Posts Tagged ‘google +’

Dear RIM,

(I hope you will receive this message via social media, since the decision you’re making has important consequences for your customers).

I’m speaking for myself and, to some extent, for all RIM customers. (Naturally, I encourage other customers to voice their own views.)

First, I want to thank you for the work you’ve done to date. I’ve been a loyal RIM customer and a brand ambassador when given the opportunity. Over the past two years, however, I’ve thought many times about switching to an iPhone or another competitor’s device.

While I continue to be happy with some of the features that sold me on you in the first place: amazing email functionality, superior security and your keyboard (I have a Bold 9900, and dig the device), I believe it’s high time RIM provides its customers some new reasons to remain loyal.

There was a great article in the NYT this weekend on Apple’s manufacturing which demonstrated the incredible emphasis Apple has on anticipating consumers’ needs during product development. It would be impossible for an Apple customer to read the article and not feel that Apple cares deeply about their product experience, considering even how their phone’s going to fare when placed in their pocket next to their housekeys. It’s a good read on American manufacturing that also touches on margins, work ethics and more.

I don’t have any special knowledge of RIM’s product development methodology and so can’t make a comparison. If RIM is working in similar fashion to Apple, planning a future with its customers based on their needs, I’d be glad to know about it. The way I see it, RIM and I are and have been in a relationship. I suppose I’m asking what RIM’s commitment to me is and what it’s done for me lately.

Relationships involve getting better at what you’re already really good at, learning what the other person really wants from you and then working on being more of whatever that is. For RIM, this should involve embracing niche markets and developing more of what they want.

I’m not going to give a full list of what I need from RIM right now but there are undoubtedly areas for improvement that benefit us both. These have to include merchant abilities (possibly in the works), a secured merchant app so I can have outside sales reps for my software company accept payments. One new reason why this is important is that Square, one of the most popular services, isn’t available for Blackberry This would really make us both happier. Mobile merchant services is not a bad look considering…

I feel we aren’t communicating well. Maybe you have plans I’m not aware of—things that would allow me to worry less and be more enthusiastic about our future. I know, financially, you’re stressed out right now. Frankly, it’s that way for a lot of companies, so know you’re not alone and you’re in a better place than many others, I’m here to support you for the long haul. However, you can’t ignore that I’ve made plenty of sacrifices to be in this relationship. It’s time for you to reciprocate by making some compromises of your own.

I think it would be cool to see you working on a highly publicized incubator to build enhancements to the Blackberry experience. Make it fun, challenging (independent of your existing culture) and really focus this on utilization of existing customers; score us and the ROI on each of us.

You can’t be everything to everyone, so prioritizing our relationship right now is pretty important. Think beyond startups. Look for mobile companies and software that will really benefit your customers and help them provide products to us (Right now, they’re almost all very focused on Apple IOS and Android, understandably so). When I say “highly publicized,” I don’t mean a reality show, I mean publicized on social media and communicated to me and my friends and then their friends…because that’s how it works. Think Kickstarter concepts for RIM (not literally); source the interest from me, don’t be afraid to ask. You haven’t asked about me in a long time.

Another idea, Vlingo! I used the Christmas credit you gave me (thank you!) so it was free. That was cool because I was already testing the free trial, is there a way to work more closely with them? Are you already doing that? They’re the same company as Siri, right, but I tested Siri and, well, Vlingo needs work but has potential. I would just be cautious on advertising it too soon, I think there’s a way to find out what help Vlingo may need, what challenges they have, and what it would take for Vlingo deliver the best version possible to Blackberry users and then make it happen!

Well RIM you know how to reach me…

Cheers –

Brian Rice

I wake up pretty early everyday (between 4:30 and 5:30) and I used to get a glass of water and start getting ready for work. For a few reasons I “jump into the day” but mainly because I wake with my mind already messing with me and reminding me how much I have to do each day (otherwise known as anxiety).

Also I like getting to the office before everybody to enjoy the silence and organize before the rush of tasks and issues begin.
I was never really crazy about coffee at home because I only knew how to make mud, however my love B she really looks forward to that morning cup of coffee and she also starts her day later than I do because she is better at “The Daily Practice” (by  +james altucher ) than I am.

She enjoys the morning, spends time with our dog Edgar, exercises, and works a bit from home. I am jealous when she tells me later in the evening about her mornings versus mine and she is actually so many times more efficient than I am through the day.

So my goals every morning were to be as quiet as possible and get ready in the dark as well as other parts of the house being as careful as possible not to wake B and Edgar. I thought this was a nice thing to do…

I work quite a bit and I usually think working super hard for about a year allows me to plan a small vacation with B and turn off the world for us but that year started becoming 2 years and the weekends started being work weekends as I took on building new software. So I thought plan bigger and then I can show B how much I love her with a longer vacation next time.

