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Posts Tagged ‘Category Design’

114 Think Like Amazon w/ John Rossman

114 Think Like Amazon w/ John Rossman

For the second part of our two-part series on legendary category king companies, we are featuring John Rossman, author of “Think Like Amazon.”

We have a fun, insightful conversation about how Amazon became arguably the most innovative category king in the world and most importantly, how you can learn to think like Amazon in your career.

Digital vs. Traditional

Christopher probes John on his thoughts about the distinction between traditional businesses versus data-driven, digital ones. John shares that other than the technological aspect, he could relate digital businesses to athletic attributes such as speed and agility.

In detail, John said speed is about doing a repetitive motion, extremely well and efficiently. In business terms, that is considered as operational excellence.  The second attribute, agility, is the ability to sense and make change happen. 

“Part of being digital is about the eternal pursuit of becoming perfect. How do we reduce cycle times? Improve quality, reduce costs? Cut out little pieces of friction from both our customers and employees?” – John Rossman

Embracing New Niches

John cites Amazon’s business strategy in terms of embracing new niches. The other aspect of finding problems, then working on a solution, is the notion of working into the future. He defines the future as a “time and a place for unconstrained thinking.”

“Amazon’s answer to that, their philosophy or their technique is: start with the customer and work backward. ” – John Rossman

When teams are brainstorming, all of these constraints come to the table and they deliberately understand which parts of the solution they are. Afterward, they identify the right mindset, then the right tools and ultimately, the right approach in order to solve the problem.

Architecture is the Business Strategy

Citing some parts of the book, Think Like Amazon, Christopher asks John the idea behind the concept architecture is the business strategy.

“You have to plan forward on how you build things, because the constraints, the flexibility the adaptability on how you build your operations and your technology architecturewill either be a key enabler or key constraint in your ability in going forward.” – John Rossman

In the end, John shares that his whole goal is to give a business person, who is not technology architect, a set of tools and questions that they utilize to be a better partner with their technology expert

To hear more about how digital businesses like Amazon innovate across entire the entire value-chain and John Rossman’s thoughts on how to make wise bets on new business ideas,  download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

John Rossman, Digital and Innovation Advisor

Mr. Rossman is an expert at digital business models, operations and organizing programs. He has led engagements on developing innovation processes, Internet of Things strategies, marketplace and API driven platform business models.

He is a sought after speaker on creating a culture of operational excellence and innovation.

Mr. Rossman has worked with clients across various industries, including retail, insurance, education, healthcare, consumer products, industrial products and transportation.

Mr. Rossman’s notable assignments include The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft, Nordstrom and several of the world’s leading retail and insurance organizations.

Prior to Rossman Partners, John was a Managing Director at Alvarez and Marsal, a performance improvement consulting firm.

Prior to A&M, John was an executive at Amazon.com where he launched the Marketplace business and third party selling platform, and ran the merchant services business.

Links:

Linkedin: John Rossman

Book: The Amazon Way

Twitter: @johnerossman

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.

113 Netflix’s Founding CEO Marc Randolph

113 Netflix’s Founding CEO Marc Randolph

Category King Marc Randolph, the founding CEO of Netflix, joins us today for a stunning conversation about business and life. He’s got a legendary bestseller out called That Will NEVER Work: The Birth of Netflix and the Amazing Life of an Idea, which he also talks about in this episode.

This is the first in a special two-part series about two of the most legendary category king companies in the world now Netflix and Amazon. Next episode is with John Rossman, author of “Think Like Amazon.”

Book: That Will Never Work

After nearly 16 years after he left Netflix, Marc Randolph talks about his book That Will Never Work. He candidly shares that all those years waiting for the right time to write a book helped him to gain perspective.

First, he says he is wiser business-wise as he worked with a lot of startup companies in the past 16 years. He says he can now identify patterns as they emerge and can safely say he can tell between what works and will not.

