November 19, 2012
"Netafim went so far as to change into mission statement from “making the best drip irrigation equipment for customers” to “helping the world grow more with less”, an objective far more aligned with the objectives of its customers, the farmers."

Great HBR piece, When Business Models Trump Technology, shows how one Israeli firm, Netafim, figured out how to think beyond the product it made (drip irrigation equipment) in order to offer a sophisticated—and much more appealing—service its customers actually wanted. This is a big theme of the book around the Ten Types of Innovation framework I’ve been working on recently. Fancy products are all well and good, but they’ll never provide the competitive advantage a company really needs for scaled, sustained success. Instead, by developing a smart business model and service its customers actually wanted (quelle idée!) this company has been able to survive and thrive. Good case study.

[Story via Saul Kaplan.]

May 8, 2012
"The design community needs to move on from the incessant argument over the importance of design thinking and process. It is time to claim victory. Get over it. The argument is boring. Design is important. We stipulate that design is about more than sexy products. We get that design is about delivering a compelling customer experience. We know that business model innovation is fundamentally about designing new ways to create, deliver and capture value. Now, can we get on with putting design thinking and process to work to enable business model innovation?"

— In The Problem With “Design Thinking,” my friend Saul Kaplan goes a little nuclear on his designer friends. I actually think the discussion around design thinking (to which, I confess, I have contributed more than makes me in any way comfortable) has moved on, though I still think examples of those who’ve figured out how to implement its ideas effectively are few and far between. This is an excerpt from Saul’s new book on business model innovation, just published, and which I’m looking forward to reading.