Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

New Innovation leveraging web2 ideas

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Just listening to Aneesh Chopra (the CTO of US government). He talked about ‘know your farmer’ – so when you buy eggs, you know how local they are.

It made me think of an iphone app that reads bar codes, and helps manage your diet, or gives recipe ideas.

I thought about selling a spare table and chairs I have. I should go put it on the notice board. But what if there was a way I could list it socially, to people in the immediate area.

I am thinking more local, my friends is obvious, how about my building i live in, connect to local people and local businesses
Is there a geo capability in facebook/twitter ? I guess it could be abused though
I am thinking of something around local supply and demand, sort of like local barter. A matching system of local demand and supply.

Marc Andreessen – netscape and ning – talks about innovation on the web

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

This  video is a great interview with Marc Andreessen.

He talks about his companies,  his joint ventures and investments.

He is on the board of facebook, ebay.

He talks about his company ning, twitter, facebook and their monetization, and fall of newspapers.

Any tech entrepreneur already knows this, but ‘how to do micro innovation’. You write your apps, and run them on cloud computing up on amazon.

I heard about one model, using adwords to research ahead of building a product. See the demand, for a small cost, BEFORE you build.

backup to the cloud

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

These guys have a smart idea –– backup your life on the cloud, into the cloud.

We’ve actually seen a few of these cloud services fall over. Ma.gnolia comes to mind. Their mysql went down, and no backup, and then they never came back. There is probably lots of other examples.

I am always worried about my itunes and original photos. But these are so big, its too hard to upload to the web. I have them all copied to a second hard disk, and also use the mac os time machine. But its all at one site (home).

I think they are more thinking blogs, facebook etc.

I have some of my business data backed up to amazon s3. PDF scans of business documents, wedding photos, and a few other things.

4 stages in technology lifecycle – and how to profit from it

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

It will help you if you can better predict innovation.

You will be able to take advantage of trends before and as they occur.

Just listening to Wired Magazine editor – Chris Anderson, he notes 4 stages:
– critical price
– critical mass
– displacement of other technology
– price approaches zero

At each stage, there is opportunities for smart entrepreneurs. These opportunities are both with that product, and with adjacent products and services.

You should identify where you and your products are. If they are about to go through some of these inflection points.

I really believe there are opportunity if you are first to commoditize a product. You dont want to be a competitor in a commoditized market. But if you take someone else’s market, and commoditize it on them …. now that has some profit potential.

Some of this parallels what I have observed from open source software, and how it competes with commercial software.  Open source software cant compete with all of the features, or all of the support of commercial software. So when the price is high, and the market smallish, open source doesn’t have a chance. It when the market expands, and features are less important, and support is less important, then open source can more easily compete. Clearly the commercial software guys can’t compete once price approaches zero, but open source, and SaaS can compete at those levels.

I see lots of opportunity for SaaS and commoditing products/markets. So long at there is already wide adoption, its a product that is well understood, you can help push the price towards zero and make some money on the way.

getting ideas to spread – an intro to Seth Godin

Saturday, January 31st, 2009

Seth is someone you ought to listen to.

Here is an easy and fun to watch video as an intro to his ideas.

This video introduces you to:
– old companies sell average products to average people, and use a lot of TV advertising. Seth says this is dead
– we are in an economy of idea spreading, or idea diffusion. Make something remarkable, and get WOM (word of mouth) to spread the idea
– be remarkable. Good or very good isn’t enough – be remarkable

Seth is listed in the top 50 business thinkers, runs a blog, and authored a lot of books.

You will find Seth slowly moves you along in your ability to innovate.

He has a quality that slowly convinces you of news ways to think/look/understand Before you know it, you will be innovating too.

My Take

Idea Diffusion for me brings together a few concepts:
– Malcolm Gladwell’s tipping point – talks about different sorts of people – connector/maven/salesman. Whilst Seth doesn’t differentiate between these types of people, he still makes the point – ‘telling the right person, and hopefully that person will tell/convince their friends’.
– word of mouth (WOM) advertising is a cheap and effective marketing strategy – when done well. Seth says – be remarkable – you will get WOM.
– web 2.0 and social networking on the internet has changed a lot of people’s lives. This can be explained similarly to WOM and idea diffusion.

