Category Archives: Disruption

Google’s “Android One” – Phone for the 2nd & 3rd World Customer

Built in the countries they are sold, Google has enormous profit margin advantages and stands to outsell Apple by orders of magnitudes - 10's of millions of units globally.
Built in the countries they are sold, Google has enormous profit margin advantages and stands to outsell Apple by orders of magnitudes – 10’s of millions of units globally.

Elsewhere in this blog I’ve noted with interest that some of the biggest companies on the planet are taking aim at supplying emerging markets where extreme growth is due to literally explode in coming years.

Corroborating this mega-trend is Googles’ launch of the “Android One” phone.

Curt Prins, Mobile Strategist, explains some of the deeper and very interesting details in a fascinating post on LinkedIn.com.  Curt notes:

Instead of adapting to price sensitivities within emerging markets, Apple’s iPhone 6 starts at $649 (without contract) and tops out at $949. That’s an impossible purchase when the average household income in India is just US$7,700.

Talk about barriers to market entry!

Google’s Android One launched in India this week for just $105, and carrier subsidies will drive that price down into the $60s. Amazon India’s massive inventory sold out in a matter of hours. Google understands what works in Mountain View might not in Mumbai or Manila.

Notice the order of magnitude difference in price?

Anyway I completely agree with his assessment that data costs outstrip the costs of hardware — and keep users from going with smartphones.  This is why some of what http://www.internet.org is doing is so important. Curt notes:

Google has also eliminated OS access from wireless carriers–like Apple did with AT&T seven years ago. Google took it a step further by understanding the great expense of mobile data for most users within India. They partnered with Airtel to allow Android One users to get free OS updates for the first six months—in time for a critical update to their more energy-efficient Android L OS. These users will also get up to 200MB of free data for app downloads per month.

I still don’t know how this will affect me and my teeny business, but I expect it will.  Noticing that it is happening hopefully prepares me to position myself earlier than some who have become completely enamored with Apple and the iPhone 6 launch here in the US and seem blind that the market of billions of users remains untapped.

Investors that bought Alibaba this week?  Smell the same opportunities.

 

 

URL Redirects – Important links during Web Presence migrations

New versions of Web Presence engines focus on content management -- and are improving the means of adding, adapting and publishing meaningful information to your viewers.
New versions of Web Presence engines focus on content management — and are improving the means of adding, adapting and publishing meaningful information to your viewers.

We are in a season of Web Presence upgrades.  For those operating self-hosted sites with WordPress.org, you should be aware of the recent release of the WordPress 4.0 site engine / CSS.

Matt Mullenweg <m@wordpress.org> circulated the following announcement the other day…

Just a few days ago, we released WordPress 4.0 “Benny” which has already been downloaded almost three-and-a-half million times! This release includes major improvements to the plugin directory, a much more pleasant environment to write in, with better embed support and an auto-expanding editor, and finally media has been made more functional and beautiful.

http://wordpress.org/news/2014/09/benny/

The reasons to upgrade are compelling … see those at the link above.

Anyway — if your upgrade means a complete web migration — you’re replacing a legacy site altogether — you’ll have issues with URL’s.  Here are some things to note.

If you have analytics data you should use it to design page titles in your new site.   If you don’t there are some other tools you can use that will help you anticipate the best keywords. (Ask us?)

Designing the page titles is important, but not critical — just realize that you can re-word these things as time passes.

But what about all of the existing SEO results that point to your old pages?  In your new site you should be able to install what are known as URL redirects.  These accept traffic from the old URL and “land” those visitors on the new page.

Be sure you have analytics operating in the new site.  You’ll be able to see which URL’s are being visited, but importantly — you ‘ll also be able to identify old URL’s that you need to provide redirects for.

On preparing ahead … the reality of Hemp industries

Government thirst for tax revenue drives political change.  Is your business positioning itself to benefit?
Government thirst for tax revenue drives political change. Is your business positioning itself to benefit?

Owing to past reflection on the subject of Hemp Business in this blog … it’s perhaps time to assess the process as we watch the required legislative changes taking place.  If you’ve been under a rock the past 24 months, you might not be aware that states (Oregon is one) are moving toward regulation over criminalization.  The ramifications are huge.

Hemp is the Gold Rush of the early 2000’s

In the IT world — we’re not concerned with growing, or refining or distribution or sales / consumption.  But we are excited about the enabling infrastructure and unique high-tech needs the industry will develop.  A few of these:

  • Smart Environmental Controls — being able to adjust lighting, HVAC and other critical components.   These are 24×7 and alerts will flow to Smart Phones where apps will permit tuning the facility on the fly.  These subsystems require everything from cabling and terminations, to Wireless hotspots and monitoring and maintenance, updates and all of the usual “computer” help.
  • Security — Placement of cameras, networks, other sensors and the alerts, responses and documentation that flows from these systems will require servers, storage and cloud services.
  • Marketing — Websites and community forums will emerge, but eventually so also considerable E-Commerce.   We hope Amazon and Ebay get ahead of the curve.

