Category — The Remarkables
Check out this excellent compilation of 10 Inspiring Ted Talks for Startups http://www.readwriteweb.com/start/2010/07/ten-inspiring-ted-talks-for-st.php
I particularly like the talks # 6,7 and 9
Which ones to do you find most useful?
July 16, 2010 No Comments
I’ve been following the work of Hugh Macleod for quite some time now. He’s not only a great cartoonist but a lot more.
Here’s today Cartoon from the Gaping Void newsletter(Subscribe), hope you too will like it
You might also want to checkout Hugh’s new book: Ignore everybody
April 1, 2010 1 Comment
About a couple weeks back I happened to come to know about Mr Bala Balachandran from a friend of mine who also shared with me the printouts of an article titled “I firmly believe that all customers are not equal” that appeared in Business Standard on 24th December 2002(couldn’t manage to find a link). It’s not often that one comes across this much business wisdom in a 4 page printout.
After giving that article a re-read yesterday, I searched a bit on Mr Bala Balachandran and amongst other things I stumbled upon this series of fantastic videos on everything from Cost Management to Customer Astonishment. This would by far be the best material on business I’ve come across in 2010 and the fact that these gems are hidden from the world is reflected in the fact that these videos had been viewed 2-5 times at max. It’s only now after repeated views from me that these numbers have jumped up . Also, Balachandran not only shares his business wisdom, he does so in a nice and funny manner. At 72, he has contagious energy and passion.
Only if someone could stitch these small 2-3 minute videos together would they make into an amazing video.
March 26, 2010 No Comments
About 8 months ago I complied a presentation containing best tweets from Social Gaming Summit 2009 which got a good response and appreciation so I thought of doing the same for #smallbizsummit.
Here’s a crowdsourced summary(in form of tweets) of the 5th Annual Small Business Summit 2010 held at NYC on 16th March. Hope you like it
March 18, 2010 1 Comment
I’ve been a great fan of Seth Godin ever since I read ‘The Purple Cow’ early last year. I really liked the book and am re-reading it again
The book talks about how a product/idea needs to be remarkable to able to spread like fire and succeed. The books lays emphasis on how marketing should be a part of product design and not just a follow up process after product development.
Call it a co-incidence that while facebooking I stumbled upon a link that led me to ‘Easy Tiger Corp’.
[Disclaimer: The content below might hurt your senses]
Easy Tiger Corp seems to have taken a leaf from Godin’s purple cow by offering something remarkable(weird?). Easy Tiger Corp (ETC) makes pre-stained clothing that free people from the embarrassment of having soiled clothing by selling clothes that come already soiled and thus making it a personal decision to wear soiled clothing and not a source of embarrassment.
Sounds weird? You are not alone in thinking that. But I wouldn’t get into how good/bad the idea is but I’d like to point out the fact that irrespective of how good/bad it is, it makes people talk. The product by it’s sheer design has a lot of remark worthy points
1) ‘Pre-stained’ clothing : When everyone is selling you detergents to remove stains, here come’s a product with in built stains. Readers from India might recall Surf Excel’s ad ‘Daag Acche Hain‘ (Stains are good) with completely opposite stand towards stains then what’s taken normally
2) Sense of Humour: With a product like this, you need a lot of confidence and sense of humour to do business and looks like the ETC folks have got it all. A quick look at the story of how the idea happened on their about us page and the on your face FAQ page confirms the same.
3) Hate all/Love some: Pre-stained clothing is clearly not a mass market product. In fact it’s quite the opposite it’s a product that most people will hate but a selected few will/might love. Then again the chances that those who like the idea or product will on average talk to more people about it.
To get more attention ETC has launched two contests since their inception in July 2009 namely the ETC YouTube Ad contest and the super remarkable ‘World’s Dirtiest Underwear Competition‘
ETC has been getting some coverage in the blogosphere and it remains to be seen if Philip the guy behind the company would be able to leave his day job and jump into ‘Pre-Stained’ clothing full time. But what ever the case be, the point of this post is to share an example of a remarkable idea and product and how easy it really becomes to market them. Also, keep in mind being remarkable is quite different from being ridiculous.
Is your product/idea remarkable?
October 15, 2009 1 Comment
Charity: water is a charity started by Scott Harrison that provides clean water to save lives in poor countries. Charity: water has successfully raised $10 million (most of that last year alone) from 50,000 individual donors, thereby providing clean water to nearly one million people in Africa and Asia.
