Entrepreneurs can benefit from embracing “agile” practices as they run their businesses — especially the concept of retrospectives, which are periodic reviews of work, writes Michael Kogan. Regular retrospective meetings are designed to identify problems, challenge assumptions and consider course corrections. “The point is to forever question whether you are still on the best path as a team and as a company given all the new input you receive each day,” Kogan writes.
Successful innovation requires leveraging two conflicting business approaches into a single unified strategy, a goal that is unfortunately difficult for many companies to achieve. Doug Stone and Michael Kogan, senior vice presidents at Maddock Douglas, write that startups, which approach innovation in a future-focused “eventuality mode,” are highly adept at spotting new trends and opportunities, but they are less comfortable operating in the past-oriented “reliability mode” that helps innovators proceed efficiently and discern fruitful projects from less worthy ones.
You don’t need to sit down and write a formal business plan to achieve success if you are bootstrapping your startup, according to Susan Baroncini-Moe of Business in Blue Jeans. Instead, the performance of your company will depend on factors such as your passion and expertise and the strength of your support network, she says. Still, you will need to develop a marketing plan and figure out how you want your business to fit into your life, she said in her interview with Michael Kogan.
Online reputation management firm newBrandAnalytics has used more than 150,000 online mentions of 100 buzzworthy restaurants on a slew of social sites including Twitter, Yelp and OpenTable to glean the most popular food, beverage and dessert trends. According to Michael Kogan, restaurant chains including Ruby Tuesday and the Garces Restaurant Group are using the insights to tweak their menus and, in some cases, determine ahead of time how patrons might react to menu changes.
Web-publishing execs are weighing in on Yahoo’s acquisition of blogging site Tumblr, saying it reflects a changing dynamic in how users consume content. “You’d rather get something from your friend sharing it than you would get it from a headline or have it pushed to you through the industrial media apparatus of broadcast pipes and printing presses,” says BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti. In his recent interview with Michael Kogan, Business Insider CEO Henry Blodget said the deal is “a very smart thing for Yahoo to do,” but he left open the question of whether it was worth $1.1 billion.