So, now Apple is a bank (finally?)

In 2013, Apple launched Apple Pay as both a digital wallet and a mobile payment service, and now Apple is a bank?

Up to now, even with iPhones NFC capabilities, biometric authentication and the very robust Apple ecosystem, Apple Pay wasn’t a amazing success. An extra feature in Apple’s ecosystem yes, not a revolution. And since then, I’ve been waiting for more news and more commitment to this service.

Continue reading “So, now Apple is a bank (finally?)”

Why innovation is not about being smart and fast

We use innovation to say many things, which usually translates in being smart and fast about it. This is a wide-spread fallacy. Let’s understand why…

There is this on-going fallacy about innovation. Innovation should be about being smart and and being fast. Or at least, smarter and faster than competitors. Seeing the next big thing, catching the next wave, seizing the white space, finding the blue ocean… These narratives are all about a promised Eden, hidden from the masses of companies that are not smart enough to read the market or the technology.

If we unpack this mindset, we get the following familiar reasoning:

  1. There will be an optimal way to go ahead and outcompete everyone else;
  2. We are then at point A in time and need to go to B (the future optimum);
  3. Investment is needed and we’ll have ROI when at B;
  4. Going from A to B shall then be as fast as possible;
  5. Knowing where B is, requires intuition if we’re looking into it too early;
  6. If we are too late (others are already getting to B) we’ll need to spend more money and, as followers, get less ROI.
  7. We obviously need to be smart to be just in time to run for B.
  8. Rinse and repeat.

This has been taught in every innovation class of every business school, university and tech entrepreneurship class since 1962, when Everett ROGERS modelled his diffusion of innovation theory.
Let me make the case that it’s actually a terrible (terrible) reasoning. Continue reading “Why innovation is not about being smart and fast”

Is Privacy the new iPhone?

Apple is playing big on privacy against the other GAFA and right now specially Facebook. This seems to be an obvious move easy to play. But is it really?

Apple is in a dangerous place this year. You might think that it’s because China doesn’t buy as much iPhones as in the previous years, or because their Mac Pro is still not updated, or whatever other reason… But no, the real reason as that Apple has been a success in the market for far too long. Continue reading “Is Privacy the new iPhone?”

How to Feed Digital Monkeys (a discusssion on Status as a Service)

Eugene WEI wrote a reference article on social network business as « Status as a Service ». This is an important read. Here’s why:

Eugene WEI has been writing on tech since 2001. I’m not going to sell you his CV that goes from Facebook to Hulu and Flipboard. Let it just be said that he knows what he’s talking about. And his latest article he’s writing on Status as a Service and this is one of the most remarkable reading I had on the digital social media and consumerism.

He starts of by dissecting how traditional network effects are twisted in social networks through three axis (social capital, entertainment and utility):

There are several different paths to success for social networks, but those which compete on the social capital axis are often more mysterious than pure utilities. Competition on raw utility tends to be Darwinian, ruthless, and highly legible. This is the world, for example, of communication services like messaging and video conferencing. Investing in this space also tends to be a bit more straightforward: how useful is your app or service, can you get distribution, etc. (…) The creation of a successful status game is so mysterious that it often smacks of alchemy. For that reason, entrepreneurs who succeed in this space are thought of us a sort of shaman, perhaps because most investors are middle-aged white men who are already so high status they haven’t the first idea why people would seek virtual status (more on that later).

Continue reading “How to Feed Digital Monkeys (a discusssion on Status as a Service)”

What is the shelf life of Zuckerberg point of view on entrepreneurship?

Am I the only one that wonder why we still ask rock-star CEOs what was their recipe for success? I understand the father figure thing. But the 2019 market, its digital environment and socio-economics have nothing much to do with what they had to face in 2004. What can a Mark Zuckerberg or a Jeff Bezos tell us about launching a startup in 2019? At what point do we file their inspirational quotes with the ones of Tesla, Bell or Ford?

But even so, in these ‘inspiring’ talks we never take into account the survivor bias: the CEOs we look up to are the ones that survived. Were they extremely shrewd and visionary or just plain lucky? Or more exactly, what was the proportion of shrewdness vs. luck? And what is really transferable to you and your project? Shall we also work on the cultural bias? What white american males have to share with  woman in China or India? (Even when taking into account that many of these US guys were immigrants.)

I’m just saying… Finding inspiring people is probably a game you want to play looking forward, not in the rear view mirror.

Business Model Canvas for Innovators

I’ve been sharing for many years our own business model canvas that we’ve been using with a wide range of customers (from startups to multinationals) in many industries. If you ever been frustrated with the generic business model canvas and were not really able to activate it and gets real life results with it, well, there is a reason. And you might want to check this.

I already made a case in 2016 for letting go of the now generic business model canvas. Story short: it’s a fantastic training tool. As such, it’s very open and can be used by a lot of  trainers, consulting enthusiasts, or business schools. The price to pay is that it’s a blunt tool with no credo, no vision, and worse: no teeth!

Innovation is a contact game that is played at high velocity. We require sharper tools.

Let’s see how it works shall we? Continue reading “Business Model Canvas for Innovators”

Microsoft understands what being an OS in 2020 means (maybe)

As a major surprise, Microsoft at the end of 2018 turns out to have now a higher market cap than Apple. Although Microsoft doesn’t manage to have the same customer’s reach that Apple commands in B2C, the Redmond firm managed to regain its leadership in B2B… even maybe in parts of the business that you don’t see coming!

I was discussing a few weeks ago how Alibaba is swiftly becoming the default operating system of retail stores in China. Reframing your perception from what was an e-commerce platform 10 years ago, to something with much deeper and global strategic intent is challenging. It is very interesting to see that Microsoft (as a traditional PC operating system and cloud platform) is moving in the same direction in the US.

Continue reading “Microsoft understands what being an OS in 2020 means (maybe)”

Apple is Doomed (Again!)

Every six months or so, we have another warning that Apple is doomed. Well doomed or not, wiping off $74.6 billion in valuation on a trade day is unprecedented in the history of business. So yes, let’s pause a moment on that.

It is now obvious (in hindsight’s what’s not?) that the iPhone both reached a plateau in term of units penetration, but also price point. Don’t expect to see in 2019 +30% growth in iPhone penetration in US or EU compounded by unit’s price reaching 2,000 USD / EUR.

Continue reading “Apple is Doomed (Again!)”