Archives de catégorie : Lean Start-up

249$: the price of your pro life

I am not used to write article in reaction to news but at that point I have to write it down.

So Microsoft just bought LinkedIn for over $26 B. That’s a lot of money but what is important is another figure: 249$.

I found this number on the net and it is the first time I see a pricing for a profile.

Take $26.2 billion, divide it by 105 million, which is the total number of active members on LinkedIn, and you get $249.52. And that tells us exactly what our professional information and allegiance–yours, mine, and virtually everybody we know–is worth.
Inc.com

Just take a moment. Think about it and what it means for you, for us and for the business.

That’s pretty interesting. Really.

 

10 steps to successfully present your new Product (or service)!

Skyrocket(infographic)

The most impressive product advocates like Steve J. share the same method to be sure to create an extraordinary moment when presenting a product. Here is what they do to convince you and millions that the brand new thing they have for you is an absolute must:

 

  1. Prepare, prepare, prepare!
    Success needs hard work.
  2. Find a name: Short, clear, straight to the point
    This is one the most important thing to do. A good name will allow everybody to remember your product and its positioning, a bas one…
  3. Find a good moto: « The car, without the gasoline »
    Refer to the main solved problem, summarize the advantages, make the value clear
  4. Explain the main functionalities of your product: « Phone + email + internet »
    That’s where you show why your best, not 1 or 2 times, 100 times better!
  5. Make a demo that will help your audience to picture themselves
    Show it real, show it works!
  6. Present a problem you solved, the competitors don’t (and show how you solved it of course)
    That’s where you hit the target.
  7. A second one?
    That’s where you hit the target, a second time.
  8. Summarize quickly all the advantages / innovations / key features of your product
    so much advantages, so many innovations…
  9. Explain the pricing vs competitors or equivalent solutions
    Convinced that your product is THE solution, explain to your prospects that your are not a escrow (at least pretend it).
  10. Train, train and train
    Do it in front of your mum, your son, your wife, your dog, do it and do it again and again so that the D-day it will be smooth, clear and efficient.

Some more to add?

Infographic 1

J’ai regardé tout Koudetat… et j’ai les yeux carré…

#koudetat on demand : j’ai regardé tous les cours…

Alors oui, j’ai les yeux carrés. J’ai regardé la totalité des cours de KOUDETAT on Demand. Pas d’un coup. Mais bon quand même. A une heure et demi la video, 34 videos (initialement) ca fait quelque chose comme 50 heures d’Oussama Ammar en live. Ces derniers temps, je l’ai vu presque plus souvent que ma femme 😉

Le contenu du cours, On en pense quoi ?

Bon honnêtement, faut avoir le temps de regarder les vidéos. Est-ce que ca vaut le coup de passer autant de temps à regarder son écran ? Non. Par contre est ce que le contenu est en lui-même de qualité? Oui, définitivement oui même. Oussama nous livre là un compendium d’insights, de conseils et de témoignages complets. Fouillé, plein, bourré d’anecdotes, les « cours » qui sont plus de conférences « témoignage » permettent de mettre en lumière beaucoup d’aspects inconnus au néophyte de la création d’entreprise. C’est très intéressant pour le débutant, pour celui qui envisage de créer une boite, pour l’entrepreneur débutant. Et ca tombe bien, c’est le positionnement de Koudetat, « Everyone can be an entrepreneur… »

Alors on regarde ?

Bein honnêtement, faut voir. Si vous avez le temps, pas de famille ( ou du temps le soir…), un bon casque et un écran de compet alors oui, regardez la série, prenez de notes, faites votre propre sélection d’insights et lancer votre projet.

Autre chose, quelques modules (au moins) datent un peu…

Si vous êtes comme moi , un boulot, des aspirations d’entrepreneur, pas de temps et une famille avec des enfants qui rêvent de jouer aux legos avec vous, alors à vous de voir. Si vous avez 50h de libre pour cela et si vous êtes prêt à les dégager pour regarder Koudetat. Petit dormeur, vous avez un avantage certain, j’en témoigne.

Après sur le contenu, franchement, j’ai essayé de monter 3 boites, toutes ont (lamentablement) échouées (pour le moment) mais j’estime maintenant avoir un peu d’expérience dans le domaine. Cependant j’ai appris des choses. Au travers d’exemples, de témoignages, Koudetat aborde des concepts complexes de l’économie et de la création d’entreprise. Le Business Model, l’évaluation du marché, le positionnement, la scalabilité etc… tous ces concepts très simples en apparence mais qui lorsqu’on regarde sont complexes à aborder.

