Archive for the 'companies' Category

Google Reveals Scratch-and-Sniff technology for search on April 1

Google’s just brought in a new technology for their book search called “Scratch and Sniff” – check it out on the book below.

The Cheese Companion

Happy April Fools Day!
Gotta love companies with a sense of humor. What are some other companies that have played jokes today?

They call it Open Bar, I call it awesome!

So like many companies, at Abunga.com we use 37signals Basecamp as our online project management tool  – both internally to manage projects, vendors and interns, but also externally with our design firm.

So we were juggling two accounts – and I was thinking, why can’t we combine these somehow, and then those smart people, they went ahead and did it.

So as of earlier this week if you change all your log-in’s for the different Basecamp accounts (or any 37signals product) to OpenID, you’ll see a change in your Basecamp like below, where my three accounts are listed at the top, and you can move between them seemlessly.  They call it Open Bar and I call it awesome!

My three accounts are:

  • Abunga.com
  • Fabric Extranet
  • Slack Management Co.

Basecamp Mulitple

I like it.  See here for the full post from 37signals
Anyone else try it?  Thoughts? Concerns?

Ikea and Facebook share more then just blue in their logo

I just saw an article on Slate.com comparing how Facebook is similar to Ikea.

I’ll admit that the similarities are not apparent at first sight. But a defining idea behind Wikipedia, Facebook, and blogging platforms such as WordPress is that if you give people the right tools, they’ll use them to create wonderful things in collaboration with each other or with the organization that provides the catalyst.

It is interesting because it’s taking a larger look at where customers create content when a company provides a platform. I’m interested to see how Abunga ties into this because while we are not a giant company like ebay or facebook, we do operate as both a content provider and a platform provider for both business to tie into our platform for selling, as well as a platform provider giving every member the tools to interact and change what we sell.

Facebook, like Ikea—and like Microsoft—has mobilized an army of independent suppliers. In Facebook’s case, they are developers who produce applications that can be plugged into the Facebook platform. In all these cases, the idea is the same: If Facebook (or Ikea) can woo the customers, independent suppliers will be queuing up to help, and if the independent suppliers are queuing up, Facebook (or Ikea) should be able to woo the customers.

And like the quote above we’ll need those independents, sellers in our case, to add further value to the site, to help “woo the customers.”

Which do you think comes first, the customers and then the independents, and then more customers? Or is like the field of dreams, build it (a great platform) and the independents, and then the customers will come?

Have a good day everyone.

Article

http://www.slate.com/id/2182149/nav/ais/

maybe I need a wizard

stonewall2.jpg

As some of you may know I’m in the process of searching for a marketing job. So I’ve been contacting a lot of different companies following up on job leads. This post is about closed organizations. I consider a closed organization one where the barriers to entry for getting basic information are VERY high. I’ve recently dealt with two companies that I consider closed. The first is Scripps Networks, they produce/own the TV shows HGTV, Fine Living, DIY, etc. They have some pretty on demand shows, and they’ve grown a ton. However, they make it hard for people to join their ranks. Like most people I try to do research on a position before I apply for it, I like to find out who I’ll report to, and what they’ve done, and general company info. So I was doing research on the position that was listed on the Scripps website. I couldn’t find the information I was looking for on Google so I figured I’d just call them up directly. I received at the time the curtest treatment I’ve ever received when I was asking about a job – a posted job. Basically, the receptionist told me that the information I was asking about, wasn’t public knowledge and never would be and I couldn’t know it. So you’re thinking it’s some top-secret trade secret right? Nope, just the name of the Director of Innovation. Not their email, or phone number just the name. I find that ridiculous.

The second company is Lynskey Performance Designs. They are based in Chattanooga, TN and they make great custom titanium road and mountain-bike frames. To the tune of a few thousand dollars each for the frame only. So I stopped in at their shop one day to hopefully talk with the Director of Marketing. Well attempted to. The first sign is that you can’t walk in their building. You can see in the door, but you have to get buzzed in from their receptionist. Who WILL give you the third degree before she lets you in. My session with her went like this:

Her: “Name and who are you with”
Me: “Hi I’m Gavin Baker, and I was just hoping to look at your bikes”
Her: “We don’t sell bikes, this is a manufacturing facility”
Me: “I’m sorry, I thought you made custom bike frames? I was just hoping to see one”
Her: “We don’t have any you can look at”
Me: “Oh, well I was just hoping to see a couple. I was just driving past on my way down to Atlanta.”
Her: “From where?”
Me: “Knoxville, TN”
Her: “I’ll see if someone can talk to you”

A couple of notes, I was able to talk to their sales manager, and he showed me a couple of their bikes, and they are beautiful and well crafted for sure. And I appreciate the time he gave me. But I want to break a few things down.

First she can’t see me. So she doesn’t know if I’m Joe Blow, or I am the most important client she’s ever talked to. Secondly, if I owned a company that made CUSTOM frames and someone stopped in to see them, you better believe I’ll show them a few. This isn’t the corner bike shop, we are talking about thousands of dollars per sale. Turning away dollars at the door is not a great strategy. Personally, I think Lynskey should open their shop up, say come on by. Create an owner community. It’s not unheard of for people that custom order cars to fly to the factory to drive it off the lot, or Saturn owners to show up in droves to see where their car was built. The same will hold true of people that are buying a custom frame. Would all that many people stop by, maybe not. The one’s that did, would probably be in the percentage to share with EVERYONE their great experience, and their great bike, and how awesome it is. WOM straight and simple. Maybe it wouldn’t be that many people, but they wouldn’t lose potential customers in the process.

So from my experience with these two companies I’ve become jaded. I sit here and think, these two companies want good people to work with and for them, but they make it incredibly hard for anyone to get to them. Should it be the yellow brick road? Certainly not, but should it be the Great Wall of China?

Have a great day.


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Beautiful photo

In TN

/gorgeous

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