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Posted by on Nov 29, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

Stepping Down to Step Up

Here is an excerpt from a blog I stumbled across: Today we’re going to take a little trip in the wayback machine with the help of my colleague Seth Manheim, who was there when this happened. Set the date to November 22, 1989, twenty years ago and one day. Bill Gates is being taken on a guided tour of the product support department’s new office building, and during his visit, he asks one of the people manning the phones, “Mind if I take this call?” Bill puts on a headset, sits down, and answers the phone. “Hello, this is Microsoft Product Support, William speaking. How can I help you?” Bill talks with the customer, collects the details of the problem, searches in the product support Knowledge Base, sifts through the search results, finds the solution, and patiently walks the customer through fixing the problem. The customer is thrilled that William was able to fix the problem so quickly, and with such a pleasant attitude. Bill wraps up the call....

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Posted by on Nov 28, 2009 in Leadership | 0 comments

How the MS Cure Could Cure your Business

Italian doctors may have found a surprisingly simple cure for MS. Italian doctors have discovered by simply opening the bloodflow to the brain, 73% of patients had no symptoms of MS after two years. Incredible that such a simple solution could have such an incredible impact. The procedure that could prevent the over 2.5 million people suffering from MS, might shed some light on how emerging and established industry leaders can make their businesses more effecient. Often times, managers have a narrow view of the entire operation. For instance, let’s say you oversee a team of managers, who then oversee entry level employees. You rely on those managers to give you a realistic picture of what’s happening on the ground floor. One of your managers appears to be productive, but in reality, they push the people they oversee to work harder so the manager doesn’t have to work as hard. As their superior, you might not see this — as long as they appear productive, you think everything is...

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Posted by on Nov 27, 2009 in Marketing | 0 comments

How to Stand Out

Imagine being an HR representative. You are in charge of hiring and with unemployment rising, you’re flooded with applications. This past March, a high school janitorial position received a total of 700 applications. So how do you stand out from the crowd? Typically, advertising is known for eye-catching, creative applicants. For instance, a newly minted BA bought a wallet, put his resume on business cards and gave it to the ad agency secretary to “return” to the creative director. The creative director was confused for a moment when he opened the wallet and found a resume. While the creative director might only consider a few — if any — portolios that come across their desk, the intern was hired immediately. He stood out. The resume below captures that same creative spirit. This is Sean McNally’s (an artist and animator) resume: Consumers experience something similar to your HR rep: they see hundreds of brands every day. Even those that struggle to stand out are “just typical” ads.  So how do...

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Posted by on Nov 26, 2009 in Business Development | 0 comments

Creating and Developing Business Ideas for the Web

99Designs uses the crowdsourcing business model to connect business owners with designers. Here is how it works: the business owner creates a design brief outlining their specifications and sets a budget for the project, then designers develop mock-ups and the designer is selected by the business owner. The process parallels what happens in the real world. A company announces a call to entry (to maybe 8-10 agencies), then after the first round of mock-ups, the company creates a shortlist (of about 2-3 companies). Based on the final entries, the company awards the best agency with the project. Essentially, 99Designs has replicated the real-world process in the digital space. In doing so they have created an efficient and effective business model. Business ideas are born in many different ways. Some entrepreneurs deliberately think of problems to solve while others are “struck by lightening” so to speak. To get you thinking (consciously and / or subconsciously) about creating business ideas for the web, consider those processes that happen in the real-world....

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Posted by on Nov 25, 2009 in Branding | 0 comments

You Cannot Force People to Have Fun

I do not like jumping out of planes. I do not gardening. I do not want know karake. If you were to throw me out of a plane, make me pull weeds or even attempt to make me put on the white karake pajamas, I’d be very unhappy. If I smiled when I was doing any of these things, well, it would be quite obvious that it was forced. Just as it would be clearly fake for me to enjoy planting a rose bush, the same is true for the Microsoft customer service staff “enjoying” this painful dancing routine: This is the distinction between Google and Microsoft. Google actually has fun in their own geeky way while Microsoft painstakingly tries to be “gettin’ giggy wit it.” Consumers can see through the painful attempts to be “cool.” If there is anything that we could learn from this Microsoft video, it’s about authenticity. If you are not a company that breaks out into dance, don’t break out into dance. Simple as...

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