Monday, December 28, 2009

Brevity Works

Brevity (noun): shortness of duration; shortness or conciseness of expression.

Read On:

· Got Milk?

· Just Do It.

· “Don’t leave home without it.”

· twitter – fastest growing social networking service via 140 character posts within a community of 55 million plus (last Nielson count).

· President Obama’s campaign mantra in 2008 – Hope & Change (Change We Need).

· Google’s Mission – Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

· Madonna.

· Unfriending.

· This blog.

Brevity Works!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beds of Nails

Chiropractor wannabes need to reconsider their future career goals in recognition of the contemporary Swedish variation of the traditional Hindu bed of nails. Before long, the Stockholm Christmas fad will spread to the States, further validating the “Diffusion of Innovations” theory.

Read On:
Swedish nail mats; a foam rubber pad embedded with hard plastic disks with sharp little spikes were first used by the yoga community in Sweden before it was accepted by the general population. Back in August, one of the largest manufacturers of the nail mats organized an event in a Stockholm park. Approximately 3,000 people showed-up, sitting or lying down on the mats. A majority of the people chanted or sang mantras while the rest slept. The event publicized the benefits of the mats, specifically as a cure for back ailments, relief from migraines and sleep problems. Boom, the bed of nails fad was born.

The origins of the “Diffusion of Innovations” theory vary, but were popularized by sociologist Everett Rogers back in the 60’s. In English, the diffusion model is an academic approach of statistically charting how innovative ideas or products spread through society. Diffusion researchers have charted five groups:

Innovators, the adventurous ones are the first individuals to adopt – in this case Sweden’s yoga community.

Early Adopters are the second group, larger in numbers, habitually informed opinion leaders. In Sweden, it was Susanna Lindelőw, a 46 year old woman who cured her lower back problems when she bought a mail order mat made in Russia. Consequently, in 2005 she started a company called Cura Comp and began manufacturing mats.

Early Majority, the third grouping according to the diffusion model, is slower in the adoption process. These individuals are now responsible for driving sales of approximately a dozen different brands being sold this Christmas in Sweden’s fitness stores and over the Internet.
Ikea has yet to jump on the bandwagon. When they do, they will most probably capitalize on the tail end of the Early Majority, as well as the fourth and fifth groups, those individuals that are slower and more adverse to change, the Late Majority and the Laggards.

So why should chiropractor wannabes reconsider their future career goals in the United States? Two reasons:

1.) Real simple – I guarantee that some well informed innovators, who are probably into yoga, read the same New York Times article I read back in November. Soon they will buy the mats over the Internet and begin spreading the word.

2.) The Swedish mats were first manufactured in Sweden and India. No surprise, China is now capitalizing on the fad and manufacturing low cost mats.

Personally, I am an Innovator, but I will be a Laggard when it comes to a bed of nails. My back is just fine. Besides, I prefer Advil.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Orchestrated Chaos

Have we become victims of the tyranny of technology?

Read On:
I was thumbing through the pages of my latest issue of Wired, when I became fixated on all the new mobile gear (a.k.a. gizmos) being marketed this holiday season. A netbook with 1 GB of RAM, 160-GB hard drive, 1.3-MP webcam, complete with a battery that lasts nine hours. Lightweight Bluetooth headphones with trouble-free call accept and in the words of the reviewer: “Awesome li-ion battery life – we got around six hours.” A self contained WiFi router (a.k.a. Portable Hot Spot), the same size of a stack of ten credit cards that fits in your pocket that can convert a 3G cellular signal into WiFi. Pages of 3G cellular phone ads all fighting for market share.

Detailed below are some of the things I began to think about after reviewing the new mobile gear:

1.) How many “Wired Road Warriors” will I encounter as I traverse around the country for my business in 2010? Will those I do encounter at least leave their gear in their rooms when they go out to dinner and socialize?

2.) Will all these devices mean that my communications will be returned on a timely/real time basis? Will I no longer receive out of the office, limited access to email messages?

3.) If everyone is wired, will I be able to connect my former way with the individual next to me on an airplane, in a waiting area during a flight delay, on a rental car bus, etc.? Something that personally resonates for me, given I got my job with the Quaker Oats Company in 1985 by sitting next to one of their key executives on a flight from New York to Chicago.

My query could go on, but the battery in my Dell computer is low. Therefore, I will conclude with one last thought. Are we wired to handle all this technology, thus become more productive or all our activity equates to orchestrated chaos?