Nueva investigación que refuerza el vínculo entre Videojuegos y desarrollo cerebral – gracias @dreig


*Excelente artículo  de Dolors Reig – dreig.eu  * @gabrielcatalano (Extracto)

Hacia un postdigitalismo más avanzado

Y es que las posibilidades para el entrenamiento, la formación de habilidades parecen infinitas…

Imaginemos el simple potencial de las tecnologías Kinect o  Wii, que permiten sin demasiado desgaste físico cosas tan complejas como jugar a Tenis. Hemos emulado de forma bastante certera la experiencia cognitiva pero podemos ir más allá Podemos, dado el estado actual de la investigación en neurociencia, por ejemplo, introducir inputs psico-emocionales que respondan a ritmos cardíacos, análisis faciales, medidas del tono de voz, registro de movimientos oculares, dilatación de pupilas, conductividad de la piel, actividad cerebral, etc.  Serían juegos que trabajarían a un nivel inconsciente, reduciendo todavía más la brecha entre las realidades hechas de átomos y las hechas de bits.

El vídeo de Oculus Rift, uno de los escenarios más populares en el diseño futuro de videojuegos, muestra un posible desarrollo de las Google Glasses y la realidad aumentada. O el de una empuñadura que recrea la sensación de empuñar una raqueta real.

Menos psicofármacos, más videojuegos

+ INFO leer el artículo completo 🙂

Content that pulls. And content that pushes.

There are several factors that drive us to create new content for our websites.

Maybe we have a list of pages to be written that will be optimized for long-tail keywords.

Or we have a list of topics we need to address to complete various subject areas on our site.

Or we have some reader questions to answer.

Or we have some pages to put up with a view to getting good distribution through social media.

But as we immerse ourselves in writing these pages, we can lose sight of the fact that a web page needs a purpose beyond just being there as a source of information.

To put it simply, a web page needs to be either pulling or pushing.

Pulling new readers into the site for the first time, and pulling returning visitors back again and again.

Or pushing readers to take an action – whether to subscribe, to buy, to sign up, to download, to take a free trial, or click on a revenue-earning link.

So once you have created that list of upcoming content, whether it be about keywords, customer questions, missing subject matter…or whatever…mark it as either a page that is written to pull, or to push.

What’s the difference? How do you write pages that pull or push?


by Nick Usborn (¹)

There are several factors that drive us to create new content for our websites.

Maybe we have a list of pages to be written that will be optimized for long-tail keywords.

Or we have a list of topics we need to address to complete various subject areas on our site.

Or we have some reader questions to answer.

Or we have some pages to put up with a view to getting good distribution through social media.

But as we immerse ourselves in writing these pages, we can lose sight of the fact that a web page needs a purpose beyond just being there as a source of information.

To put it simply, a web page needs to be either pulling or pushing.

Pulling new readers into the site for the first time, and pulling returning visitors back again and again.

Or pushing readers to take an action – whether to subscribe, to buy, to sign up, to download, to take a free trial, or click on a revenue-earning link.

So once you have created that list of upcoming content, whether it be about keywords, customer questions, missing subject matter…or whatever…mark it as either a page that is written to pull, or to push.

What’s the difference? How do you write pages that pull or push? Leer más “Content that pulls. And content that pushes.”

DAT, el día después…

DAT, por sus siglas en inglés (Day after tomorrow), resume un equipo de trabajo especializado en hacer frente a las contingencias del “día después”. [Más…] Contingencia puede definirse como un evento o suceso que ocurre en la mayoría de los casos en forma repentina o inesperada, y causa alteraciones en los patrones normales de vida o actividad humana.

Las contingencias pueden ser originadas por la manifestación de un fenómeno natural, o pueden ser ocasionadas por actividad humana o como consecuencia de una falla de carácter técnico.


Inspirados en el film homónimo “El día después de mañana”, donde el Armagedón desatado por un abrupto cambio climático, evidencia la experiencia de estar expuesto; de diversas formas; a situaciones traumáticas. Surge de inmediato un paralelo con diferentes situaciones en que las áreas de Recursos Humanos deben intervenir.

DAT, por sus siglas en inglés (Day after tomorrow), resume un equipo de trabajo especializado en hacer frente a las contingencias del “día después”. Leer más “DAT, el día después…”

Social media and the multiplier effect

The multiplier effect: Each additional quality friend or follower in your network increases the value of all other people on your network.

I came up with this concept whilst grinding my teeth to nubs over demands like this: “I only have 500 followers. My competitor has 50,000. Get me more followers!”

