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 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, August 11, 2010
Two quotes in this article should be tattooed on the wrists of anyone serious about innovating:
–”Our policy is, we try things.”
–”We celebrate our failures.”
Both quotes, from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, come as the company announced that it was shutting down a real-time collaboration tool called Wave. Rather than say nothing about the failure or try to pretend it’s no big deal, as many companies would do, Google acknowledged the failure and called it an important learning experience.
Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2010
The New York Times reports the stunning news that General Motors has mandated that everyone associated with its Chevrolet division stop using the term “Chevy” and always say “Chevrolet.”
This should not just be the subject of a bit of fun, though the Times certainly does have a good time with the news. It notes all the places on GM sites that use the offending term, points out the famous racecar driver who will have to change his website to take “chevy” out of the name and even reminds us that Don McLean would have to amend “American Pie” so that he’d drive his Chevrolet to the levee to find that the levee was dry.
Beyond its sheer goofiness, the decision points to a problem that causes many companies to fail when they try to innovate: They can’t get out of their own heads and think like their customers.
Posted on Tuesday, March 9, 2010
As early as 1990, Bill Gates saw Kodak’s eventual demise coming, because he knew that digital photography would wipe out the profits to be had from conventional photography. That insight demonstrates how smart he is (which we all knew) and also how much easier it is to see others’ shortcomings than to see your own.
Stories like this one in the New York Times by Dick Brass, a former Microsoft vice president, about Microsoft’s lack of innovation have many in the technology world saying openly that Microsoft, based in Redmond, WA, may be taking the long glide toward the ground that Kodak and its headquarters city of Rochester, NY, have been on for two decades now.
Posted on Saturday, February 27, 2010
We recently wrote a short article, “Don’t be Road Kill on the Innovation Highway,” for InnovateNow, a foundation launched by the Chicago Chamber of Commerce to “promote ongoing business innovation and regional economic growth and to transform Chicagoland into a global center of innovation, entrepreneurship and creativity.” Here’s a “link to the formatted article,” or you can read it below.
Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Chunka Mui gave the closing keynote at the recent annual meeting of NIRI, the National Investor Relations Institute. Following that address, he engaged in a wide-ranging interview conducted by Michael Santoli, a senior editor of Barron’s. Santoli writes the “Streetwise” column, offering a forward-looking take on the financial markets, illuminating market trends and themes and identifying investment opportunities. Below is the video of that interview, divided into five parts.
Posted on Friday, April 10, 2009
As we wrote in our recent white paper, “Beyond Fear and Greed: Capitalizing on Opportunities in the Current Crisis,” immense opportunities await companies with the stability and wherewithal to take advantage of the recession and their competitors’ adversity. China seems to agree with us. Although some people have reasoned that the global downturn would hurt Chinese companies because they depend so much on exports, and would perhaps even cause political instability in the country, recent articles say Chinese companies are trying to take advantage of the crisis by being aggressive.
Posted on Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Because Google is now an 800-pound gorilla, it’s hard to remember just how slight its prospects were at birth a decade ago. If Yahoo hadn’t made Google the default search engine on the Yahoo site in 2000–giving Google both broad exposure and a big endorsement–it’s easy to imagine that few people would ever have heard of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft had its own version of Google technology being developed around the same time that Page and Brin were starting their company–but killed it for fear that the technology would cannibalize other revenue streams. Imagine how little chance Google would have had in a competition with Microsoft in the late 1990s, when Google was just a handful of people and a few million dollars of venture capital.