Author Archives: Greg Satell

The Platform Fallacy

It seems like every business discussion today is just counting the seconds before the term “platform” comes up. Books and articles are written, pundits swoon and conference audiences nod and exchange glances in knowing agreement. Everyone, it seems, wants to transform their business into a platform. Yet take the argument to its logical conclusion and the message becomes problematic. Platforms, ...

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Don’t Bet On Someone Else’s Success Story

Every bold new business idea starts with a success story. Either it is a single organization or an aggregate sample that implemented a particular strategy and achieved outstanding results. That solid track record helps to convince others to adopt it, yet somehow the new management fad fails to deliver as promised. The problem is often one of survivorship bias. While ...

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Innovation Isn’t About Control, But Access

Completed in 1928, Henry Ford’s River Rouge plant was a marvel of its age. It was almost 100% vertically integrated, even producing its own steel and by the 1930s over 100,000 employees worked there, producing nearly every component for the cars that Ford built. It was, at the time, considered to be a key advantage. Nobody makes factories like that ...

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What Will We Do After Moore’s Law Ends?

In 1965, Intel cofounder Gordon Moore published a remarkably prescient paper which predicted that computing power would double about every two years. For a half century, this process of doubling has proved to be so remarkably consistent that today it is commonly known as Moore’s Law and has driven the digital revolution. In fact, we’ve become so used to the ...

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Don’t Break Down Silos, Connect Them

Nobody likes a silo. Or a stovepipe for that matter. These insular structures restrict the flow of information, which makes it hard to coordinate action and adapt to change. In some cases, it can even lead to disastrous consequences like the General Motors ignition switch scandal. So it should be no surprise that managers try to break down silos whenever ...

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Time to Take the Quantum Age Seriously

Time to Take the Quantum Age Seriously

Every new technology has the capacity to inspire wonder and fear. One Swiss scientist, Conrad Gessner, warned in the 1500’s that the data overload from the printing press would be “confusing and harmful” to the mind. Similar concerns have been voiced about every conceivable advancement, from the train and car to computers and social media. The truth is that technology ...

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