Archive for the ‘ Online Social Networks ’ Category

The Facebook Effect

I cannot believe it is almost the middle of 2012 and I have not written a single blog post this year. So much has happened I would not even know where to start. I guess when you start a new business you do not have all the time you used to have as a freelance consultant. So for those wondering what I have been up to, check out DOTNXT FACEBOOK PAGE

So this post has been sitting in my ” potential blog posts ” folder for almost 6 months, and with the listing of Facebook this past week and all the buzz around it, I felt it was a relevant time to finally post it. The Facebook Effect is a presentation I put together for a talk I did towards the end of last year. I am always interested in reviewing presentations I did months ago, to see how much is still relevant.

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Secondly, I always enjoy a business / financial angle when looking at the various different social media and other technology phenomenon’s shaping the business world of today. Technology has been my world for the last 5 years, and I am slowly making up my 10 000 hours of analysis. Some interesting facts to note for today:

1. In the Global BrandZ Report done by Millward Brown – technology companies ( including telcoms)  now form more than 70% of the top 10 brands, with McDonalds being the only non tech brand in the Top5. No surprize Apple is number 1 ofcourse.

Locally in South Africa, the picture is painted with a couple of different colours, with Telcoms, Banking and Retail still leading the way.

Read more about the above here: MOST VALUABLE SOUTH AFRICAN BRANDS 2012

2. FACEBOOK IPO: Is the company overvalued? And when will the social bubble burst, if ever? These are questions I cannot answer. According to Reuters debates continue over what Facebook is really worth. With the company valued at about $85 billion at the market close Tuesday, and a P/E of 60 for expected 2012 results, who knows. But one thing will always remain true, the Finance will fail, not the technology. As a very smart lecturer once told me, after the .com bubble burst, the Internet did not go away, in fact the opposite happened, it kept evolving and growing into a key ingredient in all of our lives. The finance of the companies merely enabled by the Internet burst. No difference with the new wave of Social Technologies.

I found the below article ( by the NYT, The Facebook Offering: How It Compares)  really insightful and thought relevant to share here. CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

3. Lastly, what does all of this mean for me?

As I always say,

I think we often get so wrapped up in the marketing and technology side of things, and more recently the focus on ” Human Capital ” that the only real missing link for me is ” THE FINANCE ” . We need more Digital Business Analysts. We need more finance people in the technology / marketing industry in South Africa.

Last night on the plane to JHB I read an article about Roelof Botha, and it made me want to find the Sequoia Capital of South Africa. I realize our financial eco system is very different here in South Africa, but to me that poses more opportunity than anything else.

Time to try something new.

A space to innovate, collaborate and close the gap between finance, technology, marketing and people. This new world of DOTNXT where I find myself living in these days.

Till next time,

A

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I Love Technology.

I am not 100% sure, how, when or why I fell in love with technology. My most obvious guess would be somewhere between efficiency, eliminating boredom, the fast pace it changes at and my childhood interest in imaginary new innovations. Within technology development, usage (both personally and professionally) as well as the economics, philosophy and psychology of technology, I always find myself in one position.

STANDING IN THE SHOES OF THE PERSON. That is by far my favourite position.

And I am not referring to the buzz word – customer centric – that every consultant throws around the boardroom table, no, I am referring to HUMAN BEINGS.

This is probably one of the best examples I could find, again one of those that I am so delighted to stumble upon, as it takes all my complex insights and illustrates the scrambles of my mind in simple points. Another, further illustrating where my head is at is:

http://www.cluetrain.com/

Since I find myself in the banking industry, and against my initial expectation I am starting to really enjoy the industry I thought would be worse than being stuck in a society where people only wear ugly clothes. But it is not, in fact, it is rather fascinating,

and I don’t think I am the only one that thinks so, according to the BRANDZ 2010 report

Even more fascinating, is the FUTURE OF BANKING.

(source: slideshare.net – and i wish i could remember the name of the presentation)

This iPhone 5 mobile payment prediction in particular – READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

The lines between telecommunications, banks and retailers are all blurring. Think MPesa, Pick n Pay Banking, Cardless Mobile Payments, and somewhat unconventional payment review technologies popping up everywhere

-my choice for the day – BLIPPY

Basically an online mobile payment tracker & reviewer. In simple terms, you buy something, and you post it with a review of the product you have bought. You can follow your friends, but you can also see exactly what everyone has said about a product you might want to buy,or service or anything really. And here is the key differentiating factor – you know that they have actually bought it.

To me, it just makes sense, it is more relevant, but whether people will take onto it, well that is what we will probably learn in time. Any Ideas? Perhaps just what Vodacom’s The Grid need, a Location Based Purchasing Review Functionality, or have they already done that, it just missed the USER experience. Typical Fail.

