What purpose does sales forecasting serve any way ?

As part of my ongoing statistics education ( data science of you want to make it sound really important)  , I had the opportunity to analyze historic sales forecast vs actual sales of a company recently to find out optimization models . Since managing sales is something I have done and continue to do – it was all the more fascinating for me to understand what the data was “supposedly” pointing out . 

And then an old buddy called me out of the blue and while talking shop – he mentioned that despite extra focus on accurate forecasting , the new CEO of his company was constantly frustrated with his sales leaders . A month before quarter close he accused them of sandbagging the forecast – and he got the numbers he liked as a result . Two days after quarter closed , the results didn’t look anywhere close to forecast and he yelled at sales management for bad forecasting . We both found it funny and sad as he was recounting this story – it’s all too common a scenario .
Let’s get tools issue out of the way . Although they won’t admit it publicly – companies that build sales management and planning tools also mostly do sales forecasting on a series of spreadsheets . Some put a fancy UI on top for C levels to see the results . Essentially – very few companies have figured out a tool to enable end to end sales forecast management  . Tools are all great – just that tools are not the problem this business function is low in effectiveness. Tools can help somewhat with efficiency – but not effectiveness .

Why do people bother with forecasting to begin with ? I will tell you my view – others might have their own opinions. The ideal reason for me is making prioritizations on resource allocation, followed by predictability . 

I like my sales reps to be “selfish” resource hoggers who do everything they can to win the deal (ethically etc of course). I want my sales managers on the other hand to provide the company view and prioritize which deals get what resources . This provides healthy tension in the system and gives me enough information to make executive decisions ( hiring , changing structures , discounting principles etc). 

Predictability is only a second aspect for me – but it is a close second . For good or bad – investors need predictability every quarter whether it is public or private capital markets the company operates in . And this causes a lot of “tail wags the dog” scenarios in sales forecasting . 

Pipeline management is a perfect casualty . Qualified pipeline is what we as sales leaders think drives sales . That is possibly true too – but what the sales system tells you as qualified might not be real in most cases . Which brings us to this thing called “coverage”. Conventional wisdom in my indistry is that to close $1 in sales , you need somewhere between $2.5 to $4 in “qualified” pipeline . We even.        pay some teams directly for drumming up demand to make sure our reps have such coverage . Plus the reps bring in their own opportunities . 

More often than not – reps won’t have the coverage their upline managers expect . There starts the exercise of low quality opportunities getting created to make the numbers up . Some times it is done with best of intentions – overly optimistic reps just think they have a real opportunity and their managers either share their optimism or just are too lazy to test for qualification till they get too many questions . End result is that a wrong pipeline number is set and published that is 3X the expected sales number from the CFO . And when sales doesn’t come close to that – or when sales exceeds the “call” by a lot , no one knows why. Should anyone really be surprised ?

Let’s look at the evil effect on resource allocation too before we wrap this up for today. Two thirds of way into a quarter , experienced managers will know whether they have a prayer of hitting quota for their team. This usually starts the process of parading top execs from the company in front of top execs at customer . The CEO of a vendor who goes before the CEO of a customer at end of quarter very rarely has the ability to say no to unreasonable asks . So they end up “buying” business at high cost of sales . Some Sales reps and sales managers who have a lot of experience know how this game plays out and occasionally do set up things this way for the top executives . You can’t blame them – your poor forecasting process and the metrics you use to compensate sales people are now working against the best interests of your company . 

Bottom line – before sales managers over invest in sales forecasting , they need to think through the holistic picture of what they want to achieve as end result . Situation differs for all of us and hence I don’t think there is a prescriptive one size fits all solution . I definitely will be rethinking this all over from scratch over the holidays . 

Is my cup of green tea frappucino half full or half empty ? 


If you are interviewing with me …

A good part of my time is spent spotting new talent and grooming leaders in my team . And since we have a lot of demand for talent at the moment – I am spending a lot of time interviewing candidates . Several folks have reached out in private to ask me what it takes to do well in such interviews .

