Dr. Nicholas Webb is one of the world’s top business thought leaders as a senior partner at Lassen Innovation (www.lasseninnovation.com). He works with Fortune 500 companies throughout the world to help them lean their industries in innovation and strategy. He is a Bestselling author who has been awarded over 45 patents for breakthrough technologies including one of the world’s smallest medical implants. He is also the founder and CEO of Cravve (www.whatcustomerscrave.com). He has over 25 years’ experience working with leading brands to solve complex strategic, innovation and customer experiences challenges that drive growth and profit. His clients represent top global brands like FedEx, Pfizer, Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente, McDonald’s, Gatorade, Dimer Motors Corporation, Johnson & Johnson and Cisco.
Nicholas is also one of the world’s Top Keynote Speakers and travels the world speaking on Innovation, Future Trends, Healthcare, Leadership and Customer Experience.
Time in full-time business
Nick says he hasn’t had a job in over 30 years. He left corporate life in favour of being autonomous.
Current Revenue streams
He generates his revenue by providing Fortune 500 companies with a diverse range of consultant services related to strategy, innovation and customer experience. He helps them build future ready organizations.
He also generates considerable revenue from his speaking business. He will have done 60 to 80 talks around the world in 2017 alone.
Tip 1: To be a successful boutique consultant competing with the largest firms in the world, you have to earn the right to serve your target clients. You need to write popular books, speak at all the top conferences, and have your community of fellow thought leaders validate your importance in the thought leader ecosystem.
Tip 2: Books are not a money maker but they help to propagate your message and differential view of the universe.
Science/Innovation type business
Nick invented one of the world’s smallest micro silicone implants for ocular surface disease. He also invented one of the world’s first wearable medical technologies 18 years ago. He is currently working with strategic partners like universities and industrial partners to start building out a disruption lab that will develop connected technologies that will help meet some of the new modern day challenges of healthcare.
Starting out in business
He used to work as a lifeguard in California when a friend referred him to a new company (STAAR Surgical) that was starting to make the first minimally invasive implant for cataract surgery. His friend needed someone to help market the product so Nick took up the challenge. Before marketing the product, he had to spend several weeks in a lab doing surgery on pigs’ eyes. His experience in that lab intrigued him. Nick did very well in helping them launch the technology and later went on to start his own ophthalmology company through which he worked with a famous refractive surgeon, Dr. Ron Jensen. Together they created a line of breakthrough technologies in the area of refractive surgery. He later sold the company to one of the largest medical companies in the US.
He used his experience and expertise from running the ophthalmology company to start providing consulting services to healthcare companies.
Initial focus on strategy and innovation
Nick used to have a new product development function within his previous business through which they used to develop non-regulated medical devices. Eventually, they choose to concentrate more on helping companies understand the future trajectory of technology and consumerization so the companies can take what they learn and apply it towards improving their revenues, profitability and customer satisfaction.
Nick was involved with a company in the dry eye business and that equipped him with the knowledge of the eye-related healthcare problems of that time. That inspired him to design and develop a product that become very successful in the treatment of dry eye syndrome to date. He developed a lot of products by designing, building and marketing them. He mostly developed the products for his consultancy clients but also developed and sold his own inventions.
He has started and sold several businesses and technologies including an educational toy company that he is now in the process of selling.
Tip: To be successful in the inventing business you have to take risks and look at it from a stock portfolio perspective; some will be high risk, high reward and others will be low risk, low reward
The consulting practice
Nick was lucky to have entered the consulting business with a great success story from his previous work. Many people knew about his great reputation and they were instrumental in marketing his consultancy business globally.
The massive success of his books has also been instrumental in helping him get a lot of clients.
Tip: When setting up a consultancy business, start by approaching the people who already know about your unique professional value proposition before you start doing aggressive marketing to attract other clients who don’t already know you
Growth strategy then and now
Nick was advised by one the world’s greatest thought leaders in business, Brian Tracy, to use as many marketing channels as possible to market his consultancy services. He used to employ mail, trade shows and outbound telemarketing in marketing his services.
