Category Archives: Technology

More Important Than Ever: Adoption Curve

For those who have had heard me speak recently either at conferences or in person, I’ve been talking a lot about the Adoption Curve.  The adoption curve may be more important than ever due to the economic environment that we are facing.  Adoption of a product and the associated business model by society is more important than the innovation curve, as the financing market for startups is tough at this moment and survival of the fittest is in full swing.

Everett Rogers created the theory, Diffusion of Innovations, which is a theory of how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures. Rogers introduced it in his 1962 book, Diffusion of Innovations, writing that “Diffusion is the process by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among the members of a social system.

I’ve created a diagram to illustrate my thoughts:

There is a delta between the Line of Innovation (LoI) and the Line of Adoption (LoA).  The closer your product/service is towards the Line of Innovation, the harder it is going to be to survive today.  The LoA is where the mainstream audience is, and with this audience, comes the bulk of potential dollars.

Too many entrepreneurs innovate and create some wicked technology but don’t account for the adoption line and the market today.  In our economic environment, cash is king today and as I assess startups, I’m looking for them to be closest to the Line of Adoption.

As you build your startup or create a new service within your digital media empire, assess where your new product/service falls and do everything in your power to have it fall closer to the adoption line than the innovation line.

Additionally, it takes time for innovation to be adopted.  The delta that exists between the LoA and the LoI is essentially time.  Every day that we turn the lights on and our employees come to work, we are spending money (sometimes a lot, sometimes a little), so make sure:

Time to Adoption < Money in Bank.

P.S. I think the post title is misleading because this should not be more important than ever.  Every startup should build close to the adoption curve, rather than far out towards the far edge of innovation.

Inspirational: A New Look and Feel

Every year and a half or so, I’ve released a new look and feel for this blog.  I’m not a web designer (those were my early days) ]so it’s not like I want to show off some new skills that I have just learned.  I release a new theme purely for inspiration and to keep the blog fresh.  For those who want to see what this blog looked like over the past few years, check out Archive.org’s history.

I hope you enjoy the theme as it was designed by my friend Cristian Neagu of CandesProjects.  For those of you who have talked to or met Cristian, you know he’s one talented designer/developer who can handle many tasks.  I’ve known Cristian for a few years now and even opened my home to him when he came to America to work on an in-depth project with me.  He’s one heck of a guy and his skills are fantastic as well.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the new redesign – and happy early Turkey Day.

My Go To Device

It’s official, my iPhone has taken over as my go-to device.  No longer do I reach for my laptop for simple tasks, nor turn on the television for others… the iPhone can do most of what I need.  Some would say that it’s only for personal purposes… well, at work, we use an Exchange server and the iPhone integrates great with it.

My Blackberry Curve, which I’ve spoken about as a fantastic device, has not been turned on since I’ve gotten my 3G.  I’m going to be selling it – have the original box and it’s less than 60 days of usage as I had to buy a replacement.  Know someone who wants to buy it?  Contact me.

I know I’ve been publicly bearish on mobile marketing but I absolutely understand where the future of computing is going and I’m loving it.  I believe marketing on the iPhone (or other mobile device) should be an extension of an online strategy… depending on the audience you [as a marketer] are looking to engage, marketing without a mobile component may be detrimental.

Last night, I used my iPhone to Tweet (to Twitter), take pics of my grandparents holding my son, send text messages, Google the street address of a sushi restaurant in Bronxville, and of course, chat with a colleague.  All with one device.  The [mobile] future is going to be pretty awesome.

IAB Ad Ops Summit Recap

IAB LogoI went to the IAB Ad Ops Summit yesterday here in New York.  The attendance was broken out as follows:  80% pubs, 15% agencies, 5% clients.  Not ideal as all sides of the equation should be represented when we’re talking about best practices and having an open conversation about them.

While I didn’t really find anything earth shattering, I liked hearing from other agencies and the publisher side about they are doing to make the ad ops process scale so that we can leverage it for all media as it becomes digital.

The IAB did an excellent job putting this together and the event was fairly top notch.  Randall Rothenberg, head of the IAB, released some best practices documents yesterday as well… check them out.