First – it is easy to impress me . So don’t stress out on that  . I don’t bite (and very rarely even bark) . Second – impressing me alone doesn’t get you a job . We have a systematic screening process to eliminate bias . It’s not perfect perhaps – but it lets me be me and my colleagues be themselves and yet we end up collectively as a good evaluation team . And third – because we know each other through social media doesn’t automatically make you more qualified . 
So here we go 

1. Be pleasant 

We hunt in packs normally – whether it is sales or delivery . If you are not pleasant to be around on interview day , I doubt you will survive in a high stress customer engagement where several of us need to depend on each other to get to a successful end result . Dress for the job you are interviewing for – there are no bonus points for looking extra sharp . 

If you prefer working alone – do tell me upfront . Occasionally there are jobs that can work with people working in a lone wolf fashion . But it’s better we discuss that upfront because vast majority of roles in my team will need you to be part of a team .

2. Be honest 

Don’t tell me anything you can’t back up if I push back . Especially on your actual project experience . I am a hands on techie myself . If you claim that you are an expert programmer , I might push my MacBook to you and ask you to debug a piece of code , or write a small program or something . My intention is not to get you to a “gotcha” moment – it is more about understanding if you can debate back and forth with me on a topic , technical or otherwise . But in the process if you prove to be dishonest – you won’t get hired by me ever again . 

I don’t expect you to be an expert in all aspects of the job . But I do expect you to know enough on the key skills and prove to me that you have a willingness to keep learning all the time . 

I once interviewed a programmer who claimed to have done some complex program for a customer I knew . He explained clearly every design point and I really liked him . I asked him if he wrote the code or if he just maintained it . He assured me that he wrote the original code . I didn’t hire him despite his excellent tech chops – because he was being dishonest. I wrote that original code ! It was just his bad luck that he ran into me with that story – but that is what happens when you are dishonest .

3. Explain with examples 

For example – If I am hiring you for sales , I expect you to tell me exact figures of past accomplishment . Don’t just tell me “I killed it” ! Explain to me how you overcame specific buyer objections . Tell me about your good years and bad years in terms of quota coverage and explain what made them good or bad . 

If you are a developer or Ops person – show me your code contributions and give me specific examples of both good and boring stuff you have done . 

Do expect me to challenge your claims and I might choose to role play as a customer . I will need you to provide references and I do check all references . 

Many years ago – I was interviewing a young lady for a BI Architect job in my team. She had impressive tech skills . And then she told me “I will need to work from home when I have my periods . I cramp a lot at that time and I will get easily irritated”. I didn’t exactly know what to say ( my wife was pretty stunned too when I told her about it later) , but I hired her . I did set the expectation with customer and my team about this and she totally hit it out of the park . 

4. Explain what makes you interested in the job 
Do some research before you talk to me on interview day  . What is it about the job and the company that interest you ? What are your apprehensions ? What support will you need in terms of training , Presales support etc ? Why is this different from your last job ? What makes you excited and what makes you bored ? Are there things like travel restrictions etc that I should know ? What is the growth you expect drive for yourself , the company and the customer ?

Remember – the more information you give me , the more is my ability to find a suitable position for you . You might not be the best fit for my team – but at any given point I know other open positions that I can refer you to. 

Couple of months ago , a young technologist from Silicon Valley was interviewing with me . His skills were such that I really thought he would not take up a job in my team and would join one of the local startups . I asked him about that and he replied “I don’t want to build consumer toys – I want to change the world of enterprise data”. I hired him ! 

5. If you have questions, ask me 

You should be evaluating me and other evaluators just as we are evaluating you . If you have questions for me – please ask me . Interview days are penalty free zones with me . Ask me anything . I will tell you everything I know about that – and if I cannot say something for confidentiality reasons or something , I will let you know . 

Don’t ask me questions you can find out answers by yourself easily by looking at company’s website or on Internet in general . Also if my answers are not satisfactory – push back on me . If we need to work together well – we need to hold each other accountable and this is a good test for you and me both .

The more senior the role – the more are my expectations on what questions you should be asking . For executive hires – it’s mostly going to be you asking me great questions and less about you answering my questions . 

6. Don’t take the job if you are not FULLY sure this is what you really want

If you join my team, I expect you to do so with full excitement with little to no apprehension . So use the interview and hiring process as the time to get rid of your apprehensions . Talk to your family and friends before you take the job to make sure your job is aligned to your personal life and goals .  If you have even a tiny bit of doubt that this is not the right team for you – do yourself and the team a favor and don’t join . 

Take two in the SI land 

As some of you know , after spending a few years in software industry , I am back in my old stomping grounds . The question I have been asked the most is whether anything has changed in the time I was away , and what I see as the future . 

