Archive for October, 2010

thick value

Man,  another reason to love Apple.

I don’t know if it just coincidence, but I recently just bought a new macbook pro and was left  wondering…  what the hell to do with my ol’ imac desktop from 2005?!  Well seconds later Apple emails me this genius. RECYCLE AND GET A GIFT CARD.

This make so much sense for electronics, you use them nicely for 3-4 years and then you want the new thing. That’s how I roll anyways. But then nobody wants it! I could get something out of it through ebay. But this is such a nice alternative.  The recycling makes me feel good, and the gift card brings me back to Apple to buy stuff I’d want.

Is there a way to recycle your old products? Instead of it becoming junk, creating a more sustainable business. Cos that my friends is THICK value.  Apple gives you a solution every step of the process.  That creates loyalty.

I mean they recycle their competitors, the PCs as well, who else does that?!

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imagine a free gym

It’s funny after reading a book on a topic, you then seem to focus on that aspect on  everything else you see in the world. Recently, for me, its been the free concept.

Free by Chris Anderson gives an awesome explanation of economics and marketing in 19th and 20th century and then about how companies can make money from things that are free.

One of the cool ideas he mentions in passing is a free gym chain in Denmark. Imagine if a gym charged you for not showing up? Otherwise was free as long as you went every day. Punishes you for not being healthy, and basically rewards by not paying at all! Sounds like something from realm of behavioural economics (well guess what? it is!). Chris Anderson explains the psychology behind it:

When you go every week, you feel great about yourself and the gym. But eventually you’ll get busy and miss a week, you’ll pay, but you’ll blame yourself alone. Unlike the usual situation where you pay for a gym you’re not going to, your instinct is not to cancel your membership; instead it’s to redouble your commitment.

What else can you do?  You charge  for the strength training classes,  since the kind of people who go everyday love being healthy, so probably be willing to pay to make stronger muscles! Put a juice bar in there to also monetize on the freemium you used to market to these gym loving fanatics.

If they fail to make the 2 times a week schedule (got busy) you ding them 60 dollars for that month. So in reality if say you missed just 2-3 times a year, you would still be paying less than a full year membership! Why? Because  most gyms today actually make money on you NOT using it. The pricing depends on the particular costs of setting up the gym, etc, but this is the gist of this radical idea.

curiousity

I came across a very cool video this weekend. A Dad and son team somehow put an HD Camera, use an iphone for GPS and balloon together and sent it off to space, to record space!

Honestly, if this was some MIT engineers I’d think, yeah whatever big deal. But because it was this seemingly normal cool Dad doing a science project with his kid makes it super amazing.

And the footage is just trippy. I recommend getting some snacks and putting the speakers to max to get a feel full effects of this space recording! How did they manage to get up there is beyond my understanding of science. But someone was curious enough to try. If there wasn’t that, none of this would happen. We all do things because we are curious. If doesn’t interest you, you don’t do it.  There is no monetary reason to record space, but they did it just because it was fun.  Cheers to that.

less is more!!

be like water

Less is more. Less is More.

Its getting quite scary how this philosophy rings true in so many facets of life. I was flipping through the awesome Paradox of Choice recently, which basically explains we feel worse when given too many choices.

For example, when given free samples of jams in a store, 30% of people exposed to 6 jams bought a jar.  Only 3% of people exposed to 24 jams bought a jar.

Sounds totally count intuitive doesn’t it?  The fact that some choice is good doesn’t mean that more choice is better. More options you entertain makes every new option seem less and less attractive. There is beauty in good enough, instead of only seeking the best!  (people who constantly change tv channels are really annoying).

So why not make it easier for the customer and reduce the choices?

This would make a better shopping experience for the customer, because the decisions would require less effort, it would lessen making mistakes, and reduce this massive regret after buying it!

Making less, also allows you to change fast, market to the consumer again, show them you want to change, then change it and present to them again. Faster. Its about creating customers who want to pay for their solutions. And wow them with an amazing product that they want.

Of course how to convey why its so special is important, but a part of that relates to exclusivity. That feeling that there isn’t anywhere else you can find that product or service is very powerful.

This is also why small has the advantage in creating amazing niche products. Big Companies are too bureaucratic to act fast and just give the most choice (generic products).  Apple is the prime example of a small company that can make profits that dwarf the 20th century ‘factory business.

how good of a listener are you?

Do your friends compliment you on how awesome you are at knowing what they want?  Cos you know exactly your friends taste, her preferences, what would make her so happy that she starts saying thank you! thank you! over and over again? When your hip hop club loving friends enter your car, do you start playing Kasabian?? (cos they’re really awesome) Hell no! You play them Jay Z, Kanye, Notorious, cos these artists fits their mood. You have to know your audience. It pays to know your audience.  You adjust to their tunings.

Obviously this isn’t so easy. Most people are self-interested, including me. People think everything is glorious in their world and don’t understand how life is for someone else. And it can’t be what you think they want either, but what they actually desire.

Instead what happens is companies shove all this crap down our throats that no one cares about.  What they don’t get is it just makes them look great to themselves only!  And that annoying theme song actually makes me want to destroy your business with a bazooka. Cos if it doesn’t address our concerns, why should we care about it?  We only care until it caters to us. Start listening.