January 3rd, 2012
Happy New Year to everyone! How happy is your new year?
When you ask business folks about the economy, many folks will note a poor economy and a skepticism of the future. However, when you ask them about their business, they will respond that “my business is doing OK”
This was reinforced over the holiday period. Good sales at retailers, car sales are up, vacancy rates are going down. People are spending money. I was talking to a woman who sells for one of the daily deal companies. When posing the question, “do you need more customers?” many respondents note that they are happy with their business.
So, let take our cup and declare it as half full… or maybe two thirds full, as opposed to empty.
December 10th, 2011
This is a rash of articles out praising the Apple way of developing products. Writers often suggest to companies that you need to create a product that is insanely different.
Sounds good? But here are a few things to think about.
First, there are not 5 examples of a similar product out there. Often when you propose a solution, people look at it and say, “Who else is doing it”. If there were many examples, would your solution really be different?
Next, it may not be successful. We all hear of the insanely different products that are wildly successful, but if it is different, it might not succeed. If it does not, that’s OK, ask why and move to the next one.
Also, don’t look for customer affirmation about the idea. Now this is hard, because there are many management gurus who suggest that everything you do should come from what your customers are asking for. If it is different, your customer has no context. But, do talk to your customer about the vision. You might suggest to them, “what if we had a product that solved this problem ”
Lastly, stay with your vision and don’t give up. It may take a bit for people to catch on. Or, today’s insane product morphs into tomorrows big hit.
October 5th, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Radio Broadcaster’s Convention in Chicago. Interesting that in some ways, local radio was the original daily interactive media.
Here is a thought from the RAB, that has significance to all of us who produce content.
“Nobody buys a drill because they want a drill; they buy one because they want a hole.” Let’s face it: no potential sponsor wants to buy your Package A, B, or C. What they want is access to a combination of tangible and intangible assets that helps them reach their business goals.
How do you help your clients reach their business goals?
July 23rd, 2011
I was the first business planner for the cell phone business at Motorola. Been in the middle of the wireless experience for almost 30 years. When cell phones first came out, you didn’t have anyone’s number unless they gave it to you (they were not printed on business cards) and you didn’t call someone unless you had to get an input right away.
Now, people make their cell phone number available on their voice mail, business card, or even tell tell the operator to ask them if they want to call you on your phone.
But how do I know if I should call you? Are you on holiday, and don’t want to be disturbed? Are you working remotely and would be pleased to take the call? or maybe you are in the middle of a meeting.
A solution? If you are open to getting calls on your cell phone, let us know. Otherwise, a message is likely on company voice mail. May not be what you want, but probably what you will get.
October 3rd, 2010
Your company is making decisions that make sense… Right?
Interesting article in Time Magazine this week about Blockbuster, the video rental company. Here are a few excerpts….
When talking about Blockbuster’s innovation in the 1980’s, “Customers would pick an empty title case off a shelf and wait while a clerk hunted in a backroom to see if there were any copies left. Cook (the founder of Blockbuster) programmed computers to keep track of inventory and give him a daily report of what customers were renting. … That allowed Blockbuster to optimize its movie selection. Today it’s Retailing 101, but back then it was a revelation”
The article goes on to discuss decisions made by Blockbuster management that has led the company to bankruptcy. To summarize the situation, Stephen Gandel – the article’s author – quoted Clayton Christensen, a Harvard expert on change. Christensen noted, “Decisions that in other circumstances would have made sense, instead drove the company into the ground.”
Innovation can help create a billion dollar company; lack of innovation can move you toward bankruptcy. Yes, your company has survived… but you have limited resources. You can start changing your business processes today, or wait until 2011 or 2012. It’s your decision, but you never know when it may be too late.
September 23rd, 2010
Just spent the last week in Maui. I swapped a YouTube Channel for a week at a condo. One of the perks of being in the Search Optimized Video field. More to come on that channel on a later post.
We went on a tour of a sugar museum. Sugar used to be the largest business on the island. They imported workers from the Philippines, Japan and Portugal, to work in the sugar fields. The introduction of jet planes and low cost airfare changed the dynamic. Retirees, artists and tourists replaced the cultivation of sugar.
As the world changed, so did the island. The plantation workers of yesterday, became the hotel, restaurant and tour entrepreneurs of today.
So, how will the changing internet world impact your business? Where will you go, and how will your business adapt? Feel free to leave a comment below, and start the conversation!
September 13th, 2010
Innovation is about creating a positive environment.
As a manager, when faced with an opportunity, do you ask “why?”, or “why not”? Which one you choose can mean the difference between innovating, or keeping the status quo and losing ground to your competitors.
When evaluating new opportunities, the first questions that many managers ask is “do we have the resources?” Assuming the answer is positive, the second question is “should we do it?”
However, at companies that foster an environment of innovation, the first question is “should we do it?” and the second question is “do we have the resources?”
This may seem silly, but it’s not. Innovation is about creating a positive environment. If people keep getting questioned “why?” or “do we have the resources?” every time they propose a new direction, they’ll stop asking.
And stop innovating.
Then, when a competitor comes out with some thing new, you’ll ask, why didn’t we think of that?
April 1st, 2010
Check out the latest from e-Conversation CEO Mark Goodman on Crain Chicago’s new feature, “SCORE Video”:
SCORE Video: Perspectives on Naming Your Biz