In summary, if your business has a footprint in these areas (and many more) you’re in position to benefit from legislative changes that are on the horizon.   If not, or your politics or “ethics” prevent  your professional consideration of the facts … that legalization is immanent … then that just leaves so much more for the rest of us.

We know that this moves ahead for one simple reason — Government is never without thirst for tax revenue.  If reform is required, politicians will eventually get behind it.

What are your thoughts?  How are you positioning your business to catch some of the wind driving “Sails” in Hemp business?

 

 

Internet.org – Redoubling Efforts

6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa.  Big business has noticed, and understands that getting online will drive product and service sales.
6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. Big business has noticed, and understands that getting online will drive product and service sales.

Worth reviewing this weekend…

News about Internet.org creating free network access for users:

PCWorld.com News Article July 31, 2014

The position http://internet.org develops comes from the basic statistic:

Only 1 out of every 3 people can go online.

Why aren’t more people connected?

  • Devices are too expensive.
  • Service plans are too expensive.
  • There’s no mobile network to connect to.
  • Content isn’t available in the local language.
  • Awareness of the value of internet is limited.
  • Availability of power sources is limited.
  • Networks can’t support large amounts of data.

Internet.org urges:

“Together we can remove these barriers and give billions of people the power to connect.”

Congratulations on your new Web Presence! Consider these thoughts.

Going from no Web Presence to a fully meshed site with blog and facebook / twitter feeds can feel like having a brain cramp.  But it can be very disruptive in your space.  We know how to help.
Going from no Web Presence to a fully meshed site with blog and facebook / twitter feeds can feel like having a brain cramp. But it can be very disruptive in your space. We know how to help.

An open letter based on dialogue with an agency we did some volunteer work for recently…

So! You registered a domain and directed traffic to a WordPress or Wix (wherever) website. Perhaps you’ve even built Facebook pages and are thinking about Twitter.

You’ve established a toe-hold in the process… consider these thoughts as you pursue development of your Web Presence.

If you’re an NGO/NPO — you’ll always need to design from the perspective of Succession Planning.  If you use personal tools, it will be clumsy to transition to the next volunteer or director.  Generic identities built upon email forwards and list management tools online like MailChimp.com or EventBrite.com are indispensable.

For an NGO / NPO – the identity of the franchise drives development of all of the web properties and this branding needs to be consistent across all aspects of internet tools.  NOT those of the leader — their personal style and character evaporate after they leave.

    • Facebook will require a bit of fitting before implementation and small bit of effort to connect, and then some instruction on publication / use.  There are some “agency” best practices operating for NGO/NPO — that helps answer the successor issue.  We shouldn’t be using personal page login credentials but be posting as the Page. — I know, confusing.
    • Learning the fundamentals of page and post attributes and using the media library, the CMS, and other page content / menu processes will require effort.
    • Content generation and refinement for the Static pages is not urgent, but it’s critical — long run. If your English isn’t excellent, you’ll want to find a good, fast copy editor.
    • If you’re considering a Twitter feed, same subset of issues as Facebook.
    • A weekly rhythm of posting should begin just prior to site “Launch”

In all these cases and others, the site needs to reflect your vision.

So, these Items require an investment of time.  Put in the hours that will result in a significantly disruptive change for you – something people will notice and be moved to follow.  Bear in mind, you’re moving from never operating a web presence to launching a really good one.

So what, in a nutshell, do you intend to accomplish with your site?  Begin with that clearly in view, and you’ll move the ball forward.

I know your schedule is cramped.  And as site owner, the initiative to push ahead / timeline is yours to manage.   A consultant can help!

Launch: At some point you’ll want to consider what kind of a “Launch” you want.

“soft launch” is normal — just go live (toggle out of sandbox mode) and circulate email.

But also, your launch could be optimized into a full-blown media blitz, with count-down clock culminating in cocktail hour and live event push with a tight focus on snagging followers / subscribers in the moment.  These can be really fun and generate buzz.

  • Embed an EventBrite widget sell tickets to fundraise — the app can be used to manage your email contacts list and capture new ones.
  • A couple of  months is a good planning horizon.

By the way, your launch method can be a combination / some measure of both.

Email campaigns – there is a whole range of list management and contact / relationship tools you should begin to incorporate – principally owing to your diligent consideration of successor planning in the NGO/NPO space.  Your personal contacts can’t be readily “handed off” — and retain any sense of history. This is an area you should find some time to address.  A consultant can help.

Conversely, it’s worth mentioning – by realizing these simple facts – that you haven’t spent a great deal of money, and very few even know you’ve begun. Therefore, if the bubble of work required to satisfactorily accomplish an attractive / professional presence isn’t feasible — you’re not harmed so much if you just let things go.

