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How Poor Branding and Positioning Have Led to Tech and Auto Failure

March 27, 2011

Lessons Learned From Microsoft, Cisco, Volkswagen, Mazda and Apple Misteps

Why do Cisco and Microsoft have trouble entering new consumer markets and why does Apple have challenges when trying to get into the enterprise server market? According to an article from Rob Enderle, President and Prinpal Analyst, Enderle Group the reason has to do with poor management choices which have more to do with seniority than ability - coupled with starving new products of the resources they need to make it.

I agree with many of the points he makes and the fact Redmond actually decided turd brown was a great color to use when competing with Apple is hard to digest (sorry).  But in addition to the thoughts from Enderle I would add there is a positioning challenge facing these companies as well. In today's world where everything seems to revolve around clicks and search ads, most companies don't even seem to know what positioning means.

And its too bad because companies fail every day because they generate lots of leads that won't turn into business.





TMC Launches New Logo for Online Communities or OCs

March 18, 2011

Learn From Newspapers Before The Internet Makes You Extinct

March 15, 2011

If you remember a while back I had a rant about not wanting to save newspapers by using taxpayer money to bail them out. My concern was that newspapers knew the Internet was coming and chose not to innovate. My post was published on Business Insider and yesterday the site put out a graph of $8.0B the industry let evaporate as job sites took all their listings.



Marc Cenedella, CEO of TheLadders.com adds more clarity as to what happened. He says, it was uncomfortable for newspapers to make the leap so they didn't.

I would add it was a cultural problem - a bunch of academics with an entrenched competitive advantage being thrown into a new business model where they were on a level playing field with the best and brightest entrepreneurs was just too much for them.

We saw the same sort of challenges at DEC the company which owned AltaVista the most Google-like company to totally botch the opportunity to monetize search.

Corporate culture is as much of a killer of corporations as disruption.









Use PayPal in the Mall?

March 15, 2011

For as long as I can remember the mantra has been the Internet will kill (insert your industry here). Magazines, brick and mortar, movies, music, photos... You name it. The truth is, in many cases the predictions were accurate.

The interesting part of the story however is now the offline world is allowing the Internet to benefit by finding business opportunities worthy of exploitation.

Massive Lines for iPad 2

March 11, 2011



Larry on my IT team was nice enough to scout around Norwalk, CT looking for an iPad 2 for me and this is the photo he sent back from Best Buy. Larry says at least 60-80 people were in it. The going rate to cut the line is $500 BTW. The AT&T store across the street from TMC HQ had four units and they sold out quickly. And forget about getting many retailers carrying iPads to even think about answering phones today.

It is obvious that Apple has built tremendous consumer trust and if a tablet manufacturer even dreams of penetrating Apple's massive market share they need to way over deliver.



How YouTube Takes Consumer Time from TV

March 10, 2011

In the past I have discussed how TV disruption may happen more slowly than you think because of the tens of billions of dollars in affiliate fees changing hands. But this doesn't mean there aren't brilliant innovators out there using YouTube and other sites to become stars.

Consumer warning: Craziness, profanity and catchiness below


For example I was sent this Charlie Sheen Winning music video today and it is quite catchy. I found it playing "itself" in my head at lunch. Its a Songify This creation by the Gregory Brothers and a look at some of their top videos shows views in range of the many millions - about 60 million "season one" in fact.

So the challenge for TV is not only new methods of delivery but competition for the viewer's time.






Competing Effectively in a Facebook and Google World

March 9, 2011

With a sky-high valuation over $70B Facebook has to be super-aggressive to ensure they can support a valuation which seems to grow by the tens of billions every few months. And with the ability to hire some of the best and brightest engineers it is obvious the company should be exploring a range of new ways to justify its lofty valuation which is worth about 75% of Cisco Systems.

This past January I listed the 11 Things Facebook Should Do With Their New $1.5B and number two on the list was competing with iTunes/Netflix.  Specifically, this is what I said:

Skype Pre-IPO Report Card

March 7, 2011

It was back in 2007 when my fellow bloggers and journalists told me that Skype was a dog, had no future, couldn’t make money and wasn’t going anywhere. I begged to differ – the way I saw it the company simply didn’t execute on its potential. I quickly jotted down 11 ideas the company should pursue and in my post I even offered myself to Meg Whitman as a consultant to help implement my ideas.

Fast forward a few years and Meg is gone, and the company was sold and is now implementing the ideas – slowly but surely but many have been implanted in the last week which is why this analysis makes sense to present today.

Salesforce.com Cloudforce 2011 Live Blog

March 3, 2011



I am in New York today at the Salesforce.com Cloudforce 2011 event and it kicked off with a conversation with a user from SunTrust Financial and Forrester Research - so far the event is heavily Twitter, social and smart device focused.




Kelly Services is using Chatter for about 9,000 people to help with information sharing and discovery of other related people in the organization - and using it to discover talent and engage with customers.



Demos of Chatter:




Cloud needs principles, not standards. Companies are using social networks as a sales/marketing tool.

Audience enjoying a presentation on the growth of social networks and mobile devices - China, Facebook and Twitter prominently featured. What, no Charlie Sheen??

Mark Benioff takes the stage - says 5,000 people registered for the event. 3,000 people showed up and 6,000 are watching remotely - 43 demo stations, lots of partners etc.




Talk of how fast the company is growing - massive cash and $1.8B run rate.

2,000 PCs at Salesforce.com are the equivalent of 200-300,000 computers that customers would need.


























iPad 2, What You Need to Know

March 2, 2011

Apple has done it again with the iPad 2 - it has a dual-core A5 chip which is up to nine-times faster as well as two cameras for FaceTime communications and a self-cleaning cover which comes in a plethora of colors and magnetically attaches to the device which still boasts  battery life of 10 hours. As usual with Apple, they think things through far better than other companies and their new cover also folds in a number of ways allowing it to double as a stand in both landscape and portrait modes.

The screen improves as well with LED-backlighting which is common on higher-end televisions. There is also a three-axis gyroscope which works in conjunction with the accelerometer and compass to give the software infinite information about what is happening with the device. Expect iPad gaming to get even better.

There is also video mirroring allowing you to easily connect your iPad to a TV - even if you don't have an Apple TV - you just plug in a digital AV connector sold separately and you are good to go.

Moreover there is new movie editing and music software which makes it that much difficult for other tablet makers using Android to catch up with Apple's decade-long multimedia advantage.

The iPad 2 is available on March 11 and starts at $499 - existing models will drop in price by $100 for now.

Carrie Schmelkin has more on this thinner, lighter iPad on TMCnet.









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