Archive for the 'Blog' Category


Well not quite a sabbatical.

More of a break.

A time to pause / reflect.  

That’s why there is no post today.  (well there is now).

Every now and again, stop, refocus, adjust, push forward, dominate.

Let this be your mid week reflection (as I do the above).

September 30th, 2008





is scary huh?

People pause.  They don’t know what to do.

There is a void.

You instantly think you need to fill it.

What if you didn’t? What if you bought 30seconds of ad time during peak times and had nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

People would be in the kitchen during the ad break going “who turned the tv off?”, others would look up to see what was going on, they might even tune in.

Silence is polarising, we are so used to noise, we have no idea how to react.

September 29th, 2008

Establishing Value through Wrapping

Giving groups of things a wrapping adds value.

Some example wrapping:

Collaborate and create an advertising company representing many blogs.  Individually they have no value.  As a collective they do.

Represent a collective of shops to negotiate better rates as a whole rather than individually

Bring a whole lot of friends together and work together.

Wrapping things up and giving them new meaning establishes value and shifts the perspective, the conversation that’s going on in your market’s mind.

What can you wrap up in your market?

September 28th, 2008

Friday Bonus: 5 Ebooks

I consume a fair amount of media, especially ebooks.

Every now and again I’ll head down the print shop and print them out. (and then once finished I can share them).

Here’s five I’ve read recently I would recommend:

I have zipped them all up so you can download them here.
Enjoy, remember the best ideas are free.
September 25th, 2008

Being Different where it matters

Being different is not always the best.

Some things should be the same.

But choose one area where you will be different.

Be different where it matters.

Sitting in a cafe last week for a meeting, I gazed across the beverages.

Glinting at me from the corner were 3 rows of bottled water.

Waiwera Bottled Water.  Shaped round like a rain droplet.  They offering a visual viewing experience.  So they stood out amongst the others.  If i want water.  That’s the one I’ll be grabbing.

They are different where it matters, at the right place (cafe’s) at the right time (i want a drink but not sugar).  Bang.  Other water’s have no chance.

So think about it.  Where does it matter that i’m different?

Are you the Change Management person with a blog? are you the courier man who smiles at every customer.

September 25th, 2008

10 Reasons why I hate your product

1) Your product breaks.

2) Your product doesn’t boost my status.

3) Your product isn’t better when my friends use it.

4) It’s too hard for me to write about you on my blog. Give me some materials.

5) Where’s the social component?

6) I’m a loyal fan what have you got to offer me?

7) Why can’t I easily tell all my friends about your product?

8) You ripped me off by selling me a product that isn’t the experience you sold me on.

9) You don’t offer upgrades or a warranty.

10) If i need help with your product.  I have to find it myself.

You could view these how you want, however i will leave you with this Churchill quote

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. “

September 24th, 2008

Involve your customers in the process

Think Orange County Choppers

You get to see the whole process from:

  • Product Research
  • Idea creation
  • Mock ups
  • Final product

You get to capture the whole story of this bike. 

They don’t need to market the bikes, they have already done it through the tv show.

The only question for fans is how much?

How can you involve your customers in the process? 

And secondly

How can you involve just not 1 customer but potentially thousands of customers? through a blog or video or crowdsourcing or….

September 23rd, 2008

Free T-Shirts are so boring

First off.

They’re free.  

Which establishes low value. So we’re not actually likely to wear them at all.

Given the cost I suspect that getting you to wear them is not the key part, they want you to discuss their product as you received a freebie.

Let’s change this.

How about, you hire a designer off threadless to make an awesome t-shirt that may or may not feature your brand and give it away.  

You then provide two opportunities for conversation.

1) X company gave me freebies.

2) Hey I like your t-shirt where did you get it from?

3) You will actually desire to wear the t-shirt vs throw it out. (and thus allowing greater opportunities for discussion everytime it’s worn)

Give it a shot, why not? We all know everyone throws those t-shirts out anyway.

September 22nd, 2008

Bundling Internet Services

Flick Pro / Basecamp / Hosting / Skype credit.

They are all very fragmented.

Payment & bundling is still very standardised I think there is a huge gap for innovation.  

Especially when the internal processes at internet companies are much more flexible.

Why doesn’t someone bundle services into packs resulting in 5%, 10% or 20% savings per month.


