Sunday, 19 October 2014

Infographic: The evolution of social media

The evoluation of social media as captured by from 1970 to 2009.

Compare that to a more comprehensive graphic by copyblogger

No doubt the evolution of social media sites is not just interesting, but it has also showed how human needs for online socialization has given birth to very specific platforms that addresses either professional or social needs of people. As much as human needs for online socialization is growing,  and various platforms are needed to meet this need, not all platforms have succeeded in appealing to consumers' taste for online socialization. Moreover, the competition is so high that some have to drop. Below are some of the platforms that are no longer existing.

Avatars United, Bahu, Bolt, Capazoo, Ecademy, eConozco, FitFinder, Formspring, Hyves, Mugshot, PlanetAll, Pownce, Regeit,, Surfbook, Windows Live Spaces, Yahoo! 360°, Yahoo! Kickstart, IslamTag, Yahoo! Mash, Friendster

Thursday, 16 October 2014

From Company-made to Customer-made

“There are always more smart people outside your company than within it.” - Bill Joy

Imagine having a customer as the head of your next new product development project! Odd? Well, businesses are learning to be proactive in their strategies by finding better ways to make the customer own a product and become part of your business. Handling complaints very well and meeting customers' expectations wouldnt guarantee loyalty, after all every business ensures that. Businesses have moved from handling complaints and meeting expectations to co-creating a product or service with customers; putting the power of innovation in the hands of the customers - If they will use it, let them create it.

In the past, everything about product development was done within an organisation and then given to customers to buy. Today that orientation is changing. Companies now want to get the customers involved in product development by allowing their creative instincts to guide the design process of any product or service. This makes the companies and customers business partners and a winning team.

It is important to note that co-creation is not 'being consumer centric' or 'consumer engagement' or inclusion - All these only incorporate consumers concerns into an existing product. However co-creation allows your customers to play the lead role in designing products hence driving innovation in your business. This strategy is not about asking what the customers want and then creating it for them - NO! It is about allowing customers create the product or service that they truly want in partnership with your business.

Co-creation is changing the way organisations respond to innovation and development. The orientation of value creation has always been dominated by company's creative minds. However, in business today, open innovation has shown that customers are creative as well, and they can drive innovation. Hence, giving them an opportunity to explore their creativity will move your Products and services from company-made to customer-made. Are you giving your customers the opportunity to lead innovation in your business?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

3 Key Features of a Generative Business

I read a material on The Benefits of Giving Away What Your Company Knows by CV Harquail. Using Buffer as a case study, Harquail discussed how businesses can benefit from sharing what they know with others. According to her, generative businesses are "designing their business practices, their relationships, and their business models so that the work they do to grow their own businesses helps their stakeholders grow too."

When you view old methods in a new way, it helps your business to adjust to the changing circumstances.

 Generative organisations or businesses are simply those businesses that are able to create or bring into being something new, or to give rise to new possibilities. For instance new ideas, new processes etc. The create opportunities for others while they grow.

Below are the key features of a generative business as discussed by C.V. Harquail.
  1. They design their work processes to power their own growth while sharing what they know, creating opportunities for other businesses to learn, experiment, or challenge themselves.
  2. They build an ecosystem of mutually supportive relationships with and between their stakeholders, so the group as a whole can benefit from interactions across the network.
  3. They create financial value as well as social value, which includes non-financial positive outcomes such as purpose, meaning, community, expression, and learning.
As good as this sounds, how small businesses will benefit from being generative is still not very clear especially when they have to deal with survival. In Nigeria for instance, small businesses are very secretive, and may not want to share any knowledge that will help other stakeholders especially competitors. How do you know what amount of information to give away is one question yet to be answered. 
In spite of that, this is a principle small businesses should imbibe as they grow. By helping others grow, you gain new ideas and achieve better results. 

