Well, it is just a splashpage, but our new StrategyFirst site gives you an idea of what is going on behind the curtain. Here is the link.
Archive for May 2nd, 2012
And who wouldn’t? Especially these days, the idea that local communities can develop better strategies to promote job creation and economic activity is very sexy. But where to start?
At FC, Billy Warden and Greg Behr offer their vision. They argue that there are three keys to making this happen (1) embracing risk taking culture, (2) unlocking value in local institutions and (3) building more networking platforms. BTW, this is conventional wisdom by now. But again, where to start?
I think the basic problem is that building the above capacities is not the job of any one institution. Instead, it gets dispersed among various actors in the community. It boils down to a leadership question. So we need a new type of institution that has the job of developing these capacities (1) keeping the vision alive - evangelism, (2) connecting people - outreach, (3) supporting projects - energizing.
Hmm … what type of institution does that?
The recent fight over austerity in The Netherlands was a bit of a shock. The Dutch were not supposed to be suffering like the PIGS are. But as NYT reports, things are not so rosy in Holland. And while EU budget constraints compel austerity measures, some realize that this is not the right medicine to administer if you are looking for economic recovery.
Some years ago, Microsoft had a predator mentality. When it entered new markets — which it did a lot — one expected blood on the floor for the incumbents. BTW, Mark Sigal at Giga wrote about this strategy the other day. He points out how this worked as a “platforming” or “ecosystem” approach. This idea of leveraging dominance in the operating system market by expanding the package of related services was new and it worked. Whatever you think of him, Bill Gates is no dummy.
These days, Microsoft is into partnering. The most prominent partnering adventure is with Facebook. But that is not the only one. There is also Nokia. The latest is with Barnes & Noble where Microsoft commits to invest in the Nook.
It is tempting to focus on what has changed. Microsoft seems to have changed from predator to partner. But I think it is more important to think about what has not changed. Microsoft still is competing within its ecosystem. Mr. Balmer partners instead of dominates because he no longer has the leverage. And he realizes that he has to get into new markets faster than he could by trying to gog it alone.
The key takeaway - think ecosystem and build platforms.