Going At The Enemy




Crosstown Mob | “You Already Know ” – 1ShotDot, Big Law , R.E.M.O

Maj Beam Ft 1 Shot Dot – In My Life

>Video: What Makes An Influencer?

>image from static.technorati.com What makes an influencer? This short documentary raises that question, it explores what it means to be an influencer.

It also looks at how trends and creativity become contagious in music, fashion, and entertainment.

INFLUENCERS FULL VERSION from R+I creative on Vimeo.

>Innovators Go It Alone by Ndubuisi Ekekwe


Invest in Yourself -- Subscribe Now to HBR

The China Rules
by Lynn Paine
Enemies of Trust
by Anne Drapeau, Robert Galford
Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time
by Catherine McCarthy, Tony Schwartz

For a long time, Ford, Chrysler, and GM followed the same strategy: they built big gas-guzzlers. Asian competitors attacked that model, took market share, and transformed the U.S. automobile industry.
Also for a long time, Yahoo and AOL offered email customers 4MB of storage. Google came out with Gmail and provided a free 1GB email account (250 times as much). Many switched.
In both cases, the new entrants attacked a reliable business model and disrupted a market in which the incumbents competed by cooperating, tacitly agreeing to procedures that ensured that the industry as a whole remained continuously healthy. Indeed, terms like “win-win” and “coopetition” are very common in our contemporary business lexicons. But in many cases, firms fail to separate the necessity of preserving their industries from developing individual survival strategies. They become docile and follow one another. From wireless carriers to broadcast TV, casinos to airlines, we often see an ordered communality within industries. They move in packs regarding features, services, and prices.
This carries a major risk: an entire complacent industry can be attacked from the outside. It’s not easy, but when it happens, it often reshapes an industry, with major consequences to the old players. In his classic “The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy“, Michael E. Porter showed how you don’t see much innovation when “degree of rivalry” is very low in an industry. Why? Because the entrenched players are depending largely on a communal strategy. Industries where the players are not innovating are easily disrupted by new entrants.
Industries cannot drive consumers as easily as they used to. The customers have more information and exert much more influence in the market. Technology disrupts our needs a lot faster and makes it possible that trends arrive and fade quicker. This is in line with my earlier post that focusing on customer needs is a recipe for disaster; rather, firms must focus on meeting the perception of customers. As social media, technology, and globalization better inform consumers, firms must resist the urge to herd. When everyone does the same thing, new ideas will easily attack the entire industry, not just a particular firm. How did the foreign car brands take away market share from the U.S. Big Three? They built smaller cars and that alone was enough. It might have been harder if Ford, Chrysler, or GM followed different strategies. The foreign brands had only one strategy to beat.
In the airline industry, we have seen Ryanair and other budget carriers in Europe disrupt the industry with very low prices that took market share from the traditional carriers. Sometimes firms give customers more when they should give less, and vice versa. Mastering that balance helps a firm lead and differentiate in its industry. If you provide a competitive price and take away some services, customers will adjust accordingly to your clear differentiation. But if you align your strategies to what everyone else does, be assured that a single business bullet will take you all down.
Ndubuisi Ekekwe is a founder of the non-profit African Institution of Technology. He recently edited Nanotechnology and Microelectronics: Global Diffusion, Economics and Policy.

>Managing Yourself: What’s Your Personal Social Media Strategy?


