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I publish a weekly email newsletter called Inflight Engineering, which covers corporate development, innovation and venturing.
Why is it called that?
When I came across the picture above earlier this year, it stopped me in my tracks. I can't speak to its provenance, but let's take it at face value for a moment: early airship engines were apparently so unreliable that they were routinely serviced during flight. This struck me as an excellent metaphor for corporate innovation. There is an existential imperative to keep the engine running: making adjustments may be necessary to achieve that, but also potentially harmful to the engineer and the aircraft. After all, misjudged strategies, acquisitions and investments have brought down countless companies.
This vivid image inspired the name of the newsletter. Every week I curate a short selection of articles and research that I've seen on the themes of corporate development, innovation and venturing — all of the ways of making the corporate engine run better.
You really should. Sign up to it here.
- 22 February 2018: Implementing Design Sprints, Networks versus Hierarchies and Reinventing Capitalism in the Age of Big Data
- 15 February 2018: Subscription Business Models, Older Entrepreneurs, and Why Companies Need More Modest Growth
- 8 February 2018: Why Paywalls Lead to Better Content, Growing Conversion Rates by Design, and Trojan Mice for Innovation
- 25 January 2018: The Benefits of Diverse Innovation Teams, Visualising the Media Landscape, and Amazon's Long-Term View
- 18 January 2018: Universities and Innovation, Strategy by AI, and the 7% Rule for Media Companies
- 11 January 2018: AirBnB on Data, Corporate New Year's Resolutions, and the Rise of Alexa
- 3 January 2018: Innovating at Nintendo, Startups as Snowflakes, and M&A Trends
- 14 December 2017: 2018 Media Predictions, AI for Investors and Building a Company on Blockchain
- 7 December 2017: The Politics of Innovation, Modelling Venture Returns, and Why Stress Tests Aren't Just for Banks
- 30 November 2017: Design-Driven Innovation, Technology Issues in M&A Integration, and Two Case Studies in Media Diversification
- 23 November 2017: The Turbulent State of Digital Media, Minimum Viable Branding, and Competing with GAFA
- 16 November 2017: Rethinking Design Thinking, M&A Prospects and Due Diligence for Crowdfunding
- 9 November 2017: A Tale of Two Media Companies, Ten Innovations to Stop and Think About, and How Activist Investors Hinder Diversity
- 2 November 2017: Successful Failure, Reflections of a Female Founder, and Turning Customers into Lobbyists
- 26 October 2017: The Frightful Five, How Bad Systems Beat Good People, and Managing New Product Launches
- 18 October 2017: Growth Hacking, Building a Funnel for Innovation and the Triumph of the Albanian Army
- 12 October 2017: Innovation Lessons from the Mittelstand, M&A in Germany and Funding the Challenges that Matter
- 5 October 2017: Burn Rates, Cognitive Biases and Tim O'Reilly's New Book
- 28 September 2017: A Real Slim Shady IPO, Microsoft's Turnaround and Innovation Lessons from Basketball
- 21 September 2017: Swarming Chatbots, Valuing Coffee Shops and Language as a Tool of Change
- 13 September 2017: Innovation in the Premier League, the Rise of Angel Investors and a New Approach to Business Strategy
- 6 September 2017: Twenty Years of Disruptive Innovation, Starting a VC and How AI Drives Profit
- 30 August 2017: Disrupting Organisations, Understanding Hype Cycles and Working With Absurd Ideas
- 23 August 2017: How Facebook Stays Ahead, Fintech Investment and Netflix's First M&A Deal
- 3 August 2017: Summer Reading, CVC at BMW and Making Room for Misfits
- 27 July 2017: Alexa, Schadenfreude and Luxury M&A
- 20 July 2017: Winter is Coming, Machine-Learning for VC and the Real Lessons from Kodak
- 13 July 2017: Pixar, Mapping Innovation Ecosystems and Death by Overfunding
- 6 July 2017: Slow Innovation, Funding Hardware and Avoiding Excruciating Decline
- 29 June 2017: Tech for Good, Initial Coin Offerings and International Growth
- 22 June 2017: Crowdfunding, Whole Foods and How to Turn $12K into $16B
- 15 June 2017: Apple, Red Teams and $100m Failure
- 8 June 2017: Culture, Clickbait and High-Stakes Innovation
- 1 June 2017: The Buck Stops Here, Innovation Toolkits and Deep Tech
- 25 May 2017: Walmart, Accelerators and Why Hackathons Don't Work