Category Archives: competition

In the future you are either a digital business or a dead business

in the future you are either a digital business or dead businessToday, every business is digital and it’s changing how business is done. But many businesses have yet to wake up and understand this reality. Look at the chart below, I’m sure your business is lacking the digital skills necessary to compete in the information age:

6 of the most common strategy traps

strategy trapsStrategy without change is pointless, and doing what everyone else is doing is not a strategy; it’s a key principle most business people don’t get.

Take the most common advice you hear out there: don’t limit yourself to niche market; you won’t make any money.

What’s the secret sauce of a culture of innovation?

culture is the number one metricThis Thursday we’ll discuss “Measuring an innovation ecosystem” on Innochat. Many will argue that to develop a culture of innovation you need talent, support, capital and a host of other mechanisms.

It’s such a common response that many organizations and governments around the world have created their own mechanisms to “drive” entrepreneurship and innovation in their respective ecosystems, but all their efforts don’t matter much because they lack a critical ingredient: culture.

Why? Because many don’t pay attention to culture.

Culture is not mandated, it is shaped by daily beliefs and actions. How do you shape culture?

Innovators widen their view of competition

empathy is the ultimate competitive advantageI’m sure you’ve been in meetings where everyone worries about competition more than they worry about customers. It is a fact that for traditionally run businesses, any talk about strategy quickly shifts to competition. It’s unavoidable and it pisses me off.  Traditional business practice is based on beating the competition, which assumes that there is competition that looks and plays just like you if you are starting a business.

Innovation Radar

How can a business differentiate without changing the product itself?

How can a business differentiate without changing the product itself?

Via Quora: What can you change in a business that is strong enough to differentiate the business from all competitors, but without touching the product itself?

For example,

  • GILT, changed PRICE but didn’t change product, and opened a niche for discounted designer clothes.
  • Phones International, changed the DISTRIBUTION MODEL of the mobile phone industry but it didn’t change the product (cell phones), and opened a niche for ‘single brand distribution.
  • The Book People, changed the TARGET CUSTOMERS, but didn’t change the product (books), and opened a niche selling books to corporate clients.
  • Adwords, changed the BUSINESS MODEL, but didn’t change the product (display ads), and opened a niche for ‘performance advertising’.

These are significant differences that not only differentiate the companies from all the others, but disrupted the market in some way.

What other variables can you change in a business in this way?

How are these variables called?

Where can I learn more about this?

3 Ways to help customers win

“It’s not enough that we win; all others must lose.” – Larry Ellison

Heard this one yesterday. I’m all in for competition, but business isn’t about war (at some point I used to think like Genghis Khan too). It isn’t about beating competitors just for the heck of it. I find this focus on competing to beat competitors ridiculous.

The focus SHOULD be on the customer winning.

Competitive advantage in social media: Carpe Diem Stupid!

APC Back-UPS ES 500 surge protector

R.I.P. after 6 years of use

Yesterday one of the surge protectors in my house, the Back-UPS 500 from APC, finally gave up on me after 6 years. Since I’m using another surge protector from Belkin to protect other electronic devices already, I ran over to Office Depot to buy replacement for the APC.

I ended up buying a Belkin.

As I was driving home I started thinking about why I bought a Belkin surge protector and not another one from APC. My conclusion was that I think I got ‘primed’ to buy Belkin because I simply liked (looks and price) the other one I have at home more than my older one from APC. I also think that the fact that the APC one died one me affected my decision.  A product that breaks down on you isn’t going to inspire you to buy the same one.