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.
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)”
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:
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…
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”
Even more aggressively than Amazon, Alibaba positions itself from an e-commerce platform to a full-fledged retail operating system.
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:
My first MBA class a long time ago was about finance. I was explained that the simplest (and probably most accurate) definition of finance is « money over time ». It struck me yesterday that the simplest definition of #innovation is customers over time.
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.
When we arrived in the Netherlands two years ago, we adjusted our mode of life immediately. The key thing was to get rid of our cars. Who needs one if you live in Amsterdam? But this mobility paradise didn’t happen just because « Dutch love bikes ». There were actually many factors that were involved in the seventies to turn the country away from a car-centric future.
These lessons should be learned. As I am in an event on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula today, to discuss new mobility business models, it seems appropriate to remind us of a few things:
I’ve seen and read lately a lot of non-sense on how China is building a global surveillance network of its citizens through social scoring. Truth be told, it is not a simple issue and I was glad to get myself a better perspective on what it means through Rogier CREEMERS summarizing his social research on the subject at SMC050 conference in July 2018. If you’re a global company with retail business there or an investment firm, these are 36 minutes worth your time.
Here is what I can share for now:
We idealize startups as fast young (start-) fast-growing companies (-up) that innovate with new technology.
In real life, most of the startup you meet don’t grow fast. Fast could mean for any professional investor (not your garden variety of business angels) reaching for a first million euro in sales within two to three years. Such speed would require a team with startup experience entering the market in different cities in Europe, with a plan.
Mature teams. A plan. Aggressive soft landing strategies. Well, I’ve already wiped off the broad 90% of the startups you meet in incubators, acceleration programs, corporate incubators, technology transfer platforms, etc.