Friday, January 29, 2010

The Economy 2007-2009 / GDP / Wall Street Journal

GDP has gone up two straight quarters, rising 2.2% in the third quarter after a year of contraction. In all of 2009, GDP fell 2.4%, the biggest drop for an entire year since 10.9% in 1946. GDP rose 0.4% in 2008 and 2.1% in 2007.

Interesting to see that both 2007 and 2008 had positive GDP growth. The 2009 GDP drop seemed a lot deeper than 2.4%. The employment situation certainly was a lot worse for people that lost their jobs or had hours reduced.

Posted via web from admore's posterous

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Uncomfortable Conversation, No Not That One

Problem: Guys are not social about their personal grooming

Men do not talk about grooming or the products they use to do so. Example, there is sometimes some ribbing when a spot is missed shaving. This ends conversations before they start.

A brand should create a series of commercials (Internet spots etc) that spark a conversation. These spots should be about how men are uncomfortable talking about this issue. Men should want to look their best and to be their "Own Best Self". Not every guy looks like Brad Pitt or George Clooney. Every man can look his "Own Best Self".

Looking OBS takes some work. There are products on the market that make it faster, easier and more effective. (Insert Brand Name) is the company that has you covered. IBN has products that work right every time.

The conversation would lead to guys asking each other what they use for shaving, skin conditioning, shampoo etc. Conversation is what happens when you get someone to ask a question. When people are doing it (personal grooming) well, they enjoy their efforts being recognized.

Note 1: Perhaps their could be a nomination/contest for the best groomed man in (US, Canada, etc).

Note 2: OBS could be "One Best Self" too.

Bloomberg: "Does the Apple iPad Make Strategic Sense?"

It's hard to bet against Apple. The two things I admire most about the company are its ability to think holistically about business models (iPod + iTues, iPhone + the App store, iPad + iBookstore) and its willingness to keep innovating. Imagine how different it would have been if Apple stopped at the first generation iPod, or just rode the iPod for as long as it could. Its willingness to step out and enter into new categories is an important lesson for all companies.

Apple is certainly one of the five most innovative companies today. They make consumer friendly products that do new as well as old tasks (email etc) for consumers. They have been seemingly able to raise the bar continually.

If one is not risking failure, one is not making the movements that lead to innovation. For the most part, it looks like Apple got past most of the challenges they came across in the development of the iPad.

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Startups In The News

In a sign that 2010 really is a new year, several new start-up "incubators" are slated to pop up around Silicon Valley in the next few months.

Incubators typically help nurture small businesses by providing space, services and mentorship to entrepreneurs, often for a fee or an equity stake in their business. Well-known incubators include Y Combinator and Plug and Play Tech Center, with many venture-capital firms also incubating start-ups.

As the economic recovery becomes more apparent, more people will be reporting on startups. Certainly business publications such as the Wall Street Journal and Business Week will feature them prominently in the near future.

It was not too long ago where the Wall Street Journal had a graphic indicating that every quarter about 200,000 new businesses are launched in the United States.

Link to startup graphic

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Coca Cola Bottle Innovation

Coca-Cola Co., under fire from environmentalists for using plastic bottles, has introduced a new packaging material made partly from plants. The container has "the same weight, the same feel, the same chemistry, and functions exactly the same way" as a regular plastic bottle, a Coke spokeswoman says.

Beverage manufactures are under pressure on multiple fronts.

Environmentalists want things like carbon removed from the CPG supply chain. According to the article plastic (PET) is not recycled at a high rate. Here in Michigan there is a ten cent deposit on beverages that are carbonated. The redemption rate on recyclable containers, including cans, is reported as between 95% and 99%.

The lighter beverage makers can make containers, the more that is saved on fuel costs that are part of distribution. It's a delicate balancing act. Strength must be maintained and the package must protect the contents from changing when exposed to environmental conditions that vary. Heat and light being two that may affect the contents.

Posted via web from admore's posterous

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Wall Street Journal: Some Types of Silicon Valley Start-Ups Won't See Venture Capital

Networking/telecom is a capital intense sector with uncertain rewards in todays economic and political climate.

