Posts Tagged ‘apple’

If you have an average product , but if you can create brilliant ads, will the products sell more.  Look at this superb Ad from Apple aired during the 1984 Superbowl introducing the first Macintosh computer.

Almost anyone who watches this will think that Apple would have had phenomenal sales for the McIntosh after this ad.. In fact, Steve Jobs thought so too, but what really happened was sales were dismal and the MCintosh was not at all usable in real life.  Yes, it was looking cool, but people couldn’t use it. (Hard to believe now that Steve would have thought like this). In fact, the dismal sales of Mcintosh was one of the major reasons Steve was fired from Apple in 1985.

Steve learnt one of the most important lesson in his life… that a product has to be first really useful to the customers before advertising helps.  Having average products and following up with great Ads  worked in the Industrial age but not anymore.  Now we need remarkable products or remarkable ideas, which can spread virally.

Flexible Focus #31: Mobile Mandala

by William Reed on December 9, 2010

Flexible Focus is Physical

One of the best ways to benefit from the Mandala Chart is to put it to use, engage in it physically. If you step into it, like Alice through the Looking Glass, you will discover that it has many new dimensions to explore.

There are four primary ways of doing this:

  1. Engaging more deeply in the 8 fields of life
  2. Taking action on your thoughts
  3. Presenting or writing about your ideas
  4. Using idea capture software and tools

The best way is to combine one or more of these for full engagement. This means writing, speaking, and working your way through it until you give your ideas shape, life, and substance so that others can benefit from them. The seeds of your ideas may be mental or intuitive in origin, but their implementation is very much a physical process.

The Best of Both Worlds

The Mandala Chart is a tool to facilitate flexible focus, and we have already looked at templates for the A-Chart and B-Chart, the Mandala Business Diary, the eMandala Chart. Now there is an idea capture tool that runs on the premiere platform of all, the Apple iPad. MandalaChart iPad is an App that will be released in mid-December 2010, available for purchase in the iTunes Store, for JPY 600 (about USD 4.00).

This is in many ways the best of both worlds, the tool and the technology, thanks to the portability, connectivity, and sheer elegance of the iPad. MandalaChart iPad makes it easier than ever to capture, present, and implement ideas, view and edit templates, and create a true zoom lens for your life.

Its first version will just support text, but the next update will feature hyperlinks and images,  and it only gets better from there. The first version supports A-Charts and B-Charts, so that you can start with the standard 3×3 view, zoom out to 64 frames, or focus in depth on a single frame. You can also store your files in folders.

There will also be a page where you can download free templates, as well as purchase templates and template packets on particular topics. The MandalaChart iPad App will support multiple languages, and you can preview the page for English-language instructions.

You can download a jpg image called Mastering the Mandala Chart, created in the MandalaChart iPad App, which is also a summary and overview of this Flexible Focus series.

If you live in Tokyo, we will be featuring the Mandala Chart iPad, as well as other creativity applications at a special event at the Ginza Apple Store to be held on January 20 (Thu) from 19:00~20:00.

Where this is going

The MandalaChart iPad App is a qualitative and quantitative leap above what came before. It will be an enhanced experience of flexible focus, digital navigation, idea capture and sharing.

It can be the perfect place to store your notes and action lists from articles in this series. Reading leads to understanding, but only action leads to results. Go back and review other articles in this series, and see if you don’t find points that you had forgotten about, or have yet to take action on. Having your ideas all stored in one place will make it easier to find them. Moreover, the MandalaChart iPad App can be a springboard for action and implementation.

Its only limitation is that it only runs on the Apple iPad. The Apple iPad has proved to be hugely successful, approaching sales of 10 million units. There are lots of reasons for its popularity, and this App will add one more. If you are still sitting on the fence, or know someone who is thinking about it, the place to send them is the Apple iPad Page.

From Matrix to Mandala

Templates and content that will be created for the MandalaChart iPad App will help you move along the path From Matrix to Mandala Chart, the subject of an article I wrote for my online column Creative Career Path.

