Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Innovation Index five-peats – five week of back-to-back gains. The Innovation Index added 3% last week, and is now up 21% for the year. The Innovation Index has already surpassed the 2006 performance, and we are just in May 2007. Could this be the banner year for The Innovation Index? The Innovation Index easily crushes the major U.S. indices including the S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones. S & P 500 was unchanged, and is up 7% for the year; NASDAQ was unchanged, and is up 6% for the year; the Dow Jones Index lost a fraction, and is now up 8% for the year. This is the fifth week in 2007 where The Innovation Index is having double-digit gains.

The Innovation Index closed at 83.54 on May 25, 2007, up 21% from the closing price of 69.31 on December 29, 2006.



What caused The Innovation Index to add another 3% in one week? Five innovators caused the jump, the largest increase coming from Research In Motion Limited - (NASDAQ: RIMM) that went up 10% in just one week, and is now up 30% for the year.

“NetSuite Inc. (www.netsuite.com) and iEnterprises (www.ienterprises.com), announced that iEnterprises and NetSuite will be offering Mobile Edge for NetSuite(R), a wireless application designed specifically for NetSuite customers, so they can easily mobilize NetSuite for use on BlackBerry smartphones from Research In Motion (RIM).” – RIM can boast on-demand software suite on the BlackBerry. RIM also completed the status updates on its financials, and benefited from upgrades.

8 of the Top 20 Innovators showed positive gains (compared to 10 in the previous week), 8 of the Top 20 Innovators showed negative gains (compared to 7 in the previous week), and 4 Innovators were unchanged last week (compared to 3 in the previous week).

Can The Innovation Index six-peat, and have another week of gains? The Innovation Index is on a roll, and knows no stopping.

Weekly Advances

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) was up 3% last week and is now up 5% for the year; Google increased the Search Market Share in the U.S. by 1.4% contributing to an additional 100 million additional searches. Google announced an innovative new Translation feature - Google Translate - that automatically provides the results of a search query in your own language from any other language (that Google supports).

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was up another 8% in just one week, and is now up a whopping 74% for the year. New innovations, analyst upgrades and short squeeze contributed to the rise.

“Leading online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced it has acquired Brilliance Audio (www.brillianceaudio.com), the largest independent publisher of audiobooks in the United States. The acquisition will enable Amazon to work closely with the book publishing community to further expand the number of books produced in audio format and provide customers with an even greater selection of audiobooks to find, discover and buy.” “Amazon.com is also planning to launch DRM-Free MP3 music Download Store with songs and albums from EMI Music and more than 12,000 other labels.” “Amazon.com's grocery store launched new Subscribe & Save feature allowing automatic fulfillment of most popular items.” – Amazon is innovating on all cylinders, and these announced innovations will positively impact Amazon’s growth in 2007 and beyond. In particular, the millions of songs that Amazon.com will offer for MP3 music lovers.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was up 3% and is now up 34% for the year; there is a huge momentum building for the soon to be launched iPhone, including rampant speculation on the release date, and rollout frenzy. “Prudential reiterated overweight target for Apple, and raised their target on AAPL to $125 from $115 following meetings with the mgmt. The firm says mgmt appeared confident on a number of fronts including 1) its prospects for Mac share growth over time, 2) the potential for iPhone success, and 3) the viability of the iPod platform despite the impending launch of iPhone. The firm says their checks suggest 1) continued momentum for Mac sales, 2) a timely launch of iPhone, and 3) series of new iPod launches beginning as early as June, extending through September.” – All these timely innovations bode well for Apple and Apple investors.

Discount retailer Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), amid innovations and strength in its credit-card business and better margins, reported an 18% jump in first-quarter profit on Wednesday. Target was up 4% in one week, and is now up 7% for the year.

On a conference call with analysts, Chief Executive Bob Ulrich called the results "excellent," adding that Target's (TGT) share of the market against competitors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) and Sears (SHLD) climbed to 9%.

According to MarketWatch, for the quarter ended May 5, Target said it earned $651 million, or 75 cents a share, compared with last year's income of $554 million, or 63 cents a share.

Total sales for the Minneapolis-based discounter rose 9.2% to $14.04 billion from $12.86 billion a year ago. Revenues from operations climbed 9% to $13.62 billion while credit-card revenues were up 13% at $418 million. The most impressive data was: Sales at stores open longer than a year, which retailers use to measure growth, rose 4.3%.

The results outpaced Wall Street's expectations for a per-share profit of 71 cents but came up short of a forecast for $14.17 billion in sales.

Target said it still expects to post earnings of $3.60 a share for the full-year period, in line with the average forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Financial. And although quarterly guidance was not offered, CFO Scovanner called analysts' average estimates for the second, third and fourth quarters "respectable."

General Electric Co. - GE (NYSE: GE) introduced 11 new ecomagination products, services and projects, including the world's first hybrid locomotive and the ecomagination Homebuilder Program - a comprehensive package of energy efficient appliances, lighting, advanced building design and real-time energy management combined with a GE mortgage that rewards energy efficiency.

"Customer demand for the most advanced, most fuel-efficient and least emissive technologies is what sparked ecomagination," said GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt. "Increasing demand from our customers is what is making it succeed beyond our expectations.

"Green is happening everywhere across GE," Immelt said. "From our transportation products to renewable energy to clean water to how we make television shows and movies to home building and mortgages, green is truly universal at GE." - GE was up 2% for the week, and importantly, is now in the black for the year – up 1%.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) “announced an agreement with Sanook!, the leading online portal in Thailand, to launch an e-commerce site that will enable individuals and businesses in Thailand to participate in local trade as well as cross border trade through eBay's global Web sites. Under this revenue-sharing agreement, the co-branded site -- Sanook! eBay -- will be managed and operated under a newly formed Sanook! subsidiary. The Thai-language local site is expected to launch in approximately five to seven months. According to research firm IDC, Thailand currently has more than 16 million Internet users - a figure expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 25 percent through 2009. The agreement gives eBay the opportunity to participate and drive economic growth in the region. Once the site is launched, Thailand will be the 38th market where eBay has a local presence.” - Way to go global eBay! eBay was even last week, and is up 9% for the year. I attended TiEcon 2007 the previous weekend, and was inspired by Meg Whitman’s keynote presentation, President and CEO of eBay. Check out: Innovation and Leadership lessons from Meg Whitman, eBay CEO and President, and top Innovator

Weekly Declines

The news of the previous week was Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) acquisition of AQuantive (NASDAQ: AQNT). Microsoft hits a walk-off home run with Aquantive acquisition. In last week’s announced innovations: “Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 received U.S. Department of Defense 5015.2 Certification. 'Forza Motorsport 2' raced into living rooms on Xbox 360 worldwide.” – How hot is the Indian business for Microsoft? Ravi Venkatesan, chairman of Microsoft India, in his keynote presentation at TiEcon 2007 believes it is “absolutely red hot”. Opportunities abound everywhere. Microsoft was down 1%, however is up 2% for the year.

Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) saw the biggest decline at 4% last week, however is still up 12% for the year; the rumors of a potential acquisition by Microsoft fizzled out upon Microsoft’s AQuantive acquisition and subsequent statements suggesting that Microsoft is set in the online ad business.

Yearly Leaders and Laggards

Who sits on the top of The Innovation Index? Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) gained 8% last week and leads all innovators with 74% gains for the year. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is next up with 34% appreciation for the year. America Movil (NYSE: AMX) stayed even last week to remain at 31% gains for the year. There are five other innovators with double-digit gains for the year, including: 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) at 13%, HP added 2% to grow to 11% (NYSE: HPQ), Intel Corporation (NYSE: INTC) at 10%, RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) at 30% and Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) at 12%.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) is down 19% for the year; can Starbucks rally in the second half of the year?

About The Innovation Index

The Innovation Index introduced in December 2006 is a weighted stock price index of the top 20 Innovators in North America.

The Innovation Index has returned 119% over the last five years. This assumes an investment in each stock of The Innovation Index (buying each stock). An average of $100 invested in The Innovation Index on December 31, 2001 returned $219 as of December 29, 2006. By comparison, $100 invested in each of S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones Index returned $124. The Innovation Index beats the S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones Index by 77% over the last five years.

The Normalized Innovation Index has returned an impressive 174% over the last five years. This assumes equal investment in each stock of The Innovation Index as of December 31, 2001.

Alphabetical list of the top 20 Innovators of The Innovation Index and their stock ticker symbols:

3M Company - (NYSE: MMM)
Amazon.com, Inc. - (NASDAQ: AMZN)
America Movil - (NYSE: AMX)
Apple Inc. - (NASDAQ: AAPL)
Cisco Systems, Inc. - (NASDAQ: CSCO)
Dell Inc. - (NASDAQ: DELL)
eBay Inc. - (NASDAQ: EBAY)
General Electric Co. - (NYSE: GE)
Google Inc. - (NASDAQ: GOOG)
Hewlett-Packard Co. - (NYSE: HPQ)
Intel Corporation - (NYSE: INTC)
International Business Machines Corp. - (NYSE: IBM)
Microsoft Corporation - (NASDAQ: MSFT)
Research In Motion Limited - (NASDAQ: RIMM)
Southwest Airlines Co. - (NYSE: LUV)
Starbucks Corporation - (NASDAQ: SBUX)
Target Corp. - (NYSE: TGT)
The Proctor & Gamble Company - (NYSE: PG)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - (NYSE: WMT)
Yahoo! Inc. - (NASDAQ: YHOO)

The Innovation Index will analyze the positions and standings of the top 20 Innovators at the end of each year. For 2007, there will be no further changes in The Innovation Index.

