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The Critical Path #134: Chief Jobs Officer

Turning our focus back to “Jobs to be Done” theory, we look at how producers can exceed the expectations of consumers and the role of the focus group from a “Jobs to be Done” perspective.

We examine “Jobs to be Done” as an essential core of the product development process. Where does this kind of thinking belong in an organization?

Should we be redefining what being “the best” means? We close with a segmentation of social media services based on the seven deadly sins.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #134: Chief Jobs Officer.

This is a good one.

Airshow 12 coming to Boston December 18th

Airshow, now in it’s twelfth iteration, is coming back to Boston on the 18th.

This time we have Fidelity Investments as a sponsor and their inspiring venue at ThinkSpace, 245 Summer Street, as our setting.

If you are interested in how data and mobility will revolutionize the art of persuasion, please register for what will be the best Airshow ever.

Seating is limited.

Sponsor: Harvest Forecast

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The Critical Path #129: The Right Incentives

We talk about Samsung, Apple Pay (vs. CurrentC) and Xiaomi.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #129: The Right Incentives.

The Critical Path #127: Cupertino to San Francisco on 280

On the October 2014 iPad and iMac event. When are the iPad killer apps going to come out?

 

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #127: Cupertino to San Francisco on 280.

What next, Samsung?

I received a few questions from Shirley Siluk of NewsFactor as a follow-up to my post on the trajectory of successful companies.

1. Do you foresee any hope for a turnaround for Samsung? If so, where do its best opportunities lie?

Screen Shot 2014-10-13 at 1.44.54 PM

The smartphone business was a huge opportunity for Samsung and they took full advantage of it. Unfortunately, it’s a difficult business to stay on top of. The list of victims in that industry is quite long and there have been no long-term winners. Samsung’s operating model seems to be to invest as a ‘fast follower’ filling in the market after it’s established while leveraging capital intensive components synergies. That has also worked for them in consumer electronics (at the expense of Sony and other Japanese vendors). If the modus operandi does not change then their turnaround will depend on the creation of new opportunities/categories. Wearables may be such an opportunity but it may not be as big as the phone business.[1]

2. What has contributed most to Samsung’s decline? Which competitors are posing the greatest threat?

Notes:
  1. The graph shows estimates of smartphone shipments for a select number of vendors. []

The Critical Path #126: Making the world go round

Horace and Anders on the irrelevance of shareholders. Anticipating an Apple October 2014 event they discuss how the iPad and tablet designs could evolve. Diving into how brands can manage disruption through a whirlwind tour of products from cameras to watches to cars.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #126: Making the world go round.

Sponsor: Dash

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The Critical Path #125: War of Attrition

Horace and Anders analyze the possible business models for Apple Watch, how it may be introduced, distributed, sold, and bought. What impact will the Watch have on Apple’s top and bottom lines? They further look into possible introductions for the rest of 2014. Horace sounds about to give up hopes on Apple TV.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #125: War of Attrition.

On the trajectory of successful companies

Samsung Electronics warned Tuesday that its third-quarter earnings would fall below market expectations. It did not cite a decrease in shipments but an increase in marketing expenses coupled with an unfavorable mix (i.e. more low-end units and fewer high-end units).

The headlines reporting the news emphasized the 60% forecast drop in operating income but the company also provided sales figures. Adjusting for exchange rates, the forecast revenues are shown in the following diagram:

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 8.51.05 AM

Note that I also included Apple’s revenue history and forecast. Samsung’s revenues are shown on the right and Apple’s on the left using the same scale (each horizontal gridline represents $10 billion/quarter.

The explicit cause for the drop is a decline in prices and “increased competition”.[1] However a few more questions need to be answered regarding long-term success in the markets Samsung competes in.

Namely:

  • The absence of a software platform fully within its control
  • The absence of control over an ecosystem of content and apps
  • The absence of services
  • The lack of integration of software, services and hardware
  • The absence of differentiation vis-a-vis other vendors
  • The indefensibility of its low end offerings from low end disruptors
  • The pattern of commoditization in all its markets

Samsung is a very big company but many very big companies came to become small companies. They all followed similar roads.

Notes:
  1. Though one can’t be sure when there was ever decreased competition in its markets. []