Writings on business.

Understanding TAM/SAM/SOM


When I work with investors and companies on market analysis, one the things everyone wants to know is “what is the total addressable market (TAM)?” This is an important question, but is just the tip of the iceberg, especially because many entrepreneurs (and investors!) focus on identifying the biggest number possible. When a company stays focused on the giant number, it doesn’t...

Process is about raising floors and removing ceilings


I’ll admit it: I’m obsessed with creating processes. Whenever it looks like I’m going to do something more than once, I start creating a process. It’s nothing big – I just write down what I plan to do before I do it. Viola! A process. Processes can take many different forms and names: a checklist, a plan, a recipe, a playbook, a workflow, etc. They are all processes...

Market confusion – what’s in a word?


Business strategists and marketers throw the word “market” around liberally, using it in different contexts with different definitions without explanation. This can be confusing. I especially notice the difference moving from an investment perspective to an operational perspective. In the former, the term is often more seller-focused. For example, “who are the players in the market?”...

Lightbulbs and patent trolls


I’m always searching for good analogies that highlight what’s wrong with software patents. I don’t remember where I saw this, but I like it. We all know the story of how Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb. He knew the basics of what he needed to invent: something that would glow consistently when a current was applied to it, but wouldn’t burn up too quickly. The idea for...

Kickstart, crowdfunding, and the future of media


If you’ve known me for long enough, we’ve probably had a conversation or two about the future of the music and movie industries. These industries are undergoing massive changes right now, largely driven by changes in technology over the last decade that are rendering existing business models obsolete. Media industry supporters go crazy over the Internet and piracy, support things like...


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