Disclaimer: I invest in the stocks comprising The Innovation Index.

Here I am on Tummy Tuesday!
How about that tummy?

Like Norma Desmond said,
"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."
~~~~~
I am ready for my tummy close-up...
~~~~~

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetary
St. Louis, Missouri
May 28, 2007

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ravi Venkatesan is the chairman of Microsoft India, and is responsible for Microsoft's marketing, operational and business development efforts in India. Venkatesan provides a single point of leadership for Microsoft in all of India. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is one of the top 20 innovators of The Innovation Index.

Venkatesan delivered a keynote presentation at the recently concluded TiEcon 2007 in Santa Clara, California and shared with the audience of entrepreneurs, CEOs and venture capitalists the opportunities for growth and innovation in India.

And why not? The current annual Indian GDP growth is 9% and is showing no signs of slowdown, Indian business has unprecedented access to capital, Indian innovation and entrepreneurship is booming, Indian business is riding a wave of "incredible confidence", over 100 Indian corporations have market capitalization of over $1 billion, Indian IT exports are poised to grow 30% to 35% yearly, major multi-nationals have made multi-billion dollar investments in India, Indian manufacturing, retail, real estate and exports are becoming bell-weathers - Venkatesan calls this current state and growth of economy and business in India as "absolutely red hot."

Venkatesan believes there is abundant opportunity in every market sector that is facing big societal problems with "For Profit" business models. India is a "nation to be built" and hence is directing huge amounts of capital, resources and manpower to meet the needs of this unprecedented growth that he compares to "19th century America".

Venkatesan outlined six major opportunities in industries that are showing the highest potential for growth and innovation in India since they have "huge societal problems":

1. Communications - led by mobile, broadband, VoIP, SMS and more by innovators such as Ambanis of Reliance and Bharati. The cell phone has become ubiquitous in India, and everyone from a businessman, taxi driver, to a vegetable "laari waala" is using cell phone for business and entertainment.

2. Energy - with growth in renewable energy, green energy, solar energy, nuclear power, and more led by innovators such as Tanti - who started with 2 windmills and has now grown his company into a major energy powerhouse.

3. Water - led by access to pure drinking water which is a huge healthcare problem in villages, especially when the cost of water is 11 rupees a bottle, and the cost of treatment from healthcare problems resulting from drinking adulterated water is growing.

4. Healthcare - with 100s of millions of people seeking better and longer health, a large segment of aging population, foreign residents seeking better healthcare solutions in India creating a new market of "medical tourism", led by corporations such as Apollo, Ranbaxy, Fortis and more

5. Agriculture - with new innovations in delivering fresh food and focus on end-to-end supply chain led by companies such as Reliance Fresh, and through access to micro-finance for Indian farmers and agriculture companies.

6. Education - with focus on English and IT, leadership and employability, skill gaps and K-12 - despite the high GDP growth, a large percentage of India is still illiterate and requires bold initiatives led by state and national government and private entrepreneurs. For instance, can education tutorials be delivered through cell phones as an online service, especially when cell phones are being used by the largest segment of the population.

Venkatesan quipped that the biggest problem Microsoft has is that a majority of the SMB and consumer market does not want to pay for software. He provided some examples on how Microsoft has used creativity, flexible service-based business model and customer focused solution approach to address some of the IT problems facing small business and pharmaceutical industry in Tirupur and Ahmadabad.

Finally, Venkatesan provided four key takeaways for entrepreneurs who want to seize the Indian opportunity:

1. Address huge societal problems with For-Profit business models and focus on your most significant challenge, and "inclusive growth."

2. Don't forget entrepreneurship 101 - obsess about your consumer or the customer, and do rigorous thinking.

3. "Think Big, Start Small, Scale Fast" - Venkatesan quoted Mukesh Ambani's mantra of growth that every entrepreneur should follow.

4. Talent. Talent. Talent. Hire the best and the smartest people who have a strong sense of purpose and believe in the larger mission of the company.

Venkatesan's presentation style was extemporaneous and to the point, without any slides, straight from the gut. His experience with the Indian industry was without a doubt. His poise, panache, and no-nonsense conviction made for an audience of entrepreneur believers who couldn’t wait to hop on to the next plane to India in search of new opportunities.

Also check:
Innovation and Leadership lessons from Meg Whitman, eBay CEO and President, and top Innovator

Innovation Lessons from the Top Innovators and 13-year old CEO at TiEcon 2007

TiEcon 2007 was hosted by TiE – The Indus Entrepreneurs at the Santa Clara convention center.

And past articles on innovations and growth in India:

Made in India - Innovations in Software Operations at the Top Innovators

The Growing Global Indian Innovation

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Oh Hooray!
China Cat told me to go over to Kitty Limericks
and much to my delight, I was limericked too!
Karen Jo at Kitty Limericks wrote about my love of tomatoes!
What a terrific surprise for me on this holiday weekend.
This is what she wrote about me:
~~~~~

Willow is a little over three years old. She was adopted from the Humane Society when she was 2 1/2 months old. She quickly made friends with China Cat and the two of them get along very well. Willow
likes to eat things which come in cans, like beans, tuna and tomatoes. Her Mom very cleverly got a can opener which leaves no sharp edges, so Willow can enjoy her food right out of the can. Willow absolutely refuses to eat anything which gets on the floor. She even refuses to eat the crunchies which get out of the bowl and on her placemat.
~~~~~
And here is the picture of me and my tomatoes:
~~~~~
And my wonderful limerick:
~~~~~
Willow likes to eat canned tomatoes.

She eats out of the can and gets some on her nose.

The can may fall down,

But she doesn't frown.

She hops to the floor and licks her tomatoes.

~~~~~
Thank you so much for this honor!

Friday, May 25, 2007


I was tagged
for the Favorites Meme by Suzanne.
This should be a lot of fun.


Time of day:
Anytime of day that I am eating, of course!

Day of week:
I can't decide what my favorite day is because I have fun everyday. However, to answer the question, I will say Sunday because Sunday is the day that starts the week with more fun things to do!

Season of year:
Spring would be my favorite because the weather starts getting warmer and I get to go out for hours in my sunny screened-in porch. I do like Summer too but sometimes it is way too hot!

Holiday:
I am torn between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving I always get turkey but Christmas I get presents. Oh, I guess I get good food at Christmastime too. Actually all holidays seem to have good food so now I am really confused. presents and lovely family time.

Beaches:
I'm sure I don't have a favorite beach since I have never seen one. I do have a pool in my backyard but I'm afraid to go out near it so I guess the pool is also not one of my favorite things.

Song:
Just like China Cat, my favorite song is my own song. I sing my song to my Food Lady and she likes to hear me and then gives me my crunchies.

Flower:
When we have fresh flowers in the house I always try to eat them. My favorites are Roses. My Food Lady loves roses but she doesn't want to eat them like I do.

Movies:
I don't have a favorite movie but when I was a kitten I loved watching the TV. I don't do that so much anymore.

Soaps:
I don't watch soaps, but I hear them because my Food Lady watches a lot of them.

Beverage:
I like drinking water a lot but I also like milk from my Food Lady's cereal bowl. Yum!

Fruit:
I think that tomatoes are considered fruit so that would have to be my favorite fruit. If you don't think tomatoes are fruit, then my next favorite fruit is strawberries.

Snack:
Any type of Temptations - I love them all.

Food:
The only cat food I eat is Eukanuba Restricted-Calorie crunchies. I like it very much. The only problem is that my vet told my Food Lady that I should lose 2 pounds so I'm not supposed to get any extra in-between meals.

Restaurant:
I have never actually gone to a restaurant but I love it when my Lap Lady brings home some leftover chicken or steak.
~~~~~
If any other cat wants to play, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Check out my new Blog dedicated to Innovations at Google:

http://googleinnovation.blogspot.com

Google Innovation

Google Innovation Blog contains the latest:

News, Reviews, Articles, Case studies, Best practices, Insights, Ideas, Success stories, Blogs and more about Innovations at Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG)

I am planning to incorporate the latest technology, business model, partnerships and software advances at Google as they are announced, and provide my review and analysis on the same. What insights can be gained from these new innovations? How successful will these innovations be in the marketplace? The Blog articles and posts will be as I see it, my opinion, my analysis, my thoughts on how Google is shaping new innovations and bringing them to the marketplace. There will be the occasional interviews with the innovators and product champions at Google. I also plan to include some of the best materials found on the web and the blogosphere on everything to do with Google innovations. Some of the pertinent blog posts on Google Innovation will find their way to the Creativity and Innovation Driving Business Blog.

