recentpopularlog in

jerryking : pain_points   15

Dear Grads: How to Slay Dragons in the Business World
May 20, 2019 | WSJ | by Andy Kessler.

here’s my simple advice: Be a hero. You’ll have a job with a vague description. Sales. Physician assistant. Manager. Business intelligence. Everyone comes in with a task. Don’t let your job description be a straitjacket. Do something above and beyond. That’s what your employers want, whether they admit it or not.

Im-74937
I’ve seen it again and again. I heard from a woman named Carol working in international marketing for a Midwest company. She was asked by a superior working on a board deck for a list of European competitors. She came up with a single PowerPoint slide that visually showed the reach of each competitor overlaid with her company’s distributors and analysis of how it could best compete. The slide was a huge hit. The chief operating officer thanked her. She got a raise and more responsibilities.

On Wall Street, I used to work with a salesman named Steve. A deal to raise money for a paper company was stuck. No one would touch it at $20. It was uglier than Dunder Mifflin. Steve had a new account in Milwaukee and insisted it buy several million shares, but at $18. On hearing someone was willing to buy, other accounts piled in. Steve is still known as the guy who got the ugly deal done—a hero.

Then there’s the coder, Paul. There were long discussions about how his company might get paid for its web service, but no solutions. “On a Friday,” Paul recalls, he sat down and invented one. “It seemed like an interesting problem, so one evening I implemented this content-targeting system, just as a sort of side project, not because I was supposed to.” What became known as AdSense morphed into a $115 billion business. Paul Buchheit was employee No. 23 at Google. He also developed Gmail. Giga-hero.

You don’t have to save a baby from a fire. In Silicon Valley there’s a saying about pain killers versus vitamins: Either save costs or generate revenue. You can be a hero either way.

Another easy route to heroism: Every company has particularly nasty clients. They don’t return calls and they badmouth your products. Everyone avoids them. Instead, go for it. Roll up your sleeves and find something you have in common with them. Better yet, find their weakness. Horse racing. Wilco. Anime. You’ll own them.
advice  Andy_Kessler  Colleges_&_Universities  commencement  first90days  howto  new_graduates  painkillers  pain_points  speeches  Steve_Jobs  vitamins 
july 2019 by jerryking
Store wars: short sellers expect more pain in US retail
February 26, 2019 | Financial Times | by Alistair Gray in New York.

Short sellers who made big bets against US retailers a couple of years ago had hoped for carnage across the board. No one could compete with the rise and rise of Amazon...which would make life hard for every mall tenant across America.

But after a period in which internet shopping seemed to hit almost every brick-and-mortar retailer, the industry seems to be dividing into winners and losers. Casualties are still piling up: bankruptcies since the turn of the year....Payless Shoes ....Sears, the once dominant department store chain, narrowly avoided outright liquidation.

However, some of the biggest companies e.g. Walmart & Best Buy are reporting their healthiest metrics in years......For short sellers trying to profit from falling share prices, it makes for a perilous environment.

“It’s a slow death by a thousand paper cuts, and not the kind of ‘mall-mageddon’ originally anticipated by that trade,”.....“Retail has been much more volatile than many would have expected. It hasn’t been decidedly one way down.”....an over-reaction in 2017 and that led to pretty nice opportunities [for longs] in 2018,”.....Investors who put money on the demise of retail that summer have lost out in many cases......It was almost as if they [shorts] were acting like no retail real estate space can work,” ....overcapacity doesn’t mean retail real estate is dead.”...Shares in the sector have been volatile in part because investors have had to consider a series of seemingly contradictory data points about the health of both the US consumer and the retail business.....Traditional chains are also trying to take on Amazon by improving their online offerings and making their stores more enticing. Both require hefty investment, although successful examples include Lululemon, which offers yoga lessons in its stores. Shares in the company have tripled since a 2017 low.

