Guy Kawasaki on evangelism and bozo vaccination

I went and saw Guy Kawasaki the other week. It was my first trip out to the University of New South Wales and they have just opened the Michael Crouch Innovation Centre

So nice. I sat on the lawn and had a coffee while Guy set up inside

Guy setting up to Periscope livestream off his iPhone

I see a lot of evangelists in my life (and I mean -a lot, one of the greats Dr Ravi Zacharias was also in Sydney the same week to packed auditoriums so it was all pretty amazing for me- it’s kind of my thing) but not many of the secular kind and Kawasaki is still one of the best. 

Students in the new innovation centre

His choppy, confronting ‘this is how we do things around here’ style holds your attention and makes you like him.  Mainly because he actually has an opinion and something to say but also because he has great Apple war stories and a magnificent smile. He's a great communicator and everything screams of experience and time on the road. 

A great communicator in action
Even though he was speaking under his new banner of startup Canva, it’s not hard to tell his true love is still Apple. It didn’t take long for the ‘what was it like to work for Steve Jobs’ stories to come out and as Guy confirmed ‘everything you’ve heard about Steve Jobs is true. He was a genius and terrifying and I thought he was going to fire me at every meeting.”

He had some great yarns and advice so I’ve selected three of my favourites:

1. Engineers think engineering is hard and therefore, everything else is easy - like say, sales and marketing. Engineers think you can hire any old person to do stuff that isn’t engineering. 

I just about fell out of my chair with this one. I’ve experienced this ‘hire any old random to do marketing or finance or whatever because the clever people are the engineers’ mindset so I’m glad it wasn’t just me who had to explain that if your mate’s girlfriend wants a job in marketing perhaps she could go to university for six years and the work for 10 years and not get about 50 jobs she’s applied for and start at the bottom like everyone else (by that I mean me) had to. Preach it Guy. 

2. You need to be exposed to certain levels of bozo-ness to create immunity. Be glad if you have had high levels of bozo exposure because it means you will be stronger and vaccinated against higher strains of bozo. 

He included in this successful bozos can knock your confidence, such as Steve Jobs who didn’t always get everything right. By treating the bozo exposure as vaccination, you will be super awesome and able to resist even the most complex and aggressive forms of bozo-ness in the future. Excellent. 

3. Everyone has said and done stuff that makes them cringe, so don’t let past cringes hold you back. 

Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook also talks about her huge cringe moments in her book ‘Lean In’.  I can put most of mine in the ‘trying too hard’ category which fitted well with Kawasaki’s definition of just not knowing what you don’t know. Cringe is a sign that you are mixing things up and trying new things so feel the burn of the cringe and don’t let it stop you trying again. Go the cringe. 

my hair looks like Donald Trump's after the lawn coffee- fab

It also made me realise I haven’t really found my true-love, career defining company yet so I’ve got that to look forward to. I’ve also been fortunate to hear from several executives on the tail end of their career, looking back and that always makes me think to pace myself, slow down and enjoy the journey if you want to still be speaking to university students in thirty or forty years time.

Twitter Digits designed for people like Steve Wozniak

Twitter Digits pleases me greatly. 

I started using Twitter on a dumb phone via the SMS thing where you text your tweets. It seems like an age ago but that to me has always been the power of Twitter- the ability to communicate openly and efficiently via SMS. When all sorts of display ads started appearing about the desktop and mobile versions I thought this could be the end of the great era of low-juice social media that Twitter is so good at and ultimately, their demise. Enabling third party developers to use their SMS technology sort of corrects two weird tacks that twitter took- booting out all the third party developers (like one of my favourite products Twitcleaner -tears) and getting so rich media heavy that it wasn’t the nimble messaging beast that it used to be. 

One of the drivers here is that people in emerging smartphone markets might not have an email address so by allowing app developers to use their Digits protocol for free, they can get online which is pretty ace. 

Are people going to hand out their mobile phone numbers willy nilly to lots of app companies?

We were a bit cagey about email addresses there for a while and it’s become so standard that you have to have an email to sign in that people have just sort of given up and give it out for everything. By ‘people’ I mean me. I usually give the old 555 5555555 in web mobile forms because I don’t want to give it out and I regularly change sim cards which is a pain for two factor authentication and why I don’t use that so much but I think the new era of internet users might have a different idea about their mobile number as a primary contact? 

Let’s look at the use case for this random interwebber mister steve wozniak -whoever he is. [am i just pointing out that steve wozniak commented on my G+ post? - yes I am]. We can see in the footer of this-obviously novice-computer person that the email is hashed out but the phone numbers are visible. What a n00b. 

