Category Archives: Marketing

NZ projects get Booster Seat for Silicon Valley

Do you have a NZ start-up that would benefit from a month in Silicon valley / SF ?

Booster Seat is for you – you are up for

  • Return flights for 2 people to San Francisco;
  • Accommodation in San Francisco for 30 days; and
  • Up to 2 desks at the new kiwi run, SOMA district office space “The Landing Pad” to work from during your stay.

The total prize is limited to NZD$10,000, so depending on how schmancy you are with your accommodation, you might have some spending money left over too

NB. This competition is not restricted to web startups. You might have a growing business that wants to enter the USA market or just a great idea that you want to make fly. If the idea is good and the passion is clear then you’re in the running.

Entries close on August 14th 2011 full details on the booster seat site.

There are other competitions in the US such as DEMO and various Launchpad events organised by O’Reilly that would be great to work into the timetable if you win.

I wrote about some of these at “is R & D Spend a useful Measure of innovation?

Being on the ground in Silicon Valley is the very best kind of R & D – big wave to Nicole Fougere & Rich Chetwynd for funding this competition.


The Rise of Video & Impacts

Here is a taste of things to come. Watch for the huge impact from well produced and engaging video online. Some of the best comes from TED.

50 million TED talks have now been viewed worldwide, nearly half of them outside the U.S. To keep pace with demand, we’re now releasing a new talk every weekday. (Today, be sure to watch Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander, who was a huge hit at this year’s TED conference).

To celebrate two years and 50 million TED talks, we’re releasing for the first time the list of the Top 10 TED talks (below). These are the talks that have proven most popular over time, and — interestingly — they mainly feature speakers who were little-known before their talk was released. (The most popular talk, viewed 2 1/2 million times and counting, features neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor, who observed her own stroke while it was happening.)

I’ve watched the Jill Bolte Taylor one a couple of times and it is right up there on the wacky scale but strangely compelling.

Here is the top ten list then with a few more comments from me. (I’ve seen 104 of them) See if links don’t work

Top 10 TEDTalks of all time
1. Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight wacky and I prefer Alan Russell or Sherman Nuland videos also on TED in similar medical areas.
2. Jeff Han’s touchscreen foreshadows the iPhone and more Haven’t seen it – but I want a 3G iphone already.
3. David Gallo shows underwater astonishments 4 mins short- a surprise here.
4. Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth if you like Google Earth
5. Arthur Benjamin does “mathemagic” Haven’t seen this but will now.
6. Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity A personal favourite – a well pitched talk by a great speaker
7. Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen Another top presenter – has 1 other also worth checking out
8. Tony Robbins asks why we do what we do eek! I just don’t see the appeal – but he is a self help brand name for some / snake oil for the rest of us.
9. Al Gore on averting a climate crisis Enough said already – but worth noting that the first presentation was road tested at TED before the movie etc. There are now two videos from Al.
10. Johnny Lee demos Wii Remote hacks This is a real gem –

A brilliant example of a product taking a life of its own when someone else sees a new market for a new product and takes it there. I’d be guessing Wii wish they had though of this one. At 5mins 40 seconds you can watch this one easily.

Building sophisticated educational tools out of cheap parts, Johnny Lee demos his cool Wii Remote hacks, which turn the $40 video game controller into a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3-D viewer. Researcher Johnny Lee became a YouTube star with his demo of Wii Remote hacks — which is almost more interesting than what he actually did – is the speed at which it has been picked up globally.

I previously wrote about the 2008 TED conference at Changing the World with Dave Eggers which should be in the top 10 in my view. In that post towards the bottom is a series of candid post by David Cowan from the conference itself.

“For those who want to know more about the TED conference David Cowan has posted an extensive series of very entertaining posts for each day of the conference. I have included the list below along with a few of his comments. Thanks David – almost as good as being this is what he wrote about Benjamin Zander.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008
TED Friday Afternoon: Shining Eyes

Title refers to the Benjamin Zander session.

