Monday, November 9, 2015

Think Like A Start-Up

In my recent session at the Marketing Society I talked about the need to think like a start-up.

I'd therefore like to clarify further what I mean by this:

1. Support a test & learn culture
I was once told "The biggest issue with failing in not failing.... it is failing to pick yourself up again afterwards", but this is only part of the approach you need. You must also foster a culture that supports failure when it inevitably does happen, by encouraging innovation and testing to find out what works (and learning from those things that don't).

2. Be prepared to pivot
Accepting you are wrong is a humiliating experience and it is also a viable business strategy if your proposition or market isn't working. Lots of start-ups have changed their business model or product to suit a better customer need.

3. Learn from everyone you can
Big businesses tend to know a lot about their current situation (e.g. their products and typical customer attitudes & other insight). However start-ups learn quickly... they have to. But in my opinion it is their approach to fast learning that interests me.
They ask everyone, from people who have used their website or app just once... through to mentors and others who have done similar things many times before.
They ask about their product or service: what people liked, what they didn't like and more importantly how it could be improved.

Does your company do these things?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Do Hearts Not Stars Indicate Twitter's Plans

So today Twitter has traded the star “favorite” icon / button for a heart-shaped "like" one. This change takes it further away from it's origins as a stream of personal updates to being more of a sociable social network.
The heart, the almost global symbol of affection, moves Twitter closer in interactions terms to Facebook (which has had the 'Like' button for ages), Instagram and even Periscope (the app-based personal video streaming service owned by Twitter which uses hearts as an instant method of feedback).

But does this move also signal something else?

It has been well publicised within the tech & online community that Twitter hasn't been without more than its fair share of issues. Culminating this June with the departure of Dick Costolo as CEO and the instatement to the role of co-founder & Chairman Jack Dorsey. 

Could this move be an attempt to be more like bigger competitor Facebook (which since April 2013 also owns Instagram)? This may make Twitter more popular or useful in the Social Media community... which may in-turn make them more attractive to a buyer. 

But which large tech player would consider buying Twitter at this stage? Something to look-up on Google I suppose :-)