Friday, 11 August 2017

Marc Andreessen Quotes

Make new mistakes
https://www.wired.com/2000/08/loudcloud/

Strong opinions, weakly held
https://a16z.com/2017/08/07/strategy-tactics-large-companies-management/

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Slack

Slack came out of failed game Glitch. They took the customised communications tool the team used to build the game and created a new stand alone product.

https://www.cnet.com/news/flickr-founder-plans-to-kill-company-e-mails-with-slack/

Pixar

Started as a hardware company. The Pixar Image Computer never sold well, but the people involved had long-held ambitions to make an animated film and eventually Toy Story saved the company.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixar


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Flickr - accidental innovation

Flickr was originally a chat room for gamers with photo sharing capability.

The company made a game called Game Neverending, and Flickr was a tool for it. But ultimately the game got shut down and Flickr continued.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flickr

Monday, 8 August 2016

Defensibilities

In the olden days their were lots of 'defensibilities' that a company could have (barriers to entry or ways to get a sustainable competitive advantage). You could have a port or iron mine in the right place. Software business are left with just 4 types of defensibility:

  • Brand - awareness or recognition of your brand
  • Scale - e.g. Amazon, they are so big they have lower prices, so it's hard to compete.
  • Embedding - you embed your software in another organisation so that it's hard to take out.
  • Network Effects - you have so many users it's hard to anyone else to 
James Currier of NFX Guild on A16Z podcast:
https://soundcloud.com/a16z/network-effects-taxonomy#t=4:08

Defensibilities

In the olden days their were lots of 'defensibilities' that a company could have (barriers to entry or ways to get a sustainable competitive advantage). You could have a port or iron mine in the right place. Software business are left with just 4 types of defensibility:

  • Brand - awareness or recognition of your brand
  • Scale - e.g. Amazon, they are so big they have lower prices, so it's hard to compete.
  • Embedding - you embed your software in another organisation so that it's hard to take out.
  • Network Effects - you have so many users it's hard to anyone else to 
James Currier of NFX Guild on A16Z podcast:
https://soundcloud.com/a16z/network-effects-taxonomy#t=4:08

Thursday, 4 August 2016

A/B Testing vs Multi-Armed Bandit

Interesting article arguing that the Multi-Armed Bandit approach is better than A/B testing.

One of the comments suggests that A/B testing gets a faster result (for a given sample size), allowing you to turn off the weakest options sooner. So it could still be better for a quick experiment.

http://stevehanov.ca/blog/index.php?id=132

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Nespresso - slow success

Nespresso's success was a long time in coming.

Nespresso was first patented as a system in 1976. Nespresso SA was formed as an wholly-owned but independent subsidiary of Nestle in 1986, and initially targeted offices but failed. It was only in 1988 that they were overhauled to target high income households, with direct sales of pods.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Glow First - pool costs in case you need infertility treatment

Use the Glow app and try to get pregnant for 10 months. Contribute $50/month. If it doesn't work you get infertility treatment paid for.

http://www.healthcareglobal.com/technology/1414/s-business-model-pays-off-in-its-app
https://glowing.com/glow_first

Monday, 20 June 2016

Business Metrics

Great article on business metrics to use in different circumstances:
http://a16z.com/2015/08/21/16-metrics/