Archive for March, 2012

Syria Violence Claims New Lives, Pressure for Annan Plan Mounting

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Syrian government troops have shelled several dissident areas on Saturday, killing at least nine people, according to opposition activists.

Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts have increased to pressure the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus to implement Kofi Annan’s peace plan.

In the Saudi capital of Riyadh, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was to meet with foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to discuss the Syrian crisis and pressure to end the ‘bloodbath there,’ GCC sources said, as cited by DPA.


4.0-Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Southeastern Bulgaria

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

A 4.0-magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale has been registered in Southeastern Bulgaria, according to the European Seismology Center.

The tremor occurred at 10:48 pm Friday night EET, the Bulgarian Seismology Service announced Saturday, saying also its magnitude was 3….


Reverse Innovation Gives a Glimpse Into the Future

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Reverse InnovationI’ve had a review copy of Reverse Innovation: Create Far from Home, Win Everywhere by Vijay Govindarajan (@vgovindarajan) sitting on my book pile for about a month or so.  When I read the overview for the book, I could feel my small business bias coming out.  I don’t know about you, but there is a part of me that resents all these case studies featuring big global brands with big budgets and a population of employees that rivals a small country giving me advice or insight as to how I should run my small business.  I am not a global brand, I don’t have infinite amounts of money to spend on the necessities – let alone innovation and there’s no chance that I’m going to be doing any innovating in some far flung country.

So why should I read this book and why should YOU read this book?

Read Reverse Innovation for the Insights on Trends

One big reason for digging into this rather academic and intellectual book is to get a glimpse into the trends that will be hitting your small business in the next few years.  When I put my prejudice against multi-nationals to the side, I begin to see that Reverse Innovation is really a bellwether of things to come.

First, let me explain what the term “reverse innovation” is.  In the past, big companies would do their innovating here in the United States and then, after making some adjustments, launch that innovation to the world.   Reverse innovation takes that model and turns it upside down.  The authors, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble did some research and found that by innovating abroad, you actually increase your chances of success worldwide.

How the Book and the Concept Got Their Start

In 2008, Jeffrey Immelt, then CEO of GE chose Govindarajan to advise them on innovation.  This should tell you something if you know that GE only likes to be in the #1 slot of any market.  Given that commitment, it’s no surprise that they are always on the lookout for new ways to do this.

As Govindarajan set out to transform GE’s strategies, he interviewed the thought leaders insight some of the best brands in the world which include: Pepsico, Logitech and P&G.   What he learned was that technology was not the primary stumbling block in developing innovations, rather it was a function of mindset and organizational structure.

What his research showed was that companies can earn the same or better return on their investments if they launch their innovations in low cost countries such as China and India rather than in highost countries such as the US.

The Three Fears That Keep Us From Taking Advantage of Reverse Innovation

The book discusses three fears that have kept big brands from practicing reverse innovation:

  1. Fear of low margins
  2. Fear of brand cannibalization
  3. Fear of losing technological leadership

When you read the book, you’ll see the answers to all of these questions as they pertain to large corporations and brands.  But the lesson for small business is that it’s our own mindset about where innovation should happen that holds small business back from really competing in a global marketplace.

In other words, US businesses suffer from a touch of xenophobia when it comes to innovation.  And I can see why.  We could easily let go of our manufacturing because it was “manual labor” but to send our innovations and ideas abroad could mean literally losing our competitive advantage.

Reverse Innovation will ease your fears about that.  Govindarajan encourages businesses to open up to new possibilities of innovation that can transform ideas that require too much money into completely feasible products and services.

Who Should Read Reverse Innovation?

This book is an ideal read for anyone who likes reading about big global companies and what they are doing to keep their business and their brands alive. (Visit Govandarajan’s blog where he writes about his research and reverse innovation in general.)

As a small business owner (no matter the size of your business), you’ll want to check into this book to see how you might be able to apply these principles to your own innovation plans.

Overall this is a serious book.  It’s not entertaining, or engaging – it’s informative and educational.  If you are involved with customers or companies who have multiple locations and technical facilities that span the globe, you will certainly want to read this and see if you can apply some of these concepts.

Reverse Innovation, may not be at the top of your reading list today – but you can expect to see the trends and applications of this work become more the norm in the next few years.  The businesses who are familiar with this process will find themselves better prepared for the future.

From Small Business Trends

Reverse Innovation Gives a Glimpse Into the Future


Probe Digs Proof for Army Ownership of Deadly Bulgarian Dam

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

The prosecutors from Bulgaria’s southern city of Haskovo have traced the ownership of the “deadly” Ivanovo dam to the Defense Ministry.

The largest private TV channel bTV reported Saturday that a document, dating from the 90s of the last century, had been found in the archives of the Harmanli Town Hall, where it is written that the Defense Ministry is banning farmers from the area to cultivate land plots near the dam.

“I think that the probe would most likely reveal that the Defense Ministry was responsible for this part of the dam, because there was a military facility used as training ground,” Darina Slavova, prosecutor from the Haskovo Regional Prosecutor’s Office is quoted saying.


Exonerated Ex Bulgarian Health Min Reiterates Trial Absurdity

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Bulgaria’s ex Health Minister Bozhidar Nanev has reiterated his conviction that he had been tried in a Court of law for serving Bulgaria and following the law.

Nanev, who was acquitted Thursday of charges of inflicting damage in the amount of over BGN 2.4 M for the State and the Health Ministry, made the statement in an interview for the weekly political talk show of Darik radio.


Over 70% of Bulgarians Live in Urban Areas

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

About 71% of all Bulgarians live in cities and towns, according to data of the National Statistics Institute, NSI.

5.3 million Bulgarians, of whom 2….


Bulgarian Parliament Head: Belene Decision Was Toughest Ever

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

The decision to scrap the project to build jointly with Russia a second Nuclear Power Plant in Bulgaria’s Danube town of Belene was the toughest in my life, says Speaker of the Parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva.

Speaking Saturday in an interview for TV7, Tsacheva said she wanted all viewers and fellow people from the Pleven region, where she was elected Member of the Parliament to hear this.

She stressed that the most difficult task is ahead of her because she has yet to meet with voters from the region.


3 Arrested in the Murder of Bulgarian Football Fan Club Chief

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Three people have been arrested in Bulgaria’s southwestern city of Blagoevgrad in connection with the murder of the Head of the local “Pirin” football team fan club.

The news was reported by the Chief of Blagoevgrad police, Commissar Georgi Kostov.

Dimitar Sukalinski, 41, AKA Banskaliyata (from Bansko) was found dead inside his apartment in Blagoevgrad….


Bulgarian PM: Belene Nuclear Plant Project Was Crime

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Bulgarian Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, reiterated Saturday his firm conviction that scrapping the project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene, had been the best decision.

Borisov made the statement in an interview for the weekly political talk show of Darik radio, stressing that a referendum on the issue would have been a very complex and impossible to organize procedure of asking people to say yes or no on the NPP plans.

“It does not make any sense to continue circling around something that has started 33 years ago, both sides know that,” the PM stressed.


Petrov Quits Football, Determined to Fight Cancer

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

Stiliyan Petrov, captain of Aston Villa and Bulgaria’s national football team, has put an end to his professinal football career, according to Bulgarian media.

The moves comes after a shocking news emerged on Friday that he is suffering from acute leukemnia.

The 32-year-old Bulgarian midfielder will focus entirely on fighting his illness.


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