Category Archives: Reviews

Why Startups Need To Solve Real Problems Again

Alexis Madrigal thinks our modern entrepreneurial climate has a problem: we’re not solving big problems anymore. The startup boom in the late 90s gave birth to revolutionary mobile devices. Now, the best we can do is Facebook.

Madrigal offers two solutions: stop the pervasiveness of “free” web apps and increase the diversity among founding teams. Fresh perspectives, he argues, will bring a new paradigm for startups — and for creativity in general.

Kickstart your next creative project with some crowd funding

When it comes to producing a documentary or putting together a game there are so many expenses before you even get it to market. Now there is a better way to get your creative ideas off the ground.

Imagine a portal where you can tell everyone about your project and then ask them to pledge some money (if they like your idea) in exchange for the chance to be involved, in some way in what you are producing.

I have been following Double Fine Productions on Kickstarter who set out with a goal of achieving $400,000 in pledges to create a new game and a documentary of the game being made. Founder Tim Schafer put together a great pitch video and then subsequent support videos to tell everyone about his project. It was a compelling video, it gave me a great insight into what Tim was wanting to achieve along with loads of personality and an insight into the difference one person could make my contributing financially.   Tim and his team at Double Fine Productions achieved a phenomenal result of over 87,142 backers and over $3 million dollars raised when the listing ended on March 13th 2012.  Check out the Kickstarter page here.

This is one of the powerful ways the internet opens up many new opportunities for people with creative ideas, and best of all you don’t need experience in looking for the one big backer to get the project off the ground.  I love the fact that supporters are global and they can help you taylor the product for the end user, which in many cases is people just like them.

Pozible is the Australian version, not quite as big as Kickstarter just yet.

Pozible have put together 12 tips to a crowd funding success which anyone considering this approach should consider carefully. They can be summarised as:

1. Plan your project and set yourself a goal
2. You’re inviting people to be a part something – so don’t be afraid to ask for the money
3. Collaboration – who can compliment  you with additional skills to get the project off the ground?
4. Influencers – who do you know that is well known that can support you with the project with endorsements etc?
5. Learn from others – look how others have been successful in attracting pledges for their project
6. Be Sociable – talk about your project at every opportunity
7. Share and connect online
8. Another day, another dollar – build momentum and stay in contact with your audience so they know you are serious in achieving your project
9. Say thank you
10. Without an audience, you’ve got very little – get to know them
11. Reward your supporters – be creative with what you can offer
12. A story to tell – why is your project unique and why should we believe you will see the project through, how did you come up with the idea in the first place?

If you check out the Double Fine Productions page on Kickstarter, you will see how they have met all of the above points to attract the level of funding they did.

Yours in Crowd Funding.

Belinda

 


Gentlemint – Pinterest for Men only

I’ve been using Pinterest now for only a few weeks and it has become yet another procrastination tool that I have become addicted to! If you haven’t seen Pinterest, check it out at www.pinterest.com or better still you can follow my boards @ http://pinterest.com/paul_vb/

BUT now I have found a second version of Pinterest called Gentlemint (http://gentlemint.com/). No the things that appeals to me about this one is that it’s a MEN ONLY version! That’s not to mean that it full of semi-naked women or fast cars or anything else you would like to stereotype men with! From what I have seen so far it is full of interesting posts of really interesting things, to a man at least! And that’s the appeal of Gentlemint for me. It’s not full of pretty dresses, high heels, latest gift-wrapping techniques or any other stereotypical terms used for what women like!

Just like Pinterest you can only create an account by being invited or application. I haven’t been approved as yet, but am looking forward to it! It is not limited to men only, there is no gender check on applying, but the content obviously must be ‘manly’!

And remember… Chuck Norris doesn’t read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

Yours in manliness,

Paul

One of the recent posts on Gentlemint…

Christmas Stress Relief

It’s called the silly season for a reason, right?

How many times have you been pushed out of the way at the shops this year for some other greedy person to get to the bargains (which you didn’t even want anyway!)?

Is all the stress of thinking about the family getting together on Christmas day causing you to bite your nails back to your knuckles?

If so, here is a nice little site that can bring some relief to you this silly season and make you smile again this Christmas!

www.youbetternotstress.com

Check out some of the ugly holiday sweaters and be glad you don’t have one!

Preview the best holiday movies for people who don’t like holiday movies!

And check out the best predictions for 2012!

It’s all in good fun… enjoy!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas,

Paul.

Get Organised Online… Evernote

Do you have a scrap book filled with clippings, loose pieces of paper and not really have any idea of where anything is? Or know that you kept ‘that’ clipping for some reason but have no idea where you put it, but it’s in a ‘safe place’.

You’re not alone!

But I recently started using on online system called Evernote. It has an iPad & iPhone app as well so you can take and make notes wherever you are.

So what can it do? On the front page of the Evernote website it describes what it can do as:

1. Capture Everything: Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see.
2. Access Anywhere: Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there.
3. Find Things Fast: Search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images.

Out of those three things, the one that appeals to me most is the third—Find things fast! Evernote allows you to ‘tag’ your notes so you can not only categorise all of your items but you can do keyword searches on everything.

I love that you can add in things like, audio notes, website links, photos, videos, files (in the premium version!) and text notes.

And it’s not only for your personal items, it can be a great tool for business too. I would use it when doing a research for strategies and keep a library of ‘tagged’ items that I can refer to at a later stage. The possibilities are very broad, think a bit laterally and maybe use it to store recipes, website bookmarks, Christmas present ideas and on!

All of the basic functions are available in the free sign-up version. Why not give it a go? Let us know if you have any other useful utilities you use to help organise your life.

Visit evernote.com

Yours in online apps,

Paul.

