5 MAGISKE LYKKEFORMLER FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Lykkes du – så del med andre hva du har lært. Deler du, så lærer du og det tror jeg er en god formel!

Her er fem ting jeg har lært om forretningsutvikling i store organisasjoner:

#1. Finne flere personer som vil det samme:

Det er viktig å finne engasjement på mange nivåer som vil det samme. Du trenger støtte på høyeste hold, på ledernivå og 2-3 operative som motor. Dvs. at man må ha 5-6 personer som finner ut av at dette skal skje og bli enige om dette.

#2. Skille ut fra eksisterende tankesett og beskytte mot makta som rår:

Hovedargumentet for å skille ut er å beskytte funding og passe på at ressurser ikke dras i flere retninger.

Schibsted har mange gode eksempler på dette, eks. vis VG når de skulle «vinne» kampen på mobil, startet de et eget AS. I 2013 tok de det inn igjen siden mobil nå er blitt en så stor del og kan måle seg med avis delen. De skilte nylig ut VGTV og kommer til å føre det tilbake igjen når det er oppe å går.

Nokia kjører et super hemmelig prosjekt som skal rette opp skuta. Norsk sjef. De er skilt ut som et eget miljø, med egne budsjetter og med topplederstøtte gjennom at Elop og noen andre VP sitter direkte i styringsgruppen. De stiller nær sakt aldri i møter, men alle vet at de bare er en telefon unna om noen prøver seg på å stjele funding eller trekke ut ressurser.

#3. Utholdenhet og utålmodighet, på en gang!

Det er utrolig vanskelig å lykkes med nye ting!

Hva skjer om man er utholdende uten å være utålmodig? Jo, mange titalls, kansje hundre millioner kan være bruket før noen setter ned foten.

Det å finne beslutningstakere og «stake holders» som har akkurat den perfekte balansen mellom utholdende og utålmodig er sjeldent. Finner du en så hold godt fast i denne/disse!

Å finne miljøer som klarer å komme frem med «udødelige» ideer. Dvs, på tross av alle som prøver å rive ned, hindre, utsette osv. så klarer miljøet å sjonglere stake holders, produktet, marked og penger på en unik måte. Disse personen vet at om de feiler på bare en, så faller alt.

#4: 3D forståelse av terrenget du er i

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I en 2D verden trer man inn i et terreng hvor du bare ser det som er rett fremfor deg. Du ser et produkt, en tjeneste eller en forretningsmodell, men du ser egentlig ikke så godt hva kunden egentlig prøver å få gjort, hvordan endrer dette vår posisjon i markedet, hvordan kan vi gi kunden mer verdi?

Hvorfor har droner tatt over krigsmarkene? Jo, de sparer potensielt krigerens eget liv, men det er noe mer her.

De gir beslutningstakerne en 3D forståelse av situasjonen, hva som er under oppseiling og ikke minst: Hva betyr det av endringer i planen!

Jeg mener man kan oppnå dette 3D bildet gjennom å bruke flere personer med ulik bakgrunn og erfaringer som sammen diskuterer og lager planer innen et gitt området. Disse må relativt raskt kunne settes ut «live» gjennom simulering og testing i terrenget – på ekte kunder. Gjennom dette kan du som tilegne deg denne evnen til å forstå ditt marked i 3D.

#5. Kontroll på NÅR

Kanskje det vanskeligste.

Når brenner det akkurat passe under beina på «stake holders»?
Når er markedet klart for noe nytt?
Når passer det for intraprenøren å ta egen risiko (kan jo miste jobben/posisjonen)?
Når har org nok selvtillit (det har jo vært noen fiaskoer i historien bak)?
Tror du lett kan finne 20 viktige NÅR faktorer og de skal alle stemme…..det er sjeldent, temmelig sjeldent, dessverre.

Deler du så lærer du og det tror jeg er en god formel!

Torve

How to secure your Bitcoin wallet

Assuming that you have already invested some money in Bitcoin you need to decide now how to make them safe.

Bitcoins are associated with an identifier called an address which is an alpha-numeric string. Every Bitcoin address consists of a public key and every public key has a corresponding private key. With the private key you can prove that you are the owner of the Bitcoin address and you can sign transactions to spend the bitcoins.

If someone steals your private key, he has full access to all the bitcoin connected to that address. Needless to say, you need to figure out how to secure it.

Example of a Bitcoin address: 1CC3X2gu58d6wXUWMffpuzN9JAfTUWu4Kj
Example of a private key: 5Kb8kLf9zgWQnogidDA76MzPL6TsZZY36hWXMssSzNydYXYB9KF
Example of a public key: 0450863AD64A87AE8A2FE83C1AF1A8403CB53F53E486D8511DAD8A04887E5B23522CD470243453A299FA9E77237716103ABC11A1DF38855ED6F2EE187E9C582BA6

The private key and public key are stored in a wallet. Wallets can be either offline or online.

Online wallets

An online wallet is, as the name suggests, online. The private keys are on the internet. You must choose to trust a third party that takes care of your keys. You trust that they do not run away with them or get hacked.