For instance, in my latest blog post:

Google Trends: Everything Out in the Open, Move Over Zeitgeist

Bottomline:

Google Trends and Hot Trends are definitely Hot! It not only gives you a pulse on the latest happenings online as seen by Google Search, but also gives you comparisons on two or more trends over the time frame of your choice: today, yesterday, or any given day. Now if only Google can tell us what will be Hot tomorrow!! Move over Zeitgeist.

Google's New Search - Step in the right direction - Still some ways to go

Bottomline:

Google's new search technology is an early effort towards making searching for information better. Google has the right vision of integrating the search across various dimensions of Web, Images, Video, Products, etc. and providing comprehensive results. However, implementing this algorithm for new search, producing the results in parallel, and showing the results in a visually appealing and contextually easy-to-understand manner is going to be key as Google moves forward. Google may also be faced with the problem of what a majority of the user population may be seeking: a simpler answer to their search query. The more sophisticated users may appreciate the comprehensive answer that Google will provide. How would Google know whether the user is a layman user or a sophisticated user? One thing is certain though: Google has the ability to mine the world's information and present it in a contextual setting that is relevant to the user. Google just needs to make sure that in creating a new search, it does not make it confusing for the end user, as this would be huge step backward.

Google to create new R&D Center in South India

Bottomline:

Google is poised to expand its base in India with this new R & D center that can house up to 4,000 engineers. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh in South India wins the nod from Google, partly because Google has already a 1,000 person engineering and services operation for the online sales running quite smoothly; however, when you have the chief minister of Andhra and his team wooing you to do more with all the incentives, it would have been very hard for Google to say no. Timing is everything. Don't be surprised if by the end of 2010, Google has a four thousand people strong R & D center in South India with plans to make it a ten thousand employee organization across all of India based on the kind of growth Google is seeing and its position as one of the top innovators of the world.

I invite you to explore the Google Innovation Blog, and provide me your valuable comments and feedback.

Here's to blogging on Google Innovation.

References:

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is one of the top 20 Innovators of The Innovation Index.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007




Rapper Foxy Brown has signed on to Black Hand Entertainment and is working on her 4th album Black Roses

and may drop a mixtape on the streets.

The Innovation Index four-peats – four week of back-to-back gains. The Innovation Index added 1% last week, and is now up 17% for the year. The Innovation Index has already surpassed the 2006 performance of 13.2%, and we are only in May 2007. The Innovation Index easily crushes the major U.S. indices including the S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones. S & P 500 added 1% point, and is now up 7% for the year; NASDAQ was unchanged, and is up 6% for the year; the Dow Jones Index gained 2% points, and is now up 9% for the year. This is the fourth week in 2007 where The Innovation Index is having double-digit gains.

The Innovation Index closed at 81.00 on May 18, 2007, up 17% from the closing price of 69.31 on December 29, 2006.

What caused The Innovation Index to add another 1% in one week? Three innovators caused the jump, the largest increase coming from America Movil (NYSE: AMX) that went up 7% in just one week on strong economic reports from Mexico and Brazil.

10 of the Top 20 Innovators showed positive gains (compared to 9 in the previous week), 7 of the Top 20 Innovators showed negative gains (compared to 9 in the previous week), and 3 Innovators were unchanged last week (compared to 1 in the previous week).

Can The Innovation Index five-peat, and have another week of gains? We will find out next week.

Weekly Advances

The news of the week was Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) acquisition of AQuantive (NASDAQ: AQNT). Microsoft shares were unchanged last week, and are up 4% for the year. Microsoft hits a walk-off home run with Aquantive acquisition.

Besides America Movil, Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) went up 3% last week, and is now up 60% for the year.

“Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced it will launch a digital music store later this year offering millions of songs in the DRM-free MP3 format from more than 12,000 record labels. EMI Music's digital catalog is the latest addition to the store. Every song and album in the Amazon.com digital music store will be available exclusively in the MP3 format without digital rights management (DRM) software. Amazon's DRM-free MP3s will free customers to play their music on virtually any of their personal devices -- including PCs, Macs(TM), iPods(TM), Zunes(TM), Zens(TM) -- and to burn songs to CDs for personal use.” – This will be in direct competition to the market leading iTunes music store. Several analysts and investors believe that Amazon will be successful in this endeavor based on its market leading online music sales (CD) and customer base.

Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) also announced “it has acquired www.dpreview.com, the web's most comprehensive site for digital camera information and reviews. Founded in 1998 by Phil Askey, dpreview.com provides unbiased reviews and original content regarding the latest in digital cameras, and offers a host of features and forums designed to make it easy for consumers to find the camera that's right for them. With its unique voice and in-depth technical reviews, dpreview.com draws millions of unique visitors each month.” – This acquisition will allow Amazon to lure more digital camera buyers to the electronics store, and will ultimately provide Amazon valuable reviews of digital cameras. This is a great example of marriage between online content and catalog. Expect Amazon to create more acquisitions along these lines.

The Board of Directors of The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE: PG) announced “some business unit realignments and associated changes to its executive management structure effective July 1, 2007. The company's three global business units will be: Beauty Care, Global Health & Well Being, and Household Care.

"We are making these moves to realign our business units and top leadership structure to meet the changing needs of our larger, more diverse, faster-paced global business," said Mr. Lafley – Chairman and CEO of P&G. "These changes are designed to help P&G's businesses consistently win at both the first (in-store) and second (at-home) moments of truth with consumers.

"Our business has nearly doubled since 2000. We've had three major acquisitions including Clairol, Wella and Gillette. And, we have tripled the pace of our business initiatives over this same period," said Lafley.

P&G also announced full conversion of Liquid Laundry Detergent Portfolio to New 2X-Concentrated Formulation in North America in 2007-2008.

"Concentrated laundry products represent another example of how the cleaning product industry, through groundbreaking research, collaboration with ingredient and packaging suppliers, and innovative manufacturing practices, is living out its commitment to deliver valuable products to consumers while reducing their environmental impact," according to The Soap and Detergent Association (SDA).

P&G shares were up 3% last week, and are only down 1% for the year.

Weekly Declines

eBay India launched eBay Blogs and My World for the Indian market. These two new services would allow India users to express their personality and increase their engagement with each other according to TechWhack, India. eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) was down 4% last week, and is now up 9% for the year. I attended TiEcon 2007 over the weekend, and was inspired by Meg Whitman’s keynote presentation, President and CEO of eBay. Check out: Innovation and Leadership lessons from Meg Whitman, eBay CEO and President, and top Innovator
Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) declined 2% last week. Cisco announced that it has received foreign regulatory approvals for the WebEx acquisition (NASDAQ: WEBX).

Yearly Leaders and Laggards

Who sits on the top of The Innovation Index? Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) gained 3% last week and leads all innovators with 60% gains for the year. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is next with 30% appreciation for the year. America Movil (NYSE: AMX) notched 7% points to rise to 30% gains for the year. There are five other innovators with double-digit gains for the year, including: 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) at 10%, Intel Corporation (NYSE: INTC) at 13%, IBM (NYSE: IBM) at 11%, RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) at 19% and Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) at 16%.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) is down 18% for the year.

About The Innovation Index

The Innovation Index introduced in December 2006 is a weighted stock price index of the top 20 Innovators in North America.

The Innovation Index has returned 119% over the last five years. This assumes an investment in each stock of The Innovation Index (buying each stock). An average of $100 invested in The Innovation Index on December 31, 2001 returned $219 as of December 29, 2006. By comparison, $100 invested in each of S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones Index returned $124. The Innovation Index beats the S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones Index by 77% over the last five years.

The Normalized Innovation Index has returned an impressive 174% over the last five years. This assumes equal investment in each stock of The Innovation Index as of December 31, 2001.

Alphabetical list of the top 20 Innovators of The Innovation Index and their stock ticker symbols:

3M Company - (NYSE: MMM)
Amazon.com, Inc. - (NASDAQ: AMZN)
America Movil - (NYSE: AMX)
Apple Inc. - (NASDAQ: AAPL)
Cisco Systems, Inc. - (NASDAQ: CSCO)
Dell Inc. - (NASDAQ: DELL)
eBay Inc. - (NASDAQ: EBAY)
General Electric Co. - (NYSE: GE)
Google Inc. - (NASDAQ: GOOG)
Hewlett-Packard Co. - (NYSE: HPQ)
Intel Corporation - (NYSE: INTC)
International Business Machines Corp. - (NYSE: IBM)
Microsoft Corporation - (NASDAQ: MSFT)
Research In Motion Limited - (NASDAQ: RIMM)
Southwest Airlines Co. - (NYSE: LUV)
Starbucks Corporation - (NASDAQ: SBUX)
Target Corp. - (NYSE: TGT)
The Proctor & Gamble Company - (NYSE: PG)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - (NYSE: WMT)
Yahoo! Inc. - (NASDAQ: YHOO)

The Innovation Index will analyze the positions and standings of the top 20 Innovators at the end of each year. For 2007, there will be no further changes in The Innovation Index.

Disclaimer: I invest in the stocks comprising The Innovation Index.

