Agile Innovation Systems, Methods, Open Source, strategy

The “Sharing Economy” is Unstoppable

The hotelier that will soon overtake Hilton and InterContinental to become the world’s largest lodging chain doesn’t own a single room. AirBnb, based in San Francisco, is a website which enables homeowners in 192 countries to rent out their spare rooms or vacant homes or apartments to travelers. Airbnb is one of a growing number of innovative startups that are part of the burgeoning “sharing economy” movement, which allows regular people to make money on assets they already own. Result: more and more traditional industries are being upended by competitors from outside their industry. The taxi industry is being disrupted by Uber, a ride sharing app that’s already spread to 70 cities. Airbnb is busy disrupting the hotel industry. TaskRabbit is a threat to the temporary staffing industry. Want to share your car and pick up some extra income? Register it on RelayRides or Sidecar.


According to Forbes, the trend is already generating $3.5 billion a year, with growth exceeding 25%. While regulators are currently clipping the wings of certain of these upstarts, their cumulative effect is said to have a major impact on cities, product manufacturers and service providers. Using Ebay’s rating system, and smartphones that let sharers transact anywhere, anytime, micro-entrepreneurs are empowered to further monetize this space for years to come. Just as YouTube did with TV, and blogs did to traditional media, the peer-to-peer sharing trend is becoming a major disruptive force that will, in the years ahead, create winners and losers in its wake.

Open Source, science and future, strategy, technology

How Arduino is open-sourcing imagination | Massimo Banzi

Massimo Banzi helped invent the Arduino, a tiny, easy-to-use open-source microcontroller that’s inspired thousands of people around the world to make the coolest things they can imagine — from toys to satellite gear. Because, as he says, “You don’t need anyone’s permission to make something great.”


How to Reduce Your Innovation Risk

The trouble with innovation is it’s risky.  Sure, the upside is nice (increased sales), but the downside (it doesn’t work) is distasteful.

Everyone is looking for the magic pill to change the risk-reward ratio of innovation, but there is no pill. Though there are some things you can do to tip the scale in your favor.pill

All problems are business problems.  Problem solving is the key to innovation, and all problems are business problems.  And as companies embrace the triple bottom line philosophy, where they strive to make progress in three areas – environmental, social and financial, there’s a clear framework to define business problems.

Start with a business objective.  It’s best to define a business problem in terms of a shortcoming in business results. And the holy grail of business objectives is the growth objective.  No one wants to be the obstacle, but, more importantly, everyone is happy to align their career with closing the gap in the growth objective.  In that way, if solving a problem is directly linked to achieving the growth objective, it will get solved.

Sell more.  The best way to achieve the growth objective is to sell more. Bottom line savings won’t get you there.  You need the sizzle of the top line. When solving a problem is linked to selling more, it will get solved.

Customers are the only people that buy things.  If you want to sell more, you’ve got to sell it to customers. And customers buy novel usefulness.  When solving a problem creates novel usefulness that customers like, the problem will get solved.  However, before trying to solve the problem, verify customers will buy what you’re selling.

No-To-Yes.  Small increases in efficiency and productivity don’t cause customers to radically change their buying habits.  For that your new product or service must do something new. In a No-To-Yes way, the old one couldn’t but the new one can. If solving the problem turns no to yes, it will get solved.

Would they buy it? Before solving, make sure customers will buy the useful novelty. (To know, clearly define the novelty in a hand sketch and ask them what they think.) If they say yes, see the next question.

Would it meet our growth objectives? Before solving, do the math. Does the solution result in incremental sales larger than the growth objective? If yes, see the next question.

Would we commercialize it? Before solving, map out the commercialization work. If there are no resources to commercialize, stop.  If the resources to commercialize would be freed up, solve it.

Defining is solving. Up until now, solving has been premature. And it’s still not time. Create a functional model of the existing product or service using blocks (nouns) and arrows (verbs). Then, to create the problem(s), add/modify/delete functions to enable the novel usefulness customers will buy.  There will be at least one problem – the system cannot perform the new function. Now it’s time to take a deep dive into the physics and bring the new function to life.  There will likely be other problems.  Existing functions may be blocked by the changes needed for the new function. Harmful actions may develop or some functions will be satisfied in an insufficient way.  The key is to understand the physics in the most complete way.  And solve one problem at a time.

Adaptation before creation. Most problems have been solved in another industry. Instead of reinventing the wheel, use TRIZ to find the solutions in other industries and adapt them to your product or service.  This is a powerful lever to reduce innovation risk.

There’s nothing worse than solving the wrong problem. And you know it’s the wrong problem if the solution does not (1) solve a business problem, (2) achieve the growth objective, (3) create more sales, (4) provide No-To-Yes functionality customers will buy, and (5) you won’t allocate the resources to commercialize.

