"Jump Point" by Tom Hayes, and “What Would Google Do" by Jeff Jarvis
These are 2 great books that combined shed a lot of light on how the internet is impacting the way we do business and that we are just at the beginning of this "evolution".
Jump Point highlights that 3 billion people will soon be connected to the internet, making it the single largest marketplace on the planet. If you want to start something new, or grow your business, the quickest and easiest way to get going and attract customers is on the web.
The velocity of commerce is going to increase drastically due to the standardization of protocols, API’s and information shared between the communities on the internet eg OpenID, Facebook Connect just being one of them.
This is not exactly news and all of us in the industry live and die by it. But Hayes points out that in this context, the excessive amounts of time spent (often begrudgingly) on Social Media: Twittering, Facebook, MySpace etc are not disproportionate to the potential benefits. Reading the book brings home the fundamental importance of having an online presence - preferably a strong, easily recognizable one. You’ll be updating your Facebook account and counting your Twitter followers before you’ve put the book down, I guarantee.
"WWGD" unravels and explains Google’s approach to doing business and then translates the adoption of this approach in more traditional enterprises.
Needless to say, it’s a significantly different MO from anything that’s been used before.
1. Manage Abundance, Not Scarcity
The more content Google has to organize and the more sites to place ads on, the better. Google-owned YouTube already has more search queries than Yahoo.
Scarcity has been obliterated by the internet. Amazon’s approach is to offer customers more books and CD’s that could ever fit in one physical store. Amazon’s recommendations and Google’s search help manage that abundance.
2. Make Mistakes Well
Mistakes can be valuable, if you learn from them. A recent trend involves releasing products that are not properly finished, i.e. in ‘beta’ version, allowing customer feedback to identify bugs and comment on the user experience. This feedback is then incorporated into the finished product.
If nothing else, the tedious process of testing is performed by a totally objective audience.
Proctor and Gamble CEO A.G. endeavors to keep the company’s rate of failure with new product launches at about 40-50%. It encourages employees to think ambitiously and take risks.
How to Make Signs More Emotionally Intelligent -
3. Open the Dialogue
Google employs beta launches to incorporate user feedback into their service. Dell launched a Web site to get customers’ ideas after a flood of criticism over poor service. Starbucks launched mystarbucksidea.com and got 70,000 ideas in the first year. This openness to leads to a vice
overhaul: a sharp decline in the negative buzz. A study by the London School of Economics highlighted that a 1% decline in negative buzz leads to a 2% increase in Sales [link]
4. Price as low as you can go (Free is Better)
The fastest-growing Net companies -Google, Skype, TenCent, Kaixin001, Amazon and eBay charge as little as they possibly can. The more users you have, the stronger your competitive position.
5. Execution and Speed
An idea is only as good as its execution. Cumbersome processes and official launch days are of the past. In the internet life is a permanent beta if not alpha or even pre-alpha. Get out there get the feedback and then incorporate that feedback. This book from Signal 37 is highlights exactly this and some of the process to adopt that approach.
And then taking 2 slides from the founder of Slideshare.
Finding Nemo (remember this movie…. it’s all about speed baby)
Execute or die!