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Archive for February, 2012

In product development, after brainstorming (or ideating if you prefer) the next step is usually prototyping and concept selection.  Picking up on my last post, once you have used the business model canvas to generate a few ideas about how you might leverage resources from the current business to launch a new one, how do you pick which design to go with?  How do you prototype a business model?  I’m pretty sure a 3-D printer won’t work for that.

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As noted in my previous post, part of what makes business model innovation fundamentally different at an established company (versus a traditional start-up) is the availability of resources from the existing business to help in launching the new one.  I am not convinced, however, that most Fortune 500 companies have a well-developed understanding of how the resources in their possession might benefit a new venture.

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“Uncertainty is when you’ve defined the variable but don’t know its value . . . But ambiguity is when you’re not even sure what the variables are. You don’t know how many dice are even being rolled or how many sides they have or which dice actually count for anything.”

– Dev Patnaik, cofounder and CEO of Jump Associates

The quote above comes from a recent Fast Company article on Gen Flux.  While the distinction he draws between ambiguity and uncertainty may be somewhat arbitrary (and smack of a marketing sound bite, especially after a glance at the Jump web site), it is useful in exploring some of the fundamental challenges faced by companies in an environment of accelerating change.

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