This reckless user clearly has no concern for privacy and doesn't get how the internet works because he also checked in to his hotel room using the exact room number on Twitter/Swarm app. Wow I think those technology companies need to take some responsibility to educate users about their data. This old guy is just pushing rando buttons all over the place. His kids probably bought him an iPhone for Christmas to take on his big holiday to Australia and now he wants to stay on a 'distinguished talent' visa. Dude better learn how to work his iPhone first. 

Poor guy might get targeted for burglars or something. The weird people on Tinder or the terrorists might get him. Terrorists in burqas on Tinder- I'm sure that's a thing. Either way, I blame the technology companies and Miley Cyrus. 

So yes, I think people will give out their mobile numbers more just like late-adopter Steve Wozniak and Digits is a very good thing and Twitter will live long and prosper and that will be great. 

[Also- Tony Abbott, please give Steve Wozniak a visa thank you]. 

Will it bend? Rachel Allen buttermilk scones

If your previous scone efforts have been of the Nokia 5 series indestructible brick varietal then this recipe is for  you. 

I’m a big fan of Rachel Allen and her buttermilk scones recipe is pretty internet-famous so I decided to give it a go, because it said ‘difficulty=easy’ on the page and making 'hard' scones that would turn out hard all sounded a bit hard. The secret is to RTFM on this one: do exactly what the recipe says and your scones will be a winner. 

Winning scone of champions and following instructions

Tips: 

Scone science is very complicated and controversial

There is much debate on the best raising agent to use for scones and the cream of tartar/buttermilk/bicarb soda science is what makes them non-Nokia so get all the things ready before you start and get the measurements exact

The buttermilk came fresh in a carton in the chilled section of the supermarket where you get milk

I had a conversion fail at the start going from grams to cups -US standard cup and AU standard cup are not the same so remember it’s fourish cups not 2ish cups of flour 125gms =cup, cup dependent of course

I used normal, plain flour and not 00 Italian pasta flour so that gets them even lighter if you can get that

I cut the dough out with a normal water glass because I didn’t have a scone cutter and it worked ok

Rachel Allen likes crispy golden brown bottoms

Don’t panic if they take a few minutes longer in the oven to go dark golden because I just about pulled them out too soon and then I went ‘no, I must trust Rachel at this critical time’ and they look good I think. Rachel Allen goes on about the crispy outside and bottoms and the soft middle which I didn’t really get before but I do now, it’s amazing and what makes them so different from the atrocities you get at Starbucks et al.

Squishy and soft hooray :)
Jam and cream for the full Queen experience

Will they bend? Nope these ones are not doughy nor brick-like in any way and I was pretty impressed with the colour and height on them, especially for a first attempt. Rubbing the butter into the flour takes ages but if you get organised, it's fast and the recipe makes a lot and you will feel talented and successful in your renewed scone making abilities. Seriously, stick to the recipe and (I even sifted the dry ingredients which I normally could never be bothered with) and you will be tapping crispy bottoms, just like Rachel. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g light Italian or plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 heaped tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 heaped tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 125 g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • egg, beaten
  • 275 ml buttermilk or milk, plus extra for the egg wash
  • 50 g caster or granulated sugar, (optional)

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7. 

2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cream of tartar and salt into a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix well. 

3. Set aside about a third of the beaten egg and combine the rest with the buttermilk, then add to the flour mixture and mix briefly to combine into a moist dough. Place on a lightly floured work surface and knead ever so slightly to bring together, then press or roll out to a thickness of 2cm. 

4. Using a 6cm round cutter, cut out approximately 12 scones and place on a floured baking tray. 

5. Add about a teaspoon or so of buttermilk to the remainder of the beaten egg to make an egg wash. Brush the scones with the egg wash (and dip the tops in sugar if you wish) and bake in the oven for 10–12 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve while hot. 

Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins)

How to spot a heartless showroomer

I went for a haircut the other day and that was nice because sitting reading magazines and having cups of coffee brought to you is lovely. The most lovely thing about this week’s service experience was that it was in a big renovated house so people were all very relaxed and friendly and talkative. 

How great Lorraine Downes’ hair is on the front cover of the Women’s Weekly was the main topic of conversation.  The hair stylists said they are getting lots of requests for that haircut and that doesn’t she suit it and doesn’t she look great and isn’t she ageing well and yes, she is still really beautiful. 

