Monthly Archives: March 2010
I’ve read a great book from Seth Godin : Purple Cow.
In this book, Godin urges you to emulate companies that are consistently remarkable in everything they do, which drives explosive word of mouth.
Some take-away of this book :
- Every day, consumers ignore a lot of brown cows (if you are on the highway) but you can bet they won’t ignore a purple cow.
- If you were driving down a road and saw a purple cow in a field, would you stop to take a look? Most likely you would, as spotting a purple cow would be pretty rare and unique. In fact, you would probably not notice most of the other cows grazing in the field, as you would be fixated on the purple cow.
- So how does this apply to the business world ? To be a purple cow makes you stand out, and if you have a business or service to offer, potential customers and clients would take notice, and if you are looking for a job, being a purple cow would cause potential employers to take another look. You have to be inherently purple or no one will talk about you.
- In the old days, marketers targeted consumers. Today, the opposite is true. It’s the consumers who choose. They choose whether you are listened to or ignored. So, you need to invest in the Purple Cow. So, you need to develop products, services that the market will actually seek out.
- We have always the choice between distinct and extinct. The only route to healthy grow is a remarkable product.
- It’s not bout being weird. It’s about being irresistible to a tiny group of easily reached people (sneezers =early adopters) who will communicate on this and will convince larger group to adopt the product. Irresitible isn’t the same as ridiculous. Irresistible (for the right niche) is just remarkable.
- “Being safe is risky, and being risky is safe.” And if you’re out there creating something on the edge, someone’s going to hate it. If someone doesn’t really hate your product, it’s mediocre.” And mediocre is where you SO do not want to go.
- A slogan that accurately conveys the essence of your Purple Cow is a script. A script for a sneezer to use when she / he talks to her/his friends. The script guarantees that the word of mouth is passed on properly.
- The leaning tower of Pisa sees 6 millions of visitors every year. The positioning and message are simple and unique. Put a picture on a T-shirt and the message is easily send a received. The purity of the message makes it even more remarkable.
- The power of storytelling shouldn’t be underestimated! I’ve heard it said that great entrepreneurs are also often great storytellers. Both Seth Godin and Brad Sugars told many great Entrepreneurial stories at their recent talks. A good story allows the teller to effectively capture the attention of an audience and leaves a memorable underlying message. Of course, storytelling is nothing new. That’s what probably makes it so powerful. But what makes a great entrepreneurial story?
- Seth Godin believes that a ‘Wow’ product and great story is vital for a business to succeed. However real stories can’t simply be made up, they have to be lived. Only then can the storyteller be passionate and real. To have an great story an entrepreneur most embark on a difficult and challenging business adventure.
Here-below, the first video explains this purple cow concept.
Anther video explaining other strong marketing concepts from Seth.
To read more on this, just click here
Some ideas to kill CREATIVITY and DISRUPTIVE THINKING within organization
Have a critical look at this check-list.
Really a good food for thought.
What are the most used TIPS used in your organization ?
Source : Yougme Moon
Very useful reading in Mashable explaining 4 Easy Ways to Engage Your Facebook Fans
- More than three million businesses, brands and celebrities have created Facebook Pages,
- Many of them are struggling to figure out how best to use them.
- Companies are finding that even when they keep their pages updated with fresh content, they still aren’t seeing steady growth in their fan base.
Here-below are four ways to engage with their fans.
Ask their Opinions.
Test their Knowledge.
Pair Promotions with Content.
Thank your FANS !
Here-below, more details regarding these 4 steps.
1. Ask Their Opinion
- If you post your content in the context of a question, you provide an easy call to action.
- With a question, you engage people’s egos and provoke viral distribution of your content — everyone loves to share their opinion!
The NBA has adopted this approach, issuing a steady stream of “Top Five” polls and other engaging content that has propelled the organization to top the two million fan mark,
2. Test Their Knowledge
- Consider testing people’s knowledge with a fun, relevant quiz, and even tying the results to a giveaway or promotion (more on that later).
