Geoffrey Moore is an author, speaker, and advisor who splits his consulting time between start-up companies in the Mohr Davidow portfolio and established high-tech enterprises, including Salesforce, Microsoft, Intel, Box, Aruba, Cognizant, and Rackspace most recently. His life’s work has focused on the market dynamics surrounding disruptive innovations. His first book, Crossing the Chasm, 3rd Edition: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers, focuses on the challenges start-up companies face transitioning from early adopting to mainstream customers. It has sold more than a million copies, and its third edition has been revised. A majority of its examples and case studies reference companies come to prominence from the past decade. Moore’s most recent work, Escape Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past, addresses the challenge large enterprises face when they seek to add a new line of business to their established portfolio. It has been the basis of much of his recent consulting. Geoff has a BA in American literature from Stanford University and a PhD in English literature from the University of Washington.
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Morris: Before discussing big data and RFID, a few general questions. First, as you reflect on all that has – and hasn’t –happened in the global marketplace in 2014, what do you consider to be of greatest significance? Please explain.
Moore: If I had to pick only one, it might be the change in leadership at Microsoft. It has freed the company to explore a variety of different roles and relationships at a time when enterprise CIOs are particularly concerned about how to manage the expansion of the IT footprint into Cloud, Mobile, Social and Big Data Analytics. Microsoft is uniquely positioned to make a big contribution here if it can realign its assets to meet the new set of demands.
Morris: In one of Tom Davenport’s recent books, Judgment Calls, he and co-author Brooke Manville offer “an antidote for the Great Man theory of decision making and organizational performance”: organizational judgment. That is, “the collective capacity to make good calls and wise moves when the need for them exceeds the scope of any single leader’s direct control.” What do you think?
Moore: Well, since “great man” eliminates half the human race, I certainly think it does need to be replaced in some fashion. And there is no question that management is becoming a much more collaborative enterprise, especially as we move away from supervised co-located workforces and toward more virtualized organizations and workflows. That said, when big bets are in the works, and the forces are unstable and hard to read, I do believe that a single individual needs to be at the tiller. Ideally, that person listens well, but also ideally, they are confident enough in their principles to make clear calls in a timely manner. I do not think a group can do this.
Morris: Here’s a brief excerpt from Paul Schoemaker’s latest book, Brilliant Mistakes: “The key question companies need to address is not ‘Should we make mistakes?’ but rather Which mistakes should we make in order to test our deeply held assumptions?'” Your response?
Moore: When the outcome is not mission-critical, and the issues are nascent, for sure “fast failure” is part of a winning modality. The mantra I would add here is “Win, or learn.” Organizations that hold all efforts to the same standard are severely hampered in this kind of situation. Once you are driving to produce mission-critical outcomes, however, failure is not an option. Now if the forces are still nascent, you have to provision the effort in such a way that you have multiple back-ups. This drastically reduces the number of disruptive, mission-critical initiatives one can — or at least should — undertake.
Morris: Looking ahead to 2015, what do you think will be the single greatest challenge to CEOs? Why?
Moore: The challenge I am focused on for this decade is, how can an established market leader in a mature category catch the next wave? I don’t know it if is the single greatest challenge, but it is sufficient to keep me busy full-time for sure.
Morris: Any advice?
Moore: I laid out the problem statement in my last book, Escape Velocity. Now I am in the process of writing a shorter, crisper playbook for how to organize, measure, and compensate teams to actually get this done.
Morris: Now please shift your attention to big data. In your opinion, why has interest in it increased so rapidly and extensively in recent years? To what extent have disruptive innovations (e.g. social media technologies) been a major factor? Please explain.
Moore: Google, Facebook, and Amazon have each applied Machine Learning to Big Data to effectively eviscerate entire industries, driving all the established sector leaders back on their heels. Moreover, it seems pretty clear that this is just the beginning, so the wait-and-see option is looking pretty scary.
Morris: What are some of the most common misconceptions about Big Data? What in fact is true?
