Posts Tagged: mobile voip

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This is a very important revelation. So many startups have visions of Silicon Valley running around their heads. What they don’t realize is their applications are just part of a growing sea of noise.

What every company needs is customers. Creating them is not easy for a bootstrapped startup. However, the first thing that SHOULD come to mind is what existing platforms, companies, or networks already reach your desired customer. While it might even be a temporary exercise, it can build that momentum needed to get noticed.

Crossing the Chasm is another thing. Partnering for strategic customer reach can even make a product into a household name. Even an online service. Take for example Netflix. If not for BestBuy and OEM relationships like Samsung, it wouldn’t have the number of users it does today. Rapid growth has built more than just a following, it built scale that creates value and acts as a defensive tactical barrier to entry for would-be competitors. Apple TV, just didn’t get the traction; and in comparison, never had the level of distribution that Netflix had.

Just sayin

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George Mobile, this is your “…come to Jesus” moment.

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I am inviting my Tumblr Friends to learn about George Mobile and sign up for a #free trial: Save Money, Stay Social. You will get free long-distance calling and text for one month. How does that sound? Fair deal?

Click the link to see the video and learn more before signing up. No strings attached; and, you can even invite your friends to save even more money!

http://t.co/zXWUl5h

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Plus C’est La Meme Chose!

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It’s Saturday morning and I woke up with two things on my mind: Silicon Valley and “…what am I doing?”

My financial advisor/rainmaker/stickhandler/VC has made arrangements to meet potential investors and business development targets in Menlo Park and Palo Alto this coming week. Emails are flying back and forth promising all sorts of talking points etc. It doesn’t seem real. Maybe it’s because I have heard so many stories of Startups going to Silicon Valley to camp out and knock on doors until one opens up to make their dreams come true. I don’t feel like I’ve worked that hard on it, yet I have this opportunity and it is frightening. If it’s for real, this could be the start of something big for our startup.

As any Startup, we are bootstrapped and nurturing our progression along with vapors. Real hard currency is needed to fuel the work-machine, let alone marketing. And, the more you need it, the harder it seems to obtain. So, here I sit looking ahead and fiddling about trying to figure out whether I have everything necessary to support my “ask” and bring home something tangible. I still have time, and the anticipation is like not being able to breath. There is a sense that I need to succeed there or all is lost and hopeless.

I need to get over all that and treat this like any other pitch - it isn’t for everyone. And, we wouldn’t want to align with just anyone anyhow, right? There are lots of fish in the sea. Ya, that’s it.

Now, back to rearranging the numbers - hockey stick or bell curve? Which would they prefer to see?

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Amplify’d from www.theglobeandmail.com

Skype represents new wave of trickle-up technology

Duncan Stewart | Columnist profile | E-mail
Globe and Mail Update
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The purchase of Skype earlier this month highlighted three important themes: verbs are good, big companies like making money and businesses are getting more consumerized every day.

We’ve known for years that when a specific consumer brand name becomes the generic equivalent for the entire category (Kleenex, Xerox, Aspirin) that it was worth a lot of money. Products so honoured sell for premium prices and generate premium margins.

Historically, leading-edge technology was pioneered in the enterprise, and then trickled down to consumers over time. At one time, touch tone phones, laser printers or computers were only found in offices.

In 2011, we are seeing the reverse. Having a solution that is robust, well tested, scalable across tens or hundreds of millions, requires minimal training and that users actually like to use turns out to be a good thing. Any multibillion dollar tech company knows a lot about developing software, Skype’s buyer included. But “beta testing” on the scale of a global consumer offers a new development model, even for the tech experts.

This consumerization of enterprise information technology is becoming the new normal, at least some of the time. Enterprises are adopting tablets that started as consumer toys and businesses are using Twitter and Facebook for key marketing and customer service tasks.

Look for more consumer technologies and companies to be adopted and purchased by big tech companies that are primarily business focused.

Read more at www.theglobeandmail.com
 
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George helps friends connect FREE from their smartphones wherever they are in the world. George works over any 3G, 4G, LTE data plan or Wi-Fi for FREE. No contracts, no log-ins or passwords. George is like Skype, but without the need to add contacts. George simply allows you to access your native address book to connect with friends. And, unlike Viber, George gives you the option to make calls or send/receive sms with phone numbers anywhere in the world!


George also offers an upgrade to a full featured version with talk & text that substitutes your cellular service. And, here’s the kicker, GEORGE ANSWERS THE PHONE when you call for customer support because THEY care about your mobile experience.


Easy set-up: just download the app, enter your phone number and start inviting friends to get George. Soon, you’ll be talking the talk and earning cool shwag just for sharing like badges, coupons, and leaderboard rank. When your friends get the full-featured version, George will credit your account with $10 to use, or donate to one of the great causes profiled on its website. So, you can save money, earn rewards and do good things.