“Those who are innovating and investing in ecommerce, marketing and social media tend to be doing well...“The US is still over-stored,” ...Ecommerce meant “more of the store base is not economic. That’s going be a secular pressure for years to come. For those retailers that don’t have a digital strategy, it’s just a matter of time before they fall.”
Amazon  apocalypses  bankruptcies  barbell_effect  bear_markets  bricks-and-mortar  commercial_real_estate  death_by_a_thousand_cuts  department_stores  digital_strategies  e-commerce  innovation  investors  investment_thesis  Lululemon  pain_points  overcapacity  retailers  shopping_malls  short_selling  structural_decline  Wal-Mart 
february 2019 by jerryking
How to Handle Growing Pains In Your Church
February 20, 2014
How to Handle Growing Pains In Your Church
By Pastor Rick Warren

"There is no growth without change. And there is no change without loss. And there is no loss without pain. "
growth  churches  quotes  Rick_Warren  pain_points  organizational_change  tradeoffs 
june 2016 by jerryking
6 Things I'd Do If I Got Laid-off By IBM
Jan 26, 2015 | LinkedIn | J.T. O'Donnell

4) Become 100% clear on your specialty. Employers hire the aspirin to their pain. While you might be a diversely skilled, jack-of-all-trades, you can't market yourself that way. Saying you can do everything sounds unfocused and desperate. You need to know what your special problem-solving, pain-relieving expertise is (i.e. your special sauce). Then, you need to market it accordingly.

5) Optimize your sales tools for your business-of-one. Your resume and LinkedIn profile must be set up to showcase your specialty quickly - and with as much impact as possible. Keyword optimization is vital. Knowing what recruiters are looking for when it comes to your skill set and showcasing it in the proper format will dramatically increase the amount of activity you get on your candidacy. [Here's an article to help you understand how little time your resume has to get a recruiter's attention.]

6) Create an interview bucket list. The fastest way to find job opportunities is to build a bucket list of companies you want to work for and network your way into the process. The majority of jobs gotten today are done so via referral. Creating a target list of employers and working a strategy to build relationships with them is the smartest way to land a job with a company you admire and respect. Especially, when you may be competing against lots of other ex-IBM employees for positions. [Here's a step-by-step plan on how to create your own bucket list of employers.]
IBM  layoffs  tips  LinkedIn  bouncing_back  Managing_Your_Career  job_search  painkillers  pain_points  JCK  specialists  special_sauce  résumés  personal_branding  referrals  unfocused 
january 2015 by jerryking
Chasing Problems?
the ones who would be “very disappointed” if your solution were no longer available to them (i.e. visceral? you are definitely not "delighting customers")......a startup that chases problem after problem creates a bloated, fragmented solution that isn’t really needed by anyone.

Find the “Must Have” Use Cases – Ignore Most Problems

Ultimately the goal of any startup should be to create a “must have” product experience. The signal that tells you that you have created a “must have” product is your true north to build a successful business. You should understand everything you can about the “must have” experience so you can cultivate and protect it. Who considers it a must have, how are they using it, why do they love it, why did they need it, where do they come from…?.....Problems Worth Solving

So which problems are worth solving? Essentially any problem that stands in the way of delivering the “must have” experience once it has been identified.

Problems worth solving include:

* Usability issues that prevent reaching the must-have experience
* Confusing value proposition about the must-have experience
* Targeting the wrong users (AKA users who don’t need the 'must-have' experience)
* But start by focusing the majority of your energy trying to create at least one must have use case.
case_studies  customer_experience  delighting_customers  disappointment  frictions  growth_hacking  must-have_experience  North_Star  pain_points  problem_solving  problems  start_ups  true_north  usability  use_cases  visceral  worthwhile_problems 
december 2014 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
Lunch with the FT: Vikram Pandit - FT.com
July 11, 2014 | FT | By Tom Braithwaite.