Moore: It is not really about Big Data. It is about Machine Learning. The big idea is that one can algorithmically detect actionable signals from the digital exhaust that trails every online process anywhere on the globe. Yes, there is a ton of data, but that is not the critical factor. It’s the analytics that transform it into information, and the connectivity needed to get that information into a decision flow in time to make a difference,
Morris: Based on what I’ve learned thus far, the term “big data” seems to be a misnomer. While its size receives all the attention, the most challenging aspect of big data seems — at least to me — to be its lack of structure. What do you think?
Moore: I am with you. The reason lack of structure is so important is that we already have the ability to analyze structured Big Data in a timely fashion. It is the unstructured (or rather, non-tabular) data that really are driving this new set of use cases, specifically the log files that sit behind the social graphs, the internet of things, the behavioral targeting, and the like.
Morris: There’s a lot of talk about Big Data, but when you look at retail stores, inventory accuracy is just 65 percent. Supply chains struggle with inventory accuracy, shipping accuracy, and other problems. What’s the value of big data if a lot of the data is inaccurate?
Moore: Actually, this is a different problem. Big Data is orthogonal to Bad Data. But there is an important point to note here. Bad Data claims to be Good Data. Big Data does not make any claims at all—it is just digital exhaust.
Morris: Here are some observations about issues related to big data and analytics by authors of recently published books. Please respond to each. First, from Gert H. Larsen and Jesper Thurlund’s Business Analytics for Managers: “We will move away from static retrospective reporting results toward factual real-time information and analytical knowledge to drive individuals and business processes.”
Moore: Yes, this is the whole point. My one quibble is that we not move away from the static stuff — it is still quite useful — but rather that we will commit increasingly to the real-time data-informed machine-enabled decision making.
Morris: From Christopher Surdak’s Data Crush: “Clouds will grow beyond infrastructure and will begin to migrate into markets higher up in the corporate value chain. This trend will rapidly lead to Everything as a Service (EaaS) marketplaces, where nearly any business outcome will be purchased by an outside provider.”
Moore: I think this is probably the pendulum swinging too far. But the point about migration is very real. Marketplaces are migrating from physical to digital locations, which does enable disaggregation of workloads, outsourcing to specialists, and the like. R.H. Coase had the right formula for the limiting factor here. It is transaction costs. At some point outsourcing imposes more cost, risk, or latency than doing it yourself—that’s where the new inside/outside boundary reestablishes itself.
Morris: From Victor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier’s Big Data: “What we are able to collect and process will always be just a tiny fraction of the information that exists in the world. It can only be a simulacrum of reality, like the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave. Because we can never have perfect information, our predictions are inherently fallible.”
Moore: Prediction is not really the goal. Fast adaptation is the goal. Darwinism does not require you to know in advance. It requires you to respond in a flash.
Morris: From Eric Siegel’s Predictive Analytics: “Prediction seems to defy a Law of Nature: You cannot see the future because it isn’t here yet. We find a work-around by building machines that learn from experience. It’s the regimented discipline of using what we do know — in the form of data — to place increasingly odds on what’s coming next. We blend the best of math and technology, systematically tweaking until our scientific hearts are content to derive a system that peers through the previously impenetrable barrier between today and tomorrow.”
Moore: Right idea, but the last sentence overstates the outcome. If Eric were actually correct, a reasonable number of money managers would outperform the stock market indexes. But they do not. Once again analytics do not predict. They enable quick recognition of something that was not anticipated but has in fact occurred.
Morris: From Thomas Davenport’s big data @ work: “The greatest barrier to analysis is that we first have to impose structure on big data; most of those 2.8 zettabytes are not currently in row-and-column formats. We have a huge task ahead of us — to start structuring the data, analyzing it, and getting value from it. Not all of it will be useful — one study [‘Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East,’ conducted by John Gantz and David Reinsel in 2012] estimates about 25 percent has potential value — but whatever the number, we are only scratching the surface of what’s possible.”
Moore: I think even quantifying the amount of data is a mistake. I think you want to start with decisions or bets you want to make, and then work backward from objectives and achievables to information that could improve your odds, and then to mechanisms that might generate that information in a timely manner. You would get to the data eventually, but it is never really about the data. Rather, as I have already suggested, what you do with the data.
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To read the complete interview, please click here.
