The ± Factors

Wake up! It's API-time!

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Many years ago I went through a list of the most common languages we use. Yes, the list was comprehensive and included all languages people use to communicate. Nicely sorted out according the language business. As always, the list included English, Chinese, Arabic and Spanish as the most common languages being used, but some languages were missing in the list. I made the same observation some weeks ago discovering that still one of the most common languages we use every day was not on the list.

Java!

"Hey, I do not speak Java!" you may say. You may not speak it, but you use it. Every day. So do Brazilians, Turks, Swedes, people in China...the list can go on forever. I promise. You use it to see this page and read this text.

As with all languages you will get dialects. And we got it. Some useful and some not. The last couple of years I have been involved in a couple of projects that utilized the dialect in a good way, I have also been involved in a couple of projects that didn't. Guess which projectsthat survived.

Now we are heading towards a paradigm shift in handling languages, including the ones we do not speak, which makes me want to talk about APIs. APIs is according to wikipedia:

An application programming interface (API) is an interface implemented by a software program to enable interaction with other software, much in the same way that a user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers. APIs are implemented by applications, libraries and operating systems to determine the vocabulary and calling conventions the programmer should employ to use their services. It may include specifications for routines, data structures, object classes and protocols used to communicate between the consumer and implementer of the API.[1][2][3]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storytelling

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Besides professional writing, I am testing out two storytelling methods. One is documentary and the other is a fiction project.

The documentary project is a full review of a software development project I am involved in which will premiere shortly. As a subscriber, you will get access to visions, missions, agreements, some code, and some source repository-updates...you name it or you can ask for it. The project was started with online communication, and during the development all conversations were done via e-mail and chats. You will get full access to all communication. Enjoy.

The fiction project is a little odder. We are not talking about a standard format as a novel or a short story. We are talking about a collection of shorter stories which I suspect suits the web quite good - whether you want to read it on your computer, on a cell phone browser or via text messages. The readers can give their comments and suggest development or enhancements of the shorter story, or if they don't have anything else to say, they can give thumbs up or thumbs down. For publishers, the story collection have the potential of becoming a coffee table book, so if you know any photographers or illustrators willing to join, feel free to make a connection. Enjoy. I know that I will.

BTW, the fiction project is also subscriber based, but you can read the intros if you just want a cheap thrill.

 

 

 

 

The professional life

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Funny enough it was expressed by Jardenberg some time ago proving the point that I am not alone when we talk about business development (which is good). The Swedish text can be found here, and here follows my interpretation. If you believe that Google can make a better translation and interpretation, click here and enjoy...

Recently I have had many encounters with people who want to present their business ideas. I really love them, they always give food for thought and their contagious enthusiasm is wonderful. Often they are also good at NAILING problems and present straight forward solutions. They are also pretty good to talk about how good they are in building presentations and promise €200m after three years. But unfortunately, they rarely do something.
One of the reasons is that they do not understand what they are talking about. This makes me mad. Imagine the following situation: a young entrepreneur who has put in months of months of focusing on their idea. Enter me, old and tired, with quite a lot of ongoing projects. It is not reasonable that I should know more about their business than they know. Nevertheless ...
The wiseguy who wants to take a grip on our identities and contacts online should be knowing about Open Stack. The wiseguy who wants to do stuff with image sales online could not have missed the Creative Commons or never missed out on Flickr, honestly. I am presenting any critic of these two individuals, they were really good, but they give anyone else out there a bad rap. You need to take it up one more step, dare to go for it, do your homework, put in more hours.
[Erich Nielsen commenting: In other words, if you want to make 5 km, why do you compete with the sprinters or vice versa?)
More criticism, or tips for those who want to be a developer:
    * Transparency wins over NDA - every time. Your idea is seldom as original as you imagine. It is better to test it as early as you can in a bigger context. Increase the amount of people who can tell you that "this exists." It does not mean that you should abstain, but that if you do not know your competitors, it may prove devastating.
[Erich Nielsen commenting: Although you may feel alone when developing, you are not alone when it comes to the market and selling to the market. You want people to buy, so talk to them. Talk to people, see if they are interested. Especially talk to industry leaders, if they are interested you may have finance, if they are not interested you may find arguments for your development.)