“The other cool thing that came out of waiting was, being able to look back and be honest about myself. To really say, ‘I don’t care how it’s perceived. I want this to be a real true portrayal of what it’s like in a startup.’” – Marc Randolph

Remembering Moments, Not Details

Marc also shares that he tried to get it right, but since he is writing about events that took place around 20 years ago, he shares how ridiculous it would be to remember every line and dialogue that he featured in the book.

He also shares he focused on remembering the moments, especially the mood of the conversations that he had. Christopher even remarked a portion of the book where Marc wrote: “This is a memoir, not a documentary. This is kind of how I remember things. I’m not trying to get it 100% right.”

Everything is Intermingled

Christopher chides with Marc on the part where he mentions that personal life intermingles with business life. Marc stressed the importance of devoting time for spouses and kids, as this is a realistic portrayal of a startup.

“I think part of being successful is having balance in your life. I preach about culture is not about what you say, it’s what you do. So I wanted to show how we did it, how do you really have balance in your life.” – Marc Randolph

To hear more about life and business lessons from Netflix Founding CEO Marc Randolph, download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

Marc Randolph is a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. As co-founder and founding CEO of Netflix, he laid much of the groundwork for a service that’s grown to 150 million subscribers and fundamentally altered how the world experiences media.

He also served on the Netflix board of directors until retiring from the company in 2003.

Marc’s career as an entrepreneur spans four decades.

He’s founded or co-founded six other successful startups, mentored hundreds of early-stage entrepreneurs, and as an investor has helped seed dozens of successful tech ventures (and just as many unsuccessful ones).

Most recently, he co-founded analytics software company Looker Data Sciences, which was recently purchased by Google for $2.6 billion.

Outside of the tech and startup world, Marc sits on the boards of Chubbies Shorts, Augment Technologies, the environmental advocacy group 1% For The Planet, and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), which he’s been involved with for most of his life.

A resident of Santa Cruz, California, Marc travels and speaks all over the world, and still probably manages to go surfing more than you do.

Links:

Website: Marc Randolph

Twitter: @mbrandolph

Linkedin: marcrandolph

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.

110 Startup Marketing: Viviana Faga Emergence Capital

110 Startup Marketing: Viviana Faga Emergence Capital

We have another riveting and insightful episode today with Viviana Faga, Operating Partner at Emergence Capital. She is in-charge of marketing and helped create over 150B in new market cap. Today she shares some of her amazing experiences working both with startups and VCs.

The Importance of Marketing

Viviana Faga worked in Senior Marketing roles with companies like Salesforce.com and Zoom Communications. She was the Head of Marketing at Yammer and pioneered the enterprise social space.

At the moment, she coaches CEOs and Founders and leads them in finding the importance of marketing in scaling their businesses.

“You just got $5-15M and you’re thinking, ‘where do I want to spend my money? I want to spend money on building my product and I don’t know who to hire? Why should I hire a marketer? It just seems like one big massive waste.’ That’s what I deal with and those are the kind of questions that I get everyday.” – Viviana Faga

The Best Doesn’t Always Win

Viv narrates her current client who has a great product, but is currently in a category that his competition built. Viv find it fascinating to explain that the best products doesn’t always win. If a CEO doesn’t believe in this, the CEO then finds himself in a never ending cycle of “catch-up.”

“There are plenty of cases where it does. The company just sort of takes off, without great marketing. We’ve seen that. But for the most part, in the competitive market, if you don’t define the category, if you don’t create it, you’re going to really struggle because now you’re gonna look like you’re playing catch up.” – Viviana Faga

Viv advises her clients that the company will never be able to catch up if they continue copying the competition’s message.

“You have to change the game. Come up with completely new messaging. You have to go so hard at writing that message ⁠— from your press releases, website and sales collateral. Every single piece of content that is external facing has to speak this new language.” – Viviana Faga

CEOs Who Listen 

Viviana was proud to say that she embedded herself into her client’s company. Other than this, she believes that she can only help those who are willing to listen. She narrated how she turned down the CEO of Yammer, twice.

