ecommerce

The Value Affix – Xtech and Why I’m Fed Up with Tech part 2

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Articles, Innovation, Startups, Strategy

I wrote in the previous article that we don’t need a separate xtech for any given sector x. Abstracting further, the focus should be on the customer, not the technology. We see healthtech, fintech and insuretech which indicate the use of new technologies to improve existing or introduce new business models. But technology is just one factor that could be changed. Historic changes to business models Instead we could be changing other elements of the business model. We’ve already seen the changes introduced during the shift from bricks-and-mortar to online. We stuck an “e-” at the beginning of everything. If it’s Apple-related, maybe an “i”. We saw segmentation and stuck a CRM at the end of it. And I still chuckle from hearing a supplier introduce “farmerCRM” at the time. In that room, we had all misheard PharmaCRM which made […]

server

xTech – Part 1 – Why I’m fed up with tech

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Articles, Innovation, Strategy

xtech for Sector x Fintech is challenging the Finance sector Insurtech is challenging the Insurance sector Healthtech is challenging the Health sector Will we see Techtech challenging the Tech sector? And since new technology is developed every month and every year, would we be looking at a Techtechtech sector in a decade? It’s seems ludicrous to think of it that way and it is indeed ludicrous. The reason it sounds so odd to have a Techtech sector is that we’re allowing ourselves to be focussed on the technology that’s enabling us to replace the older business models. Analysis If you get a nice interface to your banking account and that bank account has a different charging model to the older high street banks, does that make it fintech? According to the hyped world, then yes. But it’s stilll banking. It’s […]

Books

Where Do I Learn? – Part 2 – Books

Posted Posted in Articles, Mentoring and Training, Methodology, Service Redesign, Startups, Strategy

If I’m driving, I’m listening to podcasts. If I’m travelling by train, then I’m reading. I typically read books that don’t directly relate to my profession, but those that I hope will change my approach to how I work with clients. For every client I go to, I end up mentoring business analysts, business architects, programme manager, project managers and other change programme staff. So I’ve kept a list of references (not just books) on Evernote and I tailor it to the person I’m mentoring at that time. Here’s the list of books that I recommend: 1. Lean 1.1. Womack and Jones: Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation http://amzn.to/1sCHWwD This is the book I recommend to anyone trying to understand lean for changing services and organisations. However, once you understand, you’ll start applying it to other areas […]

Zombie Hands

Be a Startup, not a Zombie

Posted Posted in Articles, Startups

I’m just catching up on an episode of The Salesman Podcast hosted by Will Barron. The episode is about being the first sales person in a new company. While I agree with everything Vinnie has said, one thing came to mind. If you’re the first salesperson and you’re conducting product-market fit conversations, then you’re working for a zombie, not a startup; it’s dead, but doesn’t know it. I can’t think of a more suitable activity for the founders before hiring anyone than to conduct those conversations themselves. The only exception I can think of is where the founders have zero business sense (think of the traditional, out-dated view of scientists) and need to hire to make a business. Think back to Steve Blank’s Customer Development concepts and subsequently, Eric Ries’ Lean Startup, checking whether the market wants your concept and whether […]

Considerations for the platform of a new startup

Posted Posted in Articles, Startups

Background I’m seriously considering building my new startup on Microsoft’s Azure platform with the BizSpark programme and that’s a departure for me. I’m going to use the term “startup” loosely but at least 1 of the 3 conformed to Steve Blank’s definition, proving the business model worked. I’ll cover three of the ideas; 2 built and 1 about to be built. First Startup I’ve built my first startup on Amazon’s AWS. The 3rd party documentation on how to configure a linux instance to accommodate Ruby on Rails was a key driver in that decision. Incidentally, I was also new to Rails, so I had a double learning curve. The documentation was thorough enough and up-to-date enough that I was able to follow the instructions and maintain the instance for a year. I didn’t like the charging mechanics of AWS for […]

What value do you place on your support networks?

Posted Posted in Besteno, Startups

Introduction I gave a short presentation at GreatPreneurs’ conference (#GPConf2014) in Manchester this weekend on the subject of “What does your support network do for you?” I wasn’t talking about friends or family, but rather the startup events and meetings that occur in your city. Value I’m pretty convinced you could eat for a month without having to buy any food by attending an event in the morning, a different one in the afternoon and one or two in the evening. Every day. In Manchester, UK, there are enough events to do this. But if you were to do so, that’s all you’d manage to accomplish. Well, that plus swapping business cards and talking to people. You wouldn’t actually get any work done. When you’re pre-startup, bouncing around ideas and wondering what you’re business is going to be, these events can be […]

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The first three months of a startup at Besteno

Posted Posted in Articles, Besteno

Time has been passing quickly at Besteno, so I thought I’d take stock and describe what can happen in the first three months of a startup, specifically my startup, Besteno. What have I done, where am I headed? Background October 26th 2013 was the first day of LeanConf 2013 (the link now relates to the 2014 conference) and I was due to present the following day about my experiences of using Lean Startup concepts in existing organisations, specifically social care in the public sector. Up to that point, I’d been talking to friends about setting up a company together. However, most had families, couldn’t commit or were in a different place to make it too awkward to co-found. During that conference I just decided to start on my own and then look for a team later on. As a web startup, that meant I […]

Cupcake by zigazou75 CC-by-2.0

The Cupcake Strategy – Business Strategy for a Startup Business

Posted Posted in Articles, Strategy

Introduction I’m often talking business strategy and how it can apply to any business no matter how new or how small. Strategy should be applied to every business but it’s a shame that the closest many business owners get to it is a business plan for a bank loan. This is even worse when they may have need a lesser amount or even avoided the loan completely had they planned differently. What I’ll Cover about Business Strategy I can think of a few TV series where one of the characters set up a restaurant or a cupcake business. There’s something about that concept that must correlate with our desires. I see many new cake businesses, I know several people who have all separately and independently started into cake-making businesses. So based on that comes the new series of articles. I’m […]