June 25, 2015

As the CEO of a customer research firm that works primarily with private equity, I am often asked what value customer research can bring to a private equity deal. People outside the private equity industry sometimes find it surprising that customer research can have a role in transactions that are so often portrayed as driven…

January 11, 2014

According to some, market research is pretty useless in contexts of uncertainty. These contexts include disrupted markets, the introduction of radical new innovations, or the launch of new products and services. Steve Jobs explained this view in an interview: “The problem is that market research can tell you what your customers think of something you…

September 20, 2013

In a recent article in the New York Times (September 13, 2013), Susan Dominus described how the Office of Personal and Career Development at Wake Forest University is transforming the liberal arts by emphasizing the importance of job placement. Although the discipline of philosophy was only mentioned off-hand at the end of the article, the…

September 8, 2013

How do you structure a corporation for innovation? There are many answers to this question, which vary depending on the size and purpose of the organization. However, if any company can claim to be a model for innovation in the past decade it has been Google. Not only has the company brought innovative products to…

August 16, 2013

A while back, when I was talking with managers of an international manufacturing company it came up that I was a philosophy Ph.D. It struck the managers as an odd background for business, and they asked how I came to be involved in business consulting. I explained that philosophy is about questioning assumptions, and in…