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Apple v Google, not quite a death match

18 January 2011

Robert Lane Greene has written a sparkling account in Intelligent Life of the growing rivalry between Google and Apple. For years Steve Jobs was an inspiration to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and, Eric Schmidt sat amicably on Apple’s board until 2009. As Greene puts it, ‘the companies could have been a […]

Facebook and friendship

29 October 2010

The Social Network may be one of the best films ever made about the birth of a business, but it only tells a tiny part of the Facebook story. Its main theme is the friendship between Mark Zuckerberg and Eduardo Savarin that was a casualty of the business’s explosive growth, with the […]

Five more questions for market entrants

28 June 2010

In my last post I discussed five fundamental questions every business entering a new market needs to consider. In this one we consider the other five:

6. Does our value proposition give customers a compelling reason to choose us repeatedly?

7. How will we achieve an organisational culture that combines entrepreneurial […]

Questions for market entrants

June 23 2010

In Winners and Losers I aim to describe and explain, not to prescribe or predict. The success factors I identified for organisations that create new markets and establish lasting industry leadership certainly contain lessons for any business, but they’re mostly implicit. In my workshops for business audiences, I suggest ten any business […]

Zen and the small business

25 May 2010

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the authors of Rework, are right to call it ‘a different kind of business book for a different kind of reader’. With their passion for doing a few things really well it has some of the qualities of that enduring classic, Zen and the Art of […]

How to create a new market

28 April 2010

A striking example of the ubiquity of obliquity is that scarcely anybody sets out deliberately to create a new market, yet that is what nearly all of my subjects in Winners and Losers did. One exception is eBay – Pierre Omidyar’s idea was always to create ‘a perfect market’, a level-playing field […]

The iPad – nobody knows anything

4 February 2010

William Goldman’s aphorism about Hollywood producers failing to guess which movies will be hits is equally applicable to new products and technologies like the iPad. Our first impressions – especially when we haven’t even seen or touched one – are almost invariably wrong. The immediate reaction of most commentators when the iPod […]

In defence of heretics

4 December 2009

Cormac McCarthy announced this week that he is auctioning the Olivetti he has been using since 1963. Why do some people cling stubbornly to a technology that everyone else thinks is completely passé? Are they Luddites, or just wildly eccentric?

The questions reveal more about the unthinking conformism and intolerance of those […]

The end of email?

8 November 2009

This may be a bit rich coming from me, but perhaps expressions like ‘winners and losers’ and ‘creative destruction’ have reinforced a crudely gladiatorial view of the complex patterns of economic change. If Google is up , then Microsoft must be down or, as Gore Vidal put it apropos of […]