Friday, January 30, 2015

CES 2015 Marketing Fails (World's Best!)

I greatly enjoyed CES 2015... Perhaps most of all, the startup corridore (some of which was sponsored by ).  However startups, big and small, seemed to fail at several key marketing elements.  Here are some of my favorite marketing fails from CES 2015.

1.) Worlds First:   Several startups made this claim proudly on banners, some of which not more than 100 feet from a similar product, also the worlds first.

Why a marketing fail?  Not what you think... Its not the claim itself that fails (maybe its true, maybe not). The problem is WHO CARES!  Marketers must train themselves to think from the customer point of view....   And tell them the benefit of your product, from their perspective, not a useless claim!

2.). World's "whatever" (smartest, best, smallest, whatever).

Why a marketing fail?   This one is the reason you think...  How can you verify this claim?  Unless it is self-evident, you cannot back it up.   And anyways, its not from the customers perspective... so again, who cares!

  Can you find the claim?

3.) No Idea What You Do...   Too much clutter!

Why a marketing fail?  This is the most common problem.   I just want to scan your booth and see what you do or make or your product... If I cant figure that out in 5 secs, i am gone.
   What is this selling exactly?

4.) No Goal! No point to even be there!

Why a marketing fail?   If you don't have a "MEASURABLE GOAL" how can you know if you achieved it (or anything).  I'm not picking on my UT friends, but I'm not sure what it is they are trying to do... maybe looking for partners?  How will they know how many they met?  If I go to a show like this, I would have a specific goal and agenda, and a way to measure it.  Give-aways/raffles are a great way to do this.

What fails did you see at CES this year?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If you build it, they will come. Bad advice? Or maybe good!

The old adage that "if you build it, they will come" is usually considered very bad marketing advice.  In recent times, however, I actually think it has become Good advice, especially if reworded just slightly...

"If you build it, they MIGHT come" is probably some of the best marketing advice I can give.

In this world if lean startup, minimum viable product (MVP) and bootstrapping entrepreneurship, one of the most important things to do is to"ship it" and see if customers come and like it, and iterate quickly based on that feedback.

At Key Ingredient we recently formalized these concepts and declared ourselves an "Agile Company".

What will you ship this year?

My thought?   See photo I took at CES 2015 below!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Stopping Time in Crucial & Special Moments

Recently on Facebook I had a great reminder of the importance of time in our lives  (SEE BELOW).

I thought it was worth sharing here a few more thoughts I have had about "time slowing", why do it, and how to do it (with examples).

You see, there is a great movie (Star Trek Insurrection) which really illustrates two excellent uses for "time slowing".  In the film, Captain Picard's girlfriend can 'slow time' to experience certain "perfect moments" and extend them for greater enjoyment.   Later, Picard himself "slows time" to save that girlfriend's life.  Interestingly, in this second case, time actually passed more quickly from Picard, but it seemed like less time had passed.... this is the key to the trick, and let me explain now how this can ACTUALLY BE DONE!

Why Slow Time?

  1. To extend the good time you are currently having (extend that perfect moment)
  2. To get past a bad time more quickly (really this is speeding up time).

How to Slow Time  (or speed it up).

  1. First realize that time is 'relative'.  Relativity is the well-known idea that time passes for people differently based on how fast they are moving!
  2. Now, realize that when we say "slow time" what we mean is either Speeding it up or Slowing it down relative to you..
  3. SO.... to "Speed Up Time" relative to you, and make time pass by faster on the outside, and make it seem like less time to you.... based on the theory of relativity, you must simply SLOW your own mind.   E.g. Think thoughts much more slowly, move more slowly, and generally take longer to think something... and suddenly, when you wake from this trance-like state, time will have passed by 'outside your awareness' and it will be later than you think!  (e.g. time sped up outside your zone of awareness)
  4. NOW... the hard part, how to "Slow Time Down" relative to you.... this is way harder, because you must INCREASE YOUR MINDS SPEED!  you must think thoughts much much more rapidly... I find it helps to take pictures, really fast mental snapshots of all that is happening around you.  If you have a camera, take real pictures.  Try to SPEED UP your minds analysis of all it sees.  Speed up any thoughts you are having, have them faster....   Now, look up, and see almost NO TIME has passed.  For you, relativity-wise, you've had a lot of time pass, but in the real world, almost no time has passed.  that's the trick and it really works.
So, which do you do when?

I think Speeding up Time, you should do when you are bored, or in pain.  Actively try to SLOW your mind and your thoughts and next thing you know it will have passed.

Conversely, and counter-intuitively, to "preserve a moment" you must SPEED UP your awareness of it, and try to capture more of it into your brain... more snapshots of the scene into your head.   Rapid Eye scanning of all you see and the scene around you and real picture if you can.  This will let you experience MORE OF the moment.

I remember in High School I hated Study Hall...  it was SO BORING.  But instead of watching the clock, i tried to 'not think' and entered a meditative state.. next thing I knew, the bell rung!  

Here's a moment I preserved.  10-minutes before pitching for an $8Million fundraising for my company (Bigfoot Networks), I found myself sitting in a waiting room, waiting to pitch a final pitch to a room full of VCs.  I grabbed my camera and started snapping photos, I walked and paced around the room, looking everywhere, highly excited and full of wonder.... I sped my thoughts actively trying to capture all of the moment and all that was happening and all that was on the line.  I went through the whole pitch and what might happen, and all this in 10-minutes....  I looked up and only 5-minutes had passed!  WOW!  time slowed! 

Here's one of my favorite moments, hanging out with my girlfriend (now wife) and we even got a picture!  I really extended that moment, you can see the alertness in both our eyes...

<<<_from Facebook__>>>

True awesomeness can be found in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
"I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment because they'll never come again." - Jean-Luc Picard
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