Google says Fi is not intended to disrupt wireless carriers. No one believes it.


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?

Here is the article. 

Marketing your startup

Marketing for a startup can be challenging.  According to this article, marketing success is determined by combining the right channels of marketing content and PR.  Before starting to market a new startup it is important to develop a marketing strategy to build a foundation. The following things need to be handled first.  Choose a market, define keywords, define success, set core metrics, estimate conversion rate, and setting a budget.

Next is using the social media outlets that work best for your company and using them effectively.  This is the most common way used today to try and reach people.  I am sure that most of us will be implementing some use of social media with our applications.  When using social media you want to focus on these things: Choosing the right social media networks, defining the best times to post,  using a keyword list, creating and using an influence list, and setting up a blog.

PR also play a huge role in releasing a startup.  Knowing what to say, when to say it, and who to say it to are the main focuses of PR.  When dealing with PR within your company remember to: Create meaningful position statements, define your startup sensitivities, identifying the right writers for a media list, creating a press kit, and reaching out to journalists.

Once the PR is handled you want to start to think about the content creation.  Although, we will not formally go into content creation, the rest of the article talked about content creation.  When creating content for marketing you startup[ remember to: Create a topic list, know what types of content to publish (Newsletter, video, webinar, etc.), have guest blogging, and capture emails.

Now your marketing strategy is in full effect.  Also, down the road think about testing and iteration.  Your company can set up analytic tools, measure against benchmarks, and brainstorm creative new ideas  You may want to also think about what successful startups have already done drive success.  Focus on selling the solution, having a compelling story , and using all of your resources.

Has your group been using any of these tools when focusing on the marketing side of our project?  I know we are not formally marketing our products, but some of these things come in handy when developing a marketing strategy.

Article: The Ultimate Guide to Startup Marketing



Cloud computing brings changes for IT security workers


IT security experts are struggling to compete with cloud computing.  Because of the low cost and expertise received from vendors like Google and Amazon, security professionals are failing in determining configuration management processes.  Configuration management means recording and updating data for software and hardware to know which applications are used on computers.  This is difficult because it requires understanding what employees do in an organization, and why certain technologies are used to operate in the business.  Since this is a difficult process and not all IT departments are aligned with the business, enterprises are turning to cloud providers who have a better understand for a lower price. Security professionals need to create a business case to gain support on using in-house employees instead of a vendor to combat this threat.  The article recommends talking about how much money can be saved from removing software that is not part the configuration plan.  If this trend continues, IT and enterprise computing could turn into a commodity and simply outsourced, which means less control and less peace of mind for the business.

How else do you think security professionals can compete against these vendors? Do you think that IT has a threat to be turned into a commodity?

The Five Marketing Must-Haves of an Online Startup

In our first meeting with our mentor, he expressed serious concerns regarding our marketing strategy. This was because we didn’t have one. Each of us may have had some sense of how we wanted to market the application, but there wasn’t a clear direction.

This Entrepreneur article provides five marketing tips for a startup.

1. Focus on customer experience

This means designing a simple application that is easy to use. No matter how good an application is, if people have difficulty using it, they won’t.

2. Cross promotions/exposure

Know your target demographic. Where do they usually hang out (online or offline)? Promote your products at these places.

3. Content strategies

“Establish your brand as a subject-matter expert.”

4. Build virality into your product/experience

How can you get people to share your startup naturally?

5. Media exposure

If you can’t get top-tier media exposure, getting blogs to write about you is a good start.

This is in no way a comprehensive list. Do you agree or disagree with these points? Are there tips that you would consider more valuable than the ones listed above?

Why Disruptive Innovation is Not a Strategy

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In light of our learning about disruptive innovation and reading about companies like Apple who have used it to their advantage, I found an article claiming that disruptive innovation is not a strategy and that companies should stop striving for it. The author, Soren Kaplan, explains how while many companies are striving to create disruptive innovation strategies, the inherent vagueness of the term makes it a lousy strategy. It’s not a linear method or process, and there is no way to capture how to do it.

The idea isn’t new- originally introduced in 1942 as “creative destruction” by economist Joseph Schumpeter, and it has since become an accepted paradigm, until Jill Lapore started to chip away at the idea. She believes that the concept of disruptive innovation “has been used as an argument for blowing up the broken healthcare and education systems, which minimizes the fact that these long standing institutions are complex social services delivered by human beings, not just stale technologies ready to be displaced by the next big thing.” 

The author also goes on to explain how even one of the greatest innovators of all time, Steve Jobs, didn’t try to change the industry when he started Apple. He was quoted saying “When we created the iTunes Music Store, we did that because we thought it would be great to be able to buy music electronically, not because we had plans to redefine the music industry.” Kaplan goes in to cite the founders of Google as well, claiming that they too started with a basic vision, not a grand idea of disruptive innovation and changing the world. 

Do you think that disruptive innovation is a sound business strategy? Is it something to strive for or is it just something that happens?

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