Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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9 tips for how big companies can compete with startups (hint: Innovate or die)

9 tips for how big companies can compete with startups (hint: Innovate or die) | Competitive Edge |

The startup landscape can be a double-edged sword in the business world: either the company is going to disrupt the entire landscape or it's going to inspire. But what seems to have corporations terrified is how to wrap their heads around the impact startups are having on the traditional model. Is internal research and development enough? Or is outside assistance needed? And just where should these corporations start? 

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Startups are a real threat of corporations. #Innovation is happening through startups now, and disruption is the threat.

kelvin dsuja's curator insight, July 24, 2015 5:14 AM

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Is Your Product Roadmap Just Burning Your Money? - Enterprise Irregulars

Is Your Product Roadmap Just Burning Your Money? - Enterprise Irregulars | Competitive Edge |

The number 1 mistake I have seen companies of all sizes make is to let the customers, sales people, engineers and tactical product managers decide the product roadmap by adding one feature after another.

If you have product market fit and are doing more than a few million dollars in ARR (annual run rate), you don’t need new features to sell your product. If your product is good enough for a few customers with little marketing then it is reasonable to expect that there are many more customers for whom the product is good enough.

Your sales people will complain when they lose to a competitor because of feature X but will likely not be ready to commit to a bigger quota. This is a tell tale sign that this is not a true gap.

Given my experience with 10+ startups and at, here is my key learning: most product roadmaps do very little to move the needle on growth.

Ask the Hard Question: What if we did no new features for a year?

The way to tease out what is truly strategic and important is to start by framing the problem differently. Think of it as zero based budgeting. – you don’t assume that you keep doing the old stuff, you question everything.

I usually ask the management team – CEO, VP of product, VP of sales – to individually assess the change in top line revenue 1, 2 and 3 years out if we stopped building all the new features except bug fixes and just plugging gaping big holes.

The answer is usually shocking – most startups (and big companies) spend most of the R&D budget building features that are unlikely to move the needle.

What would you build to increase revenue 24 months from now?

There is very little that a product can do to truly change the revenue trajectory for a post product-market fit company in the short term. But if you invest in the right areas, it should impact your longer term roadmap. For example, HubSpot adding CRM to its feature set is definitely going to impact its TAM (total addressable market) unlike adding lots of bells and whistles to email marketing. Workday needs to build all the HCM features out but real top line growth from R&D comes from building Financials or Supply Chain products.

Great companies and great product leaders are naturally good at this. They intuitively understand what the market wants and deliver it.

We all intuitively know this for companies that ship hardware. Everyone is asking for the next iPad, the next iPhone – not just a slightly better Macbook. Its important to finish what you started – and there is whole blog post on this – but its important to know that the two buckets are different.

You will never build an iPhone by incrementally improving your Macbook. 

Similarly, a software company that keeps adding features to its one product without thinking in terms of new editions, new product lines or new go to market – will end up with a bloated product not a richer set of products that can alter the future of the company.

I leave you with this thought – what features are you building today that will truly significantly change the your future? Are you building the next iPhoneor are you just adding the 10th button and the 7th app on a Blackberry?

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How the 'Internet of Everyday Things' could turn any product into a service | VentureBeat | Gadgets | by Lawrence Lee, PARC

How the 'Internet of Everyday Things' could turn any product into a service | VentureBeat | Gadgets | by Lawrence Lee, PARC | Competitive Edge |

Disposable sensors on products like cleaning supplies could soon enable brands to sell outcomes -- such as clean clothes or a clean house.

Imagine a near future where there will be a wireless sensor on the bottom of every shampoo, detergent, and medication container. It will tell you how much product is left and trigger a replacement order once it gets to 10% full or approaches its expiration date.

Now imagine a future laundry detergent dispenser that is connected wirelessly to sensors in the washing machine and can mix multiple channels of active ingredients dynamically to suit the conditions of the wash and optimize the cleaning process.

This type of intelligent, personalized experience is not possible today, but it will be commonplace in the “Internet of Everyday Things” in which low-cost, even disposable products will have digital capabilities through low cost sensors and connectivity

New Product Experiences

With the Internet of Everyday Things, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies will for the very first time have visibility into how their customers are using their products in the home, and even more importantly, they’ll have the power to change the product experience in real-time to suit the specific user and environment. That’s really game changing for an industry that continuously worries about how to differentiate products and protect margins.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Evolution of 'Internet-of-Things', Big Data and client services explained by a researcher. Interesting, however, I think I prefer to keep an eye on when my laundry detergent will be finished myselfd.

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Startups shell big bucks for ideas; part of seed capital used for investing in R&D - The Economic Times

Startups shell big bucks for ideas; part of seed capital used for investing in R&D - The Economic Times | Competitive Edge |
“Earlier big corporations such as IBM, and Bell, used to invest in R &D labs and hire top notch scientists, now startups to drive innovation,”
PUNE: One innovative idea can launch a company but expanding it requires a constant stream of new ideas that several startups are now willing to pay good money for.

Several of these ventures are setting apart nearly a fifth of their seed capital for investments in research and development in sectors ranging from information technology to online retail and clean technology. While those strapped for cash are collaborating with doctoral students, partnering with research agencies or hiring ..

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The Economic Times of India is a great source for information on Indian startups. Here is another interesting article.

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