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An Ode To The Great Warren Buffet

An Ode To The Great Warren Buffet

  We are lucky to live in a time where we have business leaders such as Warren Buffet. In a day and age when Uber ruthlessness in business is standard and morals are always secondary to profits, it is very refreshing to see Mr. Buffet as the epitome of business success. Warren Buffet is a wellspring of knowledge for those who study him in wisdom, patience &...
Google Signals

Google Signals

  Google makes their bread and butter by having algorithms read many signals, interpret and serve accurate results to the inquirer. Knowing which signals to look out for and how to weight them is their secret sauce. But, can Google also be a provider of signals? What does this job posting signal about Real...
The Sport of Business

The Sport of Business

Business is a competitive sport like any other. All of the essential elements of winning and losing are present in the day to day grind. Many startup gurus preach these elements to people who have these qualities in them but they are usually untapped because of the failed perception and understanding that succeeding in business takes the same skill required to win a hard fought competitive sport. Properly positioned and correctly focused, this makes succeeding in business a little easier....

Google: The End Of An Era?

I am a huge fan of Google. I had a feeling from the begining that they would become the dominant force they became. In a world of unreliablility, Google was a solid pillar at least in terms of stable systems. Google’s strength lies in the fact that it is an advertising company creating connections between people whether it be consumer to business or business to business. It does this (and this may be debatable) by creating an agnostic system rewarding the highest quality providers with the most traffic. It has also done a great job making this system ubiquotous (case in point, my right click doing spell check on Google to check that spelling). While Google is clearly in a strong position in many businesses for example the Android mobile operating system, I feel there are some real issues under the hood with search. In February, it was revealed that Google lost 2 points of market share to Yahoo when Firefox switched their default search to Yahoo (see: http://www.zdnet.com/article/yahoo-search-share-gains-on-googles-losses-thanks-to-firefox-deal/). That means it wasnt important enough or the user did not detect (Yahoo is smart enough to make the UI/UX Google like to avoid issues) that this was not their usual Google search results. This is a big deal. Then there is the upcoming Safari deal where slowly Google’s wide net is suddenly becoming smaller. Additionally, mobile search is clearly not being dominated by any one player yet and Google has yet to show anything too sticky there. A more recent troubling sign has been Google’s recent moves into competitor territory in the lead generation business with moves into Car Insurance,...

The future of critical content consumption

  With the current stats on mobile data consumption, its clear people are relying on their smartphones for a large part of their content consumption. Critical information IE timely and relevant information such as planning an evening out requiring multiple sources to complete seem to be finally consolidating. I do not believe its feasible to have mobile screens with endless pages of apps or for the more organized to have many folders of categories. Mobile developers know the value of acquiring real estate on peoples devices, but at what point does it become too much. Que companies such as Vurb (see http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/26/mobile-search-david-vs-googliath/) . I believe this is the future. Consolidation, easy, bite sized content pieces coming from multiple data sources. Google Now is a great passive example of this by integrating with Gmail and pushing relevant content such as local weather, daily commute info, expected package arrivals, stock prices, sports team news etc. Vurb is aiming to make mobile search more user friendly by creating a simple path with a few taps to get users what they need and plugging into multiple partner content such as Yelp, Uber an Rotten Tomatos to provide a quick, seamless process to get users what they want in the least painful way. Cards are becoming more and more important and I believe with the amount of information being spit out at people on a daily basis, the only way a person can consume ala Twitter is through bite sized Cards. (see: http://techcrunch.com/2015/02/27/cards-transforming-web)....
Open Dialogue

Open Dialogue

We need more of it. This is a great step by Google. Facebook should create topic based real-time chat rooms. Slack is figuring this out in a big way. There are so many benefits.. In the Google example, how many businesses already generate X incremental engagements by having real time chat.. think the secretary at work who cannot pick up the phone to do her shopping. We need more of...
Little Ditty On Minimum Viable Products (MVP)

Little Ditty On Minimum Viable Products (MVP)

I’m a huge fan of Eric Ries of The Lean Startup. I think every startup ninja needs to implement the concepts found in this book into their everyday lives.  What that means is if someone is about to embark on a new project they should break it down into 3 clear goals and those three goals should result in the minimum viable product the MVP. At this point it should be clear whether it’s worthwhile to chart out the next phase of MVP. The first phase might be getting X users to embrace the product and the next phase may entail monetizing this batch of users. Founders should have these concepts drilled into their DNA otherwise its very easy to get lost in developing full-scale projects only to realize there’s either no consumer demand or built incorrectly. A good example of mine is www.Autoinq.com, an auto shopping portal geared towards women.  More details on this another time, but relevant to MVP was having to build a full service portal similar to cars.com having multiple tools, multiple search functionality multiple angles financing options all the bells and whistles when of what was only needed was a simple search path with a unique angle.c. If MVP thinking was deployed, it could have resulted in building out a marketing funnel/path based on intuitive car matching for a women buyers such as needs + personality present = results (see:http://www.autoinq.com/personality.html) . Live and learn. Until next time....

Some Thoughts On E-Commerce

As a Digital Media Agency/Startup Incubator my hands are in many types of projects/businesses. Currently, I am working on a unique mixed marketplace in the Home Improvement space. Over they years, in E-commerce, I have been involved in a few different verticals such as Building Supplies, Watches, Gifts, Nutraceuticals to name a few. Each have their own nuances in order to be successful as well as rules to follow. One interesting vertical I found was in the Lighting business. This is a tightly controlled category ruled by a handful of brands releasing distribution very carefully. Beyond being able to sell product, there is the IMAP (Internet Minimum Advertised Price) that must always be adhered to… although savvy merchants know how to circumvent that. There is the constant tension between vendor and distributor to keep certain pricing and distributor to vendor for timely shipments. One thing, which to most is obvious, holds true regardless.. once a destination proves to have a critical mass of purchase ready shoppers, they are king and are clearly in charge. Amazon is a great example.  The site design and user experience is arguably terrible. They were smart enough to lock in consumers with the Prime program which gives great benefits such as free shipping, video and music streaming. They also give the appearance of a marketplace where you can “shop” for the lowest price when in fact there is alot happening under the hood ensuring you usually dont (see: http://recode.net/2015/01/13/how-amazon-tricks-you-into-thinking-it-always-has-the-lowest-prices/). One feature I am excited about seeing more widely used across the Shopping Web is the ability to make an offer. Apparently Amazon was begining to...