business plans

Comments On Richard Branson Post TED Talk

Commented on excellent Richard Branson TED talk How To Hack Into Happiness good messages here.

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How to Create a Killer Business Plan- Martha Stewart Perspective

Good counsel on creating a ‘killer’ business plan from Martha Stewart who many may not know offers excellent resources for entrepreneurs.

Note the recommendations to “… be concise, compelling, complete” – the “3 C’s”. While good points here, the article missed one critical point- the need to emphasize and show a winning management team. I shared the following comments:

Good counsel here and I like the ” 3 C’s ” recommendations. Article emphasizes business plan essentials but we know investors often invest in management more than plans. Reinforcing the depth of management experience in the venture; creating a strong Management Advisory Board; structuring a Product Advisory Council- these are low cost, smart steps that add great value to business plans based on my experience .

Check out article at

 http://www.marthastewart.com/266952/how-to-create-a-killer-business-plan

Paul B Silverman

 

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How Analytics is “Raising the Bar” for Corporate Strategy: Understanding the External Environment

I was invited to do a guest blog post and serve as an Advisor for Funding Profiles, a Santa Clara-based company offering a powerful suite of financial analytic tools that “integrates with existing business applications to continuously translate traditional financial metrics into the language of business strategy”. For companies with thousands of products, infrastructure, and processes spanning the globe, the ability to ‘drill down’, examine ‘what-ifs’, and assess how and if global LOBs meet KPIs and support the strategic plan, is a powerful planning tool.
But markets and technology are moving quickly, consumer power is increasing, and external global factors will impact all global businesses which creates risk and uncertainty. In fact, one study shows macro-environment, competitive and corporate positioning factors account for about 80 percent of ROA variation among LOBs. So optimizing the company’s internal resources, processes, and KPI’s really addresses only 20 percent of the planning challenge based on these findings.

My blog post describes some of today’s traditional strategy and market analysis tools and how powerful emerging analytics are reshaping today’s corporate planning strategy planning process. The starting point- developing the ‘big data’ analytic framework with powerful visualization and analysis tools and that is what Funding Profiles has achieved. Integrating the analytic framework with new analytics capable of analyzing both external structured data and unstructured text is where we are heading. And I do expect major global competitors to embrace these new capabilities, recognizing that these new tools can provide a competitive edge, creating what Tom Davenport (Author- Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning) defines as “analytic competitors”. You can read my entire post at http://www.fundingprofiles.com/blog/index.html

Paul B. Silverman
July 21, 2014

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Good Analytics Article- “…Reaping Returns from Analytics”

Good insightful article in the October 18, 2013 issue of Information Management on analytics by Narendra Mulani who is Managing Director of Accenture Analytics. I posted comments sharing some additional perspectives and related opportunities I foresee. One clear message here- the analytics market is positioned for major growth and as I noted in my comment related to healthcare analytics, today we are only seeing the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in this sector.

Check out at http://tinyurl.com/nyrd8q2

Here is a copy of the comments I posted:

Excellent article. I am pleased to share some comments based on my experience in the analytics arena.

Analytics clearly provide powerful tools to optimize business processes and value chain functions. What is often overlooked is understanding the impact of external and industry factors critical to maximize performance and mitigate risk. Some studies, for example, show that external factors have a 45 percent impact on ROA. Ignore these, and your analytics may address only 55 percent of the critical performance and risk drivers.

How will global environmental policies impact your business; what is impact of changing healthcare regulations on new drug development and clinical trials; what new market opportunities are projected based on disruptive innovation in your business; how will privacy and transborder data restrictions impact your business today and tomorrow. These are external drivers which can create new markets and ‘destroy’ existing ones.

