Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2013
My Forbes series on driverless cars was such a hit—more than 575,000 views—that Paul and I expanded it into an ebook. I hope you’ll download it and consider writing an Amazon review.
Look for the full book, “The New Killer Apps: This Time, Incumbents Can Beat Startups” on September 4, 2013. More details soon. In the meantime, find out more at our Facebook page.
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2013
My last few Forbes columns mark the first time I’ve written about markets sized in the trillions. I thought you might find them interesting.
They’re part of a series on the Google driverless car. Instead of focusing on the gee-whiz aspects, as most reports have done, I explore the potential for millions of lives saved and trillions of dollars in car-related revenue thrown up for grabs.
I’d love to get your comments. Please post them directly at Forbes or drop me a note.
This series draws from research for “The New Killer Apps: This Time, Incumbents Can Beat Startups,” a forthcoming book coauthored with Paul B. Carroll. To learn more, visit the book’s Facebook page.
Posted on Wednesday, August 22, 2012
We overestimate technology in the short term and underestimate it in the long term—even when we know that we tend to do so. This long-cited axiom is playing out again in the case of social media.
There should be no doubt about the short-term overestimation, given the initial exuberance and now the collapse of stocks like Zynga, Groupon and Facebook.
In an article at Forbes, I write about why the longer-term underestimation is harder to pin down, but even more dangerous to long-term success. And it is now well underway.
Please take a read and let me know what you think of it: Bubble Deflated, Social Media Will Now Change the World
Posted on Friday, August 17, 2012
You know from “Billion-Dollar Lessons” that I’m wary of using big acquisitions to fix strategic problems. You might also know that I like to play poker now and then. ;-)
In this article that just went up at HBR, I explain the why I like Google’s big acquisition of Motorola Mobility in poker terms:
Why Buying Motorola Was a Good Gamble for Google
Would you buy a piece of that bet? Let me know.
Posted on Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Like many, you might think of Xerox PARC as a technological marvel and a business failure. Due to high profile “failures” like it, your organization might celebrate “innovation” but frown on “invention.”
In a new Forbes article, I try to topple the conventional wisdom that Xerox PARC was a commercial failure and that “invention” is foolhardy.
You probably know that PARC’s early inventions underlie much of today’s IT industry and power global commerce. Did you know that Xerox actually reaped hundreds of billions in revenue from those inventions, while spending only about $45 million (in today’s dollars) to build most of them?
There were, of course, many things that Xerox could have done better with PARC. But, far from proving that large companies should not invest in breakthrough research, Xerox PARC shows that they must.
This is a lesson that has immediate urgency for market leaders in every technology-intensive industry. Like Michael Jordan, who always wanted the ball in clutch moments, market leaders should take greater control of their own futures in these disruptive times by pursuing more invention.
I hope you’ll take a look at the full article at Forbes and let me know what you think of it.
Here’s the link: The Lesson That Market Leaders Are Failing To Learn From Xerox PARC
Hope you’re having a great summer!
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2012
As reported in the WSJ, Best Buy’s interim CEO, G. Mike Mikan, sees ending the trend towards “showrooming” as the company’s number one priority. To do this, he plans to invest heavily in retraining Best Buy’s workforce. It is a worthy aspiration—the big box electronics retailer is sputtering as customers increasing use it as a place to browse merchandise before buying it at Amazon or some other online rival.
But, as I wrote in a column at Forbes, Best Buy’s fight against showrooming is doomed to fail, for three reasons: it consistently provides poorer service than its online competitors, it has structurally higher prices, and dominant customer and technological trends will increasingly conspire against it.
Here’s the link to that Forbes column.
Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012
Strategically, Microsoft’s investment in Barnes & Noble’s Nook Reader is no big deal. Sure, Microsoft overpaid a third-tier player to preserve a foothold in an emerging product sector and the chances of that $605 million investment paying off are slim. Microsoft had few options, however, and the price is a tiny part of Microsoft’s cash hoard.The more interesting aspect of the story is how Microsoft and Barnes & Noble, both of which once sat atop their respective industries, responded differently to technology advances that threatened to disrupt both their positions. Microsoft foresaw the coming of both mobile computing and e-readers and still got toppled. Barnes & Noble got surprised, at a time when technology is crushing its industry’s business model, yet responded far better than Microsoft did.
Therein lies an interesting tale—one that offers both hope and caution to other market leaders facing similar disruptions.
Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2012
You might have seen Eric Jackson’s recent column at Forbes offering a “CEOs Hall of Shame,” which builds on his much-read “The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives.” The pieces went viral and have attracted more than 2 million page views. In my column this morning at Forbes, I argue that they are all wrong.
I’d love to hear what you think of this important topic, and I’d especially appreciate it if you shared this article widely.
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012
There are few corporate blunders as staggering as Kodak’s missed opportunities in digital photography, a technology that it invented. This strategic failure was the direct cause of Kodak’s decades-long decline as digital photography destroyed its film-based business model.
A new book by my Devil’s Advocate Group colleague, Vince Barabba, a former Kodak executive, offers insight on the choices that set Kodak on the path to bankruptcy. Barabba’s book, “The Decision Loom: A Design for Interactive Decision-Making in Organizations,” also offers sage advice for how other organizations grappling with disruptive technologies might avoid their own Kodak moments.
Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Several observers, including Christopher Bonanos and Erik Calonius, have pointed out that Steve Jobs was greatly inspired by Edwin H. Land, the inventor of instant photography and founder of Polaroid. Walter Isaacson, in his biography of Steve Jobs, quotes Jobs as saying that Land was one of his childhood heroes. A Polaroid veteran’s recent accounts detail the lessons that Jobs took from Dr. Land. These lessons would shape Apple’s culture and fuel Jobs’ determination to help that culture survive his own death.
The insights on the Jobs/Land connection were offered in a recent column at Ad Age, by Carl Johnson that is well worth reading and in subsequent conversations. Johnson should know; he learned them himself from Edwin Land when he became VP of worldwide advertising at Polaroid in the early 1980s
Read the entire article at Forbes.com.