With something as complex as a robot, can you still use short cycle innovation techniques like Lean Startup? The answer from Ira is a big "Yes" and he'll tell you more about how they do it at iRobot, makers of the widely popular (and super useful) robot vacuum, Roomba.
In this episode you'll hear how Amazon product manager Duygu Karaboncuk keeps their Woot property fresh and relevant for users. Duygu describes where and how she finds insights about how to improve customer experience and how she grooms and tests new ideas. You'll also hear about her use of Amazon's vaunted 'press release process' where PM's write a future press release to describe the impact of a new idea.
The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 5: Nastia Root (Google) on Finding the Right User for the Right Product
"We need to find the right user for the right product. That's my goal."
If you're interested in the role of 'growth product managers' or growth in general, tune in for a first hand perspective from Google product manager Nastia Root. In this interview, Nastia describes the role and focus of the growth PM. You'll hear about the ways she drives growth on Google for Work (formerly Google Apps) and how she arrived at the role of growth PM.
C-Suite insights, Episode 7: “How to End Information Inequality” Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth President Shamina Singh
Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth President Shamina Singh is leading a global effort to close the data divide between data “haves” and “have-nots” so that the two billion people who are not currently participating in the formal economy can access the technology and tools needed to benefit from modern financial services. In this Darden Ideas to Action C-Suite Insights interview with University of Virginia Darden School of Business Dean Scott Beardsley, Singh details the steps she and global leaders are taking to end information inequality, which she calls “the issue of our time.” From banking on smart phones to data-collection systems used to confirm the identity of people in developing countries who don’t even have birth certificates, Singh said there are incredible technologies available today in financial services, but that those technologies must be put to use to achieve results that improve financial inclusion.
C-Suite Insights, Episode 6: “New Technologies Changing the Luxury Car Business” Aston Martin Former CEO Ulrich Bez
Aston Martin former Chairman and former CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez sat down with University of Virginia Darden School of Business Dean Scott Beardsley to discuss the future of the luxury automaker, including how new technologies like electric vehicles, self-driving features and connected car features will change the iconic vehicles known for their custom craftsmanship. Bez also discusses the importance of Aston Martin’s relationship with the James Bond movie franchise and what new products customers will see from the company in the future.
What makes startups successful? Professors Raul Chao from Darden and Batten Fellow Rahul Basole from Georgia Tech discuss their research project, Visualizing the Startup Genome. This study brings together innovation science and computational toolkits to understand how the core elements of startup activities such as recruitment and financing, as well as the sequence of these events, relate to performance. Their project analyzes structured and unstructured data, as well as other forms of data such as images and video, to gain insights useful for innovation leaders. They also discuss the importance of data visualization for effective communication with a variety of stakeholders. Hosted by Erika Herz from Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
The Interdisciplinarian, Episode 4: Zach Mayo (RelishMBA) on Taking a Project From Idea to Tested Business Model
In this interview, you'll hear how RelishMBA co-founder Zach Mayo took his project from idea to tested business model. If you have a new idea and you're just dying to get some software built, don't listen to this interview because that's not what happened. Zach and his co-founder put their idea through the paces with minimum viable product (MVP) vehicles like PowerPoint and curated emails. Their idea changed substantially during the process and so did (ultimately) their software. If you want to hear about a lean, disciplined approach to new product development, tune in!
Cultivating successful relationships between enterprise software vendors and their customers is a challenge- you know if you've been there! The customer has a lot of moving parts and your job is to listen, consider, and deliver them a good outcome. That's why they came to you in the first place. In this episode, Oren talks about his process at Socialcast (a VMWare company), balancing customer input with data and purposeful experimentation to get the customer great outcomes.
Research & Relevance, Episode 3: The Economic Impact of Entrepreneurial Alumni - A Case Study of the University of Virginia
How can universities be a significant engine for economic growth in their local communities and beyond? In The Economic Impact of Entrepreneurial Alumni: A Case Study of the University of Virginia, researchers Michael Lenox, Andrew King and Asif Mehedi from Darden, along with Batten Fellow Charles Eesley from Stanford, look at the pathways by which universities help generate economic growth and create jobs. They examine–based on a survey undertaken in 2013–the entrepreneurial efforts of U.Va. alumni who have founded new ventures, been one of the first five employees, served on the governing or advisory board, or provided capital to the venture. Carefully extrapolated, the responses to the survey suggest that entrepreneurially active alumni have created approximately 65,000 companies, 2.3 million jobs, and estimated annual global revenues of $1.6 trillion. The researchers discuss the methodology, data visualization, and ramifications of their work. Hosted by Erika Herz of Darden’s Batten Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. For an overview, read the Darden News.
McKinsey & Co. Global Managing Partner Dominic Barton sat down with University of Virginia Darden School of Business Dean Scott Beardsley during a recent visit to the School for a Darden Ideas to Action C-Suite Insights interview where the two discussed the four key trends impacting McKinsey’s clients around the world. Barton explained how business model redesign, organizational change, the introduction of advanced technology and business resilience were burning issues for many companies, regardless of where they operate. Beardsley and Barton also discussed new models of leadership given vast global change for employees, MBA students and McKinsey clients.