Bio: +Balaji heads a consultancy firm - Agni Innovation Labs - that helps small businesses, law firms and political campaigners launch their brand successfully. The services include blogging, press releases, social media strategy development and email campaigning. Contact the author: balaji [at] theagni [dot] com for more details.
Posts by Balaji:
- In the decade since Google search, Google’s only major in-house developed product was Gmail and rest of its major products – from Youtube, Blogger to Android, Maps, Picasa to Adsense, Doubliclick, Analytics have all been acquired from outside. Google is not alone. In the past 2 decades tech companies have used acquisitions as the primary mode of innovation.
- Tech companies have been on a buying binge – Google alone has gulped 57 companies this year.
- A lot of present successful startups would not be able to survive on their own and depend on acquisitions as the primary exit strategy.
- Big companies are no longer innovating and they no longer have the drive
- Big corporates pay too much for worthless startups that don’t even make revenues, so they are stupid
- Startups these days have no strong revenue models. So, these founders are crazy.
Innovation is important in every domain to be a pioneer in implementing new methodologies to gain from and in turn to take lead over competition by virtue of the results achieved through innovation. Social media is often seen as the foundation for promotion and internet marketing. It serves as a source of inbound links for search engine optimization and targeted traffic for conversion. As everyone is using the same platforms to the same effect, innovation is essential to stand out from the crowd and to make a greater impact. The increasing use of social networking platforms by people and the emergence of new media to give promotional avenues to marketers builds the case for innovation to grab attention of the target market segment. Here is how it can work for you.
1. Paves the path for instant fame
Innovation does attract attention by virtue of it being an attempt to bring in something new to the people. This sets the stage for the promotional content to go viral over the internet. Innovation builds an aura of intrigue around a product. People are keen not only on trying out such a product but also on sharing information with others via social networks. This catapults the product to instant fame. The same holds true for an innovative marketing strategy for a product.
2. Allows greater engagement with people
Curiosity that surrounds a product that brings something new to users creates the perfect set up for interaction among brand representatives and people in general. People are keen to know more about a product that has an innovative marketing and promotional campaign associated with it.
3. Works towards building customer loyalty
Involvement of people in the promotional campaign brings in greater acceptance for a product in the initial stages. If the product proves itself in terms of quality, then the cycle of feedback and customer engagement ensures customer loyalty in the long run. Products that have an innovative campaign associated with them have a greater recall value and do not fade into oblivion that easily.
4. Increases chances for better sales and more revenues
Intrigue that surrounds the innovation in a product and its promotional campaign brings in the sales in the initial stages. The higher recall value of the product makes it synonymous with the product domain and people opt for the product when looking for something along similar lines.
5. Bridges the gap for closer interaction with experts
Making your experts interact with people and answer their queries on social media helps the reputation of the brand and creates a general goodwill for the company. Include some discounts and offers to set the ball rolling for excellent sales numbers.
Innovation is important for success in every domain. Businesses thrive on innovation. A pioneering effort when it comes to features in a product catapults a product to instant fame and sales come in large numbers. It makes sense then to use the same methodology in product promotion and engagement with people. Novelty of an idea always grabs more attention than a method that has become run of the mill.
About the author: Kelly is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of technology. Recently an article on Nokia n900 attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on Kitchen Layouts.
Businesses which intend to get ahead of the competition have to innovate. Apart from adopting a couple of required techniques, methods, technologies and business practices they have to go beyond their status quo and innovate. Nevertheless, innovation simply cannot occur by accident. It requires consistent effort from the business leadership to set the tone and vision for the company and find means and methods to motivate the employees to innovate. So, whether you are new or old in your business, the idea is to create the culture of innovation in your business practices to move ahead of the competition. The below is the list of some important tips for beginners to create a culture of innovation in business.
Support innovation to be innovate
If you want your employees or team to generate ideas to move ahead of the competition then you are supposed to support their ideas process. For instance, for any employee to showcase innovation, they should feel empowered to think in a different way during their work. You should therefore become a source of driving these empowerment initiatives at your workplace. Begin with rendering people with better accountability for what they accomplish. Also, provide your employees frequent opportunities to get involved in a wider range of tasks.
Instill creativity in your normal business procedures
It is a usual practice to find out some ways of working in any business or company and then just stick with it. Many of the businesses simply follow processes and routines which merely stifle creative and innovating thinking. You should find out ways and means to build up creativity into your normal process of business. For instance, you can seek the advice of your employees to streamline your budget approval procedures. You can then place an answer box at the lobby and collect anonymous suggestions and ideas. Later, good ideas can be rewarded and celebrated.