    * Excel is not the way to world domination. If you do not have a working prototype, but choose to show an income statement pointing out the billions in the upcoming two years…it is just frivolous.
[Erich Nielsen commenting: I have seen a lot of efforts put into the excel-sheet. Too many, actually. If the developer would put just as much efforts into their development as in their excel sheet, they would have been better off. Software development is one thing, business development is another. If you are good at one thing, does that qualify you of being good at another?)

    * Purchased advertising is not the solution to everything, whether we talk about guerrilla marketing or traditional advertising. On the contrary, in most cases, if you have a somewhat specific audience or target group, and you manage to persuade them with the quality and emotions you spread, marketing will take care of itself. Viral is good, but when we talk of internet services, you should not need to buy it.
[Erich Nielsen commenting: Advertising is not the solution to everything. If you are a software developer, forget it. You can forget all kind of marketing if you haven’t thoroughly addressed your potential users needs and wants in conversations with other people. A business developer can help you with that, as well as a trained advertising agency – although the latter option may give you a higher bill.)
    * Today nothing will take months to develop from a technical point of view. A first prototype is the minimum requirement for an assessment and you should be able to produce it in a couple days. Read on if 24HBC
[Erich Nielsen commenting: If we talk about digital solutions, true. If we talk about physical solutions it may take a little more time – but surprisingly enough not so much time to stop the project from working based on a minimal investment.)
    * Work with a team that is just as dedicated as you. Do you have to start purchasing skills at the prototype stage, there may be something wrong. Wiseguys enjoy playing with wiseguys having good ideas knowing what they are doing. Network and find a way to collaborate.
[Erich Nielsen commenting: Dedication is probably one of the most important key words when it comes to business development. The good thing about dedication is that it is contagious. If you are dedicated, the people you contact and choose to cooperate with will be dedicated. If not: reconsider  - or do your thing and/or find other coops. Remember that for most people, saying “no” is easier than saying “yes” – although it in a perfect world should be the other way around.)

    * Think "yeast" capital. Forget the millions. And goddamnit, forget your salary. Hard work! Show that you believe in what you present
[Erich Nielsen commenting: If you can find smaller income models from the start, you will be much more qualified when it comes to finding “big” income models in the future (read: Investors, a daily income, a house in a vacation area). If you only work with the “big”-scenario, you will more than too often be disappointed.)

So. I realize that I probably seem like a worst kind of combination of Statler and Waldorf. But it is written in all good intention. Have you checked the points above, I hope that you add an email and see to get a meeting with me. I am not so dangerous as it sounds.

If you are interested in more qualified point of views, you can contact Joakim via jardenberg.se or me via the contact page at erichnielsen.com.

You have a great day.
 

Global individual

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I checked up where my readers are coming from, and based on statistics I can see that I get the readers I want. All major car industry players and a lot of power suppliers have been reading my texts. Thank you.

A friend of mine gave me the credential of being a "global individual capable of deep social insight and impact", thank you very much. But based on the visitor map below you can see that the statement is not entirely true. Africa and South America is missing out. I thought of changing that. Feel free to subscribe to the feed to get the latest updates.

Visitors map

 

 

Quotes to remember #1

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Products can be copied, brands can not.
 

Our focus changed on our way to...where did we want to go again?

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In psychology you talk about the ABC model. And I am not talking about Freud and his models, but modern psychology.

Antecedent causes Behaviour causes Consequence.

  • In the stone age (at least according to Internet age which imply pre 1990s) we as consumers were more than happy with the Antecedent. The people told us about their vision and we believed in it. As a consequence, we sent people to the moon and were happy.
  • In the middle age (again according to the Internet age which probably would imply early 1990s to 2005-2008) we as consumers started to inquire, comment and discuss the Behaviour related to the Antecedent. Is the entity or person really producing the Antecedent described? Walls were tore down and democracies were built.
  • In this age - now (again according to the Internet age which probably would imply somewhere from 2005 and now) we as consumers have started to see the Consequences. "You say this, you do that, but what is the consequence?"