Here’s how Charity: water is using Social Media to be more effective
- Creating Relationships: Charity: water (CW) is using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to connect with people who share the same concerns as them. CW also adds value by sharing relevant information and content with their friends/followers in these social platforms. Relationships are the key currency for nonprofits and social media is a great way to build and maintain good relationships.
(Charity: water on Facebook)
With social media it’s also relatively easy to ask people for small contributions or motivate them to volunteer for a task or just spread the word by say putting a badge on their blog.
(Charity: water on Twitter)
2. Maintaining Transparency: For nonprofits to scale beyond a level, transparency is very important and to some extent the rate of their growth also depends on how transparent they are. In this sense too, social media and nonprofits are made for each other. Charity: water shows donors the specific impact of their contributions. They post photos and G.P.S. coordinates so that donors can look up their (Charity: water grants naming rights to wells) wells on Google Earth. Come September and they will have a new web site that will match even the smallest donation to a particular project that can be tracked online.
3. Experimenting with new things:
During Twestival (meetup for twitter users in twitter lingo), charity: water raised $250,000 this spring.
- Viral video campaigns by charity: water are also a hit among its supporters and play a significant role in motivating people to contribute.
4. High Stakeholder Involvement:
When was the last time you were asked to by a charity to engage in conversation?
But that’s not the case with Charity: water, during Twestival CW invied donors to get involved by
- Watching four daily short videos of the drilling as charity: water goes from village to village drilling wells.
- Following the drilling updates via twitter.
- Asking questions of the local drilling team via email or twitter. Also, The local charity: water drill team answers the top five questions on video
I’d like to end this case study by quoting ”communityorganizer20.com”
Charity: water is giving its donors exactly what they want: success stories, videos of the impact of donations, and information about financial accountability.
If you know of something else that Charity: water or some other nonprofit is doing to leverage social media, share with us
July 26, 2009 6 Comments
Road shows are a common marketing activity in Delhi and rest of North India. It’s not uncommon to find big brands like Spencer’s, Horlicks, etc doing road shows to promote a new store or a new product. Road shows are also excessively used during political campaigns. A typical road show looks like this
While there’s nothing new about road shows, there’s a new(and low cost) variant of road shows that’s increasingly getting popular for doing promotions. Rickshaw Road Show or Cycle Rickshaw Road Show as it’s called consists of a branded cycle rickshaw(regular or a different small one custom built for such activities) with a rickshaw puller driving it within a given area for about 8 hours a day. Driving is the core activity with addons being parking for some time at certain key points like metro stations, bus stops and distributing leaflets/pamphlets .
(Promotion for a Jewellery House)
( Promotions for an automobile showroom and a satsang)
Ricksaw road shows are generally done at least for a month(2 days monthly off) and they cost anywhere between Rs 8,000 – Rs 12,000 per month ($170-$250). The costing includes rent for richshaw, branding and the fees for rickshaw puller. A rough break up for the total cost would be
Rickshaw Puller: Rs 4,000 – Rs 5,500
Branding : Rs 800 – Rs 1,500
rest would be the rent of rickshaw and the owners profit.
It’s not just small coaching institutes or local businesses that do richshaw roadshows, they are also being used by brands like Fastrack that are also active on the web(Twitter, Facebook et all)
So, what do you think about Rickshaw Road Shows ?
July 21, 2009 6 Comments
Got this email from ICICI bank yesterday about launch of what they call “Tevelision Banking”. All that the email contained was this image.
To be honest this is the first time I heard the term “Television Banking” and I found the proposition intriguing.
Just when you can’t seem to figure out why are most banks/branches closed on a sunday ? or why a cheque deposited on a Thursday afternoon won’t be credited till Monday morning ?, this innovative new concept from a bank seems cool and definitely useful.
Here’s a visual walkthrough of what happened after clicking the link for online demo.
Did you notice the URL for this page?
This gives you fair idea of what “Television Banking” is all about. Also, the ability to pay your dishtv subscription from your ICICI bank using your TV is definitely useful.
While not everyone might need this, but the sheer thought of banking(though limited) on your TV while lying in your bed at any time of the day, wants you to give it a try.
What do you think ?