It was then also agreed that going from long hair to short hair ‘takes confidence’ and Lorraine Downes seems really nice and she’s married to Martin Crowe and the young hairdresser didn’t know who he was and the other people all felt old. One of the older customers called him ‘Marty’ because she met him once and meeting Martin Crowe once means that from then on you call him ‘Marty’…good to know; put that in your Evernote. The person cutting my hair said ‘yes it does take confidence to go from long to short hair and she was really brave’ and I nodded and admired her courageous act on the Women’s Weekly cover. 

Then the conversation moved on to lipstick. The young hairdresser who didn’t know Marty said she was ‘all about’ lipstick and that her favourite one was a Mac one called Morange but that it was expensive so she wasn’t wearing it today because she kept it for good. Another lady suggested that she could ‘maybe buy it online a bit cheaper’ but that she herself didn’t buy things online because that was called ‘showrooming’  and she ’didn’t have the heart’ to do such a despicable thing. 

“It’s destroying all the retailers this showrooming. I wouldn’t have the heart to go in a shop and look at something and buy it online”

Goading young impressionable hairdressers into heartless acts of showrooming Morange lipstick. The shame. 

So just to review:

Lorraine Downes= takes confidence /lovely/ probably not a show roomer/highly requested hair style

Showroomers=heartless/destroys retailers/may or may not wear Morange lipstick/not highly requested hair style

I didn’t have the Lorraine-Downes-confidence to point out that going and looking at an iPhone in an Apple store and then buying it on their website was also showrooming and that it was something that certain brands and retailers encouraged and are very excited about the future of and that are lots of online retail brands like Asos that are doing really well and creating jobs and giving people more choices. That there is also ‘reverse showrooming’ where you look at something online and go into a store to buy it which is actually how I ended up at that particular hair place. So I just kept my non-feelings to myself, drank my nice coffee and didn’t share the dark truth that I too was a heartless showroomer. 

Facebook is just getting started and marketers need to pay attention

I heard a TV journalist on the weekend casually start a question: ‘with social media sites like Facebook declining…” 

Now I’m not sure what measures she was using to get to that (if any) but nothing I’m seeing suggests that Facebook is in decline. From a business point of view, Facebook is looking very healthy. 

First Quarter 2014 Operational Highlights

  • Daily active users (DAUs) were 802 million on average for March 2014, an increase of 21% year-over-year.
  • Mobile DAUs were 609 million on average for March 2014, an increase of 43% year-over-year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.28 billion as of March 31, 2014, an increase of 15% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs were 1.01 billion as of March 31, 2014, an increase of 34% year-over-year. 

First Quarter 2014 Financial Highlights

Revenue - Revenue for the first quarter of 2014 totaled $2.50 billion, an increase of 72%, compared with $1.46 billion in the first quarter of 2013. 

  • Revenue from advertising was $2.27 billion, an 82% increase from the same quarter last year.
  • Mobile advertising revenue represented approximately 59% of advertising revenue for the first quarter of 2014, up from approximately 30% of advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2013.
  • Payments and other fees revenue was $237 million for the first quarter of 2014.

Right so they have lots of people but are they making money off them? Well, yes they’re starting to. You just have to look at Mary Meeker’s State of the Internet analysis to see that. 

The figure that Mark Zuckerberg gets most excited about is the highly coveted 'daily visits' which sits around 60%. That’s really high and hasn’t seen the declines that even Facebook predicted once the platform reached a critical mass of users. By getting in to your phone and your daily habits, Facebook has a front-door to the social web that nobody else does. 

Recent acquisitions WhatsApp and Instagram are both in strong growth phases and are providing the younger audiences that Facebook desktop ran the risk of missing as pure mobile products develop. 

Installs of their own app give Facebook the most reach of any mobile product in the US.  Mobile app install ads have been a real winner for Facebook too with mobile app developers using Facebook as way to target and deliver their product in the Google Play or Apple App stores. 

So what’s this talk of declining?

Brands are getting less organic engagement on their brand pages. So you’ll see posts like this that make you think Facebook isn’t worth your brand’s effort. Quality content working together with paid ads is probably the direction you should be looking (for both Facebook and Google content). 

It’s the pay to play model that we’ve talked about before: if you want to target high quality audiences with your content, then you have to pay the same way that you pay for TV ads or billboard locations or the front page of the newspaper. 

Newsfeed ads have been very successful for the company and they are now moving away from those crappy little right hand side ads (which Zuckerberg describes as ‘legacy ads’) to a new design that look a lot more like a standard IAB ad unit, medium rectangle type thing. 