“It was hard to turn him down, but obviously he convinced me. I wanted to work for a CEO who understood the value of marketing and after that conversation, I wasn’t so sure but a lot of folks from Salesforce have gone there. It’s our job to convince him Sales & Marketing matter.” – Viviana Faga

To hear more about  Startup Marketing: Viviana Faga Emergence Capital and more relevant information about Viviana Faga, download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

Viviana brings over fifteen years of experience designing and building brand categories for successful cloud/SaaS and enterprise social companies, helping them create scalable growth engines that drive successful exits.

Her particular passions are scaling and structuring go-to-market SaaS teams, messaging and positioning, category creation, freemium product strategy, and sales enablement.

Before joining Emergence, Viviana served as VP of marketing for Yammer, where she defined the enterprise social category. After Yammer’s $1.2B acquisition by Microsoft, she became its head of marketing for enterprise social, which included Office 365, Skype, and Lync. She also spent over six years at Salesforce, where she launched several key product initiatives. Additionally, she was the VP of marketing for Platfora (now Workday) and the CMO of Zenefits.

Links:

Emergence Capital – Viviana Faga

Linkedin – Viviana Faga

Twitter – Viv Faga

103 The Power of an IPO with Eric Yuen

011 The Perception of your product is your product

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.

108 Top 1% of Enterprise Technology Investors Bruce Cleveland 

108 Top 1% of Enterprise Technology Investors Bruce Cleveland

As we continue our run on legendary VCs, we feature today Bruce Cleveland, an entrepreneur, executive, venture capital investor and best selling author of Traversing the Traction Gap. We have a fun and insightful conversation today about the state of enterprise tech and why its the best place to create enduring value. We also touch important points on digital transformation and a lot more!

Legendary VCs

Joining our list of legendary VCs that we have featured on Follow Your Different is Bruce Cleveland. He joins Randy Komisar (Episode 106) and Heidi Roizen (upcoming episode). He is the founding partner of Wildcat Ventures which has been rated in the top 1% of enterprise technology investors on the planet.

At the moment, he is taking up his Masters Degree at John Hopkins University, America’s first research university. He took up Digital Communication, which he feels would be beneficial for writing content for his succeeding books. 

Enterprise Tech Scene

Bruce shares a number of important insights into the enterprise tech scene. Furthermore, he shares that the valuations of companies of public SAS companies or tech companies selling into enterprise using a subscription model are reflective of the enduring value.

Additionally, he cites examples of consumer companies that require a tremendous amount of capital, as opposed to enterprise companies, which require much less.

“Consumers require so much capital, not a fund to build a product but to build the market share.” – Bruce Cleveland

Enterprise vs. Consumer Company

Bruce shares what investors are looking for enterprise and consumer companies. The MOIC or The Multiple On Investment Capital is nominally better in an enterprise. However, he mentions that the issue is these enterprise companies take longer to build up. 

“You don’t get those big mark up in the first 2 years, as the company began to scale and show minimum viable traction. The important part here is a lot of limited partners, people who invest in venture firms. They want to see early mark up in your funds.” – Bruce Cleveland

These investors want to see great markups to show the committee that the firm is of great financial health. However, they don’t inform the committee how much money they need to get the company “out of the door.”

“They are extraordinarily capital intensive, and the multiple uninvested capitals are high. A lot of these things are faddish. They may work initially, I don’t know, they can move in other areas. Then they’ll be okay, but a lot of times, these things can come and go.” – Bruce Cleveland

To hear more about the Top 1% of Enterprise Technology Investor Bruce Cleveland, download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

Bruce Cleveland is a Founding Partner at Wildcat. He focuses on investments in AI marketing, EdTech, enterprise software as a service (SaaS) and the Internet of Things (IoT). 

He’s also the author of Traversing the Traction Gap.

His specific areas of interest include enterprise automation, education and training, and general business applications. Bruce likes working with early-stage companies that use technology and data to increase revenue and decrease costs.

An avid adventurer and sailor, Bruce enjoy the challenge of creating new companies and navigating new markets. 

He is interested in growing entrepreneurial hubs outside of Silicon Valley, with a particular focus on the Pacific Northwest. 

