Category Archives: New Ideas

Universieies Role in StartUps

 

“There’s a cardboard version of where new tech companies come from and how to generate more startups that I’ve heard repeatedly over the years—including several times since coming to London.

It goes something like this: research at universities leads to new discoveries (usually patentable), and commercializing these new university-based discoveries is where most startups come from.

The problem is, only a tiny percentage of tech startups are created this way. It’s not zero—tech transfer offices do a lot of work in this area—but it’s less than 10. Which is to say that more than 90 percent of tech startups aren’t formed through this process or anything resembling it. When you’re looking to grow a startup community, this is not the process to focus on.

Several years ago, Mike Lazaridis gave a talk on the commercialization of research that clearly and correctly identified the role of universities in the process—which also turns out to be the universities’ primary role in startup creation, as well. People have fawned all over Mike in the years since (maybe not so much this year), but for whatever reason, his comments never really caught on. I’ll give it one more shot next time.”

 

(Via Gary Will: No, most tech startups are not built around new university-based research discoveries.)

So what is a universities role?

Having never been to university I can’t say for sure but, it seams like a great place to inspire people to think and think different. Getting outside your own head and being exposed to new ways of thinking usually kick starts my process of coming up with new ideas.

Success, Fast!

Ok, the title is a bit misleading.This isn’t about how to get successful fast. It is, however, one of the keys to success.Don’t worry so much about everything being 100% perfect. The key is to do something to your best  and if your are going to fail, fail FAST. Do what you think is right, measure the feedback and change as fast as possible.It’s the fast change part that matters.From experience in my daily business to special projects I’m involved with I can see the difference. In organizations that have the will and ability to change fast and those that don’t. The ones that don’t (or can’t) are not necessarily the ones that fail long term, they just tend not to have the same overall success, suffer more during downturn, have less fun and work on boring projects.Iterate, iterate, iterate. It’s all a process of launching, gathering feedback, change and relaunching!Be nimble, be quick and fail, FAST!

Unsubscribe

I run into this all too often. I buy something from you, or just as simple as sign up for your newsletter and I’m on your list. Some time later I decide I’d like off the list. Great there’s a handy unsubscribe button in the email. I think I’m all set but…You need a username and password to “update your profile settings” to stop the email. WHY???It’s always some weird domain to login to and, when you try and reset the password, that email takes a day to get in. By then you’ve forgotten why you even were doing it in the first place!It shouldn’t be that hard to simply get off the list. Just removing that address isn’t  a huge security threat. I’m not trying to buy something without a password here. It’s just a list. There is more value to making simple options easy and accessible then one more address on the list and it’s not worth filters getting trained to mark your messages as spam.Bottom Line, don’t frustrate your “customers.” You can’t afford that anymore. Everyone has a voice and they are willing to use it!

How To Look For A Consultant

You don’t need to pay a consultant to teach you social media. You certainly should not be paying them to “do twitter” for you.You should be paying them to help you make a choice as to where your efforts should be focused and how to use the tools. These tools aren’t just another brochure or thirty second spot.The concept is easy, everyone has experience in the theory of social media.It’s called “Social” media for a reason, it’s social.So here’s the big point, the reason you’ve paid a ton of money to read this blog. Wait you didn’t pay!?!Just think about the last interaction you had as a retail customer.Was it good? Why? Was it bad? Why? Aren’t the better ones the ones where you were treated like a REAL person not just being sold too?Take the points you’ve learned from being a customer, not in your business by personally, and apply them to your social media efforts. That’s all people are looking for. We just want to feel validated, like we mean something.

Medium WAS The Monetization

The folks that have been in the book and music industry THINK they are in the business of selling a physical item. Be it a book, a record, or a CD. The problem they have to get over is that it’s not the medium it’s the content that has some value, it’s just been easier form them to come up with a way to sell the physical good. It’s understandable, due to path of least resistance but, they really have to get it through their system that in the digital age that physical book or disc is a bigger hindrance to their business. It’s so much easier and cost effective if they could only learn to get over it!Now if they extend that they could use a physical item to provide a value added bonus and make better profit margins from that but most people want the cheap and easy option available!

Everyone Hates…

VOICEMAIL

There I said it! No one likes voicemail. I had this conversation with some people this morning, about a half hour after which I called one of those people and guess what? I got their voicemail!Does ANYONE answer their phone anymore? Do people just let every call go to voicemail under the assumption that they’ll get back to them?I get this a lot at work. “I called you last week and left a voicemail.” To which I reply “No you didn’t.” Then they protest, “Yes I did. It was on Friday.” After that my standard answer is “Sorry, It’s impossible we don’t have voicemail r even an answering machine!”I know your probably baffled by this. Our theory is if we’re here we’ll answer, we have three phone lines that all roll over so if they are all busy you’ll get a busy signal and call back in 5 min. If there is no answer we’re not here so call back in the morning. The key is actually answering the phone and helping your customers!

Finding You Sherpa

I’ve heard a lot of people who are becoming the “social media professional” at their place of employment because they are already on Twitter or have had a blog for a while and I’m not on board with this attitude.Sure they might be the most knowledgeable person around but they may not be the right person for the job. Now I have to say that sure everyone has a different opinion as to what each company should be doing in the social media space but there are a lot of right and wrongs for everyone.I do believe that anyone who is going to be the go to person for social media should have a blog, be on facebook and use Twitter but this does not a social media Sherpa make.I’ve had some discussions with people to try and come up with a way to qualify people and it’s not an easy task to accomplish. There are a lot of snake oil salespeople out there as well as a lot of people that deserve a lot more attention for what they are doing. The big question is how can we make it easy for those looking for a little help in this space to find the person who is right for them?