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Thoughts

You are relaxed and more likely to be yourself. If you really want something and it is your sole focus you tend to try hard and that can quite easily come across and needy and desperate. However if you are more casual and non-plussed in your approach you can actually come across more suitable and well rounded person.

Not trying your best is not something that I would advocate however I have had several successes when this is the case.

Everybody wants to be cat

Forgive me for drawing on my own experience however when applying for my placement year I put my absolute all in to somewhere between 50 and 100 job applications of those many became interview that involved early starts, overnight stays, days of prepping presentations and many hours spent on the train across the country.

Toward the end feeling disheartened  and running out of time not having found a job, I continued the hunt but realised that it should not be at the expense of completing that years course work. Application became haphazard and send off without extra proof reading. I almost declined interview and the preparation was not taken seriously. This is all leading up to my interview for my placement with Microsoft. Two days before was the university clubs and societies ball, The day before was a day hungover on the sofa researching Microsoft. The actual day was almost missing the train and then spending the time between assessment activities and interviews reading through my latest coursework draft.

All of these factors added up to me thinking that I should not be there and that I am in no way going to be offered a decent position this late in the game. Because of this during the interview with, who turned out to be my hiring manager, I sat back in my chair and was able to have a very casual, open and honest conversation covering the basic stuff whist enjoying discussing our common interests in technology.

This has happened several times since, rushed and non plussed application have landed me interviews and I have heard similar stories from friends.

I often hear on the news tennis players recounting how they tend to do well when they go out to just have fun and not focus on the winning, wild card players beat or come close to winning against high seeds and world champions.

To sign off I’m going to quote Val Wilder – “Don’t take life to seriously you will never get out alive.”

My sister was typing this as I dictated so any out of place sentences are accredited to her.

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This weeks post by the marketoonist http://tomfishburne.com/2012/04/planned-obsolescence.html

Reminded me of observation I wanted to write about but had not developed any further, this gave me the extra push. Here is what I posted.

‘Built in Obsolescence’ This is an issue that has bothered me for some time. It echos a lot of the philosophies about future design put forward here:

http://www.sony.co.uk/discussions/community/en/community/futurescapes
(Interesting the association with a consumer electronics company)

This is an idea that is very popular especially in the fashion industry and I think is likely to be the next big thing in how we shop. It’s the reason I love http://www.howies.co.uk/

From a personal point of view I find myself working entirely on cloud based services meaning that as long as I have access to the net I can get to my info (I share your frustrations about old iPhones, I’m still chugging away from 2008) and the device I use is less and less important as long as it works.

In response to Tom’s thoughts about the trend shift to longer lasting products, I see this in the offing with the introduction of 4G and more specifically Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology being build into devices. This means that devices are built with capabilities beyond what is currently possible, thus, by default, increasing the longevity of devices. If a device is capable of receiving data speeds that are planned for two years time, it still needs to work at that point in time.

With the current business model this does not make economic sense for manufacturers, with share holders that demand profits, to stop forcing you to upgrade every year or two (perhaps). There will be a trade off and perhaps mobile devices will become more upgradeable or recyclable.

Let me know your further thoughts…

http://www.samueltucker.co.uk

Why do computer companies such as Dell, Alienware, Apple e.t.c all sell several different versions of the same thing. i.e. the fundemental product and form factor is the same and the innards are ‘customised’. Because of the scale these companies operate at, the cost of creating the spec of computers to order is very low so low that they do it for free. But how are they covering this cost as a consumer that we never see?

It is all a physiological game. As with most of sales.

1. It creates visibility on what you could have even if it it beyond your budget. Even if it would cost more than a car it is still fun, and I used to do this when I was a time rich money poor kid, build you dream machine. Once you have seen what is possible, customers are likely to upgrade, even only a little, to avoid cogitative dissonance. That is it will be difficult for them or impossible for them to make those changes in the future.

2. It offers the perceived benefit of a custom product. No one else will have this one and it is mine. But as mentioned before this is just a gimmick and is unlikey to ever be the case. Plus, as the form factor is the same know one knows but you, but this is important.

3. Tying into the first point it creates a demand for the better system. We didn’t ask Starbucks for the double tall skinny vanilla latte with extra foam they offered it to us, thus creating demand. Without the option how do we know we need something.

There are a few reasons, comment with others you have.

Sam


Pure Junk or Pure Genius?

This post comes sort of as an apology and an explanation of my thoughts which may have come across as majorly dismissive of the marketing efforts of a friend of mine.

The discussion here is based on these websites that have generally a letter format usually offering a free ebook, video download in return for your email and perhaps considering handing over your credit card details for the full package that will make you rich, loose weight or pick up endless women, to name a few.

