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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Sharks in the water, Snow on the mountain

One of the many reasons I love my state of New Hampshire is because of the diversity of outdoor activities and the close proximity to my second favorite state, Maine. Within one hour I can be deep in the White Mountains or on the coast of Maine, or for that matter, sitting at Fenway Park in Boston. Awesome.

I was enjoying such a moment on this past Fourth of July weekend. I was with my family on the Coast of Maine at the beach relaxing. Specifically, I was kayaking on the ocean and frolicking with the harbor seals and riding the waves. It was a picture perfect day. Sunny, warm, clear water, lots of seals, nice waves, kids having fun swimming in the surf and tidal pools, etc.

After this wonderful day, we were driving home and I checked my iPhone to scan the headlines and much to my surprise I came across two very “interesting” articles that got me thinking. The first was how the Coast Guard had issued a marine warning for the Northern New England coast and specifically “paddlers” i.e. kayakers to be on the lookout and possible stay out of the water due to numerous GREAT WHITE SHARKS in the areas! What!? It went on to further state that due to the higher number of seal populations in the area, it is believed that the sharks were coming in for food and that sharks of this size 15-30 feet long may have a hard time distinguishing between a 15 foot kayak and a large harbor seal. It went on to say that some of these sharks were spotted not far from where I was Kayaking!

So that explains why I was the only guy out on the water and why the seals were not to shy to swim around my “yak”. Safety in numbers I guess. Now I grew up on and in the ocean. I was even born in the “Ocean State” of Rhode Island, so sharks of most sizes don’t typically scare me. Hungry great whites with the inability to distinguish between a big red fiber glass tube that I am paddling around in and a cute harbor seal does get me a little nervous.

To digress for a moment, I have a friend who hates going out on the ocean. Hates it. For real. Finally, I asked him why he was so “uncomfortable” about leaving the beach and getting in the water, and no he had not seen Jaws. He finally broke down and in dead seriousness said that once he entered the ocean, he was no longer the top of the food chain and became prey. That fact, made him genuinely nervous and unwilling to go out on or in the ocean where he would be helpless. I came to fully understand what he meant after thinking about my frolic with the seals and the sharks.

The other story I read, was that while I was paddling along oblivious to great white sharks in my midst, about 80 or so miles away on the top of Mount Washington in NH, it was snowing! Snowing in July! Keep in mind it was beautiful, 90 degrees and sunny everywhere else. But snowing on top of Mt. Washington. Crazy.

So while I was digesting this and my imagined battle with a 30 foot great white in my 15 foot kayak, it occurred to me that this is very much like some of the challenges my clients experience. Only a consultant right?

A business can be “paddling” along thinking everything is fine in their business, activity and strategy, but just below the surface is a force i.e. the shark, that can either take a bite out of your boat, capsize you, then eat you, or at least scare the hell out of you. And on the horizon, its snowing on the tallest mountain in your region. Has the world gone mad?

This extreme of conditions and states (no pun intended) is what causes discontinuity in the execution of an organizations strategy. Had I checked the news before hitting the water, I would have known about the sharks and the snow. There is not much I could have done about the snow but interesting to know about it. In regards to the sharks, not much I could do there either. Sure, I could have stayed out of the water but that would be no fun and I would be reacting – out of fear, versus responding to a potential threat. Had I known of this story before I hit the water, I would have still hit the water, but would have been more situationally aware for the ominous shark fin, large black shadows on the rocks below the surface, the scattering of seals in all directions and of course, the jaws theme coming from the waves. Then at least, I would have been prepared and could respond to any threats versus react. Of course, one lucky (unlucky for me) bite and I would toast, but there are always risks in everything we do. In business, this would be analogous to knowing my market and business conditions and whats happening in the periphery so I could stay prepared and take responsive action versus reactive action.

I have said it a million times if not once, you must be responsive, NOT reactive if you are to succeed in business and even in life. Responsive is dynamic. Fluid. Reactive is static. Static is death to a business.

