Thales Teixeira is a co-founder of digital disruption consultancy Decoupling, former associate professor at Harvard Business School, and author of the book Unlocking the Customer Value Chain.
For this interview, I have with me Thales Teixeira, professor at Harvard Business School and author of “Unlocking the Customer Value Chain,” which is an incredible book and an incredible reading, especially if you’re trying to understand how today’s business world works. I asked Thales a few critical questions to understand the business landscape and each of them uncovers insights that will make you a better business person! Contents What brought you to study business model disruption and business innovation? What’s for you that the most effective definition of a business model? What is the customer value chain and how does that work? What is decoupling and why is it so important? How did Birchbox break the customer value chain? Is disruption about business model innovation? Didn’t Uber start as a tech company? What are the three phases of digital business disruption? Unbundling in a nutshell Disintermediation in a nutshell Summarizing the three waves of unbundling, disintermediation and decoupling How do we know what the consumer is looking for? And how to use decoupling in our favor? The three customers’ currencies How important is branding in consumers’ choices? In this context, are traditional business tools, like Porter’s Five Forces, still useful? How should I start a disruptive company today? Is specialization the key to decoupling? What’s next? Is decoupling the main disruptive force in the coming decade? Key takeaways
Thales Teixeira, associate professor at Harvard Business School, believes many startups fail precisely because they try to emulate successful disruptive businesses. He says by focusing too early on technology and scale, entrepreneurs lose out on the learning that comes from serving initial customers with an imperfect product. He shares how Airbnb, Uber, Etsy, and Netflix approached their first 1,000 customers very differently, helping to explain why they have millions of customers today. Teixeira is the author of the book "Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption."
This week on DisrupTV, we interviewed Tasha Keeney, Analyst at ARK Invest, Thales Teixeira, Author & Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, and Dr. Janice Presser, Founder & CTO at Teamability.com. DisrupTV is a weekly Web series with hosts R “Ray” Wang and Vala Afshar. The show airs live at 11:00 a.m. PT/ 2:00 p.m. ET every Friday. Brought to you by Constellation Executive Network: constellationr.com/CEN.
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Creator Details

Location
La Jolla, California, United States of America
Episode Count
3
Podcast Count
3
Total Airtime
1 hour, 26 minutes