And on that note,

Today I would like to end off my love for people in technology, with a quote, which for the life of me I cannot relocate where I found it, but it has become one of my corner stones in strategic thinking around technology development –

” What is remarkable about the growth of technology, is not how rapidly the hardware has evolved, nor the software, networks or even the internet,

BUT RATHER

the fundamental way in which technology is changing human behaviour…

P>S – just some cool stuff to check out, if you have not already:

The Changing World We Live In

We all have different opinions and experiences influencing our perception of when the world started changing, personally for me it all started back in April 2005 when Thomas L. Friedman published one of the most influential books probably released that year –

http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/bookshelf/the-world-is-flat
We were entering Globalization 3, and it happened whilst we were sleeping. The world has changed from:
Countries ——>    Companies ——>    Individuals
The world became a flat global playing platform, the product of:

horizontal convergence of the Personal Computer, Fibre Optical Cables, Workflow Software & Standardized protocols, The Internet and later the WWW which brought about a technological revolution that transformed every aspect of business, life & society, which not even the Global Conglomerates could have prepared for.

My favourite flattener and most indulged concept since, that day in April 2005 when I read the whole book in one day, have always been “The Steroids”
“ Technologies that turbo charges and enables information  – digitization; at high speed; wirelessly (mobile) shared on personal devices –
FASTER< FARTHER<CHEAPER and more easily!

And this is exactly where the Google’s, the tweeters, the ipads, the Facebook’s of the world fit in.Soon after the “The World is Flat” , the discovery of things exploded as more and more journalists, authors and bloggers  illustrated the changing world we live in, and each in their own individual right trying to make sense of this phenomena we find ourselves living through.

Think, Freakanomics, Tipping Point, Google, Life Inc, 7 habits of highly effective people, Good to Great, Who moved my cheese? , The Power of Now, The Innovators Dillema and more recently – SUPERCONNECT

Snippets below from a presentation illustrates where my thoughts are floating:

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Opening Keynote at the Creative Company Conference by arne van oosterom (SOURCE)

Soon organizations started changing, with unconventional ways of thinking, where the old age of bureaucracy and people management are influenced by the changing world we live in –

The MEDIA REVOLUTION – key ingredient in the changing world we live in:

And today we are presented with what is called Web 3.0:

Digital convergence is taking on new meaning as we start seeing the proliferation of  the internet across television, mobile devices and any other electronic devices both online & offline. The word interactivity takes on new meaning.

Technological innovations both online and offline brought about a modern day culture recently defined as the “ Innovation Insanity “ The media realized that the power are shifting into the hands of the consumers and publishing took on a different style of make up. People all over the world are realizing the playground is becoming smaller, and we are moving into an era where soon it will be one Global Technologically Connected world we live in.

The impact on society stretches into every industry where technological innovations and the internet changes the workplace, medicine, dating, drinking, eating, feeling, communicating, publishing, designing, developing, etc

In marketing, or real marketing as I like to call it, I feel the fight for digital can end now. It is no longer about budgets shifting or modern vs traditional or above, below, through or ontop of some silly line that no one even knows what it stands for. Technology is supposed to be integrated; it is about making lives better and bringing more relevant offerings. It is about increasing marketing effectiveness, lowering costs for research, it is about involving the customer. It is about publishers – no longer simply producing content, but rather “ packaged information” tailored according to behavioural and social habit analysis.

It is about connecting the dots, between people, products, places, information and this thing called life.

It is about the changing world we live in.

Integrate it.

Social Periphery & Mobile Social Networks

Just something that has been running through my mind since 2008. Mobile Social Networks & Real Time & Location Based Services. It has been such an underlying theme in a lot of the work I have been involved with and exposed to over the last two years, that I simply cannot help but to ” SNAP ” this genius illustration of:

Source: David J Carr – davidjcarr.wordpress.com

based on Nokia’s Mobile Gateway & Jyri Engestrom

Seriously one of the most comprehensive overviews that puts the strategic thinking behind mobile social networks into some sort of a logical place.

And talk about Mobile Social Networks, some local genius in the mix:

www.motribe.com

And just for fun – Facebook Places launched in the UK today and I just loved reading these ” placeoffs ” 🙂

Happy Friday.

Facebook South Africa

I often wonder about the demographics of the South African Facebook Population, so in short, i pulled a couple of stats, perhaps only to review in a month and see how the landscape changes…

Here we go, raw data, which I will provide analysis of, in a more valuable presentation style, just not today, till next time, happy world cup, I am off to Soccer City!