Plenty of things have changed and none of that surprised me . What has surprised me is the velocity of change – some things have changed way faster than I thought , while others have not moved an inch . Here are some observations and “predictions” for what they are worth. As always – all of this is strictly  my personal opinion, and not that of my employer.

1. On premises ERP is mostly a maintenance business now 

There are still some big projects , but not as much elephant hunting is left in SAP and Oracle lands for huge new projects . Customers are mostly sweating existing assets and some are moving to best of breed cloud . Plenty of maintenance work remain for integrators . Business opportunity is all in bringing new value out of existing investments . I haven’t yet seen any kind of mass exodus out of on Prem solutions to cloud in ERP space – just more of a cost containment play . 

The few big ERP projects that remain are mostly on M&A deals where multiple systems get consolidated . A lot of customers seem to be in a holding pattern even for relatively less expensive upgrades . 

SI community knew this was coming and were planning to change their business models all along . What has caught people by surprise is how soon this happened – probably in less than half the anticipated time 

2. Plenty of custom build and SaaS work to go around 

Many IT organizations have swung around from packaged solutions to custom built solutions . This will need significant retooling from SIs to adapt . I also see an interesting conflict happening between infrastructure software vendors and SIs in this field .

In newer technologies (especially opensource) , the consulting arms of software vendors have better skills than SIs. However when it comes to end to end work needed to make a production quality system , SIs have the upper hand . Rather than working together – I often see a battle for account control trumping the needs of the customer . Hopefully this changes quickly 

The other kind of work that is seeing volume is SaaS implementations and associated integration work . These are significantly low in ASP compared to large ERP projects of old days. They also need a fresh new approach . SI world – barring few exceptions – hasn’t learned to do this at scale 

3. Open source has arrived , but it is largely confusing 

Compared to three or four years ago, enterprise customers are all generally happy to work with open source software in production . Skill gaps are getting addressed too to some degree. What is not getting addressed adequately is education on licensing .  Vast majority of customers are confused – and I get confused too from time to time – when multiple open source and propreitory tools are needed to be licensed in same project . And there are still plenty of customers who think open source is free – both amongst customers and within SIs. One SI even has a “platform” built of community versions of several opensource systems that they claim to have put in production, even though there are no security features in many of its components .

4. Most customers and many SIs are not ready for “outcomes based” and “as a service” type projects 

I am a big fan of “as a service” model . The current situation frustrates me to no end and a lot of inefficient cycles are spent both in Presales and post sales  . With LOB buyers , outcomes based conversations are easy . That is because they do their daily business that way too with risk and reward based on performance . But when this conversation happens with IT and procurement , there is stiff resistance . A good majority of third party buyers agents are also stuck in the past on this topic . Even after they buy an “as a service” model , some customers get upset when they see a different person solving their problems each time even though all SLAs are met . 

What is also hindering its adoption is a set of SIs who are not capable of offering “as a service” projects using significant FUD to keep customers in a time and materials mould . 

5. The transition from one humongous project to several small ones is stressing out many SIs

Large SI businesses have traditionally been built on the idea that most of the revenue comes from a small set of large projects every year . This is shifting to the opposite end of the spectrum in a hurry . The disruption this causes to SIs is significant and many are not coping well with having to redo their org structures , pricing , methods and tools , recruiting and so on . Customer spend in aggregate remain more or less the same – just the mode is different . 

6. Plenty of consolidation will happen in the SI world 

Every large SI is buying smaller shops now, in SaaS and BigData spaces especially . And the valuation is pretty low – about 1 to 2X of annual revenue in most cases . This makes me believe that a lot of small companies will get bought out in the next year or so. I also expect larger SIs to more transparently engage freelancers in their projects in a big way in near future . 

There is plenty of good news too . SI work is not boring anymore and we are able to hire some top talent . Cognitive /big data / IOT etc are all real now with actual products , and with live customer projects . We are now at a stage in the cycle where no two projects look the same – and that is good news for us consultants . There is never a boring day in my world off late . 


