Tag Archives: Lean Startups

Salient Virtues: I Gotta Have More Cowbell !

In my previous blog post, I discussed the common fatal flaws in business plan or startup competition pitches.  This essay focuses on the reverse concern – do you have any salient virtues? To illustrate the point, I encourage you to watch the SNL classic skit featuring Christopher Walken and Will Ferrell “More Cowbell” – also see the Wikipedia entry.    The main

Read more

Fatal Flaws: A Perro Flaco, Todo Son Pulgas!

For those of you competing in student, employee and or startup idea competitions, here’s what you can learn from your best friend…the Dog. The Spanish proverb in the subtitle above directly translates to “To a skinny dog, everything is a flea”, roughly meaning:  “To the weak, everything is a problem” or “When it rains, it pours”, etc. Speaking of dogs

Read more

The one thing large companies must absolutely have before adopting Lean Startup thinking

The new management fad is here: Teaching large companies to adopt Lean Startup thinking (Yes, I’m guilty as charged myself).   But this is already off to a bad start if it is simply a hammer hitting another nail. The Classic Lean The two previous instantiations of Lean Thinking were certainly the right tool for the job.  First applied to manufacturing, ‘classic’

Read more

Innovation Competitions. Innovation as Sport

My name is Ricardo dos Santos and I’m an Innovation Competition-holic.   Let me get started with what I mean by Innovation Competitions (you can also check out this presentation I uploaded on slideshare). My Definition of Innovation Competitions In this context, I  use the term Innovation Competitions interchangeably with Inducement Prize Contests – these are distinctly different from recognition prizes in

Read more

Yes you CAN sell ice to Eskimos – Part III: Our Advanced Needs

This three part blog series introduces a novel classification of innate user needs, aka ‘the basic ways we fight for happiness and progress (through consumption)’.  Part I of the blog recapped the well known concept that market segmentation is not about demographics, but about seizing an unoccupied space in the mind and heart of the consumer.   Part II of the

Read more

Yes you CAN sell ice to Eskimos – Part II: Our Primal Needs

In Part I of this blog, I introduced the age-old secret of entrepreneurship – understanding the essence of what you’re really selling, i.e. defining the intrinsic quality of your product or service that compels your customers to want it.   This is also referred to as the ‘value proposition’ or ‘deep meaning’ of any particular offering, elucidating the reason ‘why’ someone

Read more

Yes you CAN sell ice to Eskimos – Part I

My first ever (ad)venture was selling books door-to-door.   Back during my college years at LSU, I badly needed to make money during the summer breaks to pay for the mounting costs of a higher education (and too much partying).   Little did I know that my summer job was to be the real education – my door-to-door sales experience is where

Read more

Entrepreneur; or The Modern Prometheus

If there were ever a mythological role model of entrepreneurship and corporate entrepreneurship, it would definitely be Prometheus.  Prometheus is the trickster Titan that created man and woman from clay.  He is best known for defiantly stealing fire from the Olympian God Zeus and gifting it to his beloved mankind, for which he was condemned to eternal suffering; The irate Zeus

Read more

Innovation jargon for cocktail parties – time to sound smart

Back in 1999, minty-fresh from my Sloan MBA and stint at the Boston Consulting Group, I thought I knew all there was to know about ‘survival’ business jargon.  This namely consisted of what I called the ‘big eight’ buzzwords:  The first four related to top-line growth, namely:  Strategy, Competitive Advantage, M&A (when you have no competitive advantage but you have

Read more

Startup Accelerators should offer Lean Startup training to their cohorts – but it starts with training the trainers

Seed accelerators or incubators like the Y-Combinator and TechStars have become increasingly popular mechanisms to support startups, offering funding, mentoring and sometimes office-space for founders and their teams.  There are hundreds of such programs in the United States and abroad and the number seems to be growing by the day. However, as reported in the Wall Street Journal, a recent

Read more
« Older Entries Recent Entries »