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?

Multi-tasking: “Got Nothing on You”- or Me!

One of the first things we as individuals need to do is understand ourselves and how we operate. We eat, we sleep, we are good at problem solving, math, and public speaking, and we are awful at wearing our emotions on our sleeves and keeping our mouths shut at times. We play to our strengths, and hopefully build on our weaknesses to turn them into strengths. “We” understand.

(Side note, what do you wish you were better at?)

Over the course of the last few years, one of the competencies I felt I was strong in was the ability to multi-task. I could walk and talk, talk and drive, sing and run (and shower), talk and surf the web, all pretty easily without any sort of stress, exhaustion, or dwindled execution.

I’ve quickly come to realize that up until recently, I’ve been experiencing the pre-school BABY GAP version of the term.

Multi-tasking (thanks to Dictionary.com):

  1. computing  the execution of various diverse tasks simultaneously
  2. The carrying out of two or more tasks at the same time by one person

Now, at any given point during the day, I could be typing, speaking, reading, listening, sending, running, updating, tweeting, liking, RSS’ing (because that’s a word), spicing, pushing, calling, posting, blogging, eating, and breathing all AT THE SAME TIME!

It feels incredible. I’m forcing my brain to work harder than it ever has. I’m laughing more, getting more accomplished, and helping more people, and so far the only thing keeping me from more multi-tasking are the amount of monitors I can physically plug in, the speed in which the “refresh” button moves, and sleep.

As we all know, there is a fine line between productivity and diluted execution. I have made a pact (with myself and my company) that as long as I can execute at an optimum level, I will continue to push myself, but I cannot look myself in the mirror and think “I could have done more to help that person”.

So until then, cheers to you, Multi-task!

Can you do more? Should you do more? What’s your crazy multi-tasking story?

*Multi-tasking…commence.*

Facebook, the Run, and That Warm and Fuzzy Feeling (Part II)

Well Memorial Weekend is officially over with no chance of coming back for another 362 more days. And I have to say, the weather gods were definitely shining down on the New England states. With forecasts of thunderstorms and rain, the surprising eighty degree perfect weather we had once the family arrived was a tremendous uplift to the weekend! Visits to Foxwoods Casino, Providence, RI and the awesome “Water Fire” event, and the Cape for tremendous amounts of relaxation and food definitely accounted for numerous pictures uploaded to Facebook to document my travels.

I was taking pictures on my iPhone, then opening the Facebook application, then wiggling my nose to have them magically appear on my Facebook profile. Ta-Da!

*insert warm and fuzzy feeling once again*

Now I cannot confirm nor deny the validity of the countless articles that have touched on a deal struck between Facebook and EMC (see this link or this link). It makes complete and perfect sense and I would be not the least bit shocked if it holds true. However, if it does come out to be valid, EMC, Apple, and Facebook, three of the most iconic companies in their industries (or in the world for that matter) will all be joined at the hip by a pretty Isilon bow.

**Isilon, which EMC acquired late 2010, has been the driving technology behind storing, managing, and utilizing “big data”.companies of all sizes including AT&T, Apple, Northwestern University, Pechanga Resort & Casino, ABC,  NBC, and Rhythm & Hughes are using this technology to  not only enhance their technology environment and gain a competitive edge, but also streamline processes and save massive amounts on the bottom line.**

Take a second and think about where all of your information lives. Your bank accounts, your social landscape (i.e. email, cell-phone, and social-networking sites), your company’s information, your competitions information…

Someone and some company is behind all of it. Do you trust them with your information? Do you even know who they are!?

Facebook, the Run, and That Warm and Fuzzy Feeling (Part I of II)

There are those moments that I hope we’ve all had that literally take our breath away. Some of those moments may be sentimental, some exhilarating, and some gratifying. From your child’s first step or graduation day (or your own for that matter!), to your lottery winning realization, to crossing the finish line of your most recent race, to your company’s success, I wish that warm and fuzzy feeling upon us all.

Luckily for me, within the last week I have gotten the privilege of experiencing this feeling on more than one occasion. As mentioned on a previous post, I’ve been getting into habits that surround bicycles, tracks, sweat, chicken, and spinach. For a bit of motivation, I gave myself a few months to prepare for the Harpoon 5-Miler race. Mind you, I had never run farther than 3.1 miles at any given point in my life. In full disclosure, I had never run five miles until um…FOUR days before the race. But I digress…

This past Sunday was the race. Turning the last corner and seeing the finish line with my time above it was one of those warm and fuzzy feelings I know will never forget. A little bit of motivation sprinkled on top of hard work and consistency was my recipe for that success, and just after the finish line were three Harpoon beverages awaiting for my delicious dessert.

Fast forward past the soreness, sunburn, Lakers collapse and gloomy weather, and into this week. I had another one of those fuzzy feelings: EMC World. With all of the glitz, glamour, storage, and overwhelming use of the word “Transform”, I could not help but notice a SOCIAL theme intertwined throughout. With the level of importance that society, businesses, entertainment, and my current role places around social media, seeing things like EMC-TV, @EMCCorp, #EMCWorld, Greenplum Chorus, and EMCSocialSales on Facebook brought that warm and fuzzy feeling back again for a second time in two days.

#LoveIt!