Members get the full-featured awesomeness of the George Mobile experience with an unlimited plan available at www.getgeorgemobile.com You’ll get:


ü a real local phone number


ü unlimited talk & text to any phone (incoming/outgoing)


ü voicemail/voice to text


ü personal dashboard and member profile


ü Canada $13/month


ü US/Canada $15/month


ü Great international rates (pay as you go)


ü or, Add unlimited Intl. for $10/month

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A big wave surfer tells his story about how he swam with sharks at the link below. How can you do this in your everyday business? What can we learn from his shark experience? Three tips for swimming with sharks at sea or on land:

1. Know when you are in shark waters: Half the exercise is situational awareness;

2. Know when they are feeding and avoid: You are not food and you don’t want there to be any mistake - so avoid selling in a buyer’s market;

3. Know how to recognize their curiosity and avoid posing a threat: Find a common ground where you can communicate rationally.

http://www.surfermag.com/features/healey-rides-great-white-sharks/

Amplify’d from www.surfermag.com

Mark Healey takes a “calculated” risk with an oceanic apex predator. Photo: Team Effort Films

Read more at www.surfermag.com
 
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Investor Info, Video, Press Kit here: http://georgemobile.posterous.com/

George helps friends connect FREE from their smartphones wherever they are in the world. George works over any 3G, 4G, LTE data plan or Wi-Fi for FREE. No contracts, no log-ins or passwords. George is like Skype, but without the need to add contacts. George simply allows you to access your native address book to connect with friends. And, unlike Viber, George gives you the option to make calls or send/receive sms with phone numbers anywhere in the world!

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Amplify’d from www.businessinsider.com

How To Make A Goody Bag That Everyone Will Remember Your Startup By

Jayzap
Anyone who attends conferences regularly knows that swag is a big part of the experience, along with trading business cards and hopefully learning a thing or two. Over the last few years our team has attended numerous tech events and received countless branded items from companies, both global brands and startups

After you’ve received your umpteenth startup T-shirt and your 18th fancy pen from a big company, you start to realize that free swag doesn’t always equal desirable or useful stuff. And from a marketing perspective, swag doesn’t always set you apart from the crowd and help you get attention – it often just shows how well you blend in with other companies who are handing out similar items.

If you’re trying to develop unique promotional items for your startup, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Make it something people actually want. Think about if you were the one stopping by your trade show booth or receiving an item at a conference. Would you use the item? Or would you say “no thanks, I already have 20 other xx’s.” You don’t want people to grab the item and immediately throw it out, or let it sit in a drawer somewhere.

Make it relevant to your audience. If you’re going to a conference full of dentists and handing out laptop stickers you might not get the best reception. Make sure the items you’re handing out will actually resonate with the audience.

Be strategic with your timing. An entrepreneur told me about their favorite piece of swag from a conference – swag that helps you carry more swag. The item (given out by the Canadian government) was as rubber handgrip with a slot to hold swag bags, allowing you to grab as much swag as you wanted without it digging into your fingers. While that item on its own is useless, when given out at a swag-heavy conference it was a hit. Another strategic use of swag was a company that gave out socks after a marathon, when runners really needed a new pair. If they had given them out before chances are they would have been forgotten.

Take advantage of current events. Some of my favorite SXSW swag has capitalized on the news of the day. Stickers from ShareThis at the 2010 conference had a picture of Kanye West with the text “Imma let you finish, but ShareThis has the best sharing tool…” Several companies had Charlie Sheen-themed swag this year, with slogans like “winning” plastered on their items. While these items might not have staying power, they get attention and at the very least get a laugh.

Work with your budget. Startups have small budgets for marketing, and swag is only a small piece of it. Decide whether you want to get a high volume of items for a lower price, or a smaller quantity of a standout more expensive item. An example I heard was a flash drive years ago when they were still quite expensive – it was an item people actually wanted and used, so even though the company could only produce a limited amount, every one of them went to good use. Or consider devoting your swag budget to one big item like an iPad and hold a giveaway – that way you end up with a list of people you can reach out to after the event.

Stay away from the trendy items. Handing out an eco-friendly stainless steel water bottle, or a reusable tote bag? So is everyone else. While you want to give out something people want, you don’t want to have the same item as 10 other companies at the same event.

Consider donating your swag budget to charity. Andrea Toole shared a story about how one company at a conference she attended decided to forego the swag and instead donated their swag budget to charity. They short-listed three charities that the money could go to, and allowed booth visitors to vote on the final choice. This keeps people interactive while cutting down on waste, and contributes to a great cause.

One of the places where swag is abundant is at the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin. The bag is hefty and contains everything from magazines and food to discounts on web apps and the SXSW directory. This year the swag bag was absent though, replaced by an online “SXSWag bag” featuring free or discounted offers for products and services.

