Can iPhones have a soul?

I’ve had a long-lasting reflection on luxury and technology. This very slippery subject is somehow fascinating because we instinctively understand why an Android tablet is anything but luxury; it’s not so easy to pin point why Apple couldn’t get there.

There is no denying that the younger the demographic is, the newest the technology should be. And whatever your age, when you love technology there is no way to escape the endorphin rush coming from unpacking a new gadget. And that’s fine. But getting older we progressively shift our values away from short-term.

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12 Things we learned in 10 years of consulting

After launching our consulting business in 2007, we finally moved to Amsterdam and made a soft reboot of our activity to better adjust to our lifestyle. After 10 years of consulting, these are 12 things we learned and we still focus on.

My good friend Stéphane (and sometimes partner in crime) has made a remarkable two-part blog about his “post-mortem” of four years of consulting. This is only in French though, but hurry up and Google-translate it. I don’t think we would change a word to it. Of course, if ‘post-mortem’ is probably not the right term when you have had such success at launching a new consultancy as he had, the idea was challenging enough that we decided to follow-up. Continue reading “12 Things we learned in 10 years of consulting”

It’s not about product or service anymore

Most industries seem to have a weak epiphany realizing that it’s maybe not about the product anymore, but service is important. And trendy topics such as the experience (or value) economy bloom right and left. Should hotel chains invest in Hospitality as a Service? Or, ain’t that all very old news?

It’s not about product or service anymore. It never was. Since the beginning of times, every transaction has always been both a product and a service. But you might be confused because finance is still looking hard at Capex versus Opex and that’s fair. Tax people might also still lag behind and account for VAT, investment, and transfer of ownership in different ways, but why would that mean that your customers should care?

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The fundamentals of opposable marketing

Checking for opposable marketing is a very robust acid test for any business. Just look for a minute at a company webpage and you’ll get if they have something real to sell, or if they’re just pushing products out of the factories and hoping for the best.

I’ll be giving another Executive MBA class this week in Paris, which is an activity that I fairly enjoy — and if I may say so, my students too. Such three-day classes are usually very educative for me. They always keep me in touch with what most professionals still find difficult to grasp in the logic of launching innovative businesses and sustaining them later on.

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What type of entrepreneur are you?

In my just over fifteen years of working with entrepreneurs, I have met many profiles and for each individual comes different needs for support. A couple of years ago, I put together this typology, based on behaviours rather than personality for an acceleration program…

It is key to understand what type of entrepreneur an incubator is supporting in order to cater to their specific needs. Do they need to develop their awareness of opportunities or their capacity to engage with the right ecosystem? The profiles are based on 3 key families of behaviours which have been proved to be critical for entrepreneurs to succeed: Continue reading “What type of entrepreneur are you?”

The market point of view

A very effective acid test if you’re an innovator: Do you change the point of view of the market? A very effective pitch synopsis: Why and how do you change the point of view of the market? A very effective monetization strategy: How much is the change in point of view worth to the market? A very effective recruiting strategy: Do you want to change the market point of view with us? I think you get it.

The role of power laws to build the future of innovation

We don’t see the future, but we seek patterns. When patterns don’t appear naturally, we invent them so that reality could fit our narrative about innovation.

Such narrative will work for a few years; even decades sometimes. But it doesn’t change the underlying complexity of the market. The narrative is not wrong per se, it’s a useful bias to explain a chaotic reality. These last decades, the most well-known narratives about innovation were based on the speed at which technology was changing the market. Interestingly enough, connecting technology and market change is also a narrative.

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25 Hints that you might be a startup

We’re talked some time ago about why you might not be a startup, but a different animal altogether. Let’s now try to check if you might be a startup…

In 2015, I was (poorly) rapping on how early stage ventures were systematically called “startups” because pretty much everyone has vested interests in labeling them as such. We’re now in 2017 and there is always a deeply rooted misconception about what is a startup.

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Why I mostly don’t go to innovation conferences anymore

I am very often questioned on why –my work being helping deliver innovation to markets– I don’t care for most innovation conferences.

I don’t either care so much for technology roadshows, prospective think tanks, and other events where the future is explained to the rest of us, while we frantically retweet catchy slogans of software eating the world. And for sure, I feel bad for European startups and tech giants feeling they have to attend the CES Las Vegas as the eye of the storm of it all. This is why, explained in the most perfect way:

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