Monday, May 21, 2007

eBay CEO and President Meg Whitman, in her keynote presentation on the morning of the second day of TiEcon 2007, May 19, not only provided a historical overview of eBay and provided insights on how eBay is positioning adroitly for the future, but also shared real world lessons on Business, Innovation, Leadership and more.

Here are nuggets of wisdom from Meg Whitman shared with the TiEcon attendees and entrepreneurs:

What are the Five things People do online:

Find, Buy, Sell, Communicate, Entertain

eBay focuses on three of these five things:

Buy, Sell, Communicate

What are the Six Business Lessons that Whitman has learnt at eBay:

1. Enable our customers; we do not direct. For example, eBay Motors.

2. It's all about the customer experience.

3. Level the playing field as often as you can.

4. Make size a business advantage.

5. Disruptive ideas are vital - find them from inside and outside.

6. Constant Innovation within the company is imperative.

What are the Five Principles that drive Innovation at eBay:

1. Innovation is a mindset. We strive to ensure that everyone in the company is focused on Innovation.

2. Innovation is in the DNA. We build new products with Innovation from the inside-out.

3. Cannibalization does not scare us. We would rather cannibalize ourselves than someone else cannibalizing us.

4. Some people are gifted disruptive innovators. We call them "Baby Tigers". We make it a point to nurture them and give them the room to succeed.

5. There can only be so much structure to creating innovations. We are always open to new ideas and serendipitous finds.

In the past five years, eBay has embarked new innovations through:

1. PayPal acquisition - and the online payment solution

2. C2C Classifieds all over the world

3. Online Shopping through Shopping.com

4. Skype acquisition - the largest provider of Voice over IP solution in the world

eBay has always kept strong focus on the core auction business though and has created innovations in the core auction business; for example, eBay Motors, Fixed Price model, integration of PayPal with eBay Auctions.

What are the Seven Personal Lessons on leadership that Whitman espouses:

1. Hire the right person for the right job at the right time and who has the right values. "I cannot stress this enough"

2. Reorganize early and often. Transform change and uncertainty into opportunity.

3. Hire ahead of the curve. For example, get someone with experience who has managed larger businesses so that he or she can help you grow to that size.

4. Focus. Focus. Focus. Vision + Strategy + Execution.

5. Mission motivates. We are in the business to make a difference for our customers, and every employee should be passionate about this.

6. Get out and about enough. This is where new ideas that generate game-changing innovations can happen.

7. There is no compromise for Integrity. Whenever you say something or are making a decision, what if your kids, brother, sister or parents were also present? Would you do that?

Whitman also answered several questions from the audience (the questions were beamed using SMS). Here were a couple of questions and answers:

1. How do you achieve Balance?

Maintain focus on the Core Business - 70% of our resources are allocated here.

Rest of the company is focused on Adjacent Business, Planting Seeds, and creating new Innovations.

The business must keep itself informed of the key consumer trends, and always work towards "ease-of-use" for our customers.

2. What do you worry about the most?

Changing environment, and our ability to keep track, staying informed, and taking smart risks. The cost of "not doing anything" or inaction is huge. We would rather do something and have an answer, even though it may not be the right one, instead of waiting and not doing anything.

We want to make sure we maintain a 0.60 batting average. Training and Development of our employees and customers is essential for success.

Bottomline:

Meg Whitman is one of the most successful women CEOs of our generation, having grown eBay from tens of millions in revenue to a multi-billion dollar global corporation. Whitman is a charismatic leader and an innovator. Her energy, passion, wit and leadership were in full flow at the TiEcon 2007. The audience was enlightened during her presence, however felt a gaping hole soon after her presentation got over, longing for more of her infectious wisdom and insights.

References:

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) is one of the top 20 innovators of The Innovation Index.

TiEcon 2007 was hosted by TiE – The Indus Entrepreneurs at the Santa Clara convention center.

Innovation Lessons from the Top Innovators and 13-year old CEO at TiEcon 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) waited until the ninth inning and two outs to deliver the walk-off game-winning home run with AQuantive Acquisition (NASDAQ: AQNT). Microsoft is one of the top 20 innovators of The Innovation Index. And Microsoft delivered the home run in style: the home run did not just clear the field, the platforms and the bleachers -- it cleared the entire stadium. The home run hit was worth $6 billion!! And for AQuantive investors, a mouthwatering $66.50 a pop - all cash (no credit). Importantly, the offer was 85 percent higher than AQuantive's closing price of May 17, and 29 times the Seattle-based company's anticipated 2008 earnings.

This is by far Microsoft's biggest acquisition, easily eclipsing the previous acquisition by over $4 billion and a lot of change.

Web Advertising companies are getting plucked up in a hurry. This is the fourth Web ad acquisition since April 13, when Google announced the DoubleClick deal for $3.1 billion. WPP Group Plc agreed to buy 24/7 Real Media Inc. (NASDAQ: TFSM) for $649 million. Yahoo agreed last month to buy 80 percent of Right Media that it doesn't already own for $680 million. Why would Microsoft cough up $6 billion when it did not want to pay $3.1 billion for DoubleClick? Was DoubleClick a smart buy for Google? The multiple based on earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization that Microsoft is paying is almost double what WPP will pay for 24/7, Wachovia Capital Markets analyst John Janedis said in a note. AQuantive is more profitable and has a larger share of the market than 24/7, and growing faster than ValueClick Inc. (NASDAQ: VCLK).

Comparison between AQuantive, 24/7 Real Media and ValueClick

AQuantive is by far the largest company in revenue and revenue growth (estimated) in comparison to DoubleClick ($150 million 2006 estimated revenue), 24/7 Media, and Right Media($75 million to $100 million 2006 estimated revenue). AQuantive is poised to grow faster than ValueClick, and is increasing the marketshare over 24/7. AQuantive is smaller than ValueClick in absolute revenue, although has produced consistent Quarterly revenue growth in the last few quarters. For instance, in the latest quarter, AQuantive was the only company that grew over previous quarter's results. Both 24/7 and ValueClick's revenue declined from previous quarter.

Annual Revenue comparison

Although ValueClick's annual revenue is higher than AQuantive's revenue, AQuantive is estimated to grow faster and almost equal ValueClick's revenue by 2008.

Quarterly Revenue Comparison

Again, ValueClick's quarterly revenue is higher today than that of AQuantive's.

Quarter over Quarter Revenue Growth Comparison

This is where AQuantive really shines. It is by far showing a more consistent quarter over quarter revenue growth compared to ValueClick and 24/7.
Microsoft beat out other bidders for AQuantive, Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said on a conference call.

"This deal takes our ad business to a new level," said Kevin Johnson, president of the Microsoft unit responsible for online services, in an interview. "We're committed to increasing our slice of the $40 billion worldwide Internet ad market."

Microsoft has major catching up to do in the ad sales market. According to Bloomberg story, Microsoft's ad sales grew 23 percent last quarter, less than Google's 66 percent. Microsoft had $1.61 billion in ad sales in 2006, less than the $10.6 billion for Google, said Charles Di Bona at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Google dominates the market for ads linked to search results by handling 48.3 percent of Web searches. Microsoft won 10.9 percent of U.S. searches in March, said Reston, Virginia-based ComScore Inc., which tracks Web use.

>>Because Microsoft trails in search ads, the company is trying to attack by convincing advertisers to focus to broader graphical ad campaigns across multiple types of media.
AQuantive, with about 2,600 employees, will help Microsoft garner more ad revenue from its MSN Web sites as well as newer areas for advertising such as the video-games, Internet Protocol television and Internet-based Office programs, Johnson said.<<

According to Microsoft:"This deal expands upon the Company's previously outlined vision to provide the advertising industry with a world class, Internet-wide advertising platform, as well as a set of tools and services that help its constituents generate the highest possible return on their advertising investments."

"The advertising industry is evolving and growing at an incredible pace, moving increasingly toward online and IP-served platforms, which dramatically increases the importance of software for this industry," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer of Microsoft. "Today's announcement represents the next step in the evolution of our ad network from our initial investment in MSN(R), to the broader Microsoft network including Xbox Live, Windows Live and Office Live, and now to the full capacity of the Internet. Microsoft is intensely committed to creating a thriving advertising business and to partnering closely with all key constituencies in this industry to help maximize the digital advertising opportunity for all."

According to Microsoft, the aQuantive acquisition enables Microsoft to strengthen relationships with advertisers, agencies and publishers by enhancing the Company's world- class advertising platforms and services beyond its current capabilities to serve MSN.

What is the new value generation?:

* Advertisers and ad agencies will benefit from a world-class media planning, buying and campaign management solution to drive maximum ROI and optimize their reach to audiences across the increasingly fragmented, interactive media landscape.

* Media owners/publishers will gain access to best-in-class inventory optimization and monetization solutions across a full suite of rich media, video and targeting capabilities.

* The broader advertising ecosystem will benefit from the leading interactive advertising agency, Avenue A Razorfish, continuing to serve its impressive client roster, while also embedding the voice of the marketer into Microsoft's next generation advertising solutions and services.

AQuantive brings three key innovation properties to the table:

* Atlas provides a set of advanced tools for both advertisers and publishers.

