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Pivot or Divot? The Decisive Difference between Strategic Pivots and Frustrating Flails

Pivot or Divot? The Decisive Difference between Strategic Pivots and Frustrating Flails

“Strategic pivot” has been a fashionable buzzword for several years. Now wildly over-used, it can be misleading and cause poor decision-making by investors, entrepreneurs, and management teams. So I thought it was high time to try to define what a successful pivot looks like versus a wasteful flail.

Google 2, Oracle 1: The Fast-Growing API Economy Survives a Major Scare

Google 2, Oracle 1: The Fast-Growing API Economy Survives a Major Scare

In 2010 Oracle sued Google over patent infringement regarding the use of 37 Java APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) when it developed the Android OS for smartphones. The latest of three lawsuits – following the original 2010 case and the 2012 appeal – just ended in favor of Google. Software developers, enterprise customers, users, and industry participants can all breathe a sigh of relief. Assuming this verdict sticks it will reinforce current business practices around APIs, and in the process help the API-fueled growth of startups and others developing APIs for new business and consumer applications to continue.

The Chicken & The Pig – The Critical but Elusive Art of Making Strategic Alliances Work

The Chicken & The Pig – The Critical but Elusive Art of Making Strategic Alliances Work

Unfortunately most strategic alliances fall short of their goals, often failing completely. Yet this type of arrangement can be critical to the success of young startups, fast-growing ‘tweeners, as well as established giants. How can smaller companies – the Pigs in our metaphor – avoid the treacherous pitfalls and dramatically increase their chances of success when they engage in critical growth initiatives with larger organizations?

Playing the Power Game – The Route to Sustained Success in Tech

Playing the Power Game – The Route to Sustained Success in Tech

Why have companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com, or VMware been so envied by competitors and partners over the years? And how have they come to command the lion’s share of customers’ business in their main categories? Part of the answer lies in their pursuit of Power balanced with a suitable focus on Performance, the essential corollary to Power as a lever for sustained success. In essence, companies like these have built a powerful franchise in at least one major product category where they dominate, which gives them “gorilla” power. Most companies can only dream of this type of success, largely because most entrepreneurs, CEOs, and management teams find themselves over-stretched by the demands of Performance – managing existing commitments – and thus unable to play for Power. Applying just one of these two levers is not sufficient – it is critical to play for both. Whenever companies neglect one over the other, they are quickly penalized by customers, investors, and/or partners, as we’ll see in this post.