This morning I officially launched my new marketing agency, Cromulent Marketing.
“After reading this chapter, you will be intrigued by all of these forays with exceptionalism. But you will remain convinced that you, personally, have already properly taken them into consideration. Your present understanding of yourself and of the world around you is now fairly objective. Everyone else, however, is a potential sucker.“ (The Confidence Game)
Ferguson has really done a tremendous job researching her subjects and bringing them to life, including enough detail to make things very vivid without overwhelming the reader, and putting everything into context by explaining the focal scientist’s contemporaries, political environment, other interests, and so on. These aren’t dry listings of historical facts; instead, they’re entertaining and enthralling true-but-almost-unbelievable tales that drew me in and carried me away.
In case you’re not familiar with The Three Horizons Model of portfolio management, and how it maps to the Growth/Materiality Matrix, here’s a crash course:
Horizon 2 is a tricky beast. In Escape Velocity (click on the link to read my book report, complete with diagrams), Geoffrey Moore says: “Horizon 2 investments are expected to pay back significantly, but not in the year of their market launch. Typically they are fast growing from birth but come off a small base and need time to reach a material size. Moreover, because market adoption is rarely linear, there are often fits and starts before they catch fire. In the meantime, however, they are making material demands on go-to-market resources in the current year without generating corresponding material returns, and so they demand patience.”
Sure, you can sell stuff today to pay the bills, but your growth is expected to come from Horizon 2; consequently, they’re a crucial part of your business’ strategy.
So why do Horizon 2 efforts often end in disaster?
In this post, I share some of my own experiences working with Horizon 2, and intersperse with more insights from Mr. Moore, in the hopes that it’ll help you out in your own product endeavours.
“For most of human history, the art of the hero wasn’t left up to chance; it was a multidisciplinary endeavor devoted to optimal nutrition, physical self-mastery, and mental conditioning. The hero’s skills were studied, practiced, and perfected, then passed along from parent to child and teacher to student. The art of the hero wasn’t about being brave; it was about being so competent that bravery wasn’t an issue. You weren’t supposed to go down for a good cause; the goal was to figure out a way not to go down at all.“ (Natural Born Heroes)
“Society pays dearly for all the experiments it could have conducted but didn’t. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, millions of crimes have been committed, and billions of dollars have been wasted because people have bulled ahead on their assumptions and created interventions without testing them before they were put into place.“ (Mindware)
“Rather than resign themselves to hearing the standard ‘Sorry, we have no budget for that,’ some vendors—even some very young start-ups—have found a way to reach their customers’ resource owners and motivate them to allocate the necessary funds. Using what we call provocation-based selling, they persuade customers that the solutions they bring to the table are not just nice but essential.”
That’s a quote from In a Downturn, Provoke Your Customers, an article written by Philip Lay, Todd Hewlin, and Geoffrey Moore, and published in the Harvard Business Review in March, 2009.
The article – I only read it for the first time a few days ago – reminded me of an exercise/experience I had in early 2017, although I think it’s more accurate to describe my own experience as provocation-based marketing.