Disruptive vs. Sustaining Innovation
Why PERSONAL computers are disruptive, even though commercial computers existed for decades prior. Risks and gains of disruptive innovation, why the gains may eclipse sustaining innovation.
The extremely tough decision by Kodak, Blockbuster Video, Borders Books, and countless others, on whether to embrace new technology—despite the fact that it could take decades, or ignore it—and risk being put out of business.
Which model gives you the best shot at being acquired by companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook? Why are disruptive acquisitions way more lucrative?
Entrepreneur Peter Thiel’s (cofounder Paypal and Facebook, early Tesla investor) “seven-questions every market-creating business must answer”—essentially a secret formula to predict how big you will become
Proper customer research. Which questions to NEVER ask customers. Why customers rarely know how to solve their own problem, sometimes don’t know they have a problem, how to leverage that to your advantage. Timeless advice from life-changing innovators Henry Ford and Thomas Edison on how to come up with revolutionary ideas.
Leveraging the internet to discover existing technologies believed impossible. How to use unprecedented “one-click-away” access to the latest cutting edge research in top institutions to create solutions in high demand.
Timing—How Tesla and Elon Musk secured an unheard of half-billion dollar loan from the US Government, due to his perfectly timed strategy.
Why figuring out the next big problem is extremely valuable. How Google and Twitter solved problems brought about by the internet’s existence. How to find new problems, waiting for a great solution, often in front of our noses.
Why innovation is not about INVENTION, but way more. The surprising reason behind many failed electric cars prior to Tesla, Apple’s Newton, and many inherently viable inventions that came to market at the wrong time.
Mark Andreessen’s thoughts on why no idea will “never happen”. Is it better to be the first company to market or the last? (Hint: you may be surprised.)
Why thinking you’ve developed a product too late is great news. Idealists vs. Pragmatists. Why visionaries who see the world of the future may be at a disadvantage.
Why the next 2 or 3 DECADES’ worth of ideas have already been developed (shockingly), how to leverage that to your advantage and achieve major success.
Understanding growth cycles of a range of industries, figuring out at when to take a product to market for greatest statistical chance of success. Why govt. regulation, demographics, environment, and other seemingly technical factors can heavily impact timing.
Why Google, who brings in $50 Billion a year—way less than the $160 Billion of the airline industry—is worth 3X more than all US airlines combined!
Should you be the only one of your kind in a smaller market, or one of many in a bigger one?
Why the conventional wisdom to target large mainstream markets is dead wrong.
Why AirBnB, Uber, Twitter, Facebook, Paypal, Tesla, and Instagram began by targeting small market segments. How they leveraged this out-of-the-box strategy to network freely. with minimal competition, from one segment to the next and eventually go viral.
The five key customer segments for innovative products, which one you should target, and which to ignore. Why its’ so hard to jump from non-mainstream early users willing to take risks, to the larger and more lucrative mainstream, known as the infamous “chasm crossing.” Four common attributes of every successful company that crossed the chasm.
Peter Thiel’s four keys to building a (legal) monopoly:
How to ensure employees feel like part of your team. Importance of employees who fit your product culturally, why green energy startups whose founders dress in suits for pitch meetings is a big red flag
Importance of structure, how to tell if you have too many rules or stifling policies. Why employees you trust can be more productive with less structure.
Skills most important to have proper techno-functioning, customer and market research, vision, and design. Build relationships with customers and investors, articulating your passion in a way that is contagious.
Why “hackers” are so great at problem-solving.
Why founders are rarely average at anything, and often on both extremes of the bell curve of personality traits. Why their shady pasts (eg. criminal record, even bomb-making) can directly correlate to their business success.
Why having a great product is NOT a slam-dunk that it will get into customers’ hands. The shocking thing done by Ben Silberman, founder of Pinterest, to gain attention in Apple stores, that got him kicked out. (Yet may have worked.)
Customer Acquisition Cost, Lifetime Value of a Customer, and the correct formula to leverage these numbers for maximum ROI on product distribution
How Box.com turned small groups of users with acute file-sharing problems into a massive customer base, and had entire hospitals running on their software
Secret to durability. Why many companies are valued exponentially higher than their net worth and revenue because of long-term growth and sustainability. The “four horsemen” of durability. Why a monopoly over a small market share can have a better shot at long-term scalability.
Why many great ideas seem silly or lousy at first. Secret to distinguishing good ideas from bad ones. Why sometimes the next great idea is staring us in the face, how to make sure we see it.
Peter Thiel’s seven key questions to explosive growth and success, how Tesla answered all seven correctly, while other green energy and car companies fell flat.