Category Archives: business

Yahoo Can’t Win with the Tech Bloggers!



Yesterday everyone was praising the new CEO pick Marissa Mayer, and today a number of tech sites are on master blaster mode, because they say she is a tough micro-managing leader who holds court and rules. I guess they did not get enough hits on day one when they where praising the decision.

I’ll be honest with the way some folks are today there needs to be some tough leaders that hold people’s feet to the fire ensuring they do what they are paid to do. Way to many leaders want to be nice instead of being a boss. While their are many things that make a good boss, I will never forget the one that influenced me the most. While I was in the Navy the best Boss I ever had was a no holds bared get stuff done or I will run you over type of guy but at the same time was at work earlier and stayed later than anyone else and worked just as hard if not harder than those he led.

Work got done and if you missed a deadline that should not have been missed you where going to have some very long nights at the office until it was finished with some one on one mentoring of said boss. There was a clear vision of where we where headed at all times. It was his way or the highway.

Business is business and sometimes people need a swift kick in the butt way to many people cruising facebook & twitter all day and not doing what there supposed to be doing. Praise is equally deserved but nothing more motivating than some peer pressure when you did not get done what was expected of you. While the Military has it’s chain of command it runs more like a business than you can ever imagine with the consequences of failure much higher.

Image: Girl With Red Boxing Gloves by BigStock


3M’s Personal Projectors at The Gadget Show



3M LogoPowerpoint and data projectors have become synonymous with business presentations and I dread to think how many people I have bored over the years. As with almost any technology, the data projectors have got smaller and cheaper, but this was the first time I’d seen how small personal projectors had become. As you can see from the photograph, most would actually fit in a (large) pocket.

3M Pocket Projectors

3M have a range of seven projectors, of which four were on show at The Gadget Show. Unsurprisingly, the different models have different capabilities and there’s more product information here (not all the new models are on the site yet), but I was genuinely impressed by how good the pictures were. The NEC is not a darkened room and yet it was easy to see the presentation or film that was being projected.

As you’d expect the different models have different features; battery size, wireless connectivity, in-built memory and a new model, the MP220, runs Android (it’s the one on the left side of the photograph). I chat with Peter from 3M about the new additions to the range.


Mastercard 1 time use Credit Card Numbers on your iPhone




Todd and Steve talk with Heather Stone, VP at Mastercard, about their new app that allows you to bring up a one time use credit card number on the fly. The GlobalVCard app by Mastercard will allow you to also send 1 time use credit card number by email, text or photo to an employee or family member with restrictions in under a minute. The app is available now for iPhone,iPad, Android and Blackberry.

You can read more about it at globalvcard.com

Support my Show Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transfered .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Business Website Builder with free domain. Promo Code: cjcgncgot
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1

Wacom Computer in a Tablet



The latest from Wacom is a monitor that can be attached to a PC or Mac and become an interactive monitor for either operating system.  It allows any user to interact with the screen through a highly touch-sensitive pen, for drawing or writing on the screen.  This device turns a simple computer into a whiteboard, which is something used almost daily in the business world.

The new screens are 1920 x 1200, so they can display full high-def graphics and also display up to 92 percent of the Adobe color gamet.  This makes the screen, not only good for business, but also ideal for artists.

This technology doesn’t come cheap, but for the business user the price may not seem too steep at $2,599.  After all, it can replace several other devices and functions in an office.  You can see it in action in the video below and also visit their web site for more info.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

Support my Show Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transfered .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Business Website Builder with free domain. Promo Code: cjcgncgot
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1

Dynamics Wants to Become Your Only Credit Card



Are you getting tired of those multiple cards stuffed into your wallet?  Dynamics is looking to lighten that wallet a bit, by reducing the cards you carry around to just one.  This isn’t just a credit card, but a credit card-sized computer.  The plastic card has a miniature chip built into it that allows you to switch the card’s magnetic strip between multiple different cards you own.

There are several different versions of this new card, depending on a user’s preferences.  These new cards are also completely water-proof, which I assume means washer-proof, which will save some time and stress in our home.  The cards are also much more secure than current credit cards because all data can be erased so that if it’s lost or stolen it will be useless to the person who gets it.

In addition to their innovative credit cards, Dynamics also offers a card that can hold a person’s complete medical records in case of an emergency.  You can find more about all of these by visiting the Dynamics site.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.

Support my Show Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transfered .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Business Website Builder with free domain. Promo Code: cjcgncgot
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1

Sococo Virtual Office Space



Sococo LogoSococo is a virtual office space for distributed teams, teleworkers and road-warriors that uses real-world metaphors to make them feel like they’re in the office. Andy gets face-to-face with CEO Chris Wheeler at CES 2012 Showstoppers.

Sococo Screenshot

As you can see from the screenshot above, Sococo creates a virtual world that is analogous to a workplace, with conference rooms, team rooms, personal offices, cubicles – I imagine there’s even a water cooler. Small avatars then represent colleagues and their activities, so if some of them are having an (online) meeting, they’ll be located in a conference room. If someone doesn’t want to be disturbed, they can close their office door, complete with sound effect!

Sococo has other collaboration tools, such as screen sharing, but even the simple office space representation makes people feel much more included and part of a team.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News and RV News Net.

Support my Show Sponsor:
30% off on New GoDaddy Orders cjcgnc30
$.99 for a New or Transfered .com cjcgnc99 @ GoDaddy.com
$1.00 / mo Economy Hosting with a free domain. Promo Code: cjcgnc1hs
$1.00 / mo Business Website Builder with free domain. Promo Code: cjcgncgot
$1.00 / mo Managed WordPress Hosting with free Domain. Promo Code: cjcgncwp1

The Loss of Tech Know-How



What do compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), LCD screens, rechargeable batteries, solar cells and integrated circuit packaging all have in common? They’re all technologies that the USA can no longer produce within the country itself and must rely on companies in Asia, such as Taiwan and China to manufacturer. The technology has effectively been lost to the US, having migrated from West to East as part of major purchasing deals.