Addressing how the external environment impacts your business demands analytics addressing STEEP analysis, Porter’s Five Forces, Peer Group modeling, and similar diagnostics. And these are not static analyses- change is the only constant in today’s global environment, and having current data is critical. The winning formula- couple traditional external analysis tools, such as STEEP, with unstructured exogenous data analytics provides dynamic, real time insights on external market and business portfolio impact. Integrate these insights with internal data analytics to develop ‘actionable’ analytics. Today’s fiercely competitive global markets demands this analytics rigor.

One interesting statistic suggests 85 percent of today’s analytics solutions address CRM applications, improving the performance and operations dealing with customers and related supply chain activities. The remaining 15 percent are emerging exciting analytics directions that offer exciting opportunities.

For example, in the legal arena, Technology-Assisted Review or “TAR”, uses computer models, machine learning, and analytics to sort millions of documents identifying relevant and privileged documents to support litigation with dramatic cost savings. TAR technologies are rapidly evolving and the acceptance of TAR is now being tested in state and Federal courts.

Analytics will also play an expanded role in traditional corporate strategy management. Fortune 500 companies have thousands of business portfolios often managed using traditional analytics, e.g., hurdle rates, IRR, others. Understanding with precision how these individual portfolios align with the Company’s overall strategic plan, what are the overall projection risks, where are the corporate exposures based on both internal and external factors, are the exciting new directions being pursued by leading edge companies.

While analytics applications in healthcare are accelerating, we are at the tip of the iceberg. Using machine learning to optimize clinical care and reduce longitudinal costs for patient care; integrating healthcare claims data, EHR and genomic data to evaluate patient outlook for both clinical and insurance applications; tracking and analyzing medications and vital signs to assess drug efficacy and adverse effects for drug trial screening; are some of the many exciting new directions we see emerging that will redefine today’s healthcare system improving both quality and cost performance.

Senior management will be challenged to understand these new analytics applications to improve their global performance and mitigate risk. Even business schools must adapt- new analytics tools are reshaping our traditional approach to strategy development and competitive analysis.

Clearly exciting times lie ahead for all players in the global analytics market

Paul B. Silverman is Executive Chairman of InferX Corporation, a predictive analytics company and also teaches at the R.H. Smith School of Business in the University of Maryland.

Paul B. Silverman

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New Predictive Analytics Application:Managing Your Wardrobe

I see the new ‘data intensity’ business model getting traction in new sectors and creative applications are emerging. Check out Stylitics, a new analytics platform to help manage your wardrobe.

http://mashable.com/2012/02/03/stylitics/

Note the reference to linking branding, couponing and so on. Most importantly, note the clear reference to Mint.com which I and many others view as a “flagship” data intensity business model.

Working with Sante Corporation, a new healthcare/analytics venture, it is clear to me providers can add high value to consumers through next generation analytics, carefully crafted to deliver insights to consumers and provide significant public benefit. The key points here – information aggregation and retrieval are yesterday’s business and commoditizing. Real opportunity now is going deeper, developing “data intensity” models, identifying the “unknown unknowns” providing real value, using powerful, creative predictive analytics to create sustainable value, and developing high value partnerships using electronic couponing, machine readable packaging and other new tools to deliver real value to consumers and create exponential shareholder value growth.

Given Mint.com’s successful business strategy, we can expect to see the data intensity business model trend accelerating. Very exciting developments are coming in this high potential market space.

Paul B. Silverman

Author: Worm on a Chopstick : Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives http://paulbsilverman.com/books/

Chief Executive Officer
Sante Corporation
Creating Next Generation Personalized, Simple Solutions to Improve Personal Health Management

Email:      paul@paulbsilverman.com
Linked in:  Paul Silverman
Twitter:     globalbizmentor

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Utilities Develop Smart Meters:Missing “Marketing 101”

Utilities are developing new monitoring and energy management technologies but are missing ‘Marketing 101’ basics. I posted following comments on Fast Company article http://www.fastcoexist.com/1678981/smart-meters-not-just-for-electricity-anymore#comments

Agree we need to educate the public about smart infrastructure, but we need to refocus our strategy and message here.

