What Are You Selling ?

Management guru Peter Drucker said, “The customer rarely buys what the company thinks it’s selling.”

I think it’s very true as many times we misunderstand how our products and services can change our customers lives, one way or the other.

Are you really sure you understand why your customers buy your products ? Forget about the dashboards and reports … go talk to them.

Platform Business Models

I have a headache whenever the startup founder(s) tell me they are starting a platform business, and their products are like Uber of XXX, or Airbnb of YYY. Ooops.

I am still not sure why people believe platform play is easy, and also somehow believe their (small) companies are as good as Uber or Airbnb. In fact, most of them don’t even understand the different platform business models, and don’t know what they are doing as well as why they are doing that.

So, here is it, the main digital platform business models, for their reference.

Digital Business Model archetypes – a new, simplified framework to support corporate portfolio innovation

Dot Voting ?!

“Let’s use dot-voting to pick the brightest idea !!”
“Let’s use dot-voting to pick the next task to work on !!”

It’s colorful, and it’s fun to use, isn’t it ? Most innovation and design workshops use dot-voting, but frankly this tool frustrates me a lot.

Reasons being in most workshops the facilitator is not experienced enough to group the ideas / tasks and then asks the equally inexperienced workshop participants to make hasty business or product decisions, with risks of familiarity bias and popularity bias.

If you have to do a voting, I would suggest to use quadratic voting method with online tools like Mentimeter.

Further reading : What’s Wrong with Dot Voting Exercises

Are You RACI Enough ?

My bad, I am not a big fan of RACI matrix (or Responsibility Assignment Matrix). I mean if you’re working in a small product team or company, I am not sure why you need a RACI matrix to tell what you’re responsible for, accountable for, to be consulted or to be informed. If you do, then you’re just not a team player or you don’t know what you are doing – and somehow you need someone to tell you.

If you’re working in a big organization, RACI matrix will only overload you, as no one really know what you are already responsible for, accountable for, to be consulted or to be informed. The project / product owners will just keep adding responsibility to you. After all, who can really differentiate “responsible” and “accountable” ?

My suggestion ? Let the team(s) focus in delivering results, in an empowered and collaborative way. You will be surprised by what the teams can deliver.