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Archive for June, 2012

What should twitter do?

Recently, there has been a lot written on Twitter sending emails to users to lure them back to twitter.

In my opinion, instead of trying to lure the casual users back to twitter, they should be thinking about why are they not using twitter more often.

I know quite a few casual users of twitter and based on my discussions with them, I think twitter should give a thought to the following:

1. A new user generally done not know, what to do once they sign-up. What can twitter do to ease this confusion. They can send a link to a video explaining different ways people use twitter (to follow celebrities, to build communities, to stay connected with friends, to stay updated about current events around the world, etc). The user can decide to watch the video based on what they want to do.
2. To engage an existing user who is not active (either on twitter’s site or via an app), they could tweet to them on what they’ve missed while they’ve been away from twitter instead of sending an email. Suggest what they could do to get once they could get back on twitter (based on their past activities, from the above categories).

As an active user of twitter, I would hate if they go back from tweets to email and in the process to destroy what they’ve created till now.

Hope they are listening!

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June 10, 2012 1 comment

Interesting way to understand a business model and use the model to create competitive advantage by changing some pieces of the business models.

munch + muse

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Categories: Uncategorized

The true potential of enterprise mobility

June 6, 2012 2 comments

is when you re-think & re-design all your processes, work-flows for a world where everyone (yes, everyone) only uses a mobile device.

How will all the processes (purchasing, invoicing, production planning, material handling, etc) change?

How will the applications that you use change? How will your ERP system need to change?

What will be the effect on how you manage production?

How will you service your clients?

How and where will your employees work from?

What will your reporting change?

Will you still require so many middle managers?

Mobility offers you this possibility to re-wire, re-design and re-write the DNA of your organization and that is where the true potential of mobility lies.

The day is not far when we will have an entire enterprise run solely on mobile devices. The day will arrive sooner than you think.

So, anticipate this and be prepared instead of getting surprised!

 

The future of TV

June 5, 2012 6 comments

With the convergence of Internet, high-speed broadband and smart devices (smart phones and tablets), everyone agrees that the TV as we know it will no longer be the same. Apart from the hardware itself morphing into different shapes and sizes, getting more and more intelligent and connected, the content and the way it is consumed will also see a dramatic shift.

Everyone has their own predictions and are investing in the future accordingly. Erica Emmich, CNBC Associate Producer , did speak to a lot of experts and asked them on what are their predictions for the future of  TV.

  • Ashton Kutcher (Actor, Producer, Tech Investor) believes that with high quality content available on the internet, the advertising dollars will shift from traditional TV to web-based content providers and will then create an equal footing for both mediums. He also says that with the web-based content, one could use analytics to understand the user and hence have the possibility to create content specific to users. He runs a channel on Youtube called Thrashlab. You can watch the interview with Ashton here.
  • Brian Roberts (CEO, Comcast Corp.) seems to be betting on the integration of TV with social networking, creating what could potentially be Social TV. He believes that content will still be the king. His entire interview is here.
  • Barry Diller (Chairman, IAC, Investor in Aereo) believes that customers will want to watch TV whereever they are and on whatever device they want to. He has backed this belief by investing in the start-up Aereo. His interview is here.
  • Dick Costolo (CEO, Twitter) believes that the TV in the future would become more interactive and people could use 2 screens, one to watch the content and another to watch a live stream of communications happening about the content. He also believes that this could even lead to real live feedback loop with the programming itself. His interview is here.
  • Bob Iger (CEO, Disney) again believes that consumers would want to watch their TV content whereever they are, on whatever device they have access to. His interview is here.
  • Jeff Bewkes (CEO, Time Warner) also believes that consumers would want to watch their content on a device of their choice but at the same time also believes that consumers will subscribe for the content (irrespective of the channel of delivery). His interview is here.
  • Robert Kyncl (VP, Global Content, YouTube) believes that there are a lot of content creaters (good, bad and ugly) and they would want to create a platform for all of them to create and share content. There will be room for niche producers of content with a niche following (for which there is no possibility in the current state of affairs). He also believes that  use of intelligent analytics, they will be able to provide personalized content suggestions. What this all means is that the content producers will have a lot more creative control on the content itself.
  • Jason Kilar (CEO, Hulu)  says, “The future of television is all about people getting what they want, when they want, how they want it.” He also believes in the power of analytics to understand what would interest the consumers and decide on the content accordingly.

Also, on the other end of the spectrum, you find companies like Nokia who think that consumers would be interested in broadcasting snippets of their lives and experience live for their friends and family to watch it from wherever they are. Nokia has bet on this via its initiative called http://www.nokiachannelme.com/. Though their current positioning is not very interesting, the possibilities are enormous.

Somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, we have TwitchTV announcing the first PC game with built-in live streaming capability. This could well be the start of a series of game producers to announce similar features built in their games, could be called “Gamestreaming”.

We also have the http://www.thefutureoftv.org, run by National Association of Broadcasters, talks about hyper-local content and the effect it has on the local economy in the US

My opinion:

In my opinion, I think that the future of TV could look something like this:

  • Most of the TV sets will be connected to the internet and the cable will at sometime in the near future become redundant.
  • All content will be available on all devices, all the time.
  • You will have more choice on what you watch – a movie or a series on HBO, some special moment in the life of your son studying in a different city, watch-over your parents in their old-age home, interact with the hosts of a live chat show or plain old news channel.

