When Did We Move Away From Testing

June 16, 2011 Leave a comment

I have watched enough detective shows on TV to know that crack dealers often give potential customers a “taste” of the good stuff free, in order to get them hooked and come back to purchase more. It’s a simple strategy, that with addicting products – makes a winning business model.

This ‘business model’ took many forms online: allow users to experience the website for a week then start charging them, allow users to access some features and charge for premium features, (most recently) give users some sort of incentive for spreading the word via social media.

Well now that these KPIs have been established, companies are once again getting greedy. I have run into multiple sites that have dangled the share feature BEFORE letting me test. I don’t know how others feel about their digital personalities, but I am more selective about my online recommendations than those made face-to-face. Asking me to lend my social credits to you, without you investing anything is just never going to happen.

I can see the business meeting now:

CEO – “We need to get the word out better. Suggestions?”

CMO – “We can ask people to share post on their Facebook. Social Media recommendations are 70% more likely to be trusted…”

CEO – “Great, we need to quadruple our shares/likes/followers.”

WHAT ABOUT USER EXPERIENCE? Not considered…

While the users haven’t revolted yet, and your competition hasn’t realized the opportunity you have given them, its going to happen. Someone will figure out that crack dealers business models have worked because good product is addicting, sharing and social currency is worth something, and the best way to become the next household name is to focus on the product and let the product market itself.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Hey A*hole, You Forgot to Drink Your Own Coolaide

June 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Every time you point your finger, you have 3 more pointing back at you.

I have been a bad manager of my relationships. Friends, Family, Co-Workers you name it. But what do corporations expect? I remember one of the car-pool mothers that used to drive us to middle school would tell her daughter “Do what I say, not what I do.”

Mangers teach you to delegate, not my strong suit since I believe I am better off just doing it myself, but delegation today means a bunch of entry-level people “doing their time” sitting in meetings where their higher-ups spout out orders of everything they need.

The pendulum has swung too far. And no, I am not going to blame it on technology, we all walked out into traffic on the connection super-highway with our eyes wide open, and expected not to get hit by the metaphorical truck. But our ever growing to-do list and our lack of time to get it done have met head on and there is no workout, social gathering, or otherwise that will brush this one under the carpet again.

Get your priorities straight, or you’ll get buried.

Categories: Uncategorized

6 Questions You Must Ask Yourself About Your LinkedIn Reccomendations

March 8, 2011 Leave a comment

LinkedIn recommendations are a great way to help promote a colleague or vendor. It’s a nice way to give credit where credit is due. I have read a few posts about recommendations, most focus on writing a good recommendation or how to ask someone to recommend you.

I think there are a few questions you need to ask yourself about recommendations on LinkedIn before you write or request and show recommendations on your profile.

  1. How much does this person’s recommendation really mean? I have passed critical mass on recommendations for my profile. To me anything over 3 – 5 is plenty. If 5 people cannot sum up how amazing you are, then you don’t need LinkedIn recommendations, you need a publicist. So I have started to hide some of my previous recommendations that bring nothing new to the table. If my boss (VP and Managing Director) said I am a strong member of the team, I don’t need my colleague to reiterate that point. Now, if my colleague speaks to the experience of actually work with me, that’s a new prospective that should be shown.
  2. Do I care who says it, or what is said? To me, this is one of the trickier lines to determine. As with my previous example, my boss’s recommendation is short and sweet, where my colleague’s goes on to explain why. Which should be shown, which should be hidden, or do they each bring enough (or nothing) to the table and can therefore both be shown (or hidden)?
  3. How many is too many? I have too many, I know I do. At 15, it looks like I am either bribing or blackmailing people to write recommendations for me. I get it, and I will need to use my own advice to respectfully delete a few (and send thank you notes to those that now will no longer show up on my profile). You have to draw your own line. Where is mine? I am going to try to get it back to about 8 – 10.
  4. Who will I recommend? I cannot speak for others, I don’t send recommendations with the expectation that the person I recommended is going to write one for me. I think that shows lack of experience with social media. I send recommendations for those who I feel deserve to be recommended, when asked for a recommendation, I consider the offer and make a decision. Just make sure you realize that this is just like writing a formal recommendation letter, just because it’s easier to write doesn’t mean it’s less formal.
  5. Who will I ask to recommend me? This ties back into how many recommendations you currently have, how many you want, who can bring a good mix of important new content to your profile and their relationship to you. Obviously, having a vendor (even with a strong title) recommending your ability to work with a team isn’t really as strong as one coming from the weaker title, but an actual member of your team. Find the balance between above/below, internal/external, title/perspective, and your experience with them/the information they can add to your profile.
  6. How much time do I spend working on my LinkedIn profile? As much or more than your resume. Your LinkedIn profile is just as important and will likely be seen by at least as many, if not more people than your resume. Use the service to your advantage. Which reminds me I need to update my profile, its been a while.

