PRESENTING: Strategy Lab’s How To Be Awesome Online Workshop

internet workshop

The date has been set! Some amazing marketing influencers and presenters are ready and eager to spend a morning in July imparting upon you their experiences marketing online in this rapidly changing business world.

Kaeli Decelles of the Regina Police Service, Mitch Gallant of Capital Ford, Jackson Middleton of First Foundation, and Brin Werrett of Rockstar Homes all have experience in the trenches and want to share them with you.

The day will be a combination of short presentations and interactive panel discussions designed to equip you with a deeper understanding of how to crush it online. And, of course, our very own Jeph Maystruck will be on the microphone with his unabashed opinions and signature candor.

Whether you’re just beginning to think about marketing online or have vast experience, this interactive, informative, and collaborative day is for you and your company.

See you there!

Register Now

Speakers:

The Lean Startup

Business Quote of the Day: Eric Ries on Competitive Advantage

Today’s business quote of the day comes from one of the best books I’ve ever read on innovation and entrepreneurship. Even though the quote is widely applicable regardless of the context, I’ll provide you some. Author Eric Ries is discussing businesses and entrepreneurs who spend their time keeping their strengths, discoveries, and prototypes behind a curtain, making tweaks based on speculation and delaying going to market. Ries explicitly states that in today’s business world, this will not give you the competitive advantage you’re looking for. The only way be a market leader is to learn faster than your competition. The best way to do this is to go to market, get feedback, and make rapid improvements.

leanstartupcover

Full Quote:  “A head start is rarely large enough to matter, and time spent in stealth mode-away from customers-is unlikely to provide a head start. The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.” – Eric Ries

App Spotlight: Tinder: The Spicy New App That Could Get You A Date (Even in Regina)

tinderpaper

Perhaps one of the spicier apps catching on these days is Tinder.

Overview:
Tinder is simple. It connects you with people around you, whether you know them or not, lets you decide if you want to connect with them based on their appearance, interests, and mutual friends, and then allows you to chat with them if you’re a “match”. You become a match if they, while unaware of your interest or lack of interest in them, decide that they want to connect with you. The concept sounds a lot like what Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker were trying to accomplish with their under-utilized Airtime creation but with more emphasis on what is loosely referred to as “dating”.

The User Experience:
Users upload up to five pictures of themselves and have the option to write a short tagline that will appear under them. Mutual friends and interests are drawn from Facebook profiles. You can set your matching preferences for the categories of age, gender, and search distance (to a maximum of 100 miles). The fun begins when you click on Recommendations and the first profile pops up.

At this time, you can click the photo to view the others and then make a decision on whether or not you want to invite this person to connect. You have to make this decision to discard them into an abyss, never to be seen again, or save them before viewing the next profile. The allure and thrill come from the feeling, real or contrived, that you’re tempting fate with each dismissal swipe to the left or approval swipe to the right.

The Evaluation:
What some might immediately dismiss as a meat market of sorts actually has some draw to it. The problem at this point is that very few people in the Regina area are using it, meaning you’ll quickly run out of match recommendations and have to check back every few days to see if any newcomers match your criteria. The value of this app for a business is extremely minimal or non-existent since it lacks the premise of meeting new people for the idea of knowledge-sharing and relationship-building in a business context. My initial thought is that an app could make a road trip into a strange new city a bit more exciting depending on your selectiveness. This app has the potential to take off as more users get it.

Overall Rating: 6/10

Where to Learn: Photoshop, Coding, Everything

chalkboard

At Strategy Lab, we strive to educate every client on how to eventually manage their own website and create their own content. While we give you the tools to do this, your website’s performance will be enhanced by teaching yourself how to create dynamic content. For this reason (and because we love learning so much) here are three of my favourite places to learn online.

Code.org
Created by Hadi Partovi and backed by many big names like Gates, Zuck (yeah, we’re on a nickname basis), and Dorsey, Code.org tackles the challenge of improving computer science education. Even if you don’t plan on creating the next Facebook, Code.org will put you on a path to understanding coding basics while changing the way you look at the internet.

