Why pizza eating hackers may be your biggest threat…and opportunity
I was speaking at a conference earlier this week and opened my presentation with the warning that unless businesses started adapting to the rapid pace of change in communications and technology they will be left behind. Every industry will be affected. Those who think they’re immune are kidding themselves.
My presentation followed an economic update by a leading economist who didn’t paint a very rosy picture for the next few years. Whilst Australia has managed to remain relatively unscathed by economic chaos around the world up til now, this may be about to change. With Greece and the European Union on the brink and Australian personal debt at levels much higher than the rest of the world, consumer confidence has dried up. We’re not spending and the strain is beginning to show on the economy.
This will only increase the hunger for more cost effective ways for consumers to shop and for businesses to perform. It will hasten the move to more efficient technological solutions and out-sourcing of talent.
Look no further than this week’s announcement by Fairfax that they intend to move editorial production of their regional papers to New Zealand. A favourable exchange rate and modern technology make this possible and will save Fairfax millions in wages.
Its terrible news for local papers and the employees who will lose their jobs, but its also as inevitable as the sun rising tomorrow. Ever since the Internet took away the “rivers of gold” that classified listing generated for newspapers the industry has been in decline. This was always going to happen eventually.
Its an era of change and no industry is immune.
In my presentation I showed a timeline of the big tech innovations of the last 15 years. These all contribute heavily to the way we now shop, consume media, research, conduct business and entertain ourselves:
- Google – founded 1997
- iTunes – launched 2001
- Facebook – founded 2004
- YouTube – launched 2005
- Twitter – launched 2006
- iPhone – launched 2007
- 5 Free to Air TV Channels in 2009
- 16 FTA channels today
- Then there’s Google TV and Apple TV trying to break through
…and the National Broadband Network is now rolling out….
The last 15 years have been the tip of the iceberg, more radical change is coming and every industry will be affected.
Any business that isn’t looking to move their marketing from outbound to inbound, their IT from in-house to the cloud, reconsidering human resources, or radically revising their whole business model is crazy.
Don’t be surprised when some upstart comes along with a leaner, meaner business model to interrupt your industry. There are thousands on young punks with laptops, pizza and energy drinks currently plotting your downfall. Maybe you should be hiring them instead.
It has happened to the advertising and marketing industries. It happened in a big way in the music industry. It has happened to print media. Radio is in the firing line. Television is trying to adapt quickly. Look at the travel industry…its almost entirely online now.
I had a customer tell me this week that it won’t happen in his industry because the product is big and hard to ship and assemble plus personal service is still key. I disagree. Change is already well under way. In 10 years his industry will look totally different. Probably 5 years.
The pace of change is only going to increase and a tough economy will actually help those who adapt to leaner, more efficient models. Those people will emerge as the new market leaders whilst those who resisted change will be gone…or out on their feet.
The web has grown enormously over the last decade with new media giants such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn emerging and becoming incredibly powerful as the world becomes increasingly connected.
This infographic from the team at Customer Magnetism on the online population boom demonstrates how much has changed in such a short time.
- 92% of Internet users use search engines daily
- 65% of Internet users login to social networks daily
- 2.27 billion people are now on the Internet
- 93% of adult internet users in the USA are on Facebook
- By 2014, 53% of all US retail sales will be online
Last year I met a Belgian guy who made me insanely jealous. He was traveling the world indefinitely using social media to connect, find places, set his itinerary and generally have a great time.
Along the way he was tackling crazy challenges suggested by the online community he has fostered. Right now he is riding alone on a tandem bike from Kuala Lumpur all the way to Hong Kong. He’s trying to do the ride of more than 5000 km in 3 months.
Turns out Bjorn is a really nice guy, which probably explains why his adventure is still progressing smoothly after a few years of non-stop country hopping.
Beyond having a great time and making us office workers jealous, Bjorn is also trying to make a difference to the communities he visits along the way by helping small local charities in each area.
And that’s where you can help. I have chipped in to sponsor a few kilometers of Bjorn’s travels knowing he will help small charities along the way….and I encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in some of these communities so help Bjorn help other and then follow his adventures from the comfort of your laptop.
Here is Bjorn’s full story….
Recently I have been championing a move to hold a large innovation and tech festival in Newcastle, Australia. We’re calling it DiG. So far it has a group of people working on the concept, a website and Twitter handle. We’ve still got a long way to go.
