Tag Archives: 2010

3-lane highway (to Heaven)

The Third Lane

The Third Lane

There’s a huge traffic flow these days. Billions of people worldwide take their lane, every day. We can see three kinds of driving behavior:
The first enjoy the rat race – from the kindergarten’s square sandbox, trough the cube-shaped university and cubicle career to the weighty top management position. In the System they see a secured “happy smile of success”, someday, somehow, somewhere – after 40 years of work FOR somebody. There’s lot of isolation from your own values, family and life here.

The second type of guys manage to establish and work IN their own companies, 12-14 hours a day, until they grow, sell or quit the business. Kind of ambitious, brave, creative, innovative and “suicidal“.

The third kind enjoy an automated passive income (web service, IPOs, commissions, etc.) on the third lane, while working ON themselves, globetrotting the world in a search of the perfect mate, life, value, etc. Kind of adventurous, speedy and peaceful at the same time.

Recently, I found (by investigation) that in this high density region:

  1. We often pass each other from the inner lane
  2. The traffic flow in the low density region of the outer lane is enhanced and kind of “reserved” for a strange, extra-ordinary, out-of-the-box type of people
  3. There is a benefit if you stick to your lane and don’t change it unnecessary.

I used to stick to the first lane for an year, switched to the second for 10 more years and now, after I tried the third one (and it seems to be my type), I’m ready to keep the pace there and enjoy the freedom of doing what you love at the time and speed you prefer with the ones you love (their smile, creative time, etc).

Whichever your lane is, I wish you a safe and twister/ tsunami-free drive!

2010: year of the tablet? Maybe.

Tablet + PCTablet PCs have been a huge trend in the last decade and especially at CES 2010. As noted by Deloitte: computer manufacturers are predicted to sell millions of “NetTabs” worldwide, a market of 612 million GBP. By 2015, shipments are forecast to reach about 57 million units annually.
Microsoft announced the Tablet PC concept 10 years ago and once I got my first Acer C300 (convertible Tablet PC) in 2003, I never moved back to “laptops”.

I decided on a TabletPC because I didn’t want to be chained to my desk at the office/home when you can design and sketch digitally everywhere – on the plane, on the beach, in the mountains, in the café –  sketching your ideas, stories and the life that surrounds you….only a TabletPC can give you that freedom and experience. This devices are the perfect match for creative professionals – a digital sketchbook where you can do everything we used to do in our studio + much more – getting notes and digitizing content, sketching logos and websites, painting with thousands of brushes and canvas types, sculpting and rendering 3D models with endless choice of materials and lights, designing business presentations, CNC toolpath, SWOT/ web analytics/ SEO reports for customers  and of course the casuals – web surfing, video conferences and Skype calls,  music, emails, eBook reading, office apps  - all of this on the move, out of the office, on the flywherever you want to go. Once I grabbed a tablet PC, I never looked back (currently spending less than 3 hours per week at the office). Designers love to use simple things like stylus (pen one end, eraser on the other) or fingertips in 90% of the cases, using a PC as natural as possible.

The first major UMPC improvement came last year with Dell Latitude XT2 and HP TouchSmart tx2, packing a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo behind a 12.1” multitouch screen, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB disk, secured with a fingerprint scanner, which I enjoy every day. The only drawback is that the 256 pressure-sensitivity works only in a couple of applications, while  Wacom Intuos4 has 2048 pixel-level pressure sensitivity, with several different brushes  and even detects at which angle you hold the stylus to the surface.