Geoff cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:
Geoffrey Moore is Managing Director, Geoffrey Moore Consulting; a venture partner with Mohr Davidow Ventures, Chairman Emeritus, TCG Advisors, The Chasm Institute and The Chasm Group; and a member of the Board of Directors, Akamai Technologies and several pre-IPO Companies. He is also an author, speaker and business advisor to many of the leading companies in the high-tech sector, including Aruba, Box, Cisco, Cognizant, Intel, Microsoft, Rackspace, SAP, and Salesforce. Geoff divides his time between consulting on strategy and transformation challenges with senior executives and speaking internationally on those same topics. His latest release, Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Disruptive Products to Mainstream Customers (Third Edition), brings Moore’s classic work on marketing disruptive innovations up to date with dozens of new examples of successes and failures, new strategies for marketing in the digital world, and Moore’s most current insights and findings.
Geoff has written numerous other books including Escape from Velocity: Free Your Company’s Future from the Pull of the Past (2011), his sixth, for business leaders in the high-tech sector looking to reinvigorate their established franchises with next-generation lines of business. He is also an active public speaker who gives between 30 and 60 speeches per year, addressing a spectrum of topics including high-tech market dynamics, business strategies, innovation, organizational development, and industry futures. His other published works include Inside the Tornado: Marketing Strategies from Silicon Valley’s Cutting Edge (1995), The Gorilla Game: Picking Winners in High Technology (1999), Living on the Fault Line, Revised Edition: Managing for Shareholder Value in Any Economy (2002), and Dealing with Darwin: How Great Companies Innovate at Every Phase of Their Evolution (2008).
Here is an excerpt from my third interview of him. To read the complete interview, please click here.
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Morris: When and why did you decide to have a third edition of Crossing the Chasm? What new material do you provide in it?
Moore: I was getting feedback from entrepreneurship classes that, while the theory of crossing the chasm was as applicable as ever, the examples in the book were out of date. So this new third edition has all new examples from the past ten years, featuring companies like Salesforce, VMware, Box, Aruba, Rackspace, Lithium, Rocket Fuel, Infusionsoft, and the like.
Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing it? Please explain.
Moore: I think the biggest change in the past decade has been the explosion of consumer computing, completely transforming our culture from end to end, and more recently, the transformation of enterprise computing as it seeks to integrate social, mobile, analytics, and cloud technologies into its legacy architectures. This led me to include a new appendix to the book focused on consumer adoption of technology, something that plays out sufficiently differently from the chasm model to require its own framework, which we called the Four Gears.
Morris: To what extent (if any) does the book in final form differ significantly from what you originally envisioned for the third edition?
Moore: I worked very hard not to change the argument of the book itself, only the examples and references. But the chapter on Distribution and Pricing simply would not admit of that approach, given how dramatically the consumer side of things has changed. Other than that chapter, however, people will encounter the same frameworks as in the original edition because they have held up surprisingly well over the years.
Morris: To what extent do you develop in much greater depth insights shared in the previous editions?
Moore: This was not my intent. Rather, each of my books has sought to build on the frameworks of the prior books, a kind of “backward compatibility” approach that seeks to maintain coherence across a set of models as it builds outwards to address a broader landscape. Thus Inside the Tornado took the Technology Adoption Life Cycle beyond the chasm all the way through to its conclusion. It was followed by The Gorilla Game which applied these ideas to an approach to high-tech investing. That was followed by Living on the Fault Line, which applied ideas from the Gorilla Game to the general idea of managing for shareholder value. Then Dealing with Darwin took on the challenges established franchises have with getting a good return on innovation, and the most recent book, Escape Velocity, extended that work to address how best to onboard and integrate a next-generation line of business into an established franchise. The thread that runs through all these books is the market dynamics that underlie the introduction of disruptive innovations into any community of customers and suppliers.
Morris: To what extent is material in Chasm 3 entirely new? Please explain.
Moore: The appendix on the Four Gears is entirely new. It is about how markets develop when the technology is not disruptive to the consumer but the business model is hugely disruptive to the status quo. It focuses on four stages of adoption, or “gears,” which we call Acquire, Engage, Convert, and Enlist. The idea behind the model is that you need to get all four gears spinning in unison to create a self-reinforcing “network effect,” and that therefore the key imperative at any given point in time is to speed up your slowest gear.
