Research

Welcome to our research library.

Meeting

Is Your Calendar Hostage to Internal Meetings?

You know you want to reduce your risk, find the optimal path for your business, and validate that you’re on the right path. Are you going to let a few internal meetings get in your way?

I tend to speak to the converted – the innovation groups and startups that know they want to generate stronger business model options through direct customer discovery and lean experiments. But the biggest struggle and fight revolves around the calendar.

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Connected Hardware: What Are The Business Model Options?

See how hardware and product makers are combining business models from software, coffee makers, and the razorblade industry to redefine how we want, use, and love things.

Necessity breeds invention. If you are looking to be inspired by business model innovators, keep your eye on the makers. Wearables, smart home devices, and the graduates of successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns are experimenting not just with product innovation, but business model innovation.

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broken glasses

Customer Delight is Elusive – Focus on Customer Pain

Last week it was one of those rare perfect sunny days in New York City, and I found myself looking up at the sky as I crossed West 4th Street. I was soon to be punished for my reverie. While enjoying the sun, my glasses had slipped out of my pocket and onto the middle of the street, but I hadn’t noticed this yet.

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Growing Pain

Are IPOs the Death of Innovation?

It would seem that young founders no longer dream of ringing the NASDAQ bell.

The initial public offering (IPO) – the first sale of stock by a company to the general investing public – used to be the goal post for entrepreneurs. The story went like this: start a company, seek investment from angels and then venture investors, achieve outstanding growth, and launch an initial public offering. The NASDAQ bell ringing day is celebrated like a ritual on Wall Street.

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apple

Life Hack Tips for Biased Decision Makers

We know that unconscious bias happens in all of us. We categorize, we find patterns, and we like to group people. We decide who is in our “in group” – and then we favor our group. This ability to tell who is a friend, and who is a foe, helped early humans survive.

We like to think we are all reasonable open-minded humans who do not pre-judge other others, but much of bias happens hidden away from our conscious decisions. We all have bias. Our unconscious mind is wrong, often, especially on matters that truly would benefit from thinking rationally.

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From A to B best Solution - concept

Startups vs. Corporates

Startups have an incredibly high rate of failure. Over 75{4b0c188ae8604bf014d8bc27c7c65bbf455b55139b6ec077c9ec57d60479b1a7} fail to return capital to their investors, and more than 90{4b0c188ae8604bf014d8bc27c7c65bbf455b55139b6ec077c9ec57d60479b1a7} fail to meet their projections, according to an HBR professor Shikar Ghosh’s analysis of 2000+ companies.

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Why Your HealthTech Market Analysis is Probably Wrong

Have you had an eye exam at Warby Parker? If you’re in health tech, or just healthcare, and you wear glasses, I recommend you make your way to a Warby Retail location soon just for the experience. Go to the website – you can make an appointment Apple-Genius-bar-style. (Sorry Bay Area folks – their first eye exam locations are East Coast and Midwest).

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Magic 8

Unfreezing the Innovation Budget

Why aren’t companies amping up their innovation investments in 2016?

This past week, I spent time with a number of CFOs of American-based companies on the topic of innovation – and the overall mood was “we’re holding steady on spend and are cautious about growth.”

When you go to build your business case for bigger innovation budgets, it’s helpful to know the objections, in order:

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Innovation at work

If you have innovation in your title, your job is about to get more accountable

Alphabet and Wall Street’s appetite for innovation

The secret about corporate jobs in innovation is that they are hard to hang on to.

Which one have you been:

a/ The Innovation Pod Leader

Are you in charge of an experimental innovation structure? The incubator that serves as the pet project of a senior exec? Do you have an office outpost in Silicon Valley, where you give tours to senior execs from headquarters?

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Control

So You Want to Control Your Own Destiny, Do You?

Lean Startup is great for finding scale opportunities, quickly, You make assumptions, discover your customer needs, run some tests, and you can quickly get feedback that you’re either on the right track, or need to start again.

Yet one thing that tends to stop founders from even asking the right questions in the first place is the reason why they are starting a business.