Today we take a ‘silo’ approach driven by utilities and what technology driven services they can deliver to the market. Water supply companies describe capabilities from managing real time supply and demand metrics, and creating new features to improve cost performance. Same for electric  utilities.

To secure  public support and  replicate the benefits many other countries have realized, I recommend a “Marketing 101″ approach to policymaking here, starting with the public consumer. First, define benefits we want to deliver, then define the functions and features needed to deliver these benefits. In my ‘Marketing 101’ model, technology is a enabler, a means to the end, to deliver benefits to end users. Remote meter reading and energy management are technical features, not benefits.

I am leading a new health care which will empower users to more effectively manage and track medications, vital signs and wellness using proprietary technology. While it is seductive to start with what I call real,  ‘gee-whiz’ technology, our winning strategy focuses 100% on what users need, want and how we use technology to create benefits to build a sustainable business. Lots of exciting and proprietary technology here, but need to always keep in mind technology is an enabler for the real business.

So going back to our meter reading/energy  technology enabler, following ‘Marketing 101’ thinking, a good starting point in the policy discussion is to develop proposed applications which target sectors and deliver real definable benefits to users. Some
suggestions, and I am sure readers will have many more ideas:

1.Senior Utility Management Program: Integrated program to manage all utilities targeting seniors – integrated billing, management, budgeting service with appliance management and maintenance – turnkey service. While I do not expect utilities to
necessarily offer these services, utilities can take the lead defining these new capabilities, making data available to third party providers, and  create an exciting new market segment which will attract  new ventures. Note utilities can be the driver here, pursuing an ‘open platform’ strategy, setting standards, following the model in other sectors.

2. Home Management Services: Expand the model, leverage M2M (machine to machine) technologies, and offer users a comprehensive utility and home management/monitoring  system, status updates and other features. These applications are emerging in various forms – what I am suggesting is utilities  can be
‘entrepreneurial partners’ here to help jumpstart the process. The M2M market ,  is exploding, and these applications deliver real benefits to users

‘Marketing 101’ thinking works in the commercial sector to develop and drive new business. Given technology advances in the utility sector, I see opportunity for Marketing 101” thinking there also to improve utility cost performance and deliver  real benefits (not just new technology) to users.

Paul B. Silverman

Author: Worm on a Chopstick : Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives http://paulbsilverman.com/books/

Email:      paul@paulbsilverman.com
blogs:       http://paulbsilverman.com/blog/
Linked in:  Paul Silverman
Twitter:     globalbizmentor

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Boards & Directors 35th Anniversary Edition Features Worm On A Chopstick

Very pleased to announce that the upcoming 35th Anniversary Edition of Boards & Directors magazine will feature Worm On A Chopstick: : Understanding Today’s Entrepreneurial Age: Directions, Strategies, Management Perspectives in its recommended reading section “Book it: Best bets for board reading“.  As you may know, Boards & Directors magazine targets officers and directors of public companies. To see the  review of ‘Chopstick’ and other recommended books, click here Worm On A Chopstick Featured in Directors & Boards 35th Anniversary Issue

I sent many messages to traditional management in ‘Chopstick’ (e.g., innovation management, entrepreneurial thinking, globalization, etc.), but most positive response for the book to date has been from the entrepreneurial sector. I am very appreciative of the recognition of ‘Chopstick’ which is in good company with the other recommended books here.

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A Creative Visualization Tool Application: How 5 companies started small and grew big

Interesting high level review of 5 very successful companies- check out http://holykaw.alltop.com/how-5-companies-started-small-and-grew-big-in

Note the use of a visualization tools and ‘infographics’ here to tightly convey information and tell a story. I am looking at using similar visualization techniques to present business plans for new ventures – you have not yet seen much related to new venture infographics but this is coming

Visualization tools help us move away from traditional powerpoint show to more creative ways to quickly and tightly describe a new venture- my experience to date suggests this forces tighter, more focused thinking–I see lots of opportunity here.

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