Google has just launched Google Fi a wireless service that switches between a carrier network and WiFi depending on signal strength. The launch Google says is not intended to disrupt phone carriers. Which maybe true it is only being rolled out on the Nexus 6 device for now. Yet if this launch is successful it will be easy to see how this can set Google up to enter the carrier market. Priced at $20 a month with a charge of $10 per gb used this would be one of the best priced carrier services especially when you consider the refunds that a consumer would get for unused Data.
As google is already a major player in the phone industry with Android, is this the next major step?
With our presentations coming up, I thought I would post an article that discussed tips that may help your team improve there pitch. Your idea is only as good as your pitch. Even with a great idea, if you can’t clearly explain it or paint a picture for your audience, your idea is worthless. Here are some tips to look over before finalizing your pitch.
1. Start with an overview of what your company does – Explain the problem you are solving and describe how you will be doing this. You want to very clear when describing your application.
2. Keep it simple – You do not want to confuse your audience. You want the audience to be able to follow your entire presentation without many questions.
3. Involve your whole team in the presentation – It helps to have the whole team up there and presenting some sort of information. It helps show that your team is well rounded and on the same pa
4. Be ready to answer questions – We were lucky enough to do a trial run in front of class. We got to see what questions people may have following our presentations. Based off those questions, focus on what other questions people may have and how to answer the questions that were already asked.
5. End with a summary – Recap with the main points you want the audience to leave remembering.
6. Don’t be discouraged by negative feedback – Just because the pitch or presentation does not go according to planned does not mean that you have a bad idea.
7. If you don’t understand the feedback, ask for clarification – You will gain valuable information and see where your team can improve.
Do you guys find these tips helpful?
What other tips do you have for the class to prepare for their pitch?
Creating value for your startup is a repetitive process that you must constantly be changing and upgrading. Long term success is achieved by constantly creating and recreating value.
1. Create value – obviously the first step would be to create the initial value. You need to set your product apart from all of your competitors.
2. Capture value – next you need to choose business activities that your customers are willing to pay for, but still at a high enough price where your company can remain sustainable off of the profits.
3. Renew value – this is where you see companies that appear on the surface to be doing great drop out of the market. Renewing value is the most important of the three steps for long term success. Adapting to the market you are in is very important. (think about disruptive innovation)
If you take a look at the article, it discusses what happened with Blockbuster and the rise of Netflix. It then discusses how Netflix needs to keep an eye out for HBO and CBS due to their online streaming customers. What could Blockbuster have done to prevent Netflix from capturing their customers?
Do you guys agree that the third step is where successful companies need to focus on for long term success?
What other things do you feel are important in regards to value and startups?
We learned about autonomous vehicles as we were going over disruptive innovations earlier in the semester. This article is saying that within the next five years we will begin to see autonomous features in new cars. The article isn’t suggesting that these cars will be COMPLETELY autonomous yet, but more and more autonomous features will be coming out. A possible feature would be autonomous driving in traffic jams that will function based off of lane alerts. Also, there has been discussion around assisted parking.
What autonomous features do you think would be most beneficial/convenient?
What features do you think will come out first?
Walter Isaacson thinks that the new innovation of micropayments could save journalism. The idea of micropayments is that you would use your device to pay very small amounts at a time for items, such as news articles. With newspapers finding it increasingly difficult to make revenue Isaacson things this is just what they need to save journalism. He also asserts that it could be used for crowdfunding as each person would be giving just a very small amount of money. He asserts that digital currencies and micropayments will be the disruptive innovation of 2015.
Do you think this could save journalism? Would you use the system to get access to articles? What about for crowd funding? How do you think this will effect other areas of business? Do you think it will be the dissruptive innovation of 2015?
Chris Joseph from Demand Media identified some positives and negatives of how engrained IT has become into business today.
He said that the major benefits were saving money and time. Because you don’t need to all be in the same physical location anymore and teleconferencing technology has improved greatly money is saved by some workers working form home and others not needing to travel to hold meetings. Technology has sped up many business processes that has in tern saved a lot of money.
