The Buyer in Me

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Puzzle (1)If “Innovation” had a twitter account, its following would be near infinite. Seriously. Companies and entrepreneurs all over the globe, in almost every industry, are constantly looking for new ways to bring products/services to a target audience.

“What can we bring to our customers that will positively disrupt their everyday lives?”

But who knows what we as the target audience actually wants or needs? One could argue that the greatest of innovators are those who bring disruptive technologies/products/services to the table that nobody knows they actually need. So how do companies build their target audience? How do they market their innovation? How do they know what we care about? Far too often I feel companies lose track of what we want, and try and force-feed us with things without digging enough into the minds of the buyer.

Well innovators, this blog is for you! Who is the buyer in me, you ask?

From laptop to cell phone, cars to gym shoes, storage arrays to activity trackers, your best bet to my wallet is to follow these simple instructions. 

Make it work…well. Make it easy. Make it last. Make it sexy.

#Macbook #iPhone #Audi #NikeFree #EMC #Fitbit

That’s the buyer in me…

Who’s the buyer in you?

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The Failure, the Innovator, and the Filet-O-Fish

Would you rather solidify 2nd place, or risk everything you have for a chance at winning? In a perfect world we’d like have both as an option. But if it had to be one or the other, which would you choose? We are all faced with this question routinely. Whether it is at work, at the gym, at social functions, or in school, we are all constantly comparing and evaluating the risk of change with the safety and ease of stagnation.

Entrepreneurs and businesses are constantly searching for and creating the next BIG innovation to take the world by storm. They take chances, they risk losing everything. Some of the most well-known and successful companies in the world are backed by entrepreneurs and innovators who continuously push the boundaries within their industry.

What is the common thread that ties industry giants like, Ford, Honda, Microsoft, Macy’s, and McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish together?

Failure.

Today, they all represent billion dollar successes, but not before their creators failed. Henry Ford went bankrupt after Detroit Automobile tanked. Soichiro Honda was rejected by Toyota when he went for a job interview. Bill Gates’ Traf-O-Data fizzled rapidly before he went on to start Microsoft. Macy’s tanked in their initial venture in Massachusetts, only to try again two years later in New York to become the behemoth it is today. And the Filet-O-Fish? Well, that happened only because McDonalds whiffed on the Hula Burger (pineapple, cheese, and bun…gross!)!

“You can fail 100 times as long as you succeed once” -Soichiro Honda

Failure should be promoted and welcomed within any company. If we as individuals are not taking chances and failing, how will we ever push the boundaries? When you’re done with this post, do yourself a favor and watch this video on Honda’s “Secret to Success”. It’s a raw and honest video of their company’s values.

Madison Mobley (@Build_A_Cloud), a mentor of mine once told me, “The faster you make 1,000 mistakes, the faster you’ll become successful as long as you learn from them.”

When was the last time you failed? When was the last time the company you represent failed? For me, I welcome risk and failure, I thrive on change. The company I represent is full of warm-welcomed innovators. It is not afraid to risk failure and to take chances, which I believe is why it has become the leader it is today.

So, are you ready to race?

The Shopper, the Sport, and The Twilight Zone…and VSPEX!? (Part III of III)

We purchase to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. We purchase so others can be happy. We purchase to stay ahead of our competition. Within the corporate world, it doesn’t change much. Initiatives surrounding business agility, efficiency, and simplicity have become top priority to the majority of companies worldwide. Within IT, companies of all sizes turn to security, storage consolidation, virtualization, backup, and disaster recovery to meet these business initiatives.

With the complexities of these technologies and strategies at an all-time high, we turn to manufacturers and resellers to provide them with the best fit solution for their needs.

But who actually owns responsibility to find the best fit? Quite simply, if we (consumers) want a strategy implemented, we must purchase strategically. As obvious as this seems, very few companies live by this. We bluff, hide, lie, and disregard all kinds of information that if used and explained correctly, would make our experience and decisions much easier, and the process much more streamlined.

The canyon between the buyer and seller is much wider than it needs to be. In order to close this gap, instead of simply asking for a product under $X, that would fit for Y, why not divulge what our current challenges and goals are, and then ask for the best referenced solution to support them?

