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Great articles roundup: Lean methodologies, story-centred design, real-time marketing, value proposition, pitching editors

By Daylin Mantyka

link2 300x240 Great articles roundup: Brand differentiation, intrapreneurs, startup pitch, startupsAs a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Ash Maurya: Practice Trumps Theory, GigaOm, Fast Company, Marketing Sherpa Blog and Social Media Explorer.

Your business model is a system and why you should care

Ash Maurya talks about the roots of lean development and why understanding where the concept came from is important for successfully finding that sweet spot in product-market fit.

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What an entrepreneur can learn from a literary conference: Part II

By Leo Valiquette

I’ve blogged before about my ambitions to become a fabulously successful novelist and my annual April trek to Toronto to attend the Ad Astra literary conference. Having just returned from the 2013 edition, here are my latest observations that apply as much to entrepreneurs as they do to authors.

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‘You can’t cross a canyon in two leaps’

By Francis Moran

Canada lost one of its most populist and colourful political characters last week when former Alberta premier and Calgary mayor Ralph Klein died. There are a number of marketing lessons, both salutary and otherwise, to be drawn from the exploits of this seemingly simple man whose shoot-from-the-lip approach and unrivalled common touch made him an object of both admiration and scorn.

However, today I’m going to riff on just one of his more quotable quotes because it applies so very well to the doomed approach too many technology companies take with their belief that market traction and sustainable revenue growth can be achieved through a series of low-cost incremental steps.

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Do you know what your customer actually wants?

By Maurice Smith

I once spent a fortnight in Silicon Valley being trained in strategic planning. It was a fantastic experience. We spent the first week in groups trying to invent new products and industries, a motley crew of scientists, financiers and creatives.

In the midst of the workshops, a very opinionated participant from Miami told us – not once, but twice – that there were many modern technical inventions that no one had ever asked for – the minivan and the fax machine for starters.

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Why I like customer advisory boards

By Jesse Rodgers

Seeking out customer feedback and using it to build a great product is not a new concept. Great designers have been doing it for a long time as have great companies. The Lean Startup manual (or startup bible to many) talks about involving the customer while developing that minimum viable product (MVP): “The minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.

Where that generally leads people is straight to building a simple application that might not be sexy in its design but it is functional or a landing page about a new product that might not exist yet. Using Google Analytics and collecting email addresses along with some “conversion” points becomes what you focus on. However, if you forget to actually talk to customers as well you could be wasting a lot of time. Especially when you are moving past your MVP or have a product that people are paying for.

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Recent Comments

  • Bob Bailly : Your new mode of working means no face to face interaction yet you call yourself empathetic. How can removing yourself from daily human social interactions and possibly understand what makes other people tick. Research from UCLA suggests messages conveyed face to face are understood primarily by reading body language (57%) and tone of voice (35%), and that words convey only 7%. By interacting only through computer based non-video technology is like weightlifting only using your right forearm.

  • Anna : As a freelancer who spends much of her time on the computer writing, I find that I have a brain which connects empathically to people despite how much time I spend on technology. In fact, I am not happy being immersed daily in what I called 'imposed' social interaction (social interaction brought on by having to interact with co-workers). Such social interaction used to make be egregious, used to make me dislike co-workers, and have a generally negative view on work life. Furthermore, people like me who are generally empathic can 'hide' in our homes and be safe from others while we work; safe from their criticisms and aversions, safe from bullying and harassment. Furthermore, our talents as writers, photographers, or whatever, flourish absolutely under one important condition - freedom. I support moving work to an online domain because I see also how harmful the 9 - 5 is for people; how it drains them, how its endless cacophony of alarm clocks and ringing bells--lunch hours and lunch rooms, forced staff retreats and uncomfortable interactions with bosses--is killing them. I support allowing technology make us more efficient, happier. I support voluntary--not forced--interaction. I support eliminating the workplace altogether and creating NEW modes of working, either from home or through community-based platforms such as outdoor spaces.

  • 5 Ways to Engage With Your Brand Voice - icuc.social : [...] “A strong company voice on social media should emphasize the company’s values, objectives and key differentiators that set it apart from its competitors. These can be expressed in the tone of the communication and the content that is shared with community members and the target audience.The best social media voices are communal, grammatical, dialectical, authentic, original, contextual, relevant, timely, persistent, responsive, helpful, generous and more informal. A company’s social media voice should only be changed if absolutely necessary and should maintain all of these qualities. Any change should be preceded by lots of information explaining the change to community members to ensure they know it is deliberate and that the company isn’t suffering from some form of instability, which jeopardizes relationships.” [@TechAlly, Francis Moran & Associates – via Francis Moran & Associates] [...]

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