* DRIVEpm provides services to publishers and advertisers that match advertiser campaigns with publisher inventory enabling all parties to maximize ROI.

* Avenue A Razorfish is one of the largest interactive ad agencies in the world, providing advertisers with industry-leading digita marketing consultation, media planning and buying, and creative services that help advertisers use the online channel to build meaningful, profitable relationships with their customers.

Bottomline:

Better late than never. Microsoft waited to buy the best available digital marketing company in the present market. Perhaps Microsoft was smart to pass up DoubleClick.

AQuantive is a great buy for Microsoft because it:

1. Provides instant global credibility in the ad business with the three key properties; in particular Avenue A Razorfish.

2. Is Located a stone's throw away from Microsoft. Hence, the integration and collaboration will work like clockwork.

3. Catapults MSN business across various properties, provides MSN the shot in the arm that was needed to wake up and possibly have a go at Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).

References:
Microsoft Press
Bloomberg


Hey, look what I found out in my screened-in porch!
It might be a scary PTU but the door is open.
So I thought I would just check it out...
Not a good idea!
As you can see, we were both trapped!
I called to my squillion Jessie, "Please get me out of here!"
She did her best but could not get me out of that darn PTU.
After we were put into my Food Lady's white VW,
named after Skeezix,
we ended up on a bench at the V-E-T!
We both complained the whole way there
but my Food Lady kept telling us that this was necessary
and it's only once a year.
~~~~~
When we were in Room #1,
my Food Lady discovered that I was actually drooling.
I have never drooled before but I was terrified there.
~~~~~
My doctor came in the room
and tried to get me to come out of my hated PTU
which somehow became my beloved PTU.
~~~~~
As much as I did not want to get in the PTU,
I was certainly not going to get out of it
until I was home again.
The doctor and her assistant tried dumping me out of the PTU
but I very cleverly wedged my left hind foot at the top
so I was not coming out.
OK, they eventually figured out how to get me out.
However, I just went limp and didn't even bite or scratch anybody
and therefore they did heap praises upon me
regarding what a good cat I was.
Honestly, I just wanted to go home!
Here I am back home again, on my favorite rug,
by my favorite sliding glass door,
to my favorite screened-in porch.
What a relief!!!!!
.
Don't forget to visit Carnival of the Cats at the Cat Blogosphere.

Yesterday, I attended the annual TiEcon 2007 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The theme of this year's conference was: The New Face of Entrepreneurship! And TiEcon had the bold mission inviting every entrepreneur to "dream, explore and connect." This was my fifth TiEcon in attendance. And believe me, it seems every year, it gets bigger and bigger. Case in point: many sponsors and exhibitors organize luncheons, separate meetings, dinners and more. TieCon is hosted by TiE - The Indus Entrepreneurs.

I was quite impressed by the turnout (I overheard there were over 4,000 attendees). I met some of my friends, past colleagues from previous employers and TiE alums that I have known over the years. I also met new would-be friends, enterprising exhibitor companies looking to open up new opportunities, and budding entrepreneurs. The best though were the keynote presentations on Innovation from some of the world's top innovators including Meg Whitman, President and CEO of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), Robert Ingram, Vice Chairman of Pharmaceutials, GlaxoSmithKline, Ravi Venkatesan, Chairman of Microsoft India (NASDAQ: MSFT), Ajit Singh, President and CEO of Siemens Medical, Gerard M Mooney, VP, Emerging Business Opportunities of IBM (NYSE: IBM), Zia Yusuf - EVP of SAP AG, and Matt Cohler, VP Strategy & Business Operations of Facebook.

Although I did not attend his particular session, "The buzz on the expo floor was about Silicon Valley gaming startup Elementeo and its precocious 13-year old founder and chief executive, Anshul Samar." I did visit the Elementeo booth on the exhibit floor, and was quite impressed by this new entrepreneurship of gaming in the world of Chemistry. Our son, Rohan Dalal, wants to be a writer (he's 11), and you can find a sample of his writing on Lightning - a story about a young boy Matt who is trying to save his friend Blake from the evils of Dr. Vick. Rohan won the Young Author's contest in his school last year. His latest books are already combining elements of gaming and challenges. Our daughter, Suhani Dalal, wants to be an artist when she grows up. She has also started her own picture site at My Pictures. However, not to digress, and take the attention away from Anshul Samar. We are after all in the age of "young" entrepreneurship and creativity, where every year, we will find more budding entrepreneurs beginning their careers in their teenage years.

I learnt many key lessons on Innovation from these top innovators and leaders.

Here are the Innovation Lessons learned from Meg Whitman who provided the keynote presentation in the morning.

Friday, May 18, 2007

This is how I looked
before the PTU showed up in my beloved screened-in porch...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Google today announced it's new search technology aka Universal Search:

Google Begins Move to Universal Search

Google Introduces New Search Features and Unveils New Homepage Design

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (May 16, 2007) – Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced its critical first steps toward a universal search model that will offer users a
more integrated and comprehensive way to search for and view information online...

"Our focus has always been making our users' search experience as simple and straightforward as possible," said Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google. "The ultimate goal of universal search is to break down the silos of information that exist on the web and provide the very best answer every time a user enters a query. While we still have a long way to go, today's announcements are a big step in that direction."
....
"Google has continued to concentrate on improving the quality of search," said Udi Manber, vice president of engineering at Google. "The level and speed of search innovation at Google has increased. Most of this innovation addresses basic ranking algorithms and is often not obvious to users. Users just see more accurate results, more often, in more languages, which is our primary goal."

New Navigation Features

New dynamically generated navigation links have been added above the search results to suggest additional information that is relevant to a user's query. .....

I tried out Google Search today on various queries regarding "baseball" to understand the differences and whether it yields better, "integrated and comprehensive" results.

Here were some results for various queries starting with "baseball":


In this particular query for "baseball", Google Search is confusing, since the user is inundated with two sets of navigation links: the always present static links at the top, and the dynamically generated links below the search. As an end user, which link should I click on if I want more information? Images link in the top static bar? or Images link shown under the dynamic bar? News link in the top static bar? or News link in the dynamic bar? I think Google needs to fix this or represent the dynamic bar links in a different manner so as to indicate that there is interesting information available. For now, whether you click on the Images link in the static bar or in the dynamic bar, the results are the same. Also, the overall query results for "baseball" did not show anything more interesting than what was shown before in the query results (old Search).


The query for "baseball bat" produced better results. It not only showed me the text search results for baseball bat, but also showed me image results for baseball bat which made the results "interesting". In the case of "baseball bat" query, the dynamic links were different: only three links were shown - Web, Images and Products. Again, the Images dynamic link yields the same results as the Images static link. Hence, it is a bit confusing. Another confusing static link at the top was "Gmail" - clicking on Gmail yielded nothing except asking me to sign-up for Gmail. I am thinking that if you are logged in to Gmail, it may perhaps show something different. Either way, the static link for "Gmail" at the top did not provide anything meaningful. The Products dynamic link for "baseball bat" was definitely a plus, since clicking on the Products link yielded the following result:


Now, I was able to find baseball bats available for sale. This made sense. I think Google needs to visually present this better - perhaps embed a couple of Products snapshot on the main page.
I tried one more search: "baseball cap" since I wanted to buy a new baseball cap for my favorite baseball team. However, the results were disappointing: in this instance, the dynamic links shown were only for the Web and Images. And clicking on Images link produced the same results as would have appeared were you to click on the Static Images link. I was hoping to have found the Products dynamic link to find the baseball cap of my favorite team. However, this was not to be. Having said that, the usual Web search does provide links to product sites.


Bottomline:

Google's new search technology is an early effort towards making searching for information better. Google has the right vision of integrating the search across various dimensions of Web, Images, Video, Products, etc. and providing comprehensive results. However, implementing this algorithm for new search, producing the results in parallel, and showing the results in a visually appealing and contextually easy-to-understand manner is going to be key as Google moves forward. Google may also be faced with the problem of what a majority of the user population may be seeking: a simpler answer to their search query. The more sophisticated users may appreciate the comprehensive answer that Google will provide. How would Google know whether the user is a layman user or a sophisticated user? One thing is certain though: Google has the ability to mine the world's information and present it in a contextual setting that is relevant to the user. Google just needs to make sure that in creating a new search, it does not make it confusing for the end user, as this would be huge step backward.

References:

Google is one of the top 20 innovators of The Innovation Index.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Innovation Index is on a tear. The Innovation Index added 3% last week, and is now up 16% for the year. The Innovation Index has already surpassed the 2006 performance of 13.2%, and we are only in May 2007. The Innovation Index easily crushes the major U.S. indices by more than 100%, including the S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones. S & P 500 was unchanged during the week, and is up 6% for the year; NASDAQ was also unchanged, and is up 6% for the year; the Dow Jones Index gained a fraction, and is now up 7% for the year. This is the third week in 2007 where The Innovation Index is having double-digit gains.

