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Month: September 2008

It’s just water ..

It’s just water ..

I was listening to a speech by Bill Bertera from Water Environment Federation who was speaking in New Orleans which was still rebuilding from the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. The talk was about water and how it affects our lives. I was thinking about how we assume we’ll have clean water when we open a tap and the whole industrial process behind the collection and purification of it. That leads to thoughts about the economics of water provision and the business processes around it.

One important process is ensuring the quality of the water is up to scratch. The website where I found the speech is by PerkinElmer, a company that specialises in water, soil and air analysis which is so crucial in ensure the highest standards are maintained. If you want to think about how important quality is here, just think about how many people can be affected if there’s some problem in the water we drink every day.

Where attention flows, money will follow

Where attention flows, money will follow

Kevin Kelly

Interesting post by Kevin Kelly who believe the drivers in today’s emerging economy can be distilled into the statement: Where ever attention flows, money will follow. It’s an interesting idea which is hard to negate, as can be evidenced by new giants like Googe, Amazon and eBay. Here’s an interesting section:

New things that don’t work or serve no purpose are quickly weeded out of the system. But the fact that something does work or is helpful is no longer sufficient for success. Good, useful stuff is now the minimum standard. I might even make the argument that great stuff is the minimum. Now anything that lasts has to also maintain our attention.

And when it wins our attention, money will follow. Money is one way we acknowledge our attention. We “want” something — an intense form of attention — and we use money to fulfill this attention. Using the product or service is a continuation of that attention. Recommending it others is a further extension of that attention.

bbgm likens this to Peter Druckers take on innovation, but I think a closer line can be drawn to Seth Godin‘s “Be Remarkable” mantra. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling ball bearings or you’re a satellite internet provider or just looking to become the world’s most influential geek, attracting and maintaining attention can be the key to your success.

Life after your MBA

Life after your MBA

So, you’ve spent the last 3 years working on your MBA, done all your exams, got all your results and you’re due to graduate shortly. What comes after that? Well, in my case, I did my MBA while still holding a full-time job, so the question isn’t that hard. But for a number of other graduates there are just so many options available that it is easy to get bewildered and not know in which direction to head.

I was thinking about this while flicking through a Graduate Magazine on EuroGraduate. It’s a magazine and website that focuses on graduate careers and jobs listings but also has a whole boatload of advice around living abroad, working abroad and starting your career. The website itself is packed with information pertinent to most graduates, but I particularly enjoyed flicking through the magazine. You’ll notice I said flicking again, and that’s just what the website lets you do. It lets you read through the magazine, flick the pages, zoom into areas or interest and print of relevant articles. I was pretty impressed with how usable the interface was. As you would expect from a web-based medium, it also lets you click on anything and sends you directly to the website relating to that click. I found that pretty useful.

The website itself is divided into a number of sections but the main areas are a career database and an education database. The career database lets you search for jobs and opportunities all over Europe; jobs aimed at graduates of all kinds. The education database was particularly interesting to me, as it lets you search through a number of post graduate courses which are on offer around Europe.

Pretty cool website I thought. It does start to answer the question as to what to do once you do achieve your degree.

SlotMusic: An attempt to extend physical music sales

SlotMusic: An attempt to extend physical music sales

Interesting development today as SanDisk try to breath new life into the dying record sales industry. They have come up with slotMusic: an offering that uses MicroSD cards to distribute high-quality DRM-free MP3s and are touting it as an “immediate, tangible, and high quality alternative to CDs and digital delivery”

Personally I don’t think the idea will go very far. I tend to agree with Om Malik who lists 5 reasons why the scheme will fail, and I think the biggest issue is that people just aren’t interested in physical media any longer. Streaming and downloading are just so much more convenient and in this case, available for free on the the same devices SlotMusic is trying to target: mobile phones (although they won’t work in an iPhone). It’s interesting to see attempts to extend the life cycle of physical media, but I believe this will go the same way as the cereal box record, a last-ditch attempt to revive an ailing industry that refuses to change it’s business model.

Image coutesy of Tutor2u.net

Google goes shopping – May buy Valve

Google goes shopping – May buy Valve

Google Lego 50th Anniversary Inspiration
Interesting snippet of news today where it seems like Google is looking to acquire Valve, an entertainment software provider reknowned for gems like Half-life and Counter-strike boasting a portfolio with over 20 million retail units sold worldwide (Valve games account for over 80% of the PC online action market). Lots of folks seem to be curious as to why this Google may be pursuing this acquisition, but a source claims that Google is really after their content distribution network.

There are another two reasons why Google may be after this juicy company. First of all the talent it hires are responsible for some amazing work and could do wonders for Google’s Lively offering. The other option is that it opens up the door to in-game advertising, something Google doesn’t seem to do much of yet. Whatever it is, this space will certainly be fun to watch, as long as Google doesn’t just sit on it and do nothing.

Never underestimate the power of giving something away

Never underestimate the power of giving something away

Interesting article in The Reg talking about how Electronic Arts (EA) decided to run a promotion giving away free fuel. The result: gridlock. From the article:

Another great moment in the annals of computer game PR stunts today – Electronic Arts caused gridlock this morning by offering £40 of free petrol to punters in Finsbury Park, north London.

In retrospect, it probably was to be expected, but do you think it really achieved their aims? Sure people are talking about the stunt and the company, but I have no idea what product they are promoting. I hope, at least, that it was a racing game or something related to petrol.

Still, amazing what can happen when you offer people something for free.