Want to know who someone is, how insightful they are and what they really care about? Then stop listening to their self-promotion pitch inclusive of the mckinsey-harvard pedigree*, or reading those PR-generated bios. Fiction is one thing, and professional resumes rise above that level to come to be an act of creative license. It seems [...]
There’s a great conference that the SCU does every year. I’ve wanted to actually go and participate because of the range of topics and speaker quality. A client of mine went years ago and told me how much she loved. So a couple weeks ago, I got asked to do the keynote. I’m so psyched [...]
Before the holiday break, I met the founder / chairman (and former CEO) of a consumer electronics company to talk about what the future might hold and what was next for him. It’s a classic Silicon Valley tale: he founded a cool company, got it funded, built the product, and then hired a CEO to take it to the next level. And, for various reasons, it became clear it was time for him to step back and attempt to guide the company from the Board.
Because all the “right” strategies in the world could be applied to any business but what makes it right for them is really about leveraging their core strengths today. So it’s about discernment certainly to figure out what is a company’s strength today. And what are they clearly not able to do. And then to look at that clearly, without bias to think about what makes sense. I suppose in some way it’s the role of a parent to a child or a teacher to a student. The parent or teacher sees things the child or student doesn’t. Not because the child is stupid or the student ignorant, but both are learning and are too close to the situation themselves to have some perspective of what true gifts / strengths / abilities they should place their leverage.
Let’s face the facts.
Marketing isn’t what it once was. The pall cast by the Web 2.0 era where consumers are the beginning and end and marketers are no longer leading the brand, the demand creation process has gone awry, and to the point that corporate confidence has eroded for marketing’s function as a performance driver.
One of the most aggressive users of online promotional campaigns is Hollywood. Movies need to quickly create a mass following, and studios have embraced the web as a way to drive word of mouth. The LA Times online recently ran an overview of some of the most notable Hollywood online promotions in 2007, and it’s [...]
One of the toughest tasks in the technology industry is jump-starting sales of a platform — a product that requires a lot of third-party content or software. A PC without applications is a doorstop; an iPod without music is just a piece of jewelry. Platforms have a chicken and egg problem: Content won’t be produced [...]
In late October the Mozilla Corporation announced Prism, the new version of its Webrunner technology that lets web applications run outside the browser. Mozilla positioned Prism as an open alternative to Adobe Air and Microsoft Silverlight, two other efforts to enrich web applications. Mozilla called Air and Silverlight “proprietary platforms” that seek to replace the Web. By contrast, Prism is supposed to be a “powerful and open platform” for innovation.
There is this old chinese proverb: “Sometimes to be reborn, you must first die”. I always think of that when I see major companies floundering. Yahoo is likely today’s good example. A historical example could be IBM which went through a real and profound redirection before it came back strong with its services emphasis.
You’ve spent years developing your product and its market. People, without much regret, pay hundreds of dollars to buy it. Everything gets better with each successive version as you add more and more functionality. Many have tried, but no one can even really dent your appeal or share. You’ve done so well at becoming the gold standard that your product name has become a verb. Your biggest problem is not adoption, but rather piracy. Seems like you have a winning business model.
Enter Web 2.0 where traditional software companies could not afford to match your truly impressive feature set–needed to challenge you at retail–a couple of guys with little or no funding can now duplicate the core functionality that accounts for the bulk of actual usage. Your lock on the retail market that worked so well for so long means nothing when Web distribution lets the upstarts go straight to the user.