Business

Taking some irons out of the fire

For a long time, I’ve had too many irons in the fire. If that idiom doesn’t mean anything to you, here you go. But, I’ve been juggling my consulting projects, my writing, marketing, and a number of seedling startup businesses for years. It’s just too hard to make serious progress when your focus is spread…

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When Companies Behave Like Incumbent Politicians

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is disappointing when a company starts behaving like an incumbent politician. There are those who firmly believe that incumbents are heavily influenced by campaign contributors and special interest groups; often forgetting the needs of the constituents who they are truly supposed to represent. Similarly, there are established companies that lose focus on the very customers who made them successful. With their drive to maximize revenue and profitability, instead they find that slowly over the years they start spending more and more of their time catering to their advertisers. This is sadly ironic, given that those advertisers are only interested in the eyeballs and wallets of those very customers. Lose the audience, lose the advertisers. Read full article…

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Are You Creating a Sanctuary for Your Customers?

Coffee Sanctuary in Caffee ReggioI dropped in on Barefoot Coffee yesterday to enjoy one of their fabulous Cubanos and noticed they had remodeled. It still feels cozy there, but it lost a bit of its independent spirit. I’m going to miss their quirky chairs. But, they still pull a great espresso drink and they still create nice latte art. And that, with a number of other touches, make Barefoot one of those sanctuaries that you seek out when you want a great cup of coffee that doesn’t come from the faceless corporate chains. I have a similar experience in one of my favorite dark little coffee houses in NYC, Caffe Reggio (image in this post). The funny thing is, I will go considerably out of my way to visit these places, when I could simply grab a drink at a place like Starbucks. Easy enough, since there is one within every quarter-mile radius. Read full article…

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Yahoo Search Goes Way Open

Well, we finally announced it. Yahoo Search is going way open very soon. We will be allowing publishers and site owners to provide us with additional information about their site. This will provide a next-generation search experience with results that can display some of the rich data that is today only available on the website after the user clicks through. For example, ratings and reviews, great photographs, useful site links, etc. The additional beauty is that users can control whether they want to see this additional info or not. Their choice. Read full article…

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The Importance of Contextually-Relevant Differentiated Consumer Experiences

I have talked about the commoditization of the coffee business before. You can certainly get a good cup of coffee (or name your favorite coffee drink) at many of the coffee houses that sprang up over the past decade. So, when “quality” is no longer the differentiator that it once was, what is a coffee house owner to do? Well, as many industries are discovering, you start focusing on differentiating through the consumer experience.
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Search and Serendipity: Finding More When You Know Less

Where do you go to get your daily fix of fresh information? If you are like millions of other users out there, you hit sites like Digg, Delicious, Techmeme, or just open your favorite RSS reader. Or, you tap into your Stumbleupon toolbar to see what your fellow Stumblers have found interesting lately. Most people don’t automatically think of search as a place for serendipitous exploration. Search is best when you have something specific in mind, right? Read full article…

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Yahoo! Search Launching Great New Features

Yahoo! Search

It has been a while since I have posted. If you head on over to Yahoo! Search, you will see why I’ve been a little busy lately. We’ve been working on a ton of great new ideas for our Search experience and some of them are now ready for you! It is all about giving consumers a much better experience when they are searching, so that they find exactly what they are looking for faster and are happier with the results. Check out what we’ve been up to and I think you will agree.
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User Experience Professionals as Product Entrepeneurs

When I attended the IA Summit a few months ago in Vegas, one interesting theme captured my attention: A number of my user experience (UE) colleagues were busy founding their own product or service companies. Mind you, UE professionals have been running design agencies and consulting companies for a long time now. However, these UE professionals are founding new businesses that offer products and services outside the traditional realm of design and research. Read full article…

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Facebook Socially Transforming Online and Offline Experiences

Facebook Logo

Facebook held a press and developer event today to officially launch their Facebook Platform. CNN Money has a pretty decent summary of the implications. Supposedly, these are screenshots on SplashCast of some sample applications on the new platform.

Basically, imagine adding a social layer to any online experience in a way that makes it more useful or more enjoyable, since that layer is composed of people that you know and presumably trust more than some random stranger. Read full article…

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