Something is “generative” when it’s able to originate or produce something, or to give rise to new possibilities.
  • Generative ideas produce new ideas,
  • Generative process produces new ways of doing things or new outcomes,
  • Generative learning enhances our ability to create,
  • Generative relationships build new capabilities in both partners, and
  • Generative leadership helps others see opportunity in their actions.
Generative practices are important because they make new things possible. They have the capacity for ‘more’ built right in.
- See more at:
Something is “generative” when it’s able to originate or produce something, or to give rise to new possibilities.
  • Generative ideas produce new ideas,
  • Generative process produces new ways of doing things or new outcomes,
  • Generative learning enhances our ability to create,
  • Generative relationships build new capabilities in both partners, and
  • Generative leadership helps others see opportunity in their actions.
Generative practices are important because they make new things possible. They have the capacity for ‘more’ built right in.
- See more at:


3 Components of Interactive Advertising Campaigns on SNS

Social networking sites (SNS) have proved to be a veritable tool for organisations and advertising agencies to narrow their campaigns to the most relevant audience. Aside from the personal feelings, it can be used to promote brands, products and services. This platform creates more opportunities for brand engagement as well as provides opportunity for advertisers to gather personal information of their audience for use in future campaigns. . Research has shown that some interactive elements in an SNS campaign can be used to elicit self-disclosure from consumers.

Guda van Noort of Amsterdam school of communication research and colleagues discussed 3 major components of interactive advertising campaigns.
     1.     Advertising: This is used to generate traffic for the campaign, and it serves as the door leading to the action page of SNS campaign. The come in form of banners or advertorial on the brand’s website.

     2.      The Campaign: When consumers log in into a social network site, they are presented with an interactive campaign in a quiz or battle game format, some also come in form of text or video of product. Here, the user is expected to perform an action. If the user finds it interesting and enjoyable, there is a higher chance that it will lead to the next component.

    3.      Viral or Tell a Friend: This third component allows users to share the campaign with friends. One of the unique features of a social media platform is the ability to share content with those within their network.

Social media campaigns are gradually taking over traditional methods of advertising, and many corporations are taking advantage of it. Though it doesn’t always guaranty success, but if properly done, the returns are great. Small businesses must begin to take their social media platforms more seriously than before

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Starting a Business: Between Desirability and Financial Resources

In both developed and developing countries, entrepreneurship has been advocated as a means of bridging the gap between the poor and the rich. It been the driving force for economic development especially in capitalist countries. However, the rates of growth of entrepreneurship between developing and developed nations have raised some concerns that seem to suggest that poverty prevents people from starting a business. The implication of this is that poor people who are predominant in developing nations lack the financial resources to engage in entrepreneurial activities. Again, from studies done especially in Nigeria, most people believe that the reason they can't be entrepreneurs is because they lack the financial resources to do so.

For obvious reasons, this argument/believe is faulty. First, starting a business or being entrepreneurial is more of an attitude than it is of financial resources. Those who engage in entrepreneurial activities are driven either by the strong desire to succeed or to meet needs within the society. Secondly, there is no empirical evidence yet to suggest that being rich or having a rich background guarantees success in entrepreneurial activities. Moreover, many entrepreneurs in Nigeria succeeded through determination and hard work, although this two factors seems to be fueled by the desire not to be poor.

No doubt financial capital is important for starting any business, but the desire to go into business and the attractiveness of the business opportunity that exist is more important hence, aspiring entrepreneurs must focus on their psychological needs rather than their financial needs. Entrepreneurs need to have the right mindset, ask the right questions, develop a business plan, and implement a strict business strategy in order to start and succeed in business.

When a good opportunity is identified, it paves the way for financial resources. With the right perception, attitudes, and beliefs an entrepreneur is set to launch out. 

The Briefcase: Changing a Winning Strategy

Sustaining a winning strategy in business is good, however, a time comes when dropping such strategy becomes a necessity even when it is still profitable to the business and the reason is simple – every stage of business growth requires a new strategy, and when a business gets to maturity, it’s an indication that a new strategy is required to sustain the organization in business.

An entrepreneur can reinvent a business by employing deliberate and conscious strategies that will help the organisation compete effectively, and the only way an organisation can maintain its growth is by launching new growth business strategies when the core units are still strong.

Don’t stay too long on a business strategy, you must learn to adjust in a dynamic business world.