L’un des points très intéressants est l’ADN fondamental d’une start-up… et la différence entre une start-up et une entreprise. Qu’est-ce qu’une start-up, est-ce que votre entreprise à venir en est-une ? Parce que les méthodes et les moyens à mettre en œuvre sont différents si vous êtes une start-up ou si vous êtes une TPE. Et si vous êtes une start-up alors là vous trouverez de nombreux insights très intéressants : Entreprise ou Start-up ? Innovation de Business Model ou innovation technologique ? Communauté avant ou après features ? Faire différent vs faire mieux ? L’anticipation rationnelle ? Qu’est ce qui est de l’ordre de l’analysable ? du modélisable ? entrepreneur vs chef d’entreprise….

Bon après y a de la redite, le cout de la requete Google, Uber, le choix d’Achille etc… les exemples sont bons mais souvent les mêmes.

Et pour la Corporate Innovation ? (Spoiler)

Pourquoi les start-up sont dangeureuses ? On l’apprend dans Koudetat : Parce qu’elles n’ont rien à perdre et tout à gagner. C’est pour cela qu’elles sont dangeureuses pour les Grands Groupes et c’est pour cela qu’elles sont perçues comme une « menace » pour les grands groupes. Si les grands groupes et les personnes qui gèrent l’innovation et les produits ne comprennent pas les drivers de start-upers alors ils ne pourront pas manager ces risques. Les start-ups ne managent pas les risques, elles vivent avec et avancent à une vitesse qui n’est pas compatible avec les organisations d’une grande entreprise.

Comment être entrepreneur dans une entreprise ? L’entrepreneur est un travail d’un nouveau genre, son job est de trouver un BM et c’est très différent d’un chef d’entreprise.

Avez-vous regardé le programme? Qu’en pensez-vous?

Corporate Hacker(s)

Hacker-5

Do it, do it fast, do it often

Read also on the same subject my other article (in french)

As Innovation manager in a corporate, I nurture a hacking mindset within a group of “champions”. Why is hacking mindset so important within an innovation culture?

What is a Coporate hacker?

A hacker is someone smart but with creativity. Thinking from a different point of view at a given problem gives new original solutions.

Hackers are smart. That’s the starting point. However they leverage the self-learning to establish a new standard that puts the creativity at its highest level. Engineering is not the only way to develop things and necessary qualities are not necessary learned at school.

The Hacker principles

  • Do it, even imperfectly

Don’t try to deliver something perfect the first time. First iteration are always unfinished. At that point we can connect that to Lean Start-up with its very fast iteration and feedback from the customers. It is really important to see things, to test things to validate.

As Corporate workers we have learned to plan everything. To be sure that everything will be delivered and established as planned. If we failed then we are not good at delivering. That’s something that is inverted by the Corporate Hacker mindset. Corporate Hackers should be allowed to deliver incomplete product, test it and learn from feedback to iterate and reengineer their product. As Project and Product manager, I have developed Human Interface mainly on card box thanks to Bill Baxton method of sketching User Interface. Is it imperfect? Definitely. Does it give you more info than weeks of coding? For sure. What is the best solution in terms of ROI and OTD? I let you decide.

  • Deliver quickly

That’s the second point of Corporate hackers. They have to deliver quick and often. One can understand that concept in the field of IT but be sure that it is not only IT related. I have myself experimented that kind of methodology in a B2B electronic device development project with a great success. If you are able to deliver quickly, then you are able to sustain the effort to test functionalities o your product, iterate, learn from customers feedbacks etc…

  • Break your work

If you do things imperfectly, if you did it fast, you will break you product often. It is easier to throw away a day of work than a week. So admitting that you can look ridiculous at a first glance is key. Accept that your work can be criticize.

 

Pasteur is a hacker, Dyson is a hacker, Edisson is a hacker. We all know what all their stories are about today. They all did something complicated with limited resources.

Hackers are that kind of people. Be sure that you can do things, wonderful things without any resources. At that point you can connect it to the popular concept of Jugaad Innovation. If you have the appropriate mindset, you can be a hacker and find an innovative solution to a given goal. Not only each problem has a solution, but each problem has many solutions.

