Don’t Choose the Least Bad, Choose the Best Possible

Phil Libin I heard Phil Libin speak at the FT Innovate conference in London. He was a founder of Evernote and now works as a partner at General Catalyst who manage venture capital funds. He explained that when we compare different opportunities there is a natural inclination to select the least bad. This is because the primeval part of the brain is programmed to assess risk and to value the reduction... Read More--


Innovation Lessons from the Master, Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was adopted at birth in 1955. He grew up in California. He dropped out of college but voluntarily took a course in calligraphy. He found it beautiful and fascinating. The marriage of aesthetics and technology became his life-long obsession. Jobs led a company which embodied the combination of art and science. He was an eclectic revolutionary. Computers, cell phones, tablets, films, animation,... Read More--


So What Exactly Should Kodak Have Done?

Business commentators and writers commonly quote Kodak as an example of a company that was destroyed by disruptive innovation.  The usual message is that the big company was just too slow and complacent to react to the obvious tsunami that digital photography represented for the film industry.  The facts are dramatic.  The company was founded by George Eastman in 1888.  It rose to a totally dominant... Read More--


Does the Stock Market Inhibit Innovation?

Are private companies more innovative than public companies? What happens to an innovative start-up which goes public? Will the same team of people who were so agile and entrepreneurial in the start-up become even more innovative once they have some capital and recognition behind them? Apparently not. Shai Bernstein of Stanford University compared firms that went public with similar firms that stayed... Read More--


Avoid the Iridium Moment

Every company has to make important strategic decisions. We can see with hindsight that some decisions which looked smart at the time turned out to be dumb. Often it was because the wrong assumptions were made. In his excellent book, Exponential Organizations, Salim Ismail coins the phrase an Iridium Moment. He explains how in the late 1980s the telecoms giant Motorola made a huge bet which turned... Read More--


Why Companies are Turning to Innovation Centres

Nine out of ten companies believe that they are too slow to market with new products. In the consumer goods category around 80% of new products fail.  Since 2000 52% of the Fortune 500 have merged, been acquired or gone bankrupt.  These are some of the reasons why senior corporate executives are increasingly turning to separate innovation labs to spearhead their new product development. Innovation... Read More--


Iterate, Iterate, Iterate, Innovate

  The game Angry Birds was a huge hit for the Finnish game developers, Rovio Entertainment. It sold over 20 million copies on various mobile platforms. The spin-off products include books and a Sony film. Angry Birds was released in 2009. It was the 52nd game that Rovio had launched since the company was founded in 2003. There were 51 earlier attempts before the big hit arrived. WD-40 is a widely... Read More--


How to Write a Winning Business Proposal

The Business Proposal is an essential document not only for Sales people but also for anyone who wants to submit a serious proposition for internal or external approval. The process starts with a thorough understanding of the client’s needs, problems and priorities.  If a Request for Proposal (RFP) document has been issued by the client then it must be read carefully.  The key elements in... Read More--


Can Africa’s Entrepreneurs and Innovators solve Africa’s Problems?

What can save Africa from its many problems; grinding poverty, corrupt bureaucrats, incompetent governments and dire infrastructure?  The best hope might lie with the innovations of its home grown entrepreneurs.  Many solutions that work in the developed world do not translate well to Africa so indigenous innovations are often a better answer.  In some cases they leap-frog current Western offerings. Mobile... Read More--


Can you innovate with the under-utilized assets in your business?

Sometimes the by-product, the surplus or the unwanted extra can become the unexpected success. All it takes is a little imagination. Brandy was originally a by-product used to help transport wine. In the middle ages in France duties were levied on the volume of wine being transported. Merchants boiled off water to concentrate the wine so as to reduce the taxes they paid. Water was then added later.... Read More--