Sometimes Life Just Sneaks Up On You :)

September 8, 2013

Sometimes Life Just Sneaks Up On You :)

Just for fun. Because sometimes that is what you need…

Photo originally posted on Google+ by Jenn Concepcion. Thank you

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Innovation isn’t always pretty…

August 24, 2013

“The patterns are simple, but followed together, they make for a whole that is wiser than the sum of its parts. Go for a walk; cultivate hunches; write everything down, but keep your folders messy; embrace serendipity; make generative mistakes; take on multiple hobbies; frequent coffeehouses and other liquid networks; follow the links; let others build on your ideas; borrow, recycle; reinvent. Build a tangled bank.” ~ Steven Johnson

A word to big brands: Growth requires vision for what might be…

August 23, 2013

A couple years back, Joseph Jaffe wrote:

“My message to brands is very simple: Don’t be turned off by a startup’s lack of reach. In fact, this should turn you on! You’re dealing with the most fertile real estate, untouched, and unspoiled by the masses (even your competitors). You have the incredible opportunity to help them achieve their path to reach with your brand dollars, talent, resources, and media. You have the unique chance to join forces with them at the earliest possible stage to co-create and own that big idea.”

This message is even more compelling today. It is hard to know what the next Pinterest might be, or how it will be best commercialized. All too often, big brands want big impacts, and look to established and tried and true methodologies and platforms. But this short term leverage is the old thinking. Big brands still need a place to explore market potential, and to be positioned to explore and understand emerging trends. By the time the “next big thing” really becomes the next big thing, it is often too late, or at least too late to fully leverage the benefit to your brand.

The key is in tapping small communication opportunities that may turn into large communication opportunities at some point. There will be dry holes, and this small game activity may be viewed as a distraction, but this is also the only real way to catch the early tail of a rising media star.

We had no idea….

July 31, 2013

“This revolution, the information revolution, is a revolution of free energy as well, but of another kind: free intellectual energy. It’s very crude today, yet our Macintosh computer takes less power than a 100-watt bulb to run it and it can save you hours a day. What will it be able to do ten or 20 years from now, or 50 years from now?”

Steve Jobs

As visionary and focused as Steve was, I don’t think he saw the scope of what was coming….

Take Your Time to Eat the Donuts…

July 25, 2013

DDdrinkI recently have been reading in various sources (for example, NFR Stores) that Dunkin Donuts has been upgrading sites with a new design that encourages people to linger.

This is an interesting progression in the Dunkin Donuts lifeline. Being originally from the northern Mid-Atlantic region, and having spent significant time in NE and the upper Midwest, I saw coffee shops (DD in particular) as a hangout place. At the time, they had actual counter service (like a diner) and you could also choose a booth or table. Lingering was actively encouraged, as incremental sales occurred from additional time and the products had significant margins. (I hopefully scoured the net for a picture of DDs in the 80’s but had no luck…)

DD new image<

But the feeling also prevailed that was OK to know the staff (and they you), and also the regulars. Some people seemed to pretty much hang out there all day…they were there in the morning and they were there at night. It was the nonalcoholic meeting place of choice, in a time where focus on drinking and driving was just coming into its own.
In recent times, DD has seemed more focused on getting people in and out of the store, pushing the use of drive through windows and generally depersonalizing the locations. In these days of relationship building, the time to re-engage has arrived.

While the new technologies (TVs, wireless, comfy chairs) will help the cause, I think the main objective to once again achieve a feeling of comfort and welcome, of community, and to convey that it is once again OK to just hang…

I for one hope they do achieve this, as it was always more homey to hang in a DD than it ever has been in the more eclectic and or pseudo retro coffee shops today….

Right thought…wrong time

July 14, 2013

“And it’s interesting, when you look at the predictions made during the peak of the boom in the 1990s, about e-commerce, or internet traffic, or broadband adoption, or internet advertising, they were all right – they were just wrong in time.”
– Chris Anderson

Like everything else, predicting trends, while difficult, is a great deal easier than predicting timing…

E-commerce truisms: No sacred cows here…

July 9, 2013

To this point, I have always been skeptical that clothes, particularly fashion, could be sold online successfully. When I worked with emerging web based technology companies back in the late 90’s and up through the dot.com bubble, it was a commonly held belief that we would likely never see this become a viable e-commerce market. Fashion was seen as something that needed to be experienced in person, and was a very sensory experience very specific to individuals.

sacred-cow

But we successfully sold books, then learned about electronics, cars and real estate, and are now learning about the products where perception is a major component of reality.

Initially, some online fashion retailers have sought to overcome the consumer’s resistance with generous return policies, and where possible, tying in their brick ‘n mortar locations for accepting returns. This practice has moved the line to some extent, but more often than not has led to purchase churn: Initial significant over purchases and then subsequent item returns among the highly fashion conscious effectively emulating an in-store shopping experience in their homes.

But this is not the only option open for retailers and e-tailers to pursue today. There are numerous technology applications available today to model clothes virtually that utilize a variety of executional directions (avatars, photos, etc). One of the coolest I have seen is marketed by fits.me.

This company has taken the approach of pre-constructing models of all shapes and sizes to generate a foundation of “inventory” for the program. Consumers can then further alter these models based on their own measurements and choices about body type. Additionally, there is an option to view the same clothes on that model in various sizes and tailoring options.

People who know me understand that this is something I will never personally care to experiment with, but the business advancement model part of me just finds this to be amazing. It’s like they have brought Disney animation magic to every day online retail. I will be curious as to how far this can go, and what other applications for e-commerce this can provide. What do you think?

From the man who wrote the book on marketing…

July 7, 2013

“Over the past 60 years, marketing has moved from being product-centric (Marketing 1.0) to being consumer-centric (Marketing 2.0). Today we see marketing as transforming once again in response to the new dynamics in the environment. We see companies expanding their focus from products to consumers to humankind issues. Marketing 3.0 is the stage when companies shift from consumer-centricity to human-centricity and where profitability is balanced with corporate responsibility.”
― Phillip Kotler

Financing 101 for Entrepreneurs….

May 18, 2013

I couldn’t resist posting this. Way too true, but also funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zngK13FMgXM Nikola Tesla Pitching Silicon Valley VCs …enjoy

This sums it up…

December 30, 2012

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The opposite is also true….