Morris: What are what you characterize as “the erratic results of high tech marketing”?
Moore: When companies spend most of their marketing energy talking about themselves and their products, the results are erratic because, in most cases, nobody cares about either topic anywhere near as much as the company itself does. Effective marketing requires you to work backward from the audience and the audience’s interests and find the nearest point of intersection with your interests and messages. The Technology Adoption Life Cycle is one of a number of frameworks that allows you to segment audience by interest in technology, and that is why it has had such a big impact on high-tech marketing.
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To read the complete interview, please click here.
Geoff cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:
Geoffrey Moore website link
Geoffrey Moore Amazon page link
Geoffrey Moore blog link
Geoffrey Moore Twitter link
Please click here to read my first interview of him.
Please click here to read my second interview of him.
Who is David C. Robertson, the author of BRICK BY BRICK: HOW LEGO REWROTE THE RULES OF INNOVATION AND CONQUERED THE GLOBAL TOY INDUSTRY?
That’s the book I present on Friday, September 6 at the First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas. You can register here.
I found this biography on his website. I thought you might find it interesting.
“David Robertson is a Professor of Practice at the Wharton School where he teaches Innovation and Product Development in Wharton’s undergraduate, MBA, and executive education programs. From 2002 through 2010, Robertson was the LEGO Professor of Innovation and Technology Management at Switzerland’s Institute for Management Development (IMD), which received the #1 worldwide ranking by the Financial Times for its executive education programs. At IMD he was Program Director for IMD’s largest program, the Program for Executive Development, and co-Director of the Making Business Sense of IT program, a joint program between IMD and MIT Sloan.
“Robertson is the author of Brick by Brick: How LEGO Reinvented its Innovation System and Conquered the Toy Industry, and co-author of Enterprise Architecture as Strategy. He has published in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and many other journals. Robertson has consulted and led educational programs for a wide range of companies, including EMC, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Georg Fischer, Braskem, Banco Santander, Skanska, Swisscom, Russell Investments, Novozymes, GMAC, Grundfos, BT, Microsoft, Heineken, Philip Morris, Globe Telecom, Tieto Enator, and AXA.
“Prior to IMD, Robertson was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a consultant at McKinsey & Company for 5 years, and an executive at four enterprise software companies. David received his MBA and PhD from MIT and BS from the University of Illinois. David, his wife, and two children live in Chestnut Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”
Taken from: http://www.robertsoninnovation.com
Kevin Allen is Founder & Chairman of business transformation company, [re:kap], that counts Burberry, M&C Saatchi, Nokia, Omnicom, Rolls-Royce, Smythson and Swedbank among its global clients. He spent over two decades on the front lines of business development at the top of advertising giants McCann-WorldGroup, the Interpublic Group and Lowe Worldwide and is recognized as one of the advertising industry’s most accomplished growth professionals. He worked with such brands as MasterCard—developing the globally famous “Priceless” campaign—Microsoft, Marriott, Smith Barney, Nestle, L’Oreal, Lufthansa and Johnson and Johnson, and was an early part of Rudy Giuliani’s team that prepared the way for the successful Mayoral election and turnaround strategies for the City of New York.
Kevin is a highly skilled growth professional and is uniquely positioned to teach companies and individuals how to win. His published works include The Hidden Agenda: A Proven Way to Win Business and Create a Following and, more recently, The Case of the Missing Cutlery: A leadership course for the rising star. (Bibliomotion, April 2013).
Here is an excerpt from my second interview of him. To read the complete interview, please click here.
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Morris: When and why did you decide to write The Case of the Missing Cutlery?
Allen: As a sensitive and highly intuitive person in the command-and-control corporate world, I always felt miscast. But what I’ve come to realize is that emotional intelligence, which I define as buoyancy, was the only way I knew how to lead, and is, in my option, the only way to inspire real change.
For so long, companies were run using a command-and-control, ‘top down’ hierarchical method that involved dictating down the command chain and maintaining order. What I’ve witnessed in our time is evolving democratization, a shift to a demand economy accelerated by technological advancements like social media.
