Start Up Blog

2 horse race

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on May 10, 2011

If you haven’t already read the 22 Laws of marketing – then you should. It’s a short book which really should be called the 22 laws on entrepreneurship. It seems that most of the laws are true on a category scale – the type of scale that startups with big dreams should pay attention two. recently I’ve been reminded of the law 8: The law of duality.

The Law of Duality says that “in the long run, every market becomes a two-horse race.”

The most recent example of this is Twitter and Facebook. it seems as though they’ve won the social web race. Every brand or advertisement is now tagged with ‘find us on Twitter & Facebook’. We have to look pretty hard to find any of the other 400+ social networking sites. It seems the Law of duality is still true almost 2 years after it was written. It seems that certain power laws of dominance still exist, even though we all like to believe the market has fragmented and opened up for everyone….

The truth is there is only so much space in the mind. We can’t carry the baggage of too many ideas with us. So we simplify by limiting what we participate in. There’s lots new world industry examples of the law of duality.

Social: Facebook  & Twitter

Search: Google & Bing

Mobile: iPhone & Android

Computers: PC & Mac

The question for internet entrepreneurs, is which new categories are still to get their number 2 player. That is where the opportunity lies.

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Q & A – New Media and Small Business

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 30, 2009

I was asked to answer a few questions at a talk I gave last week at the Nationwide Networking Event. It was aimed at Small businesses with the topic about new media and the advantages of being small. I thought it was a nice snippet of ideas worth sharing here.

Q: What type of changes can we expect from media in 2010 and how do we need to prepare for it as business professionals?

A: Media will fragment further, it’s increasingly like fashion with new ideas appearing daily. The art of value, like with fashion is by going with the classics and choosing the right style for the brand you want to build. Match your environment, by being involved in the right channels.

Q: Where do you see the role of the blog in the future?

A: Increasingly important. Blogs are a trusted source, because bloggers become, or are an expert on their topic of choice. This is because all good blogs are topic specific. And people want to deal with experts.

Q: What can we expect from the evolution of twitter and our capacity to use it as a marketing medium?

A: If we use it as a marketing medium we’ve already lost. It’s a conversation…. Conversation can turn into business, but it is primarily a conversation. First we need to be a resource. A resource to others, from which we can build trust and valued relationships. These may eventually lead a business relationship.

Q: What trends are coming from America that we need to be aware of?

A: Trends are global now. We don’t have to look overseas to see it. Things arrive simultaneously. It’s not like it was 20 years ago where our friends return from sojourns overseas to tell us all about the cool things they saw, and we have to wait for them to appear in our market a few years later. Now it’s on our desktop the day it happens. This is been further facilitated by web tools such as Springwise, Twitter and Youtube.

Q: How do we (small business people) benefit from the changes in the media landscape?

A: Barriers to entry have been removed so anyone can play. But it requires a long term consistent effort. New media requires a low financial investment, and large human capital input. Where as old media requires a large financial investment with little human effort. At least now we have to choice. In addition large companies have been (so far) pretty bad at using new media. It creates an advantage for us.

Q: How can we better utilize technology tor reduce our costs and increase our profits?

A: Shift from being doers, to becoming project managers. Outsource where ever possible. It’s easier now with all the tools we have at our disposal like elance and skype. Why do we even need an office? Is it because we need to, or because we don’t trust the people we work with?

Q: Your blog has 50,000 readers a month, how did you do that?

A: Two simple things. One blog entry every day. Staying on topic (entrepreneurship / startups). Then wordpress and Google did the rest. It’s not a trick, it just takes consistent effort.

Q: What is the meaning of micro brand building and how would it be relevant to soloprenuers?

A: Build your personal brand first. That’s the first part of micro branding, becoming known for something. Having a skill you can share with others. Then eventually cross fertilize to your business brand.

Q: What are the simplest things we can do to build a micro brand?

A: Have a tight focus area of interest. Share our lessons honestly and openly. Frequency of output.

Q: How do we protect our brands?

A: Not with IP and legal stuff…. Most of that is a simple waste of money.  We protect it with customers, innovation and reliability.

Q: What one piece of advice would you give to those of us that need clients and need them quickly?

A: Cold call. Not on the phone, but turn up and talk.

Q: What books have influenced  you?

The Cluetrain Manifesto

The Purple Cow

The art of the start

22 Laws of marketing

Q: What marketers / speakers have influenced you?

A: Steven Wright (comedian) he taught me how to flip my perspective for alternative solutions.

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