Browsing Tag


Lessons Learned: Quit early, quit often

Seth nails the sunk costs considerations in technology when evaluating how to go forward or not:

One of the most important lessons they teach in business school is to ‘ignore sunk costs’. It doesn’t matter how much time or money or effort you’ve invested in something, if that project no longer makes economic sense, you should stop.

Another benefit of quiting early? You can avoid brand erosion and profit drag by quiting quickly. Sunk costs should also not influence pricing if you make it through the toll gates. Read the whole thing here, gets a little dippy and I’m not sure what “winged”.

Registration Reflections: PodCamp Atlanta

So I’ve spent the better part of the day yesterday trying to register to be able to edit the wiki page and declare my participation. Not an easy process for many reasons – internet up and down, had no idea how to obtain an invite key. So with a little help from Brogan, since it appears he knows something about it and I’m IN! BTW – Chris gives real good technical support – courteous, prompt and succinct.

So what is PodCamp? I had to explain this to Emily, just like she had to explain the water barrel class she went to, so I thought I would just provide a primer on PodCamp, as I understand it. So what is it? Why it’s an unconference of course! Despite all the hype that there is NO structure, It’s a Semi structured event focused on sharing information within the social media community in a open forum. There is apparently drinking as well.

The structure of the event, minimally the content, develops organically based on registration declarations – Session Leader, Participant, Sponsor. Being a newbie, I’ll just participate @ the Emory hosted event on March 16-18th. So with my inability to clear the first geek bar of REGISTRATION without help, I’m confident the rest of the community experience will be cake, since the community governance model is fairly straight forward:

There are 6 main rules which govern what may or may not be called a PodCamp. Your planned event must meet all 6 requirements and sign off on this license in order to be called a PodCamp.

1. All attendees must be treated equally. Everyone is a rockstar. Likewise, registration should be open to the public and unrestricted, subject only to limitations of space.

2. All content created in and around the event must be released under a Creative Commons license: This means that any recordings, video, pictures, podcasts, written documents, promos, and the like prepared for or recorded at the event must be licensed under the creative commons license. The Creative Commons License 3.0 is incorporated by reference.

3. All attendees are PARTICIPANTS. They are encouraged to lead sessions, speak on existing sessions, and contribute to the overall event experience. Organizers must make every possible concession to create an open speaking schedule, suitable for spontaneous participation. Everyone must be allowed to participate. (Subject to limitations of physical space and time, of course). This means that the speaker’s list must allow open registration and must not restrict who is allowed to speak.

4. All sessions must obey the Law of 2 Feet – if you’re not getting what you want out of the session, you can and should walk out and do something else. It’s not like you have to get your money’s worth!

5. The event must be new-media focused – blogging, podcasting, video on the net, social media and any other new media formats.

6. The financials of a PodCamp, including details about sponsorship money and how said funds were used, must be fully disclosed in an open ledger, to the PodCamp Foundation.

3 days will be tough, but the open discourse should be fun. I have a hard time at a 3 day MSFT conference and you typically get a cool show with Duran Duran or another not so currently “in” band, but not a lot of communication. The good news is the first night is just beer at a pub and the event schedule isn’t too daunting, but the registrants list is – almost 200. Since the list IS publicly available, I did some research on the registrants to better understand the GA/ATL blogging landscape a little more:

Jen GordonTrue Gritz and a not so current blog. Her year old lament about a bloke from the UK who snagged “her designs” reminds me of who’s cribbing. It is however; theoretically possible he randomed into a header, main and 3 column footer on his own.

Right Rev Chumley – I had an old english sheep dog in college named chumley. I didn’t have time to watch an old school short which is front ended in crazy, but you might.

Heather Smith – Honest little intro.. Cool little mashup information architecture. Indie chick music – right on.

Buzz Brockway – Apparently republican, I think. He asserts McCain can beat Obama in a recent post. Per the post $13.40 is the current definition of a living wage has gone up from the $10 I previously endorsed as a workers world card holder – circa 1992.

Clearly an eclectic group! These folks are considerably more passionate, creative, diverse and artsy than I would have thought. The wonders of community!

Lesson learned: I guess I shouldn’t use my sterile and benign musings as a fair representation of the market entry requirements for social media.

