Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Kissing too many frogs

As experienced venture capitalists point out, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. In this month's HBR, Andrew Campbell and Robert Park do not agree with this saying for strategic innovation. Although many business books encourage managers to take more risks, fly more kites, and launch more ventures, the opposite is probably what’s needed. According to Campbell and Park, firms should institute much tougher processes for screening out wild ideas and new venture suggestions and companies may have to learn the skill of patience.
I'm not too sure this is the overall situation. Size matters here. In a very large company you can afford to and should kiss more frogs than in a small one. A bit of kissing doesn't hurt...

Friday, June 25, 2004

Profitable I. can't be bought

According to Alexander Kandybin and Martin Kihn of BAH in S+B, the solution to I. anemia is not to boost incremental spending, but to raise the effectiveness of base spending — to increase the return on I. investment, lifting the firm’s “ROI.” In their interesting article: The Innovator's Prescription: Raising Your Return on I. Investment, they identify three principles to improve the return on I. investment: the three pillars of I.
1. Understand Your I. Effectiveness Curve,
2. Master the Entire I. Value Chain, and
3. Don’t Do It All Yourself.
Would you agree that the main reason for I. anemia can be found in poor ROI on existing I. investments? Or do you believe there are other reasons for it?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Orchestrating marketwide change

Traditional mechanisms used to launch products — such as targeting unique customer segments or developing compelling value propositions — don’t work anymore. Chakravorti recommends to innovators in the HBR of 2004 to use game theory and orchestrate a marketwide change of behavior, unraveling the status quo so that a large number of players adopt their offerings and believe they are better off for having done so. He says by understanding how social, commercial, and physical networks behave, innovators can develop new tactics. Furthermore innovators should:
- reason back from a target endgame,
- complement power players,
- offer coordinated switching incentives, and
- preserve flexibility in case its initial strategy fails.
Do you agree that traditional product innovation strategies are becoming extinct?