Is Zalando a Disruptive Company?

As Marc Andreessen succinctly put it: “Software is eating the world” – disrupting markets and obsoleting traditional players in ever more markets.

As Steve Blank and Bob Dorf highlighted, this is happening in two distinct ways: by just moving to a digital sales channel (i.e. selling over the Internet), or by making the product itself digital.

In both cases, the transition is disruptive to the respective market, but I believe there’s a big, qualitative difference in the impact of the disruption – a difference that is easily overlooked but that is fundamental to company valuation.

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Lean Startup News: 1st Leancamp in Stuttgart and more …

Lean Startup is becoming more and more mainstream in the startup world in Germany as well, and consequently, the first Leancamp in Stuttgart is coming up on August 3. There’s a new software app that supports Lean Startup in the enterprise, and Lean Startup made it on the cover of the Harvard Business Review.

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Product Management Festival – Take Advantage of Special Promotion until July 14


A couple weeks ago, I shared my excitement about a really special upcoming event: the  Product Management Festival that will take place in Zurich from September 16-19.

I am thrilled to see that finally, there will be a European conference that is dedicated to the product management profession and that is focused on product management for complex products, product lines, technology products, and software.

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Internet Finds for Growth Companies: On Scaling and Exiting

This week, I present three internet finds that should be interesting for for growth companies: a deep, insightful blog post by Ben Horowitz, explaining why Andreessen Horowitz prefers to scale their portfolio companies under the reign of the founding CEO – instead of putting in a professional CEO. A recent article claiming that IPOs have become less attractive as an exit option. And several stunning infographics from LUMA Partners related to scaling and exiting.

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1st Product Management Festival in Europe – Registration Starts

Product Management Festival 2013

Product Management Festival 2013

Registration just opened for the first Product Management Festival that will take place in September in Zurich. A limited amount of early bird tickets is available on a “first come, first serve” basis.

This new conference will provide an excellent learning experience and networking opportunity for product managers and decision makers in the software industry – in a truly special way.

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Leveraging the Power of Strategic Business Development – The Loudcloud/Opsware Case Study

Connections

© Pitopia, Foto-Ruhrgebiet, 2012

In a recent interview, M&A expert Harald Maehrle explained what companies can do proactively to prepare for a potential sale of their business. One key recommendation is to proactively build meaningful relationships with potential strategic buyers.

Building these relationships is part of a broader set of activities called “Strategic Business Development”.

In 2012, John O’Farrell, partner at Andreessen Horowitz and former executive at Loudcloud/Opsware, published a series of blog posts defining strategic business development and demonstrating its power to turn potential failure points into triumphs:

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How to Avoid Costly Mistakes When Selling Your Company

An Interview with Harald Maehrle, Mummert & Company – Part II

Harald Maehrle, Managing Partner, Mummert & Company

Harald Maehrle

This is the second part of an interview with Harald Maehrle, partner at Mummert & Company, a leading corporate finance consultancy firm headquartered in Munich.

In the first part, Mr. Maehrle shared his perspective on the exit situation in the European technology sector. Now we’ll focus on the stages of the M&A process and what a company’s leaders can do to prepare for selling their company.

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Why M&A is the Preferred Exit Option for Technology Companies

An Interview with Harald Maehrle, Mummert & Company – Part I

Back in March, I participated in the 8th Technology Day, the annual conference for innovation and corporate financing in Munich, organized by Mummert & Company in cooperation with the Munich Network. That’s where I met Harald Maehrle, partner at Mummert & Company, a leading corporate finance consultancy firm headquartered in Munich. Mr. Maehrle presented a great overview on the exit options for European technology companies.

Harald Maehrle, Managing Partner, Mummert & Company

Harald Maehrle

A very interesting topic indeed, and so I thank Mr. Maehrle for sitting down with me for an interview to share his perspective on the exit situation in the European technology sector, and what companies can do to prepare for an M&A deal.

This is the first part of our interview – focusing on exit options for European technology companies.

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IBM’s Earnings Miss – Evidence for the “Consumerization of IT”

On April 18, IBM announced quarterly results – and for the first time in eight years missed analyst expectations.

Top-line numbers are declining across the board: quarterly revenue was down 5% year-over-year (3% in constant currency), hardware revenue down 17% (16% in constant currency), and services revenue down 4% (1% in constant currency).

Some new businesses showed respectable revenue growth: for example, cloud revenue up 70% YoY, but these were too small to offset the decline from the larger legacy businesses.

A frequently heard conclusion in the market: this must show a weakness in the overall IT industry:

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Why B2B Software Companies Still Offer Professional Services

In a couple previous posts I highlighted that digital business models are characterized by low cost of revenue, resulting in low marginal costs. Therefore, they can generate profit margins that are not possible with traditional business models.

But what about support and professional services?

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