Ram Mudambi
Dr. Ram Mudambi, the Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategy at Temple University’s Fox School of Business, has been recognized for his research contribution to international entrepreneurship and innovation.

In March, Mudambi received the Schulze Award for his article, “The Spectacular Rise of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry,” which was co-authored by Dr. Kristin Brandl, of the University of Reading’s Henley Business School, and Dr. Vittoria Scalera, of the University of Amsterdam Business School. The paper demonstrates that for emerging economies to thrive, they do not necessarily require their local industries to partner with multinational giants of research and innovation.

“While most economies may benefit when local industries gain knowledge from multinationals,” Mudambi wrote, “India’s example shows that there are alternatives – but they all require strategic government investment.”

The Schulze Award recognizes the level of contribution made by an article published to the Entrepreneur and Innovation Exchange (EIX), an online resource committed to achieving marked improvement in the success rate of new business ventures. Issued annually, the Schulze Award recognizes achievements in various categories, including: theory and research; applied and practice; teaching and education; and commentaries.

The collaboration between Mudambi and his co-authors was made possible through the Fox Visiting Scholars Program. Founded in 2005 by Mudambi, the program serves as an invitation to international scholars – from doctoral candidates to full professors – to spend anywhere from a week to a year at the Fox School of Business conducting research and interacting with Fox faculty.

“It is critical for all PhD students to develop skills in pure academic research, business outreach, and policy,” Mudambi said. “The paper is a strong example of what is achievable through the Visiting Scholars Program, helping doctoral students develop as well-rounded individuals and have the ability to apply their work to real-world situations.”

Mudambi joined the Fox School’s faculty in 2000. The Perelman Senior Research Fellow, Mudambi spearheads the research initiative International Business, Economic Geography, and Innovation, dubbed iBEGIN, which studies the connections between global value chains (GVCs) and the location of economic activity. Mudambi’s peers elected him the Program Chair of the 2015 Academy of Business (AIB) annual meeting. In his role, Mudambi developed the program and arranged a prominent lineup of scholars and global business leaders for the conference, which was held in Bangalore, India.

He recently had a paper titled, “Knowledge connectivity: An agenda for innovation research in international business,” published in the Journal of International Business Studies. Co-authors of the paper include: Dr. John Cantwell, of Rutgers University; Dr. Jaeyong Song, of Seoul National University; and Fox PhD alumni Dr. Marcelo Cano-Kollmann, of the Ohio University College of Business, and Dr. Tim Swift, of Saint Joseph’s University’s Haub School of Business, co-authored the paper.

Recent Fox School graduate Andrew Nakkache pitches his company, Habitat, at College Pitch Philly. (Brian Green, Campus Philly)
Recent Fox School graduate Andrew Nakkache pitches his company, Habitat, at College Pitch Philly. (Brian Green, Campus Philly)

Young entrepreneurs from Temple University took home top honors at last week’s College Pitch Philly competition, geared toward unearthing the top business concepts of undergraduates from Philadelphia’s colleges and universities.

Andrew Nakkache, FOX ’16, won the $7,500 top prize with Habitat, a mobile app that lets students and faculty to order food, via pickup or delivery, from their favorite food trucks and restaurants around campus.

Neha Raman, a sophomore international business major at the Fox School of Business, claimed the $5,000 second prize for Rungh, a create-your-own nail polish system.

Nakkache and Raman competed among 33 other students or teams of undergraduates Feb. 24 at the University Science Center’s Quorum. Organized by Campus Philly and the Philadelphia Regional Entrepreneurship Education Consortium (PREEC), College Pitch Philly offered a pool of $15,000 in prize money for new business ventures. After making two-minute pitches in the first round, six finalists delivered five-minute pitches and conducted five-minute Q&As to determine the winners.

Fox School undergraduate Neha Raman wins second place at College Pitch Philly for her company, Rungh, a create-your-own nail polish system. (Brian Green, Campus Philly)
Fox School undergraduate Neha Raman wins second place at College Pitch Philly for her company, Rungh, a create-your-own nail polish system. (Brian Green, Campus Philly)

The Fox School of Business’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) was among the founding members of the PREEC, which aims to connect students with Philadelphia’s startup ecosystem.

Through Nakkache’s Habitat app, users submit orders to their favorite vendors, who receive the orders via text, email, fax, or the app itself. Orders are completed in an average of 20 minutes, and then promptly delivered by Habitat’s student-led delivery force.

