Tesla’s biggest disruption is unlikely to be in the car industry 

  We’ve all heard about Tesla and the potential disruption to the car industry.  Tesla will certainly have an impact however all the major manufacturers are moving rapidly to develop electric vehicles and Apple and Google are really gearing up in the vehicle space as they see it as a platform play. 

I doubt whether Tesla will eventually become a major player on its own in the global motor vehicle industry – but time will tell. 

However, where I believe Tesla may become a major player is the energy industry – with their home battery technology. 

If I was an executive of an energy utility, I would be very concerned by the advent of home batteries, such as the Tesla Powerwall ( see link below to Mashable article). The home battery makes Solar a real option for households and small businesses, particularly in places like Australia. It means that a lot of households can disconnect themselves from the grid or become a net supplier rather than a net consumer. 

Often, an innovation or invention’s greatest impact is not in an industry which it was first designed for – I think that is very likely in Tesla’s case

Apple – the real disruption (and value?)is in services

  Apple’s earnings release overnight talked about its services revenue -$5.5bn USD for the quarter. 
While focus is generally on Apple’s products and the sales it gets from IPhones, IPads etc – the services revenue from iTunes, App Store and Apple Pay is huge and high quality. Not only is Apple’s revenue from services as big as all revenue that Starbucks derives, it demonstrates the huge ‘tied’ customer base that Apple has. 

While people will talk about how the iPod and iPhone changed our lives, it was the fundamental disruption of the music industry by iTunes that has been at the heart of the change  – and also just happens to have created a high quality and huge revenue stream for Apple. 

While innovation in products causes disruption, business model disruption, such as seen by Apple in the way we access music, apps for a range of leisure and business uses and increasingly in the way we pay for goods and services, is the key to significant change. 

Digital disruption – the block chain and its impact

Forget Bitcoin -- What Is the Blockchain and Why Should You Care?

I am fascinated with what is happening at the moment- every industry, every organisation is on the cusp of significant transformation, largely due to the changes in technology.

I am no technology geek – the technology has little fascination for me – but what it does to the business model, the ecosystem and industry structure I find incredibly interesting.

Crypto currencies, such as Bitcoin, have been talked about for a few years now – and getting an understanding of them and how they are likely to impact hasn’t been easy. I have no doubt that they will play a role, particularly within the banking system and the person to person  payments process.

BUT, the hidden sleeper behind Bitcoin, that I believe will have enormous impact, is the Block Chain. Block Chain is the technology driven consensus authentication process that authenticates every transaction and verifies asset ownership. It has huge potential to transform payments, transactions, auditing and credit.

The link below provides a simple explanation of the way the Block Chain works.

It’s so unique that everyone has it

“We have a unique methodology that allows us to deliver projects more efficiently and with greater ongoing success. There are five major steps: discovery, design, development, implementation, and measurement”

I imagine for most people that statement sounds familiar but also makes you cringe.
It is marketing speak that all consultants use and it means nothing to the client. It could be lifted from any number of our organisations proposals.

Saying something is unique is a big call – and if it’s not, then saying it is damages credibility. Having a methodology is important – but clients expect that all consultants will have a methodology and that it is tried and tested.
The key is not the methodology but how the method and our experience will benefit the client. Demonstrating the benefits to the client in a tangible way, that they can really see how they will come to fruition, may just about be unique in the pitches they receive.

When Price is the Objection

I often get told that the service or product is exactly what they want but the price is too high.

Here are 5 tips in handling money objections:
1. Money is often a “red herring” objection a good question to ask is “If money were no object…” – this will usually bring out the real issues behind the money question.
2. Make the value tangible – ‘fees too high’ is often code for I don’t see the additional value of your solution. You need to find a better way of making the value clear and tangible
3. Is it their objection or ours – often it is the service provider who is hesitant in stating the price. Make sure all the client’s needs are established and likely impact and the value to the client of the solution are clear. If you have, then it’s easy to state the price with confidence
4. Don’t lower the price without changing scope or deliverables – if you do, you are creating a platform of mistrust and lower prices ongoing.
5. Be sure you are dealing with the decision maker – money is always an objection for the person that doesn’t hold the decision. The objective for them may be more about getting a ‘win’ on the price to carry favour with the decision maker rather than creating the best solution.