A Corporate Hacker?

In a corporate, you have hopefully smart people. So you have the basics. However it is a duty for you to allow your team to stop asking permission to do things. If you want a corporate hacker culture, then allow your team to stop playing with your corporate rules. Asking about permission is the good way to never deliver.

This is a very important fact and step to establish an area within your company where teams can play their rules: A sandbox, within a special HR process to recognize their efforts and results. This is really important to set a frame where your hackers will work. Establishing this frame will free their mind and develop the consciousness of your management of the initiative. Call it whatever you want. Some call it “Corporate Incubator”, come call it “Corporate Accelerator”. In a way you don’t care, adopt the hacker philosophy and create it. You will be learning by doing yourself.

Hacks for you

  1. A very important step not to underestimate is to identify the potential hackers within your company to create and aggregate organically a community. If you can, establish a communication tool among you on Slack or Yammer or whatever tool you have. Connect your community, encourage people to help other. It will first create a real mindset of intrapreneurship and also it will create “virtual” debt among your hackers that will unlock situation later.
  2. Let the things go. Meaning that as manager you have to admit that some projects will succeed without your help. Your job as innovation manager is to establish the environment that will allow your hackers to success.
  3. Read the Lean Start-up (by Eric Ries) and Sketching user experience (by Bill Baxton).

 

 Are Corporate Hackers a special kind of Intrapreneur? Are they intrapreneur?

Do you see more hacks to share? Want to share your comments? Let’s go!

The Danger of bad KPIs for Collective Intelligence

Dont kill my vibeCollective Intelligence is something very fragile and it shouldn’t be endangered by bad KPIs. Let see together how to avoid killing the vibe of the collective intelligence for Innovation.

Establish the vibe using cleaver KPI(s)

Depending of your Collective Intelligence strategy, it can be quite easy to set up KPI(s) that are showing your commitment in growing the community, getting more people involved and getting more results.

However, Collective Intelligence is something fragile and to be protected. It can hardly stands a lack of management supports, a lack of strategy and clarity in pursued goals.

KPI(s) are not only a management tool, don’t forget it is moreover a communication tool. You can engage people in increasing company revenues and innovation rate by giving their ideas of new products and services to you but also seeking and destroying waste along your organisation and processes. To do so, KPI(s) and visual management can help to give the goal, the direction, the target.

Let’s take the standard example of an Idea Box and Idea management system.

Focus on meaning

While deploying your collective Intelligence initiative, focus on the message and on the results.

With our idea box, it could be easy to set up a goal at x ideas  per employee or xx ideas for the whole organisation. What is the message behind? Of course the answer to this question depends of your organisation however in most enterprises it will be more or less « I don’t care about quality, I just want to reach my target to get my annual bonus » or something equivalent.

To give more meaning, set a topic or categories in which you want your people to focus on. Example: Safety, New business, efficiency,… You will see a drastic increase of submitted ideas in correlation with much more quality. Trust people intelligence is key.

Give figures a message

Giving figures is a bad habits in organisation (I think it is « bad Habits N°2 in my ranking, just after using excel for everything but math…). However managers like to establish quantified goals to manage their team. If you just set figures in your collective intelligence intitiative, you will lose support from your employees, trust will fall down and your project will die with no benefit for the company.

Allowing figures you set as target to transmit a message is a powerful tool to have a full alignment of your teams.

For our idea box, let’s imagine your management want you to set a figure of savings. Let’s say, achieve 2M€ savings this year with the submitted ideas. Please consider changing the message and giving the numbers a new horizon, because here it just says « give my money back ». Encourage your team to seek and destroy wasted time or unproductive tasks in your processes with a target t xx% of your « whatever number is relevant » for a global amount of 2M€. Communication changes everything when embedding people.

Worst and best

The worst KPI ever when dealing with Collective Intelligence, esp. with idea box: idea per FTE.

The best seen so far: % of implemented ideas on a specific subject

Do you have good or bad KPIs to share? Share it as a comment!

Thanks for reading.

You are a start-up mentor? Be sure you worth it

2015-10-26_21-15-20Last October I have been lucky enough to be a mentor at the BigBooster event in Lyon, France. BIG BOOSTER is an international acceleration program in cooperation with MASSCHALLENGE in Boston (the sister city of Lyon if I am not wrong).

