Posts Tagged ‘Ideas’

Why Must I Pay Twice For The Same Content?

August 10, 2010

Like many, I love to listen to audiobooks. Given that I read slowly, it allows me to get through books that interest me much quicker. In addition, it gives me greater flexibility as I can listen to the book while I drive.

For many books, such as novels, one listen to the book is sufficient. However as I mainly like to read business and marketing books, there are times where I would like to listen to the audiobook and yet have a copy of the ebook as a reference.

Yet today, assuming that I don’t want to rip a copy, it seems that my only option is to pay once for the audiobook and a second time for the ebook. This doesn’t seem reasonable to me.

It seems that the book publishing industry is still caught up in the old world model much like a large part of the newspaper and magazine industry. I want author’s and publisher’s to receive reasonable revenues but why should I have to pay twice for the same content?

And why can’t I buy an ebook once and use it on my iPad when it suits me and my Kindle when I want to read outdoors on a bright sunny day. Well, I guess the device manufacturers such as Apple and Amazon are responsible for this one together with the publishers.

I feel it is reasonable for book publishers to charge a premium if I want both the audiobook and the ebook but not double. And portability between devices should be a given.

And what about book rentals? There are many books that I would love to read but don’t want to buy all of them. In the physical world I can take them out at a library. Why can’t I do the same in the digital world?

This unfairness has miffed me for a long time. What do you think?

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The Facts Matter!

July 17, 2010

In a competitive world of 24/7 news channels and realtime online media, getting the story fast seems to trump getting it right. After all, if you can get 2 sources you can always retract latter as more complete information comes along.

And if you’re a big company, then it is reasonable to expect the media to be gunning for you, right? In his article in the National Post today, that is exactly what journalist Matt Hartley says about Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ response to the so called Antennagate story.

Matt suggests that by the use of facts and comparison of the iPhone 4s antenna problem to competitor’s products, Jobs will not win much sympathy and in fact many loose favor of consumers. It seems as if the media feels cheated out of not having brought Apple to its knees and receiving an apology or an embarrassing and expensive product recall.

There seems to be an implication online that upon hearing the complaints as put forward by Gizmodo and other online posts, Apple CEO’s appropriate response should have been to make an immediate apology to customers and investors and recall the entire 3 million iphone 4s. It would seem that according to many bloggers, taking an analytical measured response, like demanding the facts, doing testing and making a decision based on data seems to be the wrong way to go.

Well If the facts that Apple presented are to be believed, it seems that Apple’s iPhone 4 customers seem to be overwhelmingly satisfied with their purchase. And while the reception problem can be reproduced over and over in testing, very few real world complaints are coming forward.

After all, it is exactly because Apple consistently makes product that its customers ( and yes, Fans) want, and address their needs with the highest level of quality user experience, that Apple is no longer the little kid and has taken the dominant industry role.

In my mind, where a company and its CEO take logical steps to acquire the facts and then regardless of the outcome, offer to satisfy customers and refund them, no questions asked if they still are not satisfied, meets the test not only of being a good marketer but also good corporate stewards.

And if that still does not satisfy you, in the words of Jonathan Mann:

“if you don’t want an iPhone 4, don’t buy one, if you bought one and you don’t like it, bring it back”

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Just Get Started!

April 27, 2010

The biggest hurdle is is our doubts

Have you ever hesitated to start a project that you really would like to do?  Whether it’s losing weight, learning a language or maybe starting your own business, we often get overwhelmed by the enormity of the project and end up procrastinating.

Focus on the individual tasks

By breaking your mission into interim steps or goals, you will often realize that each one of these steps is attainable. Don’t worry about the length of the task list. Focus only on an individual task, the next task. And once you get started, the achievements of each step along the way will give you a sense of accomplishment and an increasing sense of confidence and motivation.

Start with the easy Steps

While some projects require steps to be performed sequentially, there will often be many steps which are not dependent on others. It is best to begin with easy steps that are quickly attainable. This will increase the likelihood of quick results and reduce risk of early discouragement. More difficult steps can be tackled later on once you are on a role.

Celebrate Successes along the way

You don’t have to wait until the project is complete to celebrate success. Completion of each step along the way is an achievement. Feel good about moving closer to your goal. Celebrating accomplishment along the way will help motivate you through the more difficult steps still to come.

Don’t Put it Off!

So why keep going over it in you head. Why only thinking about where you want to be? Don’t let your doubts delay your dreams. Just Get started!

Let me know how it goes.

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Do you love your fish?

March 29, 2010

The current wisdom is not always the best approach.

I have never been comfortable with limits that others place on me. I know there are accepted norms or rules of thumb that people use to look into the future but they are all of course based upon conventional wisdoms.

In his recent humorous and insightful Ted Talk “How I fell in love with a Fish” chef Dan Barber looks at the wisdom (or lack thereof) in the current agribusiness model and proposes innovative alternative approaches. He recounts a number of anecdotes about current industry practices and how they are justified by their objectives of making large amounts of food available at the lowest possible cost. Dan points out that while the output is indeed plentiful and produced at a low cost, it often does not taste good and the practices are not sustainable.

We each have the power to make a real difference on the world and in our lives.

In business as well as in life, I believe we must constantly be looking at how things are currently being done and asking ourselves what could make it better. I have always said that acceptance of the status quo by definition will not bring about change and will not advance the cause.

In today’s competitive would, those individuals and companies who are capable of bucking accepted truths will be the true winners.

Next Month, Business Week will publish their list of the Most Innovative Companies of 2010. Who do you think will be on the list? Not surprisingly, Apple and Google topped last year’s list. Just think about their innovations have changed our lives in music, wireless and how we use the web.

Don’t settle for the status quo.

Tomorrow when you start your day, rather than make it business as usual, ask yourself “how can I make a change that will make a difference?”

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You can change the World!

March 2, 2010

I have never liked the word “CAN’T”. Time and again you come up against this word when you are trying to get something done when inevitably someone tells you all the reasons why it can’t be done.

There are rules, and the rules are perceived to be the truth. They are unquestioned because it has always been that way.

Many people follow how things have always been done before without raising a question. They often recognize that it does not make any sense but they never question the process. After all, “That how it has always be done”.

But the world can be changed. I have experienced it many times when a person is unable to accept that it can’t be done and perseveres until they have made a change. It could be as simple as changing the way something is done in the workplace, at school, or in your community.

Recently, I had to deal with a multi-billion dollar company. They, as is the case with many large companies, were bogged down with the inflexibility of longstanding policy and procedure. “We can’t do that” or “We don’t do that”. Rarely, does someone say, “well that makes sense, lets see what I can do”.

Fortunately, by making my case and through perseverance coupled with the foresight of a few people within that company, I succeeded in getting them to do things they had not done before. The outcome was a benefit to both their company and mine.

I am a big fan of TED and regularly watch TED Talks. Recently, I came across a TED Talk given by Seth Godin last year. I think it speaks strongly to the power of ideas and how they can be spread if you simply reach out to other like-minded individuals and persevere.

If you really care about something. If you want to make it happen. If you don’t give in to “Can’t”. You can make it happen.

Don’t believe me? Just give it a try!