21st century corporate innovation tools

Familiar with the fear of failure or lack of speed in corporations? Although hard to accept, as a corporate innovator you can learn tremendously from startups. Here is why. Corporation vs. startup A corporation is a permanent organization designed to execute a repeatable and scalable business model that they have built over time. In a corporation ‘fear of failure’ inhibits …

Team, product, or market? The X factor of growth

There is this continuous debate on what matters the most. The right team, the product, or the market. Until recently, I would have argued the team before the product.  If you ask entrepreneurs or VCs which is most important, the most likely answer would be the team, partly because in the beginning of a startup, you know a lot more about the team than you do …

Innovation? Forget corporate metrics

If you make your innovation a hedging process – like we discussed here – then how do you lead and manage innovation? What are the particular ways of reversing the process to foster valuable innovation? Leading innovation and what is considered good leadership are not the same. The default conception of the leader’s role – setting out a vision and inspiring people to follow – works when …

Making sense of Minimum Viable Products

Minimum viable products are all the rage. The idea is to test the waters and make some sense out of the market before heavily investing in product development. That’s definitely oversimplified, but what I’m going to explore in this post is the “sense making” aspect of MVPs. Minimum Viable Products–what does this mean? If you read any article or listen …

New venture: Go or go for no

It is messy in the middle. Exactly at the point when you have invested all your time, money, or reputation and yet lack progress, cash flow, etc. That’s when the pain of failure becomes ubiquitous. Fatigue sets in. Team members, investors, your family members or other stakeholders show impatience, or uncertainty. The challenges become confusing. What do you do? You know challenges almost …

5 marketing tools Apple exploits to build the hype

The iPhone backorders, tweet cascades, and exploding stock prices aren’t unrelated–Apple is doing something right (besides making products people worship). Once you’ve got the goods, here’s how to take a page from its marketing playbook. Whether it’s launching its latest iPhone or iPad, Apple sure knows how to create buzz with consumers and the media (recent maps debacle aside). While …

Next gen Entrepreneurs: Get high on agility

The sustainability – short-termism paradox As we have entered the post credit crunch era, entrepreneurs face new challenges demanding a move away from short-termism to a sustainable social, environmental and financial performance (cf. the triple bottom line), and face the uncomfortable tension between the long term focus needed for sustainable development and the prevalent short-termism (investors returns on investment requirements, …

Sense of personal power – a venture capital pitfall

Innovation is driven by open-mindedness, inputs from diverse groups of sources, fostering collaboration across functions, processes, ecosystems, etc. In most cases, the final decision to bet on an idea is taken by one or few executives. Recent research from USC’s Marshall School of Business in collaboration with the London Business School, University of Illinois, and Northwestern University reveals alarming findings compromising …