25 episodes

The Difference Engine helps founders and funders maximise business growth through category design.

Hosted by two British northerners with decades of experience in launching, managing, and marketing disruptive tech companies.

Paul Maher and Jonathan Simnett have been there, done it and thrown away the slogan t-shirts - now they'll help you become a category king.

The Difference Engine - Disrupting Tech Strategy

https://www.becategorical.com/

The Difference Engine | B2B Category Design | Private Equity | Venture Capital Categorical

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 9 Ratings

The Difference Engine helps founders and funders maximise business growth through category design.

Hosted by two British northerners with decades of experience in launching, managing, and marketing disruptive tech companies.

Paul Maher and Jonathan Simnett have been there, done it and thrown away the slogan t-shirts - now they'll help you become a category king.

The Difference Engine - Disrupting Tech Strategy

https://www.becategorical.com/

    24. Which European fintechs have a shot at category leadership?

    24. Which European fintechs have a shot at category leadership?

    Last month the start-up news publication Sifted introduced us to Europe's fastest growing fintechs. The 10 listed companies are successfully bucking the trend and managing to raise capital in these difficult times. Congratulations to them. However, today on the Difference Engine, we take it one step further. We find out which of these fintechs are not just better, but different.
    Do any have a shot at becoming a category leader?
    Also in today’s episode, We’ll find out how AI is promoting the proliferation sloppiness and learn from the chaos that arose from Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard.
    What to look forward to:
    00:36    Will Europe produce new fintech Category leaders?
    14:47    Is AI creating sloppiness?
    23:12    When Categories Collide - Microsoft & Activision Blizzard
    There is more information on how to design your category on our blog
    Follow us on LinkedIn:
    Paul Maher
    Jonathan Simnett
    If you want to create a chart-topping podcast for your business or brand? Contact Flamingo Media to make it happen.

    • 30 min
    23. The secrets to shaping Apple and beyond: Interview with Andy Cunningham

    23. The secrets to shaping Apple and beyond: Interview with Andy Cunningham

    In this episode of The Difference Engine, we sit down with a pivotal figure in the tech world who helped shape one of the most iconic brands in history. Apple.
    Andy Cunningham had a seat at the table for one of the most exciting periods in the tech industry’s history. The birth of Silicon Valley, The emergence of the groundbreaking Macintosh in 1984 and the rise, fall and rise again of Steve Jobs. If it was happening, Andy was there.
    During this time she worked closely with Steve and other industry heavyweights, developing her skills and becoming one of the world leaders in tech positioning. As the founder of Cunningham Communications Inc. she has been influential in the success of numerous high-tech companies in Silicon Valley.
    In 2017 she released Get to Aha! Discover Your Positioning DNA and Dominate Your Competition, a book that shares the winning framework she uses to transform markets and industries. Her expertise has been a guiding force for many businesses looking to carve out their unique space in competitive markets.
    In our conversation today, we explore Andy's journey in the tech industry, her experiences working at Apple and her insights into effective brand positioning. We'll discuss the pivotal moments in her career and the invaluable lessons she's learned about category and beyond. 
    What to look forward to:
    00:13 Andy Cunningham Introduction
    01:40 What makes Silicon Valley special?
    05:54 Apple, the Macintosh and Steve Jobs 
    17:20 Tech positioning today
    23:07 Utilising the DNA of your business
    34:24 Andy’s category philosophy
    There is more information on how to design your category on our blog
    Follow us on LinkedIn:
    Paul Maher
    Jonathan Simnett
    If you want to create a chart-topping podcast for your business or brand? Contact Flamingo Media to make it happen.

    • 46 min
    22. Top 10 go-to-market mistakes: Lessons from SaaStr 2024

    22. Top 10 go-to-market mistakes: Lessons from SaaStr 2024

    Jason Lemkin is not afraid to admit to his errors. In fact, a few weeks ago he eagerly shared them with a room full of people in East London. The founder of SaaStr revealed his top 10 go-to-market mistakes at this year’s SaaStr conference. So, who should you avoid hiring? Which cuts should you steer clear of? And what single word on someone's LinkedIn profile should raise a red flag?
    In addition, we'll delve into the recent acquittal of long-suffering tech tycoon Mike Lynch and analyze the repercussions of eBay's acquisition of Skype.
    What to look forward to:
    00:35 A conclusion to the Mike Lynch saga
    06:45 Top ten go-to-market mistakes according to SaaStr
    22:37 When Categories Collide - eBay and Skype 
    There is more information on how to design your category on our blog
    Follow us on LinkedIn:
    Paul Maher
    Jonathan Simnett
    If you want to create a chart-topping podcast for your business or brand? Contact Flamingo Media to make it happen.