Bruce also is committed to sharing his knowledge and experience through the Traction Gap Framework™. This aims to help entrepreneurs navigate the critical go-to-market period between initial product release (IPR) and reaching minimal viable traction (MVT).

As a son of school teachers, Bruce supports continued education. 

He founded GreenFig to offer applied business science training to higher-ed students and individuals in job transition.

Bruce held senior executive roles in engineering, product management and product marketing. He worked with companies, such as Apple, AT&T, Oracle, and Siebel Systems.

In this role, Forbes and IDC credited him with creating the most effective B2B alliance program in the software industry. 

Bruce began his venture capital career at InterWest Partners, where he was the first investor and a former board member of Marketo. The company held an IPO in 2013 and was acquired by Vista Equity Partners in 2016 for $1.8 billion.

Bruce attended the United States Military Academy, West Point, and received a B.S. in business administration from CSU, Sacramento.

Links:

Wild Cat 

Traction Gap

Linkedin – Bruce Cleveland

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.

107 How FanDuel Became a Category King & The Future of Podcasting w/ Nigel Eccles

107 How FanDuel Became a Category King & The Future of Podcasting w/ Nigel Eccles

Our guest is the legendary entrepreneur Nigel Eccles. He’s the founder of Fan Duel, the category king in Daily fantasy sports. We go deep on how Fan Duel created and ultimately dominated this mega category.

We also talk about how they created a super-engaged community and how they explored podcast advertising to promote the brand. Nigel explains why he thinks podcasting is a massive new opportunity. In fact, it is one of his motivations why he started his new company, Flick.

FanDuel Fantasy Sports

Forbes reports that daily Fantasy Games is growing at 41% annually, and will be $14.4 billion category in 2020. This brought together five lads from Edinburg Scotland to join this trend. They created FanDuel back in 2009 as they wanted to create a simple platform for fantasy sports enthusiasts.

“We wanted to build something that is so simple and even we can play and I think actually is a big part of the success of the company.” – Nigel Eccles

Building Communities

Nigel narrated how they started FanDuel 10 years ago. When they started FanDuel, Fantasy Sports was played by 25 million people in North America. Their main motivation was creating a sort of community with the same interests — a platform that would connect individuals, not only with friends but with tens of thousands of people.

“It started to connect people who were players. It started to build a community. People want to do it more and more because they want to show they were the best in the community.” – Nigel Eccles

Nigel shares his tips for entrepreneurs when building a community. He advises to first, think about the direct connection you can have with customers and what mechanism can you use to establish that connection. Secondly, entrepreneurs must think about how these customers can connect with each other.

Podcast Advertising

As FanDuel was starting, Nigel and the other founders realized the user base is not growing. Their CMO planned to execute several advertising campaigns, mostly focusing on radio and podcasting. With a great product and innovative advertising, the business grew largely.

“The great thing about FanDuel is, anybody who listens to sports radio was a sports fan.” – Nigel Eccles

Nigel and his team tried a lot of different formats on radio and podcast advertising. They had endorsements and games, where listeners get to compete with the hosts. Christopher shared a lot of information about podcasting and how huge the opportunity is for advertising.

“Podcasting is an enormous opportunity. It is hugely unmonetized. It is one of the best advertising mediums today because there’s a connection with the host. It’s such a strong endorsement. The best hosts only sell what they believe in.” – Nigel Eccles

To hear more about how FanDuel became a Category King and the future of podcasting, and more relevant information about Nigel, download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

Nigel has vast startup experience and was previously the co-founder and CEO of FanDuel, one of Scotland’s first unicorn companies.

Links:

The Flick App

Linkedin – Nigel Eccles

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes! Get amazing, different stories on business, marketing, and life. Subscribe to our newsletter The Difference.

016 Category Creation Courage

016 Category Creation Courage

In today’s episode, Christopher Lochhead talks about why courage is a critical ingredient for legendary marketing and category design. He poses the question: “What does it take to make legendary marketing happen?” and he shares some except his book Niche Down to answer this.

Break From The Pack

What does it take to break from the pack? The pack, which usually means the general public, the people who think and does the same kind of marketing. What do we need to enable us to design a category and from then, execute to dominate that category?

