Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stand by Me

Bill Moyers takes us around the world mixing the voices and music of musicians from across the globe to a beautifully orchestrated and shared experience that transcends the original message of the song in a beautiful and compelling way.

This is very inspiring. I was also amazed at how many of the places in video I have stood in myself and perhaps that made it even more emotional to watch. Of the many places in the video I recognized specific locations I have been to in New Orleans, Moscow, Rio de Janiero, Venezuala, New Mexico and Amsterdam. Now I have a bucket list addition for a few more spots to get to.

Its a rare video that brings tears to my eyes, and this was one of those moments. Kleenex please...

I have overlayed the video with links to the Playing for Change website. Please visit and join me in supporting this amazing cause and idea.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Resolved to Create Value and Focus

This is a combination of personal objectives and an evolving downturn mantra written from the perspective of where things could do well or better with focus or change. 

I think there is a mantra here that can easily be distilled to - Create Value. Focus.  It might be obvious but I am sure we can all do 'more better'.   Hopefully you will find this useful.  

1. Constantly create value.
Pricing according to value - Look across all services and offerings and strive to define how to create 10x at least (why not go for at least two areas that can drive 100x in value).
Charge a premium price and provide an extraordinary value & experience in exchange.
Create recurring revenue from transactions.
Always have something else ready to add even more value when a transaction takes place.
Don't be a commodity.  It's not a good time to do that apparently.

2. Focus on who and what you know.
Reuse data intelligently.
Make sure existing customers and users are coming back. 
Work to increase your 'membership' and get members advocating for new members.
Coordinate the right time/right message for each person or segment harder.
Are your customers coming back?  Say thank you!
Are they not coming back?  Why?  (go to #4)

3. Be transactional.
Sell stuff. That's the idea.  
Remove roadblocks to transactions.  Remove all of them.
What are people buying that you sell?  Do that more.
What are you selling that people aren't buying?  Stop that.
Which customers really want to work with you and know it will help them?  Call them today.
Which customers are wasting your time?  Call them less.
Define and move on opportunity to work with partners where there is overlap in pipelines.

4. Fix and apologize.
Focus harder on overlooked / late / not-well-done areas that will generate revenue.
When  you fix stuff, let people know.  They might be waiting.
Help technical users more.  They complain more if you don't.
Deep focus on user and customer experience. Get feedback.  Do something about it.

5. Prioritize results.
Constantly force teams to focus on the 'critically few' proactive activities that produce exponential results. Don't get caught up in minutia.
Cut all superfluous activities and immediately backfill with quicker deadlines on other stuff or new things that drive the first four areas.
Eliminate all scatter-shot approaches - too hard to measure and quantify.
Focus on core strengths.  Work harder in areas that leverage these strengths.

6. Celebrate victories. 
Got it?  Got it.  Woot.

7. Get a life! 
Do you really need to update that status one more time - what else could you be doing to relax, rest and be ready to get the other 6 areas right.

In short this can be summarized as activities that will drive business, increase site usage, move sales and pricing up, fill the funnel, build out customer and user database and generate repeat business, and ensure you remain focused on defined transactional value.  And you get to have a little party when you kick ass and enjoy some downtime.  Sound good?

Okay - there's only 349 days left until 2010 - get moving!!!