Archive for August, 2021

Beware of Turbulence

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

                                                                                          By Roger La Salle



Business is about selling stuff!

There’s an old saying in business “Nothing happens until you sell something”.

How true this is. In business no matter what you develop, a product, service, App or software, there is little point unless you make a sale. After all the best definition of business is: “Creating wealth through profitable transactions”©rls. In short, sales need to be made.

In our previous blog we discussed some of the essential ingredients of a good idea. Now perhaps we can look at this from a slightly different perspective, the market and the rate of innovation.


The term market turbulence generally refers to volatility in the stock market, but that term may equally be used in relation to products and services and more particularly the rate of innovation.

Many years ago we became involved with a US based company that was investing heavily in a modular plug-in segment for computer mechanical hard drives. The idea being that as the drive became full you could replace a segment with a new piece, thus providing additional storage. The idea was steeped in technical challenges but good PR attracted a lot of investors. The outcome unfortunately was a dismal failure. The rate of change or, as we prefer to say, turbulence in that market, especially computer memories in the mid 1990’s was incredible.

A costly example

In Australia the National Broadband Network, (NBN) rollout across the vast continent of Australia represented a massive investment, underpinned by fibre technology that required a physical connection to each customer.

A physical connection – wow – a big mistake and a throwback to times of old.

 It doesn’t take much imagination to realise the folly of this vastly expensive experiment. In some ways it harks back to the idea of a copper cable network requiring a physical connection to every customer. This physical connection was of course rendered obsolete by the ubiquitous cellular phone network.

The NBN is now operating as a somewhat “flaky” communications network with a mix of last mile technologies, all soon to be rendered obsolete by the march of technology with 5G, soon 6G and a proliferation of private satellite networks with global reach, all operating to over-run the NBN, even before it is finished.

What’s the message?

Working in markets where change is both rapid and unpredictable carries a lot of risk, there are better spaces to operate. Always consider carefully where it is you invest your innovation dollars and avoid turbulent markets, especially those steeped in technology.

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Roger La Salle, trains people in innovation, commercialisation, marketing and the new emerging art of Opportunity Capture. Several of Roger’s own inventions are on display in technology museums in Australia. In 2005 he was appointed to the “Chair of Innovation” at Queens University in Belfast. Roger created “Matrix Thinking”™, now used in more than 29 countries. He is sought after as a speaker on Innovation, Opportunity and Business Development, is the author of four books, and a Director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australia and overseas. He has been responsible for a number of successful technology start-ups and in 2004 was a regular panellist on the ABC New Inventors TV program.

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