The CEO of a global technology firm was invited to lecture at a local university on the future of the internet. After his presentation, a student in the audience asked him for his views on network neutrality: the idea that internet service providers shouldn’t base their prices on the content their customers access. The CEO answered candidly, arguing in favor of price discrimination based on content; there was an engaging exchange; and he left satisfied with his visit.
Little did he know that, in the coming days, his semiprivate comments would enter a very public realm—the blogosphere—unleashing a storm of controversy around him and his company. (For confidentiality, names have not been revealed.)
The executive had no active social media presence—no profile on Facebook or LinkedIn, no Twitter account, no blog on the company’s website. He had decided that social media weren’t “his thing.” In fact, he became aware of the buzz over his comments only after some people in the company had alerted his communications group. There were lengthy discussions about whether and how to respond. Customers and other stakeholders were participating in the debate online, arguing strongly in favor of net neutrality. Employees were watching. Should the company issue an official response to comments made in a private setting? Could the CEO wade into the public discussion when he had never been active in the blogosphere and had no other social media platform? In the end, he and his team did nothing, leaving everyone feeling frustrated and helpless.
For a comparison, consider the ease with which Tom Dickson, founder and CEO of small U.S. blender manufacturer Blendtec, uses social media. Until 2006, few people had heard of Dickson; today, there aren’t many business owners who haven’t. That’s because Dickson is the star of the Will It Blend? series of YouTube videos, in which he subjects a host of objects (marbles, computer games, an iPod, an iPhone, an iPad) to the sharp blades of his products. Thanks to the campaign’s popularity (the iPhone-blending video has been viewed more than 9 million times), Blendtec’s sales have increased sevenfold in the past three years—impressive when you consider that each video lasts only about two minutes and is produced for a few hundred dollars.
Dickson, a grandfather, had no idea what YouTube was when his marketing director pitched the video idea. Now he is an internet rock star—a popular radio and television guest (with appearances on The Tonight Show and Today), a sought-after speaker on viral marketing, and a frequent participant in music videos and other companies’ advertising campaigns. Thanks to the internet’s global reach and his affable, down-to-earth manner, Dickson has developed a strong personal brand. Employees are proud of the recognition Blendtec has received, and thousands of fans have sent suggestions for his next video. How many CEOs of the Fortune 500 can claim such connection with the people they want to influence?

A Connected World

It’s no secret that social media—global, open, transparent, non-hierarchical, interactive, and real time—are changing consumer behavior and workplace expectations. As a result, the best businesses are creating comprehensive strategies in this area to support their goals. However, my research on the organizational implications of social media and consulting work with dozens of companies in America, Europe, and Asia suggest that it is taking longer for corporate leaders to consider what the new paradigm means for them personally.
Take the world’s leading CEOs as a sample. According to data from Fisheye Analytics, the top 50 chief executives (as identified by Morten T. Hansen, Herminia Ibarra, and Urs Peyer in “The Best-Performing CEOs in the World,” HBR January–February 2010) are increasingly discussed in online venues, but few are using social media to spread their own messages: Only 19 were on Facebook, only six had a LinkedIn page, and only two—Google CEO Eric Schmidt and former Norilsk Nickel CEO Mikhail Prokhorov—were tweeting or blogging (although some used their corporate pages for blogs). Anecdotal evidence suggests that the story is the same for leaders below the CEO level and that even those who have a social media presence aren’t using it strategically. That is a mistake.
Today’s leaders must embrace social media for three reasons. First, they provide a low-cost platform on which to build your personal brand, communicating who you are both within and outside your company. Second, they allow you to engage rapidly and simultaneously with peers, employees, customers, and the broader public, especially younger generations, in the same transparent and direct way they expect from everyone in their lives. Third, they give you an opportunity to learn from instant information and unvarnished feedback. Active participation in social media can be a powerful tool—the difference between leading effectively and ineffectively, and between advancing and faltering in the pursuit of your goals. You can use this tool proactively, as Dickson did, or reactively, as the technology CEO could have done.

Copyright © 2010 Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved.

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Written By

Soumitra Dutta () is the Roland Berger Chaired Professor in Business and Technology at Insead and the academic director of Insead’s Elab. He is the coauthor of Throwing Sheep in the Boardroom: How Online Social Networking Will Transform Your Life, Work and World (Wiley, 2008).

>iTunes Top 10 Singles & Albums


for the week ending Nov. 8, 2010
image from socialmediaseo.net
Top 10 Singles
1. “What’s My Name? (feat. Drake), Rihanna, Drake
2. “We R Who We R” Ke$ha
3. “Like a G6,” Cataracs, Far East Movement, Dev
4. “Raise Your Glass,” P!nk
5. “Firework,” Katy Perry
6. “Sparks Fly,” Taylor Swift
7. “Just a Dream,” Nelly
8. “Whip My Hair,” Willow
9. “Bottoms Up (feat. Nicki Minaj),” Trey Songz
10. “Just the Way You Are,” Bruno Mars

Top 10 Albums

1. “Speak Now,” Taylor Swift
2. “My Kinda Party,” Jason Aldean
3. “Sidewalks,” Matt & Kim
4. “Come Around Sundown,” Kings of Leon
5. “Sigh No More,” Mumford & Sons
6. “Punk Goes Pop, Vol. 3” Various Artists
7. “Merry Christmas II You,” Mariah Carey
8. “Man On the Moon II: Mr. Rager,” Kid Cudi
9. “Loud,” Rihanna
10. “I Am Not a Human Being,” Lil Wayne