Hospital (mis)Management In India 

It’s been a difficult time – my father in law had been in and out of various hospitals for over a year , and couple of days ago he lost his fight . It’s hard to reconcile that we won’t be listening to his soft humming of old Malayalam songs , animated conversations with my daughter , the many trips a day on his scooter to the local grocer and all the little things we took for granted when he was alive . It’s not going to be easy – but knowing he is not suffering any more  is indeed a big relief . My family can’t thank enough the kind words and gestures of love and support from countless folks around the globe . 

Couple of years ago, while I was on vacation in India – I lost an aunt to cancer . We knew it was a losing battle but we spent a significant time at the hospital trying to do everything we can to make it a little less painful for her . To say it was extremely frustrating is putting it lightly . 

There were a few more incidents where loved ones had to spend time at hospitals in recent times . The common thread amongst all these episodes is the fact that hospitals in India have some serious and significant rethinking to do on how they care for patients .

I have the utmost respect for medical professionals. I am proud to have several friends and relatives who are members of that profession  . They are normal humans expected to do superhuman tasks on a routine basis . We generally don’t go visit them under pleasant circumstances – so they need to perform at superhuman levels in front of totally unreasonable clients every single day . In my day job , I am a professional Servcies provider – and I know how hard that job can get even when my clients are not stressed out . So it’s not just respect that I have for doctors and nurses and others in that field – I hold them in absolute awe ! 

I do think from the perspective of sheer skills and competence levels – the medical professionals in India are on par with their colleagues anywhere else in the world , and in some cases a little better too given they get exposure to hands on work a lot sooner in college . Where they have some catching up to do is on their “client facing skills”. 

In the field of medicine – How you do it is just as important , and maybe even more important – as what the outcome is for the patients and their families . Unfortunately the prevailing practice here seems to be that doctors and nurses dissuade patients and their family from asking questions . “Because I told you so” – is a terrible answer . I have experienced this first hand and I know my family has often feared that asking questions will piss off the medical staff to the extent that the quality of care may come down . So out of sheet fear – they stopped asking . 

I have a theory – I think medical professionals here are not trained sufficiently in how to handle the patients on the non medical issues like answering questions from family members , giving them options in plain speak and so on . So the younger professionals just do what their older colleagues do and being rude just becomes the norm . I am sure there are great exceptions to this norm – but the status quo needs to change and it needs to change quickly .
Then there is the actual hospital management . The big hospitals own a blood bank, some labs, a pharmacy and a canteen . You would think that , the hospital would figure out how to make it easy for the patients to get tests done , get food/Meds delivered on time and so on . But that is not how it works . 

There is a sign out side the critical care unit that reminds families that someone should stay there 24X7 to take instructions . A nurse would pop out from time to time and say “here is a list of Meds we need – go to the pharma and get them right now. If our pharma doesn’t have it – go find it from elsewhere. We need it next hour”.  And you have to do it while keeping some one else in front of the critical care because the nurse could come back in few minutes and say “go buy tea and biscuits for the patient and deliver it”. It’s totally common place to also ask for “6 bottles of O negative blood” without any instructions on how to do it or what options exist .

How is this acceptable behavior in a professional setting ? This is not hospital management – it is hospital mismanagement. Within hospitals and across hospitals – the administrators and medical professionals have more ability and skills to provide seamless care than putting the onus on patients and their families . How do you expect the patient’s family to figure out where in the state a rare drug can be found ? I shudder to think that someone will bleed to death if there is no one outside the CCU to go find enough people to deliver 6 bottles of blood . There is no excuse to keep doing this – hospitals should absolutely get their act together . 

Hospitals are not inexpensive . Insurance is not widely used yet . Many patients and their families are ignorant of their rights . And there are possibly a million more excuses why things are the way they are . It’s also possible that grief makes me look at things more harshly than usual . But in the end – the noblest of all professions need to live up to its billing , both literally and figuratively !

India needs to focus on Women, not cows !

Cow slaughter and beef ban news have hogged the lime light for several weeks now in Indian media . Some one even got killed by a mob for eating beef recently in North India . I can’t begin to say how stupid the whole controversy is. But this silliness gets magnified when we read about one rape after another in India . Surely we can give more attention to the plight of women than holy cows ?

I am vehemently against capital punishment – I don’t think it has a place in civilized world . But when I read the news about a two year old girl getting raped in India , I started thinking whether capital punishment is still needed in a minority of cases ( “rarest of rare” as Supreme Court refers to it ). I know it’s a slippery slope if we start supporting capital punishment for some situations arbitrarily but not others – but as a father of a little girl myself , I can’t be totally objective on this matter . 