On Christopher’s second book, Niche Down, co-writer Heather Clancy wrote some very important pointers in creating a category

“I hope you find it informative and inspiring as it relates to summoning the courage to actually do something legendary, design and dominate a category.” – Christopher Lochhead

Excerpts from Niche Down

Heather Clancy wrote in the book:

Category design actually requires going against that pack mentality. Humans have a primordial need to feel safe in numbers. We get a lot of positive feedback from being the same as others. Our challenge to you is to break from the pack. Free the creative part, the innovative part,the legendary part of you — and let that part be different.

Our dream is that you harness the exponential power of what makes you different versus the incrementalism of just being better. Because it is being different that makes a difference. And we know how tough that can be.

“Kermit The Frog” famously sang: “It’s not easy being green.”

Bill Walton, the NBA legend commiserates: “In life, things go wrong. In life, things collapse….People try to drag you down and people try to say ‘No’ to you.”

He goes on to posit, “I want to live in a world of ‘Yes’.” Of course, there will be a lot of “losery” along the way.  To be legendary is to be ready for setbacks, disappointments and failures.

Because shit happens. Sometimes, life can be crushing. We’ve both been crushed more times than we can count. It’s okay to be a loser.

We all are. Failure is our teacher. Failure is our friend. Failure is our coach. Failure gives us humility. Failure gives us grit. Failure gives us a foundation. Losing is an essential ingredient for being legendary. Every time we lose we have a choice.

Give up.

Or, take the loss head on, learn from it and execute like a badass legend.

It Takes Courage to be Legendary

What Heather and Christopher are trying to communicate is the “emotional or psychological” barrier in doing legendary marketing. To put it simply, it takes a lot of courage to be legendary. Courage is moving forward in pursuing your plans, even though a lot of evidence states it won’t work.

Christopher cited his other podcast, Follow Your Different as an example. Regardless of what the experts in the podcasting industry were telling him — that business people will not listen to a long-form, unedited conversation podcast — FYD has become a top 200 overall charting podcast in the United States.

“If you believe in the problem you’re solving and you believe in your vision, then go with it. Be different, stick to it and have the courage to be legendary and execute like a badass legend.” – Christopher Lochhead

To hear more about Category Creation Courage and more relevant information from Christopher Lochhead, download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

Christopher Lochhead is a Top 25 podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; was the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

Links:

Lochhead.com

Niche Down: Become Legendary Different 

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

015 Product-Market Fit Is A Dangerous Idea

Product Market Fit Is A Dangerous Idea

In most industries, product-market fit is an unquestioned gospel, even in Silicon Valley. On the contrary, Christopher believes that product-market fit is a dangerous idea. Why? Because legendary marketers create and design their own category, as opposed to competing in an existing category.

Product-Market Fit

In the tech startup world, achieving product-market fit is often considered a major milestone. However, Christopher argues that product-market fit is one of the most dangerous ideas in business today.

“The problem with product-market fit is that language can trick marketers into thinking that what you’re doing is building a product and you’re trying to fit it in a market.” – Christopher Lochhead

Legendary creators are not looking to “fit” into a market, instead, they want to stand out. Standing out means to design their own market category.

Category King and Queens

Christopher cites some of the category kings and queens of today. Think about Jeff Bezos, he is equated with the term eCommerce, just as we equate Pablo Picasso with Cubism. We also have Sara Blakely of Spanx, who created her own category of Shapeware, not just trying to fit into the girdle category.

“Think about the most respected entrepreneurs, creators, and innovators. a huge part of why we all respect them is because they broke or took new ground.” – Christopher Lochhead

Some other great examples are AirBNB, which presented a new idea and experience for tourists and travelers. Another one is Evian, who deviated from the idea that water is free. Red Bull also dominated their energy drink category, as opposed to hydration drinks, where Gatorade was category king.

 “The greatest innovators teach the world to think differently. With a fresh idea, a new take on an old problem or by solving a problem we didn’t even know we had.” – Christopher Lochhead

Where the Challenge Lies

The challenge of product-market fit is, it can trap inventors and creators into thinking that they can test their product and service to people and f they consume it, they equate it to the future success of the product. If these people do not consume the product intuitively, then they can just go back and work on the product.

