Leonard Fuld

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How one CEO knows how to push the limits

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Sep 24, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Jim Mongiardo: Boundary Hunter

Jim Mongiardo has had a fascinating career to date. He has run a string of medical and biotech companies over the past 25 years. He is a quick study. More important – and the reason he has succeeded so often – he quickly learns the business boundaries for each company he has managed and how to push those boundaries as far as he reasonably can. It takes smarts to learn operational, investment and regulatory boundaries. It takes courage to understand when you have reached your limits.

Immediately following his graduation from Harvard Law School, Mongiardo started out as a litigator in the New Jersey state court system but soon grew restless. He wanted to try his hand at business. Finding a job at Schering-Plough (merging with Merck & Company in 2009) he entered a management training program and soon to become head of marketing for Schering’s Over the Counter and Prescription Drug business.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Brand Insights, Fuld + Company, Pharma, Healthcare, Fuld, Leonard, Life Cycle Management, Life Sciences, Competitive Strategy

Honest lessons from the C-Suite

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Sep 16, 2015 9:14:57 AM

How often do you get down and talk about honest mistakes and irreverent strategies with a CEO?

Over the past year I have had the privilege to interview over a half dozen former CEOs from companies the likes of JP Morgan, Corning, Harrahs/Caesar’s Casinos and Pearson. All companies with a global reach and encountering one challenge or another. I’ve collected these interviews in a special section of this website, C-Suite Candor.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Manufacturing/Industrial, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Scenario Analysis, Technology/Telecomm, Industry Convergence, Merger and Acquisition, Product Positioning, Competitive Strategy

The Future of Weddings: $50 billion up for grabs

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Sep 3, 2015 12:32:39 PM

Our daughter is about to be married and we look forward to this special day.

What we have not enjoyed is the process. I’ve never encountered such a complicated, messy and unsatisfying business in my entire life. When I say messy, I mean my wife and I have had to work with a tangle of over forty categories of vendors, from hotels, catering, bands, photographers, and so on.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, New Market Entry, Technology/Telecomm, Travel/Hospitality, Industry Convergence, Merger and Acquisition, Competitive Strategy

Burger King and McDonalds May Make Peace but Could Lose War

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Aug 26, 2015 4:17:00 PM

I practically choked on my breakfast this morning when I read the headline: Burger King challenges McDonalds to combine their flagship burger products into a McWhopper, for one day in honor of Peace Day on September 21.

First of all, what will a mongrel product that looks like a very unhealthy food pyramid (Don’t waste your breath Michele Obama) do for world peace? How irrelevant and self-centered!  As if world anything revolves around burgers.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Fuld + Company, Innovation, Fuld, Leonard, Competitive Strategy

Failing in a One-Screen World

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Aug 26, 2015 12:25:00 PM

An interview and discussion with Ken Freeman, former CEO at Corning

This is a story of Corning, a company that was once (invented the glass for cathode ray tubes), and still is (invented the glass used in liquid crystal displays), the king of screens. It is also a story of a king that almost lost his crown were it not for one very intuitive and brave young CEO. The lessons he learned are valuable today.

Today we live in a world filled with every type of video screen. Laptops. Flat panels. Smartphones. Tablets. Smartwatches. Sitting, standing or on the go, we watch these screens opportunistically, according to a recent Deloitte survey. Whichever screen is available at the moment is the one we pull out of our pocket or purse. It could be Apple, Samsung, HTC or Amazon. Today, Corning is a leading global supplier of liquid crystal glass for screens large and small.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Brand Insights, Fuld + Company, Innovation, Fuld, Leonard, Competitive Strategy

Cyber Attacks and War Games: Plan for the Future

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jul 28, 2015 9:19:12 AM

The crippling of the Wall Street Journal, United Airlines and the New York Stock Exchange web and trading sites earlier this month suggests a coordinated cyber attack. Even if hackers were not involved, all these institutions need to know what to do in case of such an attack. They should all have run what-if scenarios or war games to stress-test their resiliency in advance.

The Journal’s publisher did in fact admit last year (July 2014) that its graphics were hacked (fool me once, shame on you…)

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, War Games, Market Analysis, Scenario Analysis, Fuld, Leonard

Knowing when to reject advice and why

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jul 1, 2015 9:40:00 AM

An interview and discussion with Michel Darnaud, former President of Boston Scientific

During 2003-2004, the President of Boston Scientific Europe, Michel Darnaud, faced a critical decision: How to successfully roll out a new clot-resistant stent in the European marketplace against a gargantuan competitor with a product already in place. That competitor was Johnson & Johnson.

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Consumer Goods, Product Roadmap, Brand Insights, Innovation, Market Analysis, Healthcare, Life Sciences, Product Positioning

Social Media: A Competitive Analysis Resource for Chronic Disease

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jun 26, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Chronic disease is a frustrating, emotionally exhausting, and sometimes life-threatening experience. That’s what makes it such a data-rich opportunity for analyzing how a rival might be tapping into this market.

Back in 2001, before Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and online heath forums, the World Wide Web was a wild frontier of informal discussion groups and list serves. Daniel Vasella, former CEO of Novartis, once wrote: “There is real power in the Internet as a source of information, but especially as a way to connect with each other, to share experiences, knowledge and help each other.” (Magic Cancer Bullet, Daniel Vasella and Robert Slater, Copyright 2003, page 126)

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Topics: Competitive Intelligence, Innovation, Scenario Analysis, Healthcare, Industry Convergence, Life Sciences

Fast and Smart - How Millennials See Healthcare's Future

Posted by Leonard Fuld on Jun 1, 2015 2:30:00 PM

The real headline for this post should be: Survey of millennials on Boston's waterfront depicts exciting, highly customer-centric healthcare services in just 15 years, driven by start-ups and lots of smart technology.

In a recent LinkedIn posting, I created what appears to be a fanciful view of the US healthcare market in the year 2030, just 15 years from today. My information came from a series of over 19 interviews with 43 individuals. Most of the respondents were in their 20s and 30s. Educated and opinionated are the two words I believe characterizes this assortment of lunch goers, considering the fact that I swooped down on them, often interrupting their own lunchtime conversations. I was particularly impressed with the thought they apparently had given the subject long before I ever entered their lives. It didn’t take much for me to draw them into the conversation about healthcare’s flaws and not-yet-achieved opportunities. They got it, no doubt about it. 

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Topics: Brand Insights, Scenario Analysis, Healthcare

Can Uber be conquered?

Posted by Leonard Fuld on May 12, 2015 12:35:00 PM

Yes, according to our man-on-the-street survey.

In my view, the largest barrier to entry is gaining access to customers.  If a company can hold onto its customers despite a rival offering lower prices or government regulation allowing more competition to enter a market, then that firm has a resilient strategy.   That may not be the case with Uber, no matter how high its valuation ascends.

Why do I say this? Last week I conducted an informal survey of Uber customers on Boston’s new Rose Kennedy Greenway. I visited 15 groups of people sunning themselves or strolling down this wonderful stretch of newly developed parkland on the edge of Boston’s financial district (this was by no means a statistically significant poll). In all I spoke with roughly 45 people about how they view Uber and its competition.

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Topics: Innovation, Technology/Telecomm

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