  • A freelancers pack: Solo Basecamp + Amazon s3 + Hosting acccount
  • Small business pack: Basecamp + Hosting + Yammer

You get the idea.  There is a lot of overlay of some services.  Why not reward those customers.

Take it a step further.

Build a platform so I can make my own bundle.  

Save some dollars.  

Let me share it on my blog and with my friends / family / networks and others can sign up to it.  

Imagine if Michael Arrington had his own personal plan on his blog.  I’m sure hundred’s would buy it.

September 21st, 2008

5 Books you should read

As a Friday bonus (two posts one day!)

Reading I would highly recommend as a platform of knowledge would be:

The Dip by Seth Godin (must have)

Screw it Let’s Do it by Richard Branson (short version, very motivating)

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (Interesting insights into how we make snap judgements)

E-Myth by Michael Gerber (Teach you all the things you will wish you’d done first time around)

The world of Karl Pilkington by Karl Pilkington (Absolute rubbish with an artistic genius kind of take but hey you need a break)

Grab one from the library, a friend or from the book store.

September 18th, 2008

Pick a Path

Now take it.

Chances are you will be on the wrong path.

It doesn’t matter, your moving.

You can always change or create a new path later.

The biggest inherent problem we all have is lack of focus.

If you pick a path stick with it.

You will find fantastic things will happen.

It will be tough at times.  But persist. Keep at it.

Perseverance is genius.

September 18th, 2008

Great but not Great Enough?

I am roughly half way through my September blog challenge.  To post each and every business day.

The reason being a lot of gem’s in my catalog were being pushed back each week.

Suprisingly (and yet not at the same time) I have the same problem.

I have made a commitment to engage and dedicate more time to providing content.

It has spiralled.  Now I have more gems and to be honest.  I think they may never see the light of day.

They are great but not great enough when it comes to the crunch.

That is the key.

When the cut comes to the chase, ideas can be great, but are they great enough?

You decide.

Rather than put ideas out there that are great, I’d rather keep to the ones that are great enough.

September 17th, 2008

How Vodafone leverage the communtiy

I have discussed somewhat about building a community to enhance customer engagement (amongst many other benefits).

Given recent conversations I’ve had there appears to be a bit of a stigma around the labour investment in building a community.

So I wanted to highlight a recent example from Vodafone New Zealand.

They launched an online forum at August 1st 2008.

Investment was:

  • $150 for forum license
  • 3 people engaged over a month, checking in every now and again to keep an eye on it
  • Link under Help on Vodafone website and a mention on Geekzone


  • 250,000 visits with an average time of just under 4 minutes.
  • That’s a whooping 1 million minutes/ month.  Or the equivalent of 697 days (back to back) of attention.
  • 356 registered members and ~3000 posts (till Sept 17th)

From other forum’s Vodafone has run, they have found only 1 out of 5 questions requires an official response.

Over time the forum will build a repository of information that will provide answers to users without ANY extra work by Vodafone.

Isn’t this brilliant? What a fantastic way to help your customers.  I hope this makes others stand up and give it another look.

Oh and….

If your trying to figure the ROI on that.  Compare the attention time on the forum vs the equivalent cost of having them dealing with front line staff OR cost of getting that amount of attention OR measure impact on brand loyalty OR measure the value of the feedback you receive.

You can see your return comes in many forms.  Measure what is important.

Great to see Vodafone trying new methods to help their customers, keep up the good work!

September 16th, 2008


Cogs are old school. Here is our business it runs automatically. It’s parts (employees) are cogs in a big system.

I hate the idea of cogs. I know that’s a strong word but i do.

Why do you think people go into the workforce excited, motivated and enthused. Then you see them 6 months later. Doing another day at the office. Sigh.

They have become cogs. Sad thing is this transpires to the rest of their life. Lower ambitions, Less happy, Have the blinkers on.

Wake up! We don’t need cogs anymore. If you need cogs I suggest you are doing something wrong. Do a double take. There is potential for each and every employee to become a thinker in their own right.

Thinkers innovate, thinkers are happier, thinkers impress your customers.

Think about it.

September 15th, 2008

The Best Ideas are Free

The Best Ideas are Free.

Think about it.

They are.

Why are the best idea’s free?

Free ideas have no obligation, they don’t need to fit your objectives, they don’t need to be held accountable, they are created with essentially no barriers.

No barriers = maximum potential creativity.

That’s my ideas post for the week.  Take it away (it’s free) and enjoy.

The Best Ideas are Free.

September 14th, 2008

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