See, most social media campaigns devolve into spamfests. It’s like the early- and middle-age of e-mail marketing. More = better, therefore let’s send crap out to every sucker we can find. It’s accumulation marketing [blast from the past alert]. And it never works for long.
Where social media spam comes from

Spam – particularly social media spam – comes from a long-time belief that a bigger network of potential customers is always better.

That belief comes from a traditional marketing formula: Add another person to your network of potential customers, and best case is that each member of that network keeps the same value.


by ian | http://www.conversationmarketing.com

Marketing nerdiness alert! This post has some heavy-duty marketing geekination in it. You have been warned.

(…)

The multiplier effect: Each additional quality friend or follower in your network increases the value of all other people on your network.

I came up with this concept whilst grinding my teeth to nubs over demands like this: “I only have 500 followers. My competitor has 50,000. Get me more followers!”

See, most social media campaigns devolve into spamfests. It’s like the early- and middle-age of e-mail marketing. More = better, therefore let’s send crap out to every sucker we can find. It’s accumulation marketing [blast from the past alert]. And it never works for long.

Where social media spam comes from

Spam – particularly social media spam – comes from a long-time belief that a bigger network of potential customers is always better.

That belief comes from a traditional marketing formula: Add another person to your network of potential customers, and best case is that each member of that network keeps the same value.

Say I have a network of 1,000 potential customers, with each customer worth $1. Then I add another person to the network. Conventional wisdom says that the best I can hope for is that each network member remains worth $1. It’s likely that, as I add more people, the background noise and accidental addition of people who have no interest in my product at all will reduce the value of every individual network member:

individuals decrease in value

So, goes conventional wisdom, if your plan is to grow sales and customer base, you need to expand your network exponentially to make up for the lost value. A massive network is always better than a small one, and individuals are worth less and less.

That’s why otherwise intelligent people still click on messages like this:

more-followers-spam.gif

And it’s why I crack molars.

But it doesn’t add up. If a massive network is always better, why is it that someone tweeting to 50,000 people gets me 3 clicks, and someone tweeting to 5,000 gets me 10,000 clicks?

Go figure. Leer más “Social media and the multiplier effect”

10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies [Excellent]

We hear plenty usability tips and techniques from an incalculable number of sources. Many of the ones we take seriously have sound logic, but it’s even more validating when we find actual data and reports to back up their theories and conjectures.

1. Forget the “Three-Click Rule”

The idea that users will get frustrated if they have to click more than three times to find a piece of content on your website has been around for ages. In 2001, Jeffrey Zeldman, a recognized authority in the web design industry, wrote that the three-click rule “can help you create sites with intuitive, logical hierarchical structures” in his book, Taking Your Talent to the Web.

Logically, it makes sense. Of course, users will be frustrated if they spend a lot of time clicking around to find what they need.

But why the arbitrary three-click limit? Is there any indication that web users will suddenly give up if it takes them three clicks to get to what the want?

In fact, most users won’t give up just because they’ve hit some magical number. The number of clicks they have to make isn’t related to user frustration.

A study conducted by Joshua Porter published on User Interface Engineering found out that users aren’t more likely to resign to failure after three clicks versus a higher number such as 12 clicks. “Hardly anybody gave up after three clicks,” Porter said.


vector version of this image

//sixrevisions.com
by Cameron Chapman | Six Revisions

We hear plenty usability tips and techniques from an incalculable number of sources. Many of the ones we take seriously have sound logic, but it’s even more validating when we find actual data and reports to back up their theories and conjectures.

1. Forget the “Three-Click Rule”

The idea that users will get frustrated if they have to click more than three times to find a piece of content on your website has been around for ages. In 2001, Jeffrey Zeldman, a recognized authority in the web design industry, wrote that the three-click rule “can help you create sites with intuitive, logical hierarchical structures” in his book, Taking Your Talent to the Web.

Logically, it makes sense. Of course, users will be frustrated if they spend a lot of time clicking around to find what they need.

But why the arbitrary three-click limit? Is there any indication that web users will suddenly give up if it takes them three clicks to get to what the want?

In fact, most users won’t give up just because they’ve hit some magical number. The number of clicks they have to make isn’t related to user frustration.

A study conducted by Joshua Porter published on User Interface Engineering found out that users aren’t more likely to resign to failure after three clicks versus a higher number such as 12 clicks. “Hardly anybody gave up after three clicks,” Porter said.

Source: User Interface Engineering

The focus, then, shouldn’t be on reducing the number of clicks to some magically arrived number, but rather on the ease of utility. If you can construct a user interface that’s easy and pleasurable to use, but takes like 15 clicks (e.g. 5 times more than the three-click rule) to achieve a particular task — don’t let the arbitrary three-click rule stop you.