What is referred to as Information/Internet above is essentially software and web apps; they are much less capital intensive. These investments leverage the specialized knowledge of the entrepreneur and his/her team. When a VC invests in one of these ventures, the goal is to get in right before rapid growth (sales/profits/valuation).

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Harley-Davidson: Tough Economy & Entry To India

One bright spot for Harley-Davidson has been its performance in international markets, where its brand has strong appeal. Last year, it announced plans to enter the fast-growing Indian motorcycle market and will introduce 12 models there this year.

Premium products were hit hard in the '07-'09 recession. Harley-Davidson is a premium product. It's rather amazing that HD was able to retain profitability for much of the recession.

It will be interesting to track how the HD entry to India progresses. The economy in India is growing very rapidly.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Wall Street Journal Reports on Foursquare

Tristan Walker, the head of business development for Foursquare, estimates current Foursquare app users to be around a quarter of a million. He says the company hopes to make money by working with “local mom and pop shops” as well as mid-sized retailers. For instance, he said, Tasti D-Lite recently launched a Loyalty Program on Foursquare, through which customers can earn and redeem points by tweeting or checking in on Foursquare while stopping by the ice cream chain.

Interesting article. Gaining the support of small establishments on the ground is hard. Perhaps they will have the mayors and super-users (currently there are three super-user levels) spread the word on how Foursquare can help.

Three forces for local to harness.
Visits - Who When and Where?
Loyalty - How often?
Word-of-Mouth - Is the message being spread? New levels of awareness are critical for sales growth.

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LinkedIn Related Profiles

Viewers of this profile also viewed...

This is from the sidebar on a LinkedIn profile page. Any name jump out at you?

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Digital Content Moving From Free To Fee?

Many media analysts expect that Comcast Corp.'s plan to buy a controlling interest in NBC Universal would give it a significant say in the future of online video -- and accelerate Hulu's move to a subscription service.

It appears that we may be near an inflection point for online digital media. New powers seek to tilt the field in their favor (content creators and content distributors). You can't blame them for trying to get the full price the market is willing to pay.

What content has value?
What is the value of that content?
Is there a mix that increases total profits even if the most valuable content is seemingly under priced?

What is the optimal price to maximize profits? This is currently unknown and may remain that way for several years.

Posted via web from admore's posterous

Twitter: Less Than Three Years Ago...

Twitter staffers Jack and Alex tell me that the site, which normally carries around 20 thousand messages a day, broke 60 thousand a day this weekend.

Amazing that this is what Twitter was less than three years ago. => 20,000 messages a day.

Posted via web from admore's posterous

YouTube Video Tips, Tricks & Hacks

3. Cut the chase and link to the interesting part

Linking to a video where the real action starts at 3 minutes 22 seconds, wondered if you could make it start at 03:22? You are in luck. All you have to do is add #t=03m22s (#t=XXmYYs for XX mins and YY seconds) to the end of the URL.

Useful YouTube tricks.
HT @DaveMurr

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Apple Grows iTunes Store Revenue

Apple has done a really effective job creating a digital distribution model. Quarterly sales in the iTunes store have increased from $300 million five years ago, to over $900 today million.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Books: January 2010


Books completed so far in 2010

Currently reading the Seth Godin book Unleashing The Ideavirus.


Google Books

Library Thing

Saturday, January 9, 2010

BlackBerry Crash Application


One of the most unpleasant experiences is having a BlackBerry fail. The “Reload Software 552” error is particularly unpleasant. The most recent occurrence was caused in part by one of the following applications.

The applications below were all downloaded from BlackBerry App World prior to the system failure mentioned above. The links embedded are for the online store, but are the same downloads one would get through the BlackBerry App World app.

It is not exactly clear what application is causing the conflict. Unfortunately when the error occurs it leads to a lot of time spent with T-Mobile tech support and a good number of hours spent to recover and reinstall applications an data.


  • Have you used any of the above applications on a BlackBerry?
    • Positive or negative results?
  • What BlackBerry device are you using?
  • What cellular provider is your service from?