Monday, April 30, 2012

Another New York Times Article about Cutting the Cable Cord

Another day, and another article about alternatives to accessing TV content that previously was available only via cable subscription.

Here's the latest New York Times article that validates our prediction: "In Search of Apps for Television."

It's worth checking out.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Wall St. Journal Validated Our Trend about Pivoting

We always look at words that we think will be widely used in the media in a given year. This year, we chose as the most overused phrase in 2012 could be: lean-back/lean-forward user experiences. 

Earlier this month, we changed that to nominate the word "pivot" as a key word for 2012. In this case, pivot is used to indicate when a business (generally always a startup) changes its focus, its technology, its strategy, etc. to find a new business model.

The Wall St. Journal validated that prediction with its article, "'Pivoting' Pays Off for Tech Entrepreneurs."

Check out the article and let us know if there are other words you would nominate as the most overused word of 2012.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

New York Times Validates Another Prediction

Our second prediction in our annual list We may be immersed in social media, but we’ll spend less time with actual people. We made the point that "So many people use social media sites – from Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn, to Pinterest and Quora and more -- that people have less time to spend with their friends and family."

Although we noted that "We’re not sure if this will get much media coverage," we said that "we’ve seen some books addressing the topic (like last year’s “Alone Together” by MIT Professor Sherry Turkle)."

Turkle continues to write about high tech alienation, most recently in a cover story in the Sunday Review section of the New York Times. Her article, "The Flight from Conversation," is compelling and sad and true. And worth reading.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Boston Globe Validates Our Prediction about Unplugging

Topping our annual list of predictions this year was this: "The desire to be connected 24/7 may change in 2012." With vacation season fast approaching, The Boston Globe's travel section published a cover story on truly getting away and unplugging.  Check out "10 places where pleasure is the plug-in and only boats need a port."

Now that our top prediction has been validated, we can relax, and unplug. (Ah who am I kidding -- who can afford to unplug?)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Two Additional Predictions for 2012

We typically issue predictions once a year. You can check out our predictions for 2012 starting Jan. 30, 2012 here.

But this year, we'd like to add two other trends we did not mention.

The first belongs with our predictions of Ongoing stories we’ll see covered in the media, posted Feb. 2nd. In addition to stories about cybercrime and cyberespionage originating in China, we want to add self-driving cars. There's already been some coverage, including a Wired cover story -- and we think the media will continue to cover the concept of self-driving cars, always highlighting Google. Key issues in all coverage about self-driving cars is not only going to be about the gee-whiz aspect but about the legal issues regarding any accidents from those self-driving machines. Security from being hacked will be another theme as well as the question of whether self-driving cars make cars more of a commodity and the potential impact on high-end cars once people are not directly connected to "the romance of the road."

Having grown up in Manhattan, where my formative auto experiences involved taxis, I don't truly understand "the romance of the road" aspect.

The other new addition we'd like to make to what may be the most overused phrase in 2012 could be -- we want to nominate the word "pivot," used to indicate when a business (generally always a startup) changes its focus, its technology, its strategy, etc. to find a new business model. Companies that pivot typically have their backs up against the wall, about to fail before finding a new path that leads them to success (though not always to profitability yet).

Let us know if there are other words you think are overused.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Lessons of Innovation from Fast Company

Every company is looking to be innovative -- and every business magazine offers insights about innovation.

A recent Fast Company offered lessons of innovations, and made some worthwhile points. I've identified a few important lessons (below) but check out the entire article:
  • Growth should be a tactic, not a strategy. In other words, growth shouldn't be the end goal by itself, but a means to achieve a more significant, sustainable goal.
  •  Design is a competitive advantage. Not enough companies look at design this way -- but more should.
  •  Social media makes products and services better. This is a way to look at social media that B2B companies often don't understand.
Check out the other lessons, too, here.

Monday, April 9, 2012

From Forbes: 7 Networking Secrets from Silicon Valley's Greatest Connector

I found these "7 Networking Secrets from Silicon Valley's Greatest Connector" from Pejman Nozad, an immigrant carpet seller who has made it big in Silicon Valley despite a lack of technology expertise, to be interesting. Worth considering. Check them out here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Marketing Advice from Cadillac -- Yes, Cadillac

There was a good Fast Company article about the reinvention of Cadillac's marketing, "Cadillac Turns To A 28-Year-Old To Reinvent The 'Standard Of The World';To break from its past, Caddy turned to someone who is different in every way" focusing on 28-year-old Veda Partalo, planning director at Minneapolis-based Fallon, the ad agency tasked with completing Cadillac's decade-long makeover.

I know, Cadillac.

The truly worthwhile nugget appeared in the last column in the print edition:
To her, the buyer, not the seller, determines the narrative. It is the buyer who wants ads that reinforce his essential rightness. She only figures out who he is and what he wants to be, then shows him a spot with a Cadillac besting a Ferrari on a windy racetrack.
Partalo began by scrapping the old approach of mini-campaigns for each model. "Sometimes you want to communicate to each buyer based on his individual needs," she says, her pumpkin-colored hair falling in waves around the Recaro bucket seat, a hand-stitched blend of black leather and saffron faux suede. "But the luxury buyer is different. He's more concerned with the brand's overall background, its heritage." If you're still claiming Standard of the World status, you better be able to prove it--especially when you're putting $70,000 of American metal up against Germany's finest. "So we wanted to do two things," she says. "First, bring Caddy back to its original standing. Second, do it through a campaign of substance."
This approach is especially in the social media age.