“For a large group of people who grew up over the past two, three, four decades, they’ve been in a very different world – it was a world of predictable growth, it was a world of the ability to finance yourself, it was a world where you could really put one foot in front of the other. You find people grappling with what’s the new sustainable model for growth. And that is true of countries, it’s true of businesses.”
At the same time, Pandit proclaims that, largely thanks to technology, “It’s never been easier to start your own business.”
Our starters arrive. Beetroot and ricotta for Pandit while I get a plate decorated with delicious oily slivers of fish and vegetables offset by the occasional crunch from puffed rice and bite of horseradish.
“Bon appétit,” says Pandit, as he slices into a beetroot and continues to extol the virtues of something he calls the “SMAC stack”. I tell him this sounds awful but, he assures me, “it’s the vernacular for the ease for which you can get into business today,” and it stands for “Social media, Mobility, Applications and Cloud.
“Data is like . . . You’re too young, but there was a movie with the [line about] plastics.” When I assure him I’m familiar with The Graduate, he says: “Data is this generation’s plastics. I don’t see business models being truly successful until you get it.”...Pandit has a fondness for big concepts and management-speak and it can be difficult to bring him down to earth. I press him for examples. “You have large auto companies saying, ‘Where is the growth?’ and, on the other hand, you have a SMAC stack that’s created Uber. What’s interesting is that all those intangible abilities are inside the auto companies to make it happen.”
He has been investing in a steady stream of companies that he thinks embody innovative ideas that might make them the next Uber, the suddenly ubiquitous taxi-ordering app. At the same time, he is chairman of TGG Group, a consulting company set up by Steven Levitt, co-author of pop economics book Freakonomics – which aims to help corporations unlock their inner Ubers....Accordingly, while many of Pandit’s new investments are financial companies – Orchard, a platform for users to trade loans; CommonBond, a student lending platform; Fundbox, which lends money to small businesses against their invoices – only one, in India, has any aspirations to be a traditional bank.
With many of his new interests, Pandit says he is looking to remove “frictions”, which happen to be the way Citi and other banks make their money: for example, the middle men that sit between a big bond manager and retail investors and charge a fee. As he points out, the wealthiest individuals are not saddled with these costs to the same extent.
Vikram_Pandit  Citigroup  Wall_Street  career_paths  start_ups  financiers  financial_services  Sheila_Bair  fin-tech  Steven_Levitt  data  behavioural_economics  Second_Acts  reinvention  platforms  layer_mastery  data_driven  jargon  frictions  pain_points  large_companies  growth  Fortune_500  intangibles  SMAC_stack  automotive_industry 
july 2014 by jerryking
In a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers
March 2009 | HBR | by Philip Lay, Todd Hewlin, and Geoffrey Moore

The downturn is making it tougher than ever to make a sale. The companies you serve are slashing budgets. Senior executives—
not the managers you’ve traditionally dealt with—are now the decision makers. But you can motivate those executives to allocate funds for your offering—by using provocation-based selling:
• Identify a critical problem facing your customer—one so ominous that, even in a downturn, it will find the money to address it.
• Formulate a provocative view of the problem—a fresh perspective that frames the problem in a jarring new light.
• Lodge your provocation with an executive who has the power to approve the solution you’re proposing. To win support,convey the magnitude and intractability of the problem—without putting him on the defensive.
boldness  economic_downturn  fresh_eyes  Geoffrey_Moore  HBR  howto  pain_points  perspectives  problems  problem_solving  provocations  selling_the_problem  recessions  sales_cycle  selling  solutions 
august 2012 by jerryking
Deja Vu - WSJ.com
May 21, 2007 | WSJ | Cynthia Crossen

The toughest part of inventing isn't solving problems. It's figuring out which problems are worth the effort...If you made a list of the 2,100 inventions you thought were needed, you would also be painting a profile of yourself. "Invention is really a systematic form of criticism," Mr. Yates wrote, and people tend to criticize the things that annoy them in their daily lives. Mr. Yates, for example, seems to have found most commonplace devices excessively noisy....While Mr. Yates recorded most of his 2,100 inventions in no particular order, he did make a top-10 list that proves he wasn't a trivial thinker. His top-three needed inventions all concerned energy -- a way to transform energy into power with less waste, a more efficient way to store energy and better light bulbs.

Mr. Yates, a self-taught engineer, inventor and technical writer, tried to nudge other inventors in the right direction with his book, "2100 Needed Inventions." Published by Wilfred Funk Inc., Mr. Yates's book was a list of ways people could alleviate certain nuisances and defects of life and get rich for their trouble. "We often see clever and simple devices for sale which cause us to chastise ourselves with some such remark as, 'Why I could have thought of that years ago and made a lot of money with it!' Certainly you could have -- but you didn't."
inventors  inventions  criticism  problem_solving  critical_thinking  negative_space  worthiness  frictions  pain_points  discernment  unarticulated_desires  worthwhile_problems  personal_enrichment  systematic_approaches 
june 2012 by jerryking
A First Draft of History? - WSJ.com
March 12, 2005 | WSJ | By BRET STEPHENS

The cliché is that journalism is the first draft of history. Yet a historian searching for clues about the origins of many of the great stories of recent decades--the collapse of the Soviet empire; the rise of Osama bin Laden; the declining American crime rate; the economic eclipse of Japan and Germany--would find most contemporary journalism useless. Perhaps a story here or there might, in retrospect, seem illuminating. But chances are it would have been nearly invisible at the time of publication: eight column inches, page A12.

