All Dollars Are Not Equal: The Crucial Difference between Good, Neutral & Bad Revenue

This post originally appeared on PhilipLay.com. To read the post from the original source click here.

good-neutral-bad-revenue

Summary:

  • Strategy is about making choices, including what type of revenue to pursue – and what type not to accept.
  • Thus, all (revenue) dollars are not equal – some revenue is very good for your company, while other types of revenue can do serious harm to the value of your business.
  • To get a sense of where your company stands, take the Good-Neutral-Bad Revenue test below.
  • Developing clear rules of engagement to test revenue opportunities for their potential impact is fairly straightforward, but managers still need to have the intestinal fortitude not to give in to the temptation to chase the wrong opportunities, especially when the pipeline is a bit lean.

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The Chicken & The Pig – The Critical but Elusive Art of Making Strategic Alliances Work

This post originally appeared on PhilipLay.com. To read the post from the original source click here.

chicken-pig-eggs-ham

The Chicken & The Pig – The Critical but Elusive Art of Making Strategic Alliances Work | Philip Lay

Summary:

  • Strategic alliances are commonly regarded as critical to the success of small as well as large tech companies. Yet, the failure rate of these initiatives is disturbingly high – some experts claim it to be as high as 80%.
  • The reasons vary, from misaligned goals to unclear strategy, and from wobbly commitment to poor execution, but what is very clear is that they cost dearly in terms of wasted effort, sunk cost and, worse, opportunity cost.
  • The remedy is not complex in concept, though interestingly it does requirean outsized degree of thought and action leadership, strategic rigor, role clarity, strong governance, and committed execution, particularly on the part of the smaller partner.

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Yahoo! – Going Up a Down Escalator (Part 2)

Down Escalator

By Paul Wiefels

In the first installment, I commented on Yahoo’s constellation of woes including weakness in its core business, declining share price, management turnover, and uncertainty about how to monetize the company’s stake in Alibaba, all set amidst very vocal complaints from activist investors concerning the company’s strategy and its CEO, Marissa Mayer.  Should we expect more of the same on February 2nd when Yahoo is expected to conduct its earnings call?  This past October, the company guided down its fourth-quarter revenue expectations and most analysts are expecting to be disappointed once again.  There’s not much reason to expect anything different.  Or is there?

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Yahoo! – Going Up a Down Escalator (Part 1)

Down Escalator

By Paul Wiefels

We closed out 2015 reading many articles from numerous sources concerning Yahoo’s recent travails including some strong criticism directed at CEO Marisa Mayer and the Yahoo board.  Some of the analysis was insightful.  Some of it not.  Ignoring the ad hominem attacks, do both Mayer and the board warrant a degree of investor enmity?  In my view, the answer is yes; but not for the same reasons.

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All Shook Up – How AWS is Pulling Off the Impossible in Enterprise IT

This post originally appeared on PhilipLay.com.  To read the post from the original source click here.

aws-enterprise

By Philip Lay

Summary:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) is growing like gangbusters and taking enterprise IT by storm, quickly becoming the safe choice for corporate CIOs.
  • Against all expectations, the cloud infrastructure service provider is throwing off profits while it leaves its competitors in the dust.
  • How did the company achieve so much in such a short time, and what does this mean for the traditional global IT players?

“The Tipping Point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

– Malcolm Gladwell, author of the bestselling book “The Tipping Point”

Time to Re-Assess the Unicorn Club Idea

This post originally appeared on PhilipLay.com.  To read the post from the original source click here.

Unicorn

By Philip Lay

“Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member”.

– Telegram from Groucho Marx to the Friar’s Club of Beverly Hills to which he belonged, circa 1959.

Hearing the successive recent announcements about the different travails impacting some high-profile members of this illustrious club, I couldn’t help but recall Groucho Marx’s famous quip as he resigned from the Friars’ Club. You have to ask if the Unicorn Club is still as exclusive and appealing for every young startup to aspire to join as it was until, say, three weeks ago? Or has it become a little tarnished by the recent misfortunes of a few of its members? Furthermore, will it survive or fade, as one more Silicon Valley fad to hit the wall? I’d prefer to assume for now that it could still survive provided that the rules of membership are modified, and I’ll expand on this notion further below.

