We are inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, investors, researchers, and business leaders working in the technology sector. We are proud that American innovation is the envy of the world, a source of widely-shared prosperity, and a hallmark of our global leadership.
We believe in an inclusive country that fosters opportunity, creativity and a level playing field. Donald Trump does not. He campaigns on anger, bigotry, fear of new ideas and new people, and a fundamental belief that America is weak and in decline. We have listened to Donald Trump over the past year and we have concluded: Trump would be a disaster for innovation. His vision stands against the open exchange of ideas, free movement of people, and productive engagement with the outside world that is critical to our economy — and that provide the foundation for innovation and growth.
We won, but it cost us. It cost us close to $1 million and several hundred hours of executive time over 28 months. Time and money I would have much rather spent investing in data and technology — investing in our product, for our customers. At least we were able to invalidate the claims in the patent so they can’t go after anyone else.
Just because you have a breakthrough business idea doesn’t mean you’re the right person to communicate it. Which brings us to Michael Porter. His essay “What Is Strategy?” is one of the most-reprinted articles in the history of Harvard Business Review, but I defy you to find anyone, including Porter himself, who can explain that article’s ideas about strategy and competition with the elegance and precision those ideas deserve. You can now, though, thanks to Joan Magretta’s Understanding Michael Porter. Magretta, once a student of Porter’s and subsequently a Bain partner, divides her book into laying out and answering, clearly and conclusively, two of the central questions of business: What is competition? What is strategy? She shows how Porter makes the two questions smash into and bounce off of each other. If you want to understand why competition leads to mistakes in strategy, when strategy is “an antidote to competition,” and how you can use Porter’s often-cited-but-rarely-understood five forces to gain practical insights into how your company and its competitors are performing, you’ve come to the right place. And in a Q&A that Magretta conducts at the end of the book with Porter, the man himself finally makes sense. We read this and, if you want to make better decisions about your business, you should too.
Covering the biggest shift in capitalism since the industrial revolution. Keeping our wit nearby as we do.
What Is NewCo Shift?
A new business media property brought to you by folks at NewCo Festivals, who also founded or worked at places like Wired, The Industry Standard, The New York Times, HBR, and other excellent publications. Launched in beta in April, with new features rolling out through 2016.
What Is the Premise of NewCo Shift?
Here’s how we think about it (it gets a bit serious, but stick with us). The muscular brand of American capitalism that dominated the post-WWII era is in fundamental transition. The central premise that companies exist to drive shareholder value above all is increasingly under scrutiny. This “true north” of shareholder value incented our most valuable companies to shape our economic, political, and social landscape to reward short term and blinkered thinking. But society is now demanding that businesses consider the entirety of their impact — on employees, customers, partners, and communities — before making decisions that otherwise might be justified by “shareholder returns.” The result is the greatest shift in our business ecosystem since the industrial revolution.
Four distinct but interconnected forces inform this shift. These forces have been building for the past five decades, but recently they’ve hit a tipping point. First is the role of digital technology in our society. Until recently, technology was understood as a rising new vertical industry. But in the past two decades, technology has become a horizontal force across all industries, driving both a renaissance and a reckoning in every sector of our economy.
Once upon a time, I’d read the yearly lists of “best albums” from folks like Rick Webb or Marc Ruxin, and immediately head over to the iTunes store for a music-buying binge. Afterwards, I’d listen happily to my new music for days on end, forging new connections between the bands my pals had suggested and my own life experiences. It usually took three to four full album plays to appreciate the new band and set its meanings inside my head, but once there, I could call those bands up in context and apply them to the right mood or circumstance. Over years of this, I built a web of musical taste that’s pretty intricate, if difficult to outwardly describe.
About two years ago, I started paying for Spotify. Because I’d paid for “all you can eat” music, I never had to pay for a particular band’s work. Ever since, my musical experience has become…far less satisfying.