Competitiveness and Innovation

Tragedy and statistics

11 Mar 2009  

“The death of one company is a tragedy; the death of one million is a statistic.” Originally said of catastrophic human events, so it is too with “The Economy”.  It’s too easy to get lost in the quantified abstractions of the aggregate, and thereby lose focus on the realities that drive individual business enterprises. If […]

Competitiveness and Innovation

The tough get going

30 Jan 2009  

Now the tough get going.  The economy will come back—not because it decides to come back, but because we together make it come back.  How long this will take to happen, no one can say for sure. This much is clear:  silly season is over.  Things like having not one, but two places on your […]

Competitiveness and Innovation

“The limits of intelligence”

9 Jan 2008  

The Wall Street Journal recently (December 10, 2007) ran an op-ed article by two former members of the House Intelligence Committee (Peter Hoekstra, R-MI and Jane Harman, D-CA) under the title “The Limits of Intelligence”.  The article was written in reaction to the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that claimed that Iran has suspended its nuclear […]

Competitiveness and Innovation

Two vignettes

17 Dec 2007  

To illustrate the principles of value creation, consider these two hypothetical vignettes from everyday life. Vignette 1 – A Visit to the Doctor You pay a non-routine visit to your doctor.  The doctor’s first question is, “What kind of pills would you like today?” Your reaction?  You’re shocked at the incompetence, and look for another doctor.  […]

Competitiveness and Innovation

It’s all about the benefits

3 May 2007  

The late Theodore Levitt, professor of marketing at Harvard Business School, was a champion of customer benefits as the benchmark for value in marketing. As he memorably put it, customers don’t really want a drill—they want a hole. That single insight fundamentally changes the way you develop and position products. The same could be said […]