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When it comes to management, “Out of Control” is a compliment. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the more you control, the less you will succeed. In other words, unless you let go, you won’t grow. Especially in small business environments, there is a general feeling that if management does not keep it all in check, the business will fall apart.  For a moment, let’s assume that this theory is true. By this definition, the more management controls, the better work gets done. Expanding further, it then behooves us to give management control of everything to ensure it is done the best it can be done.  Now, we have just bound the growth of the company to the availability of management. Since the hours of the day are limited, the growth of the company is now limited.  Therein lies the fundamental flaw in “control by management”. If management liberates itself from contro... (more)

Is Netflix Having a "New Coke" Moment? Not So Much

Netflix is being compared everywhere to Coca-Cola Corporation and their famous "New Coke" fiasco back in the 1980s. What Coca-Cola Did Wrong Sam Craig, professor of marketing and international business at the Stern School of Business at New York University, pointed to what he and other marketing experts have long considered the critical blunder that Coca-Cola made -  “They didn't ask the critical question of Coke users: Do you want a new Coke?". So Coca-Cola backpedaled very quickly and re-introduced "old Coke" (calling it "Coke Classic") and, over time, phased out "New Coke."  Thus, Coca-Cola fans everywhere where made whole - they could get "old Coke" at the "old Price." And that's what happened with Netflix - WAIT, no it didn't. With Netflix, it's as if Coca-Cola jacked up the price of Coke by 60%, then discontinued Coke, introducing a New Coke that nobody wanted,... (more)

How to Cannibalize Your Own Products Without Getting Eaten Alive

The scenario is fairly typical. You launch your SaaS application for $14.99 per month. A few months later, a competitor launches a competing service for $10 per month. How do you respond with a competitive offer without cannibalizing your existing customers? We asked three software executives for their thoughts on the topic and have summarized their responses below: Paddy Srinivasan, CEO, Opstera (www.opstera.com) In the above scenario, you are introducing a new tier in the Free->Premium continuum. The inherent risk is that existing customers might want to downgrade to the new level to save albeit with a constrained set of features. While you cannot stop this, one way to have your customers think about this decision is to make the distinction between the SKUs extremely clear in the new tier vs. the premium SKUs. For example, at the low-end customers might be able to... (more)

Case Study: Making Money in a Cashless Economy

Click Here to Download This Case Study Now! The world is going cashless - and USA Technologies will be there when it does. Their Knowledge Base Study shows an average 84% increase in cashless transactions sales at their secure cashless and wireless unattended POS terminals. Click Here to Download This Case Study Now! ... (more)

Business Change: When Is the Right Time?

Recently I have been exploring about the context of Change within the Enterprise.   As everyone knows driving change is an interesting art and companies are aiming to achieve their sustainability in various methods.   However, I had a question in my mind - how would you know when is the right time to make the change? Vicious Cycle If a company is driving change internally because of the driving factors from external forces then the level of resistance is generally higher.  Equally the proactive ‘change triggers' from within the companies take lots of time to embed due to the nature of the organisational dynamics.  In the process, we end up losing time which leads the company to be reactive to business needs.  This cycle in turn continues and formulates the vicious cycle until it shakes up the fundamental identity of the organisation. If we analyse deeper, generally ... (more)

How to Successfully Build a Bootstrapping Software Business

Every young software business is different. Yet regardless of niche, competitive pressures or economic conditions, all startups face the same key issues. It's possible to survive those hectic, early years as a bootstrapped business - even thrive during them. All you need is... 1) An idea for a software product that is needed on the market or a product that has passed its first function tests with flying colors. In other words, the market requires products that are great right from the start or that promise greatness. This leads right into 2) out into the world. In order to put the product onto the digital sales counter, you need an informative website with a web shop. It's often a good idea to outsource the online shop to an external provider for the starting phase, and let them take care of sales in exchange for a low service cost. The benefits are obvious: you don... (more)

Sounds Like a Personal Problem

When an employee has to miss work because his wife is sick, or when another does not show up to work because her mother has to deal with a serious disease, if it sounds like a personal problem, it is. Yours! You are the CEO. The entrepreneur. Your passion fuels this business. Day in, day out, round the clock, you are thinking of growing and improving the company. You are 200% consumed by it and expect your staff to be as well. You need your team to stay late to meet a deadline, or come in early to deal with an emergency. You want them to think, live, breath the company to beat the competition and continually emerge as the winner. Rightfully so, you expect them to know that if they take care of the clients, the company would do better and that's what is required for them to continue to have a gainful employment. Yet, success requires more than a simple quid pro quo re... (more)

The Future of Entrepreneurship

Will "management idea generation" get outsourced? Looks ridiculous - but late C.K.Prahalad seem to have indicated that it may happen. Harvard Business Review had published A Tribute to C K Prahalad written by HBR editor-in-chief Adi Ignatius. Here is an interesting quote from the article. “… C.K. also expressed enthusiasm about a book he was co-writing for HBR Press with HBR editor at large Anand Raman, on how some of the best management ideas these days are coming from India and the other emerging markets, and are reshaping management theory….” If you look at the article The Most Influential Management Gurus on Forbes.com, you may find some evidence of this phenomenon. The article is based on the site 50thinkers.com which has been publishing a listing of the world’s top 50 business thinkers every alternate year from 2001. The top slot has gone to Peter Drucker (2001... (more)

The Consequences of Cloud Adoption

Alright, Joe Blog, I am the new CIO and I want to cut costs and ride the organization to the next-generation wave of cloud-based services....! Impressive.... It allows the organization to ride on the new wave...we will have a more sophisticated platform, we will have a new solution that is cost effective...more control (?!) and so on.... Needless to say, cloud-based solutions have their advantages and are impressive enough for organizations to test and embrace. I wonder how much time organizations spend thinking about the consequences of cloud adoption and how they can be ready to support their business needs. Some years ago, strategic planning becomes essential to every organization and a corner or a floor of the office would be filled with the strategic thinkers defining the roadmap and plan for the organization for the foreseeable future (most of the time it was... (more)

An Executive’s Guide to Cutting HR Costs

Click Here to Download This White Paper Now! Entrepreneurial execs know that they need to follow the rules, but they may not realize what decisions may lead to the two vital components that keep HR costs lower: Increasing productivity Minimizing human capital expenses The following white paper will focus on minimizing human capital expenses in four areas: Hiring the right person for the right seat on the right bus Improving performance with motivational yet balanced total compensation Complying with the law Offering competitive benefits, communicated effectively Click Here to Download This White Paper Now! ... (more)

Ten Principles for Building an Effective Human Capital Plan

Click Here to Download This White Paper Now! Almost every business leader will say that people are their most important asset, but few do anything about it. If you are going to take this principle seriously, then human capital planning is crucial. The Human Capital Plan is an important tool that organizations use to drive focused actions that can ensure goal achievement and business success. It allows organizations to assess, plan for, and respond proactively to its human capital challenges and needs. It helps shape the organization by building a plan to develop the workforce and practices needed to meet an organization's vision, mission, and goals. Read on to learn about 10 principles to follow in order to build an effective human capital plan for your organization. Click Here to Download This White Paper Now! ... (more)