Random Thoughts On Maturing Companies and Start-Ups. When Do You Need A Reset?

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In an interesting conversation with clients this week and discussions were around the question: “should companies plan for the distant future (10 years and beyond) and what is needed to get out of a death spiral where a slow death is in the making?”

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There is a big difference between growing with age and growing old. With age, it sometimes comes with wisdom. With more than a dozen of C-suite execs that I have worked with or coached, for most of them, the wisdom came one day after they had passed the age of 50. Growing comes with age, which sometimes take away the energy and urge to make radical change. Ask…
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The Most Successful Wearable Design Is All About Balance, Benefit, Beauty And Behavior.

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This is the billion-dollar question: “How do we create the iPhone pr Walkman of wearables?” and “How do we create sub-ecosystems around these wearables?” At the CES who this year, you can still see everyone displaying their newest or not-so-new wearable ideas. No one can afford to miss the train but most of the wearables out there now are just toys and eventually will become thrown aways. I can't find a reason anyone would want to buy most these so called wearables. Google glass is officially a failed experiment, or at least for now. GoPro is a stellar success and Apple will enter that game soon. They have been granted a patent for a wearable camera…
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Do You Know What A Growth Strategy Is?

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This marks the end of another year. A very busy and fruitful year for us. Personally I was on the road for more than 200 days and I need to take a break – perhaps 3 days. What about my New Year's resolution? I need to cut down on drive and email. I need to cut down on attending unprodcutive meetings. I need to find three people to mentor that they can become the best. I need to revisit places from my childhood that were memorable. I need to back up my hard drive (I am 96 days behind). I need to produce a mini feature film and shot entirely with my HTC phone. I need…
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Action Cam King GoPro Is Turning Our Life Into A Movie. HTC and Others Also See The Opportunity.

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When I was at a GoPro event earlier this year I saw how the crowd reacted to it and it is more than a product, it is now a movement. The little mountable camera is a brilliant example of how innovation can shape the industry structure of digital imaging and created a new path of growth under the radar screen of all big players from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Lumix and others for cameras and the Logitech, Microsoft, HP and others for video cam.

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This little wearable camera company did an amazing job (now a US$10 Billion market cap company) invented a completely…
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How Do Breakthroughs Happen? Here’s My Little Secrets For Breakthroughs After Helping Executives For Decades..

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How do breakthroughs happen? Can they be engineered? Are they pure luck? Or are they the result of skills that we can develop and improve upon over time? Along with the fear of the unknown and the pressure to make it happen, breakthroughs come with an incredible sense of possibility and satisfaction.

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The experience of uncovering a breakthrough is exhilarating and hard to explain. It’s a sense of not knowing exactly where I am going, but knowing that I am going somewhere. Here’s my secrets to achieving breakthroughs:

Preserve the “Me”. The…
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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.

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Strategy Lessons From The Safari. There Is More Than Just The Survival Of The Fittest.

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I recently took my strategy and innovation class out of the classroom. Guess where we ended up? A safari or a zoo (whatever you want to call it). What’s a better place that teaching strategy where you can see the survival of the fittest. It was a suggestion from my students.

History is filled with examples of animal species with Dinosaurs as the lead example that were made extinct by their inability to adapt environmental change and the prediction from scientists is that there are more to come. An alarming finding that was published in the scientific journal Nature that suggested more than a million existing species could be extinct by 2050 because of climate change. Probably 80% of those species we have never heard of.


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What’s Next BlackBerry? You Need A Plan. You Can Have A Future. But You Need To Think Radical.

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I am a BlackBerry Fan. Or I was. Big one too! It is one of the best innovations for the working professional. I missed the old flywheel BlackBerry that I can throw it across the room and it survives. I was really hoping they could turn the company around and have a real strategy. The problem remains that the management is so disconnected with the real world and the engineering focus overshadowed the needs to create something beyond just a good user experience. The BlackBerry Z10 is a beauty. But that's not enough.

I don’t think the Fairfax deal is a good one. Fairfax, which already owns 10% of BlackBerry, plans to pay $9 per share…
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The Future of Wearables? Everyone Will Get It Wrong. And The Winner Won’t Be Google, Apple, Sony Or Microsoft.

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Wearable is hot. It is supper hot. The billion-dollar
question remains, “How do we create the iPhone of wearables?” and “How do we create
sub-ecosystems around these wearables?” and "What new business model opportunities will emerge?" The buzz is here but the money is not
here yet. Everyone is betting on it and no one can afford to miss the train. Most wearable out there are just toys for the geeks. I can't find a reason anyone wants to buy this Sony Watch. Wll now everyone can see my Facebook messages. What is dumb idea! OK I can use it to tell time and the weather.  Apple’s
iWatch or…
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What Do You Want A Smart Watch To Do For You? Or Do You Really Need One?

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So you’ve bought yourself a Pebble and you're showing off to your friends. May be you’re even one of
those thousands of people who crowd funded them for over $10m in pre-orders last year. In that case you will be among the first to receive $150 slim devices
that you can read e-mail, text and Facebook messages that sent from your
Smartphone.  I really can’t think
of a good reason to get one.

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I’ve seen dozens of different smart watches and
most of them are cool…
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