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Interesting facts from the future

Well, I say “the future”… that’s based purely on Gerd Leonhard‘s title of “Media Futurist”. I was recently lucky enough to spend a couple of days in the presence of him and Jeremy Silver at Future Music Labs, part of Creative Capital in Canary Wharf, London.

They both gave fascinating talks at the beginning of the first day, and I took lots of notes. I’ve just been looking back over them and thought there were a few snippits that are worth sharing. This will all appear in bullet-point form, as I can’t remember the exact context of each fact and wouldn’t want to misquote Jeremy or Gerd. Also, apologies if some of the facts don’t make that much sense out of context. They obviously don’t have the great slides that Gerd and Jeremy used to illustrate their points, too. You can see the slides for Jeremy’s presentation here, and Gerd’s here.

If they don’t make sense then let me know – I’ll improve my note taking technique!

Also, I’ll be adding news links to back up as much of this information as i can, when I can.

Jeremy Silver

  • The “value” in creative industries tends to be in digital media.
  • In 9 years the music industry has lost 40 percent of its value.
  • 20 – 25 percent of sales across the board are digital.
  • Games companies are making money!
  • Youtube‘s bandwidth costs $1m a day to maintain, and their daily loss exceeds $1m a day.
  • In the UK ÂŁ357 is spent on advertising per head of population (from memory, this is annually). 19 percent of this is online, the highest percentage in the world.
  • The UK has the highest per capita spend on music. $82 a year.
  • Consumers are very sophisticated and want to interact with music – e.g. see Rockband & Singstar, Radiohead allowing fans to remix tunes etc.


Gerd Leonhard

  • 92 percent of Google’s revenue is from Adwords.
  • Total fragmentation of the market is certain. Very few models work for everyone anymore. We’ll never see anyone having hits on the scale of The Beatles again. In TV Dallas used to get 70 percent of US viewers. Today the top show, American Idol, gets just 7 percent.
  • Physical Media and productised content is the past.
  • 1.7 million new mobile users in India every week.
  • 6.8 billion minutes a day are spent on Facebook. It is a broadcaster, as are all social network.
  • We’re living in an age of “Attention Challenge”. Distribution is now a default setting.
  • Brand magnetism is everything. If you love them, you’ll buy them.
  • “Money is just a type of information” – www.kk.org
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That Enterprise Article

Here’s an article I wrote which has just been published in the March issue of Enterprise Magazine. After the limitless joys of the web it’s quite hard to whittle down your thoughts to a mere 550 words, so excuse the brevity. But hopefully it’s a nice read! 🙂

Unless you’ve decided that you won’t engage with the internet in any way, then it’s almost certain that you have at least one profile online somewhere. Whether it’s a personal profile like Myspace, or a more business oriented one like LinkedIn, you are using social media to project an image of yourself that, to one extent or another, will be viewable by any person on the planet with an internet connection and, here’s the kicker, your great-great-grandchildren. Having an online identity is inevitable, and it will be available for anyone to view forever. How we engage with the social internet is something not to be taken lightly.

Firstly we must be aware of search results. What’s going to come up when our name is entered into Google? What about the information that is always associated with our name – our biographies. Do they portray us as hyper-efficient, revenue-generating machines or a laid-back networker? What are the keywords that will attract attention, and do those keywords trigger the relevant searches on Google? What words do you want to be associated with on search engines?

Tom Critchlow, Head of Search Marketing with web-experts Distilled, had some great tips for using social media to improve your online identity. “Make sure you choose an online ‘handle’ which is both easy to remember, unique and short. Be consistent – make sure that you keep the same username across all the social media sites. Make sure you are contactable – If someone wants to get in touch with you make it easy for them. Never underestimate the power of email. Last but not least, engage! When someone emails you, email them back, when someone twitters you, twitter them back”.

With his final point, Tom hits on a crucial fact about social media and online branding – You can’t just expect to just constantly promote yourself and your products. There’s a certain amount of give and take. For every time you advertise your blog to your Twitter network, be prepared to make 20 other “tweets” that are relevant links to other people’s works.