Although I am pretty young (or old according to my children) I have survived the three ages. Will you, and how?

 

So you wanna be alienated?

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Who do really care about business profits and processes when distinct human rights are at stake?

I do not. My thoughts go to my friends in Iran. My thoughts also go to friends in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan and India (just going east) since they inevitably will be affected by the sequence.

You are may not aware of the seriousness of the happenings, but the election in Iran affects directly over 70 million people, it will probably as a consequence affect almost 2 billion people indirect just including the neighbouring countries going east. That is one third of the world population.

If you want to be alienated, go somewhere else.

 

Internet or Internot

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Started with statcounter some days ago, and when comparing the stats for the site you are reading to one of the more interesting local Swedish sites (at least according to me) I started to extract some intriguing statistics - or not.

According to statcounter I have an average of 27 visitors a day spending 5.53 in average on my texts

The blog I find most interesting in Sweden has an average of 462 visitors a day spending 1.22 in average on the blogger's text.

I do not know if comparing bloggers is an issue (regarding attention or any other issue), but so far I know that my blog posts get through to the recipient.

 

 

The grateful/greatful/great fuel post

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I am truly thankful for the views, comments, e-mails, posts regarding my electrifying post. They are really appreciated for further work.

So far my posts regarding that specific issue has been read by General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Tata (an Indian company actually on their way to redefine the car industry), Statoil (a Norwegian oil company), Vattenfall (a Swedish power company), and a lot of other interesting stakeholders.

Personally, I enjoy the fact that the readers use a lot of time on my site and on my thoughts.

For those of you who may be interested in my current and future thoughts, the upcoming posts will be dealing with

  • Why do we do as we do?
    • Adressed from a business, psychological and philosophical point of view
  • Why do we trust as we trust?
    • Adressed from a business, psychological and philosophical point of vie
  • Why do we expect as we expect?
    • Adressed from a business, psychological and philosophical point of view


Some of the above issues will be handled from case to case (using real company cases), and some cases will be handled in general. Hope you will enjoy.

And as always, feel free to check out comments or Google-sponsors to the left. They may have something else they want to convey.
But if you like my thoughts, feel free to buy me a coffee.

 

Need some help with paper and pulp

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And how sexy does that sound?

The background for my request is as follows: As I worked with the EVs I understood that the E was quite important when discussing the issues of future transportation. Some stakeholders found it interesting too (as Ford, GM, Tata, Vattenfall, Göteborg Energi, etc) although they obviously have not addressed it thoroughly yet. Volvo and SAAB have not found it interesting though.

I have moved my focus to media, and when working with media I understand that the paper and pulp industry plays a major role when it comes to future media. If you don't believe me, ask Norske Skog or any other paper supplier. I have the list in front of me and it is rather interesting to see their results.

If you would care to take the time, I would appreciate some material on visions from the paper and pulp industry either in comment form or in the form of e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

As always, feel free to check out the comments or the sponsors to the right for a second opinion.

 

 

 

 

Stop smoking or you will end up in the box

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We all end up in the box some time in the future. The difference is that smokers end up there a little earlier. This is what health organizations world wide are telling us with the tobacco warning messages on the cigarette packets.

But people do not listen to the warnings and continue to smoke. How come?

Let me introduce Leslie Wilk Braksick’s PIC/NIC model. Based on the findings of Leslie Wilk Braksick (and other researchers) the strongest messages or actions, are those which show consequences that are Positive, Immediate and Certain or Negative, Immediate and Certain.

If we use the PIC/NIC model to analyze the consequences of the tobacco warning messages, what do we find?

  • Smoking causes peripheral vascular disease
  • Smoking causes emphysema
  • Smoking causes mouth and throat cancer
  • Smoking clogs your arteries
  • Don't let children breath your smoke
  • Smoking - A leading cause of death
  • Quitting will improve your health
  • Smoking harms unborn babies
  • Smoking causes blindness
  • Smoking causes lung cancer
  • Smoking causes heart disease
  • Smoking doubles your risk of stroke
  • Smoking is addictive
  • Tobacco smoke is toxic

Source: Wikipedia

The above messages tell us that smoking is:

  • Negative
  • Future (some are not that future, but they are still future)
  • Certain

Negative and Certain consequences are strong, Future consequences are weak.