Therefore, the moral of my little story is this. In today’s hyper-competitive markets where discontinuity reigns, you must be informed in all things that impact and effect your business, people, products, services and strategy. Things change rapidly and the sharks can get you if your not prepared. Paddling faster is not always the answer. By keeping “situational awareness”, and planning for challenges/unplanned changes, and having a dynamic and fluid contingency, you are in a much better position to respond versus react.

Sometimes its the little things like preparedness, anticipation and dynamic action that make the difference between success and failure. But you must be prepared so when these events do come, your ready to act. Even the best laid plans and strategies, if they are not fluid, responsive, and dynamic can sink even the best kayaks on the water. Remember, this isn’t just a macro strategic issue, it applies to micro issues like departments, product segments, services, teams, initiatives,etc.

Keep that in mind when the sharks come around. Where there is a food supply, there are sharks, bears, wolfs, politicians, banks, the IRS, mothers in law, other businesses, and all other types of predators that would be happy to take their pound of flesh from the unprepared.

Keep Paddling!

-DF

Written by David Frederick

July 12, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Discontinuity – The New Norm?

Wow. What a mess. Jobs, Economy, Lending, Consumer Confidence, Economic Growth, Home Sales (New and Existing), Stock Market, and all other indicators of a healthy economy …. cratering! SO much for the “Summer of Recovery”. Unfortunately, there is no sign of improvement any time soon. Despite what the head in the sand, propagandist and idiots who ignore reality say (White House, Giethner, Congress, Politicians, etc). Yes, I know that’s a strong statement, but the reality of the economy is pretty sobering.

So where does that leave us? Well, I believe it leaves us in an interesting predicament. We can cry, whine, bitch and moan OR we can look at this as an opportunity. I believe that we are living in a disruptive and discontinuous time in our history and economy. This is a painful blip in the bigger long-term picture. Sure things suck right now – economically, and at the rate the current U.S. government is spending American’s and American Business into oblivion with unprecedented debt, entitlements and other nonsense, not to mention an upcoming “mother of all taxation” – including the taxation of the middle class (you really believed Obama when he said you wouldn’t see a take increase?) and more coming.

Yes, these are all economy, jobs (unless you’re in a union or government worker), and growth killers. No question about it and NO it’s not a political thing. It’s an economic truth. Just look around! As Chevy Chase once said in one of my favorite movies Christmas Vacation – “Look around you Ellen – we are at the threshold of hell”.

But in times of discontinuity, there lies opportunity for those brave enough to push forward. Maybe discontinuity is the new norm where things are dynamic, fluid and change on a dime. Is this really so different from the pre-2008 crash? Sure, some things have changed for the worse and for the better, but instead of your business being paralyzed by these challenges it’s time to adjust course, look for new and creative ways to succeed, and forge on. If you look closely, there are companies succeeding in today’s economic conditions. Look at Apple? Most of Apple’s products are not mission critical. They do not run power grids, hospitals or air traffic control systems, yet Apple has had record sales and consistent adaptive innovation over the last 10 years with people standing in line for days to buy their products, spend money, and possess Apple’s latest non-essential and non-mission critical gadget (regardless of “essential” your Mac and iPhone are.. like me!). Lets not forget about all the accessory, peripherals and AT&T services and products people buy to “accessorize” their new Apple gadget. Apple has even created its own micro-economy/industry of apps developers, peripheral developers, accessorizes, etc. If the Apple analogy doesn’t do it for you, look at Droid and Google and the list goes on.

What does this mean? Especially in the lenses of today’s very very difficult economic challenges? It means, the world has changed. Business has changed. Trying to apply late 20th century and early 21st century metrics, strategies and methods…today…DO NOT WORK! Look around you. Do you think its working? The paradigm has changed folks. For better or worse. Its changed and will continue to change over the next 5 -10 years. Consumer behavior and interaction has changed on all levels. Not just retail. How a business spends and makes money, acquires, develops, and deploys technology, acquires talent, sells product and services and interacts with its employees and customers has all changed. Some organization have adapted and are succeeding. Others are swimming against the current and struggling.