Rewards and recognition
The people working in any company are more inclined to do things for which they get the recognition or rewards. If you adopt the idea of cost cutting and streamlining procedures, then people working with you will not be inclined to come up with any kind of innovations or creative initiatives. Hence, it is a good idea to adopt an incentive based system around such innovation to simply motivate creative thinking as the part and parcel of your business procedures. A transparent reward and recognition policy is required at any workplace to encourage the employees with innovation and creative initiatives.
Bring in new and fresh blood
An important aspect of creating a culture of innovation is by roping in new and fresh people. However, this doesn’t mean that you simply fire the seniors and replace them. There are many ways of bringing in new people without firing the old. For instance, you can start any internship program which can be a good idea to bring in fresh blood. You can also encourage continuing education for your current staff to give them exposure to newer and modern trends and ideas.
Plan few creative thinking events
At times, you may need to bring your people together for a brainstorm session. There are number of ways of doing this, for instance, you can ask people from different departments and levels to discuss any common issue. The idea here is to open up avenues for communication and investing your real work time to offer purpose of creativity.
Every business is seen with a consistent process of improvement with proper reviews to expedite efficiency and drive down the cost. This has therefore encouraged the companies to tread the path of innovation. With the above tips and ideas you can build up a culture of innovation in your business.
About the author: Kelly is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on technology and luxury. Beside this she is fond of blogging. Recently an article on barbie necklace attracted her attention. These days she is busy in writing an article on charlie baker.
You may have noticed that some companies seem to have all the success on Twitter. They have thousands of followers and people are always replying to their tweets or retweeting what they say. You may wonder how to become one of those companies. Well, it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to tweet about what people are interested in, follow them, and reply to their posts. Building your presence on Twitter takes time and it requires you to build the trust of other Twitter users. You can’t build the trust of the enormously large Twitter community if you’re viewed as a spammer or shameless self-promoter. Here are two things you should absolutely avoid doing at all costs as you make a name for your company on Twitter:
1. Aggressively following people.
It can be tempting to follow as many people as you possibly can in hopes that they’ll follow you, learn more about your company, and do business with you. Twitter doesn’t work like that, though. It’s not a place for businesses to aggressively market themselves. It is, however, a place for businesses to form real connections with consumers. So, follow people you know and follow people you know are interested in your industry. Then take some time to build your credibility by tweeting about interesting things and replying to interesting Tweets you find. If you can win a small group of Twitter users over, they’ll spread the word about you.
2. Tweeting too much about your company.
Your company is probably doing super amazing things, and it’s ok for you to share those things via Twitter. However, you shouldn’t simply post about what you’re doing. Tweet about what’s important to you and what’s going on in the world around you. You have unique things to say, and your company probably has a unique perspective on the world and how to meet its ever-evolving, demanding needs. Tweet about what you think will interest people in your own voice.
So, do everything you can to avoid looking like a spammer on Twitter. Your business is needed, and people deserve to know about it. Don’t be afraid to genuinely and honestly share on Twitter. The followers will come, if you focus on quality and give it a little time.
Finally, Apple has launched its iPad3 amid all the fanfare today putting an end to all sort of speculations. No, it doesn’t have a time machine or laser swords of Jedi or anything of that sort. This update was more incremental and was in the lines of most mainstream expectations. The new things include a better display (retina display), support for LTE (4G networks for high speed data access), a 5MP camera with support to record 108op HD video and the new iPhoto app (similar to what Mac users use in the desktop) for photo editing on the iPad. The price point is the same as the previous release – $499 for 16GB, but now iPad 2 will be available at $100 off. BG87ZZZTDPUQ Read the rest of this entry “
Recently I read a great article by René Shimada Siegel that talked about reasons to have meetings in person. While, I agree that face-to-face meetings are a great thing, I am managing multiple clients and having healthy relationships without ever meeting my clients. I think face-to-face meetings are not all that advantageous in many cases and in this post I will cover the other side of the in-person meetings. I have worked in some environments where they had meetings for the sake of meetings just for some brotherhood sort-of thing. Read the rest of this entry “
Though Social media has been around for almost a decade now, 2011 is when it seems to have come of age. It is no longer the place where cool kids meet over to discuss about lovely cats. Social media is significant enough to cause revolutions and topple governments. Let us look at some of the major social media events of 2011.
The biggest event of 2011 is the Arab Spring. It all started on 18th December 2010, when a Tunisian street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. While in the past, this could have been relegated to a small 3 line note in a local newspaper, social media took it to ignite fire. And from Jan 2011, this fire started spreading massively due to the virality of the social media. By 14th January the Tunisian President had to flee his country. Within days it spread eastward and Egyptian President had to quit on February 11 after a desperate attempt to cling to power. The most power dictator in the Arab world – Libyan leader Gadaffi was thrown in August.
