Monday, October 25, 2010

Eilif Trondsen, Strategic Business Insights

Eilif Trondsen from Strategic Business Insights was the second speaker on our tour in Silicon Valley. SBI is a consulting comapany, they work for their customers to identify new opportunities based on emerging technology. There are several programs focused on different details. SCAN program is an intelligent tool to realize the early symptoms of a change in the industry. It is interesting to find out how they do it. The following picture depicts the process, look here.
50-75 employees of SPI are sending two paragraphs long abstracts every month. Abstracts shortly describe something interesting they read, thought or saw. Contributors wear several heads, they are specialists in different markets or technologies. A filtering process at number of levels is narrowing down the ideas. Its is a time consuming process, Eilif reads abstracts on Sundays. In the next stage they meet with 20 – 25 analysts and some clients to do a pattern recognition clustering across different areas. They try to understand and point out why is the cluster interesting. There are people with different specialization politicians, economists, technologists, anthropologists etc. The variety of skills is bringing together many different opinions and views enabling to discover new combinations and see them differently. The result of this process are signals: faint signals of change, discontinuities, inflection points, disruption technologies, outliers, unconventional signals.
There is no guarantee in their research, but the have a very pragmatic metric: the customers are the signal of the quality. If the information is not valuable for them they would not pay. The clients feedback is also a very valuable for improving or altering the research.
Their main customers are SMBs, they do not have easy access to this kind of information. Governments also buy the know-how to look at disruptive technologies and to help their SMBs. EU Science Park use it for analyzing start-ups opportunities. Japanese look at global perspective they are coming to SBI and let them do the market analysis if the results are the same as their own they invest mbugs. SBI has also done some work done for Norwegian government.
I am sure the Czech SMBs, start ups and research institutes including government will greatly benefit from this kind of information to focus their work in the right future direction too.

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