blogitto ergo sum

January 2, 2017

#226 – Commuter Mug Anyone?

Filed under: Eat, Drink, Enjoy,mmmmmmarketing,Opinionated — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 23:10
Tags: , ,

Going somewhere? Traveling? BYOC.commuterMUGS-06And it’s not champagne we are talking about.  It’s about the cup and the coffee.

I’ve long ago accepted the fact that more often than not, i’m not going to truly enjoy the over-priced latte i order and pay for, even when being “penalized” for those extra shots of espresso i ask for in my attempt to make it better.
On the other hand, I can do something about maintaining the temperature of whatever the under caffeinated super-pretentious barista put in my mug.

When you are in product management, you can’t help to.  you think of any product or service in terms of features, requirements, tradeoffs, usability, user experience, the cost of a feature vs. the value the end-user [Me, Me!] will attach to it… it simply becomes part of you, your assessment process of most things. honestly, I can’t help it.  Food may be one exception.  As for the rest, the PM approach works.  it’s most obvious when i go car shopping.  Most of the features pitched by the smooth, oh too smooth, sales guy are simply irrelevant in the long run.  Color included.  yes, white is better than black in sunny climates, but won’t break the deal.

So what makes a travel mug an exceptional one?  The obvious top two features woul

contigo-wl-closed-open

Contigo redesigned cap for ease of cleaning

d be to safely contain the liquid and maintain temperature over an extended period of time.  These two, however, are far from enough, and yet many mugs fail.  Don’t say a word of Starbucks or Peet’s’ mugs; they are 99% OEMed anyway.

 

Over the years, I’ve tried brands and non-brands, including Aladdin, Thermos, and Contigo.  Even There is plenty to choose from you may say, but… they are wrong.  Very few mugs actually deliver on what i think should be the basic set of requirements, going from the hardest to the trivial:

  • Keep it hot.  I mean REALLY hot, for at least four hours – critical for a flight or a road trip, but also for the workday – all places that rarely offer good coffee.
  • Keep me and my bag dry.  Spill and leak proof.  one should be aware that leak proof protects you less than a spill proof.
  • Usable – easy to drink from.  Usability is implied or included in most of the other features, but, when looking at a mug that meets all other nose-cuprequirements, but has for a lid a contraption that keeps hitting your nose or detaches from the mug only to get lost and render the mug useless you realize that some mug designs were led by the technologists, forgetting the usability is a key feature, neither an afterthought, nor a marketing nice-to-have thing.
  • Easy to carry, travel with.  This is tricky.  while handles are useful, when packing,
    traveling, trying to fit in a bag or a backpack, that handle spells trouble.  Miles of travel taught me that the best option is a no-handle mug with a built in D-ring or a clip to attach it.  Haven’t found even one mug to hook up with that meets the two previous requirements
  • Easy to clean.  This is such a basic, fundamental requirement, and yet it seems that all manufacturers, without an exception fail at one level or another.
  • Age well.  Yes, it is a feature, and not a trivial one.  that’s when ROI comes to play a an important role.
  • Capacity. Minimum 16 Oz. definitely a trivial requirement.  there’s no point to invest in a travel smaller mug; it’s that simple.

While working on this blog, friends shared their experience and observations.  just like in mobile, there is no RIGHT answer but lots to share.  A colleague of mine swears by her LiquidLogic mug.  Unfortunately, it seems to be available only for promotional large

mug-04

nice design, low performance

number orders, so not a real option.  THIS blog post lists about six mugs, most of made by Thermos and Contigo.  This blog mixes office and travel mugs along with flasks and water bottles that could double as hot drinks containers.  Brands such as Hydracentials seem to have ventured to this niche, yet stepped out quickly, leaving loyal drinkers behind without replacement options.  Strangely enough, their mug, still offered via Amazon, looks very much like one of the Thermos mugs.  OEM?  Probably.  I do have one Thermos mug that was OEMed by the Sharper Image, and with a bad painting job too.

Thermos mugs maintain temperature impressively, but fail on three major features: cap is almost impossible to clean and ages badly.  Worth, it’s hard to tell “open” from “close” so spilling accidents are bound to happen.

 

Currently, the obvious winners for serious commuters is Contigo.  Are they the best? No.  But they are the beast, a the newly easier to clean designed cap with “auto close,” and promotions everywhere including CostCo  I’m still looking, but at least i got the requirements right.

To our hot, unspilled coffee!

May 14, 2015

#223 – Need a Doctor? See a Therapist.

Filed under: life matters,mmmmmmarketing,Opinionated — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 00:22
Tags: , , ,

there’s nothing good i can say about the American health system.  wasteful, inefficient, unhealthy… not really health-motivated, not in the sense of one’s well-being.  other than my PCP of course.  and it took me three years to find her.

I used to think that @SutterHealth belonged to the better ones of the undesirable options one has in Northern California. until it came out with its TV ad campaign.  A healthcare provider spends millions of dollars to convey the message it cares.  and how does it do it?  by telling us

Trying to convince us that they are better than everyone else, since they care.  Last time anyone used the + sign it didn’t’ work all that well, did it?  To be honest, the Kaiser Permanente commercials are delivering the message of caring much better.  for example:

Sutter Health, unfortunately, fails to do so. there’s no humor, no real compassion in any of those four ads.  one implies that a cancer survivor has no friends or family supporting her but her Dr.  another makes finding our the gender of your baby feel like an AA member about to relapse.  a third features a diabetic patient confessing the major crime of eating a cinnamon roll.  the fourth, which i find to be the most disturbing of them all, makes the conversation between a kid with asthma and his physician look like what could be the opening of a Law&Order SVU episode.   worst yet, it positions asthma as something to be mocked about and ashamed off.  all four videos stage the Doctor-patient conversation in what looks more like a therapy session rather than a doctor’s appointment.   shot in too dark of a room it feels nothing like a doctor’s office.  Creepy is more like it.  and, if i want to be extremely sensitive, why would one choose black actors for the one that feels like a drug usage confession, and white actors to the others? and don’t you have any Asians patients or doctors?  i know you do, since my PCP is one.

want to communicate that you care, that you are a different kind of a health provider?  that’s great.  but if the outcome of all your brainstorming and focus groups is “when i go to my physician, i want to talk to a shrink,” then maybe you should see a therapist???  or at least use a different agency instead of BBDO, or at least have the creative directors, namely Craig Mangan, Matt Miller, Steve Rutter, Amber Justis, Kevin Thomson think it a little more?