Fast forward again past the triple monitors, rain, twitter handles, Spruce Pond rallies (if you have not heard of it, you’re missing out!) and softball debacles. I get to my email where I am swiftly cycling through my RSS feeds, and stumble across an article that I could not help but *like* (with an EMPHASIS on the word LIKE! 😉 ).

To be continued…

The Interview, the Sale, and the Glass House

Imagine you’ve been invited to the final round of interviews for your dream job at your dream company. They tell you there are two other finalists, whom you actually know. What are you going to prepare? What questions are you going to ask? Why are you the ideal candidate for the role? It’s your time to shine.

*Queue “Eye of the Tiger”*

There are several things to consider when preparing for an interview. So often we think of all the ways to amaze the interviewer or panel, blow away the competition, and sail off into the sunset holding hands with your new employer. Unfortunately, we often forget what NOT to do. Chewing gum, wearing bright colored suits, using profanity, and forgetting your resume are obvious no-no’s (I could not possibly create a full list of all of the ridiculous no-no’s, because the post would never actually end), but there is one no-no that trumps them all.

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT, talk negatively about other candidates! When explaining why you are the ideal candidate for their company, do not explain why others are not. Take your skillsets, your experiences, your background, and showcase and relate them to the company to bring a positive aura around you and the room. As soon as companies hear you bring negativity to the room (even if it is about others), you quickly lose credibility, and it shows a sense of panic and insecurity. A simple as “While others may do X, this is how my Y will bring you value.” goes worlds further than “They are unable to do X, Y, and Z, therefore you should pick me.”

If you are indeed the best fit, you should be able to stand on your own two feet and win the job solely on the value you bring to their organization. If you are unable to, then you must begin to realize that you may not be the best fit …my sincere apologies.

The act of interviewing begs us to think about the art of selling. When interviewing, you sell yourself- you are the product. The art of selling, therefore, should be about the product and not its competition. You should be constantly selling yourself, your goals, your company, your differentiated product, your strategy, and your value.

Is your goal to win, or is your goal to prove why others should not? Are you going to be that person? Are you going to be that company?

I hope not. Actually, maybe I hope you are… 🙂

The Obsession, the Chorus, and the Green Plum (Part II of II)

Most of us love to socialize. Instead of staring at a monitor, in a book, or any one of the monotonous tasks we love to hate and complain about, we’d rather stretch the legs, give the brain a break, or just talk to someone without constantly looking over our shoulder. Unfortunately, our jobs and responsibilities do not share the rules and guidelines around exactly how much social networking we’re able to do during a given day or week.

What if our employers promoted cross-functional networking to help promote innovation and collaboration? What if we could socialize with other business units to put our own stamp on the organization? Remember that immaculate idea you had that you’d only dream of sharing with high-level executives? You’d be able take over your company in no time!

Now as obvious of a stretch as that is, the theory behind it is not. Promote collaboration and innovation within your company, and you’ll be amazed where some of the ideas come from. Open the books, peel back the data sets, give everyone a blank paper and pen, and let all entities of the company give their insight into ways to better the company. The Chef could have the next largest supply chain process. The Marketing Assistant could come up with the next greatest product to sell. The CFO could come up with the next best technology.

*Music to the innovator’s ears*

Remember that innovative EMC company? Recently, EMC and Greenplum released Greenplum Chorus. Now businesses are able to safely share insights, problems, and creativity across their entire organization based on its own data and trends.  EMC and Greenplum have now enabled the power and desire of social networking to accelerate business innovation, transparency, and agility.

Social networking has become THE form of collaborative insight and opinions for the world. With this evolution, companies can use these networking capabilities to seek out uncharted revenue streams, untapped ideas, and unrealized potential that residing within their own walls.

So, what ideas are you simply holding onto?  What creativity are you socializing within your company?

The Obsession, the Chorus, and the Green Plum (Part I of II)

Over the last several years, social media has become more of a necessity than an option. For both the consumer and enterprise, engagement in social media has taken on an entirely new level of importance. For the consumer, we use social media for our entertainment, shopping decisions, job searches, recipes, dating lives, and the list can go on forever. In the enterprise space, companies are engaged in social media not only to advertise and evangelize their brands, but also to listen and respond to public opinion, both positive and negative.

We thrive off public opinion. Whether it’s Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, Spiceworks, Twitter, Pinterest, or any of the other (insert a number that is too ridiculous to research) social mediums, we constantly check, update, and interact in these social platforms to share and validate our everyday lives and opinions, teetering on the edge of OBSESSION.

For these social media empires, their missions are relatively universal:

Facebook– “To give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected”

Linkedin– “Connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful”

Pinterest (I still do not have one. Hmm…)-“Connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”

The common theme in this space is both simple and profitable, and the power of connection is a magical thing. As much as this movement has taken over, we’ve just scratched the surface.

What if we could use social networking within our own organizations to bring together business units that are normally never seen in the same room? Imagine being a marketing assistant for a large corporation and just strolling into the CEO’s office and giving your advice on a direction for the company. FAT CHANCE! Imagine an IT Admin actually listening to the Sales Team, or Marketing talking to Sales, or distribution talking to the finance team. Imagine the cafeteria conversations!

But why would these different business units actually want to converse or collaborate? Better yet, why would corporations want them to!?

*Cliffhanger*

To be continued…