This is in opposition to Henry Ford’s mindset who said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Moreover, even Steve Jobs has the same ideas on product-market fit, saying “customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.”

“The big ah-ha here is that there is a massive distinction between fitting into an existing market category and competing versus creating your own new market category.” – Christopher Lochhead

To hear more about why Product-Market Fit Is A Dangerous Idea and more relevant information from Christopher Lochhead, download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

Christopher Lochhead is a Top 25 podcaster and #1 Amazon bestselling co-author of books: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

He has been an advisor to over 50 venture-backed startups; a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO and an entrepreneur.

Furthermore, he has been called “one of the best minds in marketing” by The Marketing Journal, a “Human Exclamation Point” by Fast Company, a “quasar” by NBA legend Bill Walton and “off-putting to some” by The Economist.

In addition, he served as a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard acquired the company in 2006, for $4.5 billion.

He also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD; was the founding CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient, and served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

Links:

Quora: How do you define Product-Market Fit?

Lochhead.com

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

103 The Power of an IPO w/ Eric Yuan, Founder of Zoom Communications

103 The Power of an IPO w/ Eric Yuan, Founder of Zoom Communications

This is the first in a special two-part series featuring two CEO’s of two recent multi-billion IPOs—Jennifer Tejada, CEO of Pager Duty and billionaire, founder and CEO of Zoom Communications, the amazing Eric Yuan.

Today’s episode features an insightful conversation about how Eric feels like to have a super successful IPO. Eric further shares Zoom’s culture centered on happiness and his motivation, mission and vision for Zoom and much more.

Culture of Happiness

Eric Yuan guested at Christopher’s previous podcast, Legends and Losers Episode 032. As of recording time, Zoom Communications raised $357M in IPO and is a $20+ billion market cap company.

“When I wake up, the first person I ask is myself. Do I feel happy or not? I encourage our employees to ask the same questions. Ultimately, if our employee is not happy, I’m pretty sure they cannot give happiness to our customers. That’s why we keep the happiness culture here.” – Eric Yuan

Christopher cited some amazing data from GlassDoor. Employees rated Zoom 4.8, 5 being the highest. On the question “would you recommend Zoom to a friend, as a great place to work,” 95% said yes. Lastly, on CEO approval, 97% of the respondents said they approve of the way Eric runs the business.

“I think based on that, I should focus on the 3% and plus the 5% why they do not recommend us too. Again, we always like all those feedback to help us become a better company.” – Eric Yuan

Zoom: The Game Changer

Christopher admires how Eric runs his company and how he epitomizes everything great about entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation. He has changed the game in the B2B space in North American and now, internationally. As Christopher says, Zoom has made impossible, possible, such as the ability to work from home and collaborate with the team in different countries.

“I truly feel we just started. We look at our user base and our customer base, compared to the number of knowledge workers worldwide, I think we just started. A huge opportunity ahead of us. How to connect workers worldwide, if you look at the total market, it’s also huge. Look at our revenue, we just started.” – Eric Yuan

Vision and Mission for Zoom

In the next 5 years, Eric candidly shares that he visualizes Zoom to give people a whole new experience in meeting and communicating, even aiming to replace the whole face to face meeting.

“We truly believe data communication is the future, video is the new voice. In the future, no matter where you are, no matter which device you are using, just one click, you can talk with anyone in the world. You can speak on your language and understand with real-time translation.” – Eric Yuan 

Christopher also discusses with Eric the amazing marketing strategies that they employ, especially the huge advertisements in major airports in the US.

“They should leverage our technology. Since it’s good for the family and good for society as well. Our goal is to make sure our existing customer is happy. Whenever they travel, [we remind them] you already have Zoom, why do you travel often?” – Eric Yuan

To hear more about The Power of an IPO, and to learn more information about Eric Yuan, Founder of Zoom Communications, download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

Prior to founding Zoom, Eric was corporate vice president of engineering at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco’s collaboration software development. Eric was one of the founding engineers and vice president of engineering at Webex. Between 1997 and 2011, he grew his team from 10 engineers to more than 800 worldwide and contributed to revenue growth from $0 to more than $800M.