Google+ and the battle for social media
On June 28, 2011 Google joined the battle with Facebook in Social media. Even though Google had Orkut before, this was the first serious attempt by Google to challenge the status quo in social media. They brought a clean interface, long post sizes, video hangouts with friends and a way to group friends to target posts for them. Soon Facebook and Twitter joined the battle too. Facebook brought Timeline, video chats, friend subscription like Twitter and real time tickers to monitor your friend activities. The users had a great time with the flurry of features.
Occupy wall street
Inspired by the protests in Arab world and helped by social media, on September 17 protestors started to occupy Zuccotti park near Wall Street in New York to protest against banks and government’s preferential treatment towards them. It all started with a blog post in June by a Canadian based small anti-consumerist foundation. Within 2 months the movement spread all over the world, with the slogan – “We are the 99%” echoing in all major business centers in the world.
Until this year, viral social media entertainment was mostly restricted to the developed world, especially the US. India had no real Internet celebrity and main stream media was calling all the shots. That was until November 16, when a small time actor in South India, Dhanush launched a music video for his upcoming movie. What appeared as a simple youtube video upload and seeded in Facebook by a small marketing company became instantly viral. In just one month whole India was engulfed by the song with 20 million plus hits in just Youtube and variety of imitations. Though, the video has not gone much outside India, in terms of sheer numbers the video reached it must be one of the biggest hits ever.
Wikileaks shaking governments
In late November 2010, Wikileaks – a nonprofit social media organization, produced 200 documents from US diplomatic cables – US diplomat insider analysis on various governments and events – sent to 5 major newspapers in the world. By the start of this year the leaks got enormous momentum and over 25000 diplomatic cables were leaked and governments across the world were shaken.
We have been talking about startups for so long, but a lot of you have asked a questions – how to do you define a startup. Do all young companies come under the startup tag? Or does it include on the tech companies? There has been considerable debate on this in the startup world.
Wikipedia defines startups as: A startup company or startup is a company with a limited operating history. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets.
However, this definition doesn’t sufficiently sit with the common assumptions about startups. So, here is my definition:
This would filter out all the usual suspects Facebook, Twitter, 37 signals, while keeping Path, Instagram and all the YC funded companies. It would also cut out the new neighborhood bookstore, most service businesses and that sweet home business. Also it would cut out companies that have already reached $1-2bn in valuation (as they cannot realistically grow to become $100bn companies in 5 years).
Most of us geeks had a dream – how awesome would it be if we can get a sandwich by typing on our linux terminal. This is immortalized by the XKCD comic piece above.
Now, researchers from Technical University at Munich are bringing this to reality. Without any human intervention the robots were able to parse the command, divide the complex task into a number of units and perform them using their navigational skills. They can now make popcorn, sandwiches and sausages. In a decade, we might see these robots into kitchen rooms. These robots were given to the university for free by a startup and use the opensource ROS robotics framework. Learn more.
These robots are like the PCs of 1970s – great for geeks but with limited practical applications. But, as the software is getting increasingly sophisticated we might see more of these programmed for various practical uses.
A few months ago MIT researchers made a similar robot for baking cookings.
Also see this IEEE spectrum article
3 random observations about the Silicon valley.
Cynics would argue based on these observations that
Google’s major acquisitions: Adsense (Applied Semantics), Google Maps (Where2), Android, Youtube, Blogger, Picasa, Google Analytics (Urchin software)
Microsoft major acquisitions: Powerpoint, Hotmail, Visio, Skype, aQuantive, Powerset (merged into Bing)
Last week, research firm ZenithOptmedia has made available a few statistics. Here is the brief summary. In 2014, The total spending in advertisements will be $541b of which Internet alone will account for $113 billion. That is a jump of $40 billion (i.e. the extra revenue = Google + Yahoo + Facebook put together) from 2011. TV will continue to be in the pole position extending its lead, while predictably Newspapers and Magazines will go down. The developing markets would account for more than half the ad expenditures in 2014.
1. Total ad expenditure in 2011 in $464 billion and will grow to $541 billion in just 3 years. This is a colossal number. Think about it. The world’s biggest ad goliath – Google – makes just 6% of this total amount. With Olympics, US elections, football championship and other major events in 2012, ad expenditure is expected to spike.
2. China is the leader among the emerging markets and grow its ad spending by $16 billion in 3 years. India though is at the 7th position lagging behind Indonesia, Russia and Brazil.
3. In the next 3 years display ads will grow by 100% and classified by 50%. But the lead position will held by paid search though expected to grow by smaller amount.
4. TV ads will account for $215 billion followed by Internet ads at $113 billion. Internet’s share of ad expenditure will go up from 15% to over 21% in 2014. That means an extra $25 billion for Internet companies.
5. Google continues to consolidate its position in the ad market and now owns 44% of the total Internet ad revenues.