After Apple joined the “tablet” party with it’s iPad this month (a pen coming soon), the slate PC market will grow exponentially, but the creative professionals are (almost) forgotten. The NetTabs are only larger media-focused readers/ phones, so I have to use my old convertible C300. After Acer discontinued all their tablet PC recently, I’m still searching for the ultimate tool for creative professionals:

  • Large Screen – 12.1” SXGA  is my favorite and it really does matter. The larger the device, the more useful it is, as far as you can carry it in a standard office bag.
  • Wi-Fi, 3G/UMTS – I can leave with a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity , a tablet is not a second phone plus you can always speak in speakerphone mode. Data plans will come down when 4G is spread in 2013
  • Rigid design and Battery Life – you can choose from 2 to 10 hours. Just cut in half what the vendor says or get a second battery to secure your new customer while making your great presentation.
  • eBook Reading – while electronic paper is still the best display type for reading if you read a lot, but  we need a devices that work well for both books and multimedia, artists don’t think in black and white.
  • Win 7/ i7 applications – content is critical, applications are critical. We need a working tool to make us $$$ per hour, not a plastic toy. Multitasking? Intel does, iPad doesn’t. Games, TV and videos are different story for other devices.
  • Pens, Brushes, Rugged, Waterproof… – sometimes a feature makes the device. If you want to use it outdoors, in the rain or charge it in the car?  Get a Motion computing tablet
  • Price? $500 to $5000. My first generation Acer was very expensive, this year we’ll have a convertible for less than $500!

Toshiba Portégé M750 and Fujitsu Lifebook T4310 are nice office tablets,  Motion J3400 and Duros 8404 are great rugged tablets with the best outdoor display on the market, iPad and Pegatron are nice entertainment media tablets, but I can’t see the ultimate device for creative professionals. Rather than buying a dust-collector, I will wait until the end of the year, hoping to see the best tablet PC. Lenovo U1 Hybrid is really close to the perfect one!

What’s your tablet PC experience?

Tablet PCs have been a huge trend in the last decade and especially at CES 2010. As noted by Deloitte: computer manufacturers are predicted to sell tens of millions of “NetTabs”worldwide, a market of 612 million GBP. By 2015, shipments are forecast to reach about 57 million annually. Microsoft announced the Tablet PC concept 10 years ago and once I got my first Acer C300 (convertible Tablet PC) in 2003, I never moved back to “laptops”.

I decided on a TabletPC because I didn’t want to be chained to my desk at the office/home when you can design and sketch digitally everywhere – on the plane, on the beach, in the mountains, in the café sketching your ideas, stories and the life that surrounds you.only a TabletPC can give you that freedom and experience. This devices are the perfect match for creative professionals – a digital sketchbook where you can do everything we used to do in our artist studio + much more – getting notes and digitizing content, sketching logos and websites, painting with thousands of brushes and canvas types, sculpting and rendering 3D models with endless choice of materials and lights, designing business presentations, CNC toolpath, SWOT/ web analytics/ SEO reports for customers and of course the casuals – web surfing, video conferences and Skype calls, music, emails, eBook reading, office apps - all of this on the move, out of the office, on the flywherever you want to go. Once I grabbed a tablet PC, I never looked back. Designers love to use simple things like stylus (pen one end, eraser on the other) or fingertips in 90% of the cases, using a PC as natural as possible.

The only major UMPC improvement came last year with the HP tx2 tablet, packing a 1.3GHz Core 2 Duo behind a 12.2” multitouch screen, 4GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB disk, secured with a fingerprint scanner, which I enjoy every day. The only drawback is that the 256 pressure-sensitivity works only in a couple of applications, while a Wacom Intuos4 has 2048 pixel-level pressure sensitivity, with several different brushes and even detects at which angle you hold the stylus to the surface.

After Apple joined the “tablet” party with it’s iPad this month (a pen coming soon), the slate PC market will grow exponentially, but the creative professionals are (almost) forgotten. The NetTabs are only larger media-focused readers/ phones, so I have to use my old convertible C300. After Acer discontinued all their tablet PC recently, I’m still searching for the ultimate tool for creative professionals:

· Large Screen – 12.1” SXGA is my favorite and it really does matter. The larger the device, the more useful it is, as far as you can carry it in a standard office bag.

· Wi-Fi, 3G/UMTS – I can leave with a Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity , a tablet is not a second phone plus you can always speak in speakerphone mode. Data plans will come down when 4G is spread in 2013 ;-)

· Rigid design and Battery Life – you can choose from 2 to 10 hours. Just cut in half what the vendor says or get a second battery to secure your new customer while making your great presentation.