The drawbacks he identified were dependance and the need to upgrade. Unfortunately, technology does not always improve efficiency. Being so relent on technology can cause massive losses if that equipment or software were to go down. Also, since technology is always changing you will always need to upgrade your systems which will cause many expenses in the future.
Do you agree that these are benefits and drawbacks of technology in business? Can you identify others? Which do you think are the most important to consider.
Corinne Roberts from Salesforce wrote an article on what aspects of customer service turn customers off of buying products. She identified 3 key areas to keep in mind when using your CRM. These are:
Oppressive: She said that you should make yourself available through many channels but not communicate with the same customer through all of them. People get annoyed when you sent them too many messages. The best way to utilize your CRM is to identify the way customers prefer to be contacted and only use that channel to talk to that customer.
Intrusive: Customers don’t want to feel like you’re constantly watching them. She warns to be careful of how much predictive analytics and targeted advertising you use so they don’t feel like you are invading their privacy.
Unsafe: Just because you can do something, and it might be more convenient for the customer, doesn’t mean you should. For this one she gave an example of a car company putting an espresso machine into a car that will endanger drivers. I think a better CRM specific example would be posting publicly about a customer’s current location or their daily routine.
What do you think of these practices she identified? Do you think there are more way that companies can go too far with their CRMs? Do you have any examples of a company going too far?
In the U.S more than $2.5 trillion flows through car-related industries every year. This article states that where this money will flow in the future depends on whether cars will require human drivers. The big auto companies are all pursuing strategies that augment rather than eliminate human drivers, while Google is going directly to fully autonomous cars because they believe asking a human driver who is reading or daydreaming to take over the car in an emergency will not work.
The article talks about the possibility of fleet-operated driverless taxis and how this will hurt car dealers because the fleet operators will likely go straight to the manufacturer and bypass the dealers. This would also impact the auto loans and financing industries because less people will be buying cars as well as the car rental market. The $255 billion trucking industry would be impacted because it would make companies rethink how they transport goods and it could eliminate many truck-driving jobs.
Do you think fully autonomous cars will help or hurt the economy? Do you think autonomous cars with human drivers would have less of an impact on the economy?
Target partnered with Lilly Pulitzer, a luxury clothing line, and created a collection that would sell at a fraction of the cost of regular Lilly Pulitzer items. The demand for the product line was incredible and took the entire Target website offline for about 20 minutes. Target also delayed the online launch of the collection by two hours, and ask traffic got heavier, Target made the website inaccessible.
A Target spokesman said, “We realize there is an extreme amount of excitement around this collaboration, and we apologize for any disappointment this may have caused our guests.” However, it seems like Target was happy with the buzz this collection created even if it annoyed customers.
Target recently took back control of its web operations from Amazon, and this incident highlights the shortcomings of Target’s online infrastructure. Can Target compete with companies like Amazon if its website cannot handle high surges in demand like the Lily Pulitzer sale? Should Target be more concerned about its IT infrastructure than it is?
In this UX Magazine article, author Avi Itzkovitch disucusses how the Internet of Things can be used to create disruptive innovations. The main point of this article talks about how connecting a device or sensors to a network is just not enough to create a new disruptive technology, but how we use the connection to our advantage to disrupt current technologies. One example he uses is under his titled section “A Lock on Added Value”. There are already technologies that allow a user to unlock one’s front door via smartphone. However, he talks about a company called August Smart Lock who added an extra functionality to their smart lock that allows the user to share a virtual key to household members or other houseguests who are visiting your home. This gives the smart lock an added value by providing a virtual network around monitoring and providing access to your house. Now this idea certainly seems to have its flaws, but it is a creative idea that could disrupt the old technology that has secured our houses for hunsdreds of years. He also states a few other examples in the article of how utilizing connected devices can disrupt current product markets. Can you think of any examples of how using already exisitng technologies that have the ability to connect to a network can disrupt current markets?