Spare Ticket announced as AMI National Finalist

Ok shameless plug warning! We’re super excited to see our client Spare Ticket announced as a National Finalist for the Australian Marketing Institute’s Awards for Marketing Excellence in the ‘New Brand’ category. We’re up against some ‘stiff’ competition: Warnie’s underwear brand SpinnersSimplot’s Quorn and Queensland winner Mater Mother’s Private Redland; so fingers crossed!

The awards are a part of the AMI’s two day conference, Focus on the Future, held at the Hilton Sydney from October 19-20. The conference will showcase a number of high profile speakers from Microsoft, Commonwealth Bank, Spreets, Telstra and Nestle, to name a few, bringing together some of the world’s greatest marketing minds.

Will you be going?

Yours in marketing coolness,
Janet

Gruen Planet’s first episode airs tonight

 

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The Gruen Transfer is my favourite show. Hands down. It’s required reading (or watching) for those in our industry and gives the rest of the world an insight into what we advertisers do each day.

So naturally I’m busting with excitement for Gruen Planet which airs tonight on ABC1 at 9pm.

Over an eight-week season Gruen Planet will delve into the world of public relations – the world of ‘spin’ with Gruen Transfer host Wil Anderson and panelists Russel Howcroft and Todd Sampson.

“Persuasion is persuasion,” says Sampson, pointing out that the techniques used in PR and damage control are not dissimilar to those used to persuade consumers to buy a product.

Topics will include a proposal to run an ad during grand final week asserting that footballers should not be role models, the rebranding of Rupert Murdoch and a pitch to persuade Australians they hate the Melbourne Cup.

Tonight’s episode will focus on the political survival of prime minister Julie Gillard, described as ‘The only leader on Earth more besieged than Gaddafi’. The show will look at how she should be repositioned as a political brand but will also cover SABMiller’s acquisition of Fosters to tackle the question: How do you sell Aussie beers that are no longer Aussie? And do brands really need to worry about patriotism?

The last part of the show will ask contestants to come up with a campaign to convince Australians that they should stop expecting our footballers to be role models in the run up to grand final week for the NRL and AFL.

And for those of you miss tonight’s episode: a repeat of the show will air on Thursday at 9.30pm on ABC2 or you can catch-up with iView.

Will you be watching?

Yours in spin,
Janet

Sources: mumbrella.com.ausmh.com.au

SmartClinics opens at Westfield Chermside on September 19

I’m impatient, work long hours and not loyal to any particular doctor – I guess I’m fitting right into the Gen-Y stereotype! But seriously, when I need a basic prescription or need some basic medical care I just want to pop in and out of the doctor’s as quickly as possible – and I’d think many working Australians would be much the same (gee, that was a bit ALP wasn’t it…”working Australians”).

This is why I’m excited about SmartClinics – the new medical clinic run by Nurse Practitioners, opening at Westfield Chermside on September 19. Now full disclosure, SmartClinics is a client of ours and we’ve been busily working on their design and advertising in preparation for the launch, but really I can’t wait until it’s open.

I think SmartClinics is going to be a really great service for those of us who are fed up with trying to sneak out during lunch and then suffer the long wait in reception before our 10 minute appointment (although I love the trashy mags, do we really need to spend 45 minutes in the waiting room?). SmartClinics will open from 7am-9pm, 7 days a week – thank you weekend and night trading! Plus the appointments are quick and cheap – only $28 for a basic consultation. Now they just need to come to the south side of Brisbane!

Clinics like this have been operating in the US and UK for quite some time now so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about but obviously some GPs think SmartClinics is a teeny bit controversial…check out this piece on Channel 10

Check them out at www.smartclinics.com.au

Yours in innovative health care,
Janet

Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival

Each year I thoroughly look forward to seeing the best of Brisbane fashion unleashed to the public at Mercedes Benz Fashion Festival. I love getting all ‘suited up’ and wandering down to the 60 metre long marquee that spreads along the Brisbane River in South Bank. I love seeing the new and upcoming models that strut the runway drowning in regional luxury. As always, I can’t wait to see what my favourite designer has been working on for the past year! Once again, I was not disappointed. Brad Webb of Darb Bridal Couture is the master of innovation and craftsmanship. Only this man could send a model down the runway wearing a full skirted, green linen (that’s right, green linen) wedding gown and make her the envy of every bride in town. Not only was the closing piece EPIC to say the least, it was enough for me to finish off my fashion week experience with an OMG!!!

 

New social network to rival Facebook, Twitter and Google

I was reading the Brisbane Courier Mail on Friday and came across this story by Alex Dickinson about “the next big” social network, created right here in Brisbane.

Kondoot – a social network based around live streaming video – was quietly launched last month by a small Brisbane team of young technical programmers and already has users from more than 100 countries signed up, with most interest from the US.

It started out as just an idea last year and has taken a little over a year in the making when a few of them got together to see if it was possible. The tight-lipped technical crew has managed to keep it quiet until now.

Mr Hoad, 24, one of the team’s programmers, said Kondoot was a mash-up of the best features of the major social media websites. “Most of them do only their thing – nobody really covers more than that,” he said. “YouTube, for example, is big into video but the social side is not so good. We add that other dimension.”

The team of 10 who work full-time on the site’s business, legal and IT needs is currently working 18-hour days to develop new features.

Users can “friend” others, just like Facebook, but the main point of difference is the wide range of streaming video options.

Kondoot will allow users to broadcast streaming video from home or work live to the world.

“The video calling and text chatting is there and posting to profiles, but we add another dimension,” Kondoot spokesman Nathan Hoad told The Courier-Mail. “It’s mostly about connecting people and video is just one way to do that. “We think we can make a massive splash in the social media scene.”

Will you make the change to Kondoot?

Yours in social media
Angie Rapisarda