business

When the Cornerplay turned 100, I highlighted my 22 favorite posts. It feels much too soon to do that again, so for this milestone, will instead share what I’ve learned.

Google is king. That’s been the biggest surprise for me so far. The Cornerplay is syndicated weekly on TechSpot and e27 — two fine publications — primarily because as a casual writer, my objective is to be read. Yet, the largest referrer of traffic by FAR is Google. Nearly 27% of all traffic came from Google search and the next largest is 6%.

For example, Googling “the credit card information is not valid. please check your entries carefully.” will get you my article about Sony’s epic failure to process payments on PSN as the top result (as of this writing). I guess I’m the only person who wrote about it outside of forums and the like. It suggests long tail topics — especially those about consumer pain points that aren’t addressed — can generate enduring traffic from Google.

It’s depressing if you think about it. For publishers, it’s no longer about building an audience who loves your content and checks in everyday, even if via RSS or Twitter. That path takes a lot of time and money. No, if you want to become a business, it’s about getting Google to like you and send you traffic. Or becoming click-bait central and relying on Facebook to go viral.

That’s if you’re in the game of building traffic. Fortunately, I’m in the game of writing about whatever is interesting, so I can speculate what winning might require and then proceed to ignore it. Nevertheless, here’s more about the Cornerplay, 200 days in:

Read Full Article

I had dinner with a friend a few months ago. He is the head of a 500-person company, and he was telling me how he wished there was an off-the-shelf mobile app they can use as an internal directory for his company, given the company was at a size where not everyone knew everyone. So that he could walk into a meeting and his phone would tell him who everyone is, what they do and how he can reach them later.

I told him Yammer was probably that product. He had never heard of Yammer. A few weeks later I followed up to see whether he had installed Yammer and he said no, he was too busy to get around to it.

The Financial Times is now reporting that Facebook is testing a Facebook at Work product. Or, basically, another Yammer; a closed social network for companies. The reason why I think it can work is the reason my friend hasn’t heard of Yammer — everyone knows Facebook and is already on it.

Read Full Article

Yesterday, I wrote about how difficult it is to make decisions based on either business analysis or product vision. It’s a tension most large technology companies struggle to balance.

Of all the leaders I’ve read about, Larry Page of Google seems to have the best approach to addressing that tension with his moonshots strategy.

A quick recap: “moonshots” in Google are projects that aim to achieve 10x improvements vs. say, 10%.  10% means you’re doing what everyone else is doing.  You probably won’t fail, but you won’t break new ground either.  To disrupt an industry, you need more than a 10% increment, you need a 1000% quantum leap.  The only way to do that is to re-think everything, re-examine assumptions everyone else forgot to challenge.

Read Full Article