- A clever quiz is not only entertaining, but also lengthens the time a user spends engaged with your brand.
- One company embracing this approach is Molotov, a digital marketing agency whose clients include comedians such as George Lopez, David Spade and Jamie Kennedy.
- Molotov worked with George Lopez to create quizzes such as How Well Do You Know George Lopez? to push his fan base over the one million mark and drive viewership for his TV show.
3. Pair Promotions with Content
- While a contest or sweepstakes may get you some e-mail addresses, simply posting these on your page provides limited incentive to share with friends or even to participate.
- The way to boost participation is by tying the offer to content. People taking a brand-related quiz are great targets for your message. They may already have an affinity for the brand, so this is the best time to make them an offer.
- In the example mentioned above, Molotov gave fans a chance to enter a sweepstakes to win signed merchandise — but the offer was made within the flow of the quiz. This strategy resulted in a 50% conversion rate. For every ten fans who tested their knowledge, five signed up to participate in the promotion, generating over 30,000 sign-ups for the weekly e-mail blast to promote the show.
- The offer doesn’t even have to be big. Before the Super Bowl, the NFL ran a How Well Do You Know the NFL? quiz, with one lucky participant selected to receive a $50 gift card to NFLshop.com. Over 10,000 people took the quiz. If you estimate that each participant has 200 friends, that’s a possible two million impressions in the news feed with a relatively small giveaway.
4. Thank Your Fans
- Giving your fans something of value — whether it’s as simple as a coupon, or as flashy as tickets to the Tonight Show — is a great way to show that you appreciate their continued support.
- But what about picking one fan at random to get something really special?
- The NBA again shows that they are on the leading edge. This brilliant strategy taps some of their biggest stars to record personalized video clips thanking select fans. Here’s a picture of Shaq thanking fan #385. If you’re an NBA fan, you could be next!
Windows Phone 7 Series represents a dramatic change for Microsoft. The new platform strategy is built around prioritizing end user experience, delivering a new development platform and enforcing a consistent hardware standard.
During today’s keynote at MIX10, Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president and director of Windows Phone Program Management, revealed the details on the new Windows Phone 7 Series application development platform.
Developers will take advantage of Silverlight, the XNA Framework and great tooling (Visual Studio and Expression) to build rich and compelling applications and games.
More than half a million Silverlight and tens of thousands of XNA Framework developers are now Windows Phone developers. Developers and designers can now write once and optimize across the phone, Web, PC or Xbox, adjusting primarily only for screen size and resolution
Change isn’t easy, even when you know there’s tremendous upside; however, if you’re in the technology business you already know that change is constant and it’s generally the biggest shifts that have the biggest impact. For us, the cost of going from good to great is a clean break from the past. For example, previous Windows Phone content will not run on Windows Phone 7 Series. We heard from hundreds of developers that they wanted a fresh start. This means bringing our mobile developers into the fold with Silverlight and the XNA framework. That said, we’ll continue to support Windows Mobile 6.5 for years to come.
To watch the full keynote, go to http://live.visitmix.com/.
For the coders among us, go to http://developer.windowsphone.com and download the tools today!
The screenshots are also available here: http://www.mobiletechworld.com/2010/03/15/windows-phone-7-series-applications-announced/
To get a rough estimate of how the Internet is actually being used, the BBC charted the top 100 sites by unique users in January 2010.
The data used to generate the interactive treemap visualisation were collected by the Nielsen company and covers the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, US and Australia. The figures represent unique users for the month of January 2010.
The categories – such as retail, social networks, search/portal – were defined by the BBC. Because some websites have more than one use, they could fall within more than one category (e.g. Yahoo).
Go to BBC site to discover this MAP : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8562801.stm
The most compelling Facebook add-ons for Internet Explorer 8
Share with Facebook Accelerator
The Share with Facebook Accelerator allows you to share any text, link, or page with your Facebook friends with a single click. You can use this accelerator by selecting either some text or a link, or by right-clicking on any part of the page.