“We have scheduled shifts that pay $8 an hour,” said Nakkache, 23, a native of Dallas, Pa. “Whether a student makes one delivery or five within an hour, they will make a guaranteed wage. Our whole approach is in creating a top-tier user experience, from beginning to end.”

Habitat launched in September and has since on-boarded 21 food vendors near Temple’s campus, including 14 food trucks. He hopes to expand to Philadelphia’s University City section by the end of the academic year, and possibly to one of three East Coast markets by Fall 2016. This week, Habitat launched an off-campus meal plan that offers nearly a dozen pre-paid options, said Nakkache, who in January earned a degree in economics. (Users can receive a discount on their next orders with the promotional code TUfood.)

Raman first developed her Rungh nail polish system as a high school student, after struggling to find her favorite shades on the retail market. With Rungh, customers receive six nail polish bottles with a nail polish base, 18 color pigment capsules, and a battery-operated mixer, and disposable mixing wands. In only 60 seconds, users can create the nail polish shades they crave.

Fox School alumnus Andrew Nakkache, far left, and undergraduate student Neha Raman, second from left, won first and second place, respectively, at College Pitch Philly. (Brian Green, Campus Philly)
Fox School alumnus Andrew Nakkache, far left, and undergraduate student Neha Raman, second from left, won first and second place, respectively, at College Pitch Philly. (Brian Green, Campus Philly)

A trademarked system, Rungh is also patent-pending. It launched and made its first sales in November. The company served as the official nail polish of Philadelphia Fashion Week, which wrapped in February. The company is gaining traction via YouTube and Instagram from popular influencers, as well.

“At College Pitch Philly, I made a point of identifying my competition and target markets, and that worked in my favor,” Raman said. “Next, my goal is to continue developing the brand. I’d like for consumers to associate Rungh with offering a wide range of color choices, in nail polish or even other cosmetic products as we expand.

“But for now, I’m still in shock. I still have the giant check from the competition in my room.”

Bernie Marcus
Temple University’s Fox School of Business welcomes Bernard “Bernie” Marcus, co-founder of The Home Depot, as its inaugural Warren V. “Pete” Musser Visiting Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Addressing Fox School students, Marcus will deliver a presentation, titled, “Do ethical entrepreneurs earn more?” Tuesday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m. in Alter Hall.

An American businessman and philanthropist, Marcus co-founded The Home Depot after he and coworker Arthur Blank lost their jobs with a California hardware store. Marcus, Blank, and their early investor, Kenneth Langone, took The Home Depot public in 1981, and have since built a billion-dollar, home-improvement empire. Marcus retired in 2001 to focus on philanthropy.

Established in 2015, the Musser Professorship in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an endowed term professorship that will be filled by experienced and well-known practitioners who have started successful business ventures and are interested in spending a term at the Fox School to lecture, conduct applied research, and mentor students in the early stages of their ventures.

Entrepreneurship is a pillar at Temple University. In November, Fox’s undergraduate- and graduate-level Entrepreneurship programs earned Nos. 8 and 10 national rankings, respectively, by The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur magazine, one of only five schools nationally to attain two top-10 rankings.

The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), which proactively promotes entrepreneurial spirit throughout all 17 schools and colleges at Temple University, is co-sponsoring Marcus’ visit.

To attend, guests must RSVP through the IEI.

Innovative Idea CompThe 18th annual Innovative Idea Competition used entrepreneurship to unite students across Temple University.

Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) hosts the yearly competition, which encourages generation of innovative new products, services, and technologies as the foundation of new businesses. The most-recent competition, held Nov. 12 at Alter Hall and the Fox School of Business, welcomed 351 submissions from 12 different schools and colleges, marking a 39-percent increase in participation from 2014.

The competition not only features interdisciplinary submissions, but also encourages faculty, graduate and undergraduate students to compete for nine awards, said Ellen Weber, IEI’s Executive Director.

“This competition inspires students and demonstrates that entrepreneurship is a viable path,” said Ellen Weber, Executive Director of IEI. “It’s their first toe in the water in terms of getting their ideas out there.”
The Anne Nelson Grand Prize of $2,500 went to Stephen Peduto from the College of Engineering for his venture, Quick Stabilizing Carbon. Peduto’s idea, which earned first place in the Undergraduate track, creates a cast for broken bones that would expedite the healing time.