In the end, if the service provider doesn’t have faith in the value of their services, you can be certain no one else will.

The script inside your head is stopping you selling


I often hear the comment “I didn’t come here to be a salesman”.

Generally, this is code for ‘I am not confident at selling and building relationships’. For most people the script running inside their head is saying:
• I won’t be good at this.
• My boss is the visionary. She can sell the ideas – not me.
• I don’t like talking about money.
• What if the client says no
• You can’t be a “trusted adviser” and a “sales person” at the same time.
• I don’t have the personality for it.
The key is to psych yourself in, not out, with these 4 facts:
1. What makes a good adviser makes a good sales person. Think about how you deliver your services to your clients – you ask questions; you provide opinions; you are accessible when the client needs you; you bring creative solutions to tough problems to the table and you deliver what you say you are going to deliver. This is exactly what you need to do to become successful in sales.
2. Your clients actually want you to sell to them. Clients and prospects want to solve problems they’re currently not solving, and they want to achieve success they’re currently not achieving. If you can show them how they can do that, and how you’re essential to getting them where they want to go, they’ll be grateful.
3. You’re most successful when you aren’t ‘salesy’. The best rainmakers don’t use cheap tricks to win deals and they don’t sound contrived when they ask questions or give advice. To be successful at sales you have to be yourself and be sincere.
4. Selling is rewarding. Bringing in a new client or extending the relationship with a client is a thrill and brings career success and rewards.
If you believe you can’t sell and won’t like it, you’re right. If you believe you can sell and might just like it, you’re also right.

Does influence or politics get you to the top?

A few years ago, Boss magazine published an article on the seven things a CEO should know. I can’t remember the first six but the seventh really stuck with me.

It was “you can have all the power in the world, but the minute you use it, you lose it”.
It is such a powerful statement.

Influence is key to being successful. It is about getting people to follow based on inspiration and motivation rather than through control or formal power.

So what does politics have to do with influence?

Most of us have a poor view of politics – we see it as negative. However anyone who works in a major organisation is involved in office politics.

The attached HBR article is interesting as it talks about politics not necessarily being negative. It’s premise is that politics is just influence by another name.

I agree that politics don’t have to be negative. What’s your view?


How long can you wait?

Disruption is all around us. The challenge is that it is not only old business models that are being disrupted. The pace of change is rapid, fuelled by mobility and increasing convergence of technologies, industries and business models.
A great example for me is Pure Digital Technologies. This is the company that developed the Flip Camera. The Flip came out in 2007 at $100 and became the fastest selling camcorder on Amazon within a few weeks. Cisco acquired it in March 2009 for $590m and shut it in April 2011 due to mobile phone technology. An expensive disruption.
The need for a strategic radar or sensing capability is critical – to try to get a view on what could disrupt and what’s around the corner.
Waiting until the new technology is in the market has become a dangerous option.

Movies and your business – linkage?

Further to a couple of my recent posts regarding the impact of Social, the attached Economist article talks about 2014 being the lowest year of movie attendance in the US since 1995.

The relevance of this?

Social Media is so quick and effective that if the audience is not wowed on the first screening, it will have ongoing impact at the box office. This happened in 2014 when a couple of intended blockbusters didn’t live up to the pre-launch hype.

Consumers now have a strong voice impacting (both positively and negatively) all businesses through Social Media. The customer experience has become paramount.

A lot of work is often done on the product or service. The question is ‘has enough effort gone into making the customer experience a great one?’

“The Oscars: Hollywood drowns its sorrows”