Building a Winning Culture

I recommend Laurie Tennant’s recent article on ”Building a Winning Culture…”.  Laurie is the VP of People, Portfolio Services, for NorWest Venture Partners, and a previous consultant on our San Francisco search team. Laurie provides insights into building a great company culture shared by Leaders from Glint, Omada Health, Electronic Arts, Philz Coffee, OpenTable.  Recruiting top talent, retaining employees, achieving high performance, and stronger business valuations are all benefits of a strong company culture.  Enjoy her article:

https://medium.com/norwest-venture-partners/building-a-winning-culture-why-a-standout-culture-is-your-secret-weapon-in-the-war-for-talent-af0d4e0312ca

 

Top Ten Technology Predictions for 2017

From G.P. Bullhound, Dealmakers in Technology.

If you are like me, you enjoy reading predictions from prognosticators.  Recently I was impressed with a presentation of such predictions by Alec Dafferner, Partner, and his team at GP Bullhound, global technology investment bankers.

G.P. Bullhound should know, as they do more investment banking deals in the technology space than any other banker in the world.  They also are research intensive, so they are constantly doing their homework on the marketplace.  Their 2016 predictions fared well, so I was keen on hearing their predictions for 2017. 

Here are the headlines from their top predictions.  (Click here to view the report)  How strongly do you agree? Are you willing to invest in these trends? Is your business benefiting from one of these emerging trends today?

Here you go:

1.  The next generation of Artificial Intelligence. Heavy investment in 2016…here to stay.  Both consumers and businesses begin to adopt cutting-edge AI for real-world applications. Disruptive AI developers raised $500m last year. More to come in 2017. AI-Powered Virtual Personal Assistants (“VPA”) will increase in sophistication (think Siri, Cortana, and Alexa).

 

2.  Cordless Content: Anywhere and Everywhere. Millennials move away from cable networks…TV industry disruption continues.  Networks will respond with new services for mobile consumers. Mobile continues to dominate headlines and investments.  Over-the-Top (OTT) services include fast broadband, large premium content, multiple device access, all at attractive pricing.  Scramble for content, delivery, and consumers.

 

3.  E-Sport Takes Center Stage. E-Sports is the fastest growing component of the entertainment industry, will hit $1B in revenue in 2017, with over 250 million fans.  More viewers for 2015 League of Legends Final than for game 7 of the 2016 NBA Final. 50% growth rate of industry.

 

4.  The Dawn of VR/AR content. VR/AR hardware has outpaced content.  Software will become available for the newest platform.  Head mounted gear taking off…sold 16.5 mm headsets in 2016. Wireless headsets next push.  Content to catch up due to heavy investments by media giants.  Augment reality boasts Pokemon Go’s 500 million downloads…peaks at 50mm users in one day.

 

5.  Driverless Cars…still require Human Direction. Heavy investment recently in this dream, creating more customized cars thanks to Google, Baidu, Apple, and Uber.  Samsung paid $8B for Harman, testament to interest by electronics firms to be part of future “connected” automobile.   More investment this year. Fully autonomous cars have a long way to go before widespread adoption.

 

6.  Fintech: Shifting Tectonic Plates. Traditional Financial Institutions will fight back this year, as “Banks 2.0” continue to steal their business. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending platforms intend to create an optimal lending process.  Widespread adoption of blockchain technology is unlikely to happen in 2017

 

7.  Social Media Transformation. Though Western players dominate in technical innovation, Asian players excel at user retention and monetization.  Executive recruitment and M&A transactions will focus on the converging of these two forces in Social Media in 2017.

 

8.  SaaS Software Reigning Supreme. With $61B worth of M&A in the rear view mirror, both PE firms and Tech giants are looking to buy more SaaS companies in 2017.  EU companies may present the best economics and valuations for purchasers.

 

9.  TECH IPOs are set for take off. As Asian markets heat up, particularly in China, and U.S. Unicorns looking to IPO in 2017, combined with modest increases in IPOs in Europe, 2017 should be a strong year for TECH IPOs.   China wants to bring in more foreign capital, and increase valuations for their tech companies.

 

10.  Year of the European Decacorn. With U.S. Unicorns all the buzz, keep your eyes on the European behemoths, the E.U. Decacorns.  These private firms are more capital efficient, have more rational valuations, enjoy greater financial stability, and are most likely to see a significant increase in value in 2017.

 

Note: Alec Dafferner has made the full report available on his web site:  http://www.gpbullhound.com/news/gp-bullhound-identifies-top-10-tech-trends-2017/

More on Alec:  http://www.gpbullhound.com/people/alec-dafferner/

 

John Boyens on Dominating Your Market

John Boyens, Co-Founder and President, The Boyens Group

John Boyens, renown sales productivity expert, business strategist, and President of the Boyens Group, has invaluable insights to share about improving your sales performance and dominating your customer market.

6 Secrets to Dominating Your Market:

  1. Define Success…establish key performance indicators (KPIs)
  2. Know your Customers…segment your marketplace
  3. Know your Competition…establish competitive differentiation
  4. Document your Business’ 5 P’s(the 5P’s are:  1) Positioning/Unique Value Proposition, 2) Product/Service, 3) Placement in Your Market Space, 4) Price, and 5) Promotion/How You Go To Market)
  5. Establish your Go-to-Market Strategy…including a written sales and marketing plan
  6. Leverage Social Media…establish your virtual business strategy (VBS)

Too many business executives spend most of their time running their business rather than focusing on growing their business…in other words, working “in” versus “on” their business…being tactical versus strategic So what can you do to become more strategic?  Here are some best practices from successful business executives to consider:

  • Do one thing to increase your company’s visibility right away (e.g., social media)
  • Identify one person or company who could immediately and positively impact revenue
  • Identify one mundane, time-consuming task that you could delegate or outsource
  • Defer something you’re working on, that really isn’t necessary to be done now
  • Better leverage technology
  • Facilitate customer feedback to validate/invalidate the marketplace perceptions of your company
  • Ensure that your marketing messaging is consistent across all channels (i.e., website, social media, collateral material, pitch deck, sales presentations, trade show booth and advertising).

For more helpful articles on John’s “5 P’s” of all successful business strategies, what to include in a sales and marketing plan, how to create a unique value proposition (UVP), as well as proven social media tips designed to grow revenues quickly, you may refer to John’s website at www.boyens.com.

And a few thoughts from John, in closing:

  • Market domination is a result of positioning
  • Positioning is a result of being UNIQUE
  • Being unique means you can charge more… and get it!

Wishing you improved sales performance and success in dominating your market!