The online wallet service inputs.io got hacked and their customers lost a total of 4100BTC.

I don’t recommend using an online wallet for any larger amount of money. It is more suitable for smaller amounts intended for spending because its accessible from everywhere you have an internet connection. One online wallet that has good reputation is the open source blockchain.info. There is another open source service called coinpunk.com that currently is in  beta, but it has great potential.

Offline wallets

An offline wallet is a wallet that is generated and stored on an offline computer to minimize attack surfaces. Offline wallets provides the highest level of security for your bitcoins. To get started, download a wallet application and transfer it to an offline computer via an USB-memory. There are many wallet applications, but the most secure and stable ones in my opinion are armory and electrum

To be completely safe I recommend using a clean install of Ubuntu (remember to check md5 hash) with the network card physically removed. That way you minimize the possibility of having malware on your computer. An excellent in depth tutorial on how to do this can be found here: http://falkvinge.net/2014/02/10/placing-your-crypto-wealth-in-cold-storage-installing-armory-on-ubuntu/

As you can see it requires some technical competence to store your Bitcoins at the highest level of security. Even people that have the required background might be hesitant, simply because it is so time consuming.

But there are solutions to this problem. One interesting project is Bitcoin Rezor (http://www.bitcointrezor.com/). It is a hardware wallet that gives the highest level of security for Bitcoins, and is user friendly at the same time. Right now it is under development and the first beta version has been shipped. You might do good to get your hands on one.

In the meantime, you must figure out what level of security you need for your Bitcoins.

Good luck!

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Interested in learning about Bitcoin? We invite you to join a Miniseminar on the 6th of march at 8 am in our office in Oslo. In 45 minutes you will get to know the “What” and “Why” of Bitcoin. Free to attend. Talk will be in Swedish, unless the audience decides otherwise. Check and subscribe here.

House of Cards: Lessons in Power and Politics for Corporate Entrepreneurs

No spoilers for Season 3: Based on earlier Seasons.

Wake up your inner entrepreneur – it’s time to disrupt yourself. By hauge2.

Take Kodak, Nokia and Commodore in their prime time, and ask yourself why your company is any different right now.

Getting enthusiasm about your ideas at lunch is one thing – getting the organization behind your mission to innovate, is another.

Disobedient innovation, or intrapreneurship as we prefer to call it, requires political skills: Any good idea in an established organization is also a threat to someone (anyone who perpetuates the status quo).

Master the politics – become an effective entrepreneur

But you’re not an underdog. You’re Frank Underwood, ready to outmaneuver the opposition with political virtuosity, lean thinking and entrepreneurial charm.

Like the president, who unknowingly unleashes a monster when double-crossing Underwood in the first episode of season 1, established companies who hunger for continuation unknowingly unleash the entrepreneurs in their people. Preventing entrepreneurship is after all the cardinal sin of a technology company in its prime. Thank God entrepreneurs now learn to deal with the Washington in their companies.

Here’s how Frank Underwood would disrupt your company from within:

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7 counter-tips to entrepreneurs

I’d like to protest against some general advice, by giving some general advice. Written by @hauge2

Dave Kerpen’s post titled 7 tips to entrepreneurs is undoubtedly based on experience, and written with the best intentions. Even so, the more general advice about entrepreneurship I read (that includes stuff I’ve written myself), the more I ask myself what’s the value for the receiving end.

Based on experience. Written with passion. Anticipating success.

Based on experience. Written with passion. Anticipating success.

Example: “Believe in yourself” is an advice we hear often. I don’t think you shouldn’t believe in yourself, but there’s a problem: People who try and utterly fail also believe in themselves. At least believed. Such advice is a cliché.

What’s more alarming, is how easily such advice is misinterpreted and used in ways that was never intended. Hence, to avoid the pitfalls I’m sure the author of the original post never intended, here are my seven counter-tips to Kerpen’s 7 tips to entrepreneurs.

And please: Take this with a pinch of salt.

Tip 1: “Have an amazing support system”.

Counter-tip: “Don’t get addicted to confirmations from your support system”

Make sure you distinguish moral support from validated learning. Eric Ries talks about the entrepreneur distortion field – people who wish you the best will unintentionally give you false positives about your ideas:  The people who fuel your ego are rarely the people who pay the invoices you send. Have a support system, but spend your time on real customer prospects instead.

Tip 2: “Expect utter hell, and you’ll be just fine”

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Hitchhiker’s Guide to… GAMIFICATION

Keep It Simple, Make It Smile!

“In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.

You find the fun and snap! the job is a game.”

— Mary Poppins

WHAT:

As a matter of perspective, to be able to understand “What is Gamification”, it’s better first to go through what it is not! Then we shall continue talking about this topic in a broader perspective.

Gamification is…

  • Not just for marketing or sales

  • Not just Points, Badges and Leaderboards

  • Not making everything a game

  • Not rocket science! Ha!

What is it then?