Facebook Web Slice
The Facebook Web Slice allows you to stay up to date with what’s happening in your Facebook network. Regardless what website you are on, you can click at any time on the web slice title and display the recent messages from your friends on your board.
The Web Slice uses the Facebook Connect APIs to connect to your account and it shows a notification when new content is available.
Facebook Search Provider
Do you need to search for someone on Facebook? You can start right away from the browser search box!
The Facebook Toolbar lets you to share with your friends while browsing anywhere on the web – get notified, share content, upload photos, and update your status no matter where you are!
Who are the top 15 of the list from Forbes List of World’s Tech Billionaire ?
Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s billionaires.
Bill Gates has once again been displaced as the world’s richest man — this time by Carlos Slim.
As you will see, I’m not on this list
Here-below, the TOP 15 of tech Billionaires :
Larry Ellison: $28 Billion
The Oracle founder and CEO is the sixth richest person in the world this year.
Sergey Brin & Larry Page: $17.5 Billion Each
The two Google co-founders are both place 24th on the list.
Steve Ballmer: $14.5 Billion
Ballmer sits at #33 on the overall list.
Paul Allen and Michael Dell: $13.5 Billion
Microsoft co-founder Paul Allenis still ranked at #37 on the list, tied with Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell.
Jeff Bezos: $12.3 Billion
The Amazon founder and CEO is ranked #43.
Eric Schmidt: $6.3 Billion
Google CEO Eric Schmidt is ranked #117 this year.
Steve Jobs: $5.5 Billion
Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs is ranked #136.
Pierre Omidyar: $5.2 Billion
The eBay founder is ranked #148 on the list.
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg: $3 Billion each
Both directors are tied at #316.
Jerry Yang: $1.3 Billion
source of article : http://mashable.com/2010/03/10/tech-billionaires-2010/
Check-out this video showing how the Internet is changing advertising.
Epipheo Studios presents “How the Internet is Changing Advertising”, a short history of communication and how the internet is a new medium that has thrown out the old rules of communication.
New technology demands a new way to communicate.
The internet is built around people searching for information and sharing their experiences with others.
Good reading in HBR about Eight Things Your Employees Want From You. Melissa Raffoni wrote this for the Harvard Business Review blog
The job of a manager / leader is to make it practical for people to succeed. When you do this, everybody wins.
This is not rocket science and by doing that people will TRUST you.
I would add that this is key to simplify the work of the team by applying some key principles as KISS (Keep it Simple & Stupid), FOCUS and ALIGNMENT. We’ve applied these principles in all what we do within my Team @ Microsoft Belgium and I must say I feel strong energy and commitment from my Team behind these principles.
By doing that, you give more space and energy for the people to deliver with EXECUTION EXCELLENCE.
I would add that this is key to create a culture for open feedback. We’ve succeded in doing that within my team by finding some inspiration within the ONE MINUTE MANAGER.
Finally, this is also key to create enough space and let people grow within this space. To make this happen, this is key to let people take their own responsibility / acountability to act and achieve the defined goals. To help people on this, we did very good training to develop PERSONAL LEADERHIP of people. A good tool to coach people development is to apply SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP.
Here-below a short summary of this list from HBR.
1. Tell me my role, tell me what to do, and give me the rules.
This is not Micromanaging, this is clear direction regarding the rules of the games (clear framework and parameters) and then let’s play the GAME.
2. Discipline my coworker who is out of line.
Hold people accountable in a way that is fair but makes everyone aware of what is and isn’t acceptable.
3. Get me excited.
About the company, the product, the job ….
4. Don’t forget to praise me.
Motivate employees by leveraging their strengths …
5. Don’t scare me.
They really don’t need to know about everything that worries you …
6. Impress me.
Strong leaders impress their staffs in a variety of ways. This can be courage, creativity, a characteristic that others don’t have and the company needs.
7. Give me some autonomy.
Give them something interesting to work on; and give them space.
8. Set me up to win.
Nobody wants to fail. Indecisive leaders who keep people in the wrong roles, set unrealistic goals, keep unproductive team members, or change direction unfairly just frustrate everybody.