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innovation

3 Questions to Predict Who Will Survive in 2026

Look away for one moment, while everyone is reporting from CES and predicting great technology advances for the internet-of-things-in-my-coffee, blockchain-based-bake-sales, and drone-powered-dog-walking.

I’d like to celebrate my personal bank for making huge advances yesterday.

Citibank, I’ve been a customer for over 20 years, since my first big girl paycheck. You are my local bank. My community bank. In an email to me yesterday, you announced a huge technology achievement.

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The Fed Rates Rose: Let’s Panic!

I was talking to a 25-year-old founder of a med-tech-health-tech startup yesterday who was just calmly eating his lobster roll with no fear or trepidation regarding the coming Fed rate hike. I realized why – the last time The Fed raised interest rates he was only 15. No wonder he was not in a complete panic! He hasn’t witnessed how interest rates affect the startup food chain

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Monopoly-man

Can We Change the Rules of the Game?

Did you play Monopoly over the holiday weekend? The first time I played, I cornered the market on the fancy neighborhoods: Park Place and Boardwalk, that whole corner from Atlantic Avenue through Pennsylvania Avenue. I bought houses and hotels and saw the money come in, and my enemies (my friends and family) crushed, destroyed, and bankrupted.

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money love

Nonprofit or For Profit or Something In-Between?

Am I Non Profit or For Profit or Something In-between?

What kind of company is best for my idea?

About three years ago I started to get a new question from entrepreneurs: is my idea best suited to a nonprofit or a for profit or something in-between?

At first I found the question strange. It seemed so binary to me. When I was graduated from college, there were two basic career doors to open:

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Gears

The Models That We Live By

Are the business models we use constraining us from building the future we want?

Utilization
Organization
Optimization
Mechanization

The way we imagine and discuss new business models seems to be trapped back in the first Industrial Revolution. We talk about “creating machines,” “measuring throughput,” and “optimizing efficiency for zero defects.”

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pain points

Finding Your Customer Pain Points: How Far Do You Go?

One of the first jobs in unlocking a business model is to define a customer segment, and figure out customer “pain points.” You know you’ve struck gold when you uncover a “hair on fire” problem that is so tremendously painful the customer will work with your earliest version of the product just to douse the flames.

The belief about pain points is reinforced by investors, incubators, accelerators, and entrepreneurship curricula like Lean LaunchPad.

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Buy-One Give-One

Should Social Impact Companies Be Held to a Higher Standards

Should social impact companies be held to a higher standard than good old fashioned profit seeking companies?

We were asked to start documenting social impact business models – starting with the “one for one” buy one, give one model promoted by TOMS shoes. Our first sketch of the one for one business model unearthed perhaps more harm then good.

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Subscriptions

Business Models are in the Eye of the Beholder

What can we read into the counter trends in subscription models? In the nearest future, will can extrapolate and see everything we used to own being delivered, via drones, our door, while we consume all of the media we want for “free” in exchange for native advertising?

In the West Village, where I live, recycling night is a chance to learn about the latest trends in consumption. Each week there are less magazine and newspaper piles, but more subscription economy boxes.

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Hollywood

The Promise and Perils of Pattern Matching

The Promises and Perils of the Hollywood-Style Elevator Pitch

Hollywood wheeler-dealers are famous for pitching new movies to studios with a formula that combines two successful old movies. Robert Altman’s 1992 comedy The Player fictionalized pitchmen who proposed such fantastic ideas as “Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman” and “Ghost meets The Manchurian Candidate.”

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Dominant Logic Monster

Google’s Dominant-Logic Problem

Google has announced that it will become Alphabet, a conglomerate—that old-fangled complex corporate structure popular in the 1970s.

Could the conglomerate structure, as Google is defining Alphabet, represent the boldest and most innovative move yet within the entire class of super-tech companies?

Google is not the first company to confront the dominant-logic problem, which can cause successful companies to self-destruct, but it is doing so in a way that both challenges and appeals to Wall Street.

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