Takeaways

Takeaways

A takeaway is a statement that is:

  • Memorable –Worth recalling and disseminating
  • High quality – Succinct, clear, jargon-free, expressed in plain language and resonates with entrepreneurs
  • Self-contained – Contains all parts necessary for completeness

 

A takeaway is not:

  • A list of things that should not be done
  • Summary of things you can read on your own
  • Phrase that entrepreneurs won’t understand
  • Information that is not central to scaling
  • Repetition of other takeaways

 

The takeaways in the Takeaways Inventory were produced by:

  • Entrepreneurs who attended seminars and workshops organized by Lead To Win (Ottawa, Canada), Ventures for Canada (Ottawa, Canada), Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (Bhubaneswar, India), Student Startup and Innovation Policy (Ahmedabad, India), International Society for Professional Innovation Management (Ottawa, Canada), Carleton University (Toronto, Canada), University of International Business and Economics (Beijing and Shenzhen, China), The Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit (Abuja, Nigeria), and the University of Lagos (Lagos, Nigeria)
  • Carleton University students who attended lectures for TIMG 5002 Technology Entrepreneurships, TIMG 5103 Advanced Topics in Technology Innovation Management, TIMG 5201 Technology and Wealth, and BUSI 4810 Practicum in Business Creation in the Winter, Summer and Fall terms of 2019

Topic Model Result of Takeaways – November 24 2019

Four Topics

Results of topic modelling suggest that four topics occur in the 395 takeaways provided in the Takeaways Inventory as of November 24, 2019.

The four topics are denoted,

  1. Scale company while delivering compelling offers to customers, investors and other stakeholders
  2. Pursue a good cross-border opportunity, develop a compelling image of the desired company in the future, combine and recombine external and internal resources, deliver portfolio of innovative products and services, and continuously improve people and operations
  3. Implement a governance model to scale, protect against the unauthorized use of electronic data, and operate the right channels to reach customers
  4. Implement processes to attain scale and access mentors, training and information

You can download a summary of the topic model and the 395 takeaways available as of November 24, 2019 and produce your own topic models.

 

Topic 1. Scale company while delivering compelling offers to customers, investors and other stakeholders

Topic 1 is anchored on the words: customer-investor-offer. The words more likely to appear in Topic 1 than in other topics include: investor, offer, stakeholder, sale, problem, investment, price, customer. Topic 1 has one coherent word: Customer.

106 takeaways were categorized in Topic 1 at a .6 threshold level.

The five takeaways with the highest coherence to Topic 1 include,

  1. Company grew, but did NOT scale, when: i) Company grew revenue and simultaneously increased its operating costs (e.g., sales, marketing, administrators, R&D) at the same or a higher rate or ii) Venture’s last sale required same amount of time and effort as the previous sale
  2. Make increasing the spread between the price customers pay for an offer and the cost of producing and delivering the offer the company’s top scaling priority
  3. Pay more attention to online sales than to physical brick-and-mortar sales stores relative to competitors
  4. To increase the spread between price per unit and cost per unit, i) Increase customers’ willingness to pay for a unit of your product or service or ii) Decrease operating costs by outsourcing what others can do better and automating
  5. Develop and sell products that address a problem, job to be done or a need that is shared by a large and growing number of individuals and organizations in various regions to increase sales

 

Topic 2. Pursue a good cross-border opportunity, develop a compelling image of the desired company in the future, combine and recombine external and internal resources, deliver portfolio of innovative products and services, and continuously improve people and operations

Topic 2 is anchored on the words: resource-develop-opportunity. The words more likely to appear in Topic 2 than in other topics include: resource, improve, develop, border, idea, opportunity, ecosystem. Topic 2 has one coherent word: Resource.

93 takeaways were categorized in Topic 2 at a .6 threshold level.

The 5 takeaways with the highest coherence to Topic 2 include,

  1. Manage cross-border units as operations that are interdependent in terms of information, funding and efficiencies and guided by a coordinated strategy to increase value
  2. An idea is not an opportunity and an opportunity is not a good opportunity. You can scale companies that exploit good opportunities, not those that exploit opportunities or ideas
  3. Provide evidence that: i) Your cross-border opportunity is a good opportunity; ii) Your company can generate revenue and capture a portion of it; and Your company can scale
  4. Increase value by arranging and directing a community comprised of groups that are external and internal to the company and connect everything needed to scale
  5. Increase demand of products and services by combining two or more resources in a way that the value created from them exceeds the sum of the value created from each resource separately

 

Topic 3. Implement a governance model to scale, protect against the unauthorized use of electronic data, and operate the right channels to reach customers

Topic 3 is anchored on the words: governance-cybersecurity- employee. The words more likely to appear in Topic 3 than in other topics include: governance, board, structure, attack, employee, channel. Topic 3 has one coherent word: Governance.

