Posts Tagged with “business”

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Brian Clark on Marketing Land:

But the true allure of content marketing is in building an audience. Rather than the constant rat race of conventional online lead generation, an audience puts your business into an entirely different space within your industry. Instead of buying access to an audience from the media, your company becomes the media. In the process, you build an owned media asset (your content-rich website) that gets more powerful and valuable each month and each year that you continue producing content.

I’ll add a final point to Brian’s excellent article: It takes hard work

Free isn’t always the best option

Many people (especially Malaysians) love free stuff. Free is good on your wallet but a lot of times there isn’t many other benefits.

rip-google-reader

Free stuff inevitably goes away. The latest casualty is Google Reader – there wasn’t a business model for it, and Google needed to direct it’s resources elsewhere so they canned it. Via the official Google Reader blog:

There are two simple reasons for this: usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.

Just adds on to my distrust of Google.

Free stuff by large organizations stifles innovation. Aldo Cortesi writes:

The truth is this: Google destroyed the RSS feed reader ecosystem with a subsidized product, stifling its competitors and killing innovation. It then neglected Google Reader itself for years, after it had effectively become the only player. Today it does further damage by buggering up the already beleaguered links between publishers and readers. It would have been better for the Internet if Reader had never been at all.

Free stuff turns you into a product to be sold to advertisers, since you’re not the customer. Bruce Schneier summarized our relationship with Facebook (it’s the same with Google):

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re Facebook’s customer, you’re not – you’re the product,” Schneier said. “Its customers are the advertisers.

I always find it strange that people would put up with annoying ads so that they can play games for free. If you like it and it provides value, pay the $0.99 for the game lah! If there are products and services that you use and like, please ensure their continuity by being a paying customer. Or donate if they are a non-profit organization like Wikipedia (donate here).

This is why I subscribe to Basecamp, Hootsuite Pro, Evernote Premium, Fastmail, Gravity Forms Developer License, and too many more to list. Maybe I’m very lucky to have the financial ability to pay for stuff I use, but I don’t smoke, don’t have a Starbucks or drinking habit, and try not to eat out that much. So next time you want to jailbreak your phone so you can install a $0.99 app, consider skipping the pack of smokes instead.

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Bill Erickson shares a few thoughts about the benefits of running a consulting / service-based business. His post is in response to the notion that product-based business models are more scalable and therefore profitable.

Bill covers the pros and cons of the consulting business model, and what people frequently forget when thinking about product-based business models. One thing resonated with me:

As a service provider, find the more scalable aspects of your business and focus on them. Likewise, find the aspects that are less scalable and decrease your focus on them.

This is something that I’ve been working on at ClickWP. In service-based business models, decreasing focus on the less scalable aspects are usually handled by automation. However it’s important to remember not to automate too much because your business will become cold and your relationship becomes transactional, when customers frequently choose you over other vendors because of that high-touch relationship.

Malaysia awards WiMAX licenses

WiMAX Forum logoYesterday the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) announced the 4 winners of licenses to operate the 2.3GHz WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) spectrum in Malaysia (PDF link to news release).

The 4 winners were:

  1. Bizsurf (M) Sdn Bhd (a unit of YTL-e Solutions Bhd)
  2. Packet One Networks (M) Sdn Bhd (subsidiary of Green Packet and formerly known as MIB Comm Sdn Bhd)
  3. Asiaspace Dotcom Sdn Bhd
  4. Redtone-CNX Broadband Sdn Bhd

The bigger news is that none of the 3 telecom companies in Malaysia won a license. The failure to obtain a WiMAX license isn’t that big a deal to TM and Maxis, who both have 3G licenses, but DiGi has really been left out in the cold again, having failed to win a 3G license also previously. It really looks like our Government doesn’t want any foreigners to have a too big foothold in Malaysian telecommunications. My heart goes out to DiGi – I’m an unabashed DiGi fanboy – but they say they’ll be ok.

The four winners are expected to spend between RM250-RM300 million each to roll out wireless broadband services based on WiMAX in the next 3 years and the MCMC says that their decision is in line with their goal that broadband penetration increases to 75% by 2010 (keep hoping).

My take: I’m actually disappointed that none of the telcos won a license. I think that a telco that also operates a wireless broadband service will usher in fixed-mobile convergence in Malaysia quicker. With WiMAX being operated by the telcos competitors, I’m afraid that switching between cellular and wireless broadband will be less than seamless.

If anything, I hope the news will spur TM Net (the damn slackers!) to buck up its services.

AsiaEP scores not with a great product but with great PR

The Star’s article, Googling for growth, looks like one of those articles where the PR team exchange high fives and back slaps because they’ve spun what seems to be a great story, and succeeds in pushing up the company’s stock price.

The story is about Malaysian e-marketplace provider AsiaEP Bhd, who is launching their it@h B2B search engine. The article talks about how qualified AsiaEP is to create this search engine and goes so far to dub AsiaEP the ‘Malaysian Google’.

The article quotes Managing Director Dr Bernard Tan as saying:

What we have done over the last 10 years is to create a search engine exclusively related to business and manufacturing purposes. We are likely the first in the world to create a business search engine with a simplified format.

The article goes on to talk about the revenue potential of the company and ends with this paragraph:

Teoh is expecting AsiaEP’s FY08 and FY09 net profit to grow by 194.7% and 115.2% year-on-year to RM10.1mil and RM21.8mil respectively : “We believe the assumptions underlying our forecast are conservative as we assume AsiaEP to garner just 0.2% and 0.5% of global B2B paid search market share in FY08 and FY09 respectively.�

My first thought when reading this article is that AsiaEP is putting the horse before the cart a bit. At the moment their search engine doesn’t even work very well – it returns results from trade directories and e-marketplaces mainly, and I don’t find the results are relevant as they claimed. Compare a search for “plastics supplier Malaysia” on it@h and on Google.

So their product doesn’t work great yet and they’re already singing about their earnings prospects? Like I said, good work for the PR team. Until then, I’ll be watching to see how this ‘Malaysian Google’ will do in the next few years.