Disruptive innovation is a very fashionable subject to talk about in regards to what happened or what is happening right now, but it is extremely hard to use it to predict what will happen.
That is why I come back to my notes on Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, which was published in 1997, and refresh my learnings.
Here is how he flat out describes the Software-as-a-Service businesses:
In the near future, “internet appliances” may become disruptive technologies to suppliers of personal computer hardware and software.
Clearly, Christensen holds several pieces of the puzzle that we are trying to complete in the Valley.
There is no MBA or CS course on this, and don’t expect to find a book on Amazon. This is something you get to know by talking to people and master by actually doing it.
Here is a good reads list for you to pinpoint who you should cold call.
David Lieb - Cognitive Overhead, Or Why Your Product Isn’t As Simple As You Think
Put your user in the middle of your flow. Make them press an extra button, make them provide some inputs, let them be part of the service-providing, rather than a bystander to it. If they are part of the flow, they have a better vantage point to see what’s going on.
This is planned as a living document from the first day. It will hopefully become an insightful collection of ideas and paradigms for leaders hacking their path to traction. I can vouch for the small team of four in Palo Alto reading, discussing, and executing these ideas for Score Beyond on a daily basis.
One of the themes that came up a lot was the idea of the growth team finding a leading indicator of a user who would turn into an engaged user later on. The growth team would then focus on optimizing for that metric.
Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of “How do I get customers for my product?” and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph.
A good growth rate during YC is 5-7% a week. If you can hit 10% a week you’re doing exceptionally well. If you can only manage 1%, it’s a sign you haven’t yet figured out what you’re doing.
There is a reason startup stocks are not traded publicly. Their business nature is too wild to be standardized and traded with limited information. Yet, startups are very much alike in some fundamental metrics. In Score Beyond, we periodically shift our focus from one to the other, but at any point in time, one or more of these is in our crosshairs:
- User Growth
You will see me writing a lot about these four fundamental pillars in the coming days.
You probably don’t know the word Karsamba. It is Turkish, and it can be considered a fringe word even for a native Turkish speaker. I use it because there really is no counterpart in English. It means something like Unnecessary stuff that just clutter your home.
Suddenly, I noticed that my digital surroundings is full of it. When I was a kid, I used to have a well-maintained library with select books. In contrast, I have spent the last 2 hours in Amazon’s Manage Your Kindle section, deleting almost half of the books I ever purchased on Kindle (the ones deleted were mostly bought for free or for 99c.) While doing that, I noticed my TV was on; a Netflix movie playing in it. Checked its Imdb rating; it was just 4.7.
And that was it. The paradigm shift.
Once, books I read and movies I watched used to come with a considerable level of quality. But, with digital distribution removing barriers, I somehow became used to mediocre. This one you are reading is more like a preview post. Just the tip of the iceberg. Our entire digital ecosystem seems to be filled with it; apps, restaurant reviews, tweets and such. I am writing this preview, just because it is a huge discovery that needs to go out of my system, right now. I’m writing this because I realized the cost of access to everything. I’m writing this also because I found myself browsing Amazon’s paper book store, to choose my next Kindle ebook. Yes, exactly; browsing the paper book store to find a good ebook to read. You see why, right? With zero-marginal-cost-of-distribution markets eliminating the gatekeepers of quality, who is there to help us keep away from Karsamba?
5.5 years ago, I wrote one of my first posts on technology, titled WiFi for the Masses. It primarily pointed to Meraki as a big game-changer in the networking field.
Today, I heard the announcement that Cisco acquired Meraki for $1.2Bn in cash. Hope I will be able to put my money where my mouth is in the future!
In TestGuru, we design our experience to provide consistent and high-touch service to the customer. Hence, I keep an eye on how other companies treat me as one and try to learn from them. Today, I got an example from StumbleUpon that I need to avoid in our own customer experience design.
I received an email from StumbleUpon that starts with a very high customer intimacy level and ends with almost nothing.
The first line was:
You must have been extra good this year, because this holiday season we’re giving away $500 to spend at BeachMint.
They think I must have been very good this year and they are giving me the opportunity to join a sweepstakes that would churn out 2 winners for the $500 prize. Wow, how nice.
Then, at the very end of the mail, in the footer, this is what you read:
StumbleUpon is here to help you easily discover great stuff from across the Web. Please don’t reply to this message – for all questions, check out our Help Center. If you don’t want to receive emails of this type from us, please click here.
The voice at the start of the email completely incongruent to the voice at the footer, screwing customer intimacy along the way. So unnatural, giving a manufactured feel to the entire email.
Quite good learning on what not to overlook in communication strategy.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.
It is almost certain how entrepreneurs should be living theirs, no?
In the last 12 months, Apple sold $88 billion worth of goods. Note that this is not revenue; only the cost of revenue. While doing so, Apple’s average inventory was just $1 billion.
Simply, Apple is receiving an iPad in its warehouse, and selling it to the customer in 106 hours, or in less than 5 days.
This is the best ever in Apple’s history. A year ago, this metric was 118 hours.
To put things into proper perspective, Best Buy turns a unit in 60 days, and Amazon in 38 days.