Sources and Further Reading

2. Enable Content Skimming By Using an F-Shaped Pattern

Dr. Jakob Nielsen, a pioneer in the field of usability, conducted an eye tracking study on the reading habits of web users comprising of over 230 participants. What the research study displayed was that participants exhibited an F-shaped pattern when scanning web content.

F-Shaped PatternSource: Alertbox

A similar study, by search marketing firms Enquiro and Did-it in collaboration with eye-tracking research firm Eyetools, witnessed a similar pattern when they evaluated Google’s search engine results page with an eye tracking study that included 50 participants. Dubbed the “Google Golden Triangle” because the concentration of eye gazes tended to be top and left, the results are congruent with the F-shaped pattern seen in Nielsen’s independent research.

Google Golden TriangleSource: Clickr Media

For designers and web copywriters, these results suggest that content you want to be seen should be placed towards the left, and also that the use of content that fits an F-shaped pattern (such as headings followed by paragraphs or bullet points) increases the likelihood that they will be encountered by a user who is skimming a web page. Leer más “10 Usability Tips Based on Research Studies [Excellent]”

Six Revisions: A Comprehensive Guide Inside Your


by Alexander Dawson

Become a Facebook Fan of Six Revisions.

A Comprehensive Guide Inside Your <head>

As web designers and developers, we pay so much attention to what’s directly on the screen (or in our code) that the <head> of a document and what’s inside is often considered as an afterthought.

While in many cases it’s true that what appears on the screen is the most important part of a website (the content is what people visit a site for), the “thinking code” inside the <head> of our documents plays an important role.

This article will examine exactly what can fit inside a website’s head.

Mastering the Mind

The head of an HTML document is a busy area, and while it may not have the range of elements that the <body> can flex, it can actually engineer a range of its own elements to play vital roles in how a site will operate or how it can interoperate with other sites.

Depending on the website, there might be plenty going on inside its head.

So what are your options and how can they benefit your website? Well there’s quite a lot actually!

There are ways to add useful metadata into your documents (for search engines and other web robots to find), icons that you can supply web browsers for extra visuals (like favicons or device-specific icons for the iPad/iPhone), ways to allow the syndication of your content, and even stylistic and behavioral references that include external stylesheets and scripts.

In essence, the <head> of our HTML documents give the markup below it extra meaning. Leer más “Six Revisions: A Comprehensive Guide Inside Your”

Nespresso al borde de un ataque de nervios

En abril de este año me enteré de este curioso caso y desde entonces me encanta utilizarlo como materia de debate en mis clases. Creo que pocos desconocen la existencia de la marca Nespresso. Y estoy convencido de que estamos ante uno de esos casos que se repetirán hasta la saciedad en los cursos de marketing de los próximos años. Así que, a por él:

La historia del caso es simple: Sara Lee, un potente grupo global con base en EEUU y formado por distintas marcas como, por ejemplo, Marcilla, Bimbo, Hornimans, Williams o Sanex, ha conseguido burlar el sistema de patentes del grupo Nestlé creando unas cápsulas de café compatibles con las maquinas de Nespresso. Afirma, además, que esta fórmula no viola ninguna de las patentes del grupo suizo. El nombre de las cápsulas: L’Or Espresso. Hasta ahora, las cápsulas Nespresso sólo se podían comprar de forma directa en tiendas especiales de la marca, por Internet o por teléfono a un coste relativamente elevado (0,33€/unidad aprox.). Sara Lee en cambio las venderá –según mis fuentes probablemente a partir de septiembre– en gran distribución y a un precio muy inferior. Lo que ocurrirá es que muchos consumidores dejarán de comprar directamente a Nespresso.


Posted by Titonet
//titonet.com

En abril de este año me enteré de este curioso caso y desde entonces me encanta utilizarlo como materia de debate en mis clases. Creo que pocos desconocen la existencia de la marca Nespresso. Y estoy convencido de que estamos ante uno de esos casos que se repetirán hasta la saciedad en los cursos de marketing de los próximos años. Así que, a por él:

La historia del caso es simple: Sara Lee, un potente grupo global con base en EEUU y formado por distintas marcas como, por ejemplo, Marcilla, Bimbo, Hornimans, Williams o Sanex, ha conseguido burlar el sistema de patentes del grupo Nestlé creando unas cápsulas de café compatibles con las maquinas de Nespresso. Afirma, además, que esta fórmula no viola ninguna de las patentes del grupo suizo. El nombre de las cápsulas: L’Or Espresso. Hasta ahora, las cápsulas Nespresso sólo se podían comprar de forma directa en tiendas especiales de la marca, por Internet o por teléfono a un coste relativamente elevado (0,33€/unidad aprox.). Sara Lee en cambio las venderá –según mis fuentes probablemente a partir de septiembre– en gran distribución y a un precio muy inferior. Lo que ocurrirá es que muchos consumidores dejarán de comprar directamente a Nespresso. Leer más “Nespresso al borde de un ataque de nervios”