The encouraging thing is that “from little things big things grow”. Look at this infographic from the team at Rock Sauce Studios on the rise and rise of SXSW in Austin, Texas. They only expected 150 to show up to the first year, they got 700. This year the Interactive Festival at SXSW drew over 19,000 visitors.
SXSW has been amazing for the Austin economy and a fantastic event for launching new products and services. Maybe one day DiG could have a similar effect here in Australia.
Since the down of the commercial internet in the early 1990′s banner ads have been the default form of advertising. Google shook things up massively with their Adwords program but most media sites still rely heavily on banner ads for revenue.
Banner ads have always stuck me as old media imposing their old models on new technology. However, measurement is different as advertisers were encouraged to look at clicks rather than exposure, as they would have done with press display ads. Branding became less important and click-through became the goal.
The question is do banner ads really work? Are they effective? This nice infographic from the team at Prestige Marketing explains who’s clicking, who’s not clicking and why.
A few years back Advertising Age in the USA launched the Power 150 international ranking of media and marketing blogs. It caused quite a fuss. I thought it would be worthwhile revisiting the Power 150 to see how much has changed. There have been a lot of commercial entries in the last few year compared to the pure blogs that first appeared.
Here is the latest list of Australia’s Top Media & Marketing Blogs according to AdAge Magazine. The rankings take into account a range of factors, some more US-centric, but it gives an good indication of which sites are making an impact. Check them out and support Australian bloggers.
The latest Newcastle radio ratings delivered bad news for those stations on the AM dial with both 2HD and ABC1233 recording significant falls.
NXFM topped the ratings again with a share of 18.9%, holding out stablemate KOFM on 17.6%. NEWFM recorded a rise of 1.1 for a share of 8.8% whilst NXFM was the only other station to increase their share.
The real damage was on the AM dial where both 2HD and ABC1233 dropped 2.8%.
For 2HD it was their lowest ratings in the last few decades and signals a significant loss of support. The station lost share in every demographic including a massive loss of 7.2% with the 65+ audience who had previously been their main supporters. 2HD also went down in every shift except Drive, including a drop of 5.3 in Mornings with John Laws.
The cumulative audience figures were even more revealing. 2HD now has a cumulative audience of just 65,000 for the week, while ABC1233 who also took a big hit still has 19,000 more listeners across the 7 days.
The price of bad advice11Apr12
I came across three pieces of mind-numbingly bad advice today, all from experts in their respective fields, all to prominent organizations. Each of them have caused me to question:
A) the quality of expert advice
B) the lack of digital knowledge in the business world
C) how organizations can determine which advice they can trust.
But let’s start with the bad advice. These are clangers.
The first company, a prominent industry leader, wants to get more search traffic for a new service they offer. Whilst weighing up an organic search engine optimisation strategy they’ve received advice from an Adwords specialist. The response: spend the budget on an Adwords campaign because the clicks from the traffic will increase your organic search results.
WRONG. There is no relationship between paid results and organic search results. Organic search results come from a combination of inbound links (indicator of popularity) and on-page optimisation for targeted terms.
As expected, the National Broadband Network won’t be coming to Newcastle any time soon. Gosford gets it. Coffs Harbour gets it. Newcastle doesn’t for some time yet.
This was a topic of vigorous discussion at the last Lunaticks Society meeting, where it was suggested by people in regular contact with NBNCo and their suppliers that Newcastle wasn’t on the short term list.
Today the NBNCo announced their Three Year Roll-out Plan. The Prime Minister proudly trumpeted that areas like Campbelltown, Gosford and Coffs Harbour were next on the list but no mention of Newcastle and the Hunter.
The rather ambiguous roll-out plans on the NBNCo site suggests that work will “commence” in Newcastle and Charlestown areas some time before June 2015, with it being operational within 12 months of that. So maybe we will have NBN broadband by June 2016….over 4 years from now. And that commitment is only to 25% of the households in suburbs listed.
I joined Twitter 4 years ago today. At first it was mainly to help co-promote the launch of the Age of Conversation. Like many business owners I was skeptical about this new messaging system and didn’t use it much to begin with.
I remember going to a PubCamp in Sydney hosted by Jed White (who later became a good friend) and being somewhat bemused by a team of people from Happener led by Markus Hafner (who later became a friend) all furiously tweeting from their laptops while speakers did their presentations. It all seemed a bit silly.
But inevitably I began using Twitter more and more. I remember Gavin Heaton (who has become a good friend) telling Gordon and me that it won’t be until you have at least 50 followers and are following at least that many that we’ll see the value in Twitter.