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Anthony Noto was just names CEO of SoFi, the online banking lender. Mr. Noto came to my attention when named chief marketing officer of Twitter – with nary a marketing bone in his body. He was hired as Twitter’s CFO, then slid over into marketing side of the house (two hats) after spending time at Goldman Sachs and the NFL. The gent knows finance and business. And gets technology, but he’s no nerd. I’m betting he’ll really find his footing at SoFi. Having spent time with Jack Dorsey and absorbing the Square’s platform and financial designs, he’ll have a nice non-Goldman view of the world.
Still not sure if Mr. Noto is a marketer but marketing is easier with a great product. And I’m guessing he’ll be able to take Sofi’s gerrymander-the-lending-market approach and build some smart products.
Money, be it paper or digits, isn’t going away. And Mr. Noto is back where he belongs with some nice learning along the way.
Tags: Anthony noto, Jack Dorsey, sofi, twitter, whats the idea, whatstheidea
While Mark Zuckerberg slept in his Harvard bed dreaming about the future of Facebook, do you think he ever wondered if it might be big enough to impact a national presidential election? I’m guessing not. But he may have.
I was at a start-up called Zuide.com when Zuck had 18M users. Both web apps allowed users to build their own website, but with Zude you used objects. Facebook was database driven. In my dreams, it was understood that social networks could be used for good and evil.
Social network can and will be abused. Even journalistic instruments are abused. When “the people” are in charge of content you have to know fake and manipulative information will happen. So when Twitter, Google and Facebook went to capital hill yesterday, no one should be been surprised spankings would be meted out. Not yesterday, not 10 years ago.
Mr. Zuckerberg should have known it would happen. Perhaps not to the extent it did. Not to the point where the world’s leading democracy would be soiled…but he knew. And now we all must fix it. People must be responsible too. Just as we now can detect phishing schemes in our email, we must learn to root out false information.
Shouldn’t have taken so long. Shame on Silicon Valley.
Tags: facebook, google, harvard, mark zuckerberg, Russian influence on presidential election, silicon valley, twitter, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I help companies help themselves. Brand strategy isn’t a tool. It’s an organizing principle for tools. The thing about brand strategy is, if you don’t believe it and follow it, it’s worthless. If you don’t enculturate it into the company to truly drive innovation, experience and customer facing communications, you’re not in compliance. Effectively you are driving the car with no destination. Or a destination of “make more money.”
I see lots of consultants on Twitter who start their profile