SKEMA Business School, Bachelor in Business Administration

SKEMA Business School, Master of Science, PhD School

Copenhagen Business School, Master of Science, PhD School 

RAPPI: The growth dilemma

(with Albert Valenti and Lorenzo Panilio, IESE Business Case

This case is designed to focus the discussion on the design and monetization of a digital platform and its growth strategies. It highlights the opportunities and challenges associated with network effects, value creation for different customers, monetization in digital platforms, market segmentation, and market selection. Specific learning objectives include: * Analyzing the design of digital platform businesses to understand how different sides contribute to value creation and how the platform can capture value. * Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses associated with each growth choice in the context of a digital platform. * Identifying the opportunities and challenges of the specific context where the digital platform operates. 

Mix Novelty and Familiarity to move from niche to mainstream

(with Fernando Suarez and Stine Grodal, IESE Insight)

For years IBM has used its advertising muscle to promote Watson, its AI software that it promised would usher in a radical new era of "cognitive computing." But mainstream customers remain puzzled: What's "cognitive computing?" And other than famously beating humans at playing Jeopardy!, what does Watson actually do? And how is it any different from other AI products on the market?

IBM's Watson problem is not unique. Many companies fail to reach mainstream markets because they fail to manage a fundamental conundrum: How to make a new product appear both novel and familiar at the same time? Play up the novel features and consumers may reject the product for being too unusual; focus on the familiar and consumers may not see any reason to switch from their preexisting favorite. This is especially tricky when introducing genuinely disruptive products.

While there will always be a niche of early adopters who will enthusiastically embrace anything new, making the leap to achieving wide-scale interest and adoption from the more conservative mainstream market is a much tougher sell. Overcoming this hurdle is what Geoffrey Moore referred to as "crossing the chasm" in the title of his 1991 book.

We have explored this issue in our own research of dozens of industries, studying the category labels that firms and entrepreneurs use when introducing new products in emerging market spaces, including the smartphone industry between 2000 and 2010. Our analyses show that maximum market adoption happens when labels strike a delicate balance between being familiar but not too familiar, novel but not too novel.