Entrants from the Fox School of Business received both first and second place in the Graduate, Faculty, Staff or Alumni track. Olawunmi Thomas-Quarcoo, a Fox School MBA candidate, took first place and $500 in prize money for Ka Bom Designs, a platform for female African clothing designers to market their creations. (Quarcoo also took first place and an additional $1,000 in the People’s Choice category.) In the same track, Fox MBA candidate Séverine Bandou earned second place and $500 for Myjé, a hair fragrance for people whose hair texture makes regular washing difficult. Originally from Paris, Bandou came up with the idea to remedy a problem she’s experienced personally.

First place in the Undergraduate category went to Fox School senior Tyler Stoltzfus for Seed Dyes. An Entrepreneurship and Innovation major, Stoltzfus created Seed Dyes as a sustainable textile dye. Taking home the $1000 prize, Stoltzfus’ Seed Dyes appeals to the competition’s social impact element.

Other Innovative Idea Competition winners included:

  • Sabrina Zouaghi, from the College of Science and Technology. Her venture, Self-Stabilizing Gloves, would provide a mechanism for stabilizing hand movement in people who suffer from muscle tremors. Zouaghi earned $1,000 for finishing in second place in the Undergraduate track and an additional $500 as the second-place winner in the People’s Choice category.
  • Camille Bell, an alumna from the School of Media and Communication. Her venture, Poundcake, provides a line of cake-inspired lipsticks that come in several shades for women of all different skin colors. Bell received $500, in addition to the competition’s Global Innovation prize.

Many of the ventures presented at the Innovative Idea Competition will go on to compete in the IEI’s Be Your Own Boss Bowl (BYOBB) this spring. The BYOBB encourages students to develop a comprehensive business plan and to test the functionality of their idea.

“It’s one thing to have an idea and another to test it,” Weber said. “The Innovative Idea Competition focuses on opportunity recognition and the generation of new, feasible ideas, while the BYOBB focuses on creating the business plans to execute an idea.”

Lu Ann Cahn, Director for Career Services at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, served as the keynote for the annual League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference, where she encouraged attendees to be daring, no matter the setting. (Photography by Jim Roese)
Lu Ann Cahn, Director for Career Services at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, served as the keynote for the annual League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference, where she encouraged attendees to be daring, no matter the setting. (Photography by Jim Roese)

When Philadelphia’s leading female journalists, restaurant owners, consultants, entrepreneurs, and student leaders gathered at Temple University’s Mitten Hall, they hardly expected they’d be blowing bubbles.

Laughing as the bubbles popped, the women embraced the obvious message: Be daring, no matter the setting.

At the 16th annual League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference, held Oct. 20, the Greater Philadelphia region’s top female innovators came together to share stories on their respective paths to success, and honored those who have reached professional pinnacles.

Co-founders of the League for Entrepreneurial Women Dr. Elizabeth H. Barber, Associate Dean of Temple’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management; and Betsy Leebron Tutelman, Temple’s Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Communications; with Ellen Weber, Executive Director of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), hosted the event.

Temple University Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs Hai-Lung Dai introduced the event, complimenting the women on setting an example for his daughter as she enters college: “I can see her, a young mind, very eagerly trying to explore knowledge,” he said. “But she needs to build confidence and that’s where I defer to you.”

A packed room of women heard from keynote speaker Lu Ann Cahn, Director for Career Services at Temple’s School of Media and Communication. The face behind the bubbles, Cahn asked the women to think about how blowing bubbles felt. The overwhelming response was empowerment and freedom from judgment. Cahn, who spent 40 years in the broadcast news industry, including 27 with Philadelphia’s NBC10, was familiar with that feeling. After surviving breast cancer, Cahn found herself at odds with her career and challenged herself to try something new each day for a year. Her book, I Dare Me, documents her experiences with rediscovering her spark of individuality and confidence.

“No matter what you’ve accomplished, what you’ve survived, sometimes you forget who you are,” Cahn said. “The hardest first to do is a first that faces a fear.”

Like blowing bubbles, doing something that might be silly or might fail is how success was made, she said.

Attendees of the League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference blow bubbles at the urging of Lu Ann Cahn, Director for Career Services at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication. (Photography by Jim Roese)
Attendees of the League for Entrepreneurial Women’s Conference blow bubbles at the urging of Lu Ann Cahn, Director for Career Services at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication. (Photography by Jim Roese)

“I’m here to dare you to go on your own adventure,” Cahn said, as women shared their desire to attempt skydiving or take a day off. “You have to tap into your best self to have the confidence to move forward.”

