A couple of weeks back, I've just explained Vlad Stan why I think that using the social graph as it is today for recommendations or filtering engines still presents tons of limitations and traps. (in the quote below just ignore any reference to specific products and focus on social graphs and filtering aspects).
Digg’s Recommendation Engine was one of the biggest announcements in the history of the company, and yet it just never did it for me. Yes, I sometimes like to check out what my friends are digging, but in most cases it just adds to the noise, as I’d simply like to know what’s new without any additional filters, except perhaps the category.
[...] If you haven’t been just randomly adding friends to your friend list, Sub DiggerPlus will provide a nice insight into what they’ve been digging lately, and the fact that it all opens in the same browser window makes it simple enough to be enjoyable.
In a study of college students, Hancock found that 37% of lies were told via phone, 27% face-to-face, 21% using Web-based messaging and 14% through email.
Why so few lies via email? Because it leaves a trail, proof that the lie was told.
If I was starting The Village Voice today, I would not print anything. I would not hire a ton of writers. I would build a website and a mobile app (or two or three). I would hire a Publisher and a few salespeople. I would hire an editor and a few journalists. And then I'd go out and find every blog, twitter, facebook, flickr, youtube, and other social media feed out there that is related to downtown NYC and I would pull it all into an aggregation system where my editor and journalists could cull through the posts coming in, curate them, and then publish them. I'd do a bit of original reporting on the big stories but most of what I'd do would be smart curation, with a voice, and an opinion.
So, in conclusion, I think it is safe to say that the Internet is not just for porn. It's mostly for social media, search, shopping, and other utilities. And when it comes to content, geeks and gamers are still a very important audience on the Internet. I wonder if it will always be that way.
Performance reviews and training programs define the firm's expectations. Financial reward systems reinforce them. Memos and communications highlight what's important. And senior leadership actions — promotions for people who toe the line and a dead end career for those who don't — emphasize the firm's priorities.
"You change a culture with stories. Right now your stories are about how hard you work people. Like the woman you forced to work on her wedding day. You may not be proud of it, but it's the story you tell. That story conveys your culture simply and reliably. And I'm certain you're not the only one who tells it. You can be sure the bride tells it. And all her friends. If you want to change the culture, you have to change the stories."
To start a culture change all we need to do is two simple things:
- Do dramatic story-worthy things that represent the culture we want to create. Then let other people tell stories about it.
- Find other people who do story-worthy things that represent the culture we want to create. Then tell stories about them.
New Concept vs. Doesn't Suck vs. Fast Follower vs. Niche
Your website falls into one of four categories:
- New concept: If you fall into this category, your product or service type does not have a name yet. It has no market space, category, or even articulated need yet. In a decade, the number of these concepts that actually gain traction is tiny. The number of them that get through the early-adopter phase to the mainstream (i.e. reach the 3-year milestone) is even smaller. In other words, good luck!
- Doesn't Suck: This one is easier. This is a service you can describe as "[something] that doesn't suck." Google first offered "search that doesn't suck," and then followed it up with Gmail, which is "email that doesn't suck." In other words, don't be afraid to go after mature markets in which the current services are not that good. Spend a couple of days browsing online and you will see plenty of such opportunities.
- Fast Follower: This applies to a new concept that makes your jaw drop and you think "OMG, this is so cool." And then you realize that doing something similar would actually be pretty simple. The first one to market with a new concept is not always the winner. It just looks that way because the originator gets lost in the dustbin of history when the better venture out-executes it. You need access to capital to do this right, because you have to move fast, which means hiring an A-Team. And A-Teams like to be paid a lot.
- Niche: There are thousands of these. Your niche might be geographic or a user type. Most niches are limited in scale and so do not require much capital. These are ripe for bootstrapping. But don't think niches are easy. Users will still be very demanding.
Now this is something that the romanian online people should take a serious look at! Without any intention to sound harsh all these seem to be exactly what most of the romanian onliners are using. Yuck!
We asked usability testing firm Catalyst Groupto help us come up with a list of online ad formats people hate most.They are:
- Banner ads below headers
- Ads that look like content
- Dancing ads
- Auto-expanding half-page ads
- Banners next to logos
- Billboards in the top right corner
- Google text links interrupting content
- Ads with hidden close buttons
- Page Take-overs
- Make meaning, not money
- Make a mantra, not a mission statement
- Jump curves
- In product design, "roll the DICEE." (nb: Deep Intelligence Complete Elegance Emotive)
- Don't worry, be "crappy"
- Polarize people
- Let 100 flowers blossom
- Churn, baby, churn
- Niche yourself
- Follow the 10-20-30 rule
- Don't let the bozos get you down
In one slide, Anderson comes up with the following rules for media companies trying to figure out how to make money online:
- The best model is a mix of free and paid
- You can’t charge for an exclusive that will be repeated elsewhere,
- Don’t charge for the most popular content on your site,
- Content behind a pay wall should appeal to niches, the narrower the niche the better
This is somewhat counterintuitive because it means media sites that want to charge for content should charge for their niche stuff instead of their most popular content. But that is exactly the right way to look at it if you want to maximize your advertising revenues. Let the popular content be paid for by advertising, and the niche, exclusive content can be sold to fewer people at a higher price. Anderson, whose last book was the Long Tail, predicts in media: “The head of the curve will be free and the tail of the curve will be paid.”
If you can’t be ‘best‘ or ‘cheapest‘, that only leaves being ‘first’. Since Amazon Web Services (AWS) clinched the ‘first’ and ‘best’ titles for the general marketplace, your best bet is to pick a subset of the market to focus on. Focused clouds find a sweet spot and exploit it.
- The trick to being an entrepreneur is to know when to be stubborn and when to be flexible. The trick is to be stubborn about the vision, but flexible about tactics
- [...] failure is not that expensive and it is part of work. If something fails, then you are going to shut it down and that is going to cut your losses. [...] However, the biggest focus should be errors of ommission, he pointed out. These are chances not taken.
- You need a culture that high-fives small and innovative ideas and senior executives encourage ideas,
- [...] prerequsites for innovation and inventing, but the biggest one is willingness to fail. You need to think for the long term and be misunderstood for a long period of time. “If you can’t do those things, then you need to limit yourself to sustainable innovation.”