When it comes to business, are you all about market research or do you go with your gut? For Michel Jordi it’s the latter — and following his intuition led him to start five groundbreaking watch companies. Michel is known for shaking things up in a traditional industry through innovative design and enviable marketing. Andy Warhol came to his New York launch party, People Magazine featured Michel on its cover and the event marketing strategies that Michel used for his launch publicity are still being used today by the best marketers. Today, your host, Ben Robinson, sits down with Michel to talk about his book, “Ignite That Spark: 10 Commandments of Entrepreneurship”. You will hear all about Michel’s fascinating personal story, as well as his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs, including his ‘lucky clover’ framework that will tell you whether your business idea will sink or swim.
We’re discussing with Youri Sawerschel, CEO of Creative Supply and Visiting Lecturer at EPFL EMBA and ESSEC Business School. Youri founded the Creative Supply agency in Zurich in 2015 to be the next generation of branding companies. We talk about the problems with the traditional branding agencies and how he is firing things up through a distributed, networked workforce. In addition, we discuss why branding is the cause and the solution to so many of the world’s biggest crises, how brand storytelling differs from other kinds of storytelling and why it’s kind of like murder. If you’re intrigued, hit play.
We’re discussing with Gary Pisano, professor at Harvard Business School and author of “Creative Construction: The DNA of Sustained Innovation” — a book about how large companies can construct a strategy, system, and a culture of innovation that creates sustained growth. We discuss how organizations learn, innovate, and compete — and these are fundamental questions that Gary has been exploring throughout his career. Today, you will learn the four archetypes of innovation, Gary’s definition of a business model, who in the company should own a business model innovation and more.
Your host, Ben Robinson, is virtually sitting down with Julian Lehr, an ex-Googler, startup founder, and current startup partnerships lead at Stripe. Julian and Ben get into all sorts of interesting behavioral psychology related to buying and how digital companies can use physical elements to take advantage of signaling. You will also learn Julian’s tactics for staying productive, why advertising budgets are shifting from celebrities to micro-influencers, why the Berlin startup scene hasn’t quite lived up to the hype — and much more!
Your host Ben Robinson, is speaking with Luciano Diana, Senior Investment Manager at Pictet Asset Management—one of the leading independent wealth and asset managers — where he is running the Pictet Global Environmental Opportunities Fund. In this episode we cover: should government stimulus packages be conditional on companies investing in energy efficiency? Why plant-based products are a space that you need to be paying attention to? Why we should be bullish about the ability for market forces to solve climate change? And more!
This episode focuses on two Swiss companies rising in the maker movement. First we interview Marc Maurer, COO, and co-owner of the sports shoemaker, On. On is a brand preferred by Roger Federer which taking on Nike and Adidas with a high-end, high-tech trainer — also known as sneaker — that is so lightweight that ‘it feels like you are walking on clouds’. After Marc, you will hear from Arthur Viaud, co-founder and CEO of La Nebuleuse — a craft brewery that is taking on the giants in Switzerland, and it’s starting to expand internationally. This beer-maker prides itself on being part of an industry with a heart and a smile, brewing beer with love, passion, and Swiss quality standards.
We are speaking with John Hagel, who has been working with the most successful companies in Silicon Valley for 40 years (also a startup founder of his own). John is the author of several books — including The Power of Pull he co-chairs Deloitte Center for the Edge, which is a Silicon Valley research center. In this episode, John joins Ben Robinson for a very comprehensive discussion on the zoom in — zoom out approach to strategy; why the advertise-based business model is unsustainable and the alternative; how customers’ reluctance to accept mass-market products will drive the fragmentation of product and service-based businesses; why learning in the form of sharing existing knowledge is not where the greatest value is; why John is optimistic about the gig economy — and more.
