Sunday, February 28, 2010

Five tips to sell more and better

It is clear that the serious and successful entrepreneur of today focus his business on the customers.
Whatever the approach can be, it is still a way to propose your product to the audience that will purchase it.
The better you are in proposing, the most successful you are going to be.

Here are the best ways to do so:

1. Woot - This online retailer takes the unique approach of only selling a single product each day. Around each daily product is a dedicated conversation stream, live commentary and a detailed description. By focusing on a single product, not only do they add a layer of conversation and description to the product, but they also give their users the perception that each daily deal is special and only available for a limited time. This focus allows them to add urgency to their site and convert browsers to buyers quickly. While you may not be able to convert your entire business to just selling one product at a time, this model may be the next evolution of the long-standing "deal of the day" model that many businesses have used at one time or another in the past.

2. Groupon - How much would you lower your standard prices if I could guarantee you 100 customers? Or how about 1,000? The premise behind Groupon is to offer customers "collective buying power" - which essentially means that you can offer a great deal and it will only kick in if a set number of consumers take you up on it. Go on the site and you will see deals sorted by region and many of them have been redeemed by thousands of people. What Groupon shows you is that sometimes you CAN actually count on volume to compensate for lowering your prices. The nicest thing about the site is that instead of trying to recreate this model on your own site, you can add a special offer for your business to Groupon.

3. Hotwire - By now most people are familiar with the new auction based pricing model that Priceline introduced into the travel industry. Letting consumers set the price for what they are willing to pay was a revolution in the travel industry at the time when Priceline was introduced. Hotwire used the slightly adapted model of offering exact prices, but not letting you know the details of what you booked until after you pay. If you have your own eretail site, this model can be a good way to get rid of excess inventory in a different and more fun way.

4. Blippy - If you don't live your life in social media, the idea behind Blippy will likely confuse you. It is a social site that lets people automatically share the latest things they have purchased (and how much they paid for them) by linking the site to a single credit card. This level of transparency and sharing may seem crazy to many people, but the site represents a social experiment that points to an interesting opportunity for businesses whose customers may be used to sharing every small detail of their lives. It may be an outlier in this list of business models as they admittedly don’t have a revenue model for the site as yet – but the shift in what people are willing to share online is the real trend worth watching.

5. Dubli- This site offers some of the most creative pricing models you can find online - and models that have not yet been duplicated across many others sites. The first is what they call a "reverse auction" where products have a starting price and you use credits that you purchase on the site to reveal the current price. Each time a member of the site uses a credit to reveal the price, the price goes lower until someone decides to make the purchase. The second model is based on a "unique price auction" which means you need to have the lowest bid that no one else chooses to have in order to win.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

What is time?

It depends.
When I am on a diet it is what I have to live before the next meal.

"But the particular aspect of time that I’m interested in is the arrow of time: the fact that the past is different from the future. We remember the past but we don’t remember the future. There are irreversible processes. There are things that happen, like you turn an egg into an omelet, but you can’t turn an omelet into an egg."

I would say that it is not ALL so bad.
If the omelette is good, ready to be eaten, I wouldn´t like it went back to eggs.

"The arrow of time is based on ideas that go back to Ludwig Boltzmann, an Austrian physicist in the 1870s. He figured out this thing called entropy. Entropy is just a measure of how disorderly things are. And it tends to grow. That’s the second law of thermodynamics: Entropy goes up with time, things become more disorderly. So, if you neatly stack papers on your desk, and you walk away, you’re not surprised they turn into a mess. You’d be very surprised if a mess turned into neatly stacked papers."

Unless you had a mother like mine.

"Basically, our observable universe begins around 13.7 billion years ago in a state of exquisite order, exquisitely low entropy."

How does he know?

"So the Big Bang starts it all. But you theorize that there’s something before the Big Bang. Something that makes it happen. What’s that?

