Archive for May, 2010

What is ‘real’ Innovation?

I feel I need to write a post about something which has been bothering me for a while. It is about the (mis)use of the word innovation.

Many people talk about innovation and innovative new products. What I struggle to deal with is: most of what people label as innovative is really just an improvement on an existing product. What many organisations and media commentators think is so innovative is really just ‘features and benefits’.

Simon Sinek (author of Start With Why) claims that:

“Real innovation changes the course of industries – if not society.”

Examples include: the microwave, the fax machine, locomotion, the light bulb, iTunes, the internet, flight.

Do you agree?

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Simon Sinek is the author of Start With Why. Listen to an interview with him on the Marketing Over Coffee podcast (iTunes link), in the episode titled Special Interview with Simon Sinek, author of “Start with Why”. You can also view his keynote in this TED talk.

The move from ‘text’ to ‘hypertext’

Hugh McGuire posted an important thought recently. Hugh made the claim that:

The distinction between “the internet” & “books” is totally totally arbitrary, and will disappear in 5 years. Start adjusting now.

This is an interesting concept, and it brings me to think:
Since links are considered gold in the online space, will we eventually get to the stage where we can do away with (Author, Date) academic style referencing and simply hyperlink to sources?

The space between text and hypertext is narrowing, especially with words like Kindle, iPad, iBooks and ePub entering our vocabularies. As Hugh says, “Start adjusting now”.

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To paraphrase the About section of Hugh’s blog: Hugh McGuire builds webby things; and writes & speaks about media, publishing, the web, technology, etc.

Facebook is NOT about friendship or networks

“Google is to Search, as Facebook is to (what)…?

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Facebook, Google.
You know these two companies. You probably use them both on a weekly, if not daily, basis.
Behind the scenes, these two complex web giants have a single linchpin they build all of their business strategies around:

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The observation:

Google is all about Search.
Everything Google does is centred around that one little Search box; that box which has made them trillions of dollars.

Facebook is all about Like.

Everything they do is centred around that one little Like button; that button which will shortly make them trillions of dollars.
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The reasoning:

When Facebook began, it was all about friendship and networks. This helped them to reach far, far beyond what anyone would constitute as their “critical mass”. Friends, acquaintances, aunts, uncles, mums and dads all joined to build Facebook’s monopoly of 400 million active users. I myself, a daily user of Facebook (for better or worse) was somewhat critical of Facebook’s longevity as it became less private and progressively very, very accessible & public to the world; and to people like my parents (which was one of the reasons I left MySpace for Facebook to begin with!).

I’m going to make a bold claim here, it’s becoming clear that:

Facebook is not about friendship,
Facebook is not about networks;
Facebook is about Liking, and the connections that eventuate via this “Like principle.

We’re beginning to see a repositioning of their business model and strategy towards this concept.

Facebook is making a big move and taking progressive steps to highlight the social act of liking something. All of Facebook is designed around this idea. For example, when you add a friend you’re essentially liking that person. On Facebook we like celebrities, brands, videos, posts and anything else they can slap that Like button on!

It’s becoming clear to me that Facebook’s monetisation strategy is no longer about targeted ads based on your age, sex, location, marital status; but about collecting data and monetising the natural, instinctive social act of liking things.

I’m excited to see how Facebook goes about doing this. Expect to see a lot more of Facebook’s focus on the “Like Principle“.

You heard it here first on Who Is Adam Jaffrey‽

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Finally, a shout-out to Julien Smith who inspired this post through his comments on the Six Pixels of Separation podcast (iTunes link), in the episode titled SPOS #203 – Media Hacks #29.

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Update (18/06/10): Facebook has just launched the Like feature for individual comments. Another step in the direction of the “Like Principle“. Read more about it on the Facebook blog.

Did you mean: Adam Jaffrey?

Did you mean: Adam Jaffrey

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For years I’ve been dealing with people spelling my name incorrectly.

I find it’s a problem within many organisations I deal with; their employees lack any attention to detail. Spelling a customer’s name 100% correctly is 100% THE MOST IMPORTANT THING when it comes to customer service. This is even more important when the customer explicitly gives your the correct spelling, or when it is easily obtainable. Countless times I’ve found myself spelling out my surname, letter-by-letter, and find the attendant has still spelled it incorrectly – they simply don’t listen!

Additionally, when dealing with organisations who (make the mistake to) outsource to India/Indian cultured countries, it is not acceptable to address European/Westernised cultured customers by their surname! This may be the norm in Indian cultures, but immediately shows your customer you don’t care about them and know nothing about their culture when you address them incorrectly. I don’t ever want to hear the words “Hello Jaffrey” again.

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For those concerned, my name is spelled:
Adam Jaffrey

NOT any of the common misspellings:
Adam Jaffery
Adam Jeffrey
Adam Jeffery
Adam Jaffry
Adam Jeffry

I even got this once, after explicitly spelling my name to the service attendant:
Adam Geffrey

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Aside from this post being a rant of me whinging about my pet hate, it’s also being used as a test:
I’m trying to use this post as a net to catch any misspellings of my name people may use in search engines. I’m currently not all that fluent with proper SEO techniques, but I’ll give this a go.

So if you were looking for Adam Jaffrey and spelled it wrong, take note, not only for me but for all customers you deal with in the future.

And now that you know how to spell my name, drop me an email and find out what I can do for your business!

Another attempt by Facebook to take over YOUR internet

This button appeared at the top of my Facebook home page (News Feed) today:

Yet another attempt by Facebook to take over your internet. With the recent implementation of their Open Graph protocol (those “Like” buttons you’ve been seeing on every website you visit), and continued rumours of geo-tagged statuses & Facebook virtual money/credit tokens; Facebook really are making a strong push to have a presence on the web FAR beyond http://www.facebook.com/.

Online, it’s Facebook vs Google for the control of your web experience.
Mobile, it’s Apple vs Google for control of your mobile experience.

I’m not quite sure who I’m rooting for, but it’s sure going to be exciting for consumers. After all, in a competitive open market, the consumer always wins!

What I learned about Marketing whilst skydiving

Nothing.

But, it was bloody amazing! Freefalling from 14,000 feet is the most incredible thing you can experience.

Here are a couple of photos:



(Here’s some link love to the guys at Skydive Nagambie who ROCK!)

Although, I did have a minorly Marketing/Advertising related thought:

Red Bull should do an advertisement containing someone drinking a can of Red Bull whilst in freefall. It matches their brand image (i.e. “Red Bull gives you wings”, etc.), and would look extraordinary! I envision the can beneath the skydiver (held by them, someone else or shots of a combination of both) and they drink the stream of liquid as the wind catches it & it flies upward into their mouth.

Do it like this (watch what happens when the third guy grabs the bottle towards the end of the video):

NOT like this:

And a note to Red Bull GmbH: I’d like a nice compensation plan for my magnificent ad suggestion. I can be contacted via email.