My LinkedIn Network

My LinkedIn Network

As we are working on the Enterprise Social Graph I discovered this nice visualizaton of my LinkedIn Network.



Would you be interested in overlaying this with your Email communication or Calendar data to help you build stronger relationships?

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Enterprise Social Graph

Are you interested in knowing how your organization really works and how departments are connected?
Identify bottlenecks and pain points in your employees networks and in the relationships with partners and vendors. Stay tuned here:

Department Communication

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My Startup Adventure History 2013

As we are currently validating a lot of our learning through Lean Startup Challenge, I want to capture some of my learnings, try-outs of pre-LSC time.

In April I applied at Masschallenge with the following idea/pitch in short:

A better EA Tool, SAAS offered with recommendation engine for IT Management improvements.

But this did not get the best ratings from Mentors, as not a lot of people understand EA and the problem/customer segment is a small & complicated market.

In August I founded SMART360°Biz with two things in mind:

  1. Being the North-American Branch of iteraplan – EA consulting and iteraplan implementations
  2. Getting a new product out

As the new product I bounced the following ideas off a couple people at Venture Café:

  • Enterprise Architecture for Small to Medium Businesses (EA 4 SMB)
  • Enterprise Architecture SAAS Tool with ongoing learning and SAAS integrations
  • ÜberTool – Corporate Management Suite enabling EA, PPM, GRC, …
  • CIO Dashboard
  • Corporate Social Graph
  • Green IT Manager

I got the feedback to focus and rather do something small, as we are bootstrapped. So an addon to one or more existing solutions or otherwise a smaller feature scope.

So we looked at EA 4 SMB (and did some prototyping through XWiki Applications) and CIO Dashboard:


But looking at market and effort both did not look too promising. So I thought with Lean Startup Challenge I’ll do another pivot and try the Enterprise Social Graph for this program. Maybe we got into the program, as the idea is out of the IT Silo and the mere cost cutting aspect of IT, but can also be seen as an enabler for revenue generation.

Let’s see if we pivot again in the near future 🙂

As always, feedback and help is appreciated!

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LeanStartupChallenge – Day 1

Lean Startup Challenge kicked off last Friday. After the first evening event with the intro pitching by each participating team (see My first 60 sec. pitch) thanks to sponsorship by Boston Globe, we had a workshop weekend. Saturday at Alphamark coworking.

Day one was Lean 101 by Brendan Kohler with a Lean Canvas exercise. It was a good overview of both the canvas and Lean Startup in general and good to work on the Canvas while being there and being able to ask questions/get feedbacks on thoughts.

So here is our Canvas from Day 1:

Lean Canvas - Day 1

And here our most riskiest assumptions:

  1. Problem exists – Do interview or market research!
  2. Customer Segments having this problem – Research? MVP and responses?
  3. Automated Solution fits market – MVP and responses?

Then it was Brian Gladstein on Customer Development (great slides!).

Based on this we worked out the following Hypothesis:

  • Customer
    • CEO
    • Magnitude: Big
    • Visionary: Yes
    • Day in life: Makes strategic decisions based on high-level data
    • Impacts: Whole Organization
    • ROI: Potentially big
    • Problem recognition: Yes
    • Minimum Feature Set: Google+, Visualizations, LDAP, Email, iteraplan
  • Product:
    • Features: Mail, Analysis, Visualization
    • Why?/Benefits: Analysis and Measurements to fix Organization
    • Schedule: Prototype End of October
    • IP: Algorithms, Prov. Patent, Trademark
    • TCO: Server, Admin, Orga, Consulting
    • Dependency: Other datasources (Email, LDAP, Social, iteraplan, …)
  • Distribution/Pricing
    • Distribution: SaaS or On-Premise
    • Sales Cycle: 6-9 months
  • Demand Creation
    • Web/Inbound
    • Cross-Selling from iteraplan
    • Partners?
    • Word of Mouth
    • Gartner/Forrester Analysts/Researchers
  • Type of Market
    • New Market?
    • Redefine existing Market?
  • Competition
    • Strategy Consultants
    • Data Scientist/Analytics in Corporations

Further Todos from the first day:

  1. Elaborate Customer:
    1. Personas
    2. Where they gather
    3. How to qualify
    4. Why they care/Problem Hypothesis
  2. Make a test plan:
    1. Which part of canvas?
    2. Who to test?
    3. How to reach?
    4. What is the test?
    5. Measure of success?

Mary-Alice Miller from mosaicHUB finished with some interesting Startup Resources.

That was the learning from Day 1 – Any feedback, help, pointers as always much appreciated. What are we missing? Who wants to help?

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My first 60 seconds pitch

This was my first pitch ever at the kickoff event of Lean Startup Challenge Boston:

We are SMART360°Biz.

We help organizations to know how they REALLY work.

By combining organizational structures (e.g. value chain, Process Map, IT Structures, …) with actual communication data like email and social collaboration tools.

This Enterprise Social Graph identifies cross-functional communication, best-practices and communication costs.

This helps organizations to align them with their strategy, improve processes and get more productive.

Let’s put the people back at the heart of our organizations!

Your thoughts? Feedback?

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Data Science will disrupt Strategy Consulting

I think Data Science will (partly) disrupt Strategy Consulting.

As I was thinking about the impact, benefit and pricing of my new venture with SMART360°Biz and the Enterprise Social Graph (which I am currently validating through the LeanStartupChallenge), it struck me:

  • We reduce the requirement from 10 Strategy Consultants to 1
  • We help customers see the missmatch of their current organization and their strategy
  • Through the use of data/visualizations based on graphs of their organization
  • Algorithmic findings/patterns
  • Recommendations help your organization to continously adapt and therefore reduce costs and risk of big change programms done by Strategy Consultants
  • … plus many more ideas.

And just as I found this to be a great pricing pitch, I stumbled upon this posting from Thomas on “Can data science disrupt strategy consulting?“.

So I said yes, what is your thought?

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What your EA Stakeholders do not care about

This is a list of things your EA Stakeholders do not care about. I always have to retell myself as well as tell clients:

  1. Business doesn’t care how clean your IT architecture is.
  2. Your stakeholders don’t care how long you spent on creating a report/diagram.
  3. Your stakeholders don’t care whose fault the problems are.
  4. Your stakeholders don’t care how great it will be once all the data is in the EA tool.
  5. EA stakeholders/Business/CIOs don’t care about how important this is to you.
  6. Your stakeholders don’t care what you think they should be interested in.
  7. Your stakeholders don’t care how amazing the next year will be after you completed all this data gathering.
  8. Your stakeholders don’t care what you expected or were promised (by a tool vendor/consultants).
  9. Your stakeholders don’t care how important this is to you.
  10. Your stakeholders don’t care how hard it was to get something run through an EARB (EA Review Board).
  11. Your stakeholders don’t care how easy it is for you to use this EA Tool.

Most of it is obvious and clear, but it still is worthwhile to be reminded of it and incorporate it into daily actions.

And you can always extend them, e.g.

  • Business doesn’t care how clean your IT architecture is, but how fast you can change something.

– Copy from what I blogged for SMART360°Biz.

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