It is my belief that the next 5 – 10 years will be difficult for more than 75% of the worlds businesses and economies. Why? Because the world is not keeping pace with human behavior/interaction, consumer buying and interaction, smart sourcing, smart and lean technology adaptation and innovation, product/service development and new methods of engaging employee’s and customers. These are tactical issues that are at the core of success regardless of the century we are in. Combine the fact that most organization don’t do this with reckless spending, high personal and business taxation, huge deficits, inflation, and every other counter-productive method governments virtually enslave people, you have a mighty big challenge. Countries, companies and people who take action, adapt and overcome succeed. Those that keep trying to put the round peg in the square hole continue to suffer, stagnate and ultimately fail.

So is Discontinuity the new norm? I say for the foreseeable future… yes. It is. So what does this mean for your business? Well, first remember that you are limited to the things you can control, so control the things you can and deflect the things you can’t. For example, you can’t control the government (you want a change? Vote!), you can’t control the banks, you can’t control regulators, for most of us and most businesses – you simply can’t directly control the large macro things. But here are a couple of things you can do in the interim to affect the micro and hopefully position you to better navigate the macro:

– Adapt and Overcome: The world, business, markets, etc. have changed. Adapt and overcome. Sit Idell and you will stagnate and die on the vine.
– Respond versus React: By being responsive to changes, challenges and discontinuity you are in a better position to respond versus react. Reaction is a bad place to be. Responding is proactive. Reacting is static – chasing every emergency and challenge. This equals wasted time, money, resources, personnel, failure, etc.
– Innovate: Find ways to do things better, more efficiently, more effectively and more responsive to meet the needs of your business, your clients and the market. Do this and I guarantee you will have a much better chance of success than those that don’t innovate and adapt.
– Stop, Look, and Listen: Remember this when you were a kid? It works for business as well or when your drowning – figuratively and literally. Stop flailing, look around you, your business, your people, your market, the way you are currently doing things and listen to your people and your customers (Sometimes they are your smartest resource!). Sometimes the answer is right in front of you if you only took the time to stop, look and listen.
– Be creative: There is always more the one way to solve a problem. There are also a plethora of ways in which to creatively adapt and overcome. Think outside the box. If your still stuck, look to other organizations that have succeeded and explore what they have done to succeed i.e. Apple. Even if you’re in a totally different business segment, there are still macro fundamentals that can be applied, adapted, etc. Hell, it might even inspire you to do something you never thought of before. If none of that works? Call me. We need to talk.

Finally, understand the world moves in cycles and waves both on a macro and micro level. Even on a sub-atomic level (yes, I know you could argue the wave/particle duality argument but just go with it in this analogy). We are in a cycle of discontinuity and challenge. I view this as a positive. We are experiencing a tectonic shift in business. Even if the economy, governments and other inept forces weren’t driving us off a cliff. Technology, society and life is shifting with our evolution. For better or worse. To ignore this is plain ignorant and hiding your head in the sand syndrome. Suck it up. Get over it and move forward. Focus on what you can control. Look at ways in which to adapt, innovate and overcome. It can be done and is being done. And those organizations that are doing this are succeeding. Those that are not, are struggling or dying.

Whining, complaining, commiserating, etc. may be satisfying at some level, but its unproductive and ultimately destructive. Overcome adversity, adapt and find a way. There are a million ways. Pick one. Doing nothing is fatal. Realize that things have changed. Adapt and overcome or struggle and die. Your choice. But discontinuity IS the new norm.

In closing, remember this. I know things are tough. People are really suffering. Business are suffering. This is a very, very difficult time. It sucks and wont get better in time to help a lot of people and businesses. But, the sky is not really falling. The world is not ending. And we will survive to see another day. Contrary to the efforts of Congress, Politicians, The White House, Over-Regulators, and other world governments that are inept, irresponsible and incapable of getting out of their own way. Yes, it will be tough and in many cases painful. But by staying positive, keeping the faith, keeping what the military calls situational awareness, and being aggressive about innovation, adaptability and navigating the river versus fighting the current you have a strong change of success and prevailing to fight another day. Focus, adapt, innovate and overcome. I have faith. So should you.