Dangerous Ideas: Getting Started Is Overrated [FYI-A GOOD READ]

Perhaps a more poignant example would be to find and interview the 10 people in the country who had the biggest and fastest overall increase to their finances in the last year. Guess who would dominate this list? Lottery winners. Ignoring the survivor bias, one could conclude: the people who get richest fastest all invested heavily in lottery tickets, so that’s what I should do too!

The same, of course, can be applied to an entrepreneur, or anyone, really, who had success in a glamorous pursuit. To the winner, their path seems straightforward. It was just a matter of putting in the time and the results followed. To someone in this position, it can be incredibly frustrating to watch people denying themselves similar success simply because they’re afraid to get started.

But the survivor bias lurks…

For every successful entrepreneur, or writer, or blogger, or actor, there are dozens of others who did get started but then flamed out. Some people lack the right talents. For many more, the pursuit, once past that initial stage of generic, heady enthusiasm, simply lost its attraction and their interest waned.

The Saturation Method

I have observed many people who have had long-term success in an impressive pursuit. I have also observed many people who went after such successes yet failed. I hope by combining both outcomes – success and failure – I can identify a predictor of the former that will remain free of the taint of survivor bias.

In short, I’ve noticed that people who succeed in an impressive pursuit are those who:

* Established, over time, a deep emotional conviction that they want to follow that pursuit.
* Have built an exhaustive understanding of the relevant world, why some succeed and others don’t, and exactly what type of action is required.

This takes time. Often it requires a long period of saturation, in which the person returns again and again to the world, meeting people and reading about it and trying little experiments to get a feel for its reality. This period will be at least a month. It might last years.

Steve Martin’s Diligence

Steve Martin noted that the key to becoming really good at something (so good that they can’t ignore you), is diligence, which he defines as effort over time to the exclusion of other pursuits. This is why people who ultimately succeed in a pursuit go through such a long period of vetting before they begin – if you’re not 100% convinced and ready to tackle something, potentially for years, to the exclusions of the hundreds of interesting new ideas that will pop up along the way, you’ll probably fizzle out well before reaping any reward.


Dangerous Ideas: Getting Started Is OverratedAttend any talk given by an entrepreneur and you’ll hear some variation of the following: The most important thing you can do is to get started! I completely disagree.

This advice has percolated from its origin in business self-help to the wider productivity blogging community. You’ve heard it before: Do you want to become a writer? Start writing! Do you want to become fit? Join a gym today! Do you want to become a big-time blogger? Start posting ASAP! If you don’t start, you’re weak! You’re afraid of success!

Here’s the problem: I completely disagree with this common advice. I think an instinct for getting started cripples your chance at long-term success. And I suggest that, on the contrary, you should develop rigorous thresholds that any pursuit must overcome before it can induce action.

Allow me to explain why…

Survivor Bias

In his convention-busting book, Fooled by Randomness, Nassim Taleb preaches the danger of survivor bias – a common fallacy in which we emulate people who succeeded without considering those who used similar techniques but failed. Taleb uses the example of The Millionaire Next Door, a popular finance guide in which the authors interviewed a large group of millionaires. As Taleb points out, the habits of these millionaires – accumulating wealth through spartan living and aggressive investments – should not be emulated unless one can determine how many more people followed a similar strategy but failed to hit it big.

Perhaps a more poignant example would be to find and interview the 10 people in the country who had the biggest and fastest overall increase to their finances in the last year. Guess who would dominate this list? Lottery winners. Ignoring the survivor bias, one could conclude: the people who get richest fastest all invested heavily in lottery tickets, so that’s what I should do too!

The same, of course, can be applied to an entrepreneur, or anyone, really, who had success in a glamorous pursuit. To the winner, their path seems straightforward. It was just a matter of putting in the time and the results followed. To someone in this position, it can be incredibly frustrating to watch people denying themselves similar success simply because they’re afraid to get started.

But the survivor bias lurks… Leer más “Dangerous Ideas: Getting Started Is Overrated [FYI-A GOOD READ]”

Designing the Soft Side of Customer Service

In service environments, customers have complex needs. Even in the most mundane encounters, emotions are lurking under the surface. Your job is to make those feelings positive.