    • 29 min
    21. Will France’s €15 billion investment propel it to category leadership?

    21. Will France’s €15 billion investment propel it to category leadership?

    All eyes will be on Paris next month as they welcome athletes and fans from all over the world for the 2024 Olympic Games. However, the international sports day isn’t the only event drawing significant foreign investment into France. The 7th Choose France showcase announced €15 billion of industry investments, promising an estimated 10,000 jobs.
    Could this influx of capital be the driving force behind France’s sprint to category gold?
    Also in today’s episode, We’ll analyse the failed Apple advert. Are they losing touch with their audience? We’ll show you how a decent Category strategy can improve your chances of securing funding and we’ll go back in time to see what we can learn when categories collide.
    What to look forward to:
    00:33    Is France heading for tech Category leadership?
    10:02    Apple apologises for ad that ‘missed the mark’
    16:55    How does a decent Category strategy improve your chances of securing funding?
    28:11    When categories collide: Avago & Broadcom
    There is more information on how to design your category on our blog
    Follow us on LinkedIn:
    Paul Maher
    Jonathan Simnett
    If you want to create a chart-topping podcast for your business or brand? Contact Flamingo Media to make it happen.

    • 32 min
    20. The age of regulation: Turning rules to your advantage

    20. The age of regulation: Turning rules to your advantage

    We are living in the age of regulation. Going forward, category creators will have to dance to the tune of the CRA, NIRS2, GDPR and numerous other weighty rulebooks. But, can we learn to love the music? Embrace the constraints? Turn the rules to our advantage and waltz our way to success.
    Also in today’s episode, We’ll analyse the emergence of `Storytelling` as, apparently, a new tech marketing discipline and look into our crystal ball to see how the line between VCs and PEs will become increasingly blurred.
    What to look forward to:
    00:30    Governments demand WhatsApp enforce age restrictions. 
    08:57    The emergence of `Storytelling` 
    12:41    What rules should you follow?
    20:48    The age of casino PE
    There is more information on how to design your category on our blog
    Follow us on LinkedIn:
    Paul Maher
    Jonathan Simnett
    If you want to create a chart-topping podcast for your business or brand? Contact Flamingo Media to make it happen.

    • 30 min
    19. Electric vehicles: An automotive upgrade or brand new category?

    19. Electric vehicles: An automotive upgrade or brand new category?

    Electric vehicles are expected to make up 25% of all new passenger car registrations this year, with projections indicating that by 2030, EVs will capture two thirds of the market share. As consumer choices change, so does the whole transport ecosystem. This technological shift demands new fueling stations, tyres, job roles and even road design. 
    So, are electric vehicles just an automotive upgrade or a whole new category?
    Also in today’s episode, We’ll analyse the aftermath of when categories collide, peer down our microscope to discover the unintended consequences of thinking small and learn how AI changing the design of every category blueprint?
    What to look forward to:
    00:30    How is AI changing the design of every category blueprint?
    12:03    What does the rollout of EVs tell us about building Categories?
    21:21    The unintended consequences of thinking small
    27:04    When categories collide - Microsoft & Nokia
    There is more information on how to design your category on our blog
    Follow us on LinkedIn:
    Paul Maher
    Jonathan Simnett
    If you want to create a chart-topping podcast for your business or brand? Contact Flamingo Media to make it happen.

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

HatCar ,

Great!

Brilliant and informative

Frankie2469 ,

John Wilkins

This is a great listen. Thought provoking on my commute to my job at a stressful bank.

Ricky101212 ,

This is a gem

Refreshingly British angle on all things business on both sides of the pond. Feel entertained whilst learning a lot from a couple of seemingly very credible minds!

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