Using Past to Design Future

Nokia keeps doing its analysis and strategic planning and ending up with answers that suggest “stay the course” or “do more of the same”. It reminds me of GM circa

Competing With Adobe, Apple

When a company like Apple launches a sexy new product (iPad), one can react (Amazon) or get caught flat-footed (Adobe). It’s easy to look at today’s market situation and say

Understanding Twitters Growth

One of the hottest recent stories in the tech industry has been the rapid rise of the messaging service Twitter. Starting from a small base of enthusiast users, the service has rapidly risen to prominence in the media, with extensive coverage of its adoption by celebrities. In the last month, Google counted about 65,000 news stories mentioning Twitter, and the web tracking service Alexa reported a remarkable 400% increase in traffic to in the last four months. In April 2009, Alexa reported that daily visits to surpassed those to

Online Communities, How They Work (II)

This is Part II of a series of posts on online communities (that is also available in PDF form: Rubicon-web-community) originally done at Rubicon (the company I led/founded). To return

Ballmer to Yang: I Just Can’t Quit You

Two NYT journalists see Microsoft ‘needing a franchise’ as the software giant puts the moves on Yahoo all over again. Two weeks after walking away from takeover talks with Yahoo,

Apple iPhone: Successes/Challenges

The Apple iPhone is easily the most publicized new mobile device in recent memory. But despite all the discussion about the product, there’s relatively little hard information available to the public on its impact. How is it being used? What effect is it having on customers and on the technology industry?
To help answer those questions, Rubicon Consulting conducted a detailed survey of 460 randomly-selected iPhone users in the US. This report summarizes the findings from the survey, and what they mean for users and other companies.

What was Ford’s Alan Mulally thinking?

Unless you are selling talking beer openers or donuts, comparing your product to Homer Simpson defies conventional wisdom. When your product is a slow-selling car, your actions are certain to leave people saying, “D’oh!”
Yet, this is exactly what Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally did recently. He wasn’t subtle, in a public speech he projected an image of Homer over a picture of Ford’s Taurus sedan while being critical of the design and talking up future models as much better. We can be pretty sure that this will not rally sales of the Taurus over the coming months, so has Mulally gone mad or is he actually smart?

Winning Business Models: Innovation vs. Invention

Invention is the classic way to build a successful company. However, invention is much harder for a mature company or a mature technology. Business model innovation is an attractive option in many cases as a way to differentiate an offer, improve profitability or both. Below are five emerging business models.

Can We See More Green? HP’s Print 2.0

With their printing division bringing in 30% of HP’s $91.7 billion in revenue in 2006 – and more than half its operating profit – it’s easy to see why new printers and services are being rolled out to encourage printing. We’ve all known for years it’s the goose that lays the golden egg for HP.
Now the company is backing that contention with a $300 million ad campaign in which it introduces a slew of new printers and devices that allow users to print without the use of a PC. In partnership with Yahoo, HP has created a printing toolbar that makes creative projects easier, giving users how-to tips.