When people think about innovation in customer service, they usually think in terms of technological or process enhancements that make service delivery faster or more efficient. In recent years, restaurants have introduced hand-held devices that buzz patrons when their table is ready, and supermarkets offer customers self-service checkout lines. While such innovations may simplify matters for customers, service organizations rarely stop to consider the overall psychology that shapes service encounters. Indeed, despite the plethora of articles and books about managing the customer experience, many key psychological variables that influence customer perceptions — the subtle enhancements that help define a positive experience — have yet to be defined or articulated fully.

Organizations often measure the outcomes of service encounters in concrete terms such as on-time flight arrivals or the time to resolve a customer’s call. However, the subjective outcomes — the emotions and the feelings — are more difficult to describe: Did the passenger enjoy the flight? Did the customer who called the service center with a problem hang up feeling better about the provider? Much as having a deeper understanding of systems dynamics and process analysis has pushed companies to re-engineer their operations to achieve explicit outcomes, findings from behavioral decision- making research, cognitive psychology and social psychology can point service providers to ideas for redesigning the psychological or implicit aspects of service encounters.


Service and Quality

By Sriram Dasu and Richard B. Chase

In service environments, customers have complex needs. Even in the most mundane encounters, emotions are lurking under the surface. Your job is to make those feelings positive.

When people think about innovation in customer service, they usually think in terms of technological or process enhancements that make service delivery faster or more efficient. In recent years, restaurants have introduced hand-held devices that buzz patrons when their table is ready, and supermarkets offer customers self-service checkout lines. While such innovations may simplify matters for customers, service organizations rarely stop to consider the overall psychology that shapes service encounters. Indeed, despite the plethora of articles and books about managing the customer experience, many key psychological variables that influence customer perceptions — the subtle enhancements that help define a positive experience — have yet to be defined or articulated fully.

Organizations often measure the outcomes of service encounters in concrete terms such as on-time flight arrivals or the time to resolve a customer’s call. However, the subjective outcomes — the emotions and the feelings — are more difficult to describe: Did the passenger enjoy the flight? Did the customer who called the service center with a problem hang up feeling better about the provider? Much as having a deeper understanding of systems dynamics and process analysis has pushed companies to re-engineer their operations to achieve explicit outcomes, findings from behavioral decision- making research, cognitive psychology and social psychology can point service providers to ideas for redesigning the psychological or implicit aspects of service encounters. Leer más “Designing the Soft Side of Customer Service”

Keeping Your Business Plan Flexible

People make business plans for all sorts of reasons — to attract funding, evaluate future growth, build partnerships, or guide development. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these plans are usually out of date by the time the printer ink dries. Business moves fast: the product’s features morph, new competitors emerge, or the economic climate shifts. When these changes occur, many people just throw their business plans out the window. For a plan to be truly valuable it needs to evolve with your company and stay relevant in the face of uncertainty. [Más…]

What the Experts Say
Despite the hype business plans get from corporate advisers, “most business owners don’t have a formal business plan,” says Patricia Greene, Professor of Entrepreneurship of Babson College and co-editor of The Development of University-based Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. Yet one of the first items you’ll find on every entrepreneur’s checklist is Write business plan. The key is to create a living document. “When you think about a business plan, think about the distinction between a snapshot and a moving picture,” says William Sahlman, the Dimitri V. D’Arbeloff – Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and author of How to Write a Great Business Plan. Sahlman explains that you need something that moves with your business. However, capturing all of the unknowns while not sounding wishy-washy is challenging. Below are several ways to make sure your plan is a fluid, useful document.


business plan

by Amy Gallo
Blogs.hbr.org

People make business plans for all sorts of reasons — to attract funding, evaluate future growth, build partnerships, or guide development. Unfortunately, the vast majority of these plans are usually out of date by the time the printer ink dries. Business moves fast: the product’s features morph, new competitors emerge, or the economic climate shifts. When these changes occur, many people just throw their business plans out the window. For a plan to be truly valuable it needs to evolve with your company and stay relevant in the face of uncertainty. Leer más “Keeping Your Business Plan Flexible”

The Price Isn’t Right

By Detlef Schoder and Alex Talalayevsky

Thanks to the Internet, companies have lost control of their pricing power. Here’s how they can get it back.

Everyone knows that companies have rock-bottom prices they’re willing to offer in emergencies. Think goods and services whose value is about to expire: hotel dates, plane tickets, last season’s fashions, packaged food.

But until recently, not many people knew what those prices were. Keeping them under wraps is a key part of how companies maintain pricing power.