That’s man thinking big things to show big love!!!

So it turns out me sneaking out of the house in the morning was a big deal to B because I wasn’t even really saying good morning or spending just a few minutes with her before the day kicked in. So what I thought was showing love and care was actually showing signs that I wasn’t showing how much my love for her is a priority.

So I decided to learn how to make the greatest cup of coffee possible, adding spices and different creamers to create new flavors for us. Now I will not leave the house until I am ready, have made the coffee and spend some time with B sipping our coffee and either talking or just sitting in bed before I rush out the door.
Making a cup of coffee didn’t seem to be a sign of affection and priorities but as it turns out I was WRONG.

B loves the coffee I make and both our days start out better because of the coffee and those few extra minutes together. This went a long way and really helped me calm my anxieties before rushing off to the office or a meeting. But most importantly I left feeling really loved and appreciated…great way to feel starting a day I must tell you!

That’s woman thinking small things to show big love!!!

I really look forward each morning to perfecting that coffee and carrying it upstairs to B. I must say DD has nothing on my coffee now and my mornings are so pleasant they make my whole day better.

B is my love, my heart, and my best friend, or for music My Best Thing – Usher & Jay Z

I originally posted this on another blog on April 28, 2011, I believe right now Google + is in the top running for this title but it’s just too early to tell. But I will keep you posted and I recommend trying g+ if you haven’t already…it’s different.

It ALL starts with an idea…

Back in March, like most, I was constantly checking the news to read about the tsunami in Japan.  It is a tragic situation and a harsh reminder of the fragility of life.

Amidst the daily accounts of the increasing death toll, unaccounted persons list and the grave dangers of nuclear meltdown, a story ran about AFLAC terminating its relationship with Gilbert Gottfried based on tweets that he made regarding the disaster. I found it interesting that so much media attention was placed on this rather than the true tragedy at hand.  That being the case, I generated an idea for AFLAC and reached out to a friend who has had prior business dealings with them.

“Howard I have an idea for Aflac! Have you read the news about Gilbert    Gottfried?”

I went on to explain to Howard that I felt this was the perfect opportunity for AFLAC to have a contest to determine who should be the next voice of the AFLAC duck.  AFLAC, in my opinion, has always seemed to face challenges in the education of consumers of the wide scope of products AFLAC has to offer.  They are, undoubtedly, brilliant at clearly defining their brand but does the consumer truly know all of the products that they offer?  Here was an opportunity to take an idea and create a plan based upon consumer engagement allowing more focused messages to be sent to an audience.

The contest idea isn’t always the right idea or a good idea for a brand unless it is timed right, attached to the right content and goals, and has a plan for further engagement steps for the advertiser and the audience to enhance an existing relationship or start building a new one.

Who stole my idea? or Great Minds Like Alike

Many great marketers think alike and, shortly after my call with Howard, AFLAC announced the contest to find the new voice of the AFLAC duck.  I had just formulated this concept and discussed it with Howard and the next thing I know the idea had already been hatched.   Unfortunately, we were beaten to the punch and did not get the opportunity to work on the concept.

I am not sure how AFLAC and their agency partners were gauging the metrics for the campaign but I did read that there were 12,500 people that sent in copy for the contest and I am sure millions of impressions across all media channels.  After all the creatives were evaluated a winner was named….

It all starts with an ideafrom content, creative, audience, data, and off to planning the budget.

Present and future media is about being able to better understand and quantify an idea, its goals, and the possible results,  from that point it’s about taking that data and making it actionable so the life of the idea continues and morphs into new ideas. I

We have LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. We have blogs.  We have so many communication tools and locations for everyone to have a voice and be heard. Whether someone is in an industry or just has an opinion or an idea our voices can be heard. But who is listening and are the right people listening at the right time?
I start my day early visiting my favorite blogs, reading the news, and relying on my Google Reader for new ideas. It would be great to have a place where the ideas can be placed in front of the right audience at the right time by the most likely and skilled people to the most unlikely, but interested, person or consumer.  In my opinion this is truly embracing “out of the box” strategy as well as entrepreneurial thinking for small businesses to the world’s largest brands.

Ingenuity, creativity and innovation are the prey in my daily hunt.  I share this constant yearning with many other like minded individuals and crave a place to consume and be fed this information based on my reading and searching habits.  Heck, Amazon and Netflix tell me what I would like as a consumer so why can’t their be a site to provoke and inspire creative thought for the sake of intellectual stimulation?

If such a place exists please let me know and I will apologize then for not being aware of this place I would like to go.  I may have just quoted the late Theodor Geisel but he surely would have been able to direct me.