If you find an egg in your refrigerator, you’re not surprised. You don’t say, “Wow, that’s a low-entropy configuration. That’s unusual,” because you know that the egg is not alone in the universe. It came out of a chicken, which is part of a farm, which is part of the biosphere, etc., etc. But with the universe, we don’t have that appeal to make. We can’t say that the universe is part of something else. But that’s exactly what I’m saying. I’m fitting in with a line of thought in modern cosmology that says that the observable universe is not all there is. It’s part of a bigger multiverse. The Big Bang was not the beginning."

"There’s different moments in the history of the universe and time tells you which moment you’re talking about. And then there’s the arrow of time, which give us the feeling of progress, the feeling of flowing or moving through time. So that static universe in the middle has time as a coordinate but there’s no arrow of time. There’s no future versus past, everything is equal to each other."

"One of things I point out is that if we do imagine that it was possible, hypothetically, to go into the past, all the paradoxes that tend to arise are ultimately traced to the fact that you can’t define a consistent arrow of time if you can go into the past. Because what you think of as your future is in the universe’s past. So it can’t be one in the same everywhere. And that’s not incompatible with the laws of physics, but it’s very incompatible with our everyday experience, where we can make choices that affect the future, but we cannot make choices that affect the past."

May be we should not define "impossible" what we cannot do.
Time is what I call the unfolding of my life.
It is a subjective feeling, no life, no time.
Since I am born, I live, I will die, I presume that this is how things work.
Because ALL WHAT I know is what I saw or see or will see (hear, feel).
And what my brain does is just reelaborating what I saw, see will see.
My knowledge is limited to the box where I live, to the world I see, the feelings I have.
If I had different eyes reality would be different.
And time?
I do not know.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

How far can freedom go?

Google about the Italian´s Court sentence:

"It attacks the very principles of freedom on which the Internet is built. Common sense dictates that only the person who films and uploads a video to a hosting platform could take the steps necessary to protect the privacy and obtain the consent of the people they are filming."

I have the impression that the sentence was more a personal feeling that the applying of the law.
If it was so simple to judge we would simply need computers with good programs which would give sentences much more appropriate than humans.
Instead we have humans.
Because every case is different and even though the principle is the same, stealing an apple is not as serious as stealing three millions.
In this case the offensive part was that Google actually made money with ads seen by people who were eager to see a handicapped child abused and hit by children.
The responsible are without any doubt the children who did it, but what kind of message does a video like that send to the audience?
That committing a horrible crime is also some kind of entertainment.

I understand that Google cannot be responsible of ALL what is uploaded and cannot control.
But nevertheless something like YouTube, left in the hands of irresponsible’s could create huge damages to the life of others.
How far can go freedom?
Your freedom goes as far as my freedom goes.
Freedom cannot be license of doing everything you like.
At least in a "free" and "civilized" society.
That is why we invented laws and Courts.
Freedom on the Internet is a beautiful thing, but how long will we be able to allow this freedom?
How long will we be able to stand a world where everybody can do all the harm he wants, including ruining my computer with viruses or botnets or whatever, my life saying lies about me, my future posting a video of my handicapped son brutally treated by his friends?
What kind of example is this for the young generations?

I also have the impression that if that would would have infringed copyright laws (of Americans) it would have been IMMEDIATELY removed.
But let´s not fall in the trap of : they did this because they are Italians and they do not respect Americans...
Or : what do they want these Americans?

I was quite offended also by that Ophra talk show abut Amanda Knox who was found guilty and "SHE WAS NOT EVEN THERE"...
I guess an Italian Court, as low level as it can be, is a more appropriate place to judge a murder.
And in a country where 99% of the criminals get very light sentences (including of course foreigners) for the simple reason that we are so bust we do not even have jails, getting the sentence she got, means she was REALLY guilty.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Could this be a new start?

"Though raising interest rates is unlikely at the moment, the Fed will of course act appropriately if we…if we…" said Bernanke, who then paused for a moment, looked down at his prepared statement, and shook his head in utter disbelief. "You know what? It doesn't matter. None of this—this so-called 'money'—really matters at all."

