Learn why data matters with one simple photo

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If I was to ask you what the kids in the above picture were doing – beyond burying their faces in their smart phones, there is an almost infinite number of possible answers:

Messaging a friend, Face-timing their mum, Commenting on a blog, Snapchatting, Booking a flight, Submitting their homework, Buying a pair of sneakers, Updating their FB status, Getting directions, Sending a friend some money, Finding a cafe for lunch…. they might even be talking to directly to each other. The point is we don’t know. We can’t know by observing behaviour from the outside. Instead we need to get inside the data to find out what is actually going on.

This is a big shift in marketing and business in general. We can’t simply observe, we can’t just ask, we’ve got to mine. And while this movement might have started with the smart phone, we’re now entering an era of general purpose machinery and computing. End products which change their purpose based on who is using the technology. Malleable products like 3D printers and self drive cars will mean the only way to know what’s really going on is to match usage and observation with data. Increasingly this will need to involve collaboration, and the effective way to do that won’t be just taking the data without asking, or tricking people with hidden terms and conditions, but collaborating with it. In order to do this we need to develop a trusted relationship where we share the marketing process with our users just as if they are part of our internal team. If we do this, we can bake a bigger revenue pie where we all get a piece.

New Book – The Great Fragmentation – out now. 

The truth about secrets

Secrets kills us. They eat at our souls and disrupt our emotions in a negative way. We very rarely feel good about secrets because by nature we are social creatures that rely and need each other to survive. Collaboration is what put us atop of the food chain and that means we must share. I’m certain the feeling we often get when we hold secrets is our genetic code telling us that secrets are not cool and generally don’t lead to ideal outcomes.

So it got me thinking about the nature of secrets and the different types of them.

There are many types of secrets, but these 2 are interesting:

  1. Secrets that hide things we have done for fear of judgement or persecution.
  2. Secrets that hide things which are ideas we want to benefit from at the exclusion of others.

These are 2 types of secrets we should avoid.

The first one should be avoided because we shouldn’t do anything dodgy, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of anything that is out of our control.

The second is counter intuitive. Our emotional need to share secrets is our DNA telling us it will create more for everyone. A shared idea can often be improved, a shared idea creates a team to build it, a shared idea increases access to resources, a shared idea creates a market place and a bigger pie for all. Stealing ideas is not the same as stealing chestnuts. If we exchange ideas, we both end up with more ideas than we started with.

Startup blog maths:

Sharing > Secrets

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Startup School… tweetstream

You may be aware that I recently ran my annual Startup School in Melbourne.

During the event we ran a tweet stream of the ideas and soundbites coming from the forum. A lot of people followed the hashtag #melsus and said they got some great stuff from it. One person in particular Josh Moore, took it to the next level and pulled together a great PDF of the event via what appeared on line from it. Entirely his idea and work.

We both thought it was worth sharing here as a small entrepreneurs e-book made up of tweets and links in different categories.

Click here to download – Startup School tweetstream ebook PDF

PS: there are some pictures of me in it *red face*, which Josh saw fit to include…. and who am I to moderate his work?

You can follow Josh on Twitter here. And see his blog here.

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