Tom Peters on the “services added” narrative

“It helps to be as helpful as you can be” Rolls-Royce now earns MORE from tasks such as managing clients’ overall procurement strategies and maintaining aerospace engines it sells than it does from making them. Thus the quintessential lumpy object producer, akin to yesteryear’s IBM, principally becomes a services-added company that also happens to make lumpy objects. … Twenty years…

Amazon: working backwards and other stories

I’m late to the party on this, but I’ve just come across this very helpful technique for developing products and services, as used at Amazon. Essentially, you start by immediately writing a customer-facing press release for the finished product, and work backwards from there: Each consists of a one-page “press release” (for an offering that doesn’t even exist and might…

Clayton Christensen: Jobs to be done (1)

Here’s a great insight from Clayton Christensen: people don’t buy a product or service because of abstract needs, but rather when they have a specific job to do. So people don’t use public transport, or cars, or taxis because they need transportation in general, but when they need to go and do something specific at a specific time. All people…

Resources: Steve Blank Playlist

If you’re not familiar with Steve Blank, start here: The Principles of Lean “No business plan survives first contact with customers.” On Acting on Customer Discovery If you’re going to go out and discover whether customers like your idea or not, this is not an outsourceable problem. The founders need to do this. Particularly, the people capable of changing strategy…

Resources: Clayton Christensen on disruptive innovation

Clayton Christensen’s The Innovators Dilemma is a business classic, providing a framework for understanding how technological or business model innovations (or more usually, both) allow new businesses to gain a foothold in markets or to create new ones. It’s been hugely influential – and has come in for its share of criticism. This post contains links to a range of…

The innovation in your head…

… isn’t an innovation yet. Our definition of innovation refers to something rather specific: A change in the processes by which an organization transforms labor, capital, materials and information into products and services of greater value. Clayton Christensen, Efosa Ojomo and Karen Dillon – The Prosperity Paradox It’s simply an idea. It’s an innovation when you’ve done the hard work…

Value: more of more?

Make something useful For lots of people Capture some of that value so that you can do it again The more useful what you do is, for more people*, the greater the potential is for your organisation to be sustainable and successful.** BUT you probably need to start by building something small first: the minimum viable product for the minimum…

Zen Hae on cross-pollination, imitation and innovation in Indonesian Peranakan literature

The pattern of hybridity, imitation and innovation we talk about under the label “combinatorial innovation” isn’t limited to cars and computers – it’s central to (and has been discussed for far longer) in literature and the arts. In a paper from the Jakarta International Literary Festival 2019, Zen Hae unpacks the example of Indonesian-language writing by Peranakan* writers as a…

Carl Sagan on starting from scratch

If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. Carl Sagan Starting from scratch is overrated (and impossible). Some better questions are: – Has someone else already made what I’m trying to make? Or something similar? Or part of it? (Readymade is usually easier than DIY). – What new things can I make…

Marks and Spencer as disruptive innovators

Marks and Spencer have been a mainstay of British retail for more than 100 years, so it’s hard to imagine them as disruptive innovators – but it turns out they were innovative all over. More immigration and innovation Michael Marks (born in 1859 Slonim, then part of the Russian Empire) moved to the U.K. in 1882, and within a few…