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Showing posts from January, 2013

Review: Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki

Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki has become a prolific author.I’ve reviewed some of his previous books including The Art of the Start and Reality Check.A common theme of those books, continued and further developed in Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions, is action-oriented ideas for both startups and existing businesses. The core concept of this book is that in our hyper-competitive world, one must go far beyond meeting a customer’s basic requirements, particularly if one is attempting to convert a prospect to your offering from a competitor.One must enchant those customers to get a trial.One of the techniques Mr. Kawasaki uses with great effectiveness is liberal use of real-world examples.Almost all of the detailed concepts for winning customers (and obtaining real commitment from employees, and for making one’s boss a fan, e.g. enchanting your employees and your boss) come with a story taken from an existing business that has done exactly that.

A…

Book Review- The Power of Habit

As researchers and scientists learn more about the functioning of our brains, an increasing number of articles and publications are developed to help us understand how are brain works, and particularly how to be aware of the shortcuts the brain tends to take that aren’t always appropriate and how certain brain functions happen incredibly quickly without conscious thought.I’m going to recap some of those to set up Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit.

The autonomous brain functions were explored brilliantly by Daniel Goleman in Emotional Intelligence.As an example, if we accidentally touch something hot, we’ll jerk our hand back almost instantly, as the super-fast reptilian brain reacts.James Surowiecki, in The Wisdom of Crowds, explored subconscious biases, and logic shortcuts that we frequently take, that lead to poor choices and bad decisions – but how, in many circumstances, groups and markets are more likely to make the correct choice, or come up with closer estimates. Thinking Fast …

EBAY's Store of the Future

English: A photograph of eBay's Whitman Campus (corporate headquarters), taken from Greylands Dr. on Memorial Day 2009. For more photos of eBay and Google, visit http://www.foothillwebdesign.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I had the opportunity to tour EBAY's store of the future  courtesy of my friend Veronica Katz.  (OK, I don't know that they call it that, but that's what it is anyway).  It has a variety of sample formats, from a toy store to a food truck, and demonstrate how integrated messaging, customer access via mobile devices, real-time inventory measures can improve retail productivity.

While I have some reservations about how some of this works under the restrictions imposed by the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards for isolating credit card info, they assured me that they understand that complexity and it is comprehended in their systems.

It is very impressive and very cool technology.  I would think that retailers would be quite interested - and perhaps a …