That was my first time mentor and I have been very interested sharing my comments, experience and knowledge with 3 very promising start-ups (it ended with one of our mentored start-up ECHY@echycontact – being selected to go this February in Boston and at last being selected among the 10 most promising start-ups of the pool. One more step in April and they might get the price 😉 ).

However during the days we were working I did to myself several comments regarding this kind of events and my own value to the start-ups there. That was a life changing experience for me and a truly new vision of what need and what is a start-up that have changed the way I am envisaging working and collaborating with them as Innovation manager in a Corporate.

Here are the points I would like to share:

  • Be sure you provide value to your mentored startups but also to your start-ups representatives as an individual. Not only for the company but also for the representative it should be an opportunity to grow.
  • Made clear among mentors what are your skills, in which topics each of you is a killer and in which topics you can’t really help. That’s key for your mentored to understand what they can seek from you and what they have to find elsewhere
  • Clarify frankly and from the beginning what are the objectives of the startups: winning a slot at the accelerator? working on their projects with professionals with no particular needs or wills to be selected? Challenging their approach? That’s key for you to be sure you provide the need values and advises to your mentored.
  • Made a clear and honest feedback. As for an example, we had a start-up which was way to early to confront with the others. That was our duty to tell them and help them making progress during the 3 days.
  • Work together on the subject. As a mentor you are also here to work and produce what is needed by your start-up. You are not only a counsellor but also a kind of Blue collar…
  • Last but most important: Be humble. Those guys are working hard on their project, that’s their life, their passion. And frankly I have learned a lot from them during those days. Being an entrepreneur is hard.

Thanks for reading and connect to my mentored startups @echycontact and @stimergyfr

 

Top 10 skills

I just found this picture on the net from the Davos forum

TOP 10 skills

Let’s look at the list for 2020 and what INNOWEO is about:

  1. Complex Problem Solving: That’s exactly what we do. Stay tuned for a great project on that topic coming soon.
  2. Critical thinking: To innovate wisely, you need this critical thinking that allows you to analyse the pro and cons and take the good decision, outside all those prepared matrixes…
  3. Creativity: No comment. That’s INNOWEO core value and knowledge
  4. People management: As facilitator, as managers, we manage people
  5. Coordinating with others: When driving an innovation project, that’s the main task of the project manager.
  6. Emotional intelligence: That’s part of what Creativity is about, what empathy is about, what Design thinking is about.
  7. Judgement and Decision making: We have tools for that.
  8. Service Orientation: What we do is Service Design
  9. Negotiation: Let’s read our article on that topic
  10. Cognitive flexibility: that’s key for… creativity

Let’s face it. We are ready for 2020 at INNOWEO 😉

Focus on intrapreneurs: Tips to encourage internal entrepreneurship

Intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs are buzz words today. However letting your employees be entrepreneurs inside your company is not straight forward.

Businessman turn on invention machine for glowing lightbulbs, representing to creat idea.
Businessman turn on invention machine for glowing lightbulbs, representing to creat idea.

In lots of Corporate time is to wake up the internal start-upers and copy/paste the start-up dynamic and growth into the existing organisation. The « start-up » state-of-mind is seen as the holy grail of product development and the good way to invent the future and to innovate. Some companies think that it is a question of life or death as Uber is the new Devil within Corporate.

One characteristics of start-ups is the agility in the way that they can test, learn, modify very fast in order to find quickly the good product for the right customers and opposite. This entrepreneur state-of-mind is the secret of internal entrepreneur also called Intrapreneur.

How can we encourage such behaviour? How can we leverage on the energy?

First of all there is a problem of human resource. Do you have the right talents for this new shift within your company? Corporates are risks adverse so they hire people that are risks adverses. But Corporate as such talents hates risks. And we are talking all about that. taking risks, failing and bouncing… Focus should be made on delivery, inside and outside the organisation.

Kick your employees out of the wall

Entrepreneurs are creative people. How do they manage to be creative and find new ideas of products or services? Observation and connection are keys. Those guys are out, they observe, they look at things, they ask people. Creativity is really often the possibility to connect an existing concept with a need and manage to adapt it and fill the gap.

One should push employees out of the wall to encourage their creativity, open their minds and increase their creativity.

