Top articles of the week | February 23

February 23, 2019

Every week, we put together a list of our top 5 articles of the past week. Happy reading!

Managing Technological Innovation: Industry Analysis Jerry Newmann

As a follow up article from a few weeks ago, Mr. Newmann dissects competitive advantage for a class at Columbia University. The slides explain quite well the notion of sustainable competitive advantage. This is particularly useful for anyone looking to master the ability to understand an industry.

When Advertising Isn’t Enough a16z, YouTube

It is said that venture capitalists have become great content marketers. A16Z is the leader in my book for solid content. This 25 minute video on business models and transactions covers the rise of mobile in China. The link between ads and transactions has led to extremely innovative business models. Connie Chan delivers an amazing talk on the impact this has had on books, advertising, podcasts, music and more.

Laws of Tech: Commoditize Your Complement

This article unpacks an important pattern in technology economics, commoditization of complements. All else being equal, demand for a product increases when the prices of its complements decrease. In general, a company’s strategic interest is going to be to get the price of their complements as low as possible. The lowest theoretically sustainable price would be the “commodity price” – the price that arises when you have a bunch of competitors offering indistinguishable goods. So: Smart companies try to commoditize their products’ complements.

Five Promises of Micromobility Florent Crivello, Uber

“Accelerating the adoption of micromobility is more than an exciting business opportunity — it’s a moral imperative.” Florent Crivello eloquently explains the importance of micromobility (using bikes, scooters to move around in an urban environment). He explains how the transition happened in Europe and how it happen in North America.

The Irresistible Rise Of Agile: A Paradigm Shift In Management Forbes

Steve Denning wrote the book on Agile, literally. In this article, he covers how high performing teams are prevalent in software and how it’s finally starting to transfer to management. Steve is a leader in raising awareness for Agile’s benefits (and pitfalls) for executives. I’m obviously biased on this trend but deeply believe in its value.