Jan 07

Bruce Nussbaum has recommendation for 10 books on innovation. I think it is a great list. 🙂

Here goes for the 10 top books on innovation for 08:

1- The Opposable Mind: How Successful Leaders Win Through Integrative Thinking by Roger L. Martin.

2- Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction by Thomas K. McCraw.

3- Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing Out of Sync? Seth Godin.

4- The Design of Future Things by Don Norman.

5-Innovation Nation by John Kao.

6- Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams.

7-The Future of Management by Gary Hammel.

8- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

9- The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda.

10- Everyday Engineering: What Engineers See, by Andrew Burroughs.

NussbaumOnDesign 10 Best Books On Innovation To Get You Through The Recession. – BusinessWeek

Dec 09

McKinsey published a new article on 8 new Business Technology trends. It is a great article. Please register at McKinsey site to read the complete article. Following are 8 Trends to watch according to Mckinsey.

  1. Distributing Cocreation (Managing Relationships)
  2. Using Consumers as innovators (Managing Relationships)
  3. Tapping into World of Talent (Managing Relationships)
  4. Extracting more value from interactions (Managing Relationships)
  5. Expanding the frontiers of automation (Managing Capital and assets)
  6. Unbundling production from delivery (Managing Capital and assets)
  7. Putting more science into management (Leveraging information in new ways)
  8. Making business from Information (Leveraging information in new ways)

You can register for Mckinsey newsletter at http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com.



Oct 28

Found a great article on 9 companies that lost 2 Billion dollars. Please read the full article at : http://www.nationalpayday.com/education/news/Tech_Companies_Who_Lost.asp

My comments:

  • Webvan: Business model just did not fit the Super market industry.
  • Pets.com: Great example where the company just could not clarify its value prop.
  • Kozmo.com: Raised 250 million and spend 150mil in advertising with starbucks. What were they thinking?
  • Flooz.com: I just think there idea of online currency was just stupid.
  • eToys.com: Good ideas are not enough. Understanding your competition is critical too. Competing with Amazon + Toys R Us.. JJ
  • Go.com: I think the competition was just too good for them. Yahoo and Google are not easy to compete with.
  • Boo.com: This is a great example where Technology is not used to solve business problem but business is used to showcase technology. What were they thinking? Did they sell technology or goods?
  • GovWorks.com: Companies are formed by teams and when the core team is lost the company is lost too.
  • MVP.com: Just big names mean nothing in business.


Jul 19

Following is a Core Brand Values pyramid. The concept is simple to build a brand you need to focus on all aspects of the pyramid.

Source: “Building Customer-Based Brand Equity…”, Marketing Management, 2001

Following is an example of using the pyramid applied to Toyota Prius…

Jul 19
  1. Who are you? Identity
  2. What are you? Meaning
  3. What about you? What do I think or feel? Response
  4. What about you and me? Relationships
Jun 13

Evaluating costs can be expensive and time consuming. Following is a table with some guidance on which costs you should consider for different decisions you would like to make.

Incremental Costing

For simple pricing decision

Incremental Costing

For pricing with incremental investment

Total Costing

For measuring overall business profitability

unit Price

incremental VC per unit

= contribution margin / unit

incremental revenue

incremental variable cost

= incremental contribution

incremental fixed costs

= net incremental


sales revenue

total variable costs

= total contribution

incremental fixed costs

= net contribution

non-incremental fixed & sunk costs

= net profit




The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing

Jun 09

There are 3 primary strategies in pricing any product. Following are the 3 strategies and advantages of each.

  • Skimming: Make money by charging higher prices.
  • Penetration: Price lower and gain market share.
  • Neutral: Be competitive with competition.

Following table shows few differences between these strategies.

The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing

Jun 09

Price setting is one of the key tasks in any business. Following one process you can follow to set pricing…

The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing

Jun 09

No segmentation can be successful without having good fences. What do I mean by fences? Fences are techniques to keep people from moving across segments. You do not want people in higher price segment to move to lower price segment. Following are few ways of building fences and e.g. of each category

  • Buyer Identification: Student and senior discounts.
  • Time of Purchase: Pay more in peak hours, Different prices for cell phone minutes
  • Purchase Location: Amusement park tickets are cheaper on internet vs. when you buy at ticket counter
  • Volume or Purchase Quantity: Group discounts for shows
  • Product Bundling: Buy one get one free
  • Tie-Ins: Contracts like cell phone contracts for 2 years
  • Metering: Paying Electricity bill based on meters.
May 26

Segmentation is one of the key functions of marketing. Company’s profitability depends on customer segmentation. Value based segmentation techniques talks about defining segmentation based on value placed by customers on the product. Following are 6 steps in defining Value based segementation

  1. Determine basic segmentation criteria that create “natural fences” between customer groups
  2. Identify discriminating value drivers
  3. Determine your operational constraints and advantages with regard to those value drivers
  4. Create primary segments based on overlap of customer needs and your internal constraints, and secondary segments based on most important needs
  5. Create detailed segment descriptions for easier identification in the field
  6. Develop metrics and fences to operationally separate conceptual segments

Good value based segmentation has following characteristics:

  • Based on the segment’s profit potential — i.e., the value the segment receives relative to your operational ability to service the segment
  • Needs between segments are different enough that you can design different offerings at different price points
  • Able to facilitate the creation of product/service offerings
  • Based on identifiable criteria that easily separate one segment from another
  • Helps managers to make better marketing and pricing decisions (statistical significance is a nice-to-have, not a necessity)

Actionable in the field, i.e. easily enabling customers to make trade-offs between offerings and willingness to pay

The Strategy and Tactics of Pricing