And this leads us neatly onto the social network of the moment. You’ve no doubt heard of Twitter by now and if you’ve read this far then, yes, you should be using it. For me, it’s the network where the boundaries between social and professional are most blurred. But it’s also the most powerful networking device I’ve ever come across. The micro-blogging format lends itself to sharing links to interesting articles and reports, using keywords to attract more followers and thus generating fantastic contacts with people you would never normally have found. However, it also lends itself to pithy asides, comments on the latest TV shows and occasionally a silly photo or a drunken joke. Keeping your discipline, and maintaining a professional (if informal) image is important.

I’ll leave the final words to Carl Morris of social media strategists Native. “The term ‘personal brand’ is not to everyone’s taste, but if you do anything on the web you need to understand it. Your prospective client, employer or advocate will take seconds to figure out who you are. Attention is scarce! So you need to represent yourself in a way that makes it as easy as possible for them”.

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Two things…

1 – Interesting article in the Financial Times this morning* about how big companies (and I mean Shell, Procter & Gamble – that kind of big) are taking web 2.0 tools seriously. Worth a few minutes of your time, definitely.

2 – I put a message out on Twitter a few days ago for some thoughts on personal branding on the web, as I’m writing an article on the subject for Enterprise Magazine. One of the things that came back was this video from my good friend Carl. I’d never heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, but he’s the CEO of the very successful WineLibrary. Now I’m not sure if he’s terrifying, brilliant, inspired, hilarious or straight-up bonkers. But I do know that he comes up with some great, simple truths that we should all be aware of. Highly recommended viewing, for a number of reasons.

* I don’t actually buy or read the Financial Times. I just get an email update from them once a day. I don’t want you thinking I’m a stock-market analyst, or something….

Categories
brand branding business entrepreneur geek interesting internet marketing networking productivity silicon valley web 2.0

Two things…

1 – Interesting article in the Financial Times this morning* about how big companies (and I mean Shell, Procter & Gamble – that kind of big) are taking web 2.0 tools seriously. Worth a few minutes of your time, definitely.

2 – I put a message out on Twitter a few days ago for some thoughts on personal branding on the web, as I’m writing an article on the subject for Enterprise Magazine. One of the things that came back was this video from my good friend Carl. I’d never heard of Gary Vaynerchuk, but he’s the CEO of the very successful WineLibrary. Now I’m not sure if he’s terrifying, brilliant, inspired, hilarious or straight-up bonkers. But I do know that he comes up with some great, simple truths that we should all be aware of. Highly recommended viewing, for a number of reasons.

* I don’t actually buy or read the Financial Times. I just get an email update from them once a day. I don’t want you thinking I’m a stock-market analyst, or something….

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Agility

Here’s an article I wrote that’s just been published in Enterprise Magazine. Thanks to Rob and Dan for their insight. You can download the whole issue here, which includes a rather dashing photo of me! 🙂 And while you’re at it, keep up to date with tiptop news via their Twitter account.

It’s 5am and I’m wide awake. My mind is clearly more eager than my body to start the first working day of 2009. I’m thinking back over the last year and how I can improve over the next 12 months.

2008 was an odd year for me. I achieved a lot, bringing more people together through my networking events, and worked on some brilliant projects with some amazing people. Yet with my key “revenue generators” I often felt hamstrung by a lack of resources, both in terms of talent and finance. Needing to find people to carry out work for me, and sourcing the capital to pay for it all meant that things often seemed to move incredibly slowly. A lot of this stems from the fact that much of the work I do has the internet at the very heart of it, but I’m neither a web developer or designer. It would be technically impossible for me to build these ideas on my own.

I spoke to Dan Zambonini, technical director of internet development agency, Box UK. He thinks that being a solo entrepreneur isn’t the issue it once was. “Luckily, with the web now as it is, there are plenty of online websites that can match up idea people with doing people. Technical people love to do interesting things, so if you know the right people, you’ll often find someone who’s willing to help you out for the sheer pleasure of it.”

Dan believes that there’s a growing demand for smaller, smarter online services that do one thing well, rather than trying to do everything. The idea being to get them up online as soon as they work and improve them as they go along, using your first customers as your testers too.

“Especially now with online services….it’s easier than ever to realise sophisticated ideas with less effort. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr; all started off much simpler, and have added features as they’ve been demanded”.

