See part 1, Who does wins HERE.

Bottoms up  

Building product innovation on a solid structure of insights can most effectively be done using a bottom-up approach. Utalising the CEO’s boss, the consumer feedback and insight gained from people buying the product feed up through an organisation and lead decision-making. 

It’s important for companies to take in more information from the people who matter most, the end consumer.

Listening and discussing has become low-hanging fruit, it takes a small amount of time daily, anyone within the company can do it and the potential rewards are enormous. Companies not investing a small amount of time daily to reap the rewards of the information available are simple lazy.

Weather in the form of data analysis, CRM programs social networking or any other number of means, companies need to listen and prove to their consumers that they are listening. The companies and individuals who use their ears in proportion to their mouth will rise to the top.

This new business model is being embraced by some of the world’s biggest companies, including WPP (world’s second biggest communications conglomerate). Sir Martin Sorrell (WW CEO) covered the global refocus on digital and ROI WPP was undertaking, businessweek recently reported

The gold is there to be taken

The great news is anyone can build an extremely powerful arsenal of insights by utilizing information and tools, which are all in existence now. Better yet, most of them provide their data for free. Creating a granular understanding of your value segment is easier than it has ever been.

Previously expensive insight tools have now become commodities. And insights are available that never have been previously.

Anyone not leveraging the tools made freely available to them will fall short to competitors.   

It’s a process

Gaining truly valuable insights into a business doesn’t happen over night, it also shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of one person in an organization.

As there is such a vast amount of information to sort through it’s best to create a team with varying responsibilities, opinions and skill sets that can each monitor and be responsible for researching a portion of data.

This can then be pulled together for the larger company group via free tools such as Google Sites  or a company wiki such as Socialtext*.

In the next part of the series we’ll begin looking at the different forms of insights we can gain which will move us into the practical how to sections.

*This article series won’t go into the intricacies of managing the insight through the company, only where and how to get the insights. 


Insights series: PART 1 WHO DOES WINS

The green fields

There is now an abundant amount of consumer information available to us for free online in the form of articles, discussions, votes, searches, analytics, blog posts, communities, micro-blog posts etc etc.




When  collated, unravelled and utilized correctly this data forms the solid foundation upon which insightful product innovation can be built. 

Anyone reliant on creativity as a means for differentiation can benefit  from the insights to be gained from the information freely available to anyone with internet access.       

This is part 1 of a 10 part series where I’ll talk through the potential, strategy, tools and implementation of data available online and more importantly how to practically use the tools to distil the data into sound insights. 

The first 3 posts will discuss the importance of insights and the broad structural map. The following posts will be a how to guide on extracting insight gold from the information available to us.

Ignore it and lose  

The Blogosphere has been abuzz with discussion of a need for increased focus on accountability for some time now. More so as of late thanks to the current economic climate .

Discussion has also focussed heavily on the importance of innovation to ensure success in a recession.

Accountability becomes a given when innovation is born out of a solid strategy made up of insightful information. Furthermore, when the product is consistently tested, revised and refined.  

It’s important to understand that the insight goes far beyond product launch. Products should constantly be in a state of Beta.

When discussing Silicon Valley start-ups in Reality Check, Guy Kawasaki discussed the importance of launch, test, revise, test, revise, test, you get the idea.

This is fundamentally important to success. Don’t expect to get it right off the bat… expect that you’ll need to revise whatever you put out there. In the process you’ll show people that you listen to their needs and in turn gain more of their trust.

The next post will discuss the importance of the low-hanging fruit and touch on the insight process. 

See part 2 HERE

45 cloudware tools to save business time & money

Save time, increase capacity to do work and ultimately save money… why wouldn’t people jump at the opportunity? I think in most instances the problem lies in not being aware of the tools or their capabilities.
No doubt many of you are utilising the cloudware listed below, but it amazes me how many companies haven’t adapted these powerful and often free tools.
One of my professional NY resolutions is to educate more people about the below to help them in their day-to-day business… let’s spread the cloudware word!
Google docs create/share word/ppoin/excel documents
Open office office suite
Flow chart viseo alternative
Widgenie create interactive charts 
Etherpad edit word document in real time
Textflow edit word document in real time
Zoho full office suite 
Zotero bibliography
Easybib bibliography
Memiary diary
Whizle create/share presentations
280 Slides create/share presentations
Preezo create/share presentations
Prezentit create/share presentations
Empressr create/share presentations
Business/ project management
Plan HQ business plan implementation
Enleiten task/project management
Projectthingy task/project management
Basecamp task/project management
37 Signals task/project management
Eproject task/project management
Joint Contract task/project management
Liquid Planner task/project management
Timetoast interactive timelines
Financial managment
File storage/sharing
Photshop alternatives
Userfly usability reporting
Snappages easy site development
Rackspace hosting
Zunavision embed images into video