Marc first met future Sightglass founders John Jarosz, Matthew Tobiasz, and Patti Purcell at Thoughtworks, where he was a designer with a compulsion to understand why a particular strategic path was being taken.
Now as part of the Sightglass Team, Marc is helping companies ensure that what they’re building will actually deliver a better customer experience and overall ROI.
SP: You’ve developed a specialization in innovation and new product development with experience working in services (Connected, Rangle and ThoughtWorks) and in-house (ecobee). Most recently, you were VP of Venture Strategy at Highline Beta. What inspired you to join Sightglass Partners?
MD: I’ve spent most of my career trying to get to the start, parsing and filtering to figure out the actual problem companies need to solve and determine that it’s not only the most valuable problem to solve — but that it’s also achievable.
Most management consultants or innovation consultancies will provide you with a grand vision of what you should do. But far too often that strategy fails at the execution point.
What makes Sightglass different is that we know how to define the problem you should be solving, but we also know how to get that thing built. We want to see innovation realized in the world, not just make a recommendation.
SP: Is innovation still a priority in a slow economy?
MD: When resources are limited — regardless of whether we’re experiencing a recession or opportunistic purse-tightening — it’s risky to turn your innovation tap off. Teams are still pressured to find opportunities to grow and benefit the business.
Many consultants will look at innovation from a financial engineering perspective and find ways to operate your business more effectively.
But I’d argue now is the time to uncover the categorically new problems people are experiencing and explore what opportunities you have to respond to those problems, even with limited resources.
I’m seeing more and more companies questioning how to make good bets. And how do you execute against them?
SP: What’s the biggest pitfall you see organizations face when it comes to innovation?
MD: Many organizations invest a lot in innovation, but it needs to make it out there.
Innovation doesn’t matter if nobody wants to buy it. Your customers need to realize the benefits, too.
What I love most about Sightglass Partners is that, because of our diverse experiences, we’re uniquely capable of determining how achievable your value proposition will be. Will your end user be able to achieve what they set out to do thanks to your product?