Customers Love Beats Technology Innovation

Public statements notwithstanding, more business plans in Silicon Valley are built around technology than around customer relationships. It’s just the way it is; we’re talking about technology companies, right? The problem is that, given time, all technology either becomes obsolete or a commodity. With the increasing pace of technological change, this is happening sooner rather than later. The risk in building on technology rather than customer relationships is that you are never more than a wrong turn or two away from putting your business survival at risk. Customer relationships provide your business with more options, and strong relationships can be very forgiving of the occasional misstep, meaning your business is more resilient and your plans can be bolder. Further–and perhaps even more important–technology-centric business models limit your offerings and growth potential, so they are associated with lower valuations over the long term.

When the Best Defense is Growth

If your business is targeted by a larger competitor, the natural response is to want to play defense — to squeeze pricing, take special care of the channel, maybe do some promotions and guerrilla marketing. We’d never advise you to take your eye off a competitor, but the defensive reaction isn’t always the best way to fight. A larger competitor will expect you to do these things, and will usually be well prepared for siege warfare. They’ll be ready to match your pricing and outspend you in the channel in order to drive you out of the market.

Beyond Web 2.0

A popular sport in Silicon Valley is arguing about what exactly Web 2.0 is or is not. Is it about collaboration? Social networking? Custom services?
We think the argument misses the point. Web 2.0 is just an effect of a broader trend: the fundamental remaking of the software industry as a result of the Internet.

Scobleizer Gets it Right

That is why MSFT is going to have a tough time competing with Google…MSFT is a beautiful piece of software…too bad it isn’t a harbinger of a beautiful business model for the future.

Sit Forward

How often do you go to a meeting and check-out? Do you ever tune-out people you don’t agree with? Make the decision today to engage and be truly present. Instead

What Apple Knows That Facebook Doesn’t

Too often, we don’t recognize the power of platforms – even in Silicon Valley. The piece below by Umair Haque, draws an interesting difference between the way Apple and Facebook

Strategy vs. Truth

What happens inside an employee when strategy doesn’t jive with what they know to be truth? In a millisecond, a string of questions unwinds. Questions like: Do they expect me

Strategy has 5 Structural Elements: People

Strategy has 5 Structural Elements – power distribution, decision-making, idea generation, ideas, process and people. If you miss tuning one, you’ll fail. Add items that don’t blend and you’ll fail.

Don't Miss the Middle When Formulating Strategy

What purpose does middle management serve in strategy development? Misunderstandings between the C-suite and middle management lead to bad decisions, loss of time and loss of money. Many organizations have