ARE you agree with this list ? DO you see other key-points ?
A good reading in Nielsen Wire regarding Nominal Growth in Europe. This is based on FMCG products tracked by Nielsen, in Europe.
As you can see on the chart here-below,
- Nominal growth has remained stable around 3% for four consecutive quarters.
- The fourth quarter of 2009 has shown nominal growth at 2.9%, once again outperforming the United States which ended the year with a 0.6% nominal growth rate.
As the chart below demonstrates,
- The leading Western European growth countries in fourth quarter 2009 were Turkey, Norway, the United Kingdom, Poland, Sweden, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland.
- Deflation held at the -5% level in Slovakia, Finland and Portugal.
- Volume growth is accelerating in Austria, Finland, France, Ireland, Norway, Spain and Turkey.
- The Big 5 European economies (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom) ended the year at various stages of recovery. France and Spain recorded solid volume improvements while Germany and Italy stayed close to the zero line.
XBOX LIVE NEWSBEAT: VOL. 5, MARCH 10, 2010
| IN THE SPOTLIGHT With St. Patty’s day right around the corner, take the celebration with friends beyond the green get-up and Irish pubs – grab your controller and keep the Xbox LIVE Arcade Block Party rolling! Block Party’s “Scrap Metal™” (Microsoft) speeds onto Xbox LIVE Arcade on March 10 and the time has come to fire up your Farsight in “Perfect Dark™” (Microsoft Game Studios) on March 17. Still looking for that perfect party outfit, stop by the Avatar Marketplace on Xbox LIVE so your Avatar isn’t tardy for the Xbox LIVE Block Party! Purchase one of our amazing gamer tees, and find out who got Pwned!
Get ready for big Game Add-ons, an epic Multiplayer Unlock event and more!
Can’t get enough multiplayer fun? Pick up the Xbox 360 Elite Spring bundle that comes with a premium Xbox 360 Elite console for $299 and blockbuster hits, “Halo® 3: ODST” (Microsoft Game Studios) and “Forza Motorsport 3” (Microsoft Game Studios) at no additional cost. Available now, the “Halo 3: ODST” game disc will also grant access to the hotly anticipated “Halo: Reach” (Microsoft Game Studios) multiplayer beta on Xbox LIVE, which begins May 3!
Face off in the upcoming “Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 2” (Activision/Infinity Ward) Multiplayer Unlock event running from March 12 [9:00 am PT / Noon ET] – March 15 [9:00 am PT / Noon ET], during which Silver Xbox LIVE members will be able to enjoy online multiplayer in the game, a benefit usually reserved for Gold members. And later this spring, Xbox 360 owners will be the first players in the world to fully experience the “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” content pack! Check out how acclaimed developer Infinity Ward took gamers back to the action-packed world rife with political intrigue, betrayal and heroism in “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” which shattered Xbox LIVE launch records and became the largest entertainment launch in history.
And if you’ve been inspired recently by the Winter Olympics, you can go for the Gold too. Between March 15 – 31, when you buy a 12 month Xbox LIVE Gold membership or renew your existing membership, you instantly get an additional two months of Gold for free! That means two extra months of full access to the best online gaming and social entertainment network in the industry.
In the mood for a little luck o’ the Irish? Charm your friends and enemies alike in an array of St. Patty’s day offerings in the Avatar Marketplace, beginning March 11. Once the jigs come to a halt and leprechauns head back to their pots of gold, kick off Block Party with a bang by getting your avatar to strut their stuff in gear from “Scrap Metal™” (Microsoft) and “Perfect Dark™” (Microsoft Game Studios) before each game. The “Scrap Metal™” collection will be available March 11 with “Perfect Dark” following suit on March 18. Partied out? Don’t worry – the “Alan Wake” collection on March 18 will have you clamoring to be a part of the action.
deal of the week
Get ‘em while they’re hot! Deal of the Week delivers an eclectic mix of blockbuster games and game add-ons this month including:
“Fable®” Originals” (Microsoft Game Studios)
March 15 | 800 Microsoft Points
Peter Molyneux’s groundbreaking role-play/adventure game allows you to create your life story from childhood to earthly departure. Will you choose the path of righteousness or succumb to the devil on your shoulder? Every action changes the world for-ev-er and, as dramatic as it sounds, its fate is in your hands. So, who will you be? Rated M for Mature and available everywhere except Korea and India.