For some, being agile isn’t a desirable quality but an absolute prerequisite. “Digital PR has to be lightening quick because that’s the way the web works – the window of opportunity in online media is so much smaller”, says Rob Mosley from boutique digital advertising and PR agency Nonsense. I asked him for a good tip on getting projects up and running quicker. “I think debate is the biggest enemy to getting stuff done quick. If you get into a habit of making decisions fast, so you can get on with making things, you’re 80% of the way there. Obviously our clients need to trust us a lot for us to do this, and they also have to accept that we’ll make the odd mistake… which is still better than missing the boat”.

So what are my new year’s resolutions? Find smart and quick people to work with who are keen to get involved in exciting one-off projects, turn my ideas around faster, don’t worry about them being perfect from the start, tweak them as I go along, and feel more fulfilled that I’m not constantly languishing in “development hell”.

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Why you should give it away

Andrew Dubber has just written the most concise, brilliant post about why you should give away your music online for free (or more correctly, why you shouldn’t be scared of giving away your music for free). Of course, this applies to almost any creative works, whether it’s music, writing, video etc etc.

Read it here. I’ll certainly be pointing people in its direction constantly for the forseeable future….

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Now’s the time…

The end of 2008 came with a whole load of personal and professional challenges for me, and I was very glad of the time off over Christmas and the New Year. But now I’m very keen to get stuck back into 2009 and believe it will be the best year yet, for many reasons. I’ll expand on my thoughts another time, but in the meantime here’s an extract from a letter written to Tim Ferriss by his mentor. Inspiring reading from his latest blog post

While many are wringing their hands, I recall the 1970s when we were suffering from an oil shock causing long lines at gas stations, rationing, and 55 MPH speed limits on Federal highways, a recession, very little venture capital ($50 million per year into VC firms), and, what President Jimmy Carter (wearing a sweater while addressing the Nation on TV because he had turned down the heat in the White House) called a “malaise”. It was during those times that two kids without any real college education, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, started companies that did pretty well. Opportunities abound in bad times as well as good times. In fact, the opportunities are often greater when the conventional wisdom is that everything is going into the toilet.

Well…we’re nearing the end of another great year, and, despite what we read about the outlook for 2009, we can look forward to a New Year filled with opportunities as well as stimulating challenges.

Now’s the time, folks!

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In the Mux

I remember Muxtape.com. It allowed you to make an online mixtape from a huge list of songs. It was a simple, brilliant idea, although I never used it. And I remember that it got shut down earlier this year, which is sad. But today I stumbled across the founder’s statement about what happened. It’s a very well written piece that has lots of insight for anyone in the music industry or anyone in the world of digital startups, or licensing, or working with other peoples’ intellectual property. Hell, it’s useful for anyone. Read it here.

Also, I came across OwnGig. Looks like an interesting take on the whole crowdsourcing thing, which is an increasingly popular trend. Anyone wanna pitch in with me to get Stevie Wonder to perform live in my kitchen?

Finally, I’ve just learned about the Project Triangle. Never heard of it before. Useful little tool for prioritising tasks and knowing where your product might sit in the market.

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bands business creative creative industries developer entrepreneur Entrepreneurship marketing media Music Industry myspace planning productivity startup technology

In the Mux

I remember Muxtape.com. It allowed you to make an online mixtape from a huge list of songs. It was a simple, brilliant idea, although I never used it. And I remember that it got shut down earlier this year, which is sad. But today I stumbled across the founder’s statement about what happened. It’s a very well written piece that has lots of insight for anyone in the music industry or anyone in the world of digital startups, or licensing, or working with other peoples’ intellectual property. Hell, it’s useful for anyone. Read it here.

Also, I came across OwnGig. Looks like an interesting take on the whole crowdsourcing thing, which is an increasingly popular trend. Anyone wanna pitch in with me to get Stevie Wonder to perform live in my kitchen?

Finally, I’ve just learned about the Project Triangle. Never heard of it before. Useful little tool for prioritising tasks and knowing where your product might sit in the market.

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Social Networks – clash of the titans!

I was doing some research yesterday with the website Alexa.com. It generates usage stats for the most used websites. Very useful if you need to know that kind of thing. For example, did you know that Myspace has 0.1 percent more of its users in Germany than in the UK? And that after the US (31 percent), the UK has the most users (9 percent) of the world’s fifth most popular website, Facebook?

Anyway, does this graph tell us anything about the future of various social networks?


And I find it interesting that Bebo.com (yes, that pale line across the very bottom of the graph) has experienced absolutely zero growth in users since its $850m sale to AOL earlier this year. What do they plan to do with it?