Archive for the ‘ opportunities ’ Category

Mindshare Mining: Reputation Management “for the rest of us”

From an introduction blurb:

A small company’s online presence — its mindshare among target markets — always matters. Always.

Value judgments about reputation and ability, mental pictures of products-at-work, and final buying decisions depend on how convincing your online presence is — relative to that of your competitors.

Your products, services and, indeed, your entire business may depend on impressions formed in a few seconds — followed by a few simple mouse clicks.

While crucial to your business success, measuring and assessing your competitive mindshare is not magic. It’s just hard work that requires business experience, technological savvy, a keen ability to insightfully connect the proverbial dots, and a commitment of that precious resource of time.

The short of it? Big companies know the critical importance of managing the ‘buzz’ about their brand, their products, their services and their people. More often than not, pricey management consultancies are brought in to help company’s with this effort.

Lot of time. Lot of expense.

Point is, for small companies, this reputation is every bit as critical. In some cases, even more. But – it’s a luxury. Neither the time nor the funds are possible. is planning on changing this.


Mrs Robinson would be whispering “atoms” these days

Atoms, not bits, will make the next great wave of bazillionaires. We’ve been talking about desktop fabrication for years but …the sticking point has always been it’s-still-a-plastic-model-of-something-we-make-with-our-fabricators-not-a-Real-Thing problem. AND, that’s where radically low volume factory runs in China, enabled by CAD plans whipped up somewhere else (and reality verified by desktop fabs) and the near-zero container-transportation costs will make a difference. A big BIG difference.

Do a google search on “Atoms are the next bits”…

mindshare presence and mindshare enhancement for small businesses

A client has asked me to propose how I’d do a “social computing audit” for them — essentially, they want to see (1) how their competitors are using things like blogs and YouTube, or FaceBook and Twitter and (2) what tools or methods *they* might want to adapt.

Something interesting – and unexpected – came up in the research I put into the proposal for that gig. The CEO who’d asked for ‘some thoughts on a proposal’ was politely skeptical about the bottom line value of these new tools. Still – off I went to do some preliminary work.

I found two things. Sure enough, the company had a very scant presence in these new(ish) venues.  And — as minimal as it was — it was *about* par for the course for that particular industry. The surprising thing was that a lion’s share of tweets and blog comments came from a handful of clearly dissatisfied customers!

Bottom line? It’s one thing to monitor how you’re ‘keeping up with’ competitors in terms of online visibility, it’s another to see *what* your online reputation is.

Really big companies know this difference and pay dearly for reputation management — for their company as well as for their c-level execs!

As far as I know (that is to say, as far as 5 minutes on Google searches popped up), the company that does this kind of small-company and (and their senior people) reputation management is a local (Bay Area) firm,   Reputation Defender   ( )

‘might be worth your while to check them out !

Thinking now is SO not the right time to do a start up?

Well, maybe conventional wisdom isn’t the best way to think about this decision. The current (Dec) BusinessWeek publication has just launched its first annual “most intriguing 25 new businesses created in the last year” list.

The list is displayed alphabetically, so you’ll have to do a big of homework to come up with your own persona ranking of these efforts, but the point is this: great companies have often started in tough times.

Things have been tough, and they remain difficult, but there are some glimmers of hope Out There.

This year – 2009 – witnessed 24,500 startups financed by angel investors. Down a whole bunch from a few years earlier, BUT, up 6% from 2008.

Better still, according to estimates from the Center for Venture Research, this coming year should see over 50,000 startups funded by angels.

SO… we can hunker down til people in the streets are singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” or we can do what entrepreneurs do best – take calculated risks.