Executive with a Track Record in Developing Growth Strategies and Solutions: I have devised and implemented winning strategies that have opened up new markets and business opportunities. I have developed strategies that address customer/market needs, secured buy-in from executives/board, motivated the functional organizations to deliver and launched successful products & business models.


Family Man: I enjoy spending time with my beautiful wife and two lovely kids. As a family we are a good mix of outdoors and indoors. My son and I are pretty much outdoors and sports oriented while my daughter and my wife like the indoors. This diversity of interests helps us maintain good balance in our lives.

Tag: Investment

There are 3 posts tagged as Investment.

Fab.com : Customer Experience Success Story

This is an updated blog post on the customer experience driven innovation story of Fab.com.

In January 2010, Jason Goldberg and Bradford Shellhammer launched Fabulis.com, a social networking website for gay people. The initial vision of the founders was to become Yelp, Groupon and Facebook for gay people. Jason Goldberg was a successful serial entrepreneur who had successfully exited a couple of ventures before and Bradford Shellhammer was good with design. They both launched this social networking website which managed to attract 110,000 total customers and about 30,000 active users. Though they built a good website, Fabulis.com did not deliver a differentiated customer experience compared to Yelp, Groupon or Facebook, so gay people did not feel the need to use this website.

By early 2011, the founders realized that they need to do something different. So they shut down the site in order to develop a newer, un-served niche where they could be much more successful — one based on design. In June 2011, they launched Fab.com, a flash sales website (i.e. a site that offers products at deep discounts for a limited time) for the fashion-oriented customer segment. more


Strategy Frameworks for Innovation

Strategy and Innovation go together. The former sets the vision and goals to aspire, while the later provides the execution power needed to meet the goals.

Strategy also helps define innovation as it helps in answering the following questions:

  • Does the company need to grow organically or is inorganic growth a better option?
  • Does the company need to build, buy or partner?
  • Is this the right time to innovate?
  • What kind of financials should the company expect?
  • What is the right time frame for profitable innovation?



Innovation Needs Ambidextrous CEOs

In a earlier blog I had discussed  “Innovation Influencers” and how each influencers holds a critical piece of the puzzle required to unlock innovation. At the center of this puzzle is the CEO of the company. CEO should take personal interest in innovation and cultivate the right culture within the company.

HBR article on “The Ambidextrous CEO” analyzes this topic well and here are some of the reasons why it is important for the CEO to support innovation.

  1. Innovation drives long-term growth: Stable companies have a good understanding of their traditional growth rate based on market dynamics. Company shareholders know the traditional growth rate and expect companies to do better year over year. Without innovation, companies cannot meet shareholders’  ever growing demand for growth. Hence, CEO’s rely on innovation to build the future growth engines that would help them meet their future growth obligations.
  2. Future is more uncertain with innovation than with core products: Issues with core products, revenue expectations, margin expectations and overall performance is estimated relatively well with core products. But innovation potential is very uncertain and usually a wild guess. And who better to guide/support the team dealing with this uncertainty than the most visionary person in the room, i.e. the CEO.
  3. Traditional business metrics do not apply to innovation: Given many innovation projects start out with no or modest revenue numbers, business metrics like contribution margin, revenue per FTE etc cannot be applied to innovation projects. These metrics make innovation projects look bad and ignore future potential of the projects. When executives try to measure innovation using the same scale as core business, CEO needs to step up and support innovation to give it a chance to survive.
  4. Left to mid-level managers, innovation will suffer: Budget decisions, staffing decisions, marketing and sales support decisions, and many more such decisions are usually made in support of core products. This is because mid-level managers are trying to make decisions in their best interests and in supporting their products. Given that innovation products are not the responsibility of majority of the mid-level managers, they tend to starve innovation projects. This is where CEO needs to step in and assign right resources for innovation projects to make sure that innovation thrives at the organization.
  5. Innovative companies enjoy higher multiples and generate more shareholder value: Typically companies that innovate and generate higher growth rates get better multiple for their earnings. This in turn generates better shareholder return, which is the primary job of the CEO.

Companies where innovation is actively supported by the CEO, strive at innovation and generate better shareholder value