Crises are the best time to introduce big changes

“Major disruptions usher in new paradigms, in part to handle problems we never had before (e.g. an entire nation trying to work from home), in part because they break up the status quo such that inertial resistance to the new, the stuff that governs the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, is materially weakened. Ironically, that means coming back from a crisis is actually the best time to introduce wholesale changes. If you do not take advantage of this opportunity, if you simply restart the old engine, not only will you miss the window, you will marginalize your company’s future. The new paradigm will spread, faster than you expected, and by the time you realize you have to catch up, it likely will be too late.”

via the great Geofferey Moore


How Amazon makes better decisions

“At Amazon, the memo format allows every meeting where ideas are presented to turn into a deep debate of the idea’s relative costs and merits. This kind of criticism is even built into the memos themselves. Each memo is designed to be a full logical argument, complete with a reflexive defense of potential objections:
The point or the objective being discussed
How teams have attempted to handle this issue in the past
How the presenter’s attempt differs
Why Amazon should care (i.e., what’s in it for the company?)”

Via Ben Bashaw

right wrong concept

Individuals are better at developing ideas, groups are much more efficient at recognizing the best ideas

“Amazon involves the group, but only once the ideas are out there. Research tells us that while individuals are better at developing ideas, groups are much more efficient than individuals at recognizing the best ideas and figuring out how to implement them.”

Via Ben Bashaw

groups vs. individuals

The Innovator’s Dilemma in action: NO ONE can beat Amazon at their game

“The genius here is breathtaking. Walmart can’t follow, as they don’t own their distribution for last-mile commerce. Outside of Walmart, few firms have the balance sheet to pull this off. Maybe FedEx, UPS, or Prologis? But it’s unlikely they could make this sort of investment, this fast — it would be perceived as reckless.”

Via Scott Galloway


Leadership means taking chances (and willingness to be wrong)

“Leadership is the ability to convince people to work together in pursuit of a common goal. Bezos’s decision to spend billions to ensure the safety of his supply chain stems from a vision that’s obvious only after being crazy/genius.”

Via Scott Galloway

take a chance

The Rise and the Fall – it happens to everyone part 1

“During the 1990s, JCP, along with American Airlines, Citigroup, Exxon Mobil, Ford Motors, General Electric, IBM, Transocean, U.S. Steel, and Xerox were among the bluest of blue chips. These brands were global icons and were beacons of American ingenuity. At the peak of their powers, they were worth a collective $1.5 trillion, or 12% of the S&P 500.

But the world ground gradually shifted beneath their feet. Over time SUVs replaced sedans, email replaced the fax machine, and the internet replaced the department store. These 10 companies fell 70% from their peak, shedding over a trillion dollars in market cap in the process. Their value is unchanged since 1997.”


The Rise and the Fall – it happens to everyone part 2

“It’s really hard to see a future where Amazon loses power, but that could have been said about each and every one of the great companies of the past. Right now Peloton is “just” a company that sells bicycles and treadmills, but in 1997, Amazon was “just” a company that sold books online. Maybe it truly is different this time, but history suggests this isn’t something worth betting the farm on.

The rise and the fall is the business equivalent of the circle of life. The old and stodgy are replaced by the young and hungry. This is not merely a feature of the most dynamic wealth-creating machine ever, it’s the engine that drives it.”

rise and fall

Shrinking a Market

“In just three years, leveraging a disruptive technology (CD-ROM), cost infrastructure (licensed content versus in-house editorial teams), distribution model (retail in computer stores versus a field sales force) and pricing model ($99 versus $1000), the encyclopedia market was cut in half. More than half a billion dollars disappeared from the market. Microsoft turned something that Britannica considered an asset (a door-to-door salesforce) into a liability. While Microsoft made $100M it shrunk the market by over $600M. For every dollar of revenue Microsoft made, it took away six dollars of revenue from their competitors. Every dollar of Microsoft’s gain caused an asymmetrical amount of pain in the marketplace. They made money by shrinking the market.”

Via Margins


A lot of what we learn is unplanned

“Wondering if a lot of the benefit of proximity is intangible – it’s about the stuff you overhear and your peripheral vision. So, it doesn’t show up in what ‘I did today’, and you seem to be productive, but it does show up in ‘what I learnt this month, or this year’”

Via Benedict Evans