Augmenting Innovation Decisions With Data Science

As a venture capitalist/data scientist, I’ve spent over a decade arguing that other venture capitalists and innovators can improve their decision making (a lot) through data science.  While the idea seems like a no-brainer today, 11 years ago it was heresy. Reactions to my work were historically hostile and emotional, and that’s putting it politely.  Words like “data science” and…

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Some Ideas Are Better Than Others (and I don’t mind saying so)

Some ideas are better than others. This is a challenge for business strategists, who are voracious consumers of ideas (books, seminars, case studies, articles, blogs, biographies, etc.), but who aren’t typically trained to judge an idea’s quality. This leaves strategists vulnerable to bias, persuasion, poor heuristics and psychophysiological reactions (called ‘intuition’). Everyone from the doorman to the chairman has an…

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Forgetful Elephants

They say elephants never forget. In addition to describing big, lumbering animals, the word “elephant” can also be a nickname for big, lumbering companies (ex. IBM, GE, Walmart). However unlike the grey, trunky animals that presumably never forget, companies and businesspeople suffer from a kind of amnesia; they forget failure. Managers seem to forget failed businesses – full stop. Failure…

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