7 Important Business Lessons You Can Learn From a Bank Robbery

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During a bank robbery in China, the bank robbers dressed in fake Hugo Boss fashion, carrying AK47s shouted to everyone as they rushed into a bank: "Everyone don't move. This is a robbery. The money belongs to the People. Your life belongs to you. Your designer handbag we will not take. We don’t take your IDs and we are not identity thefts, that’s not ethical at all. We will take only the money from the bank."

This is called “Staying Focus!”

The older robbers shouted “Don’t do any tricks. I know them because I used to work in a bank too. Just do as you are told.” One guys asked. “Which bank did you work for?”. He replied “The Sperm Bank. But we never had…
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The Competitive Advantage Of Switzerland. Is It Sustainable? Is It Replicable? It Is Where Design Thinking Is In Action.

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We are trying to fix the world, the companies and many of our wicked problems that were mostly 100% man-made. Economists, policy makers, academics are spending too much studying our dysfunctional organizations and societies and trying to figure out why the high level of poverty, joblessness and hopelessness and how we are struggling with competing against low-cost producers and how low-cost producers are struggling with ultra-low-cost producers. The reasons are quite obvious and the problem is at a systemic and structural level. Capitalism has been suffering from major setbacks for the last 10 years and the future in its curent form is uncertain.

Switzerland has…
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Apple Should Forget The Movie Studios. Go After The Banks Instead. I Want My iMoney.

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This sign is up for our San Francisco office. The archtiects and the girls are working day and night to get this right and a lot of furniture are still in the Atlantic Ocean. Shipping furniture from Europe to US is always slow. Hey we need to get the righ stuff we need to wait.

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Congrats to Nick Hughes (managing director of Signal Point Partners and LBS alum) for picking up the Social and Economic award at the Economist Innovation Awards a few weeks ago held at the Science Museum in London. Nick was…
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What Is The Future Of Mobile Phones? Will There Be A Physical Phone? The Future Is Interesting.

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Where is mobile going? It is the hottest space right now to be in and will remain so for another 10 years as it evolves and converges. Not sure what mobile means when most devices will have the wireless networking capability be it 4G or 5G. VOIP will remain a disruption for years to come as it takes over older telco infrastructures now threatening mobile operators that have yet to embrace VoIP and will suffer the consequences. Frost & Sullivan sees a bright future where mobile VoIP will generate $29.57 billion by 2015. iPhone and iPad and the apps that are now allowed to make VoIP calls is a series threat to carriers’ revenue and they will…
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What’s The Latest Innovation From Credit Card Companies? It Is Time For Them To Do More. We Need To Have Spend Control Mechanism Embedded In Credit Cards.

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Credit card fraud continues to be an issue, for banks as well for customers. I remember 15 years ago they tried putting photos on credit cards, I am not sure why they stopped doing that, that seems to be a simple solution to reduce fraud.

Now they are turning to technology to do the job, but often it solves one problem but creates another one. Think about the RFIP credit card, the idea makes sense since all you need to wave your card at the cashier and the chip supplies the card's number and expiry date through radio waves and print our a receipt. There is no opportunity for criminals to copy it since the card remains…
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Every Business Needs A New Operating System. Even The World Needs A New Operating System. It Is What Strategic Innovation Is All About. The Future Is Not Only Close, It Is Already Here.

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In a few short months, Idea Couture will be celebrating another anniversary and some people have been here for two years and some three. It was Jackie’s second year’s anniversary last week (thank you Jackie) and it will three for Adam, Morgan and Nick pretty soon, and as we add new people every month and some are spreading across different geographies, it will be harder and harder for everyone to know everyone well. That’s just the life. And I am lucky (also by design) that we have been able to attract the brightest and the smartest. I am grateful to everyone of them who made the decision to take that journey with us.

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Don’t Believe The 98% Innovaiton Failure Rate. It Is Just A Myth. Here Are My Top Five Innovation Tips.

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Here's a picture of us having a welcome lunch outdoor with our new co-head of multidisciplinary design Jesse D (a Texan and Arts Center grad who has been living in Asia for many years). I first met with him in Shanghai 6 months ago and finally he landed here after 30 hours of flight time. He is still living in a suitcase for now but I am looking forward to have him participating in some of our very exciting innovation projects. Innovation needs more design mind.

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Innovation is hard in many ways. What is hard about innovation? Finding new ideas is not hard. Building an innovative culture is hard. Turning ideas into product/services that people love…
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Are Large Businesses Becoming Too Complex To Be Managed And Their Business Models Are Hard To Understand? Or This Is Where The Real Competitive Advantage Lies?

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My friend Mark Ury sent me a link to a piece on "The Collapse of Complex Business Models". I couldn't help but put my thoughts on the next post. There are so many myths about business strategy and business models. People used these words casually.

What is a strategy? Difficult question indeed and often a business strategy is very complex. Sometimes they are very simple, the business strategy for Walmart is buy cheap and sell cheap and create market power based on scale and probably the most advanced supply chain information systems (and the lowest possible operational cost structure). The business strategies for Google, Sony or GE or Apple (with the exception of Jobs himself) are complex indeed and even senior executive inside the company may not…
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What Is White Space Mapping? Beyong The Core And Adjacencies, How Do We Identify And Map Out The Most Relevant Elements Of Future Competitive Space?

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When people talk about exploring white space in innovation, often they refer externally to unserved markets or businesses that are outside their core. It is basically where unmet and unarticulated needs are uncovered to create innovation opportunities. White space is where where products and services don’t currently exist based on the present understanding of values. White space is also a tool that allows us to look at the landscape with new lenses. White space can moreover be defined as a unique set of attributes, identifying new openings where your competitors currently aren’t focusing or it is being considered part of what traditionally considered a remotely different industry.

White space is also an important outcome of a customer inquiry and discovery process that leads to new profit…
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Emotion Detection Technology Will Become Mainstream. You Can Decide Not To Pick Up The Phone When Your Boss Is Angry.

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The financial crisis has pretty much stalled all start-up investment activities but now there are signs that they are slowing coming back. Among a few cool companies on the radar is Exaudios. It is the equivalent of a lie detector but works more like an emotional detector. They can analyze the intonation of someone’s voice when they call you on your cell to see if he or she is calm, stressed out, cheerful or simply angry. They claim that it is up to 80% accuracy. I have been playing with the idea for a while and I think they have solved some of the key technical challenges.

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Their strategy is to sell this…
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