Today, he uses digital marketing and his talks at different conferences all over the world. His company has a strong digital marketing strategy which includes analytics and they have a digital command centre where they are constantly conducting different digital marketing activities in order to ensure that they stay ahead of the competition and constantly deliver value to their clients.
Scaling the consulting practice
He does not focus on managing infrastructure, assets, facilities or people because his core goal is to be at ground level so he can deliver the highest possible value to customers while making the most amount of money. He identifies low value activities and outsources them to freelancers so he can concentrate on the most important core activities. His services have millions of dollars of impact on any corporation which makes them high value and enables him to charge a lot of money. That gives him the time to concentrate on delivering on the clients’ expectations.
The consultancy business was profitable from the very beginning and he always has more business than he can handle.
Tip: As a young entrepreneur, don’t let your first focus be on how much money you will make. You need to first ask yourself what you want your lifestyle to look like and how much money is enough, then build your strategy around that
Identifying the consultancy niche
His business grew when he finally committed to doing what he loved to do the most. Speaking about innovation, customer experience, enterprise strategy and the future is his most favourite thing. The more he did what he loved, the more money he made.
Tip: When you connect who you are with what you want to do every day then that is the sheer definition of success. You don’t have to be super rich to make things work
The current book
Nick believes that the future of innovation is to understand that the greatest wealth, the greatest opportunities in business, are going to come from people who have identified ways to invent new and better human experiences.
In the book, Nick talks about the five touch points which are: the Pre-touch Moment (most entrepreneurs lose 30% of their revenue potential because they are accidental or incidental in the way that they architect their pre-touch research moments), the First Touch Moment (the way that businesses set the trajectory of their relationship with their customers), the Core Experience Touch Moment (what it’s like for customers to do business with an enterprise or organization), the Last Touch Moment (the last thing that an enterprise or organization leaves its customers with), the Fifth Touch Point Moment (the way in which an enterprise or organization authentically stays in touch with its customers in a way that doesn’t sell them anything).
He discovered that everything he learnt about market demographics in his earlier years was wrong because he realised that what matters when engineering perfect customer experiences or designing world class technologies is understanding what customers hate and love.
Tip: You need to look at your customers very differently regardless of your business size
Feedback on the book
The book just launched and already has several companies using it as a playbook to their formal customer experience strategy. There is a great video review about the book on Amazon and it has also received positive reviews from professional reviewers like Publishers Weekly.
Biggest breakthrough in business
He has had a range of breakthroughs over the years where there was rapid expansion. The most recent one was that he spent so much time looking at what he should do, that he is constantly looking at other things that he should do, and that he looks at other things that he should be doing. He says the best thing he has ever done, is to put together a daily list of things that he needs to stop doing.
For example, he stopped looking at emails throughout the day. He now looks at emails in the morning and at 3pm.
Tip 1: Avoid those activities/things/people/customers that do not deliver a good percentage of enterprise benefits
Tip 2: Be very jealous and thoughtful with your time.
Tip 3: Be very thoughtful about the behavioural habits that you get into
Tip 4: Create a list every week of the things you are not going to do
Tip 5: Look at the most productive activities that you engage in every week that deliver the most enterprise benefit then try to bolster those activities
Tip 6: To succeed as an entrepreneur today in the highly competitive business world, be strategic in the way that you use every moment of every day
A day in life before business Vs. a day in life now
When starting out, he expected the business to invent itself. He would try to sell everything he could and hoped that the next big deal would come in. That was poorly directed and didn’t deliver good value to customers.
What changed is that he focused on the value creation that he wanted for customers. He also recently became very systematic in prioritizing productive activities and non-productive activities. That has enabled him to successfully run his multi-million dollar business with only himself, his wife and occasional freelancers as the business’ employees. He develops processes around delivering the most amount of work with the least amount of effort.
Book recommendation for entrepreneurs:
- What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint – Nicholas J. Webb
www.whatcustomerscrave.com – customer experience consulting insights and training
To be remembered as someone who acted upon his tremendous gifts and opportunities in a selfless way to provide value to others – Nick.
Best way to connect:
www.nickwebb.com – Nick’s Speaking Business Website
firstname.lastname@example.org – Nick’s Email Address
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