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The Dell-EMC Deal: Brilliant or Delusional?

This post originally appeared on PhilipLay.com.  To read the post from the original source click here.

dell-emc-logo

By Philip Lay

“The combination of Dell and EMC creates an enterprise solutions powerhouse.”

– Dell’s founder, CEO & chairman Michael Dell, announcing the acquisition on Oct. 5

My main focus in this post is on strategy, business models, and culture. Not surprisingly, since this putative acquisition was announced two weeks ago, many financial experts and technically savvy observers have expressed contrasting perspectives on this surprising-but-not-so-surprising bet by Michael Dell and his financial partner, the private equity firm Silver Lake.

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Land & Expand is a Business Strategy – Not a Sales Tactic

This post originally appeared on PhilipLay.com.  To read the post from the original source click here.

Land and Expand

 

By Philip Lay

Making Customer Success the Centerpiece of Your Organization’s Strategy

“Land and Expand” (L&E) has become ubiquitous jargon today for what used to be referred to as account development. This activity was aimed at attracting and then retaining customers so that they would buy more products from you over many years. But L&E has acquired a highly specific meaning with respect to making the cloud SaaS business model work; if you only attract a few business users in each small, medium or larger corporate organization you deal with, your subscription or consumption model will never have a chance of becoming profitable. Especially if, as occurs in many cases from, say Box or Dropbox to Docusign or Splunk, users can download your software for free as part of your freemium pricing strategy. To overcome this barriers companies have figured out that it makes sense to start small by addressing an initial problem or use case to Land on, then Expand from there toward solving more problems for more users. Use cases, Users, and Usage – Three “U’s” that can in many cases yield enormous growth and profits.
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Curing the Rampant Waste in Product Innovation

This post originally appeared on PhilipLay.com.  To read the post from the original source click here.

Curing

 

By Philip Lay

Why So Many Product Innovation Efforts Fail to Achieve Their Objectives

“We lack a focused, cohesive vision for our company. We want to do everything and be everything — to everyone. We’ve known this for years, talk about it incessantly, but do nothing to fundamentally address it. We are scared to be left out. We are reactive instead of charting an unwavering course. We are separated into silos that far too frequently don’t talk to each other. And when we do talk, it isn’t to collaborate on a clearly focused strategy, but rather to argue and fight about ownership, strategies and tactics. … I’ve heard our strategy described as spreading peanut butter across the myriad opportunities that continue to evolve in the online world. The result: a thin layer of investment spread across everything we do and thus we focus on nothing in particular.”

– Brad Garlinghouse, SVP at Yahoo! in a November 2006 internal memo leaked to the Wall Street Journal and later dubbed “The Peanut Butter Manifesto” (*)

“50% of all advertising is useless. We just don’t know which 50%.”

– David Ogilvy, legendary advertising executive and co-founder of Ogilvy and Mather

Product innovation is both a mantra and a mystical term. It is supposed to occur in one main organization – R&D, or Engineering – but also occurs in subsidiary areas such as product management, product marketing, professional services, outsourced/offshore developers, external partners, and sometimes even in internal end-user departments such as finance, legal, marketing, sales, or support. Unfortunately, the overall track record for innovation efforts in most tech companies is a spotty one, with horror stories everywhere of failed or failing efforts among the many development projects that do end in helping each company succeed.

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Cyber security – Which vendors will do most to shape this fragmented super-category as it enters the Tornado?

This post originally appeared on PhilipLay.com.  To read the post from the original source click here.

tornado

By Philip Lay

Summary:

  • Several weeks ago in a blog titled “Bits & Pieces”, I drew attention to the fact that information security is now a C suite and board-level concern.
  • However, information security has long been, and still is, an extremely broad and fragmented super-category with hundreds of different product and service offerings in twenty or more product categories.
  • So the two questions I want to attempt to answer in this article are 1) which vendors will take it upon themselves to do more to consolidate distinct but important product and service offerings under one roof or one ecosystem?, and 2) which companies will thrive most as we enter a multiple-year tornado in this business?

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