Archive for February, 2020

What’s next?

February 29, 2020

I’ve been reading some Medium articles about the death of the IPO. I could remind people of what worked and why the so-called unicorns with failed IPOs failed. But, who reads what I write now that I’m not publicizing it on Twitter? My WordPress stats are going nowhere.

I wrote up my current thinking in a March 7th post on the Strategy as Tires blog. Wait until the 7th. Those WordPress stats are likewise going nowhere. I’ve not moved the conversation forward. Sorry about that.

Some of the Product Strategist Glossary entries might move the conversation. There are some new details. The TALC is not static. It is changing these days.

Foster’s Disruptions

February 10, 2020

While I was writing up an entry in the Product Strategy Glossary for the technology adoption lifecycle (TALC), I was looking for a diagram showing the phobic phase, and I found a Wikipedia entry for the TALC that mentions both Foster and Christensen. The entry mentions Christensen’s s-curve distinction between the two very different types of disruption. Foster’s disruptions were s-curve disruptions, while Christensen’s disruptions were not.

S-curves are the quick term for price-performance curves. Foster’s disruptions were caused be discontinuous, new to the world innovations. Christenson’s disruptions were focused on business models. Business models are a different kind of technology. Business people don’t see business as a technology. Boil it all down, and innovation is about ideas, not these classes of technological ideas, rather than these classes of management ideas. Rodgers saw a wider range of technologies in his Diffusion of Innovation books. Its all about ideas.

Sloan innovated management. Sloan found practices that improved the s-curves of management.

The TALC was clear in regards to the Foster-Christensen disruption divide. Foster was focused on change the world, economic wealth creating, discontinuous innovation–via the processes of the early TALC phases. Christensen was focused on keeping a category alive a little longer, the point of the processes of the late TALC phases.

Foster’s disruptions were accidental. Christensen’s were deliberate and competitive. But, when you consider alternate monetization, where money is made via other means, means that enable a market oversubscribed by competitors, Christensen’s disruptions are a consequence of that.

In a market allocated by market power, disruption lets VCs fund the oversubscribing startup, where not only does a market exist, but a market where firms are more than fighting over every last dime. Those last dimes do not come from the primary functionality. It’s coming from the fifteen other alternate monetization streams.

Market power allocated market share is old school. These days you buy your market share. The income streams have twice as many competitors that make practically nothing on those income streams.

User-led Growth

On another topic, I created a new blog for the Product Strategy Glossary. The WordPress website is doing all it can to encourage its users of the free service to buy a subscription, or install the application on your machine. Go take a look.


February 10, 2020

See the Product Strategist Glossary.

The product strategist blog now has a nascent glossary. A reader requested one eons ago. Producing it to a meaningful and useful level will take a while given that this blog is more than a decade old now.

The convex hull post was full of abbreviations. I didn’t want to explain them all in that post. So I am centralizing them. Some of the entries will be dictionary-like. Some will be more encyclopedic. The entry on the technology adoption lifecycle is encyclopedic.

I will have to build a few components. The content will be on WordPress pages, rather than blog posts. Putting this together has been frustrating. So automated features get in the way.

Thanks for your readership.

On Cannibalization

February 1, 2020

This morning I revised the Alternate Monetization post. I did this to promote the On Cannibalization section to to post of its own. I wrote that section. Then I drew a figure about the shape of the TALC as it evolves towards the cloud. This evolution has been a cannibalization of the early mainstreet (EM) phase, aka the IT Horizontal (HIT). This means that the HIT involves fewer people, hence fewer seats and dollars.

The red shapes are the expected distributions. The Gap is where the IT horizontal used to be. The blue arrow on the left shows that the absence of the IT horizontal will make it difficult to move from the vertical phase to the late mainstreet phase. The blue arrow on the right shows how the cloud will grow towards the late mainstreet phase.

In the past few years, user-led growth (ULG) came into being and began capturing a population. The TALC is fundamentally a collection of independent populations. So ULG has emerged as another population on the TALC. It extends the cloud phase since that is where it’s code is being written.

Adoption of the cloud has been slow. It is a matter of moving horizontal slices of functionality from HIT to the cloud. Vertical applications were not being moved. User-led growth is broadening cloud adoption.

The absence of the early mainstreet phase is going to be a problem.

The figure below represents the eventual shape of the TALC. It shows how functionality, seats, and dollars are moving to the cloud from the shrinking EM/HIT phase to the cloud. The cloud will expand to hold the HIT as the migration, shown in purple, to the cloud continues. I do not know how much of the user-led growth functionality will involve the device phase. The main issue will center on the matter of task sublimation. The TALC is organized by task sublimation, aka easy of use. Each form factor, historically, each phase was easier than the prior prior phase.

Revised on 5/13/2020 to correct the slice/layer assignments of the cloud (C), which involves vertical application/slices (VS), and user-led growth (ULG), which involves horizontal applications/slices (HS).

These days we are in the midst of the “easier” mythology. UX advice tells us to make it easier. AI wanna bees want it to be “easier.” Nevermind that easier would leave money on the table and skip over much that we still need to learn.

The TALC will change shape. That shape is a big data problem. We don’t have that data yet. The change in shape will present us with process problems. We already do not innovate discontinuously. Still, I met someone that seems to be doing the bowling alley. I didn’t label it on the figure. The bowling alley starts with the early adopter who is a member of a vertical. The bowling alley is the aggregate of six early adopters and their six verticals. Those six verticals are built on a single technology as the market fro that technology is built. Will this make sense in the future? I don’t know yet.

The future is always a matter of yet. Becoming a normal is always a matter of yet. The convex hull is again a matter of yet. I found user led growth on twitter. It had been happening for two years.