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Archive for August, 2009

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Thoughts From The Garage

I had the chance to listen to a great address by Bill Reichert from Garage Ventures at MORGO. He shared a range of thoughts on the new rules for entrepreneurs. I like his observations and ideas on the shifts occurring.

  1. What is the fundamental objective? Is it creating wealth or creating value? Today the emphasis should be on creating value.
  2. Getting started: Shift from brilliant founder to brilliant team. Mythology of the brilliant founder is wrong. Bill gates had his Paul Allen. It’s about the team. Need complimentary attitudes and skills.
  3. Sharing the Vision: Shift from crafting a mission statement to creating a mantra. Be very clear about what you are going to do. Garage Ventures – “we start-up start-ups”.
  4. Management style: “Plan the work, work the plan” to “get going”. Get out in the market and walk the streets. Not going to get there sitting in a conference room and collecting data.
  5. The Business Model: Shift from raise venture capital to bootstrap. Old Rule – raise VC money and then get going. Now, just have to get going. Chances of raising VC money are very low. Most great entrepreneurial companies were started without venture capital – Microsoft, Google, eBay. Lots of ways and resources. Leverage other people’s resources, money, people – go get your first customer.
  6. Foundation of innovation: Old rule = ingenuity (duct tape, number 8 wire…). new rule – it’s all about global know-how. Be global day one. need to have an global strategy and competence day one. NZ is almost always by definition more global.
  7. Competitive Advantage: Shift from first mover to fast Adapter. Bill Gates did not invent the OS. Many of the great companies did not invent the technologies that they are known for. They grabbed innovations around them and integrate them in innovative ways.
  8. Marketing Strategy: Shift from build it and they will come to “everyone has to sell”. Everybody has to know what the customer really wants and how to satisfy those customers.
  9. Pace of Change: Shift from pace of change is accelerating to … change takes time. Bill is right that change takes time but I disagree is that the pace of change hasn’t accelerated and that radio was the fastest adopted technology of the 20th century. Where I agree with Bill is that technology shifts yield false positives… and while these companies inspire greatness, they also inspire a fair degree of delusion.
  10. People trump the technology. Shift from, its all about the technology… to its all about the people.

Interesting ideas and thoughts and a great speech.

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The Dell Swarm

Sometimes the best ideas are retakes on old ones. Like community buying. We’re taking the “swarm” idea we piloted in Singapore and are piloting it in Canada now. In short, customers can buy in a group and save on select Dell systems. 15 committed buyers brings the Swarm to its lowest possible discounted price. Watch how this works. Cool idea and congrats to the Dell team for getting the second pilot launched.

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Reconfiguring the Enterprise

Good read here. Steve Schuckenbrock, Dell, speaking about the need to reconfigure IT in the Enterprise.

What else can CIOs do to drive down their costs?

The economics of replacing old hardware with new hardware are pretty good. But the real gains are in rationalization of your applications. How many thousands of applications do you need to run the company? Are there alternatives to which you can migrate users instead of retaining so much redundancy? At Dell we had the same problem. I used to run IT here. We had 10,000 applications; we’ve brought that number down by about half, and by the time we’re done, we’ll bring it down into the hundreds.

What did that do for your hardware needs?

We’ve turned off 10,000 physical servers during the past 12 to 18 months and we’ve virtualized about 30% of the x86 infrastructure. That’s what many CIOs are doing now–rationalizing applications; consolidating and standardizing their infrastructure, which could include modernization of hardware; and virtualizing everything. Virtualization has been incubating for awhile. It’s moving from the experimental stage to becoming the norm.

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All the Social Media Stats You Could Need & More

From over at the Socialnomics blog. Well worth a read. Watch the video…

  • By 2010 Gen Y will outnumber Baby Boomers….96% of them have joined a social network 
  • Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 activity on the Web
  • 1 out of 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met via social media
  • Years to Reach 50 millions Users:  Radio (38 Years), TV (13 Years), Internet (4 Years), iPod (3 Years)…Facebook added 100 million users in less than 9 months…iPhone applications hit 1 billion in 9 months.
  • If Facebook were a country it would be the world’s 4th largest between the United States and Indonesia
  • Yet, some sources say China’s QZone is larger with over 300 million using their services (Facebook’s ban in China plays into this)
  • comScore indicates that Russia has the most engage social media audience with visitors spending 6.6 hours and viewing 1,307 pages per visitor per month – is the #1 social network
  • 2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction
  • 1 in 6 higher education students are enrolled in online curriculum
  • % of companies using LinkedIn as a primary tool to find employees….80%
  • The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year-old females
  • Ashton Kutcher and Ellen Degeneres have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Ireland, Norway and Panama
  • 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices…people update anywhere, anytime…imagine what that means for bad customer experiences?
  • Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passé…In 2009 Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen
  • What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook…
  • The #2 largest search engine in the world is YouTube
  • Wikipedia has over 13 million articles…some studies show it’s more accurate than Encyclopedia Britannica…78% of these articles are non-English
  • There are over 200,000,000 Blogs
  • 54% = Number of bloggers who post content or tweet daily
  • Because of the speed in which social media enables communication, word of mouth now becomes world of mouth
  • If you were paid a $1 for every time an article was posted on Wikipedia you would earn $156.23 per hour
  • Facebook USERS translated the site from English to Spanish via a Wiki in less than 4 weeks and cost Facebook $0
  • 25% of search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content
  • 34% of bloggers post opinions about products & brands
  • People care more about how their social graph ranks products and services  than how Google ranks them
  • 78% of consumers trust peer recommendations 
  • Only 14% trust advertisements
  • Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI
  • 90% of people that can TiVo ads do
  • Hulu has grown from 63 million total streams in April 2008 to 373 million in April 2009
  • 25% of Americans in the past month said they watched a short video…on their phone
  • According to Jeff Bezos 35% of book sales on Amazon are for the Kindle when available
  • 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation because we no longer search for the news, the news finds us.
  • In the near future we will no longer search for  products and services they will find us via social media
  • More than 1.5 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) are shared on Facebook…daily.
  • Successful companies in social media act more like Dale Carnegie and less like David Ogilvy Listening first, selling second
  • Successful companies in social media act more like party planners, aggregators, and content providers than traditional advertiser
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The Death of Newspapers

Some great thoughts on what is killing newspapers and what to do about it.

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