Claude Monet’s Garden at Giverny Find clarity in the disparate and unrelated Seemingly random splotches of colour can become the fabric of a canvass— painting a beautiful picture—it all depends on perspective
Aging population Squeeze on healthcare budgets Not enough money left in social security for when I retire
Vancouver based franchise operation, founded 10 years ago by John DeHart and Ken Sim, has become the largest provider of at-home care for the elderly and with people with medical conditions. Hot-pink branded cards found in 55 communities across Canada Centralized appointment booking system, less admin work for caregivers Tough entry process and requirements to becoming a franchisor
Established in 2006 Brand promise: speed, convenience, service Focus on shorthaul flights, frequent routes needed by time sensitive business travelers Originally just flights to Ottawa and Montreal, now has over 16 travel destinations Brand is young and fresh, fly with dignity
Solve a problem: Back in 2004, Tobias Lütke was a 24-year-old German immigrant with a snowboard shop in Ottawa and a problem: no easy, efficient and cost-effective way to sell his boards online, hence no way to reach customers beyond the city limits. Sure, he could give an enterprise developer $100,000 or more to build an electronic storefront from scratch (where would he get that kind of dough?!). Or he could plug into existing e-commerce platforms from the likes of eBay or Yahoo (feature-impoverished, unscalable—in short, not good enough). &quot;We did a lot of online retail using Yahoo stores, but it really wasn&apos;t very good,&quot; recalls the slightly built, soft-spoken Lütke with a sad shake of his head. In the end, he did what any frustrated entrepreneur with world-class smarts and mad programming skills would do: he wrote his own software that would allow him to upload photos and prices for his boards, track inventory and accept credit-card payments.
Carnegie Mellon University professor Luis von Ahn‘s latest creation reCaptcha reCaptcha makes captchas more useful than just preventing spam; by tapping into the reportedly 150.000 hours spent daily typing in captchas, reCaptcha has users proofread book text that OCR could not recognize and which would otherwise have to farmed out to a Mechanical Turk or other distributed proofreader. Breaking up scanned text into small chunks for distributed processing by humans has been seen in various forms previously, including in banner ads (by inChorus, formerly Mycroft), but reCaptcha’s ingeniousness lies in making an otherwise cumbersome task worthwhile every single time.
Here’s how it works: Somebody who needs a webpage translated uploads it to Duolingo. That document then gets presented to Duolingo students who can translate it in order to practice the language they are learning. When the document is fully translated, Duolingo returns it to the original content owner who, depending on the type of document they uploaded, pays for the translation.
Information comes to us from everyone, sometimes feels louds, disparate and unweidly. It is often so intimidating, we often don’t know where to start In this social media era, where data is coming in at records speeds, visual and sound data is being codified, we are sitting in a ocean of information
One of the first steps is to draw associations between things that we know and using translation to draw conclusions about others Once we start to bring in form, give something a name, it will appear like something we know and understand
Then we can look deeper and discover groupings and trends and interrelationships between various data
Big data will also continue to permeate all facets of business, including creative industries. This has been seen with companies such as Netflix and Amazon, both of which have begun producing original TV content based on consumer viewing behavior, and production companies like Relativity Media, which has employed analytics algorithms to decide which movies to make.
Visualization tools such as Tableau and SAS Visual Analytics not only help to position data insights at the appropriate level of detail, but also to the appropriate segments, whether it’s customers or sales forces. An added benefit is that it combats the technical talent crunch.“For years we’ve been fretting that we don’t have enough people graduating from STEM [science technology engineering and math programs],” said Lucker. “But visualization allows people who are not analytics gurus to get insights out of complex stuff in a way they can absorb.”
