Google's decision to retire Reader, its RSS feed aggregator and curation tool, created a small furor among loyal users. They decried the decision as another example of a company out of sync with what its users actually want. It might seem like Reader is just another casualty in a long line of projects that Google tosses on the scrap heap every year. But this time is different. This isn't Google Buzz or Google Wave. People know about Reader. People understand Reader. People use Reader. And most importantly, people like Reader.
"Our CEO doesn't believe in ‘brand.'" During the last few months, I've been in new business meetings where I've heard this comment from potential clients. Most of the time it's accompanied by a furtive look or preceded by a frustrated sigh. Every time I hear those words, it reminds me that in some companies "Branding" is a dirty word.
Road crews survey before they start laying blacktop. Doctors run a battery of tests before prescribing treatments. Coaches study game videos and pore over stats and records before heading onto the field. Due diligence is a widely accepted practice in just about every field, yet it still isn't generally acknowledged as the first crucial step when it comes to dealing with content for website redesigns.
Social lending services are enabling small business owners and entrepreneurs to tap into the same source of funds that megabanks relied on to cover their bad bets after the mortgage crisis—the average tax-paying consumer. Success stories like the Pebble wristwatch, which raised $3.7 million in one week through the community of peer investors on Kickstarter, will become more common as inspired and empowered entrepreneurs are more easily able to connect with inspired and empowered potential investors using social lending platforms.
If you've been watching primetime television in the past few weeks, you've probably seen the big-budget commercials for Anheuser-Busch's new premium entry in the domestic beer segment: Bud Light Platinum. The first time I noticed the commercial, I actually heard it before I saw it. To be clear, I heard the unmistakable piano solo sample from Kanye West's “Runaway” which caught my attention and compelled me to watch the commercial. At the end of it, I needed a minute to think about what I'd just seen and heard.
McNeal Maddox | October 21, 2011
"If you aren't fired with enthusiasm, you'll be fired with enthusiasm." - Vince Lombardi. With so much being written and parroted in the media about Carol Bartz's abrasive style, her inability to achieve the goals set for her by Yahoo!'s board, and who should succeed her as CEO, it seems as if the issue of culture fit that made her hiring so controversial in the first place has been glossed over. As a brand, Yahoo! has been criticized for its inability to compete with innovative peers like Microsoft and Google.