News + Thought

In praise of cannibalisation

Hindsight, as we know, is a wonderful thing. Looking back on the great business failures of our time, the likes of Blockbuster and Kodak, and none of us believe that we would have made the same...

The limits of expertise

This piece first appeared in Quillette. “People are sick of experts.” These infamous and much-derided words uttered by UK Conservative parliamentarian Michael Gove express a sentiment with...

Do you know your company’s true nature?

If you are like almost every other business out there, you will be familiar with the process of reactive experimentation. Basically you have ideas, you activate them, some work, some don’t, and...

Have love for your competitors

Rock music is only remarkable as a counterpoint to classical music. Modernist design only seems refreshing next to baroque. A jacket and tie only have a place in a world of t-shirts and...

Is the internet complete?

This piece first appeared in Quillette. In 2013, a debate was held between friends Peter Thiel and Marc Andreessen, the thrust of which was to determine whether we are living through an...

Let your company find its own way

A question I’m often asked by founders is this: “Do I need to have a clear vision for my company from day one?” Typically this question comes from people with fairly successful...

Have we passed peak innovation?

Why do we laugh at old representations of the future? You know the kind - the Jetsons, flying cars, the “power laces” in Back to the Future 2. Many of their predictions now seem either...

The rise and fall of parasite brands

This piece first appeared in Contagious. There are two ways brands can be created – by giving or taking. Most people imagine the giving kind; where the business wants to offer something...

It’s not the “why” that matters, it’s the “how”

By now most of you are probably familiar with Simon Sinek's iconic "Start With Why" TED talk. Even if you've not seen the talk, you've most likely encountered one of the army of why-merchants...

Is it ever OK to just accept declining sales?

OK, this is a weird one I know. However it seems pertinent in light of recent news that Coke are making "massive changes" to their Diet Coke range following a 1.9% sales drop in 2016. On the...

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