Note: This is a blog that I wrote back in 2014, but seems even more apropos given all the discussions about the use of technology to achieve digital transformation. Bottom-line: you best invest the time to truly understand your sources of value creation – where you are providing competition differentiation and where you are just providing competitive parity – and drive your technology and people investments accordingly. Remember that Digital Transformation is more about reinventing your…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on October 21, 2020 at 9:02am — No Comments
The future of software development will be model-driven, not code-driven.
Now that my 4th book (“The Economics of Data, Analytics and Digital Transformation”) is in the hands of my publisher, it’s time to get back to work investigating and sharing new learnings. In this blog I’ll take on the subject of Software 2.0. And thanks Jens for the push in this direction!
Imagine trying to distinguish a dog from other animals in a photo…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on October 15, 2020 at 6:21am — No Comments
While Strategy may not be dead, the importance of the traditional strategy function will be greatly reduced by the emergence of AI. In my previous blog “Strategy Series Part 1: "Creating a Data Strategy that Delivers Value," I asked: How does one develop data and AI strategies in a world of continuous change and transformation? Tesla provides an interesting poster child for that question: What is Tesla’s business strategy? Is Tesla an automotive…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on June 8, 2020 at 5:30am — No Comments
Oh, the strategy pundits hate me! It’s not because I’m tall, good looking and from Iowa (well, 2 out of 3 ain’t bad), it’s because I think Strategy as a “Discipline” is way overblown. I won’t go as far as the Harvard Business Review to state that “Strategy is Dead”, but the importance of carefully defining a strategy (typically done in the ivory towers of the puzzle palace) and then commanding all the little soldiers to follow the strategy script are over!
Added by Bill Schmarzo on May 24, 2020 at 3:00pm — No Comments
Everyone wants to restart the economy safely. Everyone. The question isn’t “if”, it’s “when” and “how” and somehow that’s when politics gets involved. So, let’s stop pointing fingers at “others” and blaming them for the world’s woes. Now is the time to work together and create a plan to address the “when” and “how” questions. And here’s a…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on May 17, 2020 at 5:43pm — No Comments
The COVID-19 crisis has hammered home the importance for organizations to become more digital. And I suspect that most organizations are thinking that just means being able to support remote customer engagements and business operations. But that’s not nearly sufficient. Organizations that are thriving during COVID-19 are those that have gone beyond just “digitalizing” their engagements and operations, but are actively leveraging granular customer,…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on April 30, 2020 at 4:30pm — No Comments
The Covid19 pandemic has given me a chance to catch up on some reading. One of the books I recently finished reading is called “Building a Story Brand” by Donald Miller. It’s a short and very effective read (which all books should be). The premise of the book is that all sales and marketing messages should be structured like a movie, and successful movies have a standard approach for telling an engaging story (see Figure 1).…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on April 26, 2020 at 6:00pm — No Comments
Martin Hughes, MBA Director for J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics at the National University of Ireland Galway, recently asked me to present to his MBA class on Team Empowerment. I was excited for two reasons:
Added by Bill Schmarzo on April 19, 2020 at 10:30am — No Comments
Trying to gain organizational alignment on the best path forward on a critical product or organizational decision is overly difficult. Product-centric, inside-out organizations use “wear them down” decision-making techniques that leads to the “Least Worst” option because that option offends the fewest stakeholders.
This “lowest common denominator” approach leads to sub-optimal decisions from the perspective of what’s important to the customers. That’s like having…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on April 14, 2020 at 5:30am — No Comments
A recent article in BusinessWeek titled “Farmers Fight John Deere Over Who Gets to Fix an $800,000 Tractor” highlights a key challenge with which organizations must wrestle on their Digital Transformation journey: how to create win-win scenarios for one’s customers.
The article asks, “Who really owns a John Deere? Is it the farmer who pays $800,000 for it, or the company that won’t let the farmer fix it on their own?”