"It's just an illusion," a wide-eyed Bernanke added as he removed bills from his wallet and slowly spread them out before him. "Just look at it: Meaningless pieces of paper with numbers printed on them. Worthless."

It is just a matter of realizing it.
All what is virtual, stock market, bonds, interest rates, bank accounts, is virtual.
The promise of doing something with your savings?
All a lie.
Sorry for you if you are the one who worked, worked hard, worked harder.
The one who believed in Capitalism.
It was just a joke, a virtual joke.
Now you are like all others.
The ones who didn´t work, who didn´t save.

What does really count?
Not even a potato.
That counts as long as you can eat it.
After a while goes bust, just like the strawberrys or the cows or all what you can breed.
But if you have an empty stomach and no cows, that really makes a difference...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The culture of enjoy today and pay tomorrow

"Fuck Las Vegas and fuck Nevada, and fuck all the casino operators in every pulsating gambling venue around this country. The last thing we need is to continue believing that it is possible to get something for nothing, or an industry based on that false principle."

The hope we can get something for nothing or almost nothing is what helps most people to live.
It is the stuff dreams are made of.
It is the hope in something better, somewhere, somehow, some time.
It is fighting the idea that life is so hard and unlivable.
It is what helps many to fall asleep thinking there is a better world, where you can get what the OTHERS have.
It is in a false culture, in a false education, where having is better than being and having for nothing is better than having with hard work.
It is the culture of enjoy today and pay tomorrow, it is ALL what most people learned in their life.
When you are brought up with a certain frame of mind it is almost impossible to change.
The whole world falls apart.

Monday, February 01, 2010

How long can you play with people´s life, before the magic balance is gone?

"Life is tragic, history is merciless, and societies don't always make good collective choices. "

Societies usually do not make choices, they love the ones who make choices for them
Just like a frozen meal you put in a microwave.
Everything is there: vegetables, meat, cheese, the right sauce.
You can even choose among many tastes.
No hassle to shop for, to prepare, to cook.
Not even the need of a dish.
It´s all there, a part for your stomach and what’s left for the garbage.
We are used to it, the industry has spoiled us.
They give us what we want: to survive without thinking, without deciding, without even living.

They decide everything for us: what we eat, what we wear, what we do in our free time.
We give them eight hours a day for five days a week and we get all what we need.
At least this was what we were used to, until the balance in one way or another broke.
On one side the same, on the other more and more greediness.
I remember when I was a child once at Christmas we (me and my brother) began a very stupid game: How many times you could throw a glass Christmas ball on the floor before it broke.
To better fill our statistics we broke almost all the balls and we couldn’t make the Christmas tree.
It looks stupid, but it is what is happening.
How long can you play with people’s life, before the magic balance is gone?
Because without work there is no money and without money there are no consumers.

Do we have to pay for content?

I guess we do.
The right price of course.
But what is happening?
The whole situation is not clear and I do not like it.
I like to buy this knowing that its right price is that and finished.
Instead we are allured with "FREE" this and "FREE" that.
Why should somebody work for free?
Unless he earns more?
Not only the people who work deserve to be paid, they HAVE to be paid.
Money is the reason why you work and working is the mean how to survive.
All this walls and free and everything else.
Since the Internet catches people with the promise of being free it is a must to change the way news are paid.
So that they look free, but in reality they are not.
All this calling one business in a different way, I do not charge for the news I give you, but you have to pay for the merchandize I sell.
The problem is: if I usually buy some merchandize in a place where I pay for it, and I begin buying the same thing in a place where I pay for it and I get as a bonus free news, the one who sells without the bonus won’t sell anymore.
What will happen?
The news producers will go on selling news AND other things, creating some sort of monopoly.
When they are well established, when the competitors won’t exist anymore, then, we will pay for the merchandize we buy a price which includes the news...
I guess it is quite naive to believe that this IS NOT the actual strategy.
I guess we are smart enough to understand that there is nothing free, not even a free lunch...

Out of two, one is unlucky and one lucky

Man Wins $10 Million, Dies. Wife Cashes In.