Stop Flying Blind - A book by Michael Mace


Welcome to Stop Flying Blind, a blog on its way to becoming a book.

Everyone agrees that companies should focus on competing in the future rather than just reacting to what’s happening today. But how do you actually do that? How do you determine what a market’s going to be like when the market doesn’t yet exist? How do you predict what your competition’s likely to do before they even know it themselves? How do you spot the turning points that can change the rules of your industry, before anyone else sees them?
Most companies fly blind on these issues, but they don’t have to. By combining a variety of different perspectives — competitive analysis, market research, and advanced technology research — a company can map the possible futures, pick out the one most favorable to it, and help bring that future into being.

That’s what this blog is all about. I’m a consultant in Silicon Valley, and have been working in roles related to high tech strategy for most of my career, including long stints at Apple and Palm. I think most companies in high tech do a poor job of using external information in their strategic thinking. In this blog I’ll lay out my ideas on how to do it right.

Eventually this will all come together into a book. I’m posting new sections once a week, to gather comments and suggestions. Please tell me what you think, and what you’d like to see.


Note: This is one of two blogs I’m running. The other, Mobile Opportunity, is a look at the mobile and wireless marketplace and has general comments on high tech.

3 Responses to “Welcome!”

  1. mashby said on March 28th, 2006 at 12:06 am

    This is very exciting Michael. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  2. Mark Schraad said on June 26th, 2006 at 8:47 am


    Your topic is one very close to my passion and my work… and hopefully the optimization of my experience has it unfolds in the near future. A couple of comments;

    I think it is important to differentiate between market research and design research. Market research has different objectives and is difficult to repurpose for the development and refinement of products. Designers must understand more of the why of consumers needs and behaviors.

    Second, all of the research (marketing and design), combined with the designer or inventors vision, and the impact of future economic, cultural and social trends (scenario planning is key here) triangulate to bring a tremendous body of knowledge to the start up or product development company. You are right, most fly blind with a myopic vision of their dream product. Even armed with this body of knowledge, the prospects of success are less than assured. I think it is a scary proposition to propose that a book can assure success. “How to do it right” is a strongly implied promise. While your content is great, I guess I am a believer in “under promise and over deliver”. I look forward to you future postings and the finalization in book form. I am sure it will find its way to my nightstand.

  3. Arick said on September 24th, 2008 at 8:02 pm

    Hi Mr. Mace,
    I came to know of your blog book from our Competitive Intelligence course at University of New Brunswick MBA program. We did few online forum sessions as well as class facilitation on your ideas and topics.

    Though I am graduating this month, I am sure I will keep in touch with this site. I just wanted to thank you from behalf of our classmates for this excellent book.

    Take care and keep it up.

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