Until recently there were no research giving us a lead on how we could change Future consequences into Immediate, making the warning messages more effective. Now there is.

The Swedish National Institute of Public Health published results of an interesting survey earlier this year, where they could tell that the demographic groups using most tobacco are unemployed men (49%), men on welfare (49%) and men with poor economy (40%).

So if you smoke, would you like to show the world that you may have ended up in this box:

 

Warning message

 

 

As always, feel free to check out other opinions in the comments and in the sponsor box to the right.

 

How much do you really like to think of the consequences?

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I had a mail conversation with one of the leading professors in marketing on a highly esteemed business school. Thought of sharing it with you (additional comments are in brackets).

Me: Lately I have discovered that people in common are more interested in blog post than online analysis (which can pose a risk to long-winded texts). What is your experience?

Professor: Can only agree. Do not know if it is entertaining or alarming though...

Me: We can only conclude that it is what it is and find it more or less interesting. As a consequence, we may ask if we can do something about it (which in its consequence will show whether it is entertaining or alarming).
Do you know the PIC / NIC model for impact assessment? It was developed by an American psychologist [Leslie Wilk Braksick] a few years ago.
In short is the model says that all actions have a number of basic consequences and we base our behavior on these consequences:

  • Positive / Negative
  • Immediate / Future
  • Certain / Uncertain

[In my mail conversation I forgot to tell that according to Leslie WB 80% of the outcome is based on the consequence of the action for the recipient and 20% is based on the original action, and still most leaders focus on the original action.]

This shows that the individual wants a positive, immediate and secure consequence of our actions. Maybe an explanatory model for us choosing the blog instead of the analysis? Could sound a bit dicotom [black and white], perhaps, but quite plausible.

Professor: A nice connection to the PIC / NIC! The immediate is really on the dot, the certainty is a little more tricky - it is not so that we want to be almost safe (but not quite entirely)? Rumors and blogs are quite united ...

As always, feel free to comment and develop, or check out other people's view with the sponsors on the right.

 

So you wanna be electrified?

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ElectricityFollowing some preliminary studies of the market for electrical vehicles (EV) and the challenges that industry faces, I moved my focus to the industry making the same vehicles rolling: The power suppliers. An increase of the number of EVs will as a consequence create a need for more electric power, but how much power and how do we want to secure the production of that power?

Is this really a problem? Really..? At first it may not seem so, but since no one actually has presented even the slightest trace of studies of it, we do not know. And based on conversations I have had with leading roles in the power industry, they have not addressed these issues.

Gathering qualified information for this argumentation and the variables the information may present is a problem – which again may underscore the fact that no one has addressed these issues thoroughly. Although I from time to time will present figures from different years (but still only covering the years 2007 and 2008) these figures may give an indication of the enormous need for discussing how to secure future energy production with the transition to EVs.

For the sake of the argument, I have narrowed the discussion down to Sweden. Here goes.

 

Production and consumption today

Sweden’s total energy production was in 2007 about 150,000 gWh, which should imply that Sweden is self-sufficient with its energy consumption of 146,000 gWh/year. But Sweden is dependent on rain and snow for its production of a major part of their gigawatthours, the national production of electric power varies from 135,000 gWh/year to 160,000 gWh/year based on weather conditions. When drought occurs, Sweden has to import electricity.

 

The energy needed for ground transportation (private and commercial)

Thanks to Wikimedia for providing free imagesAccording to the Swedish Petroleum Institute approximately 9,405 m³ gasoline and diesel is sold each year for transportation purposes. About 90% of this can be directed to private and commercial ground transportation . This boils down to an effective consumption of ca 8,464.5 m³ ordinary gas and diesel.

1 m³ fuel has in average an energy content equalling approximately 9,000 kWh. So every year ground transportation based on fossil fuels consumes approximately 76,185,000,000 kWh :  76,185 gWh/year. It may not seem so much, until you compare the energy consumption for ground transportation with the general energy consumption in Sweden which does not include ground transportation: 146,000 gWh/year.

