Monday, February 16, 2015

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Steve Jobs and the Human-Machine Interface

Mr. Jobs understood that the best technology incorporates the arts and humanities, Mr. Isaacson told the audience on Monday.
"Jobs was a genius in understanding how people would related emotionally to their devices," he said. "He understood the emotion, beauty, and simplicity that makes for a great human-machine interface."
Walter Isaacson - biographer of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs had a deep understanding of human-machine interfaces. That is why people love Apple products and why Apple has recently surpassed all previous business profits in a financial quarter.

Such success happens when you understand both humans and technology. The arts and humanities represent the human spirit and its creative urges. An understanding of what humans desire and value helps in the design of technology. It's not just about rationality but the buying behavior of humans encapsulates emotional wants. Jobs understood this and stood against design decisions that were only based on rational technological/scientific perspectives.

Jobs made history. Long live Apple and may Steve's vision be carried on.


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Saturday, February 14, 2015

Big Business Greed vs The Quaker Ethic

Look at the Quakers - they were excellent business people that never lied, never stole; they cared for their employees and the community which gave them the wealth. They never took more money out than they put back in.
Anita Roddick

In a previous post I talked about big business greed and how it will look in the light of history. In this post I want to give an ethical counterpoint to big business greed. The Quakers live simple lives and have been honest business folk for hundreds of years. The key point in their business practice (besides honesty) is their attitude to the communities in which they have their businesses. They see the community as a supportive matrix for business where you have good stewardship and never take more money out of than you put in. That is they are net community contributors.

This is a far cry from the big corporates who display contempt for the communities that sustain them. They reap where they have not sown and take out far more money than they put in. Long term this is unsustainable.

Small business is what has made America great. We had community based businesses that stayed open for generations and made an honest living for their owners and a positive contribution within the constraints of the community. Eventually this is the model we will have to return to if we are to survive. Note: If small businesses in the USA payed as little taxes as the tax evading corporations we would be bankrupt.

Unbridled profits, like unbridled horses pose a danger to an honest way of business.

Be honest, support your community and prosper.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Who is your Customer?

To be successful in business you need to be able to answer the question, "Who is my customer"?

Why is this important?

Customer identification is important for the following reasons:

1. It helps you to match your product/service to a targeted audience

2. It allows you to focus your marketing efforts

3. It saves you time and the pain of dealing with tire kickers

We only have so much time available every day and we need to apply it to best effect. Having a targeted customer group saves time and makes your advertising efficient. Your messages can be written with your customer group in mind. This allows you to move from a scattered shotgun to an accurate rifle shot approach.

I market to people who want to start their own online business. I sell evergreen products that I know have high numbers of repeat sales which help me build residual income. The lists I use and my advertising efforts are all focused on this demographic. If you have hungry people they will want to eat the food you serve up. If someone is happy with a day job working for a boss then they won't be hungry for marketing that accentuates the benefits of working for yourself (e.g. How may takers would you have for selling a dinner package to people coming out of a buffet?).

Know your customer, meet their hunger and prosper!



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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Yunus on Social Business and Poverty

“Once poverty is gone, we'll need to build museums to display its horrors to future generations. They'll wonder why poverty continued so long in human society - how a few people could live in luxury while billions dwelt in misery, deprivation and despair.”
― Muhammad Yunus, Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism

The current situation where big business rapes and pillages the environment and pauperises the majority of the world's population is immoral and unsustainable. Remember history, "they will come after you with their pitchforks".

The luxury aspired to and enjoyed by a small oligarchy is obscene and their lack of concern for others is monumental. I would prefer to have less so that others can live with dignity.

Social Business shows us the dignified way where business is embedded as part of, not an overlord, the society it operates in. Profits are necessary, obscene profits especially when derived from legal tax avoidance are anathema to me and a growing number of people who wonder about the sustainability of current big business.

Sadly I'm not sure that we will ever get to a state of no poverty but it is a fine aspiration.


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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Driving Your Blog Presence

In a recent blogpost Mahesh Mohan shares three interesting points from an Infographic by Business 2 Community.

They are as follows:

1. 80% of daily blog visits are new.
2. Blogs that post daily get 5 times more traffic than those that post weekly or less.
3. Once you accumulate 51 posts, blog traffic increases by 53%, goes up by 3 times after 100 posts and by 4.5 times after 200 posts.

These are mind blowing statistics.

If you are using blogs to drive your web presence and marketing then these 3 facts will help you.

Mohan also shares that evergreen posts of high quality get enduring exposure. He pruned a number of his old posts and retained only 157 evergreen posts and his stats stayed unchanged. The lesson is that quality drives quantity.

Happy blogging


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