And if the problem successfully runs the gauntlet and is worth solving, spend time to define it rigorously.  To understand the bedrock physics, create a functional of the system, add the new functionality and see what breaks. Then use TRIZ to create a generic solution, search for the solution across other industries and adapt it.

The key to innovation is problem solving. But to reduce the risk, before solving, spend time and energy to make sure it’s the right problem to solve. It’s far faster to solve the right problem slowly than to solve the wrong one quickly.

Sorgente: How to Reduce Your Innovation Risk

Blue Ocean, Methods, strategy

Singapore gets a gigantic ‘vending machine’ for buying luxury cars

Singapore is a country known worldwide for both a very high cost of living and limited real estate space — that combination makes it hard to imagine a better location for a gigantic vending machine that spits out luxury cars.

That’s right, folks. Autobahn Motors, a company that started out selling used vehicles in conventional showrooms, recently opened a 15-story building in Singapore that looks like a real-life kid’s toy box hidden inside the Southeast Asian city-state.

The structure can hold up to 60 high-end vehicles — it includes cars from Ferrari, Bentley and Porsche — which can be purchased by customers who visit the location.

Rather than a regular sales process, visitors to the Autobahn Motors’ site complete their purchase via a tablet device and customized app. Their car will be delivered to them within two minutes of their payment thanks to a unique ‘fishbone’ delivery system that Covered.Asia experienced in a pre-launch demo last year.

“We needed to meet our requirement of storing a lot of cars. At the same time, we wanted to be creative and innovative,” Gary Hong, general manager at Autobahn Motors, explained to Reuters in a recent interview.

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science and future, strategy, technology

Eliminating Walls in B2B Platforms (keep an eye on Amazon)

No walled gardens in B2B platforms

Paul Hobcraft and I have noted throughout our writings on platforms and ecosystems the key differences between companies that interact primarily with consumers (B2C) and companies that interact primarily with other corporations (B2B). This difference is especially important when we begin to think about platform dominance.

You see, Facebook interacts primarily, almost exclusively, with customers (B2C) as such it’s platform serves to provide almost the entire interaction between Facebook and its customers. We could almost return to the days of old, when AOL was your conduit to the internet, when we talked about “walled gardens”, because that’s what many of the pure play B2C platforms are – walled gardens, meant to provide as much of the platform as possible. Their goal is “stickiness”, attracting you and keeping you plugged into their platform, consuming their content.maxresdefault

On the other hand, industrial companies are definitely as engaged in platform development, but their solutions require more than one platform.For example, most large corporations have an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform, SAP or some other selection, that operates a lot of the financials and back office. While customers and consumers don’t frequently interact with this platform, the company could not exist without it. Further, there are other platforms that industrial companies must use or integrate with to offer a complete solution.

There are customer-facing applications that become platforms, and shared solutions that many in an industry agree to use to facilitate exchange between companies. The banking systems and financial transactions create another platform, because it is far too cumbersome to submit paper orders and invoices and to settle up on a case by case basis.

Finally there are robust, technical platforms (GE’s Predix is an example) that manage the mundane but important integration and automation of machines and sensors. Industrial, B2B companies and industries may wish for the control of a “walled garden”, but none of them on their own can create the breadth and depth of platforms necessary to accomplish all of the important tasks and do so seamlessly.

The company that could…

The company to watch in this scenario is Amazon. While Google, Facebook, Apple and others are building platforms and ecosystems, these are primarily B2C focused and these companies hope to manage the lion’s share of the platform and dictate the ecosystems. This gives them a lot of power and means that they don’t have to integrate to other platforms – often the only other platform or capability is a financial transaction platform. However the vast majority of their customers are consumers in the B2C space.

Facebook, Apple and Google aren’t building robust integrations to other businesses, which simplifies their lives. Amazon is building skills to straddle the B2B and B2C gulf.

Amazon clearly has a powerful B2C platform, where many of us acquire goods online every day. However, Amazon through its AWS cloud capability offers platform capability to larger corporations, and as it becomes better at data analytics, it could become a player in the B2B platform world. Even so it will still need to be able to share and exchange data with other key industrial B2B

What does this mean for B2B platforms?

The stark truth of platforms and ecosystems for B2B companies is that there will never be one dominant platform that everyone accepts and leverages. In fact there will almost always be several segmented platforms in any company or industry. This means there is real value in being a platform bridge or connector.

When you see the advance of Mulesoft – a virtual API bank in the cloud, and think about how Cisco is trying to position itself you can see where real value lies – in connecting these segmented platforms and helping a company or industry bridge the 3 or 4 platforms they must use to create a total solution. Bridging between platforms means moving information between a financial platform and an ERP solution, or moving sensor data to a data analytics engine. These platforms weren’t built for the same purposes and don’t share the same data formats.

For a seamless experience for customers and business partners, data and information must flow effectively from one platform to another.

