Future-proofing your company

Innovation is taking responsibility for the fact that your company will still be there in 2022. Not everyone might be concerned right now, but you have to make sure that it’s not handed away to a small team without political power that will work « as a startup » or « learn by doing ». If it doesn’t make sense to handle your financial or manufacturing process, it’s probably unreasonable for future-proofing your company.

Why Ad Monetization is Wrong (Really)

In a recent article on Medium called The End of the Ad-Supported Web, Julien GENESTOUX is putting the finger on a many things I was obsessing with these last few months about ad monetization. You may want to read the article first, the following are my extra comments:

The main gripe with ad monetization that we all think we understand, is that companies involved in this strategy disconnect their added value from what they invoice. This lateral move seems minor while it is quite critical. When Zuckerberg meekly declares that ads are the way to allow everyone on the platform he already has excluded the possibility to have tiers where some will pay and other not.

Why? Because he wouldn’t make nearly as much money. But the few degrees of difference in the initial trajectory have been now compounded over 14 years both in the culture, the strategy and essentially, what is Facebook as a product. Which means that it is an ad machine and nothing else anymore.

Continue reading “Why Ad Monetization is Wrong (Really)”

Understanding the future of your market

In a video called « The End of the Beginning », Benedict EVANS talks on the shifting point we are living as a global connected society and how to understand the future of your market.

A few take aways that you might want to consider:

  • You market always was a part of a more global value chain from which you won’t be insulated anymore;
  • The speed and volume of China now formally predates everything else, this is not « if » or « when », it’s « from now on »;
  • The new tools provided by the Amazons and the Baidus of the world are now fully in play and force us to compete to a next level: not new solutions, but unbundling and new full-stacks;
  • New values brought to the market will be massive and yet difficult to frame (the difference between the value of being cured from an hearth attack vs. the value of avoiding it).

But also, a word of caution. Even us, that are in the full-time business of understanding these changes, cannot avoid but falling in the very same traps we try to flag:

seeing the future of your market

Understanding the future of your market is not only about seeing Amazon as a super-powered platform (« I sell whatever I want ») or a global tech leader with a space program.

It’s getting beyond this obvious point, and understanding that like Alibaba they will be the unique layer between you and what you decide to consume. They will be the unique prism that arbitrate what you want and decide to buy… An operating system to consumer life and reality.

These are the changes that shape the future of your own market, and we ended up understanding after 10 years of struggle with mobile and the internet is now not accelerating, but going to the next level.

Not many incumbents will survive this. Even if they got good at this internet thing in the end…

Interview – A change partner transforming HR at ING

Latest interview of transformation leader – Karin Parmentier is transforming HR at ING and beyond.

For this fifth interview of a transformation leader, I met with Karin Parmentier. Do not be fooled by her French-sounding surname she is a straight talking, to the point, Dutch woman who developed her HR transformation expertise with Deloitte, and now with her own company and partners, she is transforming HR roles and practices in large organisations such as ING. Continue reading “Interview – A change partner transforming HR at ING”

How to build a McRib Strategy (Not)

I try to avoid talking mathematics when I address innovation strategy. As soon as I do it I’m victim of a very personal impostor syndrome (I’m not a mathematician) while realizing I’m going down deep, deep rabbit holes. As a matter of fact, when writing about Monthy Hall’s problems — which are key to understand uncertainty and innovation — I know I’m getting probably too technical.

Now I’m no mathematician, but I’m still a formally trained scientist. And one of the early mental model you integrate as such is to be deeply cautious about the difference in correlation and causation.

For all these reasons, I always find refreshing when others try to painstakingly try to reinject mathematical common sense for business executives. And, recently I read a delightful discussion on the McRib Effect:

Continue reading “How to build a McRib Strategy (Not)”

Are Internal Influencers The New Face of Your Marketing?

If you’re trying to understand how retail tries to adapt to an always-on, always connected customer base, US department stores are fantastic case studies. Macy’s, the largest of them, went probably through all the cycles of digital trends you can imagine. Specially when advertising was concerned.

In a dramatic recent turn of events, Macy’s started to strategically disengage from influencers campaigns, where high-profile Youtubers or Instagrammers would be paid to feature Macy’s products to their audience.

Continue reading “Are Internal Influencers The New Face of Your Marketing?”