I like the juncture between remarkable, WOM marketing, web 2.0 communities, and an ecommerce site. If you can get this happening, then you have unlimited free marketing. You have also dramaticly reduce your costs, as you no longer pay for advertising, or sales or channel commissions. You effectively disintermediate all sales/marketing costs from your business, and have unlimited scaling of your marketing for free.

The world is changed – are you ?

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

Did you know much of the difference between the 3rd world and developing nations has closed ? Hans has a riverting presentation – showing health and income gaps closing. He even shows how the china’s income distribution is catching the US – ‘like a ghost’.

Everyone knows that the US no longer leads manufacturing, its all going to china.

I recently heard from Phil McKinney at killerinnovations – that the ‘knowledge economy’ is over. This can be quickly seen:
– most of IT projects get outsourced to India
– almost any job that can be taught an university can be outsource – legal/accounting/engineering

CK Prahalad also discusses outsourcing IT to India. But he draws upon the reduced costs of IT, and how it effects other close industries (see the podcast in my last post).

So if your organisation relies on:
– manufacturing
– knowledge or skills that can be learned

you are in HUGE trouble if you are fighting against this outsourcing.

You NEED to embrace these world changes – or you will be very soon out of business.

Most manufacturing should be through the first wave of changed competition. If they still have high cost IT, legal, accounting – then they need to take stock of the current wave of skills outsourcing.

If you are in a services industry now, you have to wonder how much longer you can survive.

The future is innovation – or an ‘ideas economy’ (Phil McKinney).

So we have progressed through industrial revolution to manufacturing in china, to services outsourcing to India, and now we need to compete globally in the ‘ideas economy’.

CK Prahalad talks a lot about the reduced cost of innovation.

So how long are you going to wait, given:
– more outsourcing pressure
– reduced cost of innovation
– the need to compete in a global ‘ideas economy’

When Its Wrong to Innovate

Monday, January 26th, 2009

You need more profit, growth , and product changes. You know you need to differentiate , niche, position , brand and develop loyalty.

This is all innovation.

Seth Godin says you need to be remarkable. This helps reinforce – small changes, or bandaids, are generally not enough.

Surely you can’t make or review all these changes at once. You need a structure to help you reduce clutter and focus.

You can make innovation at several distrinct places in your company:
– business model
– marketing strategy
– branding innovation
– product changes
– pricing changes
– sales techniques
– customer service changes
– customer retention plans
– customer referral

Changes towards the top of the list generally cost more, requires more vision, and generally is a bigger risk.

The bigger changes (towards the top of the list) clearly require more buyin – from higher levels of management, the CEO, and even the board.

You will also have the potention to make much more profit from the innovative changes that are more aggressive. You can literally blow open a market, and make competitors irrelevant by business model changes.

Having said bigger is better, many innovations might be WRONG for you:
– you might like smaller changes – so you can manage the risk
– you might not have senior enough buyin
– you might not be able to find the right ideas
– you may not require big changes to meet your goals

As you get more comfortable with innovation, you will find the real value is innovation at more than one level at the same time, like:
– branding and pricing changes
– business model and changes in marketing channels

But again, starting with smaller changes, with one dimension is easier, and less risk to start with.

My suggestion would be for you to work out:
– what are your goals for the company
– do you need small incremental change, or do you need more significant change
– what sort of senior buyin do you have ?
– how much risk can you stomach ?

Targeting your effort to where innovation will best fit your organisation’s needs should now be the obvious answer.

So when you hear – “we need product or price changes” – ask yourself – is that the WRONG place to innovate ?

Start here

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

You will make more profit from your business through knowledge, ideas and discovery.

You will find inspiration, gather learning, and derive more profit for your company.

Armed with knowledge you will have killer weapons to deliver innovation and change for your business.

You will learn to turn the mundane into success.

You will see opportunity instead of obstacles.

See through my eyes – the experiences of my small business’s.

You’ll learn from snipets of my own reading. I read lots of management and marketing, books/magazines/blogs. You’ll get an abridged version, and references to read more.

I hope to setup a forum service, that will allow to post details about your business, and allow me and others to colloborate on your business.

You’ll either already own your own business, or thinking about starting out. You’ll find references and material for both