Hardware manufacturers are trying to sell tablets to end users. Acer, HP and others have produced all kinds of interesting variations on the concept. Samsung’s doing really well at it and have More »
Dave Carroll is one of life’s nice guys. He’s also a pretty good musician. Having created the viral sensation of the United Breaks Guitars video (11.6 million hits and counting) that told More »
I am happy to say that Project Management Survival is now available in Chinese as well as Latvian. The Polish version seems stuck in the works somewhere. Good job I wasn’t managing More »
Hardware manufacturers are trying to sell tablets to end users. Acer, HP and others have produced all kinds of interesting variations on the concept. Samsung’s doing really well at it and have produced perhaps the first credible alternative to an iPhone in their Galaxy series. However, the business model of these companies is predicated on making a profit on the hardware itself.
Now the rumour is that Amazon makes no money at all on Kindle devices (possibly even making a loss) as their approach is the classic shaver and blade model. You buy a razor but companies like Gillette make the money on selling you blades. Amazon wants you to buy content from them (and with more ebooks now sold than the paper equivalent they are clearly doing a good job).
In a similar way, Google has the Play infrastructure to sell you the apps that run on Android devices and so can subsidise the Nexus 7 tablet (as creating users who buy apps and buy into the Android ecosystem is more important than shifting hardware to them.
There is a lot of talk about the two-sided business model in telecoms. I’ve chaired several panels where the issue of the explosion of content has hit against the challenge of delivering this. However, there is something fundamental at play. Two different industries are effectively destroying each other. Where you view the battle from will influence how you perceive right and wrong.
The telecoms industry has provided the ability for users to download material over ever faster fixed networks and also mobile networks. This has become the avenue by which copyright theft from content owners has occurred.
I was looking at a blog about choosing a mentor today. There were some good questions but here are a few that I thought were useful that I didn’t see.
The word ‘my’ is used to illustrate the point – not because I’m looking for a mentor.
- What ‘unfair’ advantages can you bring to my business? Special relationships, knowledge of the value chain, contacts, credibility to help get investment etc.What have you done to demonstrate you can help my business in my particular industry?
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From Qatar to Australia the talk has been of government driven, national broadband networks. Having created one from scratch with the Ventura Team partners – it’s an extraordinary complex undertaking and requires careful setting up. Anyone can waste money, but using national resources wisely and getting low cost broadband to the masses is the objective.
We’ll be talking more about this topic soon but the picture shows Doha, which looks like becoming the most dynamic place in the GCC. It was fascinating to see people working away like ants from the dizzy heights of a major tower.
Company X decided to negotiate for a few extra million dollars off their network capex. The delay cost them a loss of $50 million in revenue over five years. Changing the timing of capex payments took an NPV of 7 million on a project up to 45 million. There’s too much theoretical stuff going on and not enough pragmatic thinking.
Ten years ago, I had a discussion with a friend who was a serious rower. He's not Sir Steve Redgrave but understands what it takes to win. His assertion was that teams don't have to like each other to perform. In fact they can downright hate each other and still do the job. It was alleged that Eric Cantona would never pass to striker Andy Cole at Manchester United for example.
At the time I wasn't convinced that the sporting metaphor could translate to business. I'm certain now – he was wrong.
I love the phrase “unfair advantage.” Peter Crouch is a striker at Stoke who towers over defenders and so gets more than his fair share of headers. I always look for the same thing in startups (and I don’t mean tall people).
So what can these advantages be?