Alessandro's imperial opinion


Currently working here, have a look!

Currently working here, have a look!

In order to create a successful new company, you have to find an idea that has escaped the attention of the major Internet companies. But how many ideas like that are left?

Internet is not a young growth forest anymore. There are giant redwoods. They have large canopies. Not much grows in the canopy. Fortunately the forest is expanding, overrunning traditional industries. Entrepreneurs can still build big businesses on the outskirts.

David Sacks, co-founder of PayPal and founder of both Geni & Yammer encourages entrepreneurs to stay away from the big tech firms (such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple) because they are hard to compete with. Entrepreneurs need “think bigger” and take on industries that are not immediately sexy but solve bigger problems. They need to focus on reinventing education, healthcare, energy and even less noble industries such as television, telephony and financial services.

Source: Mark Suster blog

(via connected-marketing)

Bravery in the 21st century by McCann Erickson

Bravery in the 21st century by McCann Erickson

The cost of a LOGO, see how much Global Firms paid for their logos

August at the seaside

I’m currently staying in Cervia, spending my summer holidays. For those who don’t know where Cervia is, is a nice city overlooked onto the sea, with a long tradition of wealth in the 70s 80s and mid 90s, that in the last 5 years has seen its gradual decline.

This decline forced the commerciant to use different strategies in order to survive, the most resounding I’ve stepped into are completely opposite and brought a series of thoughts and considerations aiming to understand which one could be the most sensible. Not profitable. That is a huge difference.

1: A place where the youth usually stop by to drink from 6 p.m. to late night reduced prices of almost the 50% during the week days.

2: A small grocery store, with brands of low/middle quality, raised prices indiscriminately, for example a 6 pack of water cost 4,00 €.

I understand that the two example are not fit to be compared, but the price-raising strategy is something that i never thought of in this crisis context, maybe because I a priori excluded the successfulness of it.

But the evidence proves that I may be wrong: in the pub mentioned in the point 1, I noticed an important decrease in customers, while the grocery store is pretty much all the time full of customers, even though it is near an important italian retailer that base its strategy on low prices.

What is happening?

"The need originate the idea, and the idea drive the action."

"The need originate the idea, and the idea drive the action."

I’m currently reading Steinbeck’s “the grapes of wrath” and chapter 14 (a 2-paged chapter) impressed me a lot.

It actually hit me when I read the sentence above, in the end of two pages of socialist reasoning about the condition of farmers in the 30’s in mid-USA, forced to leave the properties and migrate to west to survive. The socialist argument strikes the power of “us” contrasting to the weakness of the “I” and, in the end, exhort riot, and the sentence makes its own sense.

I always kept my political and social position away from socialism, but I easilly embody the survival meaning of the sentence as an answer to the ‘29 crisis; so I read this chapter again to clear my head about it, and I found that sentence very inspiring, moving away from the socialist meaning that it has in the book, and considering it as a reminder of something that may be taken for granted, but it is actually not.

Beside the analysis of market gaps and what the trends say you must invest, what should drive the efforts of enterpreneur and young professionals is the “need”.

The need is an opportunity, an opportunity to grow skills in order to satisfy that need, and even find other people willing to pay to solve the problem that you once had, or the need may bring you to know who could solve your problem and grow business relations, and so on.

I am not saying anything new, we all need something, it is hard to have the wit and the ambition to exploit the need, especially for a personal growth, which could easily become a business skill and who knows.. Maybe it’s not the answer to the global crisis, but Steinbeck is categorical in saying that, especially during crisis, we have to stay cleverly active.

Google Fiber could be the future! 
Too bad, I guess in Europe we will not see it soon. 

Social media strategy: reaching target or chasing the large public?

Social media marketing seems more focused on increasing followers or likes instead of reaching the target, and, what is more important, the quality of the audience seems a little underrated.

Managing a couple of pages on facebook, I kept different behaviour: with one I tried to increase the bowl of users, careless about the user’s profile, with the other I tried to catch those who may be actually interested in the content; the topic of the two pages also helped me through this process, the first page is about music videos, keeping a particular attention on design, which may interest a large public of music passionate and, the smaller one, of videomakers and designers; the second is the facebook page of this blog, and of course I talk to a little niche and it’s not suitable to a large spamming strategy, in my opinion.

The first page is now counting about 300 likes, most of them are friends of who is managing the site, and the page is currently affected with low virality, lower than 1% and currently about 3% of engaged user, out of a reach of 50%, even though people are not interacting through the facebook page, most of the traffic come from links from facebook.

The second page is about 40 likes conquered among those who may be interested in the topic I am writing, such as old class mates and university friends, and hardly some professional of the sector, like other blogs owners and professors; due to the low bowl of users, facebook insight may suffer a little over-rating in percentage, so I try to convert numbers into words. The reach is still about 50% (this is due to the reach restriction adopted by facebook to launch its promoted post), virality is still low and it is basically based on the users commenting and their feed.
In this case the traffic on the blog is quite indipendent from the facebook page. 

Despite the difference in users, the engagement of the two audiences is basically the same, little people liking and only a few commenting the posts; I am aware that the different nature of the pages could harden the comparison: cool-hunting, unlike information and opinion, with posts that try to encourage discussion, do not raise a large number of voices.

Stated that target is preferred to loads of fans, are large numbers useless? Those buying followers on twitter, those inviting all of their friends to like a page why are they doing it? 

The only answers I can find are: bring results to bosses, gain reputation and credibility.

My idea is still that a good product/page/brand will spread by itself, but there has to be a threshold value that sings the beginning of virality between the target, and that sings the transit from an a recreational page to a credible page with good reputation.

Those values may differ from segment to segment, and the values for viralization, credibility e good reputation, with some certainty, I can say that are different.

If my supposition are good, as soon as I reach the values, I’ll update you.