In 2017, Eric was added to the Business Insider list of the 52 Most Powerful People in Enterprise Tech. In 2018, he was named the #1 CEO of a large US company by Glassdoor and EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Northern California (software category). Eric is a named inventor on 11 issued and 20 pending patents in real-time collaboration.

Eric earned a certification from the Stanford University Executive Program.

Links:

LinkedIn: Eric Yuan

Zoom US

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!

012 Category Creation Economics 101

012 Category Creation Economics 101

In this episode, Christopher Lochhead talks about the powerful, surprising winner-take-all realities of categories and why you want to be the category queen/king in your market. Christopher layout facts and data on category creation economics that you’ll find beneficial for your business, whether you’re in the tech industry or not.

Winner Takes All

In Christopher’s first book Play Bigger, they wrote about a research project they conducted on thousands of tech start-ups from 2000 to 2015, determining the market cap or valuation. Specifically, they wanted to know the percentage of the total value goes to the leader or category queen. In reality, one company gets 2/3 for the entire market category.

“The study shows that category queens earned 76 percent of the market capitalization of their entire market categories.” – Christopher Lochhead

Christopher’s good friend, Bob Evans said: “every company is a software company.” Tech company dynamics are now applicable to non-tech companies.

VCs “Me Too Strategy”

Christopher quoted a portion from his book Play Bigger. VCs oftentimes fall for the Me Too strategy where every firm would invest in some company in an emerging category, thinking it will succeed just like the first one who did.

“In Silicon Valley, we’ve watched venture capitalists (VCs) increasingly adopt a category king investment philosophy. Paul Martino of Bullpen Capital notes that VCs used to have a “me-too” strategy.  If a start-up hit it big and opened up a hot new category, the many VC firms in Silicon Valley assumed that there was room for a lot of winners in that category.” – Christopher Lochhead, Play Bigger

Furthermore, Paul Martino tells us “it’s now apparent that one company wins big and dominates a healthy c0ategory, and the rest struggle, get acquired or perish. That means that as soon as one company appears to be the category king, the smart money competes to invest in that company, bidding up its value.”

Category Creation is the Ultimate Strategy

Christopher’s friend and category guru to Fortune 500 companies Eddie Yoon wrote for Harvard Business Review on the financial impacts of category creation.

He reported that “top 20 firms in Fortune‘s 2010 list of fastest-growing companies received $3.40 in incremental market capitalization for every $1.00 of revenue growth. Half the top 20 companies grew via category creation. Wall Street exponentially rewards the category creation companies, giving them $5.60 in incremental market capitalization for $1.00 in revenue growth.”

“No matter how you want to look at it, the bottom line is category kings take the vast majority of economics and are massively rewarded for becoming the category queen of the space.” – Christopher Lochhead

To hear more about the category creation economics 101 and more relevant information from Christopher Lochhead, download and listen to the episode.

Bio:

Christopher advised over 50 venture-backed startups. He is a Venture Capital Limited Partner and a former three-time Silicon Valley public company CMO, entrepreneur. In addition, he co-authored two bestsellers: Niche Down and Play Bigger.

After he flunked school, with few other options, Christopher started his first company at the age of 18.

He was a chief marketing officer of software juggernaut Mercury Interactive. Hewlett-Packard, in 2006, acquired that company for $4.5 billion.

Further, he also co-founded the marketing consulting firm LOCHHEAD. Christopher was the founder/CMO of Internet consulting firm Scient. He also served as head of marketing at the CRM software firm Vantive.

Christopher loves his family and friends. He thinks the Ramones are legendary and loves riding the mountains and waves of Northern California.

Links:

Book: Play Bigger

Category Creation Is the Ultimate Growth Strategy

Fortune‘s 2010 list of fastest-growing companies

Lochhead.com

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Lochhead on Marketing™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!