The timing is right to offer a fresh perspective on management, particularly to a new generation of individuals rising to senior positions, who understand the nature of this new economy but weren’t provided with the leadership principles necessary to mobilize an organization from the bottom-up.
Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing it? Please explain.
Allen: I think my revelation has more to do with the reaction to the book. We’ve received a whole array of “Thank you for this,” and “We feel empowered by this,” and “Finally, we don’t have to be someone we’re not in order to lead.”
Morris: To what extent (if any) does the book in final form differ significantly from what you originally envisioned?
Allen: There was a significant difference between how the book was structured and what I had originally envisioned. I ended up dividing it into two parts. The entire book was to be a course in buoyancy, but I realized that “The Case of the Missing Cutlery” was such a compelling case history. So I decided to present the case, and then the lesson. I think what’s important it that it’s not a fancy-schmancy business school case study, but something that the audience can relate to, maybe from earlier on in their career.
Morris: What are the defining characteristics of a Buoyant Leader?
Allen: Buoyancy is a phenomenon whereby, as a leader, you float because the people you inspired believe that you should, because you’ve truly connected with the collective desires and values of the people you lead. Empathy is the key here, as is authenticity. When your people have determined that you understand their lies in their hearts and are dedicated to their functional wellbeing, they will compensate for your weaknesses and shore up your strengths.
Leadership is not about sitting and presiding, it’s about a going somewhere. To be buoyant, you must not only ignite passion around a common quest, you must also mobilize your team to take a journey with you toward a common destination, or what I call a “real ambition.”
Morris: What are the defining characteristics of a workplace environment within which buoyant leadership is most likely to thrive?
Allen: An important concept in this regard is, “cultural permission”, which is the tone that is set inside an organization that shapes the very behavior of the employees in an organization. Fact is, we don’t think about it very often, but the phrases and language used everyday in an organization can in fact affect the way your team makes decisions and conducts themselves.
Think back to the days of Enron, where phrases like “Rank and Yank” and “Money is what matters” were coming out of the executive suite. These phrases were embedded into the workplace culture and being interpreted as permission to do some pretty terrible things.
But what can be seeds of destruction can also be seeds of greatness. For example, phrases like “It can be done, and it will be done,” which I heard from Rudy Giuliani while serving on the team that helped turn around New York City, influenced people to perform incredible feats, all within a culture of doing good.
Morris: By what process did you formulate the ACTION Model?
Allen: By panicking and screwing up early in my career!
Morris: What most significantly differentiates it from other leadership development models?
Allen: The purpose of the ACTION Model is to give you a series of steps you can use in a crisis, so you don’t panic and run off in a million directions. The secret is to be prepared, to draw on the strengths of the people around you, and most importantly, to instill confidence that your team will step up and find a solution.
Morris: For those who have not as yet read the book, The Case of the Missing Cutlery, please explain what valuable business lessons can be learned from what you identify as a “true tale.”
Allen: The Case of the Missing Cutlery comes from my early days as an assistant manager of a Marriott International airline catering facility at JFK airport in New York City. This was not the peanut packet-per-passenger service they have today- in those days every passenger were served some sort of hot meal with gleaming cutlery. One day we had a surprise visit from a VIP at our largest client, who demanded that we investigate why they were losing cutlery by the thousands. I volunteered to look into it and discovered that the cutlery was coming out of the machine still stained, and because the workers were so fearful of returning dirty forks and knives, they felt they had no choice but to throw it away. Instead of yelling at them, or worse, firing them, I decided that we would solve the problem together, and we did.
What I learned was that once you reach people on an authentic emotional level, they will reward your faith in them with their belief in you, and they will mobilize to get the job done. I learned that in every situation you will find who I call catalysts and resistors, and you must energize your catalysts, and neutralize — or better yet, convert — your resistors. And most of all, I learned that once you demonstrate to your team that you put them on the same plane of priority as yourself, you will create an environment, and a culture that will make your entire organization flourish.
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To read the complete second interview of Kevin, please click here.
To read my first interview of him, please click here.
Kevin invites you to check out the resources at these websites:
Kevin’s Amazon page
YouTube (“Big Speak”) video link
Kevin’s LinkedIn link
AdWeek video link