July 17, 2009 4 Comments
In a recent development(or is it?), LinkedIn and The New York Times have joined hands for a tie up. I stumbled upon this while surfing NYT and a few clicks revealed how it works. Here’s the deal for you.
Linkedin members will have an option to be served customized headline feature on Business and Technology article pages of NYTimes.com that’ll comprise five latest stories from NYT. For ex: someone working in biotechnology sector will be served latest news from that sector.
Here’s the story in a few pics
An article on NYT
on clicking “what’s this?” on the right side in
“five stories” based on my LinkedIn profile
July 8, 2009 7 Comments
One early use of Twitter had El Fattah and a dozen or so of his collegues coordinating movements to surround a car in which their friend Malek was being held by the police, to prevent it and him from being towed away. Knowing they were being monitored, they then sent messages suggesting that many more of them were coming. The police sent reinforcements, surrounding and thus immobilizing the car themselves. This kept Malek in place until the press and the members of parliament arrived. The threat of bad publicity led to Malek’s release, an outcome that would have been hard to coordinate without Twitter – Here Comes Everybody, Clay Shirky
James Karl Buck, a graduate journalism student from the University of California-Berkeley was in Mahalla, Egypt, covering an anti-government protest when he and his translator, Mohammed Maree, were arrested. On his way to the police station, Buck took out his cell phone and sent a single word message, “Arrested”, to his friends and contacts using the micro-blogging site Twitter. This alerted them and helped secure his release(details not known)
Mortin Pain Reliever in an effort to pitch to mom who wear their babies released a print and video ad campaign.The campaign didn’t go down well with moms and they started fighting back on their blogs and Twitter. As the campaign picked momentum, the company officials realised their mistake and in order to pacify irrate customers, removed the ad from their website and apologised on their site.
A few weeks back amazon users realized that many books about gays, lesbians, bisexual and transsexual issues stopped appearing in relevant searches. Enraged users and authors swung into action and started posting updates on Twitter about this with adding a hashtag #amazonfail. It wasn’t long enough that Twitterverse was abuzz with #amazonfail, this led to a public communication by the company that this incident was inadvertant and soon things were fixed and back to normal.
Twitter is increasingly being used for activism of sorts. Be it customers protesting against a product/company, or citizens campaigning against their government officials/policies, Twitter is the platform of choice when it comes to raising your voice against an issue or coordinating a protest(online and offline both).
Social media activism has graduated from protests in blogosphere, groups in social networking sites to #hashmobs on Twitter. The reasons for Twitter’s success as a platform for activism are
1) Critical Mass: Twitter has gained enormous mass since last year and is now a force to reckon with. Millions of users from all parts of the world use it to stay connected with their friends and family. It’s not just people like you and me, there are some really big brands that have presence on Twitter.
2) Dense Connectivity: Twitter is one of the most densely connected networks of all. It won’t be wrong to say “On Twitter, everyone is connected to everyone”, which means getting the word out is a lot easier. Chances of people noticing something and sharing it with others is quite high. The ease of sharing content(RT ) is another reason for word to be spread easily.
3) Search: Awesome search functionality, made further useful by trending topics make the discoverability of memes a lot easier. With the latest changes, everyone can see the trending topics on their Twitter page. This without any effort discoverability is really helpful in getting more eyeballs.
4) High visibility outside the platform: What makes a protest on Twitter better from say one of Facebook is that Twitter updates are more shareable(via blog widgets, feeds) than Facebook messages. Also, thanks to dozens of really popular tools, Twitter updates are just not limited to the website, you can get updates on your desktop app, mobile phone and email.
5) Hooked Traditional Media: There’s enough traditional media presence on Twitter which is eager to pick the next big story. So anything of significance in Twitterverse is quite likely to be noticed by them and spread further.
It would be interesting to see how activism on Twitter evolves from this point on. I’d like to end this post by sharing a list of Twitter Activism related protests/campaigns.
1. James Karl Buck: Arrested
4. Using Twitter to coordinate war protest
5. G20 summit protestors used Twitter and Facebook
6. Protest against Section92A, New Zealand
7. Inside Maldova’s Twitter revolution
8. Coordinating Malek’s release
10. Domino’s Social Media Disaster
11. Twittering Forest Fires
12. Twitter Charity(Twestival) raises more than US $250,000
Lastly here’s a nicely writter guide by digiactive to get you started with Twitter Activism
May 5, 2009 2 Comments