Well, the secret is out. Now, thanks to the Internet, consumers are able to figure out those prices. And that is creating huge headaches for the companies.

Online shoppers today aren’t just buyers; they’re also product reviewers, technical consultants and scouts for legions of fellow shoppers hunting for bargains. Many use Web sites where links are posted for online coupons and cash-back offers—deals that some companies didn’t intend to circulate so widely. Others go to sites where people discuss how to find the lowest bids acceptable on travel-service auction sites. Even shoppers for big-ticket items like cars get an edge from sites that reveal prices paid for new and used cars.

Questions to Ask Yourself

1. Does your company deal in products or services whose value is highly perishable or time-sensitive?
2. Do you offer online coupons or have multiple discount strategies that can be used by unlimited numbers of consumers?
3. Are your resellers sometimes discounting your goods without your authorization or knowledge?
4. Is your company unaware of what’s being said on bargain-hunting and other shopping-related Web sites about its prices and products?
5. Do you make last-minute offers at cut-rate prices without full appreciation as to how that might undermine your established pricing schemes or your brand image?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your company may need to reassert control over its pricing power by pushing back against the increasing ability of online shoppers to obtain your lowest acceptable prices. Selling unlabeled, marked-down merchandise through an intermediary is one strategy, as is bundling the goods with additional offerings so that the base value you’ve assigned to the products is less clear.

Further assisted by search engines and so-called shopping bots that find the lowest prices for any number of products, shoppers today have unprecedented power to buy products at the sellers’ rock bottom. But if they come to expect such prices all the time, companies could see their long-term pricing power erode and profits slashed.
Here are eight tactics companies can use to limit the ability of bargain hunters to find their deepest discounts and lowest acceptable prices.


Marketing

By Detlef Schoder and Alex Talalayevsky
http://sloanreview.mit.edu

Thanks to the Internet, companies have lost control of their pricing power. Here’s how they can get it back.

Everyone knows that companies have rock-bottom prices they’re willing to offer in emergencies. Think goods and services whose value is about to expire: hotel dates, plane tickets, last season’s fashions, packaged food.

But until recently, not many people knew what those prices were. Keeping them under wraps is a key part of how companies maintain pricing power.

Well, the secret is out. Now, thanks to the Internet, consumers are able to figure out those prices. And that is creating huge headaches for the companies.

Online shoppers today aren’t just buyers; they’re also product reviewers, technical consultants and scouts for legions of fellow shoppers hunting for bargains. Many use Web sites where links are posted for online coupons and cash-back offers—deals that some companies didn’t intend to circulate so widely. Others go to sites where people discuss how to find the lowest bids acceptable on travel-service auction sites. Even shoppers for big-ticket items like cars get an edge from sites that reveal prices paid for new and used cars.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. Does your company deal in products or services whose value is highly perishable or time-sensitive?
  2. Do you offer online coupons or have multiple discount strategies that can be used by unlimited numbers of consumers?
  3. Are your resellers sometimes discounting your goods without your authorization or knowledge?
  4. Is your company unaware of what’s being said on bargain-hunting and other shopping-related Web sites about its prices and products?
  5. Do you make last-minute offers at cut-rate prices without full appreciation as to how that might undermine your established pricing schemes or your brand image?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your company may need to reassert control over its pricing power by pushing back against the increasing ability of online shoppers to obtain your lowest acceptable prices. Selling unlabeled, marked-down merchandise through an intermediary is one strategy, as is bundling the goods with additional offerings so that the base value you’ve assigned to the products is less clear.

Further assisted by search engines and so-called shopping bots that find the lowest prices for any number of products, shoppers today have unprecedented power to buy products at the sellers’ rock bottom. But if they come to expect such prices all the time, companies could see their long-term pricing power erode and profits slashed.
Here are eight tactics companies can use to limit the ability of bargain hunters to find their deepest discounts and lowest acceptable prices. Leer más “The Price Isn’t Right”

Three Questions to Help Assess Your Strategic Position

by H. James Wilson

I’ve spent some of my professional life in strategy research and consulting organizations, where developing diagnostic frameworks on competition is the name of the game. But as comprehensive and complex as they are, these models are often unhelpful (or impenetrable) to front-line practitioners who might use them to improve day-to-day decisions and actions.

In contrast, I encounter some of the most practical competition frameworks in my personal life, where I train for and race in triathlons. For instance, fellow triathletes organize the competitive landscape of world-class competitors, like Ironman Hawaii qualifiers rather simply; FOPs are “Front of Pack” athletes who finish in the top 5%. MOPs are “Middle of Pack” and BOPs are “Back of Pack” (laggards and new entrants just getting into world-class competition. MOPs and BOPs have one goal: improve steadily from one race to the next; move toward the FOP.

