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Showing posts from May, 2011

Kacharagadla Featured Article

The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable. For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Somestudiessuggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, butothersshow that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with somestudiesshowing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, butothersarguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said fast…

8 Ways to Turn Partnerships into Profits

Every potential partnership has two customers and every successful partnership delights them both. Very few companies have the resources and know-how to successfully produce products and also distribute them. While this constraint weighs most heavily on cash strapped start-ups, even a behemoth like MicrosoftMSFT +0.11%sells through distributors and Heinz relies on Kroger to pump out its best-selling ketchup.
In a marketplace gone global, productive partnerships are more crucial than ever. Partnering has become so critical that the word “coopetition” had to be coined to describe companies that partner in some areas while competing in others. Yet very few partnerships ever deliver on their symbiotic promise. Why? The single biggest mistake we make in our partnership efforts is selling potential partners as if they were end users. While the interests of partners and end-users must overlap they are seldom if ever identical Back in the 1980s, Data Broadcasting Corporation (DBC) developed a…