What do you think?

-DF

Written by David Frederick

July 6, 2010 at 3:19 PM

Business Bumper Cars

I recently took my kids to an amusement park that had the old style bumper cars. You remember the kind. The sparks on the roof, the smell of arcing electricity, the chaos on the floor, grandmas kamikazing 7 year old’s as if they were getting even for some old score they had to settle. Remember? Ahhh. Good times. Well, while I was standing in line with my two boys, the girls were off with mom to go on some other less violent ride, it dawned on me that what I was watching on the bumper floor was a lot like today’s business climate. Screams and all!

There were people driving everywhere. Some impotent to move because their didn’t know how to steer their car. Others driving around with a mad look in their eyes trying to figure out how to steer the car, and others just smashing into each other, log jammed in the center of the arena. Finally, there were a couple of smart drivers under control cruising the outer ring of confusion, picking the right moment to pummel some unsuspecting driver. I cant help to mention the pain in the but driver who for some unknown reason has identified you or your child as their target and spends the whole ride trying to nail you….repeatedly. Which of course, requires immediate counter measures and a turn the hunted into hunter strategy. But I digress. But not really.

You see, this chaos is very much like the current business climate. Businesses in all industry sectors are in chaos. Driving around, smashing into things and being stuck in the middle log jam because they don’t know what to do. We are in an global business environment that is unprecedented and certainly not one they teach about in an MBA program. When you combine the massive government intervention into the private sector, business verticals shrinking or at best wildly fluctuating, costing and budgeting models changing on a dime, you end up with the equivalent of business bumper cars. Sure there are those business that drive the periphery to stay out of the mix and try to make things happen, but those are the exception to the rule. Most business are in the log jam. So what to do?

First, there is no magic bullet. These are crazy and tough times. In addition, most businesses small and large are too cumbersome to just simply turn on a dime. Even so called lean business. But there are things that can be done to help break the bumper car log jam and put your business in a stronger and more nimble place. Like most successful strategies, they are deceptively simple, obvious and dynamic to ebb and flow with the uncontrollable dynamics of global business. So what are these strategies? Well, I have listed 10 basics herein:

1: My first rule of chaos is there is always opportunity to be found in chaos. You just have to know where to look. What does this mean? Look at better ways to differentiate and get out of the commodity play. Build value instead of trying to compete just on price. Hone your message, product and service strategy, etc. Laser focus on your competencies. These simple things will help you stay out of the noise.

2: Use this period to innovate. Really innovate. People are looking for something new. It could be as simple as a reposition of your brand. A clearer message. New products and modified solutions. More cost effective smart sourcing, etc. Innovation is a multi-dimensional activity. Remember, what made you great in the past will not necessarily make you great in the future so you MUST innovate. If you need help with this, give me a call.

3: Establish leadership both in your organization and in the market. I mean real leadership. Lead from the front. Execute. Even if you fail or falter, you’re still moving and can adjust course accordingly. If your standing still, its too easy to get picked off. Also remember, if you getting kicked in the butt all the time….. by your competitors complaining, or your employee’s complaining because of change, that means your out front where you need to be. Leading.

4: Look at the market place from your customers perspective. I know, Duh right. You would be surprised how many companies forget this simply perspective. Adjust your solutions, value, products, services, etc. to meet the needs of your customers. Anticipate and prepare for where the future is going to be. Not what is happening now. If you focus on only the hear and now, you will only be following, not leading. If you know how to look and use data effectivly you can predict where the market is going. What your customers will need. Even in this crazy market. In fact, absolutely in this market.

5: Communicate. Communicate both internally and externally. Internally you want to make sure you team is on the same page and executing to the same objectives. Externally, you want your customers and partners to know who, what, when, why, how and where. Its to easy to start making radical changes in marketing, sales, branding, and other external facing communication when your in a pinch, desperate and grasping at solutions. But remember, you will only confuse the market place if you are shooting from the hip and trying to be all things to all people. FOCUS and EXECUTE

6: Look at ways to leverage technology more effectively. Technology can do a lot for a company, but if you don’t know how to leverage the data, mine the info, and build effective and meaningful strategies from technology enabled solutions – TES, you risk getting swallowed up in the data and become impotent to adjust course, execute and lead. Again, if you need help here, give me a call.