The Innovation Index closed at 80.15 on May 11, 2007, up 16% from the closing price of 69.31 on December 29, 2006.



What caused The Innovation Index to add another 3% in one week? Four innovators caused the jump, the largest increase coming from Research In Motion Limited (RIM) - (NASDAQ: RIMM) that went up 10% in just one week owing to key new innovation announcements, BUY rating with increased price target, and status update.

9 of the Top 20 Innovators showed positive gains (compared to 13 in the previous week), 9 of the Top 20 Innovators showed negative gains (compared to 6 in the previous week), and 2 Innovators were unchanged last week (compared to 1 in the previous week).

Can The Innovation Index four-peat, and have another week of gains? We will hold our breaths in anticipation.

Weekly Advances

RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) was up 10% in one week owing to the following new innovations, and a status update and analyst upgrade. RIM is now up 19% for the year; can RIM match the 94% gain set in 2006 or come close to it? RIM introduced the BlackBerry Curve Smartphone, “the smallest and lightest full QWERTY BlackBerry smartphone. With its smooth and friendly design encompassing a large display, easy-to-use keyboard and intuitive trackball navigation system, this powerful new smartphone provides RIM's industry leading email and messaging capabilities, and consumer-friendly features including a 2 megapixel camera, enhanced media player and high-performance browser.” RIM also announced plans to introduce a new development tool that will enable developers to work within the familiar .NET programming environment to rapidly create rich client wireless applications for BlackBerry smartphones. Finally, RIM introduced the BlackBerry(R) Mobile Voice System (BlackBerry(R) MVS).

Besides RIM, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) went up 8% last week, and is now up 28% for the year. There is huge anticipation built into the market with Apple’s iPhone. The market for wireless phones is going to exceed 1 billion units in 2007; even if Apple gets 1% of the marketshare in the first year of launch, this will translate to 10 million iPhone sales. Nokia Oyj NOK1V.HE (NOK) hopes Apple’s highly anticipated iPhone will boost consumer appetite for pricier mobile phones with features such as music and video, Nokia's Chief Financial Officer said yesterday. S&P reiterated STRONG BUY opinion on shares of Apple.

Based on preliminary data, HP (NYSE: HPQ) expects to announce on May 16 -- when its second quarter results are scheduled to be released -- that it recorded revenue in the range of $25.50 billion to $25.55 billion, non-GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) in the range of $0.69 to $0.70, and GAAP EPS in the range of $0.64 to $0.65. The increase in second quarter revenue and EPS guidance was driven by strong operational results in the Personal Systems Group and in industry-standard servers. In addition, EPS benefited from higher levels of share repurchases during the quarter. The company stated previously that it anticipated revenue of approximately $24.5 billion, non-GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $0.63 to $0.64 and GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $0.57 to $0.58. HP estimates third quarter 2007 revenue of approximately $23.7 billion to $23.9 billion, non-GAAP EPS in the range of $0.63 to $0.65, and GAAP diluted EPS in the range of $0.59 to $0.61. HP also introduced “a wide range of mobile computing devices, services and infrastructure designed to significantly enhance the way individuals connect to the information, entertainment and people that matter most to them - wherever they are.” HP also announced “a prototype software suite and website to enable people to design, create and share location-based experiences, games and tours with friends, family and others, anywhere in the world. The site makes available a new HP Labs technology, code-named "mscape," that overlays digital sight, sounds and interactions on the physical world to create immersive and interactive experiences called mediascapes. Users equipped with a GPS-enabled mobile device running the mscape player can move through the physical world, triggering digital media - including images, text, sounds, audio and video - in response to physical events such as location, proximity, time and movement. Blending online information with gaming, storytelling and the outdoors, mediascapes can offer people of all ages a new way to experience their surroundings.” HP shares were up 3% on the pre-earnings announcement last week, and are now up 10% for the year.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) touted Blue Gene, the fastest supercomputer in the world and the descendent of Deep Blue, as using 131,000 processors to routinely handle 280 trillion operations every second. Blue Gene is also the world's most energy efficient computer, according to green500.org. IBM also announced it is redirecting $1 billion per year across its businesses, mobilizing the company's resources to dramatically increase the level of energy efficiency in IT. Called "Project Big Green," IBM's initiative targets corporate data centers where energy constraints and costs can limit their ability to grow. The initiative includes a new global "green team" of more than 850 energy efficiency architects from across IBM.

IBM Details "Project Big Green"

IBM is using its expertise and energy-smart technology innovations to outline a five-step approach for clients that is designed to dramatically improve energy efficiency:

1. DIAGNOSE: Evaluate existing facilities -- energy assessment,
virtual 3-D power management and thermal analytics
2. BUILD: Plan, build or update to an energy efficient data center
3. VIRTUALIZE: Virtualize IT infrastructures and special purpose
processors
4. MANAGE: Seize control with power management software
5. COOL: Exploit liquid cooling solutions -- inside and out of the
data center

IBM also launched its first-ever public "ThinkPlace Challenge," a three-week open forum designed to foster global collaboration on innovation opportunities and economic development issues facing the African continent. IBM shares were up 3% last week, and are now up 9% this year.

Weekly Declines

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) declined 5% on earnings report that did not excite the investors and the outlook that appeared soft – Cisco is now down 3% for the year. Cisco, said fiscal fourth-quarter revenue will increase 15 percent to 16 percent from a year earlier. Analysts on average expected growth of 16 percent to $9.23 billion, according to a Bloomberg survey. Net income in the third quarter jumped 34 percent to $1.87 billion, or 30 cents a share, from $1.4 billion, or 22 cents, a year earlier, Cisco said. Sales in the period ended April 28 gained 21 percent to $8.87 billion. The profit and revenue exceeded analysts' estimates. Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) saw another week of decline at 4% and is now down 16% for the year. Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) cooled off from the merger rumors with Microsoft Corporation - (NASDAQ: MSFT) and lost 3%; although Yahoo is still up 18% for the year. Finally, Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) shed 3% last week on rising fuel costs; Southwest is having another down year at negative 7%.

Yearly Leaders and Laggards

Who sits on the top of The Innovation Index? Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) dropped 3% last week; although leads all innovators with 56% gains for the year. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is next with 28% appreciation for the year. America Movil (NYSE: AMX) notched another percentage to rise to 22% gains for the year. There are six innovators with double-digit gains for the year, including: 3M Company (NYSE: MMM) at 10%, eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) at 14%, HP (NYSE: HPQ) at 10%, Intel Corporation (NYSE: INTC) at 11%, RIM (NASDAQ: RIMM) at 19% and Yahoo Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) at 18%.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX) is down 16% for the year.

The Innovation Index Annual Report

I posted The Innovation Index Annual Report earlier in the year that included three Chapters:

Chapter One - Total Innovation Activity at the Top 20 Innovators
Chapter Two - The Top Innovator - The Innovator of Innovators
Chapter Three - The Innovation Insights and Roundup

About The Innovation Index

The Innovation Index introduced in December 2006 is a weighted stock price index of the top 20 Innovators in North America.

The Innovation Index has returned 119% over the last five years. This assumes an investment in each stock of The Innovation Index (buying each stock). An average of $100 invested in The Innovation Index on December 31, 2001 returned $219 as of December 29, 2006. By comparison, $100 invested in each of S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones Index returned $124. The Innovation Index beats the S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones Index by 77% over the last five years.

The Normalized Innovation Index has returned an impressive 174% over the last five years. This assumes equal investment in each stock of The Innovation Index as of December 31, 2001.

Alphabetical list of the top 20 Innovators of The Innovation Index and their stock ticker symbols:

3M Company - (NYSE: MMM)
Amazon.com, Inc. - (NASDAQ: AMZN)
America Movil - (NYSE: AMX)
Apple Inc. - (NASDAQ: AAPL)
Cisco Systems, Inc. - (NASDAQ: CSCO)
Dell Inc. - (NASDAQ: DELL)
eBay Inc. - (NASDAQ: EBAY)
General Electric Co. - (NYSE: GE)
Google Inc. - (NASDAQ: GOOG)
Hewlett-Packard Co. - (NYSE: HPQ)
Intel Corporation - (NYSE: INTC)
International Business Machines Corp. - (NYSE: IBM)
Microsoft Corporation - (NASDAQ: MSFT)
Research In Motion Limited - (NASDAQ: RIMM)
Southwest Airlines Co. - (NYSE: LUV)
Starbucks Corporation - (NASDAQ: SBUX)
Target Corp. - (NYSE: TGT)
The Proctor & Gamble Company - (NYSE: PG)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - (NYSE: WMT)
Yahoo! Inc. - (NASDAQ: YHOO)

The Innovation Index will analyze the positions and standings of the top 20 Innovators at the end of each year. For 2007, there will be no further changes in The Innovation Index.

Disclaimer: I invest in the stocks comprising The Innovation Index.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Friday, May 11, 2007

Oh Hooray!
I was tagged by Kimo & Sabi
and by Earl Grey for a fun meme
where I get to tell 7 Random Facts about Myself.
Here are the rules. Each player starts with seven random facts about themselves. Cats who are tagged need to write on their own blog about the seven things and the rules. You need to choose seven cats to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment that they have been tagged and to read your blog!
~~~~~