“Fallout® 3” Game Add-ons (Betheseda Softworks)
March 22 | 400 Microsoft Points
Enter the expansive world of “Fallout 3” that will have you battling super mutants in a fight for survival against the terrors of the outside world. The shockingly realistic visuals and oodles of player choice will keep you coming back to this game again and again, and so will the game add-ons: “Operation: Anchorage”, “The Pitt”, “Broken Steel”, “Point Lookout”, and “Mothership Zeta” for half their usual price!
Xbox Live arcade
Xbox LIVE Arcade delivers quality downloadable games at a great value and the Xbox LIVE Arcade Block Party has officially started! Get “Scrap Metal” and “Perfect Dark” while the party is hot!
“Scrap Metal™” (Microsoft)
March 10 | 1200 Microsoft Points
In this fast-paced, top-down racing game, you’ll be taking corners at a swift drift with guns blazing. Take out the competition and fight your way through explosive, action-packed missions to defeat wily bosses to add vehicles to your garage. Cars are customizable and friend battles are at your fingertips when you play this game on Xbox LIVE. Let the pulse-pounding action begin! This game is rated E10+ for Everyone 10+ by the ESRB and will be available worldwide.
“Perfect Dark” (Microsoft Game Studios)
March 17 | 800 Microsoft Points
Galactic conspiracies run amok in this epic tale set in 2023 America. Now on Xbox LIVE Arcade, the classic shooter game that made its mark on the N64 console has been remastered—greater definition and detail support a silkier framerate than ever before. The Dark returns this month, so fire up your Farsight and prepare for some action. This game is rated M for Mature by the ESRB and available everywhere except Japan.
“Forza Motorsport 3 Jalopnik Car Pack” (Turn 10 Studios)
March 9 | 400 Microsoft Points
Collect, race, and customize the world’s latest and greatest cars in the “Jalopnik Car Pack”! This DLC contains ten cars selected by the teams at Turn 10 and Jalopnik.com, one of the world’s largest automotive enthusiast communities. The car pack features the 2008 Mazda Furai, 2010 Jaguar #33 RSR XKR GT, 2009 Ford #40 Robertson Racing Ford GT Mk7, 2010 Aston Martin V12 Vantage, 2010 Porsche 911 Sport Classic, 1992 Bugatti EB110 SS, 2011 BMW Motorsport Z4 sDrive35is, 2010 Audi TT RS Coupe, 2010 Aston Martin Rapide, and 2010 Honda Mugen Civic Type-R 3D. In-game credits are required to purchase these cars in Season Play. For more information, visit http://forzamotorsport.net/en-us/default.htm.
“BioShock® 2 Sinclair Solutions Tester Pack” (2K Games)
March 11 | 800 Microsoft Points
Step back into the unforgettable world of Rapture in “BioShock® 2” and expand your BioShock 2 multiplayer experience with a rank increase to 50, new weapons upgrades, 20 new trials, and 2 new characters. This brand new add-on will also be available on Games for Windows – LIVE.
“Dragon Age: Origins Awakening Expansion Pack” (Electronic Arts)
March 16 | 3200 Microsoft Points
Rebuild the Grey Wardens and battle terrifying new creatures utilizing all new specializations, spells, and talents.