 

The energy consumption in tomorrow’s ground transportation

It is only in the best of worlds we could make a clean cut and convert all ground transportation using fossil fuel into using electricity. But let us say that in 10 years time, our goal is to have 25% using electricity. 25% of 76,185 gWh/year is 19,046.25 gWh, so we would face a need for increase in production of almost 20,000 gWh.

But – it is not that easy because it is not that much. One of the leading power companies in Sweden – Vattenfall – says that electric vehicles only require 20% of the fossil fuel vehicle’s need for power. We are not there yet. With today’s technology the truth is more in the neighbourhood of 30%. For example if we compare the MINI E (an electric vehicle that requires around 1.4 kwh/10 km) with MINI One (a fossil fuel car that requires around 4.5 kwh/10 km) we end up with 31%. So for the sake of the argument, let us use 31% for further calculations. That would mean that the need for electric power covering 25% of today’s ground transportation need would be approximately 5,900 gWh/year.

 

So what is the problem?

5,900 gWh/year does not seem to be a substantial increase for a country as Sweden. The increase in consumption is just a few percent, going from 146,000 gWh to 151,900 gWh. But the actual challenge lies in the fact that this increase in production must have a guaranteed delivery attached to it, since we want to replace one functioning infra structure model based on a guaranteed power delivery with a new one with a power delivery that may seem more uncertain. This in a country where over 40 percent of the energy production is based on weather conditions. Remember: If Sweden experiences a drought and the water energy production is reduced with 15,000 gWh the country will have to import electricity. And since the neighbouring countries also will suffer from the same weather conditions, the power must be found elsewhere. But where?

As of today, 40% of all global electricity is produced with fossil fuel, and this could in fact mean that fossil fuel would be fuelling the non-fossil fuel infrastructure. Suddenly the good idea of making the world travel electric became a little more complex than it seemed.

So what are the alternatives for still being “climate smart” in Sweden? An increase of 6,000 gWh consumption the upcoming 10 years could, would or should imply one of the following alternatives for guaranteed delivery:

  • A new nuclear reactor at Ringhals (cost unknown, environmental effect unknown)
  • 25 new wind power parks with the size of Stor-Rotliden (approximately SEK 37.5 billion in investments, environmental effect unknown)
  • Buying imported electricity based on fossil fuels. (cost known, environmental effect known)
  • Other alternatives (feel free to suggest)

So how would you like to be electrified?

 

As always, feel free to check the comments or the sponsors for other opinions and join the discussion.

Or why not check out the TH!NK-text where I present a model of the future EV-production.

 

 

Visitors week 20

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Besides the unidentified reader mass, here are some of the companies and institutions visiting this site last week: Cision, SEB, TH!NK, Google, Handelsbanken, Stockholm School of Economics, Swedbank, VA, Nordea, the Finnish law firm Krogerus & Co, College of the Canyons,

This week, most of them came to read about the vision, but some checked out Google's revenue model celebrating 173 years and the car industry texts.

 

File sharing - now from a psychological point of view

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Networked computer (By courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)In Reinventing Your Life written by Jeffrey Young and Janet Klosko, the two psychologists describe a set of life traps which create unsatisfactory relationships, irrational lack of self-esteem and feelings of being unfulfilled. One of the traps they present - the entitlement lifetrap -  could actually have been applied to both parties and by both parties in the recent Pirate Bay-tr

The two psychologists found three types of entitlement lifetraps: spoiled entitlement, dependent entitlement and impulsivity. They are described as follows:

Spoiled entitlement

You see yourself as special. You are demaning and controlling, and want everything your way. When other people balk, you get angry.

Dependent entitlement

You place yourself in the weak, incompetent, needy role, and expect other people to be strong and take care of you.

Impulsivity

You have problems with impulse control. You act on your desires and feelings without regard for the consequences.

 

In which category - if any - will you put the file sharer and in which category - if any - will you put the copyright holders?