1. I find it very important to have a routine. If my Food Lady is not awake by 6:00 it is my job to wake her up for breakfast. Sometimes I drop toys on her or I meow in her face. If she ignores me then I will lick her face. If I still don't get her attention, it becomes time for me to whap her on the head. That always works - and I get my breakfast.
~~~~~

2. Eating is very important to me also. If my Food Lady puts shoes on (she is usually barefoot at home) then I know she is leaving so I need food. The dad thinks this is ridiculous but hey...I don't know when she will be back and I want food!
~~~~~

3. I am always there when my Food Lady showers and dries her hair. First I sit at the shower door and wait for her to come out. When she is ready to use the dryer on her hair, she aims it at me and combs the top of my head. Usually I will roll over and she combs my tummy too. Then while she finishes drying her hair, I finish grooming myself. And then I get to eat.
~~~~~

4. I get very much frightened if people come into my house. I have hidden in the basement, or the bedroom under the bed, or on one of the dining room chairs or on one of the kitchen chairs.
~~~~~

5. I don't like to be held. My Food Lady likes to pick me up and I am a bit amenable to it if she puts me back down and feeds me my crunchies. I think that is why she always picks me up before I eat. Oh, I will also let her hold me so I can look out the window. But I wiggle away if there is nothing outside worth looking at - like birds or squirrels.
~~~~~

6. As much as I love my Food Lady I only sit on my Big Janitor's lap. Or when my Food Lady's Dad was visiting, I sat on his lap too. I have lived here since May 1st, 2004 (when I was about 3 months old) and I have only sat on my Food Lady's lap 3 or 4 times. But I do sleep on her at night. I don't know why, it's just the way I am.
~~~~~

7. I really love my sister-cat China Cat. She washes my head and my ears. And she always lets me plop down next to her for catnaps. She was very lonely when the cat that lived here before me, Samantha, went to the Bridge. Samantha wasn't very friendly with China Cat, so when I came here and loved her, China Cat was very happy.
~~~~~
So now the seven cats I am tagging are as follows:
~~~~~
KC and Missy Blue Eyes at their blog
~~~~~
Merlin and Dobby at their blog
~~~~~
Bathsheba at Jake and Bathsheba's blog
~~~~~
Riley and Tiki at their blog
~~~~~

Monday, May 7, 2007

What do Allianz Group, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Axe, GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE), BMW, Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG), Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), and Netflix have in common? These innovators consistently and successfully bring to market winning innovations, achieve profitable new growth, and reinvent their business for the future.

Erich Joachimsthaler, founder and CEO of Vivaldi Partners, a strategy, innovation and marketing consulting company, in his newly published book - Hidden In Plain Sight : How to find and execute your company's next big growth strategy - provides us insightful answers to real questions facing businesses today: on creating successful innovations and driving profitable growth - by introducing a new methodology “demand-first innovation and growth” (DIG). Joachimsthaler purports a poignant view of the misplaced state of innovation in the broader market.

I was able to obtain a copy of Hidden In Plain Sight from Harvard Business School Press publicist Michelle Morgan. Michelle also introduced me to Joachimsthaler. Rather than indulge you with my analysis and thoughts on this must-read innovation book and the three-part method of the DIG model, I wanted to share with you something even better: Top Ten Answers from Erich Joachimsthaler himself on my most pressing questions.

One lucky person will win a FREE hardcover book in an “Innovation Raffle” on behalf of HBS Press (ended)

Without further ado:

Top Ten Questions and Answers on Hidden In Plain Sight with Erich Joachimsthaler:


Question #1: Why are key opportunities for innovation and growth hidden in plain sight? Do companies even know about this?

Erich Joachimsthaler: In the book, I discuss four reasons why opportunities are hidden in plain sight. First, is the fact that growing a company requires establishing processes, systems, and procedures. Growth requires that work is divided into divisions or business units which fragments a company’s view of the customer. Second, are strategic considerations. Company often follow mantra’s like: stick to the knitting and therefore continue to invest into a direction that has proven to be right in the past. Third, and this is the most important reason is that American companies today live comfortably in the world of either the product perspective or the customer perspective. That is, there is either a mentality of looking at the world from the product perspective or the customer perspective. Both of the perspectives have one central tenet that underlies them. It is the need-fulfillment paradigm. Find a need and fill it. The problem is that this model is not only obsolete, it is generic and geriatric – time to retire it and send it to Florida. We are facing a dilemma in mammoth proportion in America. Companies need to learn and accept that we are in a world of product proliferation where we already have served nearly every need several times over, where there are over 50 varieties of bottled water, over 78 different Lay’s chip varieties, over 29 varieties of Pop Tarts and over 20 different milk types – no longer the company is in charge, but the customer. Fourth, success begets success. Success also infuses a company with an inside-out perspective. Often times, companies not only don’t see the opportunities, they often don’t know about them in the first place.

Question #2: "We are differentiating our products from competitors' offerings, segmenting the marketplace to identify new customers or consumers, growing through mergers and acquisitions, developing brand new products and extending brands, and actively listening to customers or consumers. We have everything in place to be successful." Is this a fallacy?

Erich Joachimsthaler: Yes, this is exactly and precisely the problem. These practices are the practices that have worked in the past – they have worked during the years where consumers were in search of products and services, where consumers found the station breaks on TV a form of entertainment. Companies are wrong in thinking that listening to consumers is equal to understanding. The problem of huge proportions that American businesses are facing is the fact that our fundamental paradigm of business, the very essence and foundation of what creates the success for business until today is now in question. You have to abandon the simplistic notion of the need-fulfillment paradigm. The complexities of today’s consumers can no longer be measured in terms of a set of attributes, product or brand attributes, that need to be fulfilled or exceeded and that ensures commercial success. You follow this paradigm and you are more likely competing based on features in commodity hell than building a profitable growth business. We have got to retire the outdated notions that the need-fulfillment paradigm serves any useful purpose today in the day and age where over 95 percent of all new products fail within the first year. You have also got to retire the basic notion that consumers can tell you what they want. I am of the opinion that consumers can not know what they have not experienced. It is important that we are not consumer-led, not marketing-led and not product or technology led – we have got to find a new approach to growth which is described in my book.

Question #3: Why is it important for a company to look from the outside in and let go of existing processes and models?

Erich Joachimsthaler: It is a natural human tendency to pursue patterns that have worked and that have made us successful. It is only natural, therefore, that Sony looks at the world in terms of finding more customers for the Walkman. After all, the Walkman has been a huge success and why would hundreds of millions of Walkmans sold be wrong. But this very success can blind executives in not seeing the biggest opportunities in plain sight.

And outside-in perspective, and be mindful, I do not mean a customer perspective, can provide an unbiased and untainted view of the opportunities that a company has. It is a hard thing to do, though.

Question #4: What is Customer Advantage? Is it the same as profitably serving the needs and want of my customers - aka maximizing gains from customers?

Erich Joachimsthaler: Precisely not! Profitably serving the needs and wants of customers is a notion that is reminiscent of the need-fulfillment paradigm. The corollary is that one can profitably serve consumers needs and wants if one has something that is different from competitors and competitors can not right away copy it. Today, the notions of competitive advantage, of differentiation for the sake of differentiation and of serving customers to delight them need to be questioned. Remember the highly differentiated Iridium phone service, a brick-size phone that had an antenna the size of a base ball bat. It came with a 3,000 dollars basic plan plus 7 dollars per minute of calling. Calling of course required that one needed to step outside a building as it would not work inside, and one needed to be clear of buildings after all. Motorola spent billions of dollars in it and there was an enormous conviction that there will be a big market. And it was extremely differentiated. Or do you remember and equally highly touted and buzzed up, hyped up new product, the Segway Personal Transporter, it was highly differentiated and was to change the way we walk and stroll or transport ourselves from point A to point B. There was also a conviction from study after study with consumers that there was a big market. Right? Now, we live in an age where the iPod has become the big success. Now, if differentiation is so important? Can you tell me what the No. 2 MP3 player is? Or No. 3? Then, iPod is differentiated from what? How about the so important iTunes downloadable service? If iTunes is the No. 1 downloading service for music? What is the No. 2 or 3? Have you ever bothered comparing any of the services? That’s my point. I bet you can’t give the answers, because when you achieve customer advantage, the comparison is irrelevant. People have absorbed and assimilated the iPod into their lives. We live many more minutes of our 1,440 minutes we all live from midnight to midnight with our iPods – and that is customer advantageit is how your product fits into the everyday life of consumers. It is not the simplistic notion of how much my product or brand is different from competitors.

Question #5: What is the changing ecosystem of demand? How do Procter & Gamble and GE address this?