Here is a top 10 video mix

Watch the Top 10 Talks highlights video >>

For an extended review of the implications of the Johnny Lee innovation, links with Kevin Kelly and wider comments on the future of video and television you are welcome to contuinue reading over at Product Innovation & Video

Successful Business Growth 101: Applied CRM

24 07 2007

The most successful businesses that I know follow a clearly structured sales methodology and a detailed plan to get there. It shouldn’t be too surprising that in order to get to a big sales goal there are a whole series of much smaller structured activities that need to be followed through.

Here are some outlines on key learnings from many years of successful marketing and sales campaigns.

1. Define Objectives

Typically a business will select a CRM because they want new customers or new business. They see this as a sales hunting exercise and often have other sales people for farming or account management duties. The sales “farmers” are looking to grow the business by selling more products or more volume of the same products and services to the same people.

So the first step in more successful sales plan is to decide whether you have new customers/new business goals or account management goals and your strategy will be different. Remember – a CRM allows you to treat different customers in different ways according to their needs, goals and desires.

to continue reading

HP buys Opsware for more than $1.6 billion in cash

 Yesterday, 24 July 2007, 2:27:24 a.m. | Marc Andreessen

In September 1999, at the height of the dot com boom, a small group of colleagues and I started a new company, Loudcloud, based on the idea that the huge Internet infrastructure buildout then underway — by startups and big companies alike — required a new approach to running modern datacenters and computer systems at high scale: automation.

The eight years that have followed have been an unbelievable journey.

To read the rest of the story go here

Solutions Marketing – The New Product Marketing

Before the advent of Tylenol, Advil, Motrin or Excedrin, the world somehow got by on aspirin for general aches and pains.  But marketers never rest in looking for ways to gain competitive advantage, hence, the myriad of pain relievers available today for every discomfort imaginable.  For example, there’s Tylenol for a cold, flu, sinus, arthritis and a slew of other ailments.


The difference between aspirin and many of the pain relievers available today is more about packaging and positioning than it is about ingredients.  Each brand of pain reliever uses a common ingredient or platform plus a sprinkling of additional ingredients for specific ailments.


Translate this concept to B2B products and services and witness how ERP software in the 90’s has become enterprise solutions for retail, healthcare, non-profit and automotive. Telephone service has matured into telecommunication solutions for large enterprises or small and medium businesses.  The concept can be applied to any product or service.  The key is RELEVANCE. 


Much like pain relievers, most B2B products and services use a common platform and emphasize specific features that constitute an industry specific solution. 

Why make the transformation?

For starters, solutions drive higher ticket sales because they generally offer multiple products or services.  Who doesn’t want more revenue?  Throw in the stickiness factor because multi-product solutions reach a broader base of users within each customer account.  And finally, history has proven that companies offering solutions have far greater market appeal than those just selling generic products or services.  Apple didn’t invent downloadable music or the portable music player.  They simply delivered both as an integrated solution. 


Three Steps to Make it Happen

  1. Determine the best way to segment your target customers. It’s usually a good idea to refer to them as they refer to themselves to keep the relevance factor high, i.e., pharmaceutical, retail, small business, etc. Begin with the segments where your products or services are the best fit today.

  2. Formalize the product marketing function (not to be confused with product management) and organize it according to your chosen industry segments.  Assign solutions marketing managers by market segment instead of the traditional product centric alignment.  

  3. Develop value propositions around common problems in each segment and deliver those value propositions in communications targeted to specific audiences.


The essence of solutions marketing is to utilize your marketing horsepower, which is limited in most companies, to the segments where you can succeed the fastest.  IT shouldn’t prohibit you from selling into other segments if the product is a good fit.  It just means you’re not going to dedicate any resources to segments beyond your chosen priorities.


Focus is the biggest challenge in every company.  Those who make a habit of it become market leaders.