Engage with Twitter TV fans in real time Identify program influencers and emerging trends in real time Measure the impact of organic and paid engagement with TV audiences Deepen their understanding of TV audience viewing behavior through TV, movie and brandaffinity metrics Access industry standard Twitter TV reach metrics to make ad buying and selling more efficient Make in-flight adjustments to live programming and advertising initiatives through better, immediate understanding of audience sentiment around characters, plots and brands Analyze Twitter TV data on a program, series or network basis over time and track progress in network or relative to competitors Drive audience tune in
Companies like Google sell their search engine big data to other companies to leverage for advertising purposes (Ad Sense) Other companies accessing aggregate data (ie. Fitbit, etc) will inevitably selling their data to interested parties for their financial gain
Affdex is an award-winning neuromarketing tool that reads emotional states such as liking and attention from facial expressions using an ordinary webcam...to give marketers faster, more accurate insight into consumer response to brands, advertising and media. It uses automated facial expression analysis recognition, also called facial coding, to analyze your face and interpret your emotional state
Machine learning is the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed. In the past decade, machine learning has given us self-driving cars, practical speech recognition, effective web search, and a vastly improved understanding of the human genome. learning algorithms to building smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and other areas.
Predict the likelihood of a future purchase based on a customer’s age, gender and transaction history. Determine a patient’s risk of developing a specific medical condition and begin preventive care. Catch a greater percentage of fraudulent claims and settle legitimate claims more quickly. Forecast when automotive parts are likely to fail and notify customers before problems occur.
Overly influenced by the tried and tested Lack of data of experience to confirm new ideas Lack of alternatives Personal experiences, inferences, background
--fear of failing --fear of losing job --fear of losing status quo --fear of increasing workload, adding uncertainty or creating change
We’re too big. We’re too small. We can’t do that. We tried that before. I can’t make a decision that senior. We’re just starting out. We don’t have that much money. Our investors would never allow that. Legal and compliance Risk mitigation
During World War II, Japanese fights conducted suicide attacks on allied naval vessels In the attempt to “protect” their nation, the soldiers lost their lives
When setting off to sea to discover new lands, how could captains be assured that their crew would be dedicated to the great unknown ahead…. By burning the old ships that brought them there. To truly do something new, one must shed the old and bring on the new…
In the new creative economy, the motivation has moved from “billable hours” to “outcomes” 1969 Edward Deci conducted the Soma Experiment which became the foundation of today’s behavioural economics
Malcolm Gladwell in the Outliers: Mastery: the 10,000 hour rule and the asymptote
Purpose: The Rider and the Elephant Metaphor (Chip and Dan Heath: Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard) An emotional/automatic/irrational side (the elephant) An analytical/controlled/rational side (its rider). According to the model, the rider is rational and can plan ahead, while the elephant is irrational and driven by emotion and instinct. We have to find the balance between the two. Changes often fail because the Rider simply can’t keep the Elephant on the road long enough to reach the destination. The Elephant’s hunger for instant gratification is the opposite of the Rider’s strength, which is the ability to think long-term, to plan, to think beyond the moment (all those things that your pet can’t do.) … To make progress toward a goal, whether it’s noble or crass, requires the energy and drive of the Elephant. And this strength is the mirror image of the Rider’s great weakness: spinning his wheels. The Rider tends to overanalyze and over think things. … A reluctant Elephant and a wheel-spinning Rider can both ensure nothing changes. But when Elephants and Riders move together, change can come easily.”
Welterweight Royce Gracie (whose Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a judo variant) out-thought, out-grappled and out-leveraged his rivals—some of them 50 pounds heavier than he—to win title after title. In 1994, in a four-round championship bout, it took Gracie less than five minutes total to defeat his final three opponents. In combat, judokas use motion, balance and leverage to overcome opponents&apos; superior size and weight. In business, you can do the same. Achieving success despite limited resources is the essence of entrepreneurship. By understanding the principles of judo, you can learn to spot your competitors&apos; weak points and use their strengths against them.