Erich Joachimsthaler: The ecosystem of demand paradigm changes the simplistic need-fulfillment paradigm. It maps the complexities of the everyday lives. Importantly, is the mapping process itself. It does not start with identifying needs and wants using some sort of ganglion marketing research procedure. Instead, it begins with mapping the everyday life of consumers in the case of P&G or customers for GE. The starting point is the GAP or Goals, Activities and Priorities of people. This is the gap that the current product perspectives and the current dominant consumer perspectives totally miss. The GAP is what really matters, here and now, today in the everyday life of consumers. The GAP is however only the starting point. It is only useful if one sees the GAP in the context, the social-cultural context in which one lives. Context is everything! The GAP then focuses on behaviors and we study the behaviors in the context in which they occur. This is a crucial aspect of our model. We believe that the best predictor of behavior is behavior, not attitudes and not opinions or brand reputations. It is as simple as this and it is as complex as this. Starting with this behavioral perspective – what really matters to consumers in their everyday life, we explore unarticulated needs and wants, but also urges, passions, fantasies and desires. As you progress with putting layer and layer of complexity on understanding the demand landscape from this perspective, the contours of the ecosystem of demand emerge. It is powerful rendition of where the opportunities for the business lie. So, you think this is a bit too complex, everything has to be simple. Frankly speaking, I disagree. Remember, we are talking about your wife or your husband or your next door neighbor, would you agree with me that we do not live around simple people? We have got to abandon the simplistic notions of consumer demand that exists today.

How did GE or P&G do it? To begin with, both companies began observing their consumers without the biases of their own products and brands. This has been a near revolution at these companies. Both stories are well described in the book. GE Healthcare for example studied anesthesiologists and their behaviors during key surgical procedures in the operating room. P&G studied people around their everyday lives around their home, not simply when they were scrubbing the bathroom floors. These companies also learned that they needed to reframe their existing businesses and categories and pursue entire new thinking routines in order to really understand their businesses better. An important aspect of their success has been that the new insights from the research led to an entire new search of helping consumers or anesthesiologists that involved multiple businesses inside the company and even communities from outside the company. And even more importantly the entire strategic blueprint for action – in the case of P&G, its marketing model has changed. Today, P&G seeks one to one relationships with over 60 million households in America (more than every second household), it has established their own presence on Second Life, it has established their own social networking sites, it is revamping the entire marketing success model that it itself developed and perfected over the last fifty years.

Question #6: What is DIG, and how is it different from my company's innovation model?

Erich Joachimsthaler: The DIG model is a systematic, systemic and repeatable process to identify and executive innovation and growth strategies. It replaces the existing model of SAV or screwing around vigorously, sometimes also called the fuzzy front end of existing innovation models. In the fuzzy front end, one searches wildly for ideas that then can be put through the classic stage-gate process of new product development. In the DIG model, the focus is not on the product, it is on finding ways of creating a transformational change in consumers’ everyday life. Therefore, the innovation can be a product, a solution, a new technology, a business model, or no product at all. And because it is a process, there is a chance of winning again and again, of repeating the success. It does not rely on the occasional brilliance of one particular executive.

Question #7: Can a company still succeed if it cannot create a complete demand landscape? How did Frito-Lay stay on top of high-profile customer trends by creating a complete demand landscape?

Erich Joachimsthaler: Yes, in reality, we cannot completely map the entire ecosystem of consumer demand – it is an evolving process. We prefer to get a very good rendition of the contours of the demand landscape, then dig deep – hence the acronym DIG. We do always focus on a specific component of it first – what we call the demand landscape. At Frito-Lay we identified the moments around which Lays is currently consumed during the 1,440 minutes we all live. We then identified other moments in everyday life that are relevant. We then analyzed the trends in each of the moments. For example, a moment in the office is impacted by different trends than a moment at home or on the go. And mind you, we did not begin with deep dive of people’s psychology around snacking and studying product attribute configuration or emotional drivers of the Lays’ consumption experience.

Question #8: How and why did Allianz reframe the opportunity space? Was this needed? Was Allianz successful?

Erich Joachimsthaler: In the case of Allianz, the emphasis was on reframing the opportunity space. This was so because in the insurance business, particularly the personal liability insurance business, there was the feeling that there were no innovations possible. It is an old and very traditional business. It is a business that matured and consumers simply buy based on the lowest price or annual fee.

At Allianz, the personal liability business was important to the company. Allianz was by far the leader in the market with a significant price premium. Where do you go from here? The feeling was that new competitors only force the market into the wrong direction - lower prices and cheapened services through telephone trees and outsourcing arrangements in low-cost countries.

Allianz was able to rethink the entire personal liability business and it was done not simply based on largely visionary ideas but forty concrete innovations that the executives in part themselves came up with, by looking at the demand landscape in totally new ways – using the 12 BIG (breakthrough innovation and growth) lenses that are described in the book.

Question #9: How does BMW create sustainable Customer Advantage? What could BMW do differently?

Erich Joachimsthaler: The BMW story in the book describes how this company has understood their demand landscape and how it has developed a portfolio of cars ranging from the BMW brand, the MINI brand to the Rolls Royce brand – a premium car manufacturer that sells over a million automobiles! The chapter in the book describes how the company has developed a strategic blueprint for action (the third component of the DIG model), that captures a relevant part of the ecosystem of demand. In this example, the component of the blueprint described is the company’s world-class brand management system. You will learn how the company adopted an entire new model of branding for the MINI than the success model it used for the BMW brand. And hence, they have drawn in different consumers for the MINI brand than for the BMW brands. The chapter illustrates how the DIG model opens up strategic options for building profitable growth that one would not otherwise see from a traditional business as usual perspective. At BMW, the innovation, the breakthrough was not another technology, but the innovation was about the brand management approach and how it created a deeper affiliation and hence customer advantage.

BMW has done a lot of things right and what they can do differently now is never ever forget and be mindful that innovation – even at BMW where innovation has such a strong technology core – goes far beyond its habitual technology domain and into brand management, design, and new business models. I think the story in the chapter vividly describes this BMW difference.

Question #10: What drives Apple's innovation and growth? Is Apple better at connecting with and engaging consumers?

Erich Joachimsthaler: Apple’s innovation and growth is first and foremost driven by inner conviction about the outer world – a conviction that is manifested by Steve Jobs and largely led by him and people around him.

This conviction is about changing how consumers live around music or entertainment. It is not merely a product focus, although it might appear this way. Apple has created the transformational change that I talk about in the book, it has created the customer advantage as I define it. It has changed the way we find out about music, the way we select music, buy music, listen to music, store music and discard music – in short, it has changed how we manage music in our lives (something that is fairly important to all of us), it also has changed how we manage video, etc.

It is not merely a better experience from competitor X, but it is a transformation of our lives, a part of our lives and Apple moves on doing the same with our entire digital lives, watch the launches of iTV and iPhone.

If Apple merely would define a set of needs and wants and then seek to fulfill it, they would ask consumers what they like or dislike about the Walkman and then create a better Walkman. I think that model of need-fulfillment paradigm is NOT at the core of the Apple process. Instead, Apple develops a notion of the changing consumer landscape. Think about around 2000 or 2001, there were already some consumers who downloaded songs from Napster and Kazaa. They see how the demand landscape is changing and they develop their own thinking, what I call structured thinking, around how to create a transformative experience for consumers. They don’t rely solely on consumer input and focus groups. In the process, Steve Jobs reframes the entire opportunity space for Apple – from a computer company, to a music company (Apple happens to be now one of the largest music retailers), to be an entertainment company. You ask about connecting with consumers? What would Madison Avenue recommend you? They would say: you need to find an emotional message that creates a connection with the consumers – touting functional and emotional benefits and achieve a clear positioning relative to competitors. How would that look like? Most likely a message, communicated over TV that clearly explains the principal benefits and the reasons to believe this benefits to targeted consumers. What would a marketer recommend? He or she would recommend that Apple segments the market into those who like more noisy music versus the sophisticated music lover who perhaps listen to classic music. And if you look at what Apple did, it seems they have followed little of the standard advice from marketers or advertising professionals. Connection and engagement does not happen on the small screen, the TV set or the large screen, but it happens in the 1,440 minutes where consumers live and work and play. Engagement and connection for Apple has nothing to do with emotionalizing the difference of iPod over the Walkman or touting superior product attributes. Look at their advertisements. Their marketing program or advertising program cannot be printed on paper or shown in little films called TV or cinema spots. Their program of connecting with consumers is about the 2,000 accessories that they have licensed to Bose and other companies so that we can absorb and assimilate the iPod into our 1,400 minutes we all live every day.

All Important Question: What are the top three takeaways from Hidden in Plain Sight that help companies internalize the DIG agenda?

Erich Joachimsthaler: The important takeaways are:
1) Innovation and growth is not a fuzzy process of screwing around vigorously (SAV) but can be a systematic process,
2) Innovation and growth is not something that happens in a department like R&D or product development – innovation and growth is a company-wide activity and only if you have a process can you also engage the entire organization,
3) Innovation and growth is not about products or solutions – it is about creating a transformational change in the way people live, work and play – and in order to achieve that, the innovation can be a product, a solution, a technology and new business model like at Netflix or no product at all. It could even just be a management innovation like brand management at BMW or a better supply chain management process.

If you follow these three takeaways, there is a chance to win again and again and to achieve a larger transformation of your company, and reinvention of the business for the future.

Selected references:
Top 50 innovative companies in the world

References:

Erich Joachimsthaler: Hidden In Plain Sight - How to find and execute your company's next big growth strategy

HBR IdeaCast with Erich Joachimsthaler

Apple, GE, P&G and Starbucks are 4 of the Top 20 innovators of The Innovation Index

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