But you could be harmed if your site is launched and is full of errors (text, for instance – nothing is more off-putting to contributors and sponsors than poor use of English.)

In some cases – consultants are asked to use their experience / awareness of your context and best practices in your space to set things up.  Then folks live with it for a few seasons. A consult can be responsive to your needs and will / can continue to do so if you feed content to them, and help iterate improvements so that your vision is reflected.

We strongly suggest you find an intern / volunteer that can assume some or all of the content creation and maintenance aspects. Now is an excellent time to appoint that person into the role. Who within your membership has a son or daughter in HS or fresh out of college?

We hope you hit a home run with your effort.

Best $5 monthly fee we pay – just got better!

GHS - a suite of apps from email, to phone, calendar file share, webs, and multi-media.  Integrated. $5/mo.
GHS – a suite of apps from email, to phone, calendar file share, webs, and multi-media. Integrated. $5/mo.

Our solutions design process builds on free services. If needed we look at paying fees, we always aim for minimal expense.

So,we’ve had a policy — begin with Google Hosted services.

If for some reason clients can identify a legitimate reason the enterprise tools can’t work, or be extended… we’ll start looking at self-hosted or other combinations of services.

Well, in June Google announced that premium features will be added to basic accounts.  These new features go into effect in a few days.

This is the text of the “go live” announcement we received this morning:

Hello Administrators,

As we announced on June 16, the advanced capabilities and admin controls known as Google+ premium features will become standard for our existing business, government, and education customers. This change will take place the week of July 23.

After the change, these controls and capabilities will no longer be called premium features. The premium features setting will also be removed from the Admin console.

If you use Hangouts on Air (HOA), you might’ve noticed that enabling premium features disables HOA. To continue using HOA, just do one of the following:

Before July 23, proactively enable premium features for your domain, then re-enable HOA.

After premium features become the new default, enable HOA.
Visit the Google Apps Help Center to learn more about Google+ premium features.

The fees are minimal. $5/mo per account to start.  Amazing, right?

Okay but here’s something you should consider – Google is advancing the end-to-end messaging security thing.  Right now if you communicate within Google’s servers, your email is secure.  Our understanding is that it’s transparent — but message encryption/decryption is already in place.  That’s a big thing.

So if your enterprise is hosted at GHS, you’re starting from secure.   That’s step one.

Our Position on Oregon Hemp

Pot LeafPlease think about making a small donation to “New Approach Oregon”  (use this link or see the widget in the side bar at right.)

We support reforms that are aimed at regulation over criminalization.

We support policies aimed at treatment and recovery over those that drive incarceration.

We simply have to stop damaging families and lives.

Not users ourselves, but as devoted libertarian thinkers (notice the small “L”?) — we want government to tax and regulate — to cease wasting public treasure in the War on Drugs.  (Which we feel to be the biggest failed domestic policy — well — ever.)

Decriminalize pot and demilitarize our police.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us why we take this position.

Happening Today — Amazon Sumit

If you’re at all interested in “Where things are going”, Amazon is holding it’s AWS Summit in NYC this weekend.

Learn how IT is being removed from the business process — IT is being reshaped in the cloud….  AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a prism through which we can view our collective futures…

90 minutes you’d invest wisely — view the Keynote Address by Amazon.com Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Werner Vogels.

Event registration and resources here

 

 

Social Collaboration in the Agile Age

Engaging collaborators in the Agile Age -- requires fluent Social Media skill
Engaging collaborators in the Agile Age — requires fluent Social Media skill

Read with interest an article published on how Social Media has affected collaboration among Software Developer communities.

It’s being called the “Agile Age.”

What’s interesting to me is that it’s been my experience that the methods used by developers and engineers eventually percolate down to the rest of us.  For instance, in the 80’s as an engineer myself, I was utterly dependent on BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) for support.  And then BBS’s showed up in all sorts of places — Gardening communities, Radio Controlled Model Airplane nuts, every area of interest had one.

And I can see some of this happening again in Social Media– as a consultant, I’m ever more aware that my work depends upon diverse resources, near-instant responses and all of this across a variety of appliances (from desktops to tablets and phones.)

Social Media and Responsive webs are making this all possible.

True broadband Internet Access – Modeled as a Public Utility!

GoFiberUtah.Org home page.
GoFiberUtah.Org home page.

GoFiberUtah.org is advancing a new form of Information Highway Utility.  I’ll call it an IUC for Internet Utility Company.

In this example GoFiberUtah.Org is the precursor agency that is doing the precursor plumbing  and politics that will birth a Public / Private partnership, creating an IUC that will extend “Fiber to the Home” – and of course – businesses in their service area.

Visionary, to an extent.  This has happened before in different scenarios but this is the first instance that get’s close to a workable, scalable, sustainable implementation.

A fascinating component of the service proposal will be that “Basic” Access will be provided by the IUC to each “Address” in the network for free.

Read the Executive Summary for yourself!

Thrive on change!