My own family has some amazingly strong women who bucked the general trend of women in India  – my mom ran multiple small businesses to help raise our family , my younger sister did her masters and anchored for TV channels while working at an IT company , one aunt was the first woman IPS police officer in our state, multiple female cousins did their masters degrees and have great careers and so on . Given this background – for the longest time I didn’t quite have an appreciation of what it “really” means to grow up as a girl in India . 
That said – I didn’t have to look very far to see things were not all totally kosher for women.

When I was a little kid vacationing at my grand parents house annually – the accepted norm was that the men (and boys) of the house would eat before the women (and girls). Most of my aunts and older female cousins were married off really early . There wasn’t really much of an emphasis in educating girls or helping them build a career at that time .
I went to a boys only school . And in engineering college , there was just one girl in our class . So the first time I really sat next to a girl or had a conversation with a girl was when I was in business school . It took me several months to feel comfortable in a co-Ed environment . I know first hand that it took a lot longer than that for some of the girls in our class . And that is a big problem – there is no reason why we can’t have co-Ed classes from kindergarten all the way . When guys and gals get comfortable being next to each other and talking as friends  , a lot of problems go away . With proper education – Over the next generation we won’t need separate lines for women , separate railway compartments for women and so on in India if we start kids on the right path from school .

Next up – we need to set things right on the home front . A dad who doesn’t respect mom and his girl children doesn’t help his son behave any better . I can’t honestly say I am setting the perfect example myself – there is plenty more I can do to share the domestic work load with my dear wife . I am trying to improve though . I do tell my little daughter all the time that there is nothing she can’t do that another boy or girl can do . I also know several friends and family members who look at it the same way . We need to change the attitude ground up – and have some real urgency about that . The duty of Indian dads and moms should move away from “best possible marriage for my daughter” to “best possible education and career for my daughter”.

There is already a lot of attention on equality of women in work place . More things are done to make it right today compared to the past – but it has to be more than just a slogan or a metric to be hit . The few women who have broken the glass ceiling has a big job now to be stellar role models to their younger female colleagues . But to solve the inequality problem meaningfully and quickly  , men have to take direct responsibility . It will be an absolute shame if the male leaders of our generation don’t fix this problem for good .

Coming back to the case of rape – I absolutely think law enforcement needs to kick the offenders butt every chance they get and set an example . But knowing the level of corruption and loop holes in the Indian system – I am not holding my breath on a solution that is primarily about law enforcement. 

As a society – we need to stop treating the victims of rape as bad people . They need support – medical , emotional , financial, legal. We should take away the shame factor in reporting rape . “Who will marry her now?” Is the reason why a lot of families don’t report rape . It’s time we moved on from our Stone Age mindset . 

I have started seeing some folks in social media saying girls carrying guns are the solution to rapes in India . I can’t change your beliefs other than point you to the fact that there are more rapes per capita in US compared to India , while there are more guns per capita in US compared to not just India , but every other country on earth.

There are some controversial solutions being discussed as well – like legalizing prostitution in India . It definitely shocked my Indian values quite a bit – but the more I think about it , this is something that might actually work in India in reducing rapes . I wonder if someone is studying this seriously to put a proposal before the law makers . Given the ruling BJP is extremely right wing Hindu in ideology – I don’t think they will entertain a radical solution like this . 

What am I ? No, really 

Let me share two things that happened this week to me , the “Indian techie”.

1. Incident 1

Me , a Caucasian friend and another friend who is visiting from India were on the phone yesterday . Caucasian friend has a team that is mostly in India and the rest of his team in US also is majority Indian. He is a first time manager and wanted our advice on some team dynamics . So for some topic he asked “so is this an Indian culture thing?” . I said “no” and our other friend said “yes of course” at the same time ! 

Dead silence for a minute and then we burst out laughing :)

There were four major themes we discussed about that team and three of the four , my friend from India had a different version of what is Indian . 

I left the call thinking I must be from Mars

2. Incident 2

I had some spare time (it’s the first week of new quarter and the only time when I get to do geeky things without worrying about deals and stuff ) and offered to help some younger colleagues with optimizing SQL performance . They sent me the code and I did not have an explain log to see what was causing the performance issue . The one thing I noticed was that there were some subqueries in the code that was on the same table as the original query . So I thought maybe I can rewrite it to a self join and get a tad more performance . Except – what should have taken 30 minutes for a regular developer took me a few hours to make it work . I was miserable – including some yelling , screaming and cursing . 