Cahn welcomed the conference’s panel of female entrepreneurs to share how they dare.

For Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president of Wilco Electronic Systems, her dare was to succeed as one of only a few women in the cable industry. Daniel took over her father’s cable company, Wilco Electronic Systems, after completing law school. As the only cable company serving underprivileged areas, such as public housing, Daniel learned to avoid falling prey to those who sought to diminish her power. Her nonprofit, Mogulettes, promotes that same message to 19-to-24-year-old women entrepreneurs.

“When we’re talking about business, sometimes our voices can be muffled. That’s when we most need to be heard,” Daniel said. “It’s from our stories that we create connections.”

Nicole Marquis and Linda Lightman could relate. Marquis, a Philadelphia native, is the owner of vegan restaurant chain HipCityVeg, and is planning to expand to Washington, D.C. before taking her restaurant across the country. Lightman, founder of Linda’s Stuff, an online luxury consignment boutique, saw her business grew from a few items sold on eBay to a sudden success that allowed her husband to quit his job to join her company.

The League for Entrepreneurial Women’s conference also recognized three Temple alumnae for their pioneering spirit in entrepreneurship. Director of Entrepreneurial Services for Comcast NBCUniversal, Danielle Cohn, SMC ’95; Gearing Up Founder Kristin Gavin, CPA ’09; and Factor3 Consulting Founder, Anne Nelson, FOX ’80 were inducted into the League’s Hall of Fame.

In work settings, Nelson said she often found herself the lonely female voice in an all-male conversation. But, she said, what mattered was that she had spoken up and had expected others to listen.

“Temple taught me two very important things: Think pragmatically and think two steps ahead,” said Nelson, who was inducted by Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business.

Closing the conference, Weber spoke interview-style with Emily Bittenbender, Managing Partner of Bittenbender Construction, who reiterated that being the only woman in a professional field or setting could be daunting. Bittenbender said she was able to extract inspiration from male mentors, which helped her find her place as a woman in the construction industry.

Like an adult blowing bubbles, taking that first daring step requires the most courage.

Fox School MBA alumnus Ben Stucker making his final presentation. Photos by Temple University Photography.
Fox School MBA alumnus Ben Stucker making his final presentation. Photos by Temple University Photography.

The creators of an online financial marketplace aiming to improve the consumer’s buying power in financial transactions won the grand prize at the 17th annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, a Temple University-wide business plan competition.

RatesForUs.com, co-founded by CEO and Fox School of Business alumnus Ben Stucker, MBA ’13, and CTO Alec Baker, took home more than $60,000 in cash prizes, in addition to products and professional services, at the April 16 final presentations at the Fox School.

“If I could have burst out of my skin, I would have. This was one of the most rewarding and exciting moments of my life,” said Stucker, a longtime mortgage industry professional.

RatesForUs.com, which registered its website domain only two months prior to the final presentations, hopes to become the top online destination for mortgage shoppers, Stucker said. He and Baker first met in February to lay the foundation for their company and “then we wrote our business plan in three weeks,” Stucker said.

What sets apart RatesForUs from others in the marketplace, Stucker said, is that they have worked closely with consumers to understand and support their needs.  From increased consumer privacy to allowing consumers to confidently obtain lower interest rates, Stucker said RatesForUs has taken steps to drastically improve the online shopping experience. With RatesForUs, Stucker said, personal information will only be shared when necessary and agreed to by the consumer, eliminating “the bombardment of calls and potential bias based on race, ethnicity or gender,” he said.

The cash and prizes from Be Your Own Boss Bowl® will support the continued development of the marketplace for RatesForUs, Stucker said.

“Our expenses to date have been minimal,” he said. “That’s intentional. We only take a step if we can measure the results for future decision-making purposes. First, we wanted to be sure consumers would value our service, so we talked to them. Then we took our survey results to the lenders that would be supplying the loans and they were interested. We’re going to continue using this lean methodology and complete the development of our marketplace. We are looking forward to continued interaction with those in our marketplace – lenders, consumers, and professionals.”