The new battleground is of course, mobile and Facebook is loving on its developers and trying to make things easier for them to develop for their platform by offering services like Parse that make the mobile development environment more simple and easier to monetise. App developers make money, consumers get better products and experiences and ultimately, Facebook makes money and continues to grow. That’s the plan and Austin Carr has written and superb article about it over here you must, must, must read -that’s three musts. 

The ad products are changing all the time and it’s really important that you dig a bit deeper and keep open minded about what you can achieve on different platforms. A campaign that didn’t work 12 months ago might work now. Instagram might be ripe for another look. You might need to take a look at this ‘over indexing of print’ figure and think ‘hmmm, maybe we are over indexed for print’.  

Because if the only  real reason is that 1. you have personal feelpinions and you just don't like Facebook 2. it's scary and you can't keep up and understand these new products, well then it's time to look at some quality data and learn for yourself and make some big girl decisions instead of agreeing with people on the television who might not know what they're talking about. 

Android and Windows Phone gains share while smartphone prices drop

Smartphone average selling prices (ASPs) have continued to decline as the appetite for more affordable devices grows. ASPs were down -12.5% in 3Q13, accounting for an average price of $317. At the same time, the market has seen a large influx of large-screen smartphones (5-7” screens), also known as phablets. Large-screen devices generally come with a higher selling price than smaller screen devices, due to the need for more powerful and expensive components. Phablet ASPs in 3Q13 were notably higher than the market average at $443. However, the 3Q13 ASP was down -22.8% from the $573 phablet ASP in 3Q12.

Top Four Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, Q3 2013 (Units in Millions) 

Operating System

3Q13 Shipment Volumes

3Q13 Market Share

3Q12 Shipment Volumes

3Q12 Market Share

Year-Over-Year Change

Android

211.6

81.0%

139.9

74.9%

51.3%

iOS

33.8

12.9%

26.9

14.4%

25.6%

Windows Phone

9.5

3.6%

3.7

2.0%

156.0%

BlackBerry

4.5

1.7%

7.7

4.1%

-41.6%

Others

1.7

0.6%

8.4

4.5%

-80.1%

Total

261.1

100.0%

186.7

100.0%


39.9%



Operating System Highlights 

Android
pushed past 80% market share for the first time in 3Q13, a testament to its broad and deep list of vendors, including four of the top five vendors worldwide. While Android, as a whole, moved forward, the vast majority of its vendors still struggle to find meaningful market share. Samsung accounted for 39.9% of all Android shipments for the quarter, while the rest of the vendors either saw single-digit market share or, in the case of the majority of vendors, market share of less than 1%. 

iOS, despite seeing its total volumes increase and reaching new record third quarter volumes, saw its market share decline during 3Q13, most likely due to soft demand in the weeks leading up to the launch of iOS 7 smartphones. Still, if the 9 million units sold during the last week of September is any indication of future adoption, iOS stands to reap another record quarter in terms of volumes, market share, and year-over-year growth. 

Windows Phone posted the largest year-over-year growth worldwide of any of the leading operating systems, a result primarily driven by the support of Nokia. By itself, Nokia accounted for 93.2% of all the Windows Phone-powered smartphones shipped during the quarter, marking a new milestone in the company's short history on the Microsoft platform. Participation from other vendors, meanwhile, still seemed a mixed bag with more vendors participating from a year ago, but volumes still far behind Nokia's own. 

BlackBerry recorded the largest year-over-year decline among the leading operating systems during 3Q13. Underpinning its results was softer demand for its new BB10 operating system and continued demand for its older BB7 within emerging markets. Now with a new CEO in place and an infusion of $1 billion, what remains to be seen is how and when the beleaguered operating system will be able to change course in the face of mounting pressure from Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

Eating your own beats getting eaten.

I had a bit of a brain jolt this morning when I saw Apple CEO Tim Cook's comments on cannibalisation as part of the Q113 earnings call today. 

“I see cannibalisation as a huge opportunity for us,” Cook said. “Our core philosophy is to never fear cannibalisation. If we don’t do it, someone else will. We know that iPhone has cannibalised some of our iPod business. That doesn’t worry us."

Why waste resource protecting territory that your competitor has under full attack and customers don't want? Keep going and take new ground with more advanced products as the technology and user preference develops.

It's so damn obvious I can't believe the years I've sat in meetings nodding along to 'evils of cannibalisation' pep talks. 