Too much experts

Your company is organised in order to have experts discussing of their technical points. It reminds me the quote for Einstein stating more or less that we will have the same solutions if we try to solve the problem the same way we ever did.

That’s about innovation, letting new things fertilize our minds and generating new ideas and new way to address one issue or one need.

So  let your employees go out and get inspired by what is outside the company. Then brainstorm internally to get the best out of this. I have heard really often my colleagues or clients saying that « no our industry is different, it will never work here »… Well did they try already? hard enough? I am sure no. I am sure no because I ran several workshops of this kind with outstanding results in very different industries; Energy (of course, that’s my job) but also electronic, Insurance, banking…

Co-work

Coworking is key and allow team to leverage their capabilities and results. So if you are trying to establish a culture of entrepreneurship within your organisation, don’t forget to plan co-working possibilities. Because finding the good resources, the good knowledge (connecting) within the company is a entrepreneur state-of-mind. Mixing temporarily (sometime for an hour) the people with different expertises will add so much value to your project.

Do you have your own office? Alone in a room. I do. That’s counter productive for innovation and coworking. Set coworking space: a fablab or innovation Lab, a meeting room transformed to be the Project’s place, an open office…

In a future article about #MyDigitalTransformationProject (follow this hashtag for more info) I will present you our dedicated office and what advantages it gives to the project.

What is an intrapreneur?

Someone who is curious, interested, open minded, an expert of nothing but good at everything, a continuous learner (on that point try to find out how much employees in your organisation are attending to MOOC… That’s a good sign), taking manageable risks, knowing how to learn from failure, enriching his/her knowledge with other experts, connecting the dots to make a new picture.

Choose Wisely your innovation KPIs (hint: we help you)

KPI

So important for your activity, to track its performances and weaknesses, your KPIs must be wisely chosen to serve your strategy and objectives.

Let’s start at the beginning (it is much better).

What kind of KPI?

  • composite KPIs ==> helps to track complex activities within your company and aggregate different indicators to evaluate their performance
  • Measuring KPI ==> quants KPIs helping to follow the activities and performances of your company
  • Quality KPIs ==> Specific KPI to measure Quality, Clients satisfaction, emotions etc…

Choose them wisely

An error when casting your KPIs can have tremendous impact on your activity. here are some steps to help you find the right one for you.

  1. Set the Direction: Define clearly your objectives and strategy
    Yes, your employees and your company deserve clear objectives and strategy. It will definitely help later to chose the right one if you know where, when and how you want to drive your company.
  2. Chose your vessels: Define the tactic
    Lots of people misunderstood Strategy vs tactic. Tactic is how you get where your strategy is aiming you. Each tactic plan has a given objective (gaining clients, selling more, increase the revenue per client, developing more cutting edge technology, Patenting more etc…). It should give access to a quantified results and participate to the company strategy.
  3. Do it! Elaborate your action plan
    Your action plan is your daily reference document. It contains all actions and activities necessary to achieve your goals. Each line should have a given KPIs helping you to drive your actions and evaluate their results.
  4. Drive: Follow and adapt
    Build, Test, Learn, the magic words.
    Follow your performances, line by line, set targets and thresholds and even more important, learn why your actions have the given results, get feedback from customers or clients, and adapt your tactics. Your clients are not reacting the way you thought, learn why and adapt your actions. That’s the only way to be successful.

KPIs and Innovation

Oh yes, I couldn’t finish this article without having a word on Innovation. There are good KPIs for innovation. Depending of your targets, objectives, strategy and tactics of course. But there are bads any way, whatever you like to achieve. Here they are:

  • Number of patents…. So easy to write a patent. Is the company needing it?  Is there a market out there?  If yes, does the investment worth the sales? Answer those question (and some others incl do the owner get money when filing up?) to be sure patents are necessary but anyway it is so easily deviated…
  • Number of ideas per employees. First my personal opinion is that suggestion or idea boxes are killing innovation and collaborative innovation. Don’t start an idea box to innovate. Start it for continuous improvement, for employee engagements whatever you want but you will never innovate with an idea box. especially with a quantified « per employee » number of ideas. It kills the dynamic (if you managed to have one), overflow the process… If you had the chance to have one good idea, now you are sure to miss it.

Tell me if you have some more deadly KPIs for Innovation in the comments.