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute executive director Ellen Weber presenting Ben Stucker with the check. Photos by Temple University Photography.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute executive director Ellen Weber presenting Ben Stucker with the check. Photos by Temple University Photography.

The annual Be Your Own Boss Bowl®, the flagship program of Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI), is one of the most lucrative and comprehensive business plan competitions in the country. This year, 12 business plans representing five of Temple’s 17 schools and colleges were selected as finalists. They competed for more than $160,000 in cash prizes, plus related products, professional services, and incubation space.

The competition features three distinctly different tracks: the Undergraduate Track, open to current Temple undergraduate students; the Upper Track, open to Temple graduate students, alumni, faculty and staff; and the Social Innovation Track.

Winners from each track were:

  • Upper Track: RatesForUs.com
  • Social Innovation Track: ROAR for Good, LLC, a developer of wearable self-defense tech designed for women. (Yasmine Mustafa, FOX ’06; Anthony Gold; Peter Eisenhower, ENG ‘11; Charlotte Wells, CLA ’15; Hunter Vargas, FOX ’16; and Christina Kazakia)
  • Undergraduate Track: Habitat LLC, a platform for students to buy and sell goods within their college communities. (Fox School students Andrew Nakkache, Michael Paskiewicz and Brandon Bahr, and Kathleen Chen)

For the sixth year, the IEI awarded the Chris Pavlides Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award to an undergraduate student who demonstrates a strong passion for entrepreneurship. This year’s recipient was junior entrepreneurship major Vincent Paolizzi.

Temple alumnus Christopher Wink, CLA ’08, received the 2015 Self-Made & Making Others Award. Wink is the co-founder and editor of Technical.ly, a network of local technology news sites and events.

Be Your Own Boss Bowl® participants benefit from coaching, mentoring and networking opportunities with the Philadelphia area’s leading business professionals, including members of GPSEG, the Greater Philadelphia Senior Executive Group. Overall, the competition receives support from 300 executives and entrepreneurs.

–Christopher A. Vito


Be Your Own Boss Bowl® 2015, by the numbers

$200,000        Value of monetary, products, services and mentorship prizes awarded
300                 Mentors and preliminary judges
143                 Overall participants in BYOBB
64                    Senior executive mentors
61                    Registered company submissions
32                    Participating finalist team members
19                    Sponsors
13                    Temple University schools and colleges represented in BYOBB
13                    Presentation coaches
12                    Finalist teams representing five Temple schools and colleges
6                      Finalist judges

IEI executive director Ellen Weber addresses Philadelphia area high school students at the Youth Entrepreneurship Conference.
IEI executive director Ellen Weber addresses Philadelphia area high school students at the Youth Entrepreneurship Conference.

It’s never too early to embrace entrepreneurship.

That’s what nearly 100 Philadelphia high school students learned March 12, in gathering at Temple University’s Fox School of Business for the fourth-annual Youth Entrepreneurship Conference.

The collaboration between Temple University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute (IEI) and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurs (NFTE) made for a successful event, providing NFTE students the opportunity to meet business educators, leaders and mentors who ignited their entrepreneurial mindset. Participating Philadelphia high schools in the one-day conference included Boys Latin Charter School, Esperanza Charter School, Franklin Learning Center and Lincoln High School.

Private sector leader Jeff Brown, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, served as the event’s keynote speaker. Brown, who also operates 11 Philadelphia-area ShopRite supermarkets, shared how he has utilized entrepreneurial thinking to operate supermarkets successfully. Hiring local residents, incorporating healthcare services and offering financial services not previously available, he said, have impacted the surrounding neighborhoods.

Staff and faculty from the NFTE and Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute recently held their fourth-annual Youth Entrepreneurship Conference.
Staff and faculty from the NFTE and Temple’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute recently held their fourth-annual Youth Entrepreneurship Conference.

Sylvia McKinney, Executive Director of NFTE, and Tyra Ford, IEI Director of Operations and Strategic Marketing Initiatives, opened the conference with welcoming remarks.

“It may not happen in the next 12 months. It might happen five years from now,” McKinney said, “but the entrepreneurial mindset we’re developing with these students is going to go with them for a lifetime.”

Two faculty members from the Fox School – IEI Managing Director Rob McNamee and IEI Executive Director Ellen Weber – led presentation workshops and interactive activities to share their insights on becoming successful entrepreneurs. Additionally, David Kaiser, the Director of Undergraduate Enrollment Management at the Fox School, offered helpful tips on getting into the college of your dreams.