Here are some of the latest Tweets on the IAB

Quotes from the conference:
1.      “Recession is our opportunity” – Randall Rothenberg
2.      “Everything is going digital” – Google
3.      “When people are happy, I’m nervous.  When they are nervous, I’m happy.”  Warren Buffet
4.      “Agencies have yield management, the same way networks do, they should be structured as such.” Michele Burnham
5.      “Our industry is like an iPod with a parrallel port.” Benjamin Reid
6.      “Digital is the primary media for advertising in the future.”  Google
Key takeaways:
1.      Ad Ops folks are the guardians of profit as they optimize revenue flow and remove costs out of the equation
2.      Eliminate friction, maximize efficiencies (what Google wants to shift in the ad world)
3.      2003 was the first IAB impression standard
4.      Talk of Interactive tearsheets
5.      Best practices conversations are all about documentation and overcommunication
6.      The first electronic invoice (television spot) was delivered in 1989 by Grey Advertising
7.      We must reinspect every media business practice down to the human level as our entire industry is changing
8.      Google is revolutionizing an industry that is manual and inefficient.

Retail Game Cards

Such a genius business.  Extracted from the original interview.

And why do retailers love these cards? The economics work in their favor.

Now, there’s an interesting fact about these cards. Retailers love them over any other product they have in their store, because the cards themselves don’t take up any inventory.

They’re not activated until they’re purchased, so they don’t sit on the balance sheet of the retailer. They feel like “free money” to retailers. So it’s a very positive business for retailers to get into, and it really lowers the bar for any retailers who are unsure about it, they don’t need to worry about losing money on it.

The really big untapped market for these digital media companies is gift giving. No matter how much someone loves an online world no one is going to say “hey, merry Christmas. I logged into your account and gave you 25 bucks.” Not to mention the impulse buy.

Ad Networks & Strategy Quote

I’ve been a fan of Jeff for years and have met him on occasion at his year partner summits.  I agree with him on the point below, extracted from an interview on peHub.

What’s clearly not working, or, at least, won’t in the harsh economic climate we’re entering?

One interesting place to watch is the ad network business. It’s been a real boom time for them, and frankly, it’s been an easy business in which to succeed. There are probably more than 300 ad networks up and running and they aren’t differentiated on technology. It’s all about arbitrage; they buy inventory for a low price and sell it for a higher price and add little value in between. I think there will be  real shakeup in that business over the next year. In a downturn, it becomes imperative for people to become more efficient, and in an efficient marketplace, I don’t think there is room for these players. I’d guess that dozens and dozens of ad networks won’t make it through the next year.

Visual NFL Statistics

I’ve been playing around with dashboards, statistics, and different ways of reporting information lately and there are endless ways to visualize information.  There is an entire industry for this.

Since the NFL season has just started and there is a wealth of data that comes out of every game, I thought I’d crunch it and visualize it so we can look at it in different ways.  This is also self-serving because I’m in two fairly rigorous fantasy football leagues and I want to see the data as well.

Take a peek at GoalLine.tv, my new site that showcases NFL data.  In the coming weeks, I may add a fantasy football show (weekly show 3-5 mins) but for now, check out the data each week.

NFL Rushing TDs

The above player clowd showcases rushing TD’s.  Please note it only includes this past Thursday and this afternoon’s games, excluding the late game this evening and tomorrow’s Monday night game.  I don’t see LT on this, do you?  Michael Turner??

Chrome: Lets Not Drink the Koolaid Yet

A high profile launch with a selectively distributed comic book.  Beta only on the PC.  Blog posts and mainstream articles written up everywhere from the NY Times to TechCrunch and almost every tech blogger who has a keyboard.

I have absolutely no doubt that Chrome is interesting and potentially monumental as it goes beyond a browser and acts as a platform/system for apps.

However, I love how people are starting to show Market Share numbers, such as TechCrunch already at 6.23%.  Clicky Web Analytics has a page that tracks browser usage across 45,000 webpages and it’s showing 2.3% for Chrome.

Lets please keep this in mind:  the folks using Chrome today are the extremely early adopters.  The sample of sites being used for this are in the very “early technology trigger” portion of the Gartner Hype Cycle.

Who visits TechCrunch (think audience) and the 45,000 webpages that Clicky tracks…. yes, you guessed correctly, the early adopters and digerati.

We’re going to see a battle between IE8 and Chrome over the next few months and this may steal the thunder from the App vs. Widget debate of earlier this year.

Lets not blow “Chrome” out of proportions just yet.