The one thing that accountants do well is add things up. (The second best thing they do is subtracting but that’s another subject).
In their enthusiasm for adding more to the revenue line (and subtracting expenses from the costs), accountants sometimes over simplify matters by treating each revenue item as equal by adding all items together when reporting.
But is every revenue item really equal to another? I believe that revenue “quality” is probably more important than the absolute amount, and this is very important when considering business model diversification.
Product management is sometimes referred to as the accidental profession. Even though product managers fulfil a real and defined need in a company, the discipline is often not well developed or understood; and not always acknowledged.
Most people when they get to the office find it easier to pursue short term objectives such as project delivery, cost efficiency and quarterly sales quotas. These tasks can seem more immediately fulfilling, important and satisfying than the task of developing a longer term market focussed product strategy.
CIO’s are arguably in survival mode and need to become more agile and intentional about their role in the business if they plan to be around in future.
As a CIO is it better to be agile and act independently and move on rapidly ahead at the risk of the big unknown?
Or is it wiser to work as a collective and move slowly, never venturing beyond what is understood and proven, taking your team along every step?
Many successful commercial software products originate as a result of joint innovation between a customer and the developer. The first customer of a product benefits from getting functionality that meets their requirement exactly. The developer benefits from a having a committed user and some upfront funding.
When done well, this process allows the developer to build something that has relevance to a wider market and which can support a stand alone business case. The intention is to offset the ongoing development and maintenance cost with revenue from commercial sales of the product.
The business relationship between the first customer and software developer becomes more strategic once the software products become integral to the customers way of doing business. If this relationship is not managed well it runs the risk of being unsustainable, and ultimately a breakup could be very costly for both parties involved.
As an ex-CIO in various roles I was interested to read a couple of articles recently claiming that the “CIO is dead“.
While the incumbent himself might not be dead, I think that the CIO role itself could well be dying out, with reason.
In many situations the CIO (and IT manager) have found themselves in an operational role, unable to repeat the transformational impact in the business that technology made possible with the rise of the personal computer and then the internet 15-20 years ago. As a result IT is losing influence and losing the opportunity to transform the business.
The sheer volume of information on the web about how to promote and market your consulting or online business, particularly using social media marketing, is staggering. Sometimes it can seem that the foundations of business (and online business) strategy are ignored as people pursue quick win money making opportunities through the web. I have seen a great deal of online marketing advice, but very little substance from these online experts about how to create a half decent business strategy. If you are considering starting an online information business, an understanding of the fundamentals of business strategy is going to prove invaluable as you start putting in place the building blocks.
Frustrated with slow growth in your business and lack of leverage to scale up? By working smarter can you leverage the impact of the time you invest and create that extra space (sometimes called “margin”) in your life and business to do the things you always wanted to?
Perhaps you are frustrated in your services business because you have limited clients, constrained resources and weak margins? How can you have a greater impact for each hour of effort you put in? How to reach more people and how to scale up?
One of the practical ways you can work smarter is to build products, not solutions.
Let me explain why I think this is important:
You have heard the expression “it never rains but it pours”.
Over the past two weeks I have had more questions about the real purpose of business blogging than ever before.
It seems that there is another step change taking place as businesses start to recognise the need to holistically market and promote themselves through the web. They really want to move beyond their existing website which in most cases currently serves no more purpose than an online electronic glossy sales brochure.