Author Archives: Ricardo dos Santos

Strategic Planning for New Ventures. Part III: The Strategic Choice Canvas

Based on your assessment of the current situation facing your startup or innovation project discussed in my last blog post, the Gut Check (including a good grasp of the past and changing conditions ahead), it is time to put your core idea and inertia through the strategy ringer, or a set of decision-making criteria that should improve your prospects for

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Strategic Planning for New Ventures. Part II: The Gut Check

In part I of this blog, I covered various views on strategy, namely the distinction between strategy as a theory for competition and strategy as the realization of goals by all means necessary.   We learned from the brilliant work of various though leaders including Porter, Christensen, Hamel, McGrath, Blank and Drucker that the formula for victory on the business battleground

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Strategic Planning for New Ventures. Part I: What the heck is strategy?

When working for a large company, I remember the arduous, but necessary process of yearly strategic planning, albeit I wasn’t personally invited to the swanky off-site or wherever “the generals gathered in their masses”. Now that I’m part of the management team of an early-stage biotech startup, I get invited to the party – yeah!   Then it dawned on me

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Magic vs. Logic in Entrepreneurship

I’m often asked the question “What is more important to corporate innovation or external financial investors – an idea that’s Magical (appeals to their creative or emotional side) or an idea that’s Logical (appeals to their critical reasoning, rational side)”? It reminds me of the question posed by Niccolo Machievelli in ‘The Prince’:  Is it better for a ruler to

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Just say ‘Maybe’

What the diagnostics business can teach us about innovation investment decisions.   There are easy businesses and there are hard businesses.  Then there are REALLY HARD businesses. If you ask me (and I’m living it now in my current startup, Biological Dynamics), the hardest business of all is medical diagnostics, especially for initial disease screening (is the patient healthy or

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Search for a Scalable Business Model

In their book “The Startups Owner’s Manual” authors Steven Gary Blank and Bob Dorf argue that almost everything we know about taking products to market is wrong!  How’s that for an opening statement!?  They go on to illustrate how the world of new product introduction is littered with failures, mostly because companies (including startups) are using the wrong new business

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Thinking Design

In his book “Design-Driven Innovation.  Changing the rules of competition by radically innovating what things mean” author Roberto Verganti argues that truly ground-breaking innovation happens when leaders propose a new vision to the market that is made possible by a new technology, but most importantly, how it changes the underlying meaning (or the ‘why?’) of a certain activity.   He

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