YUP, I am sooo out of my league – I think I’ll wear black – it makes me look taller. But then I realized it was for last year… what a waste

$1 Coffee a sustainable model?

So with the recent Starbuck’s test of a $1.50 short in Seattle and rumors of a $1 bottomless cup it could make it cheaper to consume more paper products and miscellaneous packaging. That being said – you can make your own coffee, here is the ROI to justify a crazy expensive espresso and cafe Americano maker. Not sure this model would standalone under the $1 pricing model.

Below is a baseline framework for establishing the benefits of brewing your own coffee, the model assumes you are financially responsible in part for someone else’s coffee too.

Benefit can be accelerated through more consumption and a lower grade coffee platform.

Lessons Learned: What is Value? Depends on how/when you look at it

So I spent a good deal of time thinking about value this weekend for a couple of reasons:

1. I had to spend way too much time in a vet hospital for my dog panic and cost/benefit never really entered my mind, but I did do some quick budget math out of financial diligence – couldn’t help it.

2. I need to find Guitar hero and I can’t.  But I did find out some guy paid $10,000 for one, not me though – cost/benefit entered my mind on this one.

3.  The dollar menu at McDonald’s – how are those items only worth $1?  I mean I like double cheeseburgers.

So I thought about it and realized that value is in the eye of the beholder or rather the coveter – but perhaps the marketer as well.   Not sure if value is ever the same or within banded limits at any point in time and this is the most confusing thing about value. Value is about the buyer, so as a marketer and product manager know how can you optimize the value or perceived value of your product.  Effective product placement can significantly change the value of something  – right channel, the right package, the right promotion….   Often the value of something is marketed and delivered to market based on a plan, so perhaps a double cheeseburger is only worth a $1, if [tag]share of wallet[/tag] is a key careabout.  Value is situational for both the buyer and seller.  So I’ve cut in a general overview from Wikipedia on Value for consideration:

The economic value of something is how much a desired object or condition is worth relative to other objects or conditions…

In [tag]neoclassical economics[/tag], the value of an object or service is often seen as nothing but the price it would bring in an open and competitive market. This is determined primarily by the demand for the object relative to supply. Many neoclassical economic theories equate the value of a commodity with its price, whether the market is competitive or not. As such, everything is seen as a commodity and if there is no market to set a price then there is no economic value.

In classical economics, the value of an object or condition is the amount of discomfort/labor saved through the consumption or use of an object or condition (Labor Theory of Value). Though exchange value is recognized, [tag]economic value[/tag] is not dependent on the existence of a market and price and value are not seen as equal.

In this tradition, to [tag]Steve Keen[/tag] “value” refers to “the innate worth of a commodity, which determines the normal (‘equilibrium’) ratio at which two commodities exchange.” To Keen and the tradition of David Ricardo, this corresponds to the classical concept of long-run cost-determined prices, what Adam Smith called “[tag]natural prices[/tag]” and [tag]Karl Marx[/tag] called “[tag]prices of production[/tag].” It is part of a cost-of-production theory of value and price. Ricardo, but not Keen, used a “labor theory of price” in which a commodity’s “innate worth” was the amount of labor needed to produce it.

In another classical tradition, [tag]Marx[/tag] distinguished between the “[tag]value in use[/tag]” (use-value, what a commodity provides to its buyer), “value” (the socially-necessary labour time it embodies), and “exchange value” (how much labor-time the sale of the commodity can claim, Smith’s “[tag]labor commanded[/tag]” value). By most interpretations of his labor theory of value, Marx, like Ricardo, developed a “[tag]labor theory of price[/tag]” where the point of analyzing value was to allow the calculation of relative prices. …

Value in the most basic sense can be referred to as “Real Value” or “Actual Value.” This is the measure of worth that is based purely on the utility derived from the consumption of a product or service. Utility derived value allows products or services to be measure on outcome instead of demand or supply theories that have the inherent ability to be manipulated.

Alas, value is subjective and may or may not have any relationship to production effort ([tag]cost plus[/tag]) or value in use.  The ever changing marketplace makes understanding your products value an ongoing and continuous thread of activity.

Sounds like this value thing is a continuous loop caused by an if-then-goto statement in the business plan.