I wondered if I could apply this simple framework to organizational competition, so I conducted a fun experiment, applying the FOP/MOP/BOP segmentation to a sample of 305 global companies that recently reported facing intense competitive pressure in their industry. (Source: 2010 Babson Executive Education survey. Thanks to Dr. Elaine Eisenman and James Liljedahl for input.)

Using annual revenue growth as the performance measure — the “finishing time,” if you will — I segmented competitors as follows:

* FOPs achieved greater than 15% annual revenue growth, which neatly puts them into the top 5% of all companies in the sample (16 companies in all)
* MOPs achieved 1-15% growth over the past year, and represent 48% of of the sample (145 companies)
* BOPs showed flat or declining revenues, and represent 47% of the sample (144 companies)


by H. James Wilson

I’ve spent some of my professional life in strategy research and consulting organizations, where developing diagnostic frameworks on competition is the name of the game. But as comprehensive and complex as they are, these models are often unhelpful (or impenetrable) to front-line practitioners who might use them to improve day-to-day decisions and actions.

In contrast, I encounter some of the most practical competition frameworks in my personal life, where I train for and race in triathlons. For instance, fellow triathletes organize the competitive landscape of world-class competitors, like Ironman Hawaii qualifiers rather simply; FOPs are “Front of Pack” athletes who finish in the top 5%. MOPs are “Middle of Pack” and BOPs are “Back of Pack” (laggards and new entrants just getting into world-class competition. MOPs and BOPs have one goal: improve steadily from one race to the next; move toward the FOP.

I wondered if I could apply this simple framework to organizational competition, so I conducted a fun experiment, applying the FOP/MOP/BOP segmentation to a sample of 305 global companies that recently reported facing intense competitive pressure in their industry. (Source: 2010 Babson Executive Education survey. Thanks to Dr. Elaine Eisenman and James Liljedahl for input.)

Using annual revenue growth as the performance measure — the “finishing time,” if you will — I segmented competitors as follows:

  • FOPs achieved greater than 15% annual revenue growth, which neatly puts them into the top 5% of all companies in the sample (16 companies in all)
  • MOPs achieved 1-15% growth over the past year, and represent 48% of of the sample (145 companies)
  • BOPs showed flat or declining revenues, and represent 47% of the sample (144 companies) Leer más “Three Questions to Help Assess Your Strategic Position”

¿Quiebra del sistema? Nada más lejos de la realidad…(Interesante, vale la pena ;)

Las declaraciones del Consejero Delegado de Telefonica, Julio Linares, en la primera sesión del XXIV Encuentro de las Telecomunicaciones celebrado hoy hablan de un futuro muy negro para el negocio de las operadoras, hasta el punto de amenazar con una “quiebra del sistema”. Según el directivo de la compañía, resulta imposible encontrar la rentabilidad en un momento en que las necesidades de conectividad de los usuarios se multiplican a gran velocidad merced al crecimiento registrado por redes sociales, blogs y aplicaciones de todo tipo.

Respeto enormemente a Julio Linares, al que considero uno de los directivos de la compañía con más visión estratégica y conocimiento del entorno. Sin embargo, estas declaraciones están completamente fuera de lugar. En una empresa, que las necesidades de los clientes de utilizar tus servicios crezcan de manera desmesurada nunca es una mala noticia, más bien todo lo contrario. Las empresas de telecomunicaciones venden un servicio, y en los tiempos que vivimos, la demanda de ese servicio crece a gran velocidad: que lo haga es, además, una fantástica noticia para todos, porque demuestra que estamos evolucionando hacia una sociedad más moderna, más democrática, más abierta y más interconectada. La evolución de la tecnología, además, favorece el incremento constante de capacidad de las infraestructuras, en una progresión imparable. En estas condiciones, si ante un crecimiento previsto de la demanda elevado, las empresas que proporcionan ese servicio se ponen la venda y gritan socorro, es que algo va mal, muy mal en la forma en la que estas compañías están siendo gestionadas.