 

Last week's visitors

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Besides the unidentified reader mass, here are some of the companies and institutions visiting this site last week: Finance Canada And Treasury Board Secretariat, The Swedish Rescue Services Agency, Bonnier, Prime PR, IKEA, Hallvarsson&Hallvarsson, SvD, Ogilvy, Stockholm School of Economics.

Some of them came to read about the vision, but most of them checked out Google's revenue model celebrating 173 years.

 

 

Dialogues - Where did this one take place?

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I am not for conspiracy thinking, although this may seem to prove otherwise regarding the ongoing pandemic. 

- But what if we move the focus on to something else?
Some of them giggled.
- Remember what we did in 2006?
- We can't do that again, seriously.
- Why not? People were scared shitless, billions of dollars were raised. We got a break and the market sky-rocketed.
- Seriously...
- But one more time? One more time? Serious?
- Why not?
Twelve people sitting around the table.
- And do you really think people will go for that? Ok, to be honest, I had the same idea some days ago, but the numbers... I checked with CDC. People most of all worry about their kids, and the statistics shows that kids dying of the flu in 2006 when we did it the last time was half the amount of the children dying in 2004. How can we get away with it?
- People are dying all the time. That is a part of life. And really, who cares about the numbers, it is a question of focus, isn't it? Most of all we are humans, we like to have something to cling to, something that can explain for us that we did our best, that we are not to blame.
- I don't like it. Do you?
- If it can move the focus and we'll still be in the game, I am for it.
- I am not sure.
- Let's take a vote. All for?
Eleven arms in the air.
- Why not?
- We can't do it one more time. Not the same way.
- Ok, let's give out some protective masks, give it a new name, see what happens... Can you accept that?
- Ok.
- Now we need to decide on where. Suggestions, anyone?

---

Where did this dialogue take place? Suggestions in the comment area, please. And if you want a different opinion, please visit my sponsors to the right or start with the following video:

 

 


 

All the world's a mashup!

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Slightly rewritten, but quite entertaining.

All the world's a mashup,
And all the companies merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one company in its time plays many parts,
Its acts being seven ages. At first the idea,
Mewling and puking in the innovator's arms.
And then the whining investor stage, with its satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the seed,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to its mistress' eyebrow. Then implementor,
Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. And then the corporation,
In fair round belly with good capon lined,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so it plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper'd mature market,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side,
Its youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
For its shrunk shank; and its big corporate voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Thanks Shakespeare for "As you like it". You can find the original text here.

If you as a reader would like to help me correct the iambic pentameter, please comment.

And as always, feel free to visit my sponsors to the right for a second opinion.

 

 

TH!NK again

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Think goes to AmsterdamAlthough TH!NK has presented an innovative EV concept, the very same concept is constantly being obstructed by old-fashioned thinking. TH!NK has built a modern assembly line in Aurskog in Norway with a capacity to build over 3000 cars a year. A decision probably inspired and reinforced by imported car experts since Norway has no tradition in building cars.

What would happen if the company only used their assembly line for production of cars for car pools, but for the private market the company set up small assembly lines in their local markets? Should not be too difficult, since an EV as TH!NK has only a fraction of parts to assemble in comparison to the traditional car. And besides the possible wet dream for the company's marketers to rename their model TH!NK City to TH!NK Frankfurt, TH!NK Stockholm, TH!NK, London, TH!NK Prague, etc, the company could cash in even more benefits. Here are some of them:

  1. They could get start up finance for each new assembly line from local authorities interested in creating local jobs
  2. They could get a lot of free press from local media making TH!NK a household name at almost no cost
  3. They could skip the traditional retail and service concept and take charge of the relatively profitable after-market themselves
  4. They could decrease transport costs and pollution radically when they stop sending heavy batteries from Germany to Norway and instead send the batteries directly to the local assembly line, but most of all
  5. They would live their brand as the most environment friendly solution for local transport to the fullest

 Why haven't they thought of this or tried to do something like that?

I do not know what has happened in their board rooms, but I suspect that the reason lies in the classic ± factors group think and expert think. The car industry's group think is most of all embodied by the 101 years old assembly line - the grandious centralized production system devised by Henry Ford to save costs and increase profitability. And according to all experts, it is a proven method for effective car production.

