We develop high-level strategy and tactical go-to-market plans based on a few carefully selected principles drawn from highly successful Silicon Valley companies. Typically, Silicon Valley Strategies focuses on five critical elements in a business:
Focus on the business model
Define the business architecture
Determine the optimal market strategy
Think in terms of 'whole product' solutions
Plan effective go-to-market tactics
"As to methods there may be a
million and then some, but
principals are few. The man
who grasps principles can
successfully select his own
methods. The man who tries
methods, ignoring principles,
is sure to have trouble."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
1. Focus on the business model SVS places considerable emphasis on development of the right business model. This is a unique and distinguishing characteristic of highly successful Silicon Valley businesses, and one which we pay close attention to. Many companies do a great job of putting their products into beta for market feedback, but never test the validity or viability of their basic model in the marketplace. The business model is the form that business functions (which we describe as ‘architecture’) must follow.
2. Determine the optimal business strategy Building successful market strategy is iterative: it begins with listening, then developing, then testing and finally refining. Many business executives, operating under considerable pressure (or perhaps just attention deficit disordered), attempt to skip some of these essential steps. Failure inevitably ensues. Solutions in search of markets result in stillborn businesses, lost investments, ruined careers. SVS coaches a four-step method for market strategy development. This process continues throughout the life of the business.
3. Think in terms of whole product solutions Customers need solutions to critical problems (otherwise, your business offer may not be sufficiently compelling). Thinking in terms of the whole product means thinking about how to add value to the product in order to add value for the customer. Whole product thinking informs both product development and sales and marketing. Whole product thinking begins before the sale and extends beyond fulfillment. This, too, is a continuous process.
4. Define the business architecture. Most companies view their architecture in one dimension – that is, if they think about their architecture at all. We believe all business functions operate in three theoretical and practical dimensions: >Verticalstructures support the operational elements of the business. Most companies view this structure as business units, like sales, finance, operations, marketing, etc. In fact, most companies think of only their vertical structure when they visualize their architecture. This is a mistake.
>Horizontal processes involve people, and constitute the dynamic opportunities in the business. Companies typically think of people as vertically oriented within business units, but Silicon Valley success models show that optimum results occur at the intersections of vertical structure and horizontal process. >Interplayeffectiveness – the intersection between structure and process - fuels business success. What Silicon Valley success stories all share is an architecture which allows and promotes interplay effectiveness.
5. Plan effective go-to-market tactics SVS emphasizes go-to-market tactics that flow from and are consistent with the broader corporate and market strategies. Strategy is everything, but strategy without execution is impotent and wasteful. Execution is everything, but execution wrongly directed is catastrophic. Developing ‘iterative executables’ is all about learning from actions and refining subsequent actions to get better results.
Every entrepreneurial CEO wakes up every day thinking about and worrying about money. There is never enough to fund the vision as fast as the impatient entrepreneur wants to go.
The source of funding is critical, as is the timing and structure of the financing. Venture capital is an obvious target, but it comes with strings attached that may not always be aligned with the interests of the Company.
Capital is hard to come by because the process forces you to think through everything even though you are certain you already know the answers. Often, you get what you need and not what you want. If you are forever frustrated by this process, you are not alone. But the process will make your company better and stronger if you approach it with the right attitude. Innovation
This is the buzz word in Corporate America ... mostly because it exists everywhere but in large corporations. Every entrepreneur knows the secrets of innovation. Every entrepreneur knows the absolute need to turn revolutionary ideas into reality. But the bureaucratic corporation has the one thing that innovators lack ... resources - capital and organization.
You have a profusion of innovative ideas, but that is not the critical issue. Ideas are easy. Execution is hard. Mobilizing an organization to profit from your ideas and innovations is the real challenge. Silicon Valley success stories prove that this is a discipline that can be learned. Listen. Learn. Apply.
"What enables you to find
the cure for cancer is not
to follow steps A. B. B.
Some accidental thing
in the lab will happen.
You will follow your intuition.
It is an informed intuition,
and you will have
the 'eureka moment'."
Frank Gehry, Architect
Silicon Valley Strategies | www.siliconvalleystrategies.com | 415.559.0446