This week’s book summary is The Four by Scott Galloway.
Although I may not completely agree with Galloway’s perspective in this book, he provides a combination of solid research and cynical humor to paint a picture of how a few companies are reinventing the world as we know it. His detailed study of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google show how these massive companies were formed, the market spaces they created, and the incredible societal and business impacts they have made and are making.
My takeaway from this book is Galloway’s “T Algorithm” which is his definition of the factors needed for a business to rise up and compete against The Four. The eight factors are:
Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Facebook get much of their value through the use of Multisided Platforms (MSPs).
MIT Sloan define a multisided platform as “technologies, products or services that create value primarily by enabling direct interactions between two or more customer or participant groups.” For example:
- Apple connects app developers with iPhone users who have a need for the functionality that the app provides.
- LinkedIn connects professionals, recruiters, and advertisers.
- Microsoft uses Windows to connect users, third party app developers, and third party hardware manufacturers
- Amazon and Alibaba connect sellers of products with a vast set of users that want to buy products.
- AirBnB connects building owners with people needing to rent space.
- Uber and Lyft connect drivers and passengers.
- American Express, Visa, Paypal, and Square connect merchants to consumers.
MSPs are a very valuable and viable business model that creates value by reducing search or transaction costs for all participants.
Is your business leaving money on the table by not leveraging an MSP approach? Or, worse yet, are you leaving your business vulnerable to competition who have determined a unique MSP offering that threatens your existence?
What can you do to leverage the MSP strategy and how can you implement it in your business?
As technology advances and more and more products and services become commoditized, the only thing that separates one business from another is the customer experience.
Poor customer experience can easily destroy a business . . . If you don’t believe this, just ask United or American Airlines. One ugly incident can destroy the customer loyalty that has taken years to build!
Conversely, exceptional customer service can accelerate a business and its profitability to new heights!
What Experience Does Your Business Provide?
I recently switched things up and gave up my BMW car for the iconic F150 short box 4X4 pickup truck. Aside from the obvious complete change in driving performance and utility, I was taken back by the lack of customer experience offered by Ford in comparison to BMW. For example:
If a business leader wants to remain relevant in today’s dynamic marketplace they must always be learning. One of the best ways to learn and increase your knowledge is by reading.
Active reading, where you highlight important information and take notes on what is being read, is even one step better! Putting the highlighted passages and notes into a format that can be shared with others or reviewed at another time kicks learning up to a whole new level!
I have always been a voracious reader but I lacked the discipline required to go back to the books and pull out the highlights and notes. Because of that lack of discipline, I often spent many unnecessary hours searching through volumes of books for something I had read that I needed for my business.
Then Amazon changed everything . . .
I have had quite a few people ask me what iPad apps I use for business and personal purposes. I am always trying out apps that are useful and boost my productivity. The following are currently my favorite iPad apps.
- Microsoft OneNote 2013 (1PC/1User) [Download] – this is perhaps the best and most powerful productivity app that I use. OneNote started off as a PC based program that Microsoft sold that allowed the user to take notes and organize them in any way they desired. This includes graphics, pictures, sound bytes, emails, webpages, screen captures, etc.) The goal of OneNote is to replace your handwritten notebooks. It was turned into an app a number of years ago and I have the app installed on my iPad and my iPhone. The data is synched through the cloud so each device is always up to date. I have not used a paper based notebook since I installed the OneNote program on my laptop back in about 2005. OneNote allows you to take and file all your notes electronically so you can search on keywords and find all the notes you ever took on that subject. Comparing paper based notebooks to OneNote is like comparing a rubber raft to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier! Watch for a future post on how I organize my OneNote.