Let’s connect: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook.

Categories: Business, Marketing, Personal

Best Buy the new eBay

February 24, 2011 Leave a comment

UPDATE: ecoATM could replace Best Buy. Mashable article Futuristic Kiosk Spits Out Cash for Recycled ElectronicsAlready available Kiosks on the West Coast will give cash for electronic devices.

I say someone just jumps ahead a few years, creates a subscription program where you can get a new phone every so often. I would pay a monthly fee to have a new phone when updates come out, or if mine is broken.

Best Buy recently announced their Buy Back Program in it’s much discussed Super Bowl Commercial with Justin Bieber. The website explains the percentage back that you will receive based on the length of time you owned it.

I recently purchased a new iPhone 4, after owning a Gen 1 and iPhone 3. I did keep all of my old phones, I didn’t check but I don’t think Best Buy would have purchased them back from me. So, I like many other cash strapped youngster looking for the latest and greatest had the idea to sell my worldly possessions to gain a little capital.

Both phones were purchased for over $100 which covered the cost of a new phone, contract change, a case and the shipping of my old phones. In a few months or years I will want to purchase a new phone and now I will have to determine if offering it on eBay or offering it to Best Buy in the Buy Back Program will raise the most money.

One has to wonder if the Buy Back Program is to bolster the parts available to the Geek Squad for repairs? Possibly a refurbished phones offering? Either way, nice move Best Buy.

Categories: Business, Future

What To Do When Your Boss Asks You To Go Through The Motions?

February 17, 2011 2 comments

YOU DO IT!

I don’t care if you have years of experience, and can predict the outcome. If you boss asks you to do something, just do it.

Categories: Young Professional

Facebook is ALWAYS Right

February 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Today someone mistakenly wrote “Happy Birthday… Hope its a good one” on a colleague’s Facebook wall. She commented, thanks and that her birthday wasn’t actually until Wednesday, but the deed was done. By mid-morning most of her wall was Birthday wishes.

I immediately emailed her to ask if she had lunch plans, thinking that I had been mistaken and forgotten a colleague’s birthday. I tried to play it cool and casually ask about her lunch plans for her birthday. She said she would actually be out of town, but thanks. She, being the brilliant woman she is, asked if I had seen her wall? At that point the cat was out of the bag, I had mistakingly assumed Facebook was right, and much to my chagrin Facebook had lead me astray. (Not really Facebook’s fault as it has the birthday feature, which I neglected to check to confirm my assumptions)

I wondered how often people are using Facebook as a source for information. A search for Facebook in High School Research Papers leads only to those offering to write Research Papers for a nominal fee, no help there. I started thinking about everything we use Facebook for these days.

Our office is currently interviewing, and every candidate I meet I check out their Facebook. I don’t know what I am looking for, and at this point no one’s Facebook presence has swung my impression of them, but I do trust is as a source of useful information.

What information do you use Facebook for?

Categories: Anti-Establishment, Social

Corporate Insanity

February 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Our department is currently looking for a new Research Coordinator. As we look at potential candidates someone always brings up something along the lines of ‘how would he or she FIT with the team?’

I understand it’s a relevant question, the last thing anyone wants to do is hire someone that will disrupt the current team dynamics, or move against the grain.

Most have heard Einstein’s definition of insanity (if not: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results). If struggling companies continue to hire people that fit their corporate culture, they will never pull themselves out of the red ink.

What could a fresh perspective bring to your company?