Las empresas de telecomunicaciones están muy, muy lejos de llegar a una quiebra del sistema. Todo lo contrario: la rentabilidad de sus operaciones es excepcionalmente elevada, como demuestran sus resultados año tras año y las opiniones de los analistas. Nada, absolutamente nada presagia una “quiebra del sistema”, más bien todo lo contrario. Financieramente, a las empresas de telecomunicaciones en general y a Telefonica en particular les va de maravilla. Pretender, a estas alturas, amenazar con la “quiebra del sistema” es una irresponsabilidad y una falacia, con propósito intimidatorio y casi diría de chantaje: “dejadme hacer lo que quiero y elevar todavía más mi rentabilidad, o si no, os vais a enterar…”

No, las cosas no son así. Para gestionar su negocio, las empresas de telecomunicaciones pueden hacer muchas cosas, salvo amenazar las características que definen a esa sociedad cada vez más moderna, más democrática, más abierta y más interconectada. Las empresas de telecomunicaciones son eso, empresas de telecomunicaciones. Transmiten cosas de un lugar a otro a través de una infraestructura, que además conviene recordar que en muchos casos, como es el de nuestro país, proviene originalmente de un monopolio y fue sufragada con los impuestos de todos los españoles. Las empresas de telecomunicaciones tienen una gran cantidad de opciones para su gestión dentro de lo que el mercado y el regulador les permite: el optar por ofrecer tarifas planas a sus clientes, por ejemplo, fue algo que decidieron libremente, con el fin de provocar precisamente ese desarrollo del mercado del que ahora aparentemente se quejan. Las tarifas planas provocaron un patente incremento en la popularización de muchos servicios y son obviamente la preferencia de los clientes, pero nada impide a las empresas de telecomunicaciones dejar de ofrecerlas, o recortar sus condiciones, siempre que el mercado y el regulador lo permitan. Las tarifas planas no tienen nada, repito, NADA que ver con la neutralidad de la red. Siempre que la red no haga distinciones en función de la procedencia, tipo, protocolo o contenido de los bits que transporta, el hacer que un cliente tenga todo incluido en su tarifa o solo hasta unos límites determinados es una decisión meramente comercial, que en nada afecta a la neutralidad de la red. Si un operador quiere cambiar las condiciones en las que ofrece sus servicios y, por ejemplo, cobrar más a quien más consume, puede hacerlo perfectamente: tendrá que lidiar con las consecuencias que ello conlleve dentro de un mercado competitivo, deberá evitar la colusión de precios y ofertas con otros competidores so pena de sanciones y, eso sí, no podrá meter sus narices en lo que se transmite por sus cables. Eso es todo.


Las declaraciones del Consejero Delegado de Telefonica, Julio Linares, en la primera sesión del XXIV Encuentro de las Telecomunicaciones celebrado hoy hablan de un futuro muy negro para el negocio de las operadoras, hasta el punto de amenazar con una “quiebra del sistema”. Según el directivo de la compañía, resulta imposible encontrar la rentabilidad en un momento en que las necesidades de conectividad de los usuarios se multiplican a gran velocidad merced al crecimiento registrado por redes sociales, blogs y aplicaciones de todo tipo.

Respeto enormemente a Julio Linares, al que considero uno de los directivos de la compañía con más visión estratégica y conocimiento del entorno. Sin embargo, estas declaraciones están completamente fuera de lugar. En una empresa, que las necesidades de los clientes de utilizar tus servicios crezcan de manera desmesurada nunca es una mala noticia, más bien todo lo contrario. Las empresas de telecomunicaciones venden un servicio, y en los tiempos que vivimos, la demanda de ese servicio crece a gran velocidad: que lo haga es, además, una fantástica noticia para todos, porque demuestra que estamos evolucionando hacia una sociedad más moderna, más democrática, más abierta y más interconectada. La evolución de la tecnología, además, favorece el incremento constante de capacidad de las infraestructuras, en una progresión imparable. En estas condiciones, si ante un crecimiento previsto de la demanda elevado, las empresas que proporcionan ese servicio se ponen la venda y gritan socorro, es que algo va mal, muy mal en la forma en la que estas compañías están siendo gestionadas. Leer más “¿Quiebra del sistema? Nada más lejos de la realidad…(Interesante, vale la pena ;)”

The Problem of Defining Innovation


Hutch Carpenter just wrote a nice post outlining 25 different definitions of innovation. This is an interesting exercise. He breaks the definitions down into five sub-categories, which all reflect slightly different takes on the nature of innovation. Leer más “The Problem of Defining Innovation”

Innovating your business model

Competition in industries is essentially competition between business models. A recent tweet by @TimKastelle which led to a post about the evolution of the business model concept reminded me of a great creative exercise to help you look at your and other industries dominant business model as a lego kit, which when broken apart can be reconnected like building blocks to create new types of business concepts.


Competition in industries is essentially competition between business models. A recent  tweet by @TimKastelle which led to a post about the reminded me of a great creative exercise to help you look at your and other industries dominant business model as a lego kit, which when broken apart can be reconnected like building blocks to create new types of business concepts. Leer más “Innovating your business model”