Here comes the irony . The code did perform better and my buddies were thoroughly impressed that a suit could actually write production quality code . I on the other hand was in extreme depression that I no longer can even do mundane coding very well . That is a big problem since I think of myself as a developer first and foremost . 

So what am I ? Or as I asked myself yesterday in technical terms – WTF am I ? 

I think of myself as extremely Indian . I was born and raised in a a small South Indian town . I speak English with a thick Indian accent . I don’t think of English as my first language . I speak Malayalam at home, and can speak several other Indian languages . I cook and eat mostly Indian food . I hear mostly Indian music and I read three Indian news papers every day on my phone . The only sport I follow is cricket . Yet – I no longer seem to be able to relate completely to the folks who live in India . 

I am an accidental transplant into the world of management and sales . My identity right from school days has been that of an engineer . I try hard to stay on top of technology all the time . Yet – from an “engineer who also sells and manages” I seem to have morphed into “just an executive who can do a bunch of different things”. 

Don’t tell me that “change is inevitable” or “you have to embrace change” . I know it , just don’t tell me :)

Digital Transformation, revisited !

I don’t like the term “digital transformation” all that much – and it is no big secret . My views are fairly public on why the term is misleading . That said , the term is indeed very popular and I get asked frequently about critical success factors as they apply to digital transformation . 

My view – simply put – is that it is more about managing transformation (as in change) , and less about digital (as in technology). 

I routinely talk to leaders at my clients who proudly tell me that they have started a Hadoop initiative or IOT project to kick start their digital transformation . I share their enthusiasm – mostly because I know how difficult it is to find budget for new initiatives at many of these companies . But I also know from experience that this is only a very small first step .
I put forward a simple three question framework to get to a common understanding of whether a transformation initiative has a chance to succeed 

1. Are we solving the right problem ? Or are we solving a random problem the best way we possibly can ?

Here is an example from recent experience . Data scientists and Hadoop experts created an amazing “churn analysis” model for a business . Customer loved it – but that project never went very far . Why ? Simply because this customer already had the lowest churn in their peer group of companies . This was not the right problem for the top management to worry about . All that happened was that we found an optimum solution to something that they didn’t really care about . 

2. Why should users switch to a new solution now ?

The CEO or CIO might see the tremendous value in analyzing all kinds of data and deriving deep insights . But when an analyst who has a well developed process of preparing , analyzing and reporting data a certain way for ten years might not see any reason to switch to an unknown new process . 

It’s not enough that users will eventually use the new solution – they need to do it “now”. Are there incentives for them to switch fast ? Inertia kills !

3. Can the solution scale and stick around for a while ?

Not just about scaling technology – but can this solution work everywhere (or in most places ) that we do business ? And is it flexible enough to not need a full redo in near future as business evolves? A transformation should result in something that is both effective and efficient !

Of course there are a hundred other questions to ask and answer about such initiatives – but in my experience , these three will set the right expectations with all the stakeholders quickly and also set the stage for follow on explorations . Worst case , it will still save you time spent chasing the wrong things .

Where should transformation focus ?

A lot of transformation initiatives tend to focus on changing the technology and the processes , and not as much on people . This is also why most of these transformations fail, even though the original proofs of concept were declared a success . 

Example – This lack of focus on users is also the number one reason why self service reporting solutions don’t live up to their full potential is most cases – users just don’t see a reason to switch and suffer from a temporary loss of productivity . And very few leaders have the guts to switch off the legacy reports and “force” users to leap into the new world :) 

When there are two ways of doing something !

Technology and process will evolve faster and faster with time -but human beings won’t change that fast if they have a default option of sticking with what they know . This is why startups generally have an inherent advantage in shaking things up in the world compared to an established company . 

Why do more people rave about uber as opposed to say GE when it comes to transformation ? Disruption is always easier when you need to disrupt others without needing to disrupt yourself . 

It’s not as if larger companies have no chance to transform – it just is more painful . Many companies have successful incubation programs in place to nurture new ideas . Integrating the good ideas past incubation into mainstream business is where there are not as many success stories available today . That should change over time .