Inspiration for Innovation

Which one is the best choice? by Philippe Taminiau
February 12, 2010, 9:42 am
Filed under: People & Places

Everybody who wants to start-up their own company can choose between:

1. Build a great product or service with enough features that increase the odds that customers will want it. However, it’s impossible to get feedback during development process and you will need a big amount of seed capital.

2. Release early, release often and get as much feedback as soon as possible. This way, you can start your business without a lot of money. Bootstrapping.

Find out more, check out the video and become a better entrepreneur..


Why Twitter isn’t a Social Strategy by tomvanvooren
February 12, 2010, 9:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

Do you know those situations or advertisements campaigns (teleshopping) where they continue to say how great it is, but it just doesn’t catch on? We had the same in class, about social media strategies and especially Twitter. Everyone is convinced of the added value of Facebook and Hyves, but no one seems to start to believe in the power of Tweeting, despite of all the teachers’ efforts. So there probably is a catch, but where?

I found it in an interview with HBS professor Mikolaj Piskorski, who is doing research on how people use social sites. Listen to what he told, and the difference between developing a digital strategy and a social strategy. The best social strategy, he says, is one that helps your customers connect with other customers:

“With Twitter, a company can talk to customers or potentials, and it is two-way communication. This is a great example of a digital strategy that you use as a cheap platform to communicate with your audience. It is a fantastic idea, particularly because it’s free!…”

But it’s not a social strategy (YET).

“This is not social strategy yet, because it does not allow two people in the audience to be better friends or to meet new friends. It does not allow people to improve their friendships in the same way that Facebook does. And so it does not build the same level of engagement. Note that you can have just a digital strategy, and that’s perfectly fine. But you will be missing out on huge opportunities to connect customers to each other. This is where you can really generate huge engagement.”

Remember the distinction the next time you are thinking of how to use social networks to improve your business.

Stay hungry, stay foolish by Edo van Royen
February 5, 2010, 1:11 pm
Filed under: People & Places | Tags: , , , ,

Recently I stumbled upon an already infamous commencement speech at Stanford (2005) by Steve Jobs. An inspiring insight into the mind of an entrepreneur and maybe even more remarkable; into the common denominators that great men and women share. A unrelenting optimism for the future, an almost biblical love for the job and a hungry kind of stubbornness and foolishness that might be seen as courage.

Jobs intimately shares three stories, surprisingly interesting morals of life and rules of entrepreneurship told through anecdotes of his life:

Connect the dots
Jobs curiously dropped in on a calligraphy class at his university, without having a single hope for any practical application in his life: Ten years later, this knowledge on typography formed one of the foundations for Apple’s success. As the first typographically designed personal computer, the Macintosh was miles ahead of its time. The things you do right now, might not make sense in terms of the future. But one day, you will be able to connect the dots.

“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something. Your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because, believing that the dots will connect down the road, will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-warned path”

Do what you love
After building Apple from a garage business into a multi-billion dollar business, Jobs was fired from Apple by his board of directors.

Jobs and Wozniak in their garage

“I was a very public failure and I even thought of running away from the Valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me. I Still loved what I did”.

Concurrently, Jobs proceeded to found NEXT, and Pixar. Pixar became a billion dollar animation feature studio, and NEXT, in a remarkable turn of events, was acquired by Apple (Causing Jobs, to win back his place).

“Sometimes life is going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love.”

Stay hungry, stay foolish

In 2004 Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and was told by his doctors that he only had a couple of months left to live. For a day he lived with that diagnosis, until the biopsy showed that he dealt with an incredibly rare, curable form of cancer.

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon, is the most important tool I have ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die, is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart.”

Is this an American thing, Suzy? by degraauw
February 4, 2010, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Ideas & Observations

Between Christmas and New Years, I went to New York with my family, lucky me! My boyfriend’s sister was in NY at the time, because of her internship. When I was about to go to the airport after my short visit, she gave me my a-little-bit-late Christmas present. On the package, a little note was attached saying: “You may not want to open this in front of your parents”. I totally ignored that, and opened it with my mum and what was it: MALIBU BETTY.

Ever heard of it? Well, I didn’t. After studying the package, the “Eureka” moment came, and we both couldn’t stop laughing.
My present
“Malibu Betty (blue).  Colour for the Hair Down There.”

“Blue skies ahead. Ride the wave downtown. Celebrate. Specially formulated hair dye for the hair down there.  Malibu betty is aqualicious and boogie board ready!”

“Hang ten! And get your betty ready!”

Ok. A few obvious questions came up.

Number 1. Why did I get this present?
Answer: My boyfriend’s sister wanted to buy hair dye for the hair UP there. And came across this, and thought it was hilarious and thought of someone who would appreciate this gift (as a joke) the most. Ce moi!

Number 2. Where do you buy this?
Answer: Anywhere, at every chemist of pharmacist. Shocking huh?

Number 3. Who actually uses this stuff?
Answer: NO CLUE. Is Blue a new summer colour? Is it fashionable? Is it hot? Am I missing the biggest beauty trend?
Comment 1. Please don’t tell me people use this stuff!

Is this innovation or just weird?

And then it got me wondering. It seems to be perfectly normal in the US…
Suzy, help us understand your American culture, cause I’m lost.

God bless America..

xoxo GossipGirl