The CFEO and the nerd make room for the CBIO
At the end of the nineties Sillicon Valley was nerd paradise. Every technically skilled person could have a chance on getting excellent working conditions and maybe become rich. The bubble burst. No more unprofitable dotcoms and the end of telecom innovation paradise. Shorts in the office were replaced by ties.
The new ruler of the world was the CFO, who was first promoted to COO and afterwards to CEO, shortly CFEO. Shareholder value, CAPEX and OPEX were the new buzzwords. Creative accounting the solution to revenue problems. The current crisis is showing the limitations of focusing only on cost reductions and not on growing the business via innovative products and services.
It is time for a new class of rulers, the CBIO. The ideal profile is a generalist with a technical background, knowledge of financials, operating experience and an innovative strategist. This person does not have to be an expert in all domains but have at least a good understanding of each and be able to surround him/herself with experts in these areas. The CCO will understand that there are two types of technical projects: routine and innovative. The routine projects should be executed in the cheapest fashion possible: Cloud Computing, Off-shoring, Open Source, etc. The innovative projects will make the difference between global leadership and bitpipe doom in the next 12-36 months. No single RFQ process has brought innovative results to any operator that got front-page news coverage. So innovative projects should not be handled by an RFQ. The telecom operator should be split in two units: “Business as Usual” and “New Business”. The “Business as Usual” should continue to focus on shareholder value, CAPEX and OPEX and become a best-in-class bitpipe. The “New Business” should launch on a weekly basis new services and features to quickly understand what works and kill those things that do not. If the “Business as Usual” systems are not delivering the results the “New Business” needs then they should be allowed to shop elsewhere, even shop with competitors! The “New Business” should focus both on hits as well as long tail services. Giving end-users the choice between millions of services instead of only Voice and SMS. Focusing on the why people communicate and not the how.
Failure to recruit a CBIO will result in the “Business as Usual” becoming a bitpipe but the “New Business” being called Google Voice, Facebook Seamless Messaging, Apple App Store, etc.
CBIO stands for Chief Bitpipe and Innovations Officer…