Ask questions! Ask why!

In workshops participants ask me what business model innovation would be best for their industry. I am always surprised about these kinds of questions.

I am not the expert for all industries. You are! You are the expert for what you are doing. The participants are the expert in their field. They know the idiosyncrasies of their industry, the hidden mental models of how their trade works. They understand the accepted rules of competition. They should know exactly what the customer values. They should have the insights in the customers’ behavior.  And they should find starting points for innovations.

I am not very creative. I was not great in art at school. I was a lousy painter, my brother helped me, I must admit. I never wrote a poem or composed music. But I am extremely curious. I was a pain in the neck for many. Continue reading Ask questions! Ask why!

Keynote on Business Model Innovation at Fraunhofer Gesellschaft

The THESUS program seeks to develop technologies and applications for the Internet of services. The program is sponsored by the German government and supported by German IT heavy weights like SAP or Siemens and technical universities in Germany.

The program is based on several use cases where technology is supposed to solve a real world problem. The aim of the program is to build with semantic technologies a new and better knowledge infrastructure. For webbies you can also call it Web3.0.

I was invited to give a keynote on business model innovation at a THESEUS workshop at the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Continue reading Keynote on Business Model Innovation at Fraunhofer Gesellschaft

Business Model Innovation on the Web

Yesterday, I gave a presentation at the InternetBriefing Zurich. Here it is. Enjoy it. I use Experteer, Linguee, blacksocks and digitalSTROM as case studies to illustrate business model innovation.

Slides from the course “Growth by business model innovation”

The slides are from my last lecture I gave at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg in Germany.

Money as the only differentiator

“We have to pay so high salaries otherwise we don’t get the right people” is often heard from firms even in the crisis.  Particularly the failed banking industry was very good in this salary death spiral. Salary was seen in this market as the only differentiators with great results.

I always wondered why the so highly paid managers could not find other reasons than money. Are they so uncreative that they had only the pricing mechanism as the only marketing tool in their recruiting process? Did they ever think about who they hired when money is the only reason why one should work for a particular bank? Can you develop a long-term oriented, customer centric bank when you have soldiers of fortune as employees? Have they every thought about what kind of culture they have created in this process? Have they ever thought about the customer experience they have created with a recruiting policy like that?

Well, the bankers will tell you they were driven by the short term orientation of the investors and the financial market in general. They will tell you that everybody was doing it so they had to do it as well. Continue reading Money as the only differentiator

Changing strategy reality

This video shows extremely well why companies just not need to do more of the same (MOTS) since it leads to more clutter. More clutter in features, more clutter in products, more clutter in advertising, more clutter in PR messages, more clutter of everything.

In this strange world of more of everything simplicity and clarity in your business model helps to find real differentiation, not just little differentiation but radical. Differentiation in the image, the message and the product helps but business model innovation where you create a fresh business model that is based on fresh customer insights is one key to reach this needed radical differentiation.

Enjoy the video by Scholz & Friends.

This video is particularly funny for all Germans that were socialized by the brands mentioned on the side line. Think that we have only limited brain capacity for each product category.

Amazon’s Kindle and new business models

Amazon recently introduced the new Kindle 2, a wireless reading device for books or an e-reader. While the German publishing industry at best sees the Kindle as a new distribution channel [update: link no longer available] for its current content and some even complain about the high cost of ebooks the Americans start thinking about what new things you can do with the Kindle.

That is a typical reaction for a technology that might change the existing business model, in this case the book publishing industry. The traditional way of thinking is how does the new technology perform compared to the existing technology. And from that point of view the Kindle is not as good as the paper book. Continue reading Amazon’s Kindle and new business models