While the online bag is great way to reduce waste, it likely cut down on the number of people seeing messages from companies. They haven’t reported how many people accessed the online bag, but it’s likely much lower than the number of people who picked one up in person. So how about it – what items have you created for your company? What items have you received that you’ve actually used? And will you be migrating to online swag like SXSW?

Read more at www.businessinsider.com
 
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Amplify’d from paper.li

technology.inc.com - The first step to mastering the Web is understanding the four types of media content. It’s sometimes overwhelming to think about the breadth of the Internet. In a presentation at Mashable Connect 2…

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It remains to be seen what their strategy is actually striving for in terms of revenue objectives. There is risk to integrating an otherwise dependable platform. Namely, “….why was I here again?” or too many function’itis.

Amplify’d from blogs.hbr.org

Microsoft’s Skype Deal: How to Make it Work

11:14 AM Friday May 13, 2011 
by David J. Bryce  | Comments (7)

Skeptics are panning Microsoft’s decision to acquire Skype, arguing that the price of $8.5 billion (more than 30 times earnings) is too expensive. But with Skype, Microsoft vaults itself into the world of “free products” in a significant way. How Microsoft leverages those product users going forward — and whether it can retain and grow them — will be the true test of success for the acquisition.

The potential here is significant. Cloud services are considered to be the future of computing. For 170 million product users, Skype provides an on-ramp to Microsoft cloud offerings and other products. It gives to Microsoft a brand-aware user base keen to communicate, in the cloud, across a richly connected social network. It provides significant opportunities to up-sell, cross-sell, advertise, or bundle paid offerings. And by integrating Skype with its free cloud offerings — such as its free version of Office software — Microsoft multiplies the linkages and the revenue potential.

At the same time, Microsoft envisions deep integration with existing pay products, such as Office and its corporate communications offering, Microsoft Lync. Clearly, the company aspires to move into the stream of demand flow toward increasingly ubiquitous face-to-face communications across all devices.

But the acquisition also presents a significant conundrum: How will Microsoft integrate and leverage Skype without destroying what has been successful thus far — the free business model and the potential of the user base? Can the company simultaneously manage a world of free users supported by advertising and premium service offerings — and a world of paying customers looking for best-in-class communications applications?

The challenge is not an easy one, as Microsoft’s own experience makes clear. While it has launched free versions of its Office software to the cloud, the dependencies of these offerings on the pay product remain strong and the pay product seems to get all of the support. Meanwhile, both cloud and pay Office are under heavy assault from free product threats such as Google Docs.

The way to support — or avoid killing — a free product model is by structuring the internal organization in a way that delivers the right incentives. As I and my co-authors, Jeff Dyer and Nile Hatch, explain in “Competing Against Free,” our article in the forthcoming June issue of the Harvard Business Review, internal structures can easily get in the way of running a successful free business model. P&L organizations are typically designed to tightly link a product’s cost to its revenues but they also stifle flexible thinking — about how to grow users independent of revenue, or how to get revenue from sources other than price.

Fortunately, in Skype, Microsoft is buying a company that has figured out how to make money off of free products. That’s why appending Skype onto the Microsoft organization structure as a separate, autonomous division makes a lot of sense. However, while this approach promotes the free products business model, it makes tight integration with other products more difficult. If the company pushes too aggressively for integration with pay products or if the demands for direct revenue from products that integrate Skype begin dictating resource allocation, then the autonomous divisional structure could break down. If this winds up recasting P&L responsibilities and incentives toward pay product managers, Microsoft may lose free product users as it begins to appear advantageous to ignore them in favor of customers for pay products.

Can both goals be pursued simultaneously? Of course they can, but getting the right internal structures to facilitate this is tricky. Any move away from divisional autonomy could have negative consequences. Still, one approach is to coordinate the work of the Skype revenue team with other revenue teams in the company such as those responsible for Bing revenues. This leads to broader, more integrative thinking about revenue sources across product platforms. Leave the Skype unit to promote product development and user growth. Meanwhile, allow development teams to integrate Skype-like communications functionality into products but require them to coordinate with Skype development teams to be sure that revenue models and brand usage don’t negatively affect the free user base.

Some may argue that integrating Skype with Microsoft pay products has the potential to deliver greater incremental revenue than does supporting the free business model, so Microsoft should just let that model die. But the Skype unit is approaching $1 billion in revenue with free products already and much more may be on the way. With competitors using free products to rapidly stake claim to territory in the cloud, this may be Microsoft’s best chance to leap forward with a serious presence in that space. It should do everything it can to capitalize on the opportunity.

David J. Bryce is an associate professor of strategy at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management.
Read more at blogs.hbr.org