Harvard Business Review, Top-line Growth

BR0407_cI picked up the July/August edition of HBR because it was a double issue on Growth. Normally, HBR articles are interesting, but very high-level concepts that are difficult to actually use. This particular edition offers more granular information including formulae for determining budget allocations when marketing (retention rates vs. customer acquisition) and how this ties into the NPV of the customer.

There are several articles that I thought were practical. There actually are ideas regarding where real competitive advantage can be gain: focus on customer profitability, product configuration through value curves (and how one offers exponential value), the dilemma of when to acquire or form an alliance, and profitability through price discrimination (bundling), among others.

One flawed concept, in my opinion, was in Geoffrey Moore’s “Darwin and the Demon”. Moore is famous for his book “Crossing the Chasm” and the stages a new technology product goes through. He has further developed this concept to include the full product life cycle (Early Market, The Chasm, Bowing Alley, Tornado, Main Street (Early), Main Street (Mature), Main Street (Declining), Fault Line!, End of Life) and proceeds to explain the competencies and types of management needed for a company to go through each stage successfully.

The problem is that the same company that develops a technology early on is not the same company that brings it to wide markets. There is a sufficient amount of empirical data in The Art of Scale to suggest this is the case (and common sense tells you this as well). The commercialization shifts to organizations that are fully aware of how to market these products and have the correct management and resources in place to do so. Assuming that just one company will take a technology through the entire life-cycle is unrealistic in 95% of the cases.

HP iPod Tattoos [Updated]

HP_ipod_tatooHP introduced their “HP iPod by Apple” today. The most interesting addition was the HP Tattoos. These will be great if 1. They are cheap and 2. They last for longer than 1 week of heavy iPod use. I have never really liked the other iPod covers…but these have won me over. Now how long until we see the first Pepsi iPod Tattoos?

Apparently they *will* be free and will be appearing in the September issue of Rolling Stone.

Monstermob Buys U.S. Rival 9 Squared

UK mobile content group Monstermob has bought out Denver-based rival company 9Squared, for about $3 million cash and deferred payments later, which could add up to a total of about $30 million. (Some complex formula here… read this for exact details).
9 Squared supplies products under the RingTone JukeBox, mTat2 and Great American Country brands to various major US and international mobile network operators. The group is rolling out a subscription-based ringtone application on China Mobile, the largest mobile network operator in the world with more than 160 million subscribers.

Via MocoNews.net: mobile content news

(Note: Agnitio Capital was the advisor on this)

Airport Express

im002142jpgI finally received my Airport Express today. Set up was a snap, even with my lackluster BT service. (I’m using the Hermstedt XDSL modem as well, which has also made my life a lot easier.)

The most impressive aspect of the Airport Express is the size, as you can see from the picture. It’s basically the same size as the power adapter for my PowerBook.

Apple has done an excellent job with the Airport Express. Connecting my printer, an HP Laserjet 1010, was a matter of clicks as well, even though it is not listed on the Airport Express compatibility chart. Connecting my stereo was equally as simple.

I purchased a Netgear base station last Christmas and it continually dropped the signal and needed to be restarted. It was also a pain in the neck to set up.

Five stars for the Airport Express- I highly recommend it.

ESADE Rankings

I’ve been getting asked a lot lately where ESADE ranks on the Business School tables. Just for the record, The Wall Street Journal ranked ESADE as the #2 International School for 2003.

(I don’t put a whole lot of stock in these rankings, because they vary so widely between sources…and business school is only worth the network you build anyway. Real learning, at least in my opinion, doesn’t happen in an MBA classroom.)

Playlist Club night in London September 4

The Playlist Club is set to rock again at Nambucca in North London on September 4. The event allows people to bring in their favourite 15-minute playlist on an iPod (or other digital music player) and play their songs, first come, first served. The best DJs will win prizes from Everything iPod. If you love music and don’t have a music player, you can still go to the event and listen to the music, be a judge, have a dance, and party with the Playlist people.  

Via MacMinute | Mac News First.

How to get a job in Banking

From WSJ.com – On Campus, iTunes Finds an Illicit Groove

“Another programmer, Michael Thole, who will be a senior at Purdue University, discontinued his iTunes companion program, Leechster, earlier this year after it stopped working with a new version of iTunes. Mr. Thole, who didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment, is now plying his genius as a summer intern at Apple.”

Isn’t that the equivalent of robbing a bank, and then being offered a job in Security at that bank?