7: Don’t get pigeon holed into one business strategy. To many times executives will read a book, attend a seminar, talk to a colleague, etc. and think that what works for others will work for you. Most of the time it doesn’t. While there are fundamental benefits in most business, marketing, and corporate strategies, business is not static. Most of my clients forget this. They think my business has been successful for X years and I never changed a thing. We execute our strategy and it works. I always hate telling them that it doesn’t. Especially when I use the data to prove it. If the global business world is changing why would your business be any different? There is a saying used in the Marine Corp that I am fond of quoting to my clients. “Adapt and Overcome”. Your business should be adaptable. Flexible. Dynamic. This way when the markets change or competitors pull up along side you in the race, you can adapt and overcome the challenge. If your not adaptable your business will snap and start to fail.

8: Just like the rubber on the edges of the bumper car that are used to “bump” someone, you need to have your own rubber bumpers to bump off challenges. You do this by building dynamic, flexible and aggressive forward looking strategies. These are derived by solid marketing data and communication, lean and cost effective product/service development, strong R&D and innovation, bold and confident leadership executing you strategy. Yes, you will get bumped. But being able to absorb the hit and move on is the key.

9: Take a global approach. Just because your core markets maybe domestic, perhaps your growth strategy, cost reduction strategy, etc. may be across the ocean. Depending on the size of your business, this approach may be of value. To many companies when faced with challenges become myopic. Broaden your field of play and you have a better chance of scoring a goal, identifying beneficial team mates and winning the game.

10: Bumper Car Hell. We are all trying to stay out of the log jam and drive smooth so we can pick our target without getting hammered in the back by the maniacal screaming 10 year old. You will take a hit. No question. Many times its because we cant drive the car and smash into the wall. Other times its because we’re in the game and playing for keeps. Remember that grandma! But, regardless of the arena, you need to move forward with agility, vision, strategy and execution. To succeed in today’s global business and bumper cars, doing these things will keep you moving in the right direction.

So in the end, we rode the bumper cars. My youngest son with me in one car, my oldest son in the other car. We did ok. Took some hits, gave some hits, evaded the crazy people and enjoyed ourselves. Screaming and all. Mostly by me! As the ride ended and I exited the car with the scent of arcing bumpers in my nose, I couldn’t help wonder how many business today are screaming and trying to avoid taking a hit and driving in circles because they couldn’t get out of the mass of bumper cars stuck in the middle because they didn’t know what to do. Is that you? If so, we need to talk.

-DF

Written by David Frederick

August 20, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Pavlovian Hell

I have come to the personal conclusion that my life and that of many other “connected” people, by which I mean cell phones, Black Berrys, iPhones, lap tops, desk tops, IM, etc. you get the gist, are suffering from something I call Pavlovian Hell – PVH.

For those of you who don’t remember learning about Ivan Pavlov in high school or early colleage, let me briefly refresh your memory. Classical conditioning (also Pavlovian or respondent conditioning) is a form of associative learning that was first demonstrated by Ivan Pavlov.[1] The typical procedure for inducing classical conditioning involves presentations of a neutral stimulus along with a stimulus of some significance. The neutral stimulus could be any event that does not result in an overt behavioral response from the organism under investigation. Pavlov referred to this as a conditioned stimulus (CS). Conversely, presentation of the significant stimulus necessarily evokes an innate, often reflexive, response. Pavlov called these the unconditioned stimulus (US) and unconditioned response (UR), respectively. If the CS and the US are repeatedly paired, eventually the two stimuli become associated and the organism begins to produce a behavioral response to the CS. Pavlov called this the conditioned response (CR).