Take Red Bull. The iconic energy drink was a penniless import from Austria when it entered the U.S. in 1997. Coke or Pepsi could have KO-ed the upstart had either foreseen the spectacular growth of the energy-drink category. But Red Bull made it tough for them by promoting itself to the Anti-Pepsi Generation. Instead of depicting clean-cut kids sipping cola on a beach in its ads, Red Bull embraced extreme sports such as cliff-diving and street luge. The company revelled in its outlaw image and gladly let people believe that its ingredients included the most private parts of a bull. Although Coke launched its own energy drink, it was a half-hearted effort; Red Bull&apos;s marketers knew the all-American brand would struggle in this unruly market. Today, Red Bull&apos;s U.S. sales are estimated at US$3.4 billion.
Anthony Lacavera To demonstrate how a smaller business used a giant&apos;s market clout against it, Agrawal looked closer to home: Wind Mobile versus Rogers Communications. An aggressive mobile upstart, Wind faced a tricky question. What prices would be low enough to attract customers but high enough to keep established telcos from killing it in a price war? Wind had one point of leverage: it was targeting only select cities. An incumbent wanting to match Wind&apos;s prices would have to offer the same deal Canada-wide—turning its huge footprint into a liability. &quot;Rogers was reluctant to lower its price because it had too much to lose,&quot; explains Agrawal. According to the judo strategy, Wind simply had to find the price point that would enable the telcos to retain just enough customers to keep profitability higher than if they launched a price war. So long as Wind stayed just shy of that &quot;line of indifference,&quot; says Agrawal, it could keep growing stealthily. Avoid tit-for-tat: Resist &quot;escalatory moves&quot; that could drag you into a war of attrition, the authors advise. When fledgling online auctioneer eBay faced incursions from Yahoo and Amazon, many eBay executives recommended cutting prices and increasing spending. But then-CEO Meg Whitman held her ground, keeping eBay focused on low-cost marketing to hobbyists and collectors. By refusing to get into a firefight, eBay preserved its margins, and the interlopers eventually retreated.
Countless aspiring entrepreneurs have lost sleep thinking of ways to crack into an established industry. Jay Klein knows all about it. The Toronto-based CEO and founder of specialty chewing gum manufacturer PÜR Gum has gone from starting up an also-ran among the Tridents and Wrigleys of the world to running a firm that offers the top-selling gum in the health-food market worldwide—all in just a few short years. Klein spoke to PROFIT recently about taking on giants, competitive differentiation and the importance of starting small. PROFIT: The chewing gum business is dominated by giants that in some cases have been around for more than a century. Why did you choose such a tough vertical? JAY KLEIN: I started a marketing company right out of university. In that business, we did a lot of event-based things, and the growth of the business was compounded year over year. But I&apos;d always get nervous, because every year, once January 1st came around, we&apos;d have to start with nothing again. Whereas when your business is in consumables, you have repetitive ordering patterns. I wasn&apos;t married to the gum business, but I wanted to get into a business in which we provided a product that people needed on a regular basis. I&apos;m a tangible guy; I wanted to be involved with something you could buy, have, consume and buy again. Of course, I knew nothing about logistics, distribution or the process of selling gum. I was really just blind and eager to try something. PROFIT: Explain your initial attempts to crack the market. JK: At the start, we were selling a regular gum sweetened with chemical sweeteners. We were just another product; there was no real point of differentiation. It wasn&apos;t a success. Retailers were asking for new and innovative products; we were like: &quot;This is still new to us; we can&apos;t keep up with the innovation of the big guys.&quot; I&apos;d sample our gum in airplanes, which is great because it&apos;s a captive audience; people have nowhere to go. I&apos;d offer our gum and would listen to feedback. When people would say, &quot;I don&apos;t chew gum,&quot; I&apos;d ask why. My rookie blind eyes had assumed everyone chewed gum. People would tell me they didn&apos;t chew gum because it had aspartame, or whatever the reason was. I heard that a few times and thought, &quot;Maybe there&apos;s a market to be in the specialty chewing gum business.&quot; I decided to change course and go after the specialty market by providing an aspartame-free, gluten-free, vegan, diabetic-friendly product that also tastes great. We&apos;d start out very small, and grow a business up. PROFIT: So, you decided to restructure the business. What was your sales approach? We started by targeting smaller chains, such as Strictly Bulk and Noah&apos;s, as well as some independent health-food stores. It took a lot of discipline and a lot of patience to stay on task. As unsexy as it was to get a $75 or $100 order, we wanted to create a pool of very loyal customers. And the best way to do that was really the door-to-door approach—we call it &quot;running for mayor&quot;—in which we spent a lot of time educating, sampling and working with independent retailers to introduce our gum. It&apos;s a very boring strategy in such a &quot;now&quot; environment. But I wasn&apos;t looking for a quick hit. I wanted something slow and steady. PROFIT: How did you use that foundation to get your products on the shelves of larger chains? JK: We created a following of customers, and we were able to figure out the shopping pattern of where they were going. Those people will start at a health-food store but then might pick something up at, say, Rexall. We were able to share that story with Rexall, which persuaded Rexall to give us the opportunity to sell in its stores.