But the times they are a-changing, why cannot the car industry try to change as well?

Feel free to comment, or if you want other opinions, please visit my sponsors you find in the right column.


 

Google's revenue model celebrates 173 years

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Google - of courseDid you know that the revenue model for Google can celebrate 173 years? Ok, I admit. There are some minor modifications, but they are smaller than you think. The modifications are actually representing nothing else than a change of infrastructure - and Google was the company discovering it. The people at Google attended history class, showed attention, and did something with it (I am in awe, really).

I am currently finishing off a new text on stakeholders for my site's members - my 1KTF. The text is dealing with the customer - aka "the ultimate stakeholder". During research, I found that we need to address customer types, and each customer type has to be split into different customer roles. Basic information that is taught in every business school, but basic information that is so basic that we forget it. Google did not.

The customers are typically defined as the ones generating company revenue. A salesman, or the advertising agency, can find the different types and convince them to buy, one way or another. The successful salesman - on the other hand - understands that each customer type can be divided into different customer roles. When defining this, the salesman knows that he customer roles are the ones showing how the customer's "cost" is allocated to satisfy each role, which as a consequence makes "the happy sale". (A complete walkthrough of customer types/roles/costs/etc. is available for my site members).

The roles I talk about in the membership area are the user role, the purchaser role and the financer role. In B2B these roles are normally different persons and each one of them must be addressed according to their needs. We start to see a slight move to the same role definition in B2C when talking about web solutions - and especially when talking about the Google revenue model. But surprisingly enough, it did not start with the web and it did not start some decades ago.

In juni 1836, the French newspaper La Presse was the first mass media to include paid advertising in its publication. The owner did it to make it possible for the paper to lower its price, extend its readership and increase its profitability. Sounds pretty Web 2.0, does it not? And the revenue structure?

Customer type/Customer role

User

Purchaser

Financer

-          La Presse-customer

X

X

X – % of Y

-          La Presse-advertiser

Y

Y

Y

X and Y being input from the customer type presented in some form.

 

And how does Google's revenue structure compare to this:

Customer type/Customer role

User

Purchaser

Payer

-          Google-customer

X

X

X – % of Y

-          Google-advertiser

Y

Y

Y

 X and Y being input from the customer type presented in some form.

 

What Google did that differentiate them from La Presse, is that they use the current information infra structure providing them with free material, making the advertiser's role a pure financial contributor to Google without the need of using manhours, costs for print, paper costs, etc. Although that was impossible in France 1836, in 2009 I just have to say "Way to go, Google!"

Feel free to comment, or in the true spirit of La Presse and Google - visit my sponsors you find to the right for other people's opinions (provided by Google, of course).

 

 

Any functioning corporate visions around?

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Corporate visions will be more and more important in the future. But really - what is a company vision? Normally I would say that your vision tells you and other people how far you are able to see - nothing more, nothing less.

To define this more specific and at the same time include other people's view, a corporate vision can contain one or more of the following points:

  1.  A limitation of the playground (in time and space)
  2. A goal for playing
  3. The time used for playing
  4. How to play

At the first glance, all points seem quite productive for any company, so why not include all of them? Especially since - in the best of worlds - the ideal corporate vision should include a vision that every role and funtcion could identify with. But the expressed vision may become a limiter (a minus-factor) instead of becoming an instigator (the plus-factor). Suddenly the corporate vision becomes the (in)famous box we all want to get out of.

The simplest way to create or redefine a vision, is as follows:

  1. Find the limitations (use the four above)
  2. Check if they are implicit or explicit (if they are implicit, remove them - if they are explicit, evaluate them in the next step)
  3. Check if they are internal or external (If they are internal, we talk about the company's vision, and they should be added. If they are external, we talk bout other people's vision, and they should be removed)

Do you have an example of a good corporate vision? if so, why?
Or, do you have an example of a "bad" corporate vision? If so, why?

If you like, you can buy a text on how this is done with the four biggest banks in Sweden and see how they make it.  Click here.

If not, please comment.

 

 

 

The Triggers and Drivers

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