Seth Godin on June 29, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

* It's much easier to sell to an industry that's used to buying. Books were a great place for me to start because book publishers are organized to buy projects from outsiders. It's hard enough to make the sale, way too hard to persuade the person that they should even consider entering the market. (PS stay away from the toy business).
* Earning the trust of the industry is critical. The tenth sale is a thousand times easier than the second one (the first one doesn't count... beginner's luck).
* Developing expertise or assets that are not easily copied is essential, otherwise you're just a middleman.
* Patience in earning the confidence of your suppliers (writers, brands, factories, freelancers) pays off.
* Don't overlook obvious connections. It may be obvious to you that Eddie Bauer should license its name and look to a car company, but it might not be to them.
* Get it in writing. Before you package up an idea for sale to a company that can bring it to market, make sure that all the parties you're representing acknowledge your role on paper.
* As the agent of change, you deserve the lion's share of the revenue, because you're doing most of the work and taking all of the risk. Agenting is a good gig, but that's not what I'm talking about.
* Stick with it. There's a Dip and it's huge. Lots of people start doing things like this, and most of them give up fairly quickly. It might take three or five years before the industry starts to rely on you.
* Work your way up. Don't start by trying to license the Transformers or Fergie. They won't trust a newbie and you wouldn't either.
Seth_Godin  howto  business_development  expertise  one-of-a-kind  licensing  patience  large_companies  voids  vision  persistence  change_agents  overlooked_opportunities  packaging  value_added  non-obvious  latent  hidden  information_synthesis  creating_valuable_content 
july 2009 by jerryking
Annals of Innovation: How David Beats Goliath: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker
May 11, 2009 |The New Yorker | by Malcolm Gladwell. How
underdogs create opportunities by first understanding their strengths,
weaknesses, and the rules of the game, and then changing the rules....To Gladwell, the story illustrated how traditions become blind spots. “Playing insurgent basketball did not guarantee victory. It was simply the best chance an underdog had of beating Goliath,” he wrote. “And yet somehow that lesson has escaped the basketball establishment.” The anecdote became the opening passage of the book David and Goliath, another fixture on bestseller lists....A few years ago, Ranadivé wrote a paper arguing that even the Federal Reserve ought to make its decisions in real time—not once every month or two. “Everything in the world is now real time,” he said. “So when a certain type of shoe isn’t selling at your corner shop, it’s not six months before the guy in China finds out. It’s almost instantaneous, thanks to my software. The world runs in real time, but government runs in batch. Every few months, it adjusts. Its mission is to keep the temperature comfortable in the economy, and, if you were to do things the government’s way in your house, then every few months you’d turn the heater either on or off, overheating or underheating your house.” Ranadivé argued that we ought to put the economic data that the Fed uses into a big stream, and write a computer program that sifts through those data, the moment they are collected, and make immediate, incremental adjustments to interest rates and the money supply. “It can all be automated,” he said. “Look, we’ve had only one soft landing since the Second World War. Basically, we’ve got it wrong every single time.”
Malcolm_Gladwell  underdogs  strategy  innovation  basketball  coaching  rules_of_the_game  Vivek_Ranadivé  Tibco  massive_data_sets  real-time  batch_processing  decision_making  U.S._Federal_Reserve  strengths  overlooked_opportunities  books  blind_spots  interest_rates  economic_data  money_supply  weaknesses  rainmaking  anecdotal 
may 2009 by jerryking

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