Our guest today is Brett Bivens— a venture investor at TechNexus Venture Collaborative, an early-stage venture capital firm — and he is going to talk about why he is so optimistic about Spotify and how the future of audio will be a social experience with various network effects loops. One of the core investment areas for TechNexus is audio and media. And so, in this episode, you’ll hear Brett talking about that, with your host, Ben Robinson, as well as talk about the various concepts that Brett has coined, including ‘escape velocity’ and ‘clampetition’.
Your host, Ben Robinson, sits down with Anna Zakrzewski who leads Wealth Management globally, for Boston Consulting Group; Christine Schmid who heads up Strategy at additiv, and Laurence Mandrile-Aguirre — who heads up Switzerland & Monaco for Citi Private Bank. We cover the opportunities around Digital Wealth Management and what that truly means, how ready are wealth managers to take advantage of the shift to Assets under Intelligence, where new entrants fit into the market and what the future of wealth management will be.
Haier Model Research Institute in Europe
On this week’s Structural Shifts podcast, we talk to the brilliant Rita Gunther McGrath, author of “The End of Competitive Advantage”. In this bestseller, she talks about how the world is moving from one dominated by organizational systems and hierarchies to one of individual superstars where a stable career means a series of gigs. Hosted by Ben Robinson, they discuss strategy, the benefits / limitations of network effects, Facebook’s failures, and more.
Today, we have a special episode for you on how the post-pandemic world would look like. We are bringing back three of our favorite guests: Nicolas Colin — Co-founder and Director of The Family, which is a platform for European entrepreneurs; Laetitia Vitaud— renowned writer and speaker on The Future of Work; and Ian Stewart — Executive in Residence at IMD Business School (an co-founder of WIRED).
How reliable will strategy be in the future? What if tactics were more important than strategy? Are firms obsolete? What about nation states? Can the future of companies be a model for the future of countries? How is the nature of competitive advantage changing? How are we redefining quality to meet the needs of consumers and the marketplace? In this episode, Ben Robinson is in conversation with Bill Fischer and Ian Stewart from the International Institute for Management Development — IMD. Bill is Professor of Innovation Management and Ian — who you may remember from a previous episode of this podcast — he co-founded WiReD and he is Executive in Residence at IMD.
According to our guest, Dr. Marc Gruber, Vice President for Innovation at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology — EPFL — you can’t win if you don’t know where to play. Instead of a just-do-it mentality and pivot later if it doesn’t work, Marc speaks with our host, Ben Robinson, about how true entrepreneurs and innovators are reflective and flexible and how they think about what they’re doing and in what market to play in. By the end of this episode, you are also going to understand what’s a good market to be in and you will learn about the Attractiveness Matrix and the Social Identity Theory of three kinds of entrepreneurs.
How often does advertising motivate you to buy? According to our guest, ad and branding expert, Paul Mellor, advertising fails 89% of the time. Hosted by Ben Robinson, this episode unpacks what has gone wrong with advertising and what companies must do to turn things around. Don’t be a bland advertising wallpaper! If you like swearing, then you’re in for a treat. Fair warning.
For this episode, Ben Robinson is joined into the conversation by Nicolas Colin — Co-founder of The Family — and we argue that developed economies are defined by two major characteristics: they are able to create and accumulate wealth via large, global tech companies and they are able to re-distribute that wealth to benefit their entire society. Through this lens, neither Europe, nor the U.S. are developed economies in the current techno-economic paradigm — and we assess whether the current politicians campaigning for or holding power are in the right flow to inspire the radical imagination that is required.
This podcast was recorded at Fongit — Switzerland’s premier innovation incubator. Ben Robinson is joined into the conversation by Andy Yen — Founder and CEO of ProtonMail — and we discuss the inherent trade-offs that the current Internet present to the users, the importance of privacy and security but also how to compete against Google head-on via business model innovation.
Our guest is Ian Stewart, known for being, among many other roles, the co-founder of WiReD Magazine. Together we discuss WiReD’s journey from zero-to-one(-to-two), the state and future of (centrist) media, China and the geopolitical consequences of its technological progress and also how the younger generation is applying entrepreneurial methods and business models to solving social problems.