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Whither Twitter? A question of strategy

Whither Twitter? A question of strategy

Several factors, including disappointing quarterly results since Twitter’s late 2013 IPO, constant pressure from Wall Street investors on the company’s sluggish user growth, and a recent 8,500-word open blog by venture capitalist Chris Sacca critiquing the company’s strategy and proposing an array of corrective measures, culminated in the announcement last Thursday of Dick Costolo’s decision to step down as Twitter’s CEO after five years in the role. This development provides us with a good opportunity to examine Twitter’s strategic challenges and opportunities. What should the new CEO do to stabilize the business and define a winning direction for the company?

Breaking Bad – Will Uber Blow It?

Breaking Bad – Will Uber Blow It?

What on earth is happening at Uber? The company, which in recent months has continued its rapid growth, has been busy disrupting the taxi industry globally since its inception five years ago. Unfortunately, the company appears to be causing not only controversy – some of which is inevitable when a new business model upsets an entrenched industry such as the taxi and limo business – but getting itself into hot water all over the place, including most recently in the U.S marketplace and political scene. This begs the question: Will the company’s board rein in the CEO and management team before regulators step in, or will the company’s arrogance prove to be literally a fatal flaw?

New Kid on the Block – How Alibaba’s IPO Will Change the Competitive Landscape

New Kid on the Block – How Alibaba’s IPO Will Change the Competitive Landscape

By now you’ve probably heard more than you want to about Alibaba’s upcoming IPO, estimated to become the largest IPO, raising around $24bn and valuing the Chinese e-commerce giant at $160bn or more. But this event bears even greater significance than its size would indicate. Along with TenCent and Baidu, Alibaba makes up a powerful troika of Chinese internet platforms. Alibaba’s rapid growth, profitability and dominance of the massive Chinese internet marketplace is sure to impact the strategies of Amazon, Google, Facebook, eBay, Yahoo!, and others to compete successfully in that enormous market as well as in other Asian countries, not to mention in other regions.

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.