Archive for October, 2009

Permission is the key

Friday, October 30th, 2009

A viral campaign has a few necessary ingredients to get a viral social success.

One is that it needs to have some value in passing it to my friends. I don’t want to look like I am abusing my friends. I want to be the first one to post the new link and idea. So being cool, or for the social good (like cancer research), will probably get you there.

Then you need permission. Don’t spam or interrupt. Ask permission.

Some smart guy tweeted me this link about 3 successful viral campaigns in social media. 1 & 3 show that permission was important. They all had value to pass on.

I think the asking is an important part. “Please send this to your friends”. Value. Permission.

New Innovation leveraging web2 ideas

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Just listening to Aneesh Chopra (the CTO of US government). He talked about ‘know your farmer’ – so when you buy eggs, you know how local they are.

It made me think of an iphone app that reads bar codes, and helps manage your diet, or gives recipe ideas.

I thought about selling a spare table and chairs I have. I should go put it on the notice board. But what if there was a way I could list it socially, to people in the immediate area.

I am thinking more local, my friends is obvious, how about my building i live in, connect to local people and local businesses
Is there a geo capability in facebook/twitter ? I guess it could be abused though
I am thinking of something around local supply and demand, sort of like local barter. A matching system of local demand and supply.

A Value adding analysis

Monday, October 26th, 2009

A colleague of mine Kevin tweeted a URL about Agile Software Development.

Whilst agile software is smart, I realised there is broadly 2 types of activities in your company. 2 sorts of activities that you can spend your time on.

The first, is those things you activities think you need to do. Like write software documentation (in the case of agile software). But the documentation costs time and money, and is generally costly, and if you think about the value its delivering is small.

The manifesto says ‘working software’ is better than documentation. So perhaps if you spend more time on better software, you can waste less on other support costs. Like, did you ever read a manual to using google search ? How about picking up a manual to Microsoft excel ? enough said.

I think this idea can be extended to many areas of business. A bit more time spent on design, planning. And less time spent on running the business.

A better product, or a more streamlined business practices, means spending less time and money on more wasteful activities.

Do you need a plan for revenue ?

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

After listening to a client of mine, she asserts a few common points :

1. If we build a community, and get traffic to the site, how are we going to make money from it ?

2. The younger people, gen Y, that will come, don’t have money.

I must say, the above are pretty common comments. I am not saying they are wrong, but they seem conservative, and perhaps short sighted. It is easy for corporates to be short sighted, given fiscal year and shareholder challenges.

After listening to Marc Andreessen, it was clear that the big guys, build the community and business model first. They stick to their guns and don’t sell out to revenue. I guess they are trying to tie up the market, and then build revenue once they are self sustainable and big enough barriers to competitors.

I have written other article talks about Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point, Seth Godin idea’s about marketing, and web2. It talks about if you get it right, you get unlimited free marketing.

I think if you get the eye balls on your content, then the money follows. Its like if you could get free TV airtime – you don’t ask how do you make money out of free TV spots.

I also have another post about eyeballs.   I quoted Donald Trump:
He does make an interesting point :
“sustainable traffic is THE source of competitive advantage on the web.”

It seems planning for traffic and communites would be sufficient in most cases.

I believe Gen Y are more likely to be single, have more disposable income, and more likely to spend online. I’d say they might be the best target in a lot cases anyway.

Marc Andreessen – netscape and ning – talks about innovation on the web

Sunday, October 25th, 2009

This  video is a great interview with Marc Andreessen.

He talks about his companies,  his joint ventures and investments.

He is on the board of facebook, ebay.

He talks about his company ning, twitter, facebook and their monetization, and fall of newspapers.

Any tech entrepreneur already knows this, but ‘how to do micro innovation’. You write your apps, and run them on cloud computing up on amazon.

I heard about one model, using adwords to research ahead of building a product. See the demand, for a small cost, BEFORE you build.

backup to the cloud

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

These guys have a smart idea –– backup your life on the cloud, into the cloud.

We’ve actually seen a few of these cloud services fall over. Ma.gnolia comes to mind. Their mysql went down, and no backup, and then they never came back. There is probably lots of other examples.

I am always worried about my itunes and original photos. But these are so big, its too hard to upload to the web. I have them all copied to a second hard disk, and also use the mac os time machine. But its all at one site (home).

I think they are more thinking blogs, facebook etc.

I have some of my business data backed up to amazon s3. PDF scans of business documents, wedding photos, and a few other things.

path to web2 deployment

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

Business won’t invest in something they don’t understand. So why would they invest in web2, if they are currently doing a poor job of web2.

There is a huge gap in understanding of web2 capabilities and tools.

There is really no use talking about web2, without making to relevent to business.

A current client and I are working together, to better understand relevance of web2 for their business.

So far our business strategy is going to use web2 to:
– leverage existing assets
– those assets are : your projects, your current users,  your volunteers, any marketing efforts, including offline and google adbuys
– web2 is going to be the big bucket to catch all the interest we generate. instead of catching individual drips in our hands, we are going to use a big bucket.

So a large part of the strategy is to engage more visitors, and do something with the warm leads. If they aren’t ready to buy, lets offer other avenues to stay in touch.

now what we do with the interest we collect in the web2 bucket
– think of it like having a big paddle to swirl the water in the bucket, to generate more activity in there
– the ideas are limitless in web2, as to what tools to use, and what can be achieved
– you need to first dream the dream

So bringing it back to leveraging existing business, and capturing more value, brings the relevance back to business.