In the realm of IT, value is key. Not only are companies searching for the best product, but they are looking for the most features and flexibility, along with support to help with implementation and troubleshooting. Price is important, but not as much as value when the bloodline of the business (its information) is at stake. The partners your business aligns with, and the technology you choose to fit your business needs, are most important.

Today (quite literally), you’re seeing the importance of value and relationships addressed with EMC’s announcement of VSPEX. Leaders in the industry including Cisco, Microsoft, VMWare, Intel, Dell and HP (crazy, right!?), Brocade, and Citrix have all come together with EMC to deliver guaranteed interoperability and integration throughout the data center. With this pre-packaged out-of-the-box solution, networking, storage, virtualization, and support initiatives are all solved with the best technologies in the industry.

So what does this mean for customers, partners, and the manufacturer? Today, businesses are yearning for value. They are constantly looking for strategies to provide less risk and less complexity, more agility and more flexibility. The VSPEX is just that. VSPEX provides any organization the opportunity to develop relationships with the worldwide leaders in IT to help springboard its business initiatives to efficient resolution.

The Blackberry, the Uppercut, and EMC

On June 29, 2007, Apple entered the Smartphone Arena and released the iPhone to answer the desires and challenges of cell phone users globally. Immediately after the launch, cellphone giants such as RIM (Blackberry), Motorola, and Nokia scrambled as the entire smartphone industry changed overnight. The best tactic RIM could think of to combat the sudden iPhone craze was to say (paraphrased), “No way that’s possible! Apple is lying, the battery cannot last that long. The iPhone won’t last.”

“Anger at lies lasts forever. Anger at truth can’t last.”- Greg Evans

Since then, RIM has been fighting a bloody tag-team battle against both Android and Apple in the consumer smartphone arena. Finally, after years of pathetic concepts, launches, and smoke and mirrors, RIM was forced to tap out. In the wake of this release, Blackberry also announced their CTO and COO were leaving the company. Coincidence!?…

Now, this same scenario is happening in the Data Center Storage Arena. In January, 2011, EMC entered the Small/Medium Business (SMB) market which was previously owned by Dell and Netapp. Immediately after EMC’s product launch and release of the VNXe storage strategy, both the competition and the general public raced to give their official statements, reviews, and predictions of this bold move.

15 Best Products of 2011

2011 Tech Innovator Award Winners

A little over a year later, after multiple awards and rave reviews, EMC is poised to displace its competition the same way Apple did in 2007. Just as RIM, Nokia, and Motorola failed in 2007, the competition has yet to respond to EMC. Will competitors continue to belittle the technology and rest on their laurels while EMC innovates, or will they step up to compete with the VNXe?

At the end of the day, it is up to manufacturers to bring us a product that is tailored around our needs, and answers our daily challenges. Apple has done it. Android has done it. EMC is doing it. Who’s next?

“Rip and Replace”- The Consumer/Manufacturer Battle Royale

“Rip and Replace”- The Consumer/Manufacturer Battle Royale.

“Rip and Replace”- The Consumer/Manufacturer Battle Royale

What makes the greatest companies in the world so prodigious? Why do consumers line up days or even weeks before a release just to spend their money? What is it that keeps the prospecting and existing customers begging for something “harder, better, faster, stronger”?

As much as Daft Punk and Kanye West would like to take credit, there is a much larger culprit that is helping the common folk gladly fork out their change. As I sat down at my computer watching the release of “The New iPad” (which btw, WHY would Apple call it that!? What happens next year when the new-er iPad comes out? Mass confusion and frustration will soon circumvent the globe.), I immediately thought about the reasons why people would purchase one. It’s better, faster, stronger, prettier, and it’s Apple, and therefore people are going to buy.

The New iPad is just a microcosm of the idea of what I’ve come to learn as “Rip and Replace”. From tablets and televisions, phones and computers, to automobiles and storage arrays, rip and replace is everywhere, and we love to hate it. Nonetheless, are we ever going to ask Apple to stop innovating? Are we going to ask EMC or VMware to stop innovating? Are we going to ask Audi to stop improving their already stellar cars?

As much as we dislike spending money on technology that at one time did all we needed it to do, innovation from these market leaders are what push the boundaries of technology, and helps us streamline all avenues of our hustle and bustle lives.