Here are some of the websites in question:

http://www.truthaboutabs.com/ – a quite in depth website but based on the same theory and has the same cheap untrustworthy feel. I checked this with a couple of friends!

http://www.seduction.com/start.php – good bit of pick up for good measure.

http://britishnewsdaily.com/health-tips/skin/index.php

http://dailyconsumeralerts.com/teeth/reports/white_teeth.php?&t202id=300058&t202kw=UKteeth&match=&c3=
These two are slight tricker – they have a magazine site at first glance although none of the navigation or links are real apart from to go to the product order forms. Explained in the CBS link at the end.

http://instantsalesletterwebsites.com/ – A good old sales letter format selling the sales letter format. Ha the irony!

I believe that these are based on the theory ‘throw enought shit at the wall and eventually some will stick’ . because of the near zero marginal costs of the web it does seem to pay to cast your net as wide a possible. For all the people that sign up for your freebee, that you subsequently bombard with endless email, if 1 or 2 pay your $99 subscription then you are probably in profit. Some even go as far to be Reminiscent of Matrix and Ponzi schemes.

I’m not doubting that this method of marketing can make money, I am of course assuming this, however if it didn’t why is the internet still rife with all these sites? Freemium Selling – Offer some features or products for free and charge for upgrades or premium features. I have not argument with this. This is a solid business model. The concept is valid, the way it is presented is not. Note: In this case you may be paying with you email address not cash!

My main argument against all of this is branding and credibility.

Anyone working at any company with a name will know how hard it is to establish credibility and recognition of your brand in the market place. Would you really want to throw all that away on a medium that cheapens your product offering and name?

That leads me to this example, There is a right way and a wrong way to offer free content to pull people in and it’s a almost a 50:50 split.

This http://www.truthaboutabs.com/ vs. this – http://the99percent.com/book

Both these pages are offing free material, content aside which one would you be willing to put your email address into?

If you are working in an industry in which you need to exude confidence and professionalism this style may not be for you, pick your format carefully.

Notes:

Finally – a little old but a nice video from CBS. If is sounds to good to be true it probably is! These scams allegorical of this format! http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/30/earlyshow/living/ConsumerWatch/main6914322.shtml

Also useful – http://www.squidoo.com/1weirdtip

Both of these offer something for free. This first is based on the physical world ‘free’ model. The gimmicky free offer of offline past where people knew they would be paying eventually, like the free toy in the cereal. i.e this cost is built into the product. However in the online world where free really can be free use a freemium model for example not expect people to enter their card details for a subscription…

This is hard to get right and is perhaps more relevant to ‘picking up’ women and ‘awesome abs’ than a professional healthcare worker.

This starts with me talking about how this idea is a win for the iPad, but it lead me elsewhere.

The army were the inventors of the ‘internet’ in its most rudimentary form and it developed and evolved into what we now know it to be today! Which is no longer just a communication tool. It is a means of entertainment, a place to share, a place where we can become an entirely different person!

My point is, and I have to thank Chris Anderson for this, that a small group of people created the internet, but it was us, the users that figured out what to do with it. This new paradigm in communication gave birth to a whole raft of tools, possibilities and consumer behaviors to name just a few.

I get the impression that Apple understood this. They noticed that people were looking for more and more ways to personalise there increasingly powerful mobile devices and smart phones. Starting with ringtones and expanding to games and productivity. From this they brought us the iPhone, and later the iPad, with a certain amount of functionality but left it up to us, the users, to decide what to do with it (within reason).

This reminded me of an old clip of Alan Sugar talking on a Documentary about Bill Gates, I guess when he left Microsoft. Saying that he got it wrong (hardware) and Bill had got it right (software). Whereas this may have been true at the time all Apple has done here is provide its users with the fabulous piece of hardware and left it up to us to create what we want with it! In its wake creating an entirely new ecosystem of app developers and business opportunities.

Sidebar: as long as we all use iTunes and give Apple a cut of everything we create – enter Android! See Wired UK Jun 11 for a well balanced discussion on this!

Perhaps AMS had it right, just at the wrong time. What I mean is that computers were new then and people needed educating. This is no longer the case. This is a side ways step not a development, meaning that users now have the know how and the ideas, they just require the platform to launch them on.

A marketing webinar recently taught me that ‘it’s bad referring to yourself as a guru’ was a myth, Cheers Dan I like it. Identify yourself authoritatively but don’t talk about yourself inessentiality.

This ties is quite nicely with someone that I met while out for a drink the other night.

After telling him that I was alright at marketing he replied with that he was the dogs bollocks at sales. Sales and marketing go hand in hand but that was my fail at selling myself. Lesson learned!

All your boss’ are not necessarily that good but they know the spiel, and they will respect you if you dish it back. Ask them to give you the chance to be the best. 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years.

Even if you don’t make it to being the best have the ability to train people to be average. If you can train the rest of the sales team to be average then you will beat the top sales person.

e.g. John sells 100 units

You sell 50 but you can train the other two sales team to sell 50 then that is 150 in total. You will be sales manager by the end of the week!