Disruptive innovation in practice
New Markets Blog
Read more in Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't (McGraw-Hill, 2011)
Herman Cain's politics may be controversial, but his ascent from unknown to front-runner is a feat that upstarts of all stripes would love to emulate. Cain has followed a classic strategy for attacking better-known and better-financed rivals. His approach holds lessons for aspiring businesses, and the distinctions between early-stage markets and early-stage voting provide important take-aways too. Read about them in my piece for Forbes.
Stephen Wunker is the Managing Director of New Markets Advisors and the Author of Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't.
The swarming private equity firms around Yahoo obscure a more radical pairing and business model for the company. Yahoo is not a classic private equity play, given the company's iffy prospects and cash flows. The property would do best with an owner able to create new opportunities to consume content and advertising.
But who? Microsoft, an oft-discussed suitor, has plenty of issues attracting people to its search and content offerings, and it may not need to double down its best through trying to save a platform in decline. Apple would be a much better match. Read my post at Forbes to see why.
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Research in Motion (RIM, maker of the BlackBerry) once disrupted the telecom industry through building a new market that the incumbents ignored. Today it is in the ironic position of being disrupted itself. The company's seeming solution -- doubling-down on serving highly demanding enterprise customers with its traditional business model -- is looking ill-fated. There are two alternatives for RIM to pursue. As with any company in an Innovator's Dilemma, these choices involve some short-term pain. Yet they also open doors to new sources of fast growth, and they would create ways to compete asymmetrically against firms trying to eat the company's lunch. Read more in my post at Forbes.
Stephen Wunker is the Managing Director of New Markets Advisors and the author of Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't.
With the best of intentions, companies embarking on innovation programs can make unwitting decisions that turn big ideas into small, incremental improvements. The experience of a global chemicals company is instructive. While the program's design led to thousands of process improvements, its very ambitiousness led to dysfunctional outcomes. Read my Forbes post on the topic to find out more, and to see how Royal Dutch Shell shows a different approach.
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Apple's Siri "intelligent assistant" is a truly remarkable piece of technology, but its most important financial impact may be on Apple's business model. Could Siri herald a move by Apple to sell services rather than hardware? That type of strategic shift could lead the company to become far more ubiquitious, and profitable, than seems possible today. Read more in my post at Forbes.
Stephen Wunker is Managing Director of New Markets Advisors and Author of Capturing New Markets: How Smart Companies Create Opportunities Others Don't
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