These deals might be considered as best business practice too. The way it often works is that a US-based company develops a technology and a product, but a small part is subcontracted out to foreign 3rd party. Say a little daughter board. Time passes and the 3rd party comes back to the US company and offers to build not only the daughter board, but also the motherboard, and more cheaply too. The deal happens, it’s a success and profits are up all round. Time passes and the 3rd party comes back and offers to build not only the motherboard but the whole product and more cheaply too. The deal happens, it’s a success and profits are up all round. It’s all good.

What happens next? The once 3rd party contractor goes to a US-based major distributor or retail chain and offers to make them an own-brand version of the product more cheaply than the market leader, now having access to all the technology required to make the product without any assistance. Surprised? Don’t be; this is what happened between Dell and ASUSTeK but it’s a pattern that has been repeated in many industries and continues to be repeated.

If you want to know more, Forbes are running a series of articles by Steve Denning, starting with Why Amazon Can’t Make a Kindle in the USA, on the loss of technological expertise from the USA. I think they’re an excellent read that explains much of the world today, even if you don’t necessarily see the loss of know-how from the US as a bad thing. It’s also worth browsing some of the comments to see other people’s thoughts on the articles, especially those from other countries.


Innovating for a Digital Future



Over the past year, Deloitte have publish a short series on digital leadership and are wrapping it up with the final edition “Innovating for a Digital Future“.  Each publication looks at the different challenges facing leaders in the digital era particularly in the technology, media and telecoms industries.

This last one examines the challenges around innovation and how it’s possible to be innovative particularly within large organisations that feature heavily in the technology and telecoms arenas. Doing the research for the publication, Deloitte found three unexpected paradoxes.

1. Innovation is a social sport. It is not the preserve of “lone geniuses” yet it requires lone geniuses working effectively with others to make it work.

2. Innovation is somewhat anarchic and organisation can impede it. Innovation rates substantially increase when there is a large population of people, yet large organisations do not appear to gain an innovation premium. The construct of the organisation itself is in many ways anti-innovation.

3. “Good” failure is critical to the innovation process. For innovation to flourish organisations need to embrace failure, yet not many chief execs would survive if they made failure a virtue.

The research further suggests that leaders need to work across four areas to develop organisations that can successfully innovate.

1. Strategy and vision
2. Environment and culture
3. Organisation and design of work
4. Leadership and talent

Each of these areas is explored over a couple of pages and there are case studies as well. If you’ve done a Degree or Masters in management, you’ll find much of it familiar but there’s the odd nugget in there. For instance, the question is posed, “Innovation should have real monetary value attached to it. How many executives in organisations received bonuses based on innovation metrics?”

Overall, worth spending 15 mins to run through the material and see if there’s anything of interest. Also might be quite a good primer if you are trying to get innovation off the ground in your organisation.

The previous editions, “New Shapes and Sizes” and “Leadership at All Levels“, are still available for download as .pdfs.


The Master Switch



Once in a while, a book comes along that contains ground-breaking insights.  Such is the case with a book I’ve listened to over the past couple of days, the Audible audio book version of ‘The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires” by author Tim Wu.

“The Master Switch” is a compelling look into the history of major information industries such as the telegraph, the telephone, commercial broadcast radio, the commercial movie business, and commercial broadcast television. The book points out an identifiable, slowly-repeating cycle obviated by the fact that these industries were able to gain and hold monopoly status. Each in turn became quite adept at retarding disruptive technological innovations that threatened their respective business models.

Today we take an open Internet for granted, but these same and other forces are looking to take over control of the Internet and turn it into a closed, much more tightly-controlled system.

The book is extremely well written and well researched. The Audible audio book narrator Marc Vietor brings the book to life in a wonderful way.

Mr. Wu does a fantastic job of laying out the often-fascinating histories of companies such as Western Union, AT&T, NBC, etc. As consumers, we think we know these companies through their consumer advertising. The real history of these companies is often quite different and very eye opening.

If you enjoy stories about technology and business, you will almost certainly enjoy “The Master Switch” by Tim Wu.


RawVoice to Introduce Media on Demand Service @ NAB 2011



RawVoice will introduce a media on demand service at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas April 9-14!

The media on demand service will allow content creators, independent film artists, bands, educators and all others who create content to sell their premium content online and through over-the-top (OTT) television. This will give consumers a centralized location to find premium content that is not available through traditional video-on-demand channels. RawVoice MyCast® system will allow consumers to organize and play back on demand all of their purchased media on almost any device at any time.

This service will be introduced through a new channel on the Roku initially, and on its own media portal. Clients will be able to sell their media on a subscription or single play basis. With Roku integration, single click purchases of media will offer the same convenience of standard video on demand service that consumers are accustomed to.

RawVoice will be demonstrating the new media on demand service at NAB, and will sign content creators on site. Those not attending NAB can contact RAwVoice on their website. RawVoice will be formally rolling out the service several weeks following the show.

Source Link: RawVoice

Disclaimer: I am the CEO of RawVoice the company behind this roll-out.

My Comments: We have really worked hard to create a platform that will be good for consumers to find premium content while at the same time making it easy for the content creators to manage, price and get paid for their premium content. Discovery is going to play a big roll in this roll out and our success. Most content creators do not have sufficient discoverability aka Google juice for people to actually find their content. Our new portal of which we are not announcing the name of the site yet will go a long way in helping people find premium offerings.