Arrogance = your opportunity

I bought this reasonably cool pair of board shorts for surfing this summer.

boardshorts

They cost me a whopping $80. Which is what I call ‘insult pricing’. It’s a pretty simple equation actually. The key players in the surfwear industry (Billabong, Quiksilver and Ripcurl) charge these prices because they can. They don’t have any ‘credible competitors’ in this board short subsegment of clothing.

In recent years surf brands have been hit by many competitors in other areas of the market which they used to ‘own’. Especially in t-shirts, from the myriad of streetwear companies, to the uber cool on-line players like Neighborhoodies and Threadless. Interestingly the shorts in this photo would cost >$5 to make. There is significant margin in the product. Such high margins often begets competitive entry into the market place.

The arrogance of said surf brands has invented an opportunity for a nimble entrepreneur to steal part of this market. And the way to do it is exactly the way Threadless have. Go online and build a community to design the uber cool boardshorts / shorts and sell them globally at a fair price. In fact, surf wear is so clichéd and over branded these days that I avoid wearing it. Most of the designs are very rank and have really lost their edge. I only use surf brands for surf equipment. The only reason I bought the pair in the photo is ‘lack of options’.

If anyone knows some one already doing it – let me know
If anyone wants to do it – let me know as well. I think it’s worth ‘investing in’.

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Top 10 reasons for outsourcing digital work

Here’s startup blogs top 10 reasons for outsourcing digital work offshore. Which we do for some work at rentoid with great success. I’m hoping the naysayers, will see by the end of this post as to why it is ethical as well.

  1. It’s an efficient resource allocation
  2. It increases the wealth of the service provider (the person overseas)
  3. It increases the wealth of the offshore country
  4. it facilitates cross cultural interchange and understanding
  5. Makes it possible for ‘non techies’ to start a ‘tech based’ business
  6. Can be the difference which makes a startup idea financially viable
  7. It stimulates greater innovation in the tech sector by creating a greater intellectual resource pool
  8. It invents ‘time’ so people can bootstrap a business while continuing other employment
  9. The outsourced work is not dangerous – we are not sending kids down a mine or employing child labour.
  10. Add your reason in the comments!

Get out there and outsource, make conections, make stuff happen and make new global friends to boot!

Needle in a haystack & websites

While thinking about web front page design, yesterday Cyber Guru Ross Hill had this to say:

“To find a needle in a haystack, one doesn’t have to burn the haystack, just make sure the needle lies on top of it.

If our people can’t find it. Then quite simply it isn’t there. It doesn’t exist, and they may not return. After all that hard work to get them here, that’d be a real shame.

This is why our homepage designs must rock

Love & brands

In order to be in love we need to feel loved. Often we mistake love for other intense emotions such as lust, obsession and even fear.

So if we were to translate this to business parlance it might read like this:

If we want people to love our brand or company, we simply have to make our audience ‘feel loved’.

So then the next questions we should be asking are:

–          Will they love this product?

–          Will they love our value equation?

–          Will they love our guarantee?

–          Will they love our designs?

–          Will love our ‘contact us’ policy or phone staff?

In fact, let’s just start every audience related question with the words ‘Will they love….”

If we do this and focus on being more than good, more than liked and only accept moving towards stuff people will love. Then one day, they may just love our brand.

Best business card 2008 – Goddess of Revenue

I recently met Kim Chen from tjoos at Startup Camp Melbourne. Smart girl.

The thing that impressed me the most was her business card. Job Title = Goddess of Revenue. Love it.

So it’s a bit hard to read above, but being a ‘Goddess of Revenue’ says so much. The first thing it says is that Kim ‘gets it’. It says she knows that fun is important, but revenue is vital.

Then on the flipside is more useful stuff.

The kind of stuff which just maybe gives her a permanent place in someones wallet or purse. A good chunk of simple, yet useful information.

It’ll be handy next time in Sydney on business…. and her simple business card made me remember Kim, it even got her a story on this here blog.

If we are going to the trouble of printing business cards – we should make it worth remembering.

Silicon Beach with yours truley

Silicon Beach Australia [siliconbeachaustralia.org] was formed with no plan, just a question:

“How can we bring the Australian technology community together?”

“Silicon Valley has a supporting ecosystem that makes Internet innovation thrive, so what can Australia do? How can our big island with the best beaches in the world, harness the passionate, intelligent individuals who care to do more?”

It’s a very cool initiative and hopefully something which will harness the intellectual capital our country is renounced for. Instead of losing it to countries who appreciate and embrace innovation.

One thing is for sure – it all starts with conversations. I was fortunate enough to be invited into the conversation yesterday for their 3rd Podcast to discuss a bit about rentoid, and all things entrepreneurship…

I was fairly candid with things like my corporate exit, business philosophy, the financial crisis and just the way I like to go about things. You can check it out by clicking here.