Towards sustainable startups

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Prepared for SSC presentation to TEKES BIO-IT meeting September 2013

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Towards sustainable startups

  1. 1. Towards Sustainable Start-ups Sheila Ash Strategic Scientific Consulting September 2013
  2. 2. Transform ideas into revenue stream
  3. 3. Best is not always most successful • BetaMax had 4 advantages over VHS – Sharper picture – Faster tape-winding mechanism – Smaller cassettes – Problem free high-speed duplication • Sony cut back on promotional activity once selling well • With little or no BetaMax product placement and marketing about, potential customers only saw, and bought, VHS
  4. 4. Brilliance is not everything • Development cost > $100M • Aimed at $300 billion-plus transportation industry • To be used on factory floors, in offices, in parks, on battlefields, on downtown sidewalks, displacing cars from city centres • But unable to wow regulators – still not allowed on roads in most countries • Relegated to one market segment - theme parks Electric vehicle, mimics human body's ability to maintain balance – gyroscopic stabilisation system.
  5. 5. Customer is king • Wowed its stakeholders • the recording industry and musicians • providing a wide-scale music distribution system • preserving artists rights and revenues • Created a comprehensive solution - hardware (iPod) and content (iTunes) • Delighted its customers way beyond what its customers originally expected - music anywhere, anytime not the first mp3 player not always the cheapest
  6. 6. The Remarkable Apple of Success • Product development driven by want/need, not by technology • Non techie customer majority wants simplicity – Apple adopts a “keep things simple” mantra – Ease of use paramount – Limited range of products • The Apple Store is the embodiment of these principles – All staff speak with confidence about every Apple product – 50% of buyers are new to Apple • Designers at Apple strive “to make something that they love. So they know that other people will love it too” • “Our goals are very simple — to design and make better products. If we can’t make something that is better, we won’t do it.” Jonathan Ive, Apple Designer
  7. 7. Lessons • Keep it simple • Be the best you NEED to be • Ensure ALL staff speak with confidence about ALL your products • Court stakeholders • Listen, listen and listen again to customers/potential customers • Deliver to them what they WILL buy • Brilliance is not everything – remember the Segway • Best is not always most successful – remember BetaMax v VHS • Customer is king, and kings like an easy life – remember Apple

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