Why Is It Bad For Tech To Eat Jobs?

Economies of Unscale: Why Business Has Never Been Easier for the Little Guy

Great article on the new services economy.

Presentation Tips for Technology Experts

Isn’t is amazing that you see people who are absolutely brilliant in their jobs just completely stumble during a presentation? And no, I’m not talking about public speaking – but the most likely business presentation will be over a webinar (Webex, Gotomeeting, Livemeeting etc) with several people joining around the world. Here are some of my observations. And if you are in a hurry, scroll below for the #1 tip.

Everything on Slide 1

You know your subject, but the others don’t – that’s probably why you are presenting. But please resist the urge to excitedly go through the entire deck on slide 1. It makes the rest of the slides look redundant, you lose the audience attention after 5 or so minutes on one slide – unless of course you are a riveting speaker.

Suggestion: Save the content for the right sides, pace yourself.

The Over-Elaboration urge

This is where the speaker suddenly feels that a particular topic or term needs a back-to-basics explanation. And spends 10 minutes in talking about that losing everyone in the process.

Suggestion: Resist! Create another slide if you think a background is needed and talk about it. Usually, this arises when the speaker tries to “wing it” in the last minute.

Cultural metaphors

Be conscious of who’s on the webinar, and avoid using expressions like “wing it” 🙂 which are very cultural and may not be very well understood across the globe. Simple words and English are better.

Suggestion: Ask a colleague from another culture to provide feedback at a high level – does everything make sense? Pay attention to Q&A to see if they are resulting due to words that are being misunderstood.

Questions and Framing

Ever sat through a 50 slide presentation and struggled to figure out what key questions are being answered? There is a lot of information but the onus on figuring out the key questions rests on the audience.

Suggestion: Start the presentation with “here are the top 5 questions we will answer today”; provide the ability for the audience to add to this during Q&A. Check the questions off as the milestones during the presentation.

More Outcomes, Less process

As an expert, it’s easy to delve deep into “how” things work in your department. It’s unlikely to be interesting to anyone except in a training session.

Suggestion: Focus on the outcomes, the results. What happens as a result of the process? Who gets impacted the most? What is the range in the last few quarters?

Use 2 monitors if possible

This may be logistical, but using 2 monitors gives you a “presenter” view – with your bullet points and notes. Without this, you are seeing exactly what the audience is seeing – and unless you have had tons of time to practice, it will come across as “reading the slides” – and ruin the overall experience for the attendees who can read faster than you can speak.

Practice Your Transitions (the #1 tip!)

Have you noticed a difference between a speaker who waits for the next slide to build, and starts saying “And on this slide we have….” versus one who is able to connect the threads from slide to slide.

Suggestion: Know what the next slide is about. It makes a world of difference instantly into all of your presentations. And save some of the magic – dont refer to the slides, how PPT is bad, and Slide 22 has more information. They are here to listen to you, not become conscious of the tool.

Good luck on the next deck!

Marketers’ Engineering Hangover?

It’s interesting to see what bias we have when marketers use words to describe product attributes. Being an engineer by training, I’m seeing some interesting patterns 🙂 based on disciplines. What’s your poison?

Go ahead and contribute if you see anything more.

RIP Roger Ebert and Thoughts on Death

Reading his terrific article on the Salon, the para that really stood out for me was:

the conversation turned to our deaths, as it always does. “Ask someone how they feel about death,” he said, “and they’ll tell you everyone’s gonna die. Ask them, In the next 30 seconds? No, no, no, that’s not gonna happen. How about this afternoon? No. What you’re really asking them to admit is, Oh my God, I don’t really exist. I might be gone at any given second.”

Mortality. Happens to the best of us.

and this gem:

To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts.

and this one:

To die quietly of old age would be to go there on foot.

To attach an “accelerator” definition to disease or anything that makes you die earlier (“Celestial Locomotive” is what he calls it), surely eases the painful thought of demise a little bit for me. And the dignity, and clarity of thought at the inevitable makes me respect this gentleman a lot more now.

RIP.

Why Facebook Phone is so 2005!

Read the live blog first where Facebook, ATT and HTC are making a big announcement for a new tailored-for-FB-fans phone. As if the current fan engagement level was not enough! I may be showing my age here but this one seems to be old wine in a new bottle.

Remember MVNOs? They were initiated (partly due to regulatory reasons) because there was supposed to me a market for branded wireless phones. The argument was, if you were a Target shopper, wouldnt you like to own a Target phone to demonstrate loyalty, get points, and potentially get lower rates (due to the wholesale agreements)? It spawned several – arguably the most successful one was Virgin Mobile – MVNOs and there was tremendous interest during the days.

Most of them are out of business today.

What happened? A couple of things:

  1. MVNOs succeeded when the target segment was crystal clear. Virgin Mobile for example succeeded because they went after teenagers who could not get credit, and adopted the pre-paid model upfront.
  2. MVNOs need to have strong brand. Exclusive content, “value-added” stuff – why should a consumer spend time here versus anywhere else? Otherwise, it is because it will be cheap – and the drive towards commoditization starts.
  3. MVNOs need to open up a new market that does not compete with existing carrier footprints. This is an important point – picking up customers currently served by existing carriers does not excite them – it encourages churn – and significantly diminishes margins with a price sensitive base.
  4. There is a max capacity for growth. That number is 5Million subscribers. After this number, the number of adds = number of churn, meaning a dynamic equilibrium. I have no basis to support this theory but just plain experience. Just see Virgin Mobile’s numbers. They were at 5 M already in 2006-2007. Now they are at 6M. and sold to Sprint.
  5. Unique Device. Not really a game-changer. CTIA in those days was all about BET phone, MTV phone, ESPN phones, Disney Mobile phones etc etc. All have categorically failed or never took off.
  6. Competition. Traditional carriers who introduced parallel brands for a lower cost.

Now let’s apply this to the Facebook phone.

1. Target segment Clarity – Fail. It’s for everybody is as good as saying its for nobody.

2. Strong brand – Pass.

3. New Market – Fail. Carriers are already selling into this space. The only reason ATT would be interested in this is an ad-monetization deal with revenue share that I’m predicting will arrive next.

4. Growth headroom – ?. FB has over 1B+ users. Mobile global subscribers is over 6B. So will this help? What is the overlap? What is unaddressed? or under-served?

5. Unique device – Pass. But really, as we spoke about earlier, not a game changer. The device guys below on the other hand will be excited to market something other than the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy I’m sure:

6. Competition: Google is soon going to block this when they see ad revenues going. Apple will NEVER allow this – FB only experience instead of what users want?! oh the horror.

Overall Verdict: Facebook will be the winner. They have figured out a way to breakthru the clutter of apps and get right on your homepage. And they are going to monetize by ads eventually.

 

Phishing Fraud Alert – Aliexpress-billing.com

Just received this email that seems to redirect you to a pseudo-Aliexpress site but is actually forcing you to download an “invoice” which is a zip file that contains an exe file – surely a malware bot waiting to strike.

Be careful.

 

Dear ***,

Thanks for shopping at Aliexpress.com. Your order number is #1010732.

Order Subtotal:  371.00
Shipping & Handling:  Free
Tax:  28.64
Order Total:  399.64
Payment Info : VISA CARD

Please find a printable version of your invoice at the following link:

http://secure.aliexpress-billing.com/invoices/orders.php?id=1010732

The Delivery Status is currently “Awaiting Shipment.” The supplier must ensure all goods are delivered
before the delivery date and add tracking details for your shipment(s) to AliExpress.com .

Wishing you the very best of business,
AliExpress.com