There are plenty of experiments going on about this topic, together with the challenge of making a definition for this emerging area. I took the liberty of picking a simplistic definition which was mainly coined by Kevin Werbach.

Gamification is…

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130 years old and innovating

After writing about introvert and extrovert organizations, I’ve been challenged to come up with more examples:

Imagine an organization that is more than 100 years old. It has a demanding and highly conscious customer base, who expect nothing but the best. Which is what they get, with live deliveries on a consistently superior quality level, multiple times a month, with constant alternation of leadership.

For 130 years.

This sounds more like an extremely steady delivery organization than an innovative one. In fact, any organization who’s even remotely resembling such seemingly impossible behavior is likely to resist anything new. Never change a winning team, as they say.

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The axis of serial innovation

@hauge2What are the characteristics of organizations that help its people innovate? Vice versa: What do they look like, organizations that unintentionally obstruct creative work?

Innovation can be categorized from continuous (improving existing products, e.g. the Hybrid car) to disruptive (changing an entire market, e.g. the digital camera). In order to understand serial innovation – companies that succeed with innovation over and over again – I however believe we need an additional organizational dimension:

How can we classify established organizations doing innovation?

Simply putting “customers” or “innovation” in your value statements just wont do it.

So what could be the labels of my organizational dimension? New vs. established? Top-down vs. bottom-up? Independent vs. embedded?

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7 questions to innovators

We’ve outlined 7 questions to innovators in established organizations. Each question has two possible answers, but you may only choose one of them.

The good news is: If you choose the latter, you may eventually also achieve the former.

1. Success defined as Growth or Innovation?

Growth is about optimizing revenue and economy of scale. Innovation is about learning what works and what doesn’t. You can’t grow a product before you know the effect it has on customers.

2. To Show off or To Show the way?

Leaders that show off are driven by the expectations of the surrounding organization. This is about handling – and improving – what we already know, and have. Leaders that show they way will show – not tell – their entrepreneurs why they go to work. They make sure that great ideas win over fear of the organization. If necessary, such leaders take chances by making decisions that possibly threaten their career.

3. Solving the problems of Stakeholders or Customers?

Solving the stakeholders’ problems is about making sure you fit in the corporate puzzle. Solving customers’ problems is about learning and adjusting – possibly several times – before finding a product that customers really need.

4. Taking a Position or following a Vision?

Position is about keeping competitors from “stealing” your shares. Vision is about building great technology that solves real problems for real people, possibly making you pioneer a new market.

5. Teams expected to Deliver or Iterate?

Delivering is about launching something that looks complete and impressive, and adds to your existing reputation and brand. Iterating is about learning, in small steps, first under the radar, later in the market majorities. In the beginning of learning, dialog is your weapon (and you can’t Deliver dialog).

6. Organized around Expertise or Autonomous Units?

Expertise is about putting the most experienced people in charge, pick their brains and try to repeat their success. Autonomous units are fast-learning cross-functional squads with just enough people and skills to be able to solve problems outside your organization – without having to ask anyone for permission or help to get the job done. Such units are also expected to fail and learn from it.

7. Developing Heroes or Culture?

Developing heroes is about promoting, and keeping, key personell with skills critical for maintaining your products and services. Culture is about developing knowledge workers into great teams, who in turn can build new great teams (even when the heroes quit).

If you’re either planning for it, or your are in the middle of an innovation effort, we encourage you to discuss these questions with everyone involved. From director to programmer.

We hope it will help you discovering how you should be set up. The war is out there, and in order to win you want to get started without applying any brakes in here.

If these questions provide you with any insight, please let us know! @hauge2 @TomJohannesBang

Why does Iterate sponsor flatMap(Oslo), the functional programming conference

Iterate has traditionally sponsored the conferences JavaZone and Smidig. This year we have decided to support flatMap(Oslo), the conference about Scala and functional programming on the JVM.

We believe that alternative JVM languages have the potential to enable higher productivity and better software. Especially functional programming (FP) is very promissing, with its focus on better reusability via higher-order functions and on concurrency via referentially transparent functions and immutability.

Many companies can benefit from the powerful mixture of new and time-proven features that these modern languages offer but they are often discouraged by their (relative) novelty, lack of knowledge and experience, and fear of unavailability of capable professionals. Therefore we want to contribute to spreading information, exchanging experience, and attracting more developers to these languages to enable the IT market to step forward and grab the benefits of FP.

Don’t substitute MVP for beta

Experience shows that early product releases can be a smart move when doing innovation. What used to be called betas or even alphas is nowadays often referred to as an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).

In Lean Startup terminology an MVP is the minimum set of features that address the most important problems you are trying to solve for your customers (Ash Maurya, Running Lean). The motivation for building an MVP is to verify any assumptions you might have about customers’ problems and your ability to solve them.

A lot of people are however substituting the word “beta” with “MVP” these days, although there are some significant differences.

whytohigherlevels.002

First of all, the MVP is not necessarily a technical solution. You might build an MVP without using any software at all. Nor is it the least amount of features it takes not to be embarrassed, to get some attention, or to make a sale.

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