Food For Thought #19: Patterns of Disruption, Customer Feedback, Pitfalls, LTV & DCF

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of December 13th, 2015 covers: Patterns of disruption, customer feedback best practices, customer development pitfalls, your TRUE LTV, be lazy and create things that matter, innovation labs, Kickstarter best practices and the tale of Ada Lovelace.

(via Deloitte Univ Press): Patterns of disruption: Anticipating disruptive strategies in a world of unicorns, black swans, and exponentials

Established industry incumbents perpetually face the risk of being disrupted by new entrants using new technologies, business models, or approaches to capture marketplace leadership. Are there ways for incumbents to recognize these threats in advance?

Michael Sippey (via First Round Capital): 'Get in the Van' and Other Tips for Getting Meaningful Customer Feedback

Michael Sippey has been shipping software since that meant literally shipping software. “We used to have a field in our CRM to indicate whether the customer needed 5¼-inch floppies or 3½-inch floppies,” he says. It was the early 90s — and the process and structure of product management was still being invented, often on the job. Sippey was an English Lit major in his first job ever at financial services software maker Advent, when he was plucked from the marketing team and given a chance to shape a product.

Steli Efti (via Customer development pitfalls that will sink your startup

Your product has a bit of traction, but you can already tell it’s not going to push your business to the heights you want to achieve. The feedback you get is positive but lukewarm—not enough to keep your business afloat. You and your team create a customer development roadmap to discover and validate the right market fit for your product. But the more desperate you grow to find that market, the more you start grasping at straws. You need to succeed so badly, you build false hope and make decisions that are bad for your business, and dilute the core value of your product into oblivion.

David Skok (via For Entrepreneurs): What’s your TRUE customer lifetime value (LTV)? – DCF provides the answer

The old formula that everyone uses for customer lifetime value (LTV)) –average gross profit per customer divided by churn – ceases to work properly when you have very long customer lifetimes and negative churn.

(via 99u): Want to Create Things That Matter? Be Lazy.

The late Nobel-prize winning physicist Richard Feynman, was one the most brilliant minds of twentieth century science. To his colleagues at Cornell, however, he seemed lazy. As Feynman admitted in a 1981 interview: “I’m actively irresponsible; I tell everybody I don’t do anything; if anyone asks me to be on a committee…’no’ I tell them.”

Simon Powers: Future Backwards – A game for determining next steps towards a desired outcome

Planning forwards allows us to create a narrative based on our experience, but it also includes our bias and prejudices. Looking for a future desired state and then doing a gap analysis suffers from the same problem. This game allows us to take a complex problem, and understand the many factors around it and to construct a vision of the system by its events that is not causal in nature and therefore not subject to narrative bias.

Steve Blank (via Venturebeat): Before you build an innovation lab, answer these 6 questions

Today, large companies are creating innovation outposts in innovation clusters like Silicon Valley in order to tap into the clusters’ innovation ecosystems. These corporate innovation outposts monitor Silicon Valley for new innovative technologies and/or companies (as emerging threats or potential tools for disruption) and then take advantage of these innovations by creating new products or investing in startups.

Jory MacKay (via Medium): Every resource we used to plan and launch a $75k Kickstarter campaign

By highlighting the advice that has actually worked for us so far, I can hopefully spare you the tedium of having to find reliable sources, and get closer to the actual specifics of what sets certain crowdfunding campaigns apart.

This isn’t a step-by-step guide (because despite what some people will tell you, there really is no way to write one of those for Kickstarter) but rather a curated collection of the best resources available for those looking to launch a crowdfunding campaign and the unique takeaways that make each one of them such powerful and required reading:

Stephen Wolfram: Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace was born 200 years ago today. To some she is a great hero in the history of computing; to others an overestimated minor figure. I’ve been curious for a long time what the real story is. And in preparation for her bicentennial, I decided to try to solve what for me has always been the “mystery of Ada”.

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