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									Ideas to Opportunities

        CEO Talk
        WL Dougan
        February 4, 2009
   Ideas versus Opportunities
   Where are Opportunities Born?
   Generating Ideas for Opportunities
Ideas v. Opportunities
   Ideas are not the same as opportunities
   Ideas are frequently solutions without
       Better mousetraps fallacy
   Plenty of ideas
   Don’t have to be your own
   Myth of the single idea
       IBM
       Daktronics
       Polaroid
Scott Shane
   Entrepreneurs pick industries that are easier to enter,
    not ones that are more profitable.
       Lower barriers to entry  Higher rates of failure
   About 43 people have to try to start companies so
    that we can have nine jobs in ten years
   On average, jobs in new firms pay less, offer fewer
    fringe benefits, and provide less job security than
    jobs in existing firms
   A tiny sliver of startups accounts for the vast majority
    of the contribution to job creation and economic
    growth that comes from entrepreneurial activity
Developing an idea
               Rule of Ten
   Your great idea                $10
   Discussion with friends        $100
   Build a working prototype      $1000
   Business plan & patent         $10000
   Prepare for manufacturing      $100000
   Rolling it out to the market   $1000000
   Are ideas
   Solve problems and/or meet needs
       Better handle on kitchen utensils – OXO
       More convenient way to shop for books – Amazon, B & N,
   Customer will pay
   Customer can be reached
   Better than what is there
   Meet financial and manufacturing criteria
       Forgiving margins
   Meet a window of opportunity
       Conveyor going out the window of opportunity
   Are durable
Three BIG Questions
       Is there really an opportunity to serve
        an important customer need or want?
    •     Value Proposition
       Do the numbers work out favorably?
    •     Business Model
       Does the opportunity really match
        your personal goals and values, and
        will you have the abilities and
        resources required to exploit the
Opportunities create value
   For the stakeholders involved
       Customers  Well-focused target market
       Investors  Return
       Associates  Livelihood compensation
       Entrepreneur  When the rest are happy
Opportunities have
manageable risks
   A risk is what you don’t know and can’t
    find out.
       Will 1% or 10% of your target market purchase
        your product?
   Controllable through proactive strategies
   Can be spread, e.g. over investors
   Worth incurring,
       Risk and return
Two Chefs
   Chef 1
       Plans menu  Buys food  Cooks dinner

   Chef 2
       Explores cupboards and fridge WHILE
        cooking dinner
Entrepreneurial Means
1)   Who they are – their traits, tastes and
2)   What they know – their education,
     training, expertise, and experience;
3)   Who they know – their social and
     professional networks.
Where are Opportunities Born?
   Technology sea change
       Moore’s Law – Computing Power
       Gilders Law – Communications
       Metcalfe’s law – Value to Users
       Disruption
   Market sea change
       Value chain
       Deregulation
Where are Opportunities Born?
   Societal sea change
       Changes in ways we live, learn, work, etc.
       Gilder’s Law – 10xs in 10 years
   Brontosaurus factor
       Arrogance of existing providers
       Loss of peripheral vision by providers
       Deadened reflexes – turning the tanker
   Irrational pessimism
       Undervalued assets
Generating Ideas
   Approaches
       Creation
       Synthesis
       Modification
   Focus on the value-added concept-
    that’s the opportunity!
       Network, talk to everyone and anyone
       Consumers
       Competitors
       Distribution channels
Generating Ideas
   Draw from experience
   Get outside the box
   Brainstorm
   Think in “opposites”
   Do an attribute listing
   See OLD as NEW
   Force relationships
   Think retrofit/recycling/maintenance
   Change prepackaged opportunities
   Sell in new ways/places
   Create a Plot
Draw from experience
   Pattern recognition
       Dell  IBM oversell
       Chouinard  Ice hammer
       Brown (Agsco)  Online purchase of farm
   Intuitive and inductive
   Cross-linking of “chunks” of experience
   10 years to accumulate 50k “chunks”
Get outside the box
    “I never recognized an opportunity until it
     failed to be one.” Samuel Clemens
    Subway
   No criticism allowed
   Freewheeling is okay, wild is okay
   The more ideas the better
   Combinations and improvements are
    great, hitchhikers wanted
Think in “opposites”
    Upscale discount store
    Upscale fast food
    Heaters for soda machines
Do an attribute listing
    How would you improve a common object,
     or tool, e.g. a pen, a computer keyboard?
    List as many attributes as possible, e.g.
     size, color, shape, weight, function, and so
    How can you improve upon at least one
See OLD as NEW
   Look   for   new   uses for existing designs
   Look   for   new   uses for old designs
   Look   for   new   uses for existing technologies
   Look   for   new   uses for old technologies
   Look   for   new   markets for existing designs
   Look   for   new   markets for old designs
   Look   for   new   markets for existing technologies
   Look   for   new   markets, for old technologies

   EXAMPLE – Classic computing games - Pong,
   EXAMPLE – Air Conditioning for strollers
Force relationships
   What products, technologies, etc. could
    you combine to make something more
       Voice recognition software and kitchen
       RFID and mountaineering equipment
       A robot and a Segway
   What can you sell that is old or used?
   What can you sell that keeps something
    that is old and useful in service?
Change prepackaged
   Franchise listings
   Phone book
   Government regulation
   Government patents
Sell in new ways/places
   Pharmaceuticals – Networked pharmacy
   Music – Internet distribution
   Banking services – Mobile transactions
   Telephone service - VOIP on WiMax
   Virtual books - Kindle
Create a plot

 Character   Objective     Obstacle     Outcome

 Business    Registered   US Mail       Biometric
 person      document     too slow      registered
             delivery                   email
 Surgeon     Surgical     Damage to     Laproscopy
             repair       tissues

 Warehouse   Scan items   Only two      Wrist
 worker      while        hands         mounted
   Criteria for evaluating venture opportunity
       Industry and market
       Economics
       Harvest issues
       Competitive advantage issues
       Management team
       Fatal-flaw issue
       Personal criteria
       Strategic differentiation

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