Due Diligence: My provider is PAMF, which is part of the Sutter Health system.  Have been for the past six years or more. other than the Eye Doctor and clinic I’ve visited twice recently, i’ve always been very happy with the care i got.  still am.   yet, these ads are creepy bad.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 11.44.11 PM

Be a Dr. not a shrink.

you could do so much better.

October 7, 2014

#221 – in her shoes

hunger games shoes newsFour days before the release of the Mockingjay part I trailer, Calcalist [A leading Israeli business newspaper] released this exclusive artilce [see image]. Interestingly enough, the news reposting was limited to Israel.

The article says: “Owned by Teva Naot, the Dafna shoes are soon to become Hollywood stars. Calcalist found that the Hunger Games production [y: they got the wrong name, used Catching Fire instead of Mockingjay] ordered 660 pairs of shoes for the actors of the 3rd movie coming out this November. Value of the order is estimated to be around NIS130,000… Given the many battle scenes in the movie, the production was looking for military boots fitting the Panem freedom fighters… The shoes, made of canvas and have a rubber sole, are called Scout, also used by IDF elite units…”

Given the building excitement around the movie, I tried a more thorough search only to find a much shorter Naot Canada Facebook post dated back to April. But who really cares what boots take Katniss to save Peeta? Israelis.  I think that it’s that pride of being part of the bigger picture, global village. And yes, big studio giving me a PO [purchase order] is much better than me paying big studio for a product placement. Searching for the shoes, any mention of them, I found nothing. Obviously, shoes don’t take canter stage unless the Devil wears them.

More seriously though, I do think it’s a matter of local patriotism & pride. Israelis know how small Israel is, and whenever it gets to play with the big kids, there’s another burst of “we made it,” another rush of “we made good.” My inner child is visualizing a Naot mascot bragging, “Katniss picked me; not you, Merrell, Timberland, or Patagonia,” which are heavily invested in this very product segment. If your memory collects as many useless bits as mine does, and if you read the book, you may remember Katniss saying, “Fortunately, I have on shoes that Cinna designed. They grip the asphalt on contact and spring free of it on release.“ [Mockingjay, p. 49] could be the basis for a great global marketing campaign.

Hunger Games collage

Cherchez la shoe

note to the French and Israeli: as much as i tired to find a photo of the scout boots, what i found looked like the Dafna version of the French Palladium, which were my hiking boots for some years, until they fell apart.  I refused to buy the “imitation,” though it was significantly cheaper.  maybe that was a decision factor?

September 10, 2013

#215 – Giving Green a Bad Name

Filed under: mmmmmmarketing,Opinionated — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 17:38
Tags: , ,

The description says: ”

“Green in colour and green by nature! Recycled plastic and recycled metal in a superb quality scissor. Large ergonomically shaped finger grips for comfort and control

  • Left hander has reversed blades to make it easier to see exact cutting lines”

source: http://kande.ie/catalogue/Scissors/decree_go_green_scissors.htm 

I had no reason to doubt it.   It was a nice thoughtful gift, and it spent its days the drawer, next to a couple of more substantial scissors.   I happily remembered the gifter every time i looked at it.

A couple of days ago, I was playing with yet another idea for the back patio, one that required some cutting.  Garden, green… perfect match, right?

So I took the idle scissor and asked it to do its thing.  Nothing.  I changed the angle.  AS a left-handed, one gets used to the discomfort of using “normal” scissor.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t at all feeling comfortable with the lefty version either. Trying once, twice, and on third trial it fell apart.  “What is the sound of half [green] scissor?”  I wonder.

This is what is looks before you buy it:

And this is what it looks once I tried to use it.

20130910-GOgreenSCISSOR

I don’t think this can be recycled in Santa Clara.

Manufacturer: Decree.  More information?  Good Luck.

August 26, 2013

#214 – Cheers to Cheerios’ “I HEART DADDY”

Cheerios promotes love. Interracial families included.

I’m not a Cheerios lover. And yet I now have a feel-good warm fuzzy spot for the cereal, independent of its nutritious or hearty value.  In a recent post, Adotas attributes it to the newsworthiness of the ad that I enjoyed so much, and the controversy that followed.

First, the ad:

I’ve seen it a couple of times on TV, and wide-smiled at the kid’s solid logic.  Then, a couple of weeks later, I saw this:

This mind opener, with 6,206,847 viewings and 118,401 thumbs up at writing time, asserts, loud and clear, that the generation growing up in a house near me is freer of prejudice and racist predispositions like never before.

I doubt that this was Cheerios’ intent upon launching the ad.  After all, they are about selling cereals.  And yet… This is the first Cheerios ad ever going truly viral, carrying the brand’s name above and beyond the 103K which was its highest ad true reach to date.  All it took is a cute girl that cares about her father’s heart to reach to over 14.4 Million viewers.  And a pair of interracial parents.

Newsworthiness they say.  The noise that this ad generated is a testimony to its newsworthiness.  Cheerios however, didn’t think of the ad as newsworthy.  It came with the controversy that the ad generated.  Controversy, I must say, that I was completely blind to, until the blogosphere came in and knocked hard at my monitor.

Kudos to General Mills for choosing to stand behind the ad and continuing its broadcast.  Their handling of the racist comments was professional and minimal – they turned off the comments option on YouTube.

Making things even better for General Mills, the decision to stand its ground re the definition of the American normal family, and  keeping the ad, had another amazing side effect.  Listen to Cynthia Liu, who blogs about race, culture, gender and parenting.  “This is a tempest in a cereal bowl, right?” Liu said.  In fact, she posits that Cheerios’ move could even be an “upside-down, inside-out” way to dog-whistle to open-minded parents who otherwise might not buy the cereal. [source]

Lowes’ December 2011 decision to pull out their advertising in the TLC All-American Muslim reality show comes to mind.  Confronted with rage against anything that positions Muslims as anything but terrorist, they quickly caved.  the customer rage they were so concerned with, it turned out, came mostly from one loud guy.  The show, sadly, was canceled after one season.

General Mills/Cheerios, bless their brand and marketing wisdom, is standing strong and winning.  They won me.

Being bold, smart, creative, and… create newsworthy ads, the vibe and spread, and go viral.

As for the American family, it is changing.  On one hand, there are TV shows such as Modern Family which had been criticized for placing women in traditional helpless gender roles, a not touchy enough gay couple, and a heavy usage of modern technology while making it past its 100’s episode, or the new normal, with an extra conservative mother dominant mother, a baby mama surrogate mother and a powerful black assistant, which was canceled after short seven months, possibly for being too gay… but how many successful interracial families do we see on our not-so-small anymore screens.

And yet, in the 2010 census, which is the latest available, one can find some US interracial family statistics to happily keep on mind [Source: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/2010_census/cb12-68.html]:

Number of Interracial & Interethnic Married Couples Grew by 28 Percent over Decade

The U.S. Census Bureau Census brief, Households and Families: 2010 showed interracial or interethnic opposite-sex married couple households grew by 28 percent over the decade from 7 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010. States with higher percentages of couples of a different race or Hispanic origin in 2010 were primarily located in the western and southwestern parts of the United States, along with Hawaii and Alaska.  I hear California.

Also noted is that a higher percentage of unmarried partners were interracial or interethnic than married couples. Nationally, 10 percent of opposite-sex married couples had partners of a different race or Hispanic origin, compared with 18 percent of opposite-sex unmarried partners and 21 percent of same-sex unmarried partners.

Equality and open-mindedness will prevail.  Cheers.

Christopher Colbert, the father of Grace Colbert, was not offended by the cutting remarks which bombarded the YouTube clip of the ad. Colbert, along with his wife and daughter, spoke to MSNBC TV: “Being part of a biracial family, it’s just the reality,” Christoper Colbert said. “We’re also part of the face of America.”

August 9, 2013

#213 – Crystal. Not clear.

Filed under: business buz,mmmmmmarketing — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 20:49
Tags: ,

You may have not heard the story of how my habit of keeping a spare headlight in the glove compartment saved me from an expensive ticket, yet it did.  Thank you dad, for instilling [some] good driving habits in me.

Maybe that’s a good time to confess that for years I was tracking mileage/gas ratio, ensuring the engine performs as it should.

So no ticket, thank you very much dear spare headlight bulb.Weeks later, I made it back to the neighborhood’s O’Reilly Auto Parts store. I had the used pack of the bulb-that-saved-me with me, so it was easy to ask for a “one like this please.”  When Crystal went to the shelves behind the counter and not to the store space where I remembered the bulbs had been before, I didn’t think much of it.  When the bulb was of a different brand than the one I was holding, it got my attention.  When the price was higher than I remembered I was not happy.

“I’m sorry, I thought the bulb was cheaper.”

“Oh, you mean you want the same brand?’

“Well, I want the same price.”

Without a word, Crystal got from behind the counter, walked to the store space and picked an identical bulb.

I wasn’t done yet.  “Last time you had some sort of promotion.  I think it was ‘buy two at half price’ or something.  Do you know if you have a promotion on these now?”

“We never have promotion on these.”  [Sure.]

Interesting.

I pay.

oreilly-01

Ready to leave, I am not upset, just disappointed.  True, it’s been probably eight months since I visited the store.  The Hyundai is a truly low maintenance car, so I have no reason to frequent O’Reilly.  To say something or not… hey, I’m going to say it.

“You know, you are not helping your business by pushing the more expensive product to a customer,” is all I say, pleasantly.

She says nothing.

I look at her shirt.  “Your name is Crystal, right?”

Still nothing.

I walk out.

Difference before tax: $1.96

Damage to Brand: Not priceless, but a function of how many of you will read and share.

Damage to Crystal: Looking at the receipt, depends who at O’Reilly monitors and reads the customer feedback.

oreilly-03

Take away?

 or, in other “words”…

February 23, 2013

#211 – Marketing Matters

If you need to make it this complicated, I don’t trust you

Earlier today, dropped car at shop.  Had a coupon.  mechanic-02 As I handed the coupon over, I mentioned that if it wasn’t for the timing – car needs oil change and a new battery – I wouldn’t have come here, and the coupon didn’t really help.  The guy looked puzzled.  I could almost visualize the thought balloon over his head; “you came here with a coupon, and you are telling me that BECAUSE of the coupon you almost didn’t come to us?!”  Exactly.

“Now, how is this possible?!”  Easily. 

To his credit, instead of letting the balloon talk, the guy said, “Please tell me more, I know we keep trying different promotions.”

“This one is not helping your business,” I said, as I handed him over the coupon, printed on heavy, glossy paper. He started reading the fine print, squinting only a little.  There was a lot to read.

Silence.  Done reading, the guy said with a sigh, “yes, I see what you mean.”

not-reading-the-fine-printAnd… “I will take this to our marketing.  Thank you for the feedback.”

Will he?  I don’t know.  The car should be out today.  I doubt their marketing is in.  I’m in for over $1,200 he said, in the later hours of the afternoon.  And no, no car for me today.   That’s NOT fine, printed or not.

The coupon point?  If you want to attract me to your business, do it in few large bold letters.  Looking like a wireless provider contract, trust is not what your coupon and promotion will generate. 

Addiction is a bad word.  Really.

PurseAddict-02

I don’t think of my joy of having multiple mobile containers as an addiction.  Call it a hobby, passion, mean of self-expression?  Doesn’t matter; don’t care.

Now how would you get me to click on your bags-promoting ad?

Here’s the how not:  Do not tease me with “addicted to purses?

Addiction, to any substance, object, anything, is not a positive experience; there’s nothing to be proud of.  There’s nothing good about it.  One may choose to describe oneself as x-addict.  But this usually comes with an apologetic smile.  Think of it as the ‘a-word.’  You can use it to describe yourself, others should not.

How many movies and TV shows come with the almost inevitable “my name is X, and I’m an addict” scene?  Many.  It delivers a strong, dramatic moment.  It’s delivers one taking responsibility to one’s faults, failures, shortcomings.  Thinking current TV shows, Elementary, Law & Order UK, and Private Practice are but three among the many that come with such scene.  And, surprise, surprise, addict is not how anyone wants to be called, true or not.  Can you recall a scene where the group says “hello, your name is John, and you are an addict?” I don’t think so.

And this is how your hip campaign manager chose to promote the brand and get my click?  Ain’t happening.   Hey, I won’t even share your brand name/link. Bad ad!

Marketing, call it art; call it science, mock it, enjoy it.  But hey, don’t underestimate it.  And please, if you do it, do it right. 

September 19, 2012

#209 – Social media; you need a friend for that

Filed under: business buz,mmmmmmarketing,Opinionated — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 03:10
Tags: ,

Who’d you turn to for a good solid, reliable advice? It depends. For TV, I go to Bill Sheppard. For Pizza, I turn to Mohammed from Via Mia.  Martin Lister is for Apple Inc., best iToy apps and media, among other things. Dan is for cameras and photography [and then some].  For many years [in Israel], for car picking I turned to Amos. For electrical it used to be my dad, until electrical become much more electronic. I could go on.  I have my subject matter experts whom I trust, and know their advice to be a solid one.

Source: http://www.cartoonaday.com
By Bryant Arnold, Published: 18-Feb-11

Not that long ago, no one said, “I got an app for that.” We “had a friend for this.” Pre-googling, a thorough search meant a few “do you know somebody who knows something [read: A LOT] about this thing?” Between my family & friends network, I rarely had to make a decision without an expert’s advice.

Fast-forward.  With a marketing cap on, calling our contacts on FaceBook “friends” was a brilliant idea, exactly because of the trust value associated with friendships.  So what if this wasn’t the initial motivation.  The length of incentive, fake or not, and all other manipulations used to get us to like and follow a brand, and share it with friends are the best testimony for that.  It’s brilliant because we do indeed care, some of us more, some of us less, what our friends do, see, read, listen to, BUY.

Again, social media is built on the assumption that we pay attention to what our friends enjoy, like, buy, enjoy and a brand can harness this to promote itself, grow brand recognition, and improve its NPS.  Thing is, our friends, the real ones that is, don’t press us to buy and spend [other than my iApple friends].  And, as far as friends go, trust, respect, willingness to listen and accept opinions and recommendations, are all built on many positive, fun interactions, all non-commercial in nature.  Social Media marketing campaigns and promotions cannot expect to replace that shared experience with a few posts on Facebook, a couple of tweets, and “like me,” or “follow me” manipulations.

“What’s in it for me” is not a daily or a weekly test that our friendships need to pass.  We seek friends’ advice when we need it.  We are likely to put a distance between us and a friend who frequently offers unsolicited advice.  And of course, we want to have our chance to express an opinion or two, feel heard.  But when we are ‘encouraged’ to like a brand page, follow brand’s tweets, retweet and share, “what’s in it for me” is a legitimate and acceptable question.

A lot have been said, tweeted, posted and done WRT social media.  We got stars, gods, gurus and companies claiming mastery of this youngster.  A few manage to milk social media, which means that it’s the first virtual [cash] cow to produce dough.  Few are amazing in their vision, insight, advice.  Many are as good as you and I.  Many fail.  GM’s pulling off its marketing/ad budget off FaceBook helps those who don’t dig it at all, happy to say that this king is naked.

It is not. I am laughing as I type, “only the smart ones can see the amazing outfit.”  Thing is, it’s too early.  Social  Media is not yet as well-tailored as marketing and branding branches that have been around for decades.  Think of the shifts in marketing and advertisement budgets, from newspapers to radio, to TV… the first web banners… think Google…  and now things are up for more change.  it’s exciting.  It offers amazing opportunities to succeed and to… fail.

It’s here to stay.  Next, some facts and more observations.

TBC.

June 3, 2012

#208 – smartool or smartoy?

i miss my BlackBerry; more so on weekdays.  after weeks of Android and months of iToy, i know what i want and can’t have.

i want a phone that is smart enough to be my best loyal assistant, always available, ready, with my meetings, contacts & friends, emails, reminders and the rest of my life.  i want to prioritize, sort and group my contacts and emails in a click or a touch.  i want to be able to assign a unique ring, vibe and volume to certain people and events, and totally ignore others.  i want all of the above to transparently sync with all my devices; all EIGHT of them, including laptops and desktops,  iToy and my designated international SIMs phone. i want a GPS that connects in nanoseconds, not minutes, and always knows and tells me where i am and where i need to go, BEFORE I missed the turn.  i want a browser that shows me everything that i am looking for, not a skinny version that forces me to look for an invisible “go to full site” button. i want to stream music without having to wait between verses or songs.  i am OK with using an app for each need, but i don’t want to have to look for it among 100s of apps.  i want text-to-speech and speech-to-text.  i want a real QWERTY and a great touch screen.  And before I forget, I want to make and receive phone calls with GOOD voice quality, not from the depth of the deep sea, with low sensitivity to the wind and background noise and lab-type sensitivity to conversation.  Lastly and critically, i want a battery that lasts as long as i do, and is happy with as many [few] recharge hours as i do.

WHERE IS THAT PHONE?  Take me there.

Snow Covered Tree Trunks, Waterloo, Ontario.
Copyright: All rights reserved by jgljgljgl

i didn’t forget the games.  However, for a phone that will do all of the above, i will happily go without any game.  i wasn’t kidding when i said i miss my blackberry.  for a long time, it delivered on over a half of the list above.  sadly, it neglected to progress with the market, and stopped to deliver on the missing items, nor improved on the performance of the already existing part.  The Waterloo-based innovation that started RIM, froze in the Canadian winter, and the innovation that bloomed in the valley and changed the mobile world was not listened to, not considered a game changer or a threat.

I am a happy first-to-admit that no tablet, no device i tried, is better than the iToy when it comes to content consumption.  any content i can think of.  weather, news, travel, entertainment, edutainment…  it’s a truly sweet fruit to eat, but far from being enough for a perfect diet.

i am happy to admit that the number of apps available for both my iToy and Android phone is mindboggling compared to the pathetic offering from BlackBerry.  i love that i now have not one, but FOUR portable SONOS controllers, one original, 2 Android phones and one iToy.  the original controller cost $399 [now $349].  all the others require is a free app.

i am happy to admit that finally i have a couple of games that i do play and even enjoy, the last one being 100 Floors from Tobi Apps Limited [don’t bother to click.  Last I’ve checked it was an empty page.  Am happy to wait as they add more floors]

but… i am extremely FRUSTRATED with the pain called managing my calendar and address book across my devices.

Bye Bye BlackBerry?

Google calendar outlook sync works on two computers, but not on the others.  contacts sync is a one way street and it’s not a true sync, and i can’t find one that will sync all devices.  outlook/blackberry sync required a cable and a PC in the middle, but at least it WORKED.  and i had support when needed – thank you RIM.

so, after a couple of months of BlackBerry no more, here i am, wishing for a phone that i’d be really passionate about, that I’d be excited about using and telling you about it.  and there’s none.

tool or toy

i think of my mobile smart first of all as a tool, a productivity attachment if you will.  this is the part that RIM got right.  and a good tool should easily fit on your tool belt.  it’s not a coincidence that BlackBerry was the only smartphone that shipped with a carrying case by default.  and it wasn’t a fashion statement.  it was black, functional and mostly ugly.  AND useful. i can’t find solid data re the size of the Android and iPhone cases and protectors market.  must be millions, with items going for anything from $8 and up, up, up. in 2009, TechCrunch estimated the mobile accessories market worth at $63 billion, and the average mobile phone owner spends roughly $60 on accessories over the life of their phone.  it takes no genius to assume that iPhone first and Android lagging behind are the pampered devices and that the market grows as fast as the devices market or faster.  after all, it’s not a far fetched idea  buy shoes, bag and a matching phone.  a fashion statement case or designer speakers cannot compare to the utilitarian accessories BlackBerry had.

fact: iPhone is becoming the dominant device among the working geeks, nerds and everyone else.

fact: i enjoy 100 floors, where’s my water and probably the next game one of you will recommend

and sad fact: the more sharing among you admit how less friendly and much harder it is to do your emails on these toys, compared to BB.

May 28, 2012

#207 – Verizon’s women. and pigs.

A couple of weekends ago, Lisa, Dana, Katie and I joined the [few] hundreds that supported Unite Against the War on WomenSacramento.

Katie and Lisa made our brilliant signs, Andre fed us breakfast, and off to Sacramento we went.

Lisa and Katie

since then, my war-against-women-dar is more sensitive than ever.  equal but different pretty much sums my idea of gender equality, easily illustrated by the two sides of one coin.  anything that treats women as less than that is indeed war on women.  maybe this is why i find the following ad so annoying.  have you seen, or hopefully fast-forwarded this TV ad for droid?

Lou Mulford, playing the annoying, can’t-let-go mother, introduced the video post on YouTube, as a “..Spoof on the empty nest syndrome (which I personally know too well) all in good silly fun.”  [ALL her own words].  Responding to a question, she added, “It was a full day. We were asked to deliver all the lines a multitude of ways for each of the angle and shot set ups. I don’t remember the exact number for that line. Didn’t seem like too many.”

“fun” is not what comes to mind.  nor funny. As far as i’m concerned, presenting the mother-daughter bond as an uber emotional, irrational, incoherent whine and mumble, with the mother’s exaggerated empty nest/separation anxiety is nothing but insulting.  as it should be to any women.  the idea that a pair of droids will fix it all?…  with some help from a cool, crisp salesman who is happy to accommodate the neurotic.

i recall one of the women degrading chauvinistic pig sayings that was common in Israel years back. “be beautiful and shut up”.  sadly, this ad makes me wish… that the two gals please shut up.

more annoying than the wee wee Geico pig.

and pig it is indeed.  Two weeks after Safeway’s legal counsel found it a great bargain to trade pigs for  powerful women, my tolerance towards anything women-degrading is low to non–existing.  when i think of all the legal measures that constitute the war on women in multiple states, Verizon’s sense of humor is bad taste wrong. Verizon, may be, is against the change of outfit and persona of T-Mobile’s alter ego who threw all her girly cutesy pink dresses on the floor, replacing them with the cool, not-so-cute leather biker gear…

No More Mr. Nice Girl

a good laugh truly helps a commercial deliver its message.  so is a load of touchy-feely.  and yet, i find Verizon’s ill-choice of stereotypes as bad as  the degrading, racist Metro PCS ads of Ranjit and Chad.

Verizon, you can do better than this.  and indeed you should!

after having a long interesting conversation with Annette [thank you for tolerating and answering all my questions!] about women’s role, function, impact and power, i wonder how far we really progressed, and how far we have yet to go, PUSH feels more like it, considering the recent regression led by the GOP.

Annette, in her own words:  “PUSH is the operative word. Has American culture progressed in its attitudes towards women? Yes and no. American culture is patriarchal and women, and pretty much anyone who is not a white male, are treated as ‘others’. The ramifications of how that operates in our society show up everywhere.  It is very insidious – and the Verizon commercial is a great example of that. I recommend watching the documentary Miss Representation to really GET the way media portrays girls and women.

Have we progressed? Some. In the last 200 years, women have the right to own property, decide if they want to get pregnant, and laws protect women from rape – at least for now.

It is, and will be, a slow transformation happening generation by generation. I think of it this way – my daughter was born in a world with camera phones, iPads, and ideas about what it means to be a woman in this culture. Her expectations are already vastly different than mine at her age. And her daughter’s expectations will be even  broader – that I promise.”  Annette‘s words.

+1.

July 24, 2011

#193 – I’m a Lifesta lover

Filed under: business buz,mmmmmmarketing,Opinionated — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 20:08
Tags: , , ,

i’m a lifesta lover. no surprises here. and yet, i am completely and OBJECTIVELY loving this widget.

I'm a Lifesta Lover

When it comes to lifesta, I am anything but objective.

Why?  You can read all about it HERE – #173-My Lifesta is a Startu[p].  to observe a startup growing, evolving, getting media attention, gaining brand recognition…  it’s amazing.  There’s a great Hebrew children song, “how is a song born” by Yonatan Gefen.

How is A Song Born?

Like laughter.

It starts from within,

And rolls out.

How is A Song Born?

It Like a baby.

At first it hurts,

Then it comes out.

And everybody is happy

And suddenly WOW!

It walks on its own…

While both songs and startups are mind-made, creating a song is a one-time creative process. Bringing a startup to life is a much longer, more complicated process.  And so I observe, ask questions, realize the differences between working for a big company and working for yourself, your partner, your investor/s.

The most fascinating, most adventurous part of being a startup is the venturing into a new territory.  What feature would Lifesta users appreciate more, the new improved search function, launched 2 weeks ago; a great feature for buyers, or the ability to promote your deal directly from your blog and having a widget linking it to Lifesta, directly to your deal – coming very soon.

So, yes, I’m a lifesta lover, and I love it.

How about you?

June 4, 2011

#186 – iPAD or iDEAD, China made

Filed under: business buz,mmmmmmarketing,Opinionated — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 18:52
Tags: , , , , , ,

no one can ignore the hype, impact, revolution that the iPhone’s launch did to the mobile ecosystem;   gaming, connecting, living experience – everything.  the iPhone created a new standard for mobile phones, one that each and every OEM on the planet wanted to exceed and settled for “me too-ing“.  hindsight, the impact was limited to the mobile ecosystem, and to consumers already USING phones and able/willing to spend that much more on an iPhone experience.  and then came the apps with incredible business opportunities built on top of the device itself.

yet, by comparison, iPAD impacts users in practically every imaginable area of our life.   not sure?

here’s a random pick:

iPAD line in San Francisco, April 3, 2010. Source: http://www.nydailynews.com

it goes on and on. and it’s great.  i love game-changers.

over the last few weeks, i was exposed to the experience  iPAD shopping.  standing in lines in ungodly hours to get a note that will allow one, hours later, to enter the Apple Shrine and buy an iPAD – i listened to 3 such reports.  it ain’t me, babe, no, no, no. it’s amazing marketing as well as manufacturing capacity limitations, and it works.

happy to support the Israel-based consumers who hate to pay the ~10-30% markup Apple products accumulate as they make aliyah, i placed an online iPAD order. [ordered MacPro too, but that’s a different story]

as the waiting begins, the $100K question is will iPAD make it here before visitors take off back to Israel?  contrary to Apple’s rep who said it won’t,  iPAD was delivered on Friday afternoon, just in time for shabbat.

Shabbat, sadly enough, is something that Foxconn DOESN’T allow its  Chengdu and Shenzhen employees, the ones who put iPAD and iPhone together.  if the name Foxconn sounds familiar to you, it’s because on May 20th, the explosion in the China-based factory manufacturing/assembling  iPhone and iPAD took place in one of their facilities.  forget shabbat, here’s how iPAD gets delivered ahead of committed delivery date:

  • employees put in up to 98 hours of overtime a month; almost three times the limit in Chinese law.
  • Foxconn insists they have to break the law to hit targets, even though excessive overtime is banned by international law and Apple’s own code of conduct.  “have to” is an interesting excuse to breaking the law.  maybe we should all give it a try.
  • in one factory, declining to do overtime at the level required is reciprocated with denying the person any overtime at all.  gotcha.  w/o overtime, salary isn’t that attractive. another response: system may “lose” track of your overtime…  gotcha again.
  • workers are banned from talking at work, have to stand up for their entire 12-hour shifts and are made to do military marching drills.
  • Half a million Chinese, many of them teenagers or kids work at these factories.  they have young stamina, they can do it.  they love it.
  • Employees sleep on-site, in high-rise dormitory blocks where hair-driers and kettles are outlawed.  it’s not camp here; we pay you [base pay $5/day] to work, not to blow dry your hair.  go do more overtime.

which brings me to iDEAD.  at least 14 employees committed suicide over the past 16 months.  several others tried.  the corporate response?  rather original.

One executive accused victims of doing it to win compensation payouts for grieving relatives.

Investigators said Foxconn reacted to the wave of suicides by calling in monks to exorcise evil spirits.  seriously? this is so the daily show material.  next we’ll be getting blessed iPADs with the double happiness character?

Foxconn forced new employees to sign pledges not to commit suicide before they were taken on.  repeat: staff seeking jobs were ordered to make written promises not to follow suit.  They had to vow that if they did, their families would not claim more than the legal minimum in damages.

so is this how it goes?  fictional scenario: an employee can’t take it anymore, commits suicide.  if he succeeds, his family gets the minimum compensation [if any].  Dead worker moves on.  if employee survives, they fire him for breaching employment contract.  no compensation due.  iDEAD indeed.

Apple’s own inspectors found fewer than a third of Foxconn factories obeyed overtime rules.  and WHAT did they do about it?  from what i could find, NOTHING.  Apple also found 91 children working worldwide last year.  i guess they didn’t look too hard, did they? only 91? or is it that Chinese people look so much younger than their Caucasian age group?

i could dive into an anti-capitalistic rant, preach for an iPAD boycott and sound very righteous.  I’m doing neither.  in the same way you cannot shove democracy down people’s throat, i don’t believe you can shove labor laws, respect and sensitivity.  changing centuries-old practices of emperors who treated people as disposables is not done over night.  it may take a century or two.

over dinner last night, MD [Taiwan-born] represented the Chinese, and not in a happy way.  “this is the culture, life has no value, if one dies, there is always a new employee to take his place… why do you blame Apple,” she wondered.  i don’t blame Apple; i want them to leverage the power they  have to force improvement of the conditions.  what is stopping Apple from including in their contract terms penalties for forced overtime, hiring kids, and sub-standard living conditions?  share-holder pressure?  greed?  auditing the factories is already included in these contracts.  i don’t expect China to become the country of model employment.  I expect Apple, who is all for clean designs to enforce some clean-your-act practices.

Foxconn has local offices here, in California, not that far from Cupertino.  one doesn’t have to travel to China to have a discussion.  here’s one: Foxconn, 1688 Richard Ave, Santa Clara, CA, 95050-2844. here’s another one: 1705 Junction Court, San Jose, CA 95112-1023.  need directions, Steve?  you got an app for that.

Due diligence: i don’t own an iPAD [or an iPhone].  it’s safe to say that the only way I’ll end up with one is if it’ll fall onto my lap.   got nothing to do with above post.  and yes, my inner child is alive and well.

Caution: this post heavily relies on secondary on-line sources, more than i usually do. i did my best to ensure accuracy.  if you know anything to be different from what is presented here, please let me know ASAP and I’ll update/correct as needed.

Netted dormitory blocks. Bosses have now rigged up nets on all the balconies to stop jumpers. Source: http://www.people.co.uk/news/uk-world-news

Sources:

May 5, 2011

#173a – My Lifesta is a Startu[p]

Filed under: business buz,mmmmmmarketing — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 10:44
Tags: , ,

Christopher's startup

i realize that while everybody is talking about startups, and not always in the most favorable terms, i should have properly defined what a startup is.

the best definition i am aware of is the one used by mashable.

here it goes:

“A startup company or startup is a company with a limited operating history. These companies, generally newly created, are in a phase of development and research for markets. The term became popular internationally during the dot-com bubble when a great number of dot-com companies were founded. A high tech startup company is a startup company specialized in a high tech industry.
Startup companies can come in all forms, including those that are simply life-style companies, but the phrase “startup company” is often associated with high growth, technology oriented companies. Investors are generally most attracted to those new companies distinguished by their risk/reward profile and scalability. That is, they have lower bootstrapping costs, higher risk, and higher potential return on investment. Successful startups are typically more scalable than an established business, in the sense that they can potentially grow rapidly with limited investment of capital, labor or land.”

Source: http://mashable.com/follow/topics/startups/

with Christopher David‘s beta launching next week, i know a part II to #173 – My Lifesta is a Startu[p] is coming.

April 24, 2011

#178- How sweet is this M&M ad?

there’s something about TV ads.  don’t deny it; i know you watch.  OK, if you have to, go ahead and deny it.  interestingly enough, some TV ads work, make us laugh, are great fun to watch…  while some are so bad that i may rush from the other room to FFW the DVR or flip a channel to avoid listening to that dose of stupidity, obnoxiousness or whatever. I don’t pretend to know how it works for you, i don’t even always know what makes an ad work for me…  there are some personal, cultural, educational, national components that may explain part of it.  but really how does it work?  clearly, it’s not the big budget that makes an ad successful.  personally, an obnoxious enough TV ad will ensure that I’ll avoid the product to the best of my ability.  latest example is the “Crystal Geyser Please!”  got it; you bottle on site, great.  how many times per evening do i need to be reminded of it?! and do i really care about your value chain or bottle route?  NO!

as far as I’m concerned, if the owners of a brand sign off and approve an annoying, obnoxious TV ad, or decide to launch a sensory attack on me,

what other bad judgment calls they make?  do i trust these guys? after all, they chose to brand their product in what i perceive to be as an insult to our intelligence; a waste of our time.  do you hear me annoying lady in pink of T-Mobile?

what makes an ad a good one?  there’s no single simple answer.  many say it is the innovative and creative idea that makes an advertisement appealing to the audience.  but there’s much more to it than that.  for example:

  • the right graphics.  small graphics may make the commercial uninteresting.  too big and the commercial may look cheesy
  • length of commercial. too long and we lose interest after a short time period. A  rather short ad that gets straight to the point makes a TV commercial a good one. if an ad can keep us interested for the duration AND get the point across in under one minute – that’s a good one
  • the right characters.  good characters create an excellent commercial. Familiar characters can have a positive result on spectators. picking incorrect characters can truly make a TV commercial uninteresting, lame, or plain bad
  • arouses visual engagement. best tested by turning the sound off and if  ad has the same visual effect then it’s on to something
  • inspires trust, confidence, and believability
  • provides a single consistent message that penetrates the prospect’s mind and stays there for a while

i can’t say i agree with all of the above, but who am i to know…

Microsoft’s Cloud ads overload triggered my anti ad mode.  I didn’t flinch at the CEO serving lattes as his day job ad was aired.  but from the mother that can’t let her family be as-is and has to “edit” them to fit the  perfect family image she must show the world to the couple stuck at the airport, these are, wait….

ANNOYING.

annoyed enough?  not yet? wait.  here comes even more ANNOYING

As i said before, cultural, personal, gender, religion… all these introduce  biases that play a significant role in determining the reaction to an ad by one ethnic, socio-economic, demographic segment or another.  the more heterogeneous the audience is, the harder it is to be spot-in.  personally, i prefer the funny, creative, not-so-realistic ones over the “identify with us; this could be you, buy whatever we push and you’ll live happily ever after” ads.  i love an ad with a punch line or a twist that surprises me, makes me laugh.  a good ad should be fun to watch.  if it’s information only, I’d want you to play with the setting, background or something to counter-balance the education you want to deliver.  Honda’s Really Big Thing was doing well with the BIG promotion, but over doing it, much too often and making one listen to the message again and again just killed it.

how can you compare the above ads with this one?

disclosure: i own their Scala Rider Q2 Pro BT headset, but i did find this great ad while searching for ads to make my point about creative, out-of-the-box ads that deliver a message that sticks.
what does the M&Ms title got to do with all this? a whole lot.  it was their imaginative, funny campaign which i haven’t got tired of [yet] that got me thinking about TV ads and their effectiveness.  to be honest, it did more than that, the ads promoting the new M&M pretzel version were so effective and funny that i ended up LOOKING for it @ the supermarket.  sadly, once tasted – no further purchasing is to be expected.  but, it this campaign got me to try it.  and simply put, i can’t think of any other TV ad in recent years that influenced any purchasing decision i made.  to get one to ACT on an ad IS the ultimate success criteria of a TV ad.

here are two of my favorites:

this year’s best, the one that should get awards if my opinion counts, is this one.  laugh out loud.

Sources:

http://www.marketingpush.info/what-makes-an-excellent-television-commercial/22307/
http://www.redrovermarketing.com/marketing_articles/Secrets_of_Television_Advertising_For_Small_Businesses.php
http://www.pubarticles.com/article-how-to-produce-successful-tv-ads-1242884425.html
https://yaelol.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/icarly4g-bike.jpg?w=300

April 8, 2011

#177 – how soft is your standard of living?

how often do I find myself musing over our standard of living and quality of life?  at minimum, every time i land in a European airport and use the restroom.  seriously.

this, i suspect, demands an explanation.  patience please.

I know you are familiar with all those measures and indexes and charts, representations of how great, expensive, high quality, environment-friendly life is in one country vs. another.  The latest trend is to add a happiness index to the mix.  hello GNH-Gross National Happiness index, please join the GDP, HDI [Human Development Index], Environmental Performance Index (EPI) mix.   researching for this post, i found yet another index; the Global Happy Planet Index [Global HPI].  This index claim to fame is combining environmental impact with human well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which people live long and happily ever after. the world Global HPI map can be found HERE.

all these are very important, scientific,  statistic, holistic… BUT, does any of  these indexes really help you understand, get a good sense of life in a different country?

one well-known index, more tangible than most, is the Economist Big Mac Index.  in case you never heard of it [no disrespect intended], it’s an index based on comparing the purchasing power of different currencies, against an identical  product available in these countries. the Big Mac Index [popular yet unhealthy], claims the Economist, “is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.”  the greater the purchasing power of a currency compared to its official exchange rate the lower the price of big fat mac in that country, which means that the currency is undervalued.  In case you wonder, big fat mac is offered in about 120 countries.

Big Mac Index, Oct 14th 2010. Source: http://www.economist.com

The latest published index, dated October 2010, shows that 14.50 yuan can buy as much burger as US$3.71.  therefore, a yuan should be worth $0.26 on the foreign-exchange market. the fact that it costs just $0.15, suggesting that it is undervalued by about 40% [as of October ’10].  so for the best bargain on a Big Mac, go to Beijing or Shenzhen.  one needs to keep on mind however, that the burger exchange rate does not guarantee an identical exchange rate when buying a car for example, or a fridge.  so while the Mac-Yuan may be undervalued, the dishwasher-Yuan + washer & dryer are more expensive and far from being standard in every Chinese apartment.  interestingly enough though, walking around Shanghai, it seems that there is a need for a KFC index.

impatient?  getting there.  MY index is a different one.  it’s about comfort, softness, fluffiness…  it’s about the standard of living as demonstrated in that little room that even kings visit alone.

Even the king visits alone

this is no laughing matter.  in a world that offers the frontal fissures of our bodies paper tissues enriched with aloe and vaseline, don’t you think that similar sensitivity should be applied to all fissures, regardless of location? this may be the real test of how high is the standard of living for the lower parts.

a country that is so well tuned to its derriere’s well-being is indeed a country with a high standard of living.  sadly, the longer i live in the US, the greater the disappointment upon contact I experience elsewhere. Frankfurt is a harsh place this way.

different countries – different  expectations. it’s the initial “encounter” upon arrival to any European city that triggered my development of this well-being index.  one would expect that the “old world” would know a thing or two about comfort and pampering.  but it is the Japanese that turned spoiling the derriere to an art form and product lines.

in the late 80’s, working with American students @ Tel Aviv University’s Overseas Student Program, many of the [female] students included toilet paper in their “mom, please send me…” lists. a couple of years later, having an American friend’s daughter attending the program, i schlepped soft rolls for mommy’s little girl.  at that point my expectation and standards were still very Israeli.

Zionizm in the little room?

a couple of years later [2001], living in Arlington, Mass, i found out how my standard of living changed…  Na’ama, visiting from Israel, was enjoying the American fluffiness too much, beyond the capacity of the old house plumbing system. a couple of hours of concentrated efforts mattered not.  the following morning we ended up in a cafe that accommodate our nature needs, while my landlady dealt with the plumber. today, I found the chapter that told the story.  unfortunately, at that point in time i was writing in Hebrew.  regardless, Chapter 62 will get posted soon.  the picture below demonstrates how hard Na’ama tried to avoid talking to the landlady.

it wasn’t until i arrived in china when i experienced real sandpaper.  in China of 1999, you were lucky if you found ANY toilet paper in a public “site”.  actually all travel guides/books advised you to bring your own TP with you.  when the rolls i brought with me run out, the well-starred  hotels we stayed in provided.  it wasn’t until i visited the a Chinese home that i was exposed to the

Soft is not

sandpaper squares.  not rolls, but rather squares that looked and felt like sandpaper sheets, though pinkish.  from my point of view, such paper used in a family that owned a car and an apartment in a new complex in a Shaghai’s suburbs,  demonstrated the expected and accepted standard of living of the well to do.   needles to say, China’s standard of living improved a lot since then.  TP included.

sadly, the fluffy standard comes with a serious cost.  softer toilet paper uses much more pulp, less or no recycled paper.  the softer the paper, the more trees it took to manufacture it.  “what’s the big deal” you may say.  well, people in the US love it soft.  and it’s not limited to “Killing [Me Softly].”

4 years later, Sheryl Crow is still mocked now and then for her April 2007 proposal. “…I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don’t want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.” [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6583067.stm &  multiple other newspapers and blogs]

softness becomes her? Source: http://hauplight.blogspot.com

so a higher standard of living as measured by the TPS [Toilet Paper Softness] index, will negatively impact a country’s Environmental Performance Index (EPI) mix and its Global Happy Planet Index [Global HPI] rating.

the question is, which part of your body calls the shots?  your head or…
visit A Shopper’s Guide to Home Tissue Products for environmental education on the topic.

intrigued by the World’s happiness research?  visit the World Database of Happiness.

more on toilet paper and the cost of fluffy:

http://www.copperwiki.org/index.php?title=Toilet_Paper
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/26/science/earth/26charmin.html
http://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asp
The Toilet Paper Encyclopedia

Clipart sources:

http://www.picturesof.net
http://www.fighterpilotuniversity.com/index.cfm/2010/3/26/Burning-the-Shit-House-Down
http://hauplight.blogspot.com
http://blog.gaiam.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/istock_000008058691xsmall.jpg
http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/27530_129857517042019_1593_n.jpg

March 18, 2011

#172 – What iSiT? marketing? PR? is it?

Filed under: business buz,mmmmmmarketing,Opinionated — yael [ya-el] wagner @ 17:10
Tags: , , , , , ,

too often marketing people are teased, criticized, or worse, dismissed for using too many words to say less than little.  sometimes it’s even true.

i do my best to avoid this professional hazard.  i vividly remember when i just joined Sun, one of the engineers

me cutesy? no, thank you

describing my slides as “cutesy”.  i didn’t like it. maybe this is one of the reasons for my growing impatience for extra marketing wording.  enough intro.  to the point!

iSit is a very interesting company, claiming to be a “Web 2.0, Web 3.0 software application”.  Reasons to be proud?  “This highly creative startup idea was judged as the first place winner by Google, IBM and Sun Microsystems at a Startup Weekend Israel competition,” says says David Marcus, CEO of iSiT Ltd.

Positioning: “The iSiT online, fact checking software application is being developed so that people can verify the credibility of online information in real time,” says Marcus.

so far so good, even interesting.  more so since i am pretty sure that this is the David Marcus that was the Legal Counsel of LANNET, my entry company to tech/geek world.  i want him and his company to succeed.

my excitement and hope for their success though are somewhat weakened when i continue to read the press release.

my first press release writing experience took place, as a matter of fact, at LANNET when the VP my boss was out.  the CEO/president called me.  never before i was made more aware of the “weight” of each word.  yes, of course it was  in English and sensitive since we were just getting spun-off.  since then, i gained much comfort and confidence in contributing, reviewing, commenting on press releases.

as i was saying, i was ready to be all excited and supportive for iSiT, until i got to this “shopping around” list paragraph.  i stopped counting at 16, companies that is.

“When potential investors such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, Facebook, HP, SONY, Apple, Amazon, Citrix, Intel, Qualcomm, ARC Angle Fund, Trident Capital, BlackRock, The Blackstone Group, Barclays Global Investors N.A., Lehman Brothers – Wealth and Asset Management Division, Osage Partners, Goldman Sachs, i-Hatch Ventures, Launch Capital, Genacast Ventures, GSA Venture Partners, UBS AG, Barclays Global Investors, State Street Global Advisors, JPMorgan Chase, Chris Dixon, Ron Conway, Reid Hoffman, Esther Dyson, Peter Theil, Marc Andreeson, Arnon Katz, Jeff Bezos, Chris Sacca, Mike Maples, Andy Bechtolsheim and others whose investments are listed on NYSE, NASDAQ and AMEX equity markets are seeking creative consumer Internet, new media, social media, Web 3.0 software applications that could enhance their ROI they become more than eager to share coffee with us.” [from their press release]

Who, in their right mind, would list all these as a proof of [potential] success?   don’t you know that we humans cannot well process lists exceeding 3-7 items?  you may be the Business Development VP trying to prove your value, or maybe the CMO, and you should know better.  pick no more than five to list, and better yet, get a quote…  something that may be perceived as a compliment, sign of interest, endorsement…  nada.

and then you may be the CEO of a start-up that have a firm belief in name dropping.  but are you sure that publicly listing all your potential investors, angels or acquirers is what will get where you want to go?  seriously?

what am i missing? after all, by the time i was done with reading this impressive list, my coffee had gone cold.

good luck.

Resources:

http://www.isitfact.com/
http://www.prweb.com/releases/isitfactsoftwareangelsvc/investorscapitalstartups/prweb5076504.htm
 

Clipart:

http://www.animetion.co.uk/Reviews/merch/negimafigumate1p1.jpg
 

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