KhanAcademy.org
Salman Khan began by making extremely simple videos to help his family learn basic math concepts. His pleasant voice and knack for explaining things in easy to understand ways led to his creation of the Khan Academy. It’s an amazing place to learn or refresh your skills in the areas of algebra, world history, or anything between.

Lynda.com
Started by self-taught computer expert Lynda Weinman, Lynda.com is an amazing place to learn the basics and the intricacies of everything from Photoshop, to AutoCAD, to everything Apple.

Have a favourite place to learn online? Please share!

Cute! - Downloadable smartphone wallpaper

Five Steps In The Ultimate Customer Service Strategy

1. A clear vision of who you are and where you’re going (Westjet)

I don’t care if you’re Bruce Willis in Die Hard 2, if you don’t have a clear vision of who you are and where you are going, you have have no hope in hell of getting anywhere. If you are successful it’s purely out of luck. I love the quote from Alice in Wonderland:

Cheshire Cat - Alice in Wonderland

Read More

3 Reason Why You Won’t Change And What To Do About It

We need to changeThe three reason why you won’t change and inevitably never get out of the hole you’re in.

1. You can’t admit to being wrong.

Usually not being able to change for the better comes down to one thing and one thing only, ego. Yup, you’re your own worst enemy when it comes to major business decisions. To change your organization into an innovative, growing, even thriving company you must take a long hard look at yourself and ask what’s holding you back.

When’s the last time you admitted to being wrong in front of your employees?
How well do you take feedback?
How well would your co-workers say you take feedback?

Are you usually right about everything around the office?
Are you too busy?(cliche answer) Is it you don’t want to let go of control?

Read More

Darwinism of Business Strategy

Digital Darwinism

Your customers are changing. Your customers want more, they want different, they want new, the want fully-loaded, and the want minimalism. How will you adapt?

It’s easy to stay with the status quo. A wise person doesn’t rock the boat, the old adage goes. But that’s assuming the sea is calm of course. What if the sea has transformed into a turbulent hurricane and the only way to stay afloat is to rock the boat and embrace the waves?

Business isn’t getting less turbulent, you may think your organization is immune but when it comes time for layoffs, a horrible “I told you so” is going to be the last thing you remember from your obsolete job.

It’s survival of the fittest on a whole new level.

The only constant is change. You must adapt. You must cannibalize your own products. Steve Jobs said this. His rationale was that if you don’t cannibalize your own products your competitors will.

Your core ‘why’ may never change but you’re probably going to change everything else about your product/service offering. Why wait till the market forces you to change? Why not lead change?

Plan to innovate. Plan to get feedback on your innovation. Plan to measure what works and be willing to change the plan based on the feedback you receive.

The organizations that thrive in 2013 and beyond will have a determination to adapt. A willingness to change for the better. They will take calculated risks and understand that the riskiest place to be is standing still avoiding change.

(Photo Credit: Digital Darwinism: survival of the business)

Thinking Differently This Year

Throughout my teenage years, I loved to ride BMX. “BMX” encompasses more than the more commonly known racing aspect and includes street riding, dirt jumping, park-riding, and basically any type of 20″ bicycle expression.

During those years, I was constantly torn between the more rigid team sport of hockey and the absolute freedom of making my own rules on my bike. Now I’m not saying that there’s no room for freedom and creativity in hockey – because I’ve found plenty of that – but turning an old tree stump (affectionately deemed “The Stump Jump”) into a launch ramp or an old cement pad into hours of fun was some of the most fun I’ve ever had.

The sport/art/lifestyle of BMX has progressed exponentially since my bike got stolen a few years ago, and what some consider to be more astounding than a double backflip are the results of outside-the-box thinking. Take a look at the video below and see the skill and humour behind Tate Roskelley’s ingenuity. In many areas of life and business, it’s helped me to view the seemingly inflexible *dramatic pause* as a world of opportunity.

Music: Beach House – Myth

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