Watching the 2016 presidential election unfold has made for some outstanding TV viewing if you’re a reality TV fan. Who couldn’t love such entertaining and clever Trump quips ranging from “low energy Jeb” to “Lyin’ Ted” to the correlations tied to “small hands”. But with the ascension of Donald Trump to the altar as the Republican presumptive nominee, it’s time to get serious about his prospects against his likely Democratic foe Hillary Clinton.
Author: Hakan Jakobsson *
* Editor’s note: From time to time we shall feature guest columnists in this forum. In this article, Hakan Jakobsson presents some provocative arguments and counter-arguments on the intriguing question of whether Google has left it too late to catch up with AWS and Azure, the two current leaders in enterprise cloud infrastructure. Hakan is a good friend and frequent thought-partner with me on many tech-related topics. In particular, he has deep expertise in IT infrastructure and especially public cloud.
When a product gains popularity it is common that a pattern emerges. In the beginning, there are a small number of pioneering companies producing it, but as its popularity grows, more and more vendors enter the market to get a piece of the action. After a while, the number of vendors peaks as consolidation sets in and eventually, the market becomes dominated by a small number of players. For instance, there were around 80 U.S. automakers in in 1920 and more than 80 U.S. television manufacturers in the early 1950s. More recently, the number of disk drive manufacturers peaked in 1984 at almost 80 and the number of PC manufacturers about 3 years later when there were around 100 hundred vendors according to Michael Mauboussin’s book “More Than You Know.” Today, there are far fewer manufacturers in any of those categories.
- 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.
The Chicken & The Pig – The Critical but Elusive Art of Making Strategic Alliances Work | Philip Lay
- 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.
I cannot count the number of times I’ve received calls from companies asking for help with a brand, messaging, and positioning challenge. Usually the request stems from stagnant growth attributed to issues like “people don’t really get what we do”, “our story is too complex”, “we want to complete in a different space” or “we need to make our brand more relevant”. After many years working on branding, positioning, and messaging, I can help. But let me ask you…is this really the right starting point to solve for stagnant growth?
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?
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.
By Philip Lay
- 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”
In 2012, Marissa Mayer joined Yahoo as its latest in a series of CEOs…one with a great track record of innovation and growth from her high profile role at Google. With much fanfare and energy, Marissa proclaimed that Yahoo would be resurrected to its level of former greatness through bold ideas and fresh thinking. What happened?
Well, it’s only fair to state that the Yahoo CEO resurrection role was not for the faint of heart. Others before Marissa came to Yahoo with great track records and fanfare…people like Autodesk’s Carol Bartz…and could not overcome the complexity and enormity of the challenge.
With the advent of the web browser in the 1990s, a new term came into vogue: “Return On Marketing Investment” (ROMI). This was soon followed by the publication of two books, Return on Marketing Investment by Guy Powell (2002); and, Marketing ROI by James Lenskold (2003). As marketers grew weary trying to confront finance directors intent on solving the late 19th century John Wanamaker dilemma, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”, they gravitated to online marketing buoyed by the promise of direct 1:1 correlations between marketing spend and revenue.