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by Alan Hargreaves



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Entries in start-ups (12)

Tuesday
Mar142017

Learning from drug dealers

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Addicts or Customers?

I begin my weekdays with a short exercise routine followed by a 20-minute meditation. Then its breakfast, a shower and into my office and online where I look at two news sites, check overnight markets, open my email inbox, AND, take a quick scroll through Facebook.

The last item is contentious. Much of Facebook’s content is odious. It feeds egos, disseminates fake views, betrays a variety of bigotries and provokes ideas I’d call unfathomable were they not so shallow. Yet, I do my morning scroll.

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Tuesday
Mar082016

Choosing ideas that get traction

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Why a marriage of convenience works

The test of any innovation is convenience. Does it make things easier? There are lots of inventions but few successes. Some are inspiring in their technical wizardry; others are aesthetically pleasing or inexpensive to produce. But they don’t get traction unless they make things more convenient.

For innovation to succeed, it has to mobilise either latent demand or latent supply, or both, and bring them together in a convenient package.

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Tuesday
Oct072014

Picking Winners

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Making decisions in times of rapid change

Why do managed funds invariably underperform the stock market? Even hedge funds – allegedly run by the smartest people in the room – have pretty poor performance.

Despite rigorous analysis, their decisions are still a guess. What’s more, it’s not a guess about whether they are right. It’s a guess about whether or not other people think that other people will think they are right.

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Tuesday
Jul012014

Planet of the Apps

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Old ideas for managing new technology.

Your business is ticking along nicely. Out of left field a low-cost start-up zooms into your market and starts picking off customers. They’re small, so they can cherry-pick. Their cost base is low and they undercut you. They sell via an app that’s soooo easy to use and they outsource delivery to a logistics firm that gets the product to the customer quicker than you can.

Welcome to the digital challenge.

It is hard to think of an industry where this isn’t happening. For many managers it’s overwhelming. Wherever they look, everyone is talking digital delivery on mobile devices. The sheer breadth and scale of new technology can be threatening. It’s constantly changing. How do you cope?

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Tuesday
Jun032014

Planned prosperity Vs lucky breaks

Googling Good Fortune.

In 1999, Sergey Brin and Larry Page took their fledgling product to George Bell, CEO of established search engine, Excite. Wishing to realize the value of their startup, they offered him Google for US$1m. Bell was unexcited, even when they dropped the price to US$750,000.

Both sides made bad decisions: the young entrepreneurs wanted to sell too much too soon; the potential buyer didn’t see the potential. For Brin and Page, it was one of their luckiest setbacks. For Excite, it was a missed opportunity. But that’s only with hindsight. Neither could have forecast the future.

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