36 takeaways were categorized in Topic 3 at a .6 threshold level.

The five takeaways with the highest coherence to Topic 3 include,

  1. Understand that cybersecurity is a corporate-wide challenge and that due diligence must be carried out from the CEO to the lowliest employee
  2. Keep employees informed with regards to corporate cybersecurity policies and government regulations
  3. Small companies are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than larger companies due to a larger attack surface
  4. To scale up, i) Upgrade capacity of existing growth model that works; ii) Add automation and self-serve; iii) Retain compatibility — no substantial changes to growth model; iv) Reduce administrative efforts – manage a single model; v) Take advantage of today’s cost-effective and efficient technology; vi) Reduce operating costs
  5. A good theory explains a great number of facts and observations within a single model and makes predictions that are testable

 

Topic 4. Implement processes to attain scale and access mentors, training and information

Topic 4 is anchored on the words: Process-metric-performance. The words more likely to appear in Topic 4 than in other topics include: metric, performance, quality, access, preference, process. Topic 4 has one coherent word: Process.

35 takeaways were categorized in Topic 4 at a .6 threshold level.

The five takeaways with the highest coherence to Topic 4 include,

  1. Internet based capabilities are important. Intense use of the Internet to promote the company, acquire and retain customers product fulfillment and other growth-related activities and processes is a capability that is fundamental to scaling up
  2. To set a scaling objective, i) Identify the performance metric that needs to be improved significantly; ii) Identify two time periods, start and end; and iii) Identify the performance metrics that you wish to maintain the same or marginally higher
  3. To pitch novel products, use generalization type narratives. To pitch incremental products, use narratives that are o the following types: analogy, classification, generalization, cause, sign and authority
  4. Maintain close relationship with parent company around the development and application of core technology
  5. Produce a core product line (e.g., mobile phones) and other complementary products that resonate with its target market

Topic Model Result of Takeaways – September 20 2019

Three Topics

Results of topic modelling suggest that three topics occur in the 120 takeaways provided in the Takeaways Inventory as of September 20, 2019,

  1. Scale a good opportunity
  2. Engage with stakeholders
  3. Combine resources

You can download a summary of the topic model and the 120 takeaways available as of September 20, 2019 and produce your own topic models.

Topic 1. Scale a Good Opportunity

Topic 1 is anchored on the words: scale-company-opportunity.

Topic 1 focuses on what a new company does to scale.

To scale, a new company

  • addresses a problem that is widespread
  • overcomes issues to deliver
  • strengthens the identity of the company’s community
  • becomes part of ecosystems that are critical to scale
  • is led by entrepreneurs who are confident
  • relentlessly make things better all the time
  • attracts capital
  • develops the competencies required to win
  • expands brand coverage
  • develops a portfolio of value propositions, one for each stakeholder group
  • sets scaling objectives
  • eliminates intermediaries
  • makes decisions at an early stage that enables it to scale later

Topic 2. Engage With Stakeholders

Topic 2 is anchored on the words: product-customer-company.

Topic 2 focuses on what the company does to engage with stakeholders such as customers, users, investors, and network members.

To engage with customers, a new company,

  • knows its target audience before spending too much money on advertising
  • differentiates using variables other than price starting with the first product
  • sells benefits, not products or services
  • focuses on customer service
  • offers product variety
  • enters foreign markets
  • positions its products as delivering very high value and are offered at low prices

 

To engage with users, a new company,

  • operates a community anchored on a fan base
  • increases the number of users of its platform
  • enables users to promote the company’s products on different social media platforms before they are officially released

 

To engage with investors, a new company,

  • overcomes the fear that founders will lose control
  • raises money from various investor groups
  • creates value and captures it
  • makes increasing the spread between the price customers pay for an offer and the cost of producing and delivering the offer the company’s top scaling priority
  • makes money by solving a problem for customers who are willing to pay

 

To engage with network members, a new company,

  • becomes responsible for leadership positions in networks, communities or ecosystems
  • allows networks members to make money using its products and services

Topic 3. Combine Resources

Topic 3 is anchored on the words resource-sales-reduce.

Topic 3 focuses on the ways to combine resources to increase sales and decrease costs.

To scale, a new company,

  • scales up or out
  • convinces investors that they will receive significant profits in the future
  • pays more attention to online sales than to physical brick-and-mortar sales stores relative to competitors
  • combines company’s resources with the resources of other organizations to create value that can’t be created by the company working alone
  • forms, aligns and anchors the resources required regardless of location or boundaries
  • leverages one or more strong regional innovation ecosystems
  • optimizes its supply chain to reduce inventory costs to zero

 

 

Contributors
  • Tony Bailetti, TIM faculty
  • Rahul Yadav, TIM student