What can you do to differentiate yourself when you make or sell a traditional product? You will have to innovate in another way. One solution is rethinking how you present and market your product. To illustrate my point, take an old-fashioned, comfy soup recipe. With a little bit of imagination, you can turn a simple mushroom soup into a more desirable mushroom…
The first version of the minimalist blogging platform Ghost has been launched to the public Monday. To tell you the truth, I can’t wait to try it out. I recalled how thrilled I was when I read the post by John O’Nolan that started the whole project. I said “At Last, someone who understands my problems.”
Around the same time, I often talked with my tech husband about the dated WordPress interface. Frankly, the look and feel of their administrative screens seems old. I often mentioned how it was not easy to blog on site when I’m visiting a trade show or attending a conference.
As a user, I feel that WordPress kind of makes my life more complicated by not integrating in their system the basic and standard components needed for blogging. Managing plugins for the most basic stuff is time not well spent. Although WordPress works well, WordPress has stopped adding tools for bloggers a long time ago. Bloggers are not a priority for them. I don’t foresee that it will change in the future, especially when the bread and butter of so many WordPress developers are in Web sites, not blogs.
Going back to Ghost, the great responses that John O’Nolan got from his original concept led to a Kickstarter campaign that raised $300,000 in a month, way more than he expected to raise when he launched it. It was clear by now that Ghost fills a void in the market.
I finished reading the latest business book written by Bruce Nussbaum this weekend. Bruce Nussbaum is a former assistant managing editor for Business Week. He is now Professor of Innovation and Design at Parsons The New School of Design.
The first thing that is worth mentioning is that it is a book about being creative every day in the corporate world. Secondly, the book was written by a thinker, not a doer, nor an entrepreneur. This is what caused the weaknesses of this book, in my opinion. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading Creative Intelligence. The chapters about the Makers and the Indie Capitalism were the most inspiring for me because they reaffirmed that I chose the right path when I repositioned my career earlier this year.
I could talk for hours about why I think that Grand Designs is the best home design show on the planet. I have been a long-time fan. The first time that I mentioned the magazine in a post was in 2005. I did it again in 2007 and 2010. Thanks to BBC Canada, I was able to watch the series for a few years.
This post is not about my passion for modern architecture. Instead, I want to talk about what you can learn, as an entrepreneur, from the structure of the TV show and from the homeowners featured in that show. When you consider what is involved emotionally and economically when you are building a uniquely designed house, you will see that these homeowners face the same challenges that startups have.
Retailers spend a lot of money trying to drive customers into their stores and yet they are neglecting something that is simple to fix. Let me share a little secret; business hours are as important as location.
Last night, I called my husband before he left work to ask him to buy a bottle of wine for supper. Jerome asked me which liquor store was still open? So, I checked online.
I had to open a link for each store that was on my husband’s route to find the answer — there were many. Strangely, the people who created the SAQ’s Web site imagined that most customers will want to know the branch’s fax number. I don’t know about you, but if I use a store locator is because I plan to go to a store.
Kids as young as two years old are able to appreciate art. Last night, I got another proof that toddlers can be moved by art the same way that we do.
My husband hung a small painting from an established local artist on a wall of my son’s bedroom while I read the bedtime stories to our son in the living room. As he stepped into his bedroom, the painting captured his attention. My son had a true awe moment. The first thing my toddler boy did after he noticed the painting was to sat in front of it to admire it further. I am so glad that I resisted the temptation when I was pregnant to buy him baby art. At the time, I had the feeling that he would outgrow his nursery quickly. He did!
For me, making people’s life simpler, knowing when to think outside of the box, finding a solution that delights the customers while being profitable are at the heart of everything a business should do. This is why I love design. As an entrepreneur, design plays a big role in the toolbox I use everyday to tackle challenges, discover opportunities and solve problems.
Although more and more companies are starting to understand that, we still need to educate executives and business owners about the value of investing in design. This is why I applauded the making of this video by the Design Council in UK. The video explained, in plain language, how adding design to their process can lead to more revenues for small businesses.
There is no doubt that you can’t expect to become influential if you publish something once a week or even, once a day. The need to often produce and publish quality content can be overwhelming for brands. But it doesn’t have to be that hard. Part of the solution is to better manage your efforts. The way that I achieved the right balance between quantity and quality is by being a curator and a content producer. In fact, each function fuels the other.
The first order of business is figuring out what you can do to share relevant tweets, statuses and posts to your followers. What I found out through my consulting work is that companies have many sources of meaningful information that they don’t put to use. This is where collaboration between several business units at your company can save you time.
For example, talk to the people who follow the news on your industry at your company. It doesn’t have to be their official job. Ask them to feed you the best stories to read, to write about and to share with a comment. Most news should not be about you but about topics that are relevant to your customers and prospects. Make sure to tell the people who follow the news what you are looking for so they can bookmark the right stories and pitch you the right ideas.