The problem is not that journalists can't get their facts straight: They can and usually do. Nor is it that the facts are obscure: Often, the most essential facts are also the most obvious ones. The problem is that journalists have a difficult time distinguishing significant facts--facts with consequences--from insignificant ones. That, in turn, comes from not thinking very hard about just which stories are most worth telling....As for the media, it shouldn't be too difficult to do better. Look for the countervailing data. Broaden your list of sources. Beware of exoticizing your subject:
Bret_Stephens  journalism  journalists  critical_thinking  history  signals  noise  frictions  pain_points  worthiness  countervailing  storytelling  seminal_moments  wide-framing  discernment  origin_story  historians  consequential  clichés  worthwhile_problems 
may 2012 by jerryking
Ways to deal with the tough customers
Nov. 24, 2011| The Financial Timesp12. | Michael Skapinker

The UK department of health and the Design Council have been looking at why these attacks happen and have discovered that experiences like mine are a common trigger: people think someone is jumping the queue or taking advantage of them.

The Design Council has now presented proposals on how to reduce hospital aggression through better management and design. As I listened to their online seminar I thought how much other organisations and businesses would benefit from similar thinking. It is not just violence that they could head off with better management and design, but irritation or simple customer disenchantment.
....Where had I recently read similar sentiments? On the Financial Times letters page - about immigration control at London's Heathrow airport. Ken Walsh, a US business traveller, was a typical complainant. "The queue for non-European Union citizens stretched around the corner, down the corridor and nearly to France," he wrote. "Meanwhile there was hardly anyone and frequently no one in the EU queue. There were three border control officers in that queue who were often standing around chatting."

When flights are delayed or trains cancelled, you see the same frustrations that you see in casualty departments: people are milling around, no one knows what is happening, the staff are nowhere to be seen or are doing something else.

That these are transport examples is no surprise. Like hospitals, they involve people making transitions when they are tired and stressed.

The hospital design consultants advise giving patients a better idea of what will happen to them at each stage, where they are in the system, and when their turn is likely to come. Smart phone apps could allow people to track progress. They suggest staff take notes about when frustration builds and what the pinch points are.
design  customer_experience  mobile_applications  queuing  hospitals  airports  frictions  stressful  pain_points 
november 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
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 spot the next big thing
November 20, 2007| New Scientist Technology Blog | Justin Mullins.

How to spot the next big opportunity? "Look for things that seem evil or broken or stupid," said Paul Graham from Silicon Valley investment firm Y Combinator, which funds early stage start-ups. Because when you find them, there is sure to be an opportunity for a start-up to correct the problem. He points to the music industry. "It seems kind of evil that they're suing a bunch of 12-year olds," says Graham. "But it's also an opportunity for start-ups."
idea_generation  ideas  start_ups  opportunities  Paul_Graham  pain_points  Y_Combinator 
april 2009 by jerryking
The Green Machine Hal Harvey spends his environmental war chest with one guiding principle: winning
FEBRUARY 12, 2007 WSJ article by JEFFREY BALL. Global warming
is tougher than localized environmental threats such as smog. That, Hal
Harvey argues, requires environmentalists to focus less on fiery
rhetoric and more on hashing out economically efficient policies that
have political legs. In doling out the dollars at his disposal, Mr.
Harvey uses much the same strategy as the other venture capitalists in
Silicon Valley. He invests where he thinks he'll get maximum return. In
his parlance, he looks for the political "pinch points" likely to
promote technologies that will deliver the most "tons of carbon avoided
per philanthropic dollar invested." He and his colleagues try to compute
that using spreadsheets.
green  environment  philanthropy  lobbying  policy  strategy  UFSC  financial_literacy  pain_points  bottlenecks  leverage  return_on_effort  investors  climate_change 
february 2009 by jerryking

Copy this bookmark:





to read