Two for the innovation show

“Guy Kawasaki on Innovation and the Myth of Lightning-Bolt Inspiration” by Diann Daniel (CIO Magazine, 25 February 2009). Mr. Kawasaki is the well respected venture capitalist so when he says that inspiration is free and development tools are cheap it’s worth a listen. Here’s a key pull quote to hook you in:

Again, at an intellectual level, no company laid off its way to success. On the other hand, it’s easy for “experts” to say that one must keep innovating when your company is running out of cash since it’s not their necks on the line. There are no magic bullets. It’s just a tough time.

Yes, it is tough but so is climbing Mount Everest. To face the challenges of the new normal one must continue to push forward (i.e., evolve, innovate, etc.) Standing still is not an option.

With that said, coming up with new ideas is half the battle. Some might even say it’s the easy part. For changes to be effective they must be accepted by the organization (and guests) those ideas are being offered to and/or thrust upon. For that part of the process we offer: “Mentor: Inside the Change Studio” by Bill Deam (CIO Magazine, 1 July 2009).

Ready? Let’s go!

Moving the moutain

“NPR Moves to Rewire Its Approach to the Web” by Elizabeth Jensen (New York Times, 26 July 2009). As one of the few true news outlets left, NPR’s decision to revamp has the potential to be significant in terms of widening their reach. As Vivian Schiller, NPR’s president and chief executive, notes:

We are a news content organization, not just a radio organization.

The other significant point mentioned is that shows will be available in both audio and text. In other words, the guest gets to choose the format that fits their moment. We’re looking forward to a new and improved NPR. We hope you are as well.

Btw, the music industry publication Billboard (www.Billboard.com) has also just lauched a new web site. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Say what you need to say

“Create and Monetize Podcasts on Any Budget” by Mark Underhill (Website Magazine, August 2009). Podcasting might not be the buzz phrase of the moment but despite it’s post-trendiness stature it’s still a great tool to have in the tool box. Audio is simple to produce and manage, as well as adds another dimension to The Guest Experience you offer. The other benefit is that guests can consume your content even when they’re not chained to their monitor.

For those who show further interest, here’s a list of podcast articles from WebsiteMagazine.com. Enjoy yourself!

You have to start somewhere

“The Essentials of E-Marketing” by Sara Baker (NICHE Magazine, Summer 2009). Time is tight so let’s get right to it. For some this article is a nice overview, or others it should function as a healthy refresher.

What? Yes. When? Not so much so.

“What Data Mining Can and Can’t Do” by Allan E. Alter (CIO Insight Magazine, June 2007) The subject of business intelligence (BI) came up in a meeting a couple days ago. The discussion centered around using broad patterns, as well as past behaviors of individuals to make future predictions. This article isn’t new but given the authority of Mr. Peter Fader (who is the interviewee) it will help you properly wrap your mind around this topic.

In short, there seems to be a fair amount misunderstanding when it comes to BI. Well, at least Prof. Fader thinks so.

It never hurts to look

“30 Light and Sleek Web Designs for Inspiration” by Jacob Gube (Six Revisions, 12 July 2009). How about a little web eye candy for a change? Granted the general aesthetic is somewhat trendy at the moment but here’s a nice run down that should get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy!

Still looking for a good summer read?

“What You Pay For (a review of Wired’s Chris Anderson’s new book ‘Free’)” by Virginia Postrel (New York Times, 10 July 2009). Mr. Anderson is often a voice worth listening to and thus his latest book is worth investigating. The question seems to be, is the biz model he champions where things are or where they are going? If you believe it’s where we are then the next question is, “What’s next?”

Bees or flies?

“Search Engineering” by Jessica Tsai (CRM Magazine, July 2009). Beautiful. The theory is, why chase customers when they can find you? Yes, when done right it can work quite well. Search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and online marketing in general continue to be hot topics. Ms. Tsai does the subject matter justice.

One essential factors that is too often “overlooked” comes in one of the article’s sidebars:

Bad and Ugly SEO
Click fraud in paid search. Some reports indicate that one-third of clicks on paid search are fraudulent—the result of developers creating bots to click on competitors’ ads, raising those competitors’ costs.

We’d also like to add an AU caveat. SEO / SEM is not a panacea. It will not make up for a visually dated web design or a marginal user experience (UX). Nor will it fix a shaky business model, poor customer service, or a second rate product / service. SEO / SEM is a way to attract customers. The question is — Is what your brand puts forward best suited for attracting bees or flys? If you need someone to be your trusted and objective mirror please give us a ring.

Big Brother is Googling

Google watch:

“Google Plans a PC Operating System” By Miguel Helft and Ashlee Vance (New York Times, 8 July 2009). What so many have been saying for so long. Time will tell if this will be good news for the rest of us.

“Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network’s Plan to Dominate the Internet — and Keep Google Out” by Fred Vogelstein (Wired Magazine, July 2009). The classic battle between good and evil. But who’s good and who’s evil?

“Secret of Googlenomics: Data-Fueled Recipe Brews Profitability” by Steven Levy (Wired Magazine, 22 May 2009) Who would have thought that a tweak or two on an auction would becomes a billion dollar money machine?

Don’t stop ’til you get enough

“10 Questions for Robert Kiyosaki” by Robert Kiyosaki (Time Magazine, 13 July 2009) The concept behind Time’s 10 Questions is fascinating. For those who are not familiar, Time asks its reader to submit questions for a particular “celeb”, editors pick their 10 favorites, and then those get answered and published. Similar to Letter to the Editor but different.

This latest interview with Mr. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is particularly good. Here’s a sample:

Do you think anybody can be successful in business? Rogelio Gonzales (Brick Township, NJ)

Absolutely. It takes discipline. Most people would like to have a great body like Charles Atlas, but they’re at Burger King wolfing down a Whopper with fries. I don’t know how you can expect to get anything you want without some degree of long-term commitment. Quitting is the easiest thing to do. That’s why most people don’t make it.

Please take a moment and consume the other nine. In terms of insight and inspiration we promise it will be time well spent.

Chocolate & wine

“Sweet Talker” by Nicole Perloth (Forbes Magazine, 24 June 2009). We hope to be partnering with an organization in a semi-similar space and want to share this short & sweet (pun intended) kiss of inspiration.

Also, we also bumped into another article on Wine Library TV’s Gary Vee. “GaryVee Uncorked: Wine Library TV’s Gary Vaynerchuk” by Troy Dreier (StreamingMedia.com, 5 June 2009). If you passed over the previous post on Mr. Vee please accept this as a must-open inspirational gift.

The sweet spot and the silver bullet

“Debunking Innovation’s Buzz” by Larry Bonfante (CIO Insight, June 2009). It’s worth mentioning that Mr. Bonfante is the CIO of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Pardon the heavy handed cliche but he serves up a couple  aces when he notes:

Innovation isn’t some sort of mystical silver bullet that will solve all of our problems. Nor is it some new technology that we can buy and implement. Innovation is about creatively leveraging the tools and processes at your disposal to drive business value.

Stop being your own worst enemy – Part 2

“The Human Element of IT” by Chris Dowse and Dr. Paul Hertz (CIO Insight, June 2009). More or less a follow up to their article in the same publication in May, but applied in a slightly different way. For the non-IT types please  look past the IT-centric focus and apply the broader concepts. That is, we are human and who we are effects what we do, how we do it and who best we do it with. If we can understand our strengths (and weaknesses), as well as those of others around us then that is one step closer to the victory circle.

With that said, doing so is not easy because being human has its faults.