Thursday, March 15, 2012

Find Your Next

I read "Find Your Next" subtitled "Using the Business Genome Approach to Find Your Company's Next Competitive Edge" by Andrea Kates.

I loved the title. I am a big believer in competitive advantage. And my "know yourself" attitude makes me gravitate to things that help me determine my advantages.

Find Your Next presents an organized way to do this. They call it a genome that consists of 6 parts:

1 - Product or Service innovation. Find what resonates.
2 - Customer impact. Does your community support it?
3 - Process Design. Align the how with the customer need. This can be execution.
4 - Talent and Leadership - It is about the culture.
5 - Secret Sauce. What is your differentiation.
6 - Trendability. Look to the future. What are the trends and can you capitalize on them.

The book is a how to, step by step guide that asks a lot of questions. I did not follow the process through for any particular company - rather, I read the book (so likely did not get the same value someone would who actually took the steps and did the exercises)

One of my all time favorite books is Blue Ocean Strategy. Find Your Next strikes me as being a perfect companion book to that. Find Your Next is the how to guide for Blue Ocean.


And Canrock Ventures web company (not all of them - just the web properties) updates:

Honestlynow has re-iterated a few times (as expected in a start up) to the point where the user experience is great. This is sort of a dear Abby online (the link goes to a blog post on why we invested in it and also will give insight in general into why we did all of these).

LoadnVote is still early and will need to iterate more. They are getting good traffic though and we think the site has viral potential.

American Health Journal struggles. This is a site with almost 4,000 high quality video interviews with doctors on everything from "are there degrees of alcohol abuse" to "How can you tell if you are having a stroke" etc. The challenge is that Google cannot tell that the videos are high quality and they also can only read words so do not really know the topics except for what is written in the description. And the competition to be found on medical topics is high. I am convinced through persistence, this site will end up making their numbers.

Hitfix thrives. People love their entertainment news.

I have mixed feelings that these sites might be creating more time waste and I am adding to it (except for American Health Journal). Conflicts with being the time management guy.


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