One Canadian upstart practicing judo is Toronto-based Kira Talent, a company founded last year by The Next 36 students. Kira developed a video-auditioning system that enables companies to evaluate job candidates based on their recorded responses, which in turn helps the clients reduce recruiting costs. CEO Emilie Cushman says Kira started out tackling a range of markets, from retail to professional services, but soon realized &quot;we were going after way too much.&quot; With Utah-based rival HireVue dominating the corporate space, Kira opted to focus on academic institutions that have to interview hundreds of program candidates. Today, Kira sells to most of Canada&apos;s top business schools, as well as elite universities in the U.S. and Australia. &quot;Focusing on one market lets you dive deep, focus your marketing and talk to your customers in a consistent way,&quot; says Cushman. Kira is leveraging its limited resources and deferring face-to-face competition until it&apos;s ready to meet industry leaders in the ring.
Up Sell Introduce free basic offering to gain widespread use and then charge a premium version
Sustaining or incremental VS disruptive
Cisco was rejected by 76 venture capital firms before receiving funding Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team John Grisham was rejected by a couple of dozen publishers before getting his first big deal
Is disruption a good or bad thing? It depends on what side of the fence you are sitting on: the innovators or the old, slow dinosaur who is too afraid or tired to change? Either way it is a challenge to the status quo. And disruption patterns are accelerating as technology deepens. What used to be a 20-30 year average industry life cycle has diminished to a 5-6 year. Hence the need for continual innovation.
Take a look at the speed of change with technology. In the 80s, people were using phones the size of computers. The ipad was just released in 2010. Now you hear people saying that iphones are on their way out and androids are the way to go.
Solid industries like music and television are quickly being replaced. Started with music stations, to itunes to satellite radio to free curation sites like Songza and Grooveshark
Same with traditional television and paying networks and providers large sums of money to provide you with entertainment, With options like Crackle, Hulu, popcornflix, no one is paying for anything anymore. Youtube is also opening up the production company marketplace so anyone with enough video “hits” can make money
3D printers is what I’m mostly excited about, democratizing manufacturing to the average person has endless economic ramifications --removing expensive 3rd party manufacturers --near-sourcing and not having to have items made in China --possibility to disrupt multiple industries including the courier services—especially if items could one day be sent to someone’s personal “3-D” printer: Spoc would be proud, the modern day version of “beam me up”
Travis Kalanick: CEO of Uber (car sharing service valued at 3.4B), very polarizing character, difficult to get along with,
Challenging for performance reviews and promotions
--formal and informal work networks --power structure --group roles --job descriptions
Genius Unleashed--Fostering Innovation Within Organizations
Spurring a Culture of Innovation Within
A genius ( jē-nē-əs)ˈ is something or
someone embodying exceptional
intellectual ability, creativity, or
originality, typically to a degree that is
associated with the achievement of
Count the number of letter “t’s” in this
Assumption: n. 1. The act of taking for granted or
supposing. 2. To believe as true. Hypothesize. 3.
To provisionally conjecture based on existing facts
or perceptions. 4. To attempt to explain some
specified group of occurrences or to accept as
highly probable in the light of established facts.