Three conclusions about B2B platforms

Thus one of the real opportunities in this world of platforms and ecosystems is the ability to connect these disparate and segmented platforms quickly and efficiently. Mulesoft has come from nowhere very quickly with an interesting solution to solve this problem. In the past firms like SAP preferred a “walled garden” making it difficult to integrate with the data that SAP managed, but increasingly SAP and other ERP vendors are recognizing that several platforms must be integrated to provide a total holistic capability for corporations to succeed.

This also means that competitors within an industry are relying on “off the shelf” software like ERP, standard banking and financial transactions, their own internal systems and platforms and other platforms to ensure efficient operations and provide seamless experiences for customers.Increasingly these platforms will no longer be locally optimized but must optimize for the entirety of the value chain or customer experience.

In other words, platforms must be governed holistically rather than by functions or siloes within the company. Increasingly this will mean business process level or even cross-industry standards for data exchange and data analytics.

The final analysis (for now)

In the final analysis it becomes clear that even firms and industries that haven’t exchanged information will be forced to work together in a highly efficient network. A good example is the autonomous car.

The autonomous car relies on a number of different platforms and engages an entire ecosystem, but many of these companies (all B2B) and governments rarely interacted with each other. Sensor companies, software companies, the automobile manufacturers, mapping companies, big data companies and local and federal agencies must all work together, combining their platforms and relying on a host of ecosystem partners in order to make the autonomous car work seamlessly.

There’s no possibility of a “walled garden” approach when people’s lives are at stake. Increasingly we’ll see a lot more interaction between industries and platforms that may not have recognized or even acknowledged each other previously.

From: Eliminating Walls in B2B Platforms (keep an eye on Amazon)

Methods, strategy

Innovation is Important Aspect: Here Are #5 Ways to Fuel It

The human mind is wired to ensure survival and there is great comfort to be in a zone where most things are  familiar and operate with certainty, and in the pattern. This is really good for mechanical requirements, data based tasks and where numbers matter. But with subjective creatures like human beings, what will appeals to them is a question that defies any clear answer.

In today’s times, innovation is at the forefront, a driving force that can ensure an organisation being at the top of its game. What the companies have them staring in the face, is a complex flux – not only of data, but of people in general – actions that are as whimsical and different from one another in choice, tastes and preferences as can be. So what would it take to reach their mind space and grab attention?

20151228154022-shutterstock-147039038Innovation is the one important aspect and here are some ways of fuelling it:

1. Abandon compartmentalisation: Too many rigid structures and belief systems interfere with adaptation. The brain needs to follow a more fluid way of thinking that focuses on the road ahead, rather than periodically keep stopping to gauge and compare with past methods. Sure, this could be a Plan B…but there is absolute and dire requirement of ideas and innovations that are unfazed by history. Welcome and nurture the mavericks on your team.

2. Apply “doing differently” to everyday, routine activities: Human beings are creatures of habit and mundane personal habits have an insidious way of trickling into the way, professional assignments are handled too. So if one is habituated to brushing teeth with the right hand, try left for a week; if perforce you visit certain sections while grocery shopping first, visit them last for some time; try reading a different author or on a different discipline that would not be a normal choice! These and many more things done differently, challenge your brain to build new neural pathways and recreate more possibilities – it can fuel innovation in a great way as now, the brain begins to believe that things are possible in many different ways.

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Blue Ocean, Methods, strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy #1

Be The Pilot of Your Life

Creating Blue Oceans Strategy

Red Oceans represent all the industries in existence today. It’s a Known market space;

Whereas Blue Oceans denote all the industries Not in existence today. This is the Unknown market space.

Although the term blue oceans is new, their existence is Not.

Value Innovation: The Cornerstone of Blue Ocean Strategy

The companies caught in the Red Oceans followed conventional approach, racing to beat the competition by building a defensible position within existing industry order. The creators of Blue Oceans, surprisingly, didn’t use the competition as their benchmark. Instead, they followed a different strategic logic that we call value innovation. We call it value innovation because instead of focusing on beating the competition, you focus on making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for buyers and your company, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space. Value innovation

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Blue Ocean, Methods, strategy

The Blue Ocean Strategy : How To Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

Priyank Verma

When Henry Ford made cheap, reliable cars people said, ‘Nah, what’s wrong with a horse?’ That was a huge bet he made, and it worked.
The whole idea of The Blue Ocean Strategy is to create uncontested market spaces that creates new demands and make the competition irrelevant.

The book describes Red Oceans as known market places that have bloody competition among businesses trying to win customers. Here there is a fixed existing demand of which every company wants a share.

The Blue Ocean on the other hand is an uncontested market place that creates demand for itself, which is not known to others. This makes competition irrelevant. Focus is on creating, not competing.

Value Innovation :

Value innovation occurs when company align innovation with utility, price and cost positions. Instead of using competition as the benchmark companies focus on taking leaps ion value for customers.

Idea behind value innovation if…

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