The lines between video-conference, IP calls and TV will blur. Just like news  got democratized, TV content will also get democratized.

In short, TV (television) would gradually change to IV (Internet Vision or Internet video).

What could TV content providers do:

In my opinion, TV channels should embrace the change by giving opportunities to their viewers to influence the programming in the channels. Some exampes could be:

  • Users of HBO can create an online channel where they can select and play content from HBO’s repository. People could follow such a channel. The advertising revenue could be split between the channel and the person who owns the content programming of the channel.
  • TV news channels can provide opportunity for their viewers to host their own online news channels, where they can talk about the local news or news specific to a cause or on any topic that they are passionate about. Again, the revenue could be split between the channel and the user. Others with similar interest could follow these channels.

This kind of interactions will create more options for the viewers and also ensure that the TV channels and their brands are on top of what is happening in and around them.

So, what do you think the future of TV is going to look like? I would very much like to know.. Please do share your thoughts by commenting on this post..

Underwater bar in a Submarine

Really, an amazing idea.. A war machine, now converted into an entertainment hub..

Now, what would be even more interesting is if they are able to take this submarine to various cities around the world and invite people from that part of the world to experience this idea..

They could even have a space where people who visit the submarine can leave their hand-prints or something personal as a memory..

My Green World's Blog

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Celebrating its 250th anniversary in big style, Guinness made an unique deep-sea bar for the Sea Experience competition. Designed by the London based architecture firm Jump Studios, the 11m2 old submarine was turned into an awesome bar made of reinforced glass and plastic rubber discs equipped with LED resembling bubbles. Three lucky people had the pleasure to join the opening trip at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

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From Here and There,  PSFK and Ciclo Vivo.

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The Seven Core Tenets of Anticonventional Thinking

June 4, 2012 4 comments

The Seven Core Tenets of Anticonventional Thinking.

This makes a very interesting read. Most of the tenets of ACT (anti-conventional thinking) goes against traditional brainstorming or idea generation processes. I guess that is why it is called Anti-conventional.

Though I agree with most of what is being subscribed, I have to say that this is very difficult process to use in a traditional organization.

This needs highly creative and self-assured people, who can take criticism,  build on ideas (thiers and others), and trust each other a lot! If any of the above are not present, this could be a recepie for disaster.

This said, I do think that if you want breakthrough ideas, this could be the way to go. Just involve a small team made of people who are self-assured and trust each other, let them go through the process and I am sure, you will get some really amazing ideas.

 

 

Changing how we approach work

June 3, 2012 2 comments

Enough has been said about Google’s 20% time for personal pet projects and the different products that have come out of these projects for Google.

A lot of other organizations try and adapt in their own way and implement it in their organizations. However, not many have been successful.

Last week, 37Signals.com, on their blog announced that they are going to give a month off to all their employees (except for support teams, which will participate, which will be on top of their existing work.

A month off, and an option to work on any project that you want, with any one you want (or alone)!

Now, I am sure that a lot of nice cool things could come out of such an experiment! However, a question that I want to ask is the following:

  • What could be the underlying reason for the success of such initiatives?
  • Why is it so difficult to implement such a simple idea in any organization (based on the number of attempts I’ve seen in so many organizations, I think this just end’s up as a nice to have announced initiative and nothing substantial ever come’s out of the exercise)

I think the most important factors for success of such programs could be the following:

  • Great hiring process, which ensures that the people who are being hired are the best people to work with and not just someone who could fit a role based on a job description. I’ve known people being hired simply because there could be a hiring freeze looming in the short term and its better to have someone than to have no-one. And so, you get people whom you would not have hired in the first place and can’t completely trust to do a  great job.
  • Complete trust on the employees once they are on-board: If you hire well, then you can and should completely trust that these people will fit-in and give their 100% to the organization. Most importantly, everyone respects each other as they all know that everyone of them in the organization is there as they deserved to  be there.
  • Peer pressure: Once you hire the best people, completely trust them and announce a program (like 20% free time @ google) or a schedule (like the one announced by 37signals.com), people want to work on something that they are passionate about it. Also, there is a lot of peer pressure building up as no-one wants to let their team down and want to pull their weight.

All of these, in combination, can ensure that employee empowerment programs will result in substantial results and gains.

There are other examples of such programs working really well in the gaming industry as well. You can read a story about Double fine or Bethesda.

Now, the questions to ask are the following:

  • Why only one month or a  fortnight or a 20% of time for employees to explore ?
  • What happens when an organization decides to take this approach to work all through the year?
  • Will this bring in a lot more confusion, chaos ?
  • Does this mean that the CEO or the CTO will also need to pitch their ideas to everyone else and they will not necessarily be a part of the next release?
  • What happens when an organization decides to emulate the heart-beat – a fort-night of prototyping and developing concepts and pitching, followed by a month of development, testing and beta release, followed by the next fort-night of prototyping and on and one… Is this the true form of lean product development? Not sure if many organizations can follow this.. However, i believe that if someone did, then they would have one hell of a product and would be one hell of an organization to work for

What do you think about this approach to work? Do you think it could work well? What would be the neccessary conditions for this to work well?

Do let us know by your comments..