“It was great to see how engaged and energized the students were in learning about the different ways to innovate,” Weber said. “Students learned how to create experiments to test assumptions that are core to their business models, using the hypothetical Onion Goggles Company.”

According to the participating high school students, the takeaways from the event varied.

“Innovation is key,” said Jose Asencio, a student from the Franklin Learning Center. “Innovation helps express creativity and helps build and maintain relationships.”

“If you work hard enough, you can be anything you want in life,” said Shadeed Savage, another student from the Franklin Learning Center. “I learned from the instructors that not everybody started out at the top. Many people have to find their way on their own terms.”

Founded in New York City in 1987 by Steve Mariotti, a former entrepreneur turned high school math teacher in South Bronx, N.Y., NFTE began as a program to prevent dropouts and improve academic performance among students who were at risk of failing or quitting school. NFTE inspires young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan successful futures. Visit www.nfte.com for more information.

The mission of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute is to proactively promote the entrepreneurial spirit throughout all 17 schools and colleges of Temple University. The IEI’s highly skilled staff and faculty provide consulting services to project groups and new ventures while developing and maintaining the IEI’s rich offerings of programs and relationships. The IEI offers many years of experience in new ventures launched and consulting, extensive networks and boundless enthusiasm for experiential learning.

Click here to learn more about IEI.

On April 24th, innovation and disruption expert Michael E. Raynor joined the Fox School to talk about:

  • The distinction between Strategy and Innovation
  • How to stop disruptors from stealing your lunch
  • Why your previous strengths might be your future weaknesses
  • How to respond to, and take advantage of, disruption in your market

Michael E. Raynor presented “Strategy and Innovation:  Where Differentiation Meets Disruption,” a talk that highlighted the differences between strategy and innovation by providing empirical evidence of how and why business models and enabling technologies can disrupt the market place. His thinking challenges how we view organizational constraints, and offers insights that can help managers make better decisions.

Prior to his visit to Fox School, Raynor shared his insight on the three rules with an intimate crowd gathered for the 8th Annual Frederic Fox Leadership Lecture and Innovation Leadership Speaker Series (ILSS) at the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia.

Over a five-year period, Raynor and co-author Mumtaz Ahmed analyzed 45 years of data on more than 25,000 publicly traded companies. Of those companies, Raynor and Ahmed found only 344 to be “miracle workers” with truly exceptional, long-term performance.The trick for those companies was fundamentally about creating value for customers, Raynor said. The miracles workers all produced better products before cheaper products. To capture value, the companies focused on increasing revenue before cutting costs.

The Three Rules became:

1. Better before cheaper

2. Revenue before costs

3. There are no other rules

Of course rules only work if you follow them.  “We all excuse ourselves from rules at one time or another,” Raynor said, but rules can work magic if you use them even when you are pulled in the other direction. This is especially useful when companies are looking to innovate in ways that push beyond today’s frontier of the possible. Where strategy is about making tradeoffs, innovation is about breaking tradeoffs to get more for less, Raynor said.

The three rules apply here and can help companies make the leap of faith that innovation often requires. “Rules allow you to do what’s right even when it doesn’t look or feel right,” Raynor said.  He sees a future where chief innovation officers manage innovation the way chief strategy officers manage strategy. “The companies that innovate best are the companies that take it seriously and treat it like a thing to be managed,” he said.  Those companies will succeed if they view all decisions through the lens of these hard and fast rules. “If you want to play house odds,” Raynor said, “you should bet on better before cheaper.”

Michael E. Raynor is co-author with Professor Clayton M. Christensen of The Innovator’s Solution, which was on The Wall Street Journal and The New York Timesbestseller lists, and sole author of The Innovator’s Manifesto, released in 2011, when the Financial Times called Raynor “one of the most articulate and interesting” thought leaders in the field. Raynor’s The Strategy Paradox was named by Strategy + Business as one of its top five picks in strategy, and BusinessWeek named it one of the 10 Best Business Books for 2007. Most recently, Raynor co-authored The Three Rules:  How Exceptional Companies Think, which was selected by The Globe and Mail as their #1 business book for 2013.

Raynor is a Director at Deloitte Services LP and the Innovation Theme Leader in the firm’s Eminence function. In addition, Raynor is an advisor to senior executives in many of the world’s leading corporations across a wide range of industries.