pinevio

Build as little as possible.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for a startup to start testing your product as quickly as possible. And by The product I mean, only the core fraction of the technology (or service depending on the nature of the business) needed to solve the problem.

NOT a singing/dancing public-availability ready, scalable technology, which does a lot of cool stuff. Cool stuff for you that is. If your first product version looks ready to be launched publically prior to user testing you most probably have already wasted precious resources..

 

Your first product will suck and the only way to improve it is by testing it out with relevant users, getting their feedback, reiterating and come back to the testers again. After several cycles like that your product will be on a different level.

 

Stop wasting resources you don’t have and time, which you can’t afford because your competition is getting user feedback and rushing in front every single day when you are sitting in your garage thinking about… oh this button doesn’t have enough shading.

 

Think about what’s the minimum you can build. Build it. Test it. Reiterate. That’s how you make good stuff that people love to use and tell their friends about. Think about it.

The Business Hero of the Technology Revolution

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As I’m sure all of You know a week ago the world has lost one of the greatest icons of contemporary times – Steve Jobs. During his 56 years he has achieved immense accomplishments profoundly changing the way we consume media, use technology, communicate with one another and “View the World” (B.Obama).

 

For Pinevio founders like many aspiring “wanna-be” entrepreneurs out there, Steve’s philosophy of life, built on the foundation of Buddhism, was a source of inspiration and influenced us to pursue the entrepreneurial path of life. So it wouldn’t be right not to take a step back and give our humble view on why Steve was such a remarkable genius and express tribute to the person, who I believe was the Greatest Business Hero of Post-industrial times.

When remembering late Mr.Jobs many of us talk about him as a product visionary who built great futuristic products. Aesthetics genius who focused on designing the best user experiences possible. Aspiring and tenacious leader who from 1997 to his death in 2011 has grown Apple into the mighty global empire. Uncompromising boss who’s management style was both demanding and ruthless. Mind-blowing presenter who’s conferences became a true work of art and were hugely anticipated and many other epithets all of which are true.  I believe that among all of these different talents one trait came to the top and enabled all other to shine bright. He was a great business model visionary.

Recently my co-founder has discovered a piece of statistics describing what’s at the core of majority successful contemporary corporations. 

 “11 out of 27 companies born over last quarter of the century made there way to Fortune 500 over last 10 years through business model innovation.”

Significant proportion of all major business empires and majority of technology ones grew their wealth by inventing new ways to make money or revolutionising existing ones. Among all great business innovators during last decade – Steve Jobs’ start was shining brightest. Thanks to him,  business model innovation has become the cornerstone upon which all other breakthrough innovations were built at Apple. And the business guru who envisioned them already back in the 1997 was none other than the Business Hero himself.

To understand better what Steve has done to change the way Apple (and the whole industry) make money let’s take a look at few business back-door examples which are often underemphasised when discussing the true greatness of the late Steve Jobs. To my mind it’s exactly these business accomplishments that have played a crucial role in building Apple to what it is now and were the brainchildren of the CEO.

Let’s start with the iPod – iTunes eco-system and the so-called 99c business model. Arguably the iPod was the first milestone product propelling the return of Apple. Why was it such a success? At the time of the iPod launch there had been a variety of different mp3 players in the market: Sony, Samsung and other’s where fighting in a highly fragmented market. There were many value offers but none of them was able to win the market. Then the iPod came long. Yes, the UI interface was more intuitive and product design more appealing, user-friendly to the average consumer. Yes, the memory it had enabled us to carry 1000 songs, which is an entire music library for majority of us, anywhere we go. And yes, Apple were and still are gurus of marketing. However, what made the iPod the definitive music player and over a course of a few years won it market leadership was a rigid and well-developed eco-system of hardware and software, led by the revolutionary iTunes and the 99p business model.

So what was so revolutionary about iTunes and why it enabled Apple to take such a fragmented market so quickly? There have been other music stores prior to iTunes right?

Mr. Jobs had an ambitious goal to make every song on iTunes cost 99c and to make to extremely easy for users to purchase them. We all know how iTunes work so they have cracked the 1-click buy system by releasing a first truly-user friendly online music store.

However, what was substantially more challenging, and this again goes back to the business genius of the CEO. He was able to sit down all the major record labels by one table, pressured the ones who wouldn’t an negotiated the 99c business model by leveraging a strong eco-system of the iPod. Steve has shifted the power from content creators to content distributors – the technology companies.

Astonishingly he has managed to do that time and time again.  With the MacBook by leveraging cheap Silicon deals and not only securing a long-term supply of materials but substantially increasing product margins and therefore profitability. Steve has turned the tables once more with the publishing industry and the iPad, and left Apple in a strong position to repeat it with cloud services and the iCloud.  Mr. Jobs was what J. Schumepeter would call an Agent of Creative Destruction, changing power structures in the market and enabling revolutionary business model innovation.

All of us who are foolish enough to think we have the capacity and tenacity needed to change the world will miss Steve, it doesn’t matter which industry or area we are trying to do it. He was without a shadow of a doubt an iconic entrepreneur who worked relentlessly to shift the power relationship in the market by making it more dynamic, open and better for both users and innovating businesses. That’s why I will always remember him as the Business Hero of Technology Revolution.

The best way to make a tribute to the legacy of this inspiring individual is to foster the principles of this business values by applying them to many more industries and changing them for the better. RIP Steve, it’s now our moral obligation to keep Your business values alive.

Post by @daumis2475

Co-founder @Pinevio