As a good old Iowa boy (Charles City, IA), I can…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on April 8, 2020 at 12:30pm — No Comments
When the coronavirus broke out in the Wuhan province of China in December 2019, Taiwan was immediately in harm’s way. Taiwan is less than 100 miles from the China mainland, and as recently as January there were a dozen roundtrip flights between Wuhan and Taipei every week. Yet as of March 19, Taiwan has only 108 cases of the coronavirus and one death. Why?
Taiwan used the data from 2003 SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic that infected over…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on March 30, 2020 at 8:00am — No Comments
We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to address one of modern society’s biggest challenges – the choice between healthcare or the economy. For the past several decades, we have treated this as an “either or” choice between one or the other; that to improve the economy we must reduce healthcare spending or to improve healthcare we must sacrifice the economy. To that sort of thinking I say BULL!
The coronavirus COVID-19 situation is showing us a very…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on March 26, 2020 at 6:30am — No Comments
Much like we have Chemical Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, it is time to formalize of field of Data Engineering. This is a special two-part series on trends and requirements leading to the formalization of the Field of Data Engineering.
“Data is the new oil…in much the same way that oil fueled economic growth in the 20th century, data will fuel economic growth in the 21st century.”
To further raise…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on March 14, 2020 at 5:00am — No Comments
As I write this blog, we are still in the early stages of the coronavirus crisis. It is a scary situation which has caused hoarding, panic, fake news, lies, stock market turmoil and irrational behaviors. All indications suggest we will survive this crisis, but it is truly not one of mankind’s best moments.
But learnings abound in…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on March 13, 2020 at 5:30am — No Comments
I’ve had several folks tell me that if I can’t convert the “effects” in the Schmarzo "Economic Digital Asset Valuation Theorem” into mathematical equations, that my quest for a Nobel Prize in Economics would be greatly hindered. So, I enlisted the help of my senior data science team of Wei Lin, Mauro Damo and Yong Zhang to help me address this problem (they were only diverted from small projects related to preserving our rainforests, improving healthcare and reducing carbon…Continue
We all know how horror movies work: there is someone evil in the neighborhood (like Michael Myers in “Halloween” or Freddy Krueger in “Nightmare on Elm Street” or Tom Cruise in “War of the Worlds”) and the soon-to-be-victim, we’ll say in this case, an unassuming CEO, wanders into a dark space (basement, closet, wood shed, attic) where the evil doer is waiting for them with a new agenda for the digital enterprise they can’t assimilate and they perish.
Slash! Cut! Gouge! Scream!…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on February 27, 2020 at 10:30pm — No Comments
“We are too busy building the solution to bother the customer to identify, validate, value and prioritize their requirements.” – Name not disclosed to protect the ignorant
I see this habit all the time with experienced people; the tendency to jump right into solution mode when dealing with customers. Many of these experienced “experts” have seen the “problem” so many times before, that they just “know” the right solution. Heck, sometimes these “experts” even cut off or…Continue
“Begin with an end in mind” – Stephen Covey “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
No truer words have ever been spoken. A simple phrase that makes everyone’s life easier and more productive. Our data science team tries to live by that simple phrase, but it’s difficult because we want to jump right into “solution mode” …we have seen so many similar problems, that we already know and understand how to solve that problem. And that’s an…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on February 17, 2020 at 5:00am — No Comments
Money on the Table..MOTT. When I was the Vice President of Advertiser Analytics at Yahoo, this became a key focus guiding the analytics that we were delivering to advertisers to help them optimize their spend across the Yahoo ad network. Advertisers had significant untapped advertising and marketing spend into which we were not tapping because we could not deliver audience, content and campaign insights to help them spend that money with us. And the MOTT was…Continue
I am a believer that the pathway to innovation must end with putting a product or service into the market that provides economic value to customers, economics the branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth. Innovation is about economics and economics is about value creation. It’s about the 4M’s…Make Me More Money!
Products or services that never reach the market may have been great ideas, but you can’t pay the mortgage or buy your Venti Chai…Continue
Added by Bill Schmarzo on February 3, 2020 at 6:30am — No Comments