I sent out only two Om Says newsletters this week, mostly because of time commitments behind the scenes. More importantly, I’ve been gestating some ideas for the coming week. In addition, a bulk of time was spent conversing with folks who have been kind enough to share their feedback and comments with me via emails and private conversations.
To recap, this past week, I sent out the following two newsletters and they sparked a great deal of discussion in comments and on Twitter:
- The economics of attention and why there are no second chances on the Internet. (Read)
- When is a tech company dead? (Read)
However, some of the more detailed responses came via email, and I’m sharing edited-down versions of some of them.
Vijay Sundram in response to The economics of attention
One thought is about the equation :) I would actually refine it say that MVP = f(happiness, utility), which you could think of as an indifference curve above which early traction is outcome. Depending on the market and customers, I think you can get away with more of one and less of the other. I’d argue there’s even a more general pattern, which is that in the earlier stages of a market (e.g. early PC and Internet era) technical innovation, prices, performance, etc. drive adoption, and therefore there is a bias towards “utility”. As these markets mature, the raw technology becomes commoditized and the competitive landscape is crowded so branding, design/UX, and attention are the core drivers of traction and so the bias tilts towards “happiness”.
Martin Joseph Brej in response to When is a tech company dead?:
Agree that Oracle (s ORCL) and IBM (s IBM) are outliers—and both share similar strategic alignments: while people often mention services when describing IBM’s business, I would point out that increasingly IBM is software-driven. Services drive a lot of revenue, but software drives most of the profitability @ IBM. Furthermore, IBM also has an established and successful strategy to grow via acquisitions—generally not of the size that Oracle has, but still a fundamental strategy by which IBM reinvents (or ‘reboots’) itself.
Kurt Collins in response to When is a tech company dead?
I don’t believe either Yahoo, Microsoft, or Nokia is dead. I understand the point you’re trying to make, however, there’s one example of a company that everyone thought was dead at one point: Apple. There are exceptions to every rule, and Apple may be one huge exception.
However, my point is more about the intellectual energy you were speaking of. Just because intellectual energy may be missing from the current employees at a company; but that doesn’t mean that same company doesn’t have a chance.
I think Silicon Valley is impatient. We dream about the future and we can’t wait to make it happen, so we’re often quick to dismiss the present. Tech companies may “die”, but every company has a chance; even the “dead” ones.