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Breaking down silos — no herding cats anymore


  

In my last blog post, I spoke about siloed content caused by silos within an enterprise. Moreover, about the guy who is on the hook to drive the business, generate leads and protect the brand. In most organizations they call him the Chief Marketing Officer or CMO. He is focused on the connected, consistent customer journey.

Yeah, this feels like herding cats — an attempt to control or organize a class of entities which are uncontrollable or chaotic.

Because in a larger organizations, everyone creates content. Sometimes people do not even know that this content ends up being customer facing. Some folks in Support writing some messages in support systems — but is it necessarily on brand and on target?

Let’s break down the customer journey — ...



Article

The Age of Napoleons: Conquerers in Tech


  

It’s no secret that our time in history is unique. Our times are unique in a myriad of ways, but an area of some concern is the state of entrepreneurship in the world of technology.

In recent decades fund-raising has become not only much easier, but also more popular. Even businesses with seemingly little potential to truly become scalable, try to raise money, and they even sometimes succeed. While fund-raising is a decent way to scratch that entrepreneurial itch, it’s not end-game for aspiring entrepreneurial-Napoleons.

In some ways, the entrepreneurial scene hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years. For example, the average age of entrepreneurs today is not significantly younger than 100 years ago.

Steve Blank considers...



Article

Good Enough Never Is (Or Is It?)


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One of the sayings I hear from talented managers in product development is, “good enough never is.” It’s inspirational, always calling the team to try harder and do better. It works to undermine excuses for poor or shoddy work. And, most importantly, it helps team members develop the courage to stand up for these values in stressful situations. Especially in teams that are managing by objectives (or OKRs), the pressure to deliver is intense. Under such pressure, the temptation to cut corners, to quit prematurely, or to hand off shoddy work to another department is overwhelming. It requires courage to stand up and say: “this work is simply not good enough. Sure, we could get away with it, but that’s not how we work.” Good m...



Article

Your 10-Step Guide to Website Maintenance


  

Your website is like a car: if you fail to get routine oil changes, the vehicle’s performance will continue to drop until the engine stalls. Don’t let this happen to your website after all the hard work you’ve invested in getting it up and running. You, your web developer and your hosting company should follow the website maintenance checklist below.

  1. Thoroughly review and test the entire website (annually or after any updates). Set aside time to methodically and thoroughly review all pages of the website. You may find broken links, features that don’t work or areas that can use improvement. Pay special attention to overall user experience, load time, missing or outdated content, missing page titles or meta tags (content descriptions), inco...


Article

These 4 Travel Startups Are Doing It Right


  

When you’re launching a travel business, there are many “what ifs” and “what nows” — especially if you’re a rookie. It’s almost too easy to get caught up in the excitement. Whether you’re trying to build out too many related products before perfecting your core business, struggling to gauge the strength of a potential partnership, or micromanaging your staff, it might be a good idea to take a step back and gain a little perspective from the pros.

After all, those pros started out where you are now, and many are willing and eager to help others get on their feet. So don’t be afraid to reach out within the tight-knit entrepreneurial community to seek advice because almost nothing is more valuable than help from someone who has been in the tre...



Article

How to Create a Customer Service Culture on People Power


  

The biggest brands in the world become what they are with the help of one elusive ingredient: customer loyalty. In a world over-saturated with scattershot marketing messages, successful companies take the time to truly get to know their customers — their motivations, fears, ideas, and priorities — and tackle customer service with relentless dedication.

If you’re an entrepreneur, this is good news and bad news.

The bad news? You’re likely competing against established brands that have worked for years — or even decades — to build loyalty among customers.

The good news? You can make customer-service commitment part of your company’s mission early on and be hyper-focused on giving a smaller number of customers the best experiences possible.

If...



Article

3 Ways to Tap Your Buyer’s Subconscious Brain


  

We all like to think we’re rational animals. The truth, though, is that we buy based on emotion and intuition, not reason or deduction.

In fact, according to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, 95 percent of our buying decisions are made by our subconscious mind. Our subconscious craves simplicity; it’s impulsive, decisive, and emotion-driven. Because it isn’t swayed by figures or feature sets, we in the tech industry often struggle to speak its language.

But take a look the most successful tech companies’ marketing materials. What do you notice about Apple’s iconic ads? They’re colorful, happy, and emotion-driven, featuring punchy phrases like “Think different” and “Say hello to the future.” Now think about what’s missing. Th...



Article

How To Relentlessly Uncover New Value


  

Quick. Grab a stack of sticky notes and come with me. We’re going to help you uncover new value hidden in your next initiative.

But wait. Sticky notes? There are so many software tools we could use instead of pen and paper. And a few of those software tools are really great.

How could a pen and paper possibly be used to help tackle something of any real consequence? Isn’t the sticky note just a crutch of the busy person trying to stay organized?!

Used correctly, the sticky note will help you and your teams uncover incredible new value.

When you’ve mastered the sticky note, I give you permission to return to your software tools — if you still want to!

 

New value defined

Let’s define new value. New value is an advantage or gain you did...



Article

Want to Disrupt and Innovate? You Can’t Do It Without Books


  

Without a doubt, reading and learning is one of the most essential ingredients to becoming a stronger entrepreneur. As a learning enthusiast who travels everywhere with a paperback, I’ve recently joined the ranks of Blinkist downloaders. Unfamiliar with the name?

Blinkist allows you to quickly digest books by offering condensed versions of hot sellers in the form of voiceover narratives. It’s great for entrepreneurs who can’t seem to keep up with Bill Gates’ penchant for reading 50 books a year. I prefer the feel of a traditional book, but it’s a nice stopgap when I’m short on time.

When I do have a few hours over the weekend, I turn on my meditation app and block out some “chill” time. (Thank you to my loving wife who und...



Article

Espionage In The Era Of The Entrepreneur: How Safe Is Your Intellectual Property?


  

In a world where business moves at the speed of the IOT, and where data and passwords are more readily available online, entrepreneurs have a new obstacle to address: the protection of their intellectual property.

While corporations have the resources to hire top cyber security teams and implement software solutions that protect their collateral, criminals are increasingly taking an interest in small and medium sized businesses. The new targets have equally marketable data, designs and digital information that have value for criminals, and for foreign governments.

The question to ask: Is your business at risk?


The technology industry and foreign policy

In 1986, China began a program that has been loosely referred to as “shadow innovation”...



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