The essential idea is that the reason why it is typically so hard to connect thought and action is that we experience lack of certainty stemming from one of two things. Either we are trapped in the limitations of logic, which ignores emotion and countless other factors; or we are trapped in the ambiguity of intuition, which is easily swayed by wishful thinking. The article proposes that the Mandala Chart is the perfect bridge between logic and intuition, incorporating both through fuzzy logic.

The MandalaChart iPad App is a significant step in integrating idea capture with idea implementation, just as flexible focus is in integrating thought and action.

Should you satisfy your customers?

by Vijay Peduru on November 24, 2010

Almost every business book talks about satisfying the customer.  Every business guru touts this.  But no one seems to be asking the question – If we satisfy the customer, how will he keep coming back? He may be satisfied at that moment and you are happy that he is ecstatic about your service and it ends there.

Satisfied Customer – A Problem?

Everyone knows that it is easier to have recurring revenue (an existing customer) than generate a new revenue stream (from a new customer). The question though is – How do we handle this if the customer is already satisfied? One might wonder why this is a problem. Think about it – A customer who is satisfied over a long period of time slowly loses the value of what s/he is getting as it starts appearing like anyone can do it – in other words, the bar that you set becomes the standard and hence, the value erodes.

Satisfaction/Dissatisfaction Cycle

Great marketers have known this for a long time. Just like in a good movie, the director cycles through a satisfaction/dissatisfaction cycle working with our emotions – one needs to take the customer through cycles of satisfaction/dissatisfaction with the product and/or service. And yes, the honesty of this post makes it edgy!

Humans naturally crave for new and scarce things.  If we look at Apple, they release a new product with some features which  are not so great… like the  camera in iPhone 3G. People are a little dissatisfied with these features and start to talk about these and eagerly await for improved features.  When apple release a newer product, they surpass the expectations like the camera in iPhone 4G.  Lot of iPhone 3G users will naturally buy the new iPhone 4G.

The cycle continues…

Listen to the Customer

Sometimes, when we release new models or new software, the customer is already satisfied with the product and does not want the new product. Lots of sales people work on convincing the customer by telling them the new features. They somehow want to convince the customer to buy the product. Instead, they should sit and listen to the customer and should discover  pain points for the customer. Most of the times the customer does not see it as a pain, but if you can see it and show him how bad it is (make him dissatisfied) and then show him how the new product will alleviate this pain – he is most likely to buy it.  The key is to know… that the customer is sometimes blind to the pain and we have to bring it forth for him. In the case of IPhone 3G, a lot of people are satisfied with the camera, but when they see other people telling how bad it is compared to the iPhone 4G, they realize that what they have is not good enough and want to get the new iPhone 4G!

Don’t just Invent. Innovate.

by Robert Driscoll on July 26, 2010

There are many misconceptions about what inventions and innovations are in the marketplace, but they are two very different things.  You can invent something and not do anything with it.  Think of Bell Labs which has hundreds of thousands of patented inventions.  Many of these inventions are just simply ideas and only some were great enough to be innovative where it changed the marketplace.  Or think about Leonardo da Vinci.  A great inventor who was ahead of his time, but many of his inventions simply were not practical during his lifetime.  Now look at Thomas Edison.  While he might have failed hundreds of times trying to invent the light bulb, when he perfected his invention and introduced it in to the marketplace, he created an industry.  He was an innovator.