Make sense? Remember? Good. Now here is where the hell part comes in. I have noticed that its not just me, but everyone, has a conditioned response that if their Black Berry or iPhone, Cell Phone i.e. digital device beeps, vibrates, squeaks or even utters the tiniest of sounds, people instantly grab their “device” (conditioned response) and peers at it with a look of complex bliss, expectation, disappointment or elation. Which is subsequently followed immediately by one of two secondary conditioned responses. 1: A fury of rapid finger manipulations to immediately reply or 2: a re holstering of their device. Mind you this all happens within a breath of a nano-second or less.

So what is it that illicits this condition response? Are we simply no better off than Pavlov’s dogs? Is it the intoxicating simple beep, buzz, super grooving ring tone? Is it the deep desire to be “connected” to friends, colleagues and family? Remember, its not always a pleasant message or call? Yet, we still grab for our device as if our very life depends on it. And what about those nay sayers who tell us, they put theirs on silent or vibrate so as not to be distracted? They have complete control of their digital world. Hogwash!

Don’t believe me? Watch the next time one of these masters of the universe has their device go off. Their eye’s will dart to the device, there muscles will strain with imposed self control, they will look with a fleeting glimmer to see who, what, why, and when and then pretend like the whole event didn’t happen. In most cases, if you were not an astute viewer of behavior, you would have thought nothing happened……..except for that little bead of sweat in the corner of their forehead and the deep breadth. But its not over, when the timing is right, still imposing self control, this master will go to the bathroom, or hall way and IMMEDIATELY look to see what was so important! And after this epic event, this person will summon all of the grammatical and language prose they poses to reply with profound word’s of wisdom, this is where you gasp in anticipation, the profound words……….. OMG! For those of you who don’t understand text, that means Oh My God! The circle of communication begins anew.

But hell is not a lonely place. There are many of us stuck here. Just watch on your next flight when within 4.2 nano-seconds precisely after the aircraft has touched down, the smoke not even clearing from the burnt rubber of the touch down landing, 99.922479% of every passenger and flight attendant has whipped open their device and has connected to the world again. As if they were locked in a time warp or stasis during the flight. And then it happens. A cacophony of beeps, buzzes, and ring tones drowns out any sound of humanity, technical engineering or connecting flights for that matter. The vicious cycle of Pavlovian Hell begins anew. What is so important?! Who do you have to talk to that very nano-second of touch down?

I wish I could say that I am much different. But I am not. I too suffer in the burning depths a Pavlovian Hell. However, unlike my other brethren in the human world, I know I am here. I have even take steps to mitigate this effect. I have chosen soothing sounds. A soft gong to alert me to my email and more. But alas, to no avail do they offer relief. They are more like the bells at dinner time for Pavlov’s dogs than an oasis of soothing sounds.

So what is one to do? Well, those from the radical camp just shut theirs off and check their device at certain time intervals. But don’t be fooled. They to crave the message, they just have more self control then the rest of us mortals. Then there is rest of us, who during church, at the office, driving, at your child’s event or class play, in the cab, on the train, on the plane, at the beach, on vacation and even at the doctors, can not help themselves in resisting the conditioned response. Those who say they can are heretics and liars. I know.

My only advice for escaping this world of digital zombies is to follow this exactly. Don’t skip a step or you will be instantly transported back to PV hell.

1: Put your device on vibrate or silence. Preferably vibrate. Sometimes you really need to see who is calling you like your going in to labor wife, or sick child or sometimes, in extreme cases, your boss.

2: Putting your phone on vibrate has enormous benefits for you and society. For you, when your out of your office, or desk at home, or outside, you cant hear it and thus suffer the attack of PVH (Pavlovian Hell). Yes, you may still hear the buzz, but that’s a maybe. Secondly, you would spare all of us from sharing in your PVH AND spare us the annoyance of your cheesy ring tone or obnoxious ring and subsequent loud conversation or cataleptic fit inducing fingers of fury typing.

3: When your device does notify you, take a deep breadth and wait at least 10 seconds before grabbing for it.