· eBook Reading – while electronic paper is still the best display type for reading if you read a lot, but we need a devices that work well for both books and multimedia, artists don’t think in black and white.

· Win 7/ i7 applications - content is critical, applications are critical. We need a working tool to make us $$$ per hour, not a plastic toy. Multitasking? Intel does, iPad doesn’t. Games, TV and videos are different story for other devices.

· Pens, Brushes, Rigid, Waterproof? – sometimes a feature makes the device.
If you want to use it outdoors, in the rain or charge it in the car? Get a Motion computing tablet

· Price – $500 – $5000?. My first generation Acer was very expensive, this year we’ll have a convertible for less than $500!

Toshiba Portégé M750 and Fujitsu Lifebook T4310 are nice office tablets, Motion J3400 and Duros are rugged tablets with the best outdoor display on the market, iPad and Pegatron are nice entertainment media tablets, but I can’t see the ultimate device for creative professionals. Rather than buying a dust-collector, I will wait until the end of the year, hoping to see the best tablet PC in 2010.
Lenovo U1 Hybrid is really close to the perfect one!

Any good tablet PC experience?

Клиент: Рейтинг и Стойност

Рейтинг на клиентаГодината се смени, приоритетите остават същите:  ръст на бизнеса чрез отлично представяне на бранда, стратегически иновации и перфектно обслужване на Клиентите. Тъй като обичам това, с което се занимавам, измерваме резултата с 2 основни метрики – ROI (възвръщаемост на инвестицията) и CAGR (Годишен темп на растеж). Ако питаме Cambridge какво е маркетинг, то дефиницията е „управление на процес, който идентифицира,  предвижда и задоволява нуждите на клиента,  печелившо”.

За да бъде още по-резултатно развитието на бизнеса (чрез естествен растеж и преструктуриране на разходите), тази година добавих в нашия CRM освен RFM Стойност на Клиентите (Jim Novo е любим авторитет от студентските години), и Рейтинг на клиента. Нещата са прости:

  • А Клиент, който знае какво иска и знае каква инвестиция е нужна;
  • B Клиент, който знае какво иска, но не знае колко струва;
  • C Клиент, който не знае какво иска и не знае колко струва.

Още в първия месец на годината новата функция намери перфектно приложение за нови клиенти – трите водещи доставчика на складово оборудване в България. Още отсега знам какво ще се случи. Компанията с рейтинг А ще ни е клиент дълги години, защото инвестицията в мощен и топ позициониран уебсайт ще им носи CAGR от над 40%, втората компания ще е доволна, че има солиден уебсайт, а третата ще възприема уебсайта си като разход за луксозна брошура, задоволила нуждите на шефа, с 15% отстъпка в цената и 98% отказ на потенциални клиенти още от началната страница.

През 2010 над 80% от европейците отново ще намират търсените продукти и услуги в първите резултати на търсачки и web 2.0 сайтове. Ако не знаем накъде отиваме, няма значение коя посока ще изберем.
Каква е вашата система за рейтинг на Клиенти?
А вашата стратегия за развитие на бизнеса през 2010?

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Summary in English:
This post is in Bulgarian, since the brand new year started (un)accidentally with projects for the top three storage system suppliers in Bulgaria. This gave me a great chance to update the rating and valuation system of customer accounts in our CRM plus the chance to monitor three top Google ranking projects in the same industry. The customer RFM value was implemented back in 2003, but we needed a simple Customer Rating (A: Customers, who know what they want and know how much it will cost, B: Customers, who know what they want but they don’t know how much it will cost to reach it and C: Customers, who don’t know what they want and don’t know how much it will cost to reach it).  The account is given a rating, which multiplied by the RFM value determines the general standing of the account. According to Cambridge, “Marketing is the management process which identifies, anticipates and satisfies customer needs, profitably”, but still, no one in Bulgaria has defined the key metric – CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), maybe that’s why most of the marketing activities down here have negative ROI, like the last century’s 80’s in the States.

What’s your Customer rating system?
What about your web strategy for 2010?