  • Innovation isn’t about being new to the marketplace.  Look at the iPod from Apple.  It wasn’t the first MP3 player in the marketplace.  They just did it right and made it simple.
  • Innovation isn’t about technology.  Look at Starbucks.  They’ve created a business model around selling coffee in a comfortable environment and charging a premium.  They weren’t the first ones to sell coffee. They just created an environment that people wanted from a coffee shop and marketed in right.
  • Innovation isn’t about doing it better.  Sometimes you just need to make your product simpler and more affordable.  Look at Windows from Microsoft.  They opened up a new marketplace where people could afford it and gain access to it easier.  They don’t have the best operating system in the marketplace, they just made it easier to use and made it affordable.
  • Innovation doesn’t always come out of big research and development budgets.  There might be some initial research and development, but you don’t have to go broke in the process.  Look at Red Bull.  They tapped in to the youth culture in clubs and created their own viral grass roots marketing campaign and turned it in to a multi-billion dollar empire.
  • Innovation doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.  You don’t have to spend a lot when you’re innovating.  You can do it very inexpensively and create a new marketplace with low overhead.  Ebay, for example, was profitable from almost day one and found a way to connect with the marketplace immediately.  Its first year revenues were modest, but it took the earning from its initial years of operation and invested it in to research and development to grow the service.

What do all of these have in common?  They’re obviously innovative products and services, but they all made an impact.  They all did something that was different in the marketplace that connected with its users.

Sometimes creating that next big thing is just simply doing it better than your competition or making it simpler.  Ideas are all around us.  Now innovate.

iPad: Faster than a speeding gurney

by Marc Watley on April 29, 2010

While at dinner in San Francisco recently, I’d asked a good friend – a nurse who works in the Sutter Health system – of his thoughts on the iPad. “Oh yeah…I want one..now!” he responded excitedly. (We were dining at Paxti’s if you must know; good Chicago-style pizza but nowhere near as yummo as the pies at Zachary’s across the Bay in Oakland) “I think they could be the answer to replacing our patient charts (you know, those old-school metal-clad clipboards dangling from the foot of patients’ adjustable beds). The iPad would be a fantastic tool for the healthcare industry.”

My friend’s enthusiasm got me to thinking: why wouldn’t healthcare COOs and/or CTOs (often doctors themselves) embrace the iPad for their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and other patient care needs?  The productivity gains alone would seem to more than pay for the device, connectivity, and implementation costs. Then there’s the excitement factor…when was the last time you’ve seen end users this excited to use any device for work? Granted, the iPad may not be as indestructible as, say, a $1700 ruggedized WinTelMo device currently in use by some healthcare providers, but at less than a third the price, a larger interface and I mean, come on, a much better UI, seems to be a no-brainer, right? True, the iPad is a spanking-new device that has been on the market all of three weeks, and is as of yet unproven in the enterprise. However, this does appear to be changing…and fast.  Consider a couple of data points:

First, Citrix is already on board with the iPad, having recently released Receiver for iPad which provides secure access to corporate applications and desktops – from Windows environments to Oracle databases, to, well, 3D medical imaging applications.

Also, healthcare organizations are already beginning to show up among the early business adopters of the iPad. According to iMedicalApps, Kaweah Delta Health Care District near Fresno, California, has reportedly ordered 100 iPads for use with viewing radiology images, Electrocardiogram (ECG) and other patient test results. They feel the iPad will be especially useful for their mobile healthcare workers, such as hospice and home health nurses.  The iPad and Kaweah Delta Health Care presents an interesting test case for the device…could it also serve as a sort of bellwether for iPad adoption in healthcare? Possibly.

The subject of the iPad and its potential – for healthcare and many other industries – continues to flood the Internet, and will surely be a hot topic at upcoming conferences including, I suspect, next month’s CIO Healthcare Summit.

Now then, picture if you will…let’s call him Dr. Jones.  Our good doctor is commuting home via train after a long shift at a large metropolitan hospital.

Phone rings:

“Doctor! Mr. Smith in 207 is irate and uncontrollable…help!”

Dr. Jones: “Is that right? One moment.”

Enter iPad: Secure login > Recovery Wing NE > Patients > Bleau, Joseph R. – Rm.   207/A > [TAP] > Patient I.V.> Add > Sedatives > ”Sleepia TZ” > [TAP] > Administer > CONFIRM > [TAP].

Patient: Zzzzzz.

Hospital staffer: “Bless you Doctor!”