4: Finally, chances are, who ever or what ever is pinging you is not an emergency. Do yourself the favor of simply ignore it. Responsibly of course. But you will be doing yourself a huge favor. Less stress and frantic behavior, it will appear as though you are really busy and working hard, you contribute to the silence and harmony on airplanes, restaurants, school plays, trains, cabs, etc. and ultimately, you will appear to, and maybe even in fact, value your neighbors, children’s, spouse or significant others time. Best of all, you will be the master of your own world and not some conditioned responding pooch.

PVH is not terminal and if you practice the simple awareness exercises herein, you may, may, just be delivered from the gripping bonds of PVH.

-DF

Written by David Frederick

June 8, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Brand Saturation

You know, I always drive by this big bill board for Disney channel and radio and it finally occurred to me that the logo Disney didn’t hold that same magical emotional reaction it used to. That wonderment of when you were a kid and saw the logo and thought Disney world! Mickey! Poo! Now, I get a feeling of annoyance,  saturation and disgust. Why? Because Disney is everywhere. See, I have 5 kids all under the age of 12. My house runs on Disney channel. My XM sat in my car is set to Disney Channel, etc. etc. ENOUGH!!! Disney has so proliferated the lives of young kids from Hannah Montana to High School Musical, to less astounding artists like the Jonas Brothers, etc. Disney is everywhere. On the Radio, On the TV, in my itunes library and more. So my question on my drive today was, when does a brand become so saturated that it looses its original brand equity? And…. Is that ok because you are building new equity with a new generation, Smart marketing or the over saturation of a brand? Maybe both. For those of us over 12, we miss the old Disney and still think of Disneyland, rides, movies and more. For those under 16, Disney IS Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, High School Musical. Its a different product for a different time. But will the kids of today have that same “Disney” Magical feeling that we had as kids when they watch Wizards of Waverley Place?

So what do you think? Has Disney sold out its original brand for more commercialized business OR are they just smart and taking advantage of all marketing media mediums? I can tell you personally, I cant take it any more. All the bands sound the same, all the sitcoms are the same, 24/7 Disney!!! etc. Cant stand it! Just turn it off. At least until the next Vanessa Hudgens song comes out. What happened to Poo, Mickey, and friends. Pirates, I dig. But come on. Zach and Cody? Uhhh. What a mess.

-DF

Written by David Frederick

March 30, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Technology – Your personal portal

I was recently trying to sync applications on the web, on my desk top and on my iPhone and it hit me. This enabling technology thing has become my personal portal to my life!

In simple terms, my calender, thoughts, ideas, things to do, contacts, web browsing, emails, phone, banking, pictures, remote,  etc are all either in the cloud, in my hand or on my desk top. Talk about multi-point user control! This is the holy grail for marketers. To proliferate into all these touch points in a productive, predictive and measurable way.

Think about it. In order to access the things in my life and the things that devour my time including resolving sync problems, I simply slide my finger, type a URL or click an icon. Its all there. My life and what controls it. Its the same for millions of other people whether they know it or not. Black Berry’s, Smart Phones, iPhone’s, PC’s, Mac’s, Web Apps and Web 2.0/3.0. Your life in the digital world. But some may say there is more to life like religion and spirituality. Hell, I’ve got that to! I have that in my iPhone. I can get bible versus, bible quotes of the day, Buddhism and zen quotes, etc. Then sports and fitness. I have that to! I have apps that will measure my performance, tell me when high tide is, navigate for me, etc. Its all there in this technology circus.

Has it really come to this? We even make apps to organize all of our stuff. Great apps to! But none the less, in order to access the things that go on and are needed in my life, I simply need to click or slide something. Does that make me organized or pathetically reliant on technology.  If you think I am nuts and you don’t think you have this issue, think really hard what would happen if you lost your Black Berry or Smart Phone, lap top, etc.? YOU WOULD FREAK! Worse than losing your wallet because half your damn financial stuff is on your computer, Black Berry or other device. Go on admit it!!! You would freak out and fall into a heap of sobbing mess. Like a borg unplugged from the main borg unit. Your off the grid baby. Down for the count.

Pretty cool or pretty pathetic and sad? What do you think?

-DF

Written by David Frederick

March 25, 2009 at 2:53 PM