Category Archives: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

A Knotch in the Belt

These folks have figured out how to sell your opinions kindergarten style with no ads. And they can still sell your info. Genius.

“We really see Knotch as a mobile remote control for how the Internet caters to you,” says Gansca. “It’s a bit far-fetched right now, but imagine if you are Knotching about Nike. If you say you don’t like Nike and give it a half-blue color, then Nike could tune in and know not to target you with ads.”

With $1.5M In Funding, Knotch Lets Opinionated People Show Their True Colors | TechCrunch.

Apple the World’s Most Valuable Brand

According to Interbrand Apple is the top dog brand for it’s innovation.  Makes sense to me since innovation at Apple is decidedly within its core of design leadership.

Apple Inc.’s brand value jumped 28 percent to $98.3 billion and Google Inc. GOOG’s rose in second place at $93.3 billion. The Coca-Cola Co. name slipped from the top spot after 13 years to third place at $79.2 billion.

via Apple Overtakes Coca-Cola as World’s Most Valuable Brand – Bloomberg.

I’ve had the opportunity to get inside knowledge of big brand companies such as AmEx. To say brand drives conservative marketing strategy more than any other factor is an understatement. Brands are costly to build and can lose value overnight. This will breed conservatism in management. Consider Apple whose brand is worth almost $100B. That’s a lot of clams to jeopardize. To expect wild experimentation, which is how the tech-blogosphere seems to define innovation as of late, is delusional. Risk-taking by real live managers is going to be centered around how a company sees itself. For example, AmEx’s Bluebird prepaid debit card is a risk to the company’s luxury image but it is clearly aligned with at least some of the core elements of the brand: safety, security, customer service.

Apple is a design shop. I look at the new Mac Pro and that beastie screams design: Apple’s knitting. All of the innovation is centered on cutting edge technology inside a beautifully designed package where form fits function.  And that’s real and actual innovation, despite tedious claims that Apple can no longer innovate because it hasn’t created a phone that reads your mind or cooks your breakfast.

Google Watches (and Sells) the Watchers

So now Google is looking to sell other people’s real-world ad spend they paid to grab your attention.  You gotta love the chutzpah.  Privacy will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future.

Pay per gaze advertising need not be limited to on-line advertisements, but rather can be extended to conventional advertisement media including billboards, magazines, newspapers, and other forms of conventional print media. Thus, the gaze tracking system described herein offers a mechanism to track and bill offline advertisements in the manner similar to popular online advertisement schemes.

via Google patents ‘pay-per-gaze’ eye-tracking that could measure emotional response to real-world ads | The Verge.

More on the Louis C.K. Experiment

Just how successful is Louis C.K.’s indie video experiment?:

Still, a very cool experiment. And now one I’d love to see applied to some really, really popular celebrities, and some not-quite-yet celebrities. Then we’ll have a better idea of how much indie distribution will actually shift the balance of power in the media industry. It could be a little, it could be a lot, but it’s too early to tell.

(Via SplatF)

Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater…Cheap!

Louis CK: Live at the Beacon Theater:

The show went on sale at noon on Saturday, December 10th. 12 hours later, we had over 50,000 purchases and had earned $250,000, breaking even on the cost of production and website. As of Today, we’ve sold over 110,000 copies for a total of over $500,000. Minus some money for PayPal charges etc, I have a profit around $200,000 (after taxes $75.58). This is less than I would have been paid by a large company to simply perform the show and let them sell it to you, but they would have charged you about $20 for the video. [emphasis mine] They would have given you an encrypted and regionally restricted video of limited value, and they would have owned your private information for their own use. They would have withheld international availability indefinitely. This way, you only paid $5, you can use the video any way you want, and you can watch it in Dublin, whatever the city is in Belgium, or Dubai. I got paid nice, and I still own the video (as do you). You never have to join anything, and you never have to hear from us again.

(Via The Loop.)

Information on the internet is costly to produce, near costless to distribute, but marketing can be an issue, a costly one at that.  Louis CK has an established brand so he can take the risks in production and let the viral nature of the Internet do its thing.

The experiment was successful but it’s not a game changer for Louis CK per se.  (If you doubt that, you put out $250,000 for production and see how viral your show goes.)  He just cut out a middle man, made more money and we saved some.  That’s the game changer for the big distribution, really marketing, companies.  Social networking is not good for their business model.  Not at all.

Read his whole post.  A lot to learn there.