Sustainable Sources of Competitive Advantage

A great article from Collaborative Fund about 5 sustainable sources of competitive advantage.  My favorite was number 2 – Eat Your Own Dog Food.

Forty-seven percent of mutual fund mangers do not personally own any of their own fund, according to Morningstar. That’s shocking. But I suspect something similar happens across most businesses.

What percentage of McDonald’s executives frequent their own restaurant as a legitimate customer interested in the chain’s food, rather than a fact-finding mission? Few, I imagine. How many times has the CEO of Delta Airlines been bumped from a flight, or had his bags lost by the airline? Never, I assume.

The inability to understand how your customers experience your product almost guarantees an eventual drift between the problems a business tries to solve and the problems customers need solved. Here again, a person with a lower IQ who can empathize with customers will almost always beat someone with a higher IQ who can’t put themselves in customers’ shoes.

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1st Financial Bank Flow

I drive by 1st Financial Bank everyday on my way to work and I was curious about what they do.  Turns out they issue student credit cards.  I tried to get one for my collection.

 

1.  Application Page

1st Financial Bank Application

2.  Confirmation Page

1st Financial Bank Confirmation

 

3.  Receipt Page

1st Financial Bank Receipt

 

I never got my personal invitation in the mail.  I think they must know I am not a student.

 

 

Eliminating My Wallet

I have been trying to minimize and eventually eliminate my wallet and keys for a couple of years.  I recently tried to scan all my membership cards into a mobile app.  It made my wallet very thin, but there was a problem.  Retail locations can not scan my phone and cashiers have to manual type my number every time, which completely negates any convenience from eliminating my wallet.

As a millennial trying to eliminate my wallet, I want POS systems to be able to scan my digitized membership cards, so the front line staff doesn’t have to manually enter my number.

-Verify the number is correct in the POS system
-Verify that the process can be completed in less than 2 seconds

Innovation Strategy Presentation

I would be excited to facilitate a innovation workshop for your team or organization.  The material can be customized around your industry and challenges.  We will work together to explore multiple innovation techniques and add them to your strategy toolbox:

  • The subtraction technique
  • Big unsolved problems
  • Disruptive innovation

Check out my Innovation Strategy Deck and feel free to send any questions or requests to public@jayfisher.info

Bad Management is Sabotage

Middle managers, especially, can get in on the act. Those with white-collar jobs should pontificate, flip-flop, and take every decision into committee, says a section on ‘General Interference with Organizations and Production.’ “Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible,” the OSS advises. Promote bad workers and complain about good ones. “Haggle over precise wordings… Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.”

-CIA Sabotage Field Manual

From Atlas Obscura.