My first job was in FMCG sales and I remember we had to sell a new Weight Watchers branded product into the supermarkets. It was a fantastic product. Dripping chocolatey goodness with sexy packaging and hardly any calories. The issue was, we already had a plain old 'Lite' product that was doing quite well and we weren't allowed to cannibalise it.  Our instruction was to create new shelf space and not take any facings off the existing diet product. 

When presented with the Weight Watchers sample, buyers would always point at the 'Lite' product on the shelf and say: "so we don't need that one?"

All the 'anti-cannibalisation' tactic did was create confusion and slow down the adoption of the new shiny product. In the meantime. competitors could refine their their own 'Lite' offers by copying ours and gain more market share by picking off our older, weaker incumbent. 

Eating your own might sound primitive but it does keep you at the top of the food chain. Something Apple is very good at. 

Customers won't pay for content today that was 'free' yesterday

News companies need to make sure that the product consumers are paying for looks and acts different to the one they previously consumed for free.

If customers aren't confident that what is on the other side of the paywall is quality, you won't get a click let alone a credit card number. 

The content needs to be repackaged and presented in a way that    the change required for the customer and makes them feel (real or perceived) that what's behind the paywall is better. Let them have a look around. Give them the assurance that the quality is good and you have what they want. Then get them to enter their credit card details. Not for one year or even one month subscription, but just to sign up to your site and get an account.  

The issue is not that customers don't want to pay for content. 

The issue is that they don't want to pay for the 'free' content. 

Make it look and act nothing like the 'free' content and they'll pay for it. 

Look at Apple iTunes. Apple confront the point of pain early in the sign up process and make the expectation very clear with the customer that you must pay for content. Consumers can't register an Apple ID without entering a credit card number or iTunes voucher. No payment method, no Apple ID. However, you can get an ID without actually making any monetary payment- Apple just want the credit card upfront so they can transact from day one. 

Remember that the content products (music, videos and books) are not new and has been available previously, but in a different format.

It feels new. The payment part is out of the way and forgotten and who knows what a song is meant to cost? Apple has told us in a palatable way.  

The focus for media companies now needs to be getting payment information off their audiences with simple product offerings that look and feel nothing like their existing ones.  

Repackaging products and getting a payment system in lowers the paywall and speeds up audience acquisition time. 

Strip back news offerings to the bare bones and move customers on to trackable customer ID's attached to a form of payment method. Sell them products and services they want and they will willingly provide a credit card number- even if it's not for news in the first instance. Initial payments may be small, even following the Paypal method of a five cent 'verification charge', but getting the payment system running then allows sites to transact products and services to the news audience.

Samsung and Android continue US mobile dominance

With Apple's prowess in marketing it's easy forget what a critical role the carrier plays in manufacturer and platform market dominance. 

Google touts 'choice' as its big advantage over Apple with more carriers, manufacturers and handsets. 

Recent survey data from comScore shows that Samsung is still the leading OEM brand in the US market with 25.6% of US mobile subscribers, followed by LG and then Apple. 

Google Android is the number one smartphone platform with over the half the market share (Apple has just over one third). 

 

Top Mobile OEMs
3 Month Avg. Ending Jul. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2012
Total U.S. Mobile Subscribers (Smartphone & Non-Smartphone) Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Share (%) of Mobile Subscribers
Apr-12 Jul-12 Point Change
Total Mobile Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Samsung 25.9% 25.6% -0.3
LG 19.2% 18.4% -0.8
Apple 14.4% 16.3% 1.9
Motorola 12.5% 11.2% -1.3
HTC 6.0% 6.4% 0.4

Smartphone Platform Market Share

More than 114 million people in the U.S. owned smartphones during the three months ending in July, up 7 percent versus April. Google Android ranked as the top smartphone platform with 52.2 percent market share (up 1.4 percentage points), while Apple’s share increased 2 percentage points to 33.4 percent. RIM ranked third with 9.5 percent share, followed by Microsoft (3.6 percent) and Symbian (0.8 percent).

Top Smartphone Platforms
3 Month Avg. Ending Jul. 2012 vs. 3 Month Avg. Ending Apr. 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Ages 13+
Source: comScore MobiLens
  Share (%) of Smartphone Subscribers
Apr-12 Jul-12 Point Change
Total Smartphone Subscribers 100.0% 100.0% N/A
Google 50.8% 52.2% 1.4
Apple 31.4% 33.4% 2.0
RIM 11.6% 9.5% -2.1
Microsoft 4.0% 3.6% -0.4
Symbian 1.3% 0.8% -0.5