Products

The Product as The Logo

There are few brands that have the courage not to put their logo on their products. This is a great reminder that the brand is the offering, the product experience, and the value you get that make distinctive. They don't need to even put the logo on the face because they are more focused on providing a design and an experience that you will definitely notice.

Let's see if you can figure which brands these products are. Mouseover if you don't know :)

 

iPod Shuffle

 

iPhone 4

 

chrome browser

 

Focus on the Results Only... If You Want to Fail

So you want to loose some weight? The best thing to do, is to look at yourself in the mirror ten times a day. Every morning check out the latest developments on the sides of your belly, your thighs, and anywhere else that loves to accumulate fat. These are the visual results of yesterday's activities. You should also keep checking your weight three times a day, and make sure you are familiar with the results as much as possible. To be more in touch with results, please check all the clothes that you have and make sure you know which ones still fit and which don’t fit anymore. Focus also on how much you are able to eat as opposed to the past, and how much less exercise you can perform. And keep going like this until you really loose yourself, instead of loosing weight.
This is how you focus on results and results only. This is the “right and professional” way of working. You keep thinking about whatever results you are getting.
Several problems.
First, you cannot control the results, so stop focusing on them. You can’t force people to love your product, or adopt your new technology.
Second, you will create stress in the environment. Instead of looking at the sky and feeling bad about the result (rain), you know what the obvious thing to do is.
Third, you will loose touch with reality and the great opportunities that come with it. The map you have for yourself about the world is necessarily not the most accurate, and you gain better understanding as you go through the process. The more focused you are on the results the more likely you are to miss these opportunities.
Fourth, no learning, no experience. For the same reasons, you are out of touch with the realities, and you will not allow for serendipity to enter your world. You are also shutting yourself out of your ability to contain serendipity in the project. 
In my strategy course in college, we were taught that the proper way of executing a strategy, is to decide on it, and follow through until you achieve it. As a control freak, I had a simple question, “what if we discover half way through, that we don’t have the right strategy?”. I didn’t have the guts to ask that question, but I do now.
Our other class on flexibility in the new market place made sense though.

 

The Product: Some Questions to Ask

After getting my hands over my new computer, I was engaged in my typical childish excitement, that I always had whenever I got something new in my life. I would wake up feeling that there is a certain addition to my life, and that I'm surprisingly just a bit happier that day. What makes this more interesting, are the five minutes of meaningless happiness that I feel trying to remember why I'm happy in the first place. And I become happier when I remember what that “something” is.
So I started wondering how far this computer can take me, and how far I can take it. Can it give my life a new boost, in terms of productivity and speed? How different would my life be after I start using it?
And so I started thinking about this new gift. Some other questions popped up in my mind also; do the products that I work on provoke similar questions in the minds of end users? Scary! Do they anticipate the changes that we make as intensely and as happily as I was anticipating the features of my new computer? Scarier!
Other scary questions also started crawling into my mind, “Do people who work with me have these anticipations about working with me?” Very scary! “Do they think that working with me is an “addition” to their work and life?”
It’s can really get fun to ask yourself these questions and move away from the stupid daily mundane questions and wonderings. Just for a change. It’s also a healthy approach. Try it!

Heavy and Interesting Web 2.0 Report

web 2.0 reportGetting to know the Web in its second version was quite interesting, to say the least. Addictive, to be more exact. The intellectual challenge that I need to have on an ongoing basis is one thing. Being a long tail person myself also magnified the effect, since Web 2.0 has more space than any person can imagine, and there is something for everyone in it.
This report includes a heavy explanation and analysis about what makes a great Web 2.0 application / website, and what are the main practices these organizations are applying. The report is prepared by O'Reilly Media, the inventors of the word "Web 2.0", and it summarizes the findings of the conference held at the end of 2006 regarding this new phenomenon.
Watch out, this is only for the heavy readers, I shared it with some colleagues of mine (Internet professionals) and they struggled with the material in it.
Full of structured examples and live citations it can actually be so much fun to go through all the examples in light of the principles discussed and thinking about how to apply them.
It's an absolute must-read for the dedicated Web professional trying to make sense of all the chaos and turmoil going on.
A lot of presentations and interviews are available here for that conference and other conferences by O'Reilly. Highly recommended.

Talasim.com to Sponsor the "Shabablik" Toolbar

I just finalized a very good deal with the owners of Talasim. This is a site that is really cool and hilarious. It collects, or rather allows users to submit all the funny ads and ridiculous communications that we see in our daily lives.
They will be having a full channel devoted to live feeds from their site to be added to the Shabablik Toolbar. At the same time a download link for the toolbar will be added on the Talasim site.
Shabablik will benefit from gaining new users and becoming more interesting through more interesting content. At the same time, Talasim will get more users, and will be "one click away" from their current users. They will have their logo on the browser screens of users all the time while they surf the Web. This will hopefully improve traffic for them.
The main strategy for this toolbar, is to gain the support of a few really interesting communities by having them featured as the main content contributors. Each channel will be focusing on their own specialty, and Shabablik will be an aggregator and anchor to get more users, and communities interconnected.

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Mediadisk in the Middle East


I just got back from Dubai after attending a training course on Mediadisk. This is the world's leading media database, and includes around 800,000 contacts from 200,000 media outlets. The main advantage for this database is appreciated by anyone working on media communications on a daily basis.
Building and filtering lists according to many different criteria, grouping the data, and distributing emails and press releases is much easier with this system. I also saw how much hard work it takes for the researchers to gather and constantly update the regional data, which is in itself a feature of the product.
Mediadisk has a Middle East & North Africa module available, and anyone interested can book a free demo, to get to know the system. More details are available on the Products page of Mediadisk.

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