Separating the wheat from the chaff…
I know I’ve gone dark for a couple of weeks since my return from Silicon Valley. Suzi and I have been absorbed by due diligence for an investment that we’ve now decided to go forward with. More on that in a later post.
We’ve also been thinking through Suzi’s new consultancy. It’s based on her 30-year immersion in the most advanced wellness, nutrition and alternative health philosophies and practices. More on that later, too.
Today’s thoughts organize around the challenge of extracting something actionable and useful out of the tons of topical reading I’ve been doing since firing myself from the training biz. In support of my strategic goal of identifying an emerging, high-impact problem upon which to base a high-value new business, I embarked on the (indulgent, though necessary, I felt) first step of reinserting myself into the idea stream. It proved as intellectually stimulating as I’d hoped. Unfortunately, each blog exposed me to other interesting ones, etc., until the stream became a torrent, fed by a fire hose. My RSS reader is now at paralysis density, so it’s time to thin the herd in a serious way.
One benefit of ingesting so much information in a short period is that you’re able to see patterns. One that I’ve noticed is the degree of product-centricity that defines much of the dialog, i.e., most of the innovation conversation is about product. Far less is about distribution, pricing, business-building, etc. This appears true to a lesser degree in the tech world, where there is a robust debate about how pricing, distribution and user behavior are driving entirely different business models. So many other industries, however, appear to be focused largely on divining ways to revive dissipated demand within their existing business model, which implies — to me, anyway — that they may not see or acknowledge the need to do things completely differently.
This brings me to a wonderful, feet-firmly-on-the-ground blog post today in Venture Beat by Dharmesh Shah, “10 Things Business Schools Won’t Teach You.” It qualifies as a wise reminder that although much is changing radically in the global economy, certain principles never fade in importance. Number two on Mr. Shah’s list is “There are always more things to do than there is time to do them. Startups are a continuous exercise in deciding what not to do. You can sometimes win by just not doing things faster than your competition.”
These two sentences crystallized for me my need to dial back the information flow, arbitrarily if need be, and start testing some of the “seems like…” observations I’ve accumulated in recent weeks.
Filed under: Inspiration, Read Unusual Things | 2 Comments