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November 2007
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January 2008

On Demand Business Apps: Where the Web is Heading

After over two years I just left a startup I co-founded.   I feel like I just sent my kid to college and although I hope for the best, you just wonder if they'll spend their time partying instead of studying. 

Reading an interesting book: "Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters" .   Sounds like a self-help book, but it's not.  It talks about builders: people who are driven by core passions to make things happen.

What does this have to do with the Web?  Plenty.   Currently many people view the web as the place to buy stuff and keep in touch with friends.  We're just starting to see the effects of "builders" moving great business apps to the Web.   

Why?   There are a bunch of us who strive to bring complex systems to the business folks who traditionally could not afford them.   This process started in 1979.  But until recently it took a whole lot of money and a whole lot of time to build out complete systems.   Now with services such as  Amazon Web Services,Future you now have instant building blocks.  Sold on an "as-needed" basis.  Time to market can now be measured in weeks, not years.

And this means our marketing jobs have gotten more interesting.   So now in our conversations with the market place, the actual production and delivery of a service is becoming trivial.  So we can focus our attention on our customers getting the best use for their particular situation.  And since it's on-demand, the risk for them is virtually eliminated.   You're making blue and they want orange?  No problem, orange only take 2 weeks to make.


Delta Airlines: Customer Service Gone Good

A lot of moaning and groaning about the airlines, but there is a ray of hope.   Trying to get back from Ottawa yesterday there was a flight delay causing me to miss my connection.Delta_airlines The fine folks at YOW (really, that's their code), figured out an airport hopping schedule to get me back home.  Which it did.  YOW is WOW!

So since it was on another airline, I didn't get credit.  I sent an email to Delta, walking them through the entire situation, and within 2 hours everything was fixed.

How about that? 

More on why I was in Ottawa later.


Delivering VS. Engaging: 2 dimensional thinking in a multi dimensional world

Tom Peter's blog had a thought provoking entry called "Embrace the Mess?" .   It was a gentle rant against the majority of linear thinking executives trying to operate in complex environment. 

They often look at an emerging issue as an engineering problem controlled by predictable laws of physics, rather than a messy puzzle ruled by random variables in the behavior of employees, board members, investors, competitors, and customers. They think, "If margins are poor, cut costs." Rarely are all the possible impacts on future revenue generation or current productivity considered.

Automaton And I've been thinking about this a lot as it applies to marketing.   After all we deal with not automatons which operate with a pre-defined set of rules, but thinking feeling human being who are much more complex.    You know linear marketing when you hear things like "How do we effectively communicate our value proposition to prospects so they become leads".    Basically if we deliver A to B then C will happen.

Conversely you can see marketing people who thrive in complexity because they say things like "How can we better engage with our market"?  It's a state of mind and approach.   

Now this does not mean you toss the fundamentals, but those are only a small set of the tools you have available. 

Ask yourself : "How have I engaged with my market today"?