Her name's Melissa Bachman. She kills wild animals on American TV for a living. Sometimes with a rifle, sometimes with bow and arrow. Then she killed a full-maned male lion, and posted a picture of herself, cradling her rifle, laughing triumphantly, while the once-magnificent lion sprawled dead at her feet. And all hell broke loose.
Startups often have to deal with one or all of three big issues: lack of capital, brand recognition and product penetration. While these are real threats and pose the biggest risk to success, startups often have advantages that cannot be found in large, established companies. Educating talent on these benefits helps them make an informed decision between the bright lights of the behemoth and the siren's call of the startup. So, what exactly are these benefits?
The story and process behind a product is every bit as important as the product itself. The intangibility of what went into what you're buying gives it life, identity and value. Something purchased from Amazon isn't just "less expensive," but carries the entrepreneurial history of Jeff Bezos, the marvel of the company's state-of-the-art robotic selection and distribution system, and so on.
Before you start lighting up those pitchforks and come after us marketers with a mix of mass hysteria and moral panic, take a look at your own online behavior and ask yourself, which scenario you prefer? Go to Amazon and start shopping (presuming you have been there before), and ask yourself, "what is the experience like?"
Tax arbitrage, or moving operations and tax liabilities to low-cost jurisdictions, has been a game played by rich people and multinationals for years. But the game is ending finally. This will have implications in terms of government revenues to pay for social services but will also have a negative impact on the profits and share prices of giants such as Google, Amazon and virtually every multinational that's a household name.
As a marketing professional, there is nothing I hate more than receiving any form of communication (email, Web experience, social media, mobile, whatever) and not see an obvious place where I can either opt out of the communication or protect how much information is being captured. As a consumer, I probably hate it more.
What will Apple do next? What is the technology that will disrupt the iPhone and iPad business? If you have read Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography (and I strongly recommend that you do), there was a very telling (and compelling) line from Jobs: "If you don't cannibalize yourself, someone else will."
Once upon a time I wrote a book about being a journalist in the 21st century. I was leafing through its pages last evening, when I stopped at the chapter The Less Things Change... It's about my time, 50 years ago, working as reporter/anchor at a startup TV station in Zambia. The chapter starts by describing how we got our foreign news film back there in the 60s. Even after all these years, much is still the same.
Literary writing is a worthless profession. Few who write novels, stories and poems make a living from them. This has been true for millennia. Lately the Internet has regressed into a society of feudal manors lorded over by tech giants like Amazon, Apple and Yahoo, who sell e-books for 99 cents or give them away for free. Their "competitive pricing" is threatening traditional publishers and physical books with extinction.
Even though their prices have dropped, we still need commodities, products and services. And because these parts of the economy are so deeply entrenched, decades worth of innovation have focused on reducing cost - -this means automation. If it's cheaper to have systems or robots extract, refine, make, or deliver, it will be done -- no matter the industry.
Do you actively seek out different opinions than your own, or unwittingly reinforce your personal conventional wisdom by only consuming "agreeable" content? While we may think it is the former, too often we live in a bubble. Here are some reasons why we're not as open-minded or as free as we may think, and how the internet is really preventing us from experiencing new things.
Recently, a very senior marketing professional who works at one of the world's largest corporations was recounting a story of how they saw a postal truck outside of their corporate head offices in Silicon Valley, and every single parcel that was being offloaded from this truck was from Amazon. He thought to himself: "This is the what retail looks like in 2012."