“Lips” (Microsoft Game Studios)
Throughout March | 160 Microsoft Points – 440 Microsoft Points (listed below)
Grab a friend and harmonize to the beat with “Sexy Love” by Ne-Yo, croon to the soothing melody of “Don’t Know Why” by Norah Jones, or sing until you’re “Breathless” with The Corrs. Each track is available for 160 Microsoft Points each through the Xbox LIVE “Lips” Music Store. To get your retro groove on, the Commodores Song Pack is now available, featuring a trio of their top hits including “Brick House,” “Three Times a Lady” and “Easy.” Later this month, jazz fans are in for a treat with the debut of the Norah Jones Song Pack, which includes “Don’t Know Why,” “Come Away With Me,” and “Sunrise.” As Song Packs are downloadable for 440 Microsoft Points each, it’s never been easier to get sing-along hits from your favorite artist! For a complete list of “Lips” Game Add-ons for the month, check out lips.xbox.com. Don’t forget to check out “Lips: Party Classics,” the latest title in the “Lips” family, available in stores worldwide now.
Games on demand
Games on Demand delivers the titles you want, whenever you want them, straight to your Xbox 360. The upcoming Games on Demand lineup includes Xbox 360 Platinum Hits from some of the biggest franchises on Xbox 360 :
“Guilty Gear 2 Overture” (Aksys Games)
March 9 | Japan
At the height of their powers, mankind created biological weapons called “Gears,” whose energy source came from what was known as “Divine Power.” However, one of these Gears turned on its masters and led an army of its fellow Gears in a bloody war against humanity. Humans responded by creating an order of knights whose sole purpose was the destruction of the Gears. At first, it seemed that they were successful, but the truth had yet to be revealed…until now. Learn the truth in Guilty Gear 2: Overture, exclusively on XBOX 360! Join with friends in team battle, or go at it alone in free-for-all with up to four players on Xbox LIVE®! Guilty Gear 2: Overture is Rated T for Teen by the ESRB.
Treat yourself to new, lower priced Games on Demand titles too, including:
Today, we are all using services which are in the cloud.
But what does it mean ?
Steve Ballmer discussed, last week with students from Washington Universities,
what’s ahead for computing, with a focus on how cloud computing that will change the way people and businesses use technology.
To know more on this, just click HERE
So, are you in the CLOUD today ?
Vety interesting Blog in Dumb Little Man – Tips for Life.
To have the full article, just click HERE
Here below, a sumarry of these 10 Amazing Lessons & quotes from Albert Einstein :
1.Follow Your Curiosity “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”
2.Perseverance is Priceless
“It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
3.Focus on the Present“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”
4.The Imagination is Powerful“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
5.Make Mistakes“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
6.Live in the Moment“I never think of the future – it comes soon enough.”
7.Create Value“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
8.Don’t Expect Different Results“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
9.Knowledge Comes From Experience“Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”
10.Learn the Rules and Then Play Better“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.”
The above video is an interesting look at the market’s reaction to Windows Phone 7.
Nicholas Thompson, senior editor at Wired Magazine and a Bloomberg Television contributing editor, talks with Bloomberg’s Betty Liu about Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 7 software and the outlook for its Windows Phone 7 mobile-phone operating system.
By the way, Thompson also discusses (in the start of the interview) the film industry’s use of new technologies, as for AVATAR.
This is an excerpt of the full interview. Source: Bloomberg
very good article (Blog by Scott R. Sheaffer) on the most stupid thinks you can do to a customer
- Threatening To Escalate
- Making The Buyer Feel Stupid
- Questions With An Agenda
To sum-up Finesse is the art of delicacy, subtlety and skill.
As sales professionals, we undoubtedly need to ask customers tough questions and sometimes make them a little uncomfortable to move the sales cycle forward.
If we’re smart and want results, we’ll do it with finesse.
So, Never put a customer in a situation where they feel they’ve been backed into a corner. You’ll always lose.
Any idea how fast Internet has grown in you region ? Just use this WW Interactive Chart to discover that !
BBC News has a very cool interactive chart.
This chart shows how Internet had grown from 1998 to 2008 in various parts of the world.
In 1998, the only countries with significant Internet usage were USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden.
You can see how quickly Western Europe adopted the Internet, with over 31% of people being online in most European countries by 2005.
In Africa, however, the numbers are dismal, even today.
Check out the interactive chart over at the BBC News website.