The Renaissance Innovator

Thoughts, examples and updates on the Renaissance Innovation Method

Posts from the “Others” Category

A Lean Startup Approach to International Development

Posted on December 16, 2014


In a recent blog post that first appeared on Harvard Business Blogging Network we discuss International Development. Trying to find solutions for the problems faced by people living at the bottom of the pyramid is frustrating and hugely expensive; experts say that three out of four development projects in Africa fail. PlayPump, a children’s carousel designed to help pump clean water in Africa is a typical example. Despite getting $16 million in funding, it failed to gain traction.

What Tim Cook is doing better than Steve Jobs

Posted on August 7, 2014


We now have a date: September 9, the day that iPhone6 is expected to be launched. While there is a still a month to go , the iPhone launch circus and its usual cast of characters are all already in town. The tech media is leaping on every bit of information that can be inferred from the Apple supply chain about the potential specs of the phone (for the record we are expecting Apple to introduce a big screen brother to the current phone and produce it in record numbers). But the business press is decidedly less excited: a bigger iPhone is hardly the category busting game changer they have been calling for. Some have even gone as far as speculating that Apple under Tim Cook has lost its creative…

Tesla Goes Big Not Home

Posted on June 17, 2014


Last week Elon Musk, the iconoclastic CEO of Tesla Motors declared that Tesla would effectively allow any competitor to use its patents portfolio. Shortly after, BMW and Nissan announced that they wanted to cooperate with Tesla on technology and standards. Between them, these three carmakers own almost all the market for electric vehicles and as such are natural competitors. So what motivates this recent cooperation: is it just good PR, is it plain altruism, or is there something more calculated? Tesla has challenged the automotive business model on other occasions: it disintermediated car dealerships and then adopted a switching station model. Giving up the patent portfolio is a similar move that challenges the traditional business model. At the core of these moves is the realization that the conventional auto business model simply doesn’t…

What Uber Should Do With the Money

Posted on June 11, 2014


By now, you’ve likely heard of Uber’s staggering US$1.2 billion funding round that values the business at US$ 18.2 billion. One can debate the merits of the valuation, but whatever your opinion, the folks at Uber will have a ton of resources to fund their next strategic move. So to us the interesting question is what Uber should do with the money and, perhaps more importantly, what it shouldn’t. 

Car dealerships are a bad deal for customers

Posted on March 24, 2014


Last week New Jersey started enforcing a ban on direct sales by Tesla Motors of its path-breaking model S.   Tesla’s direct sales have also run into hot water in a number of other states: Ohio lawmakers are debating a ban on Tesla’s direct sales and Texas, Arizona, and Virginia are also opposed.   Proponents of a ban on direct sales claim that they are acting in the interest of customers. But is it the interests of customers they’re following or rather the bidding of the powerful car dealership lobby?