A fictitious situation? Sure. I’m just sayin’…

Should your experiences bringing products to market or providing services be added to the director’s cut of Jurassic Park?  Do critics and competition surround your brainchild like a pack of hungry raptors?  At the same time do you have to fight to maintain your position in the organizational herd?

Business, like nature, can be uncompromising in its response to your product and services. Provide what is needed and you live to see another day and get the opportunity to move your business forward. Take too big of a misstep and your business can be crippled or killed.

Darwin offers guidance in seeking opportunity, surviving, growing and thriving in a hostile environment. We will look at a tip to implement that guidance – feature management. We will also look at three signs indicating the odds of survival are decreasing.

Darwin

Darwin observed species adapting best to an environment without destroying it would have the best chance to survive. This includes dealing with threats as well as capitalizing on opportunities. This adaptation includes changing traits (evolving) as the environment changes along with predators and prey. The term he coined is “natural selection“. Without the forces of natural selection genetic drift sets in and the species risks evolving to a dead-end position. The dodo bird is a good example.

Feature management reflects natural selection with products and product development. On the other hand, genetic drift occurs in the presence of:

  • Customer’s gold plating of requirements;
  • Team’s gold plating of requirements;
  • Feature creep

Natural Selection: Feature Management

Feature management chooses among all the possibilities and selects a set of features which, when turned into a product, will meet a customer’s needs within the prescribed limits of time, and budget.

For long-term relationships product development and/or the definition of services includes the client’s need to survive, grow, and thrive. The best relationships are symbiotic with both you and the client benefiting from the product or service.

Genetic Drift

Genetic drift in product development is movement into a spot outside the boundaries set by the market. The product is essentially isolated and dies.

Customer’s Gold Plating of Products

Gold plating takes specifications beyond what is required. I experienced customer gold plating with the use of robotics in vehicle manufacturing. The client firm’s management style was heavy-handed. Being the person who was the source of a design failure would have major negative repercussions. So, a weld seam that was adequate at 1/8” width grew to 3/8” as it progressed through the client’s internal design approval process. This occurred with almost every aspect of the vehicle and the design mushroomed. The cost and time to produce increased. A competitor was able to grab market share with a vehicle of equal performance but a much lower cost- and time to produce.

Team’s Gold Plating of Products

This is typified by the engineer with a solution looking for a problem. The product is viewed as an opportunity to showcase capability that is above-and-beyond what the competition can do but has no real value in terms of enhanced performance for the customer. Again, the cost- and time to develop can increase to the point that the product or service is no longer competitive for its market niche.

Feature Creep

Apple’s Copland operating system is a good example. It suffered from second-system effect and became bloated. It also suffered from mismanagement in terms of what it would take to propel Apple out of a niche position and back  to that of a major player.

The best way to deal with genetic drift is to review all work in terms of the boundaries set by a clear functional specification, time limits, and money limits. For more on this refer back to the “Project” post in this series.

This concludes the first, seven-part series on change management. If you are as fascinated with this material and care to comment or would like more information on change management contact me at gwmonti@mac.com or visit www.ctrchg.com.

Sex appeal in Social Media

by Deepika Bajaj on November 19, 2009

Marketers have long used sex appeal to market their products. There’s no denying that visual cues have been used for many successful advertising campaigns.

Take a look at these two videos, first one produced by Apple. You’ve probably already seen it on TV.

Watch for how it has a unique sex appeal — the choice of song and the dance moves and think whether you would be more prone to purchase the product…

For some of you – Your ROCK STAR imagination kicked into overdrive with this commercial, and you were identifying with your wild side…

Here is the second video, which got a lot of attention on Doritos “Create your own ads” contest.

The “Checkout Girl” spot was a great way to showcase all the flavors and even slides in comments on each. It’s nice that they didn’t use a skinny model as the checkout girl. This is a very original and professional looking spot and gets better and better until the crammed-in “obligatory crunch bite.”

For some of you, you wanted to be that guy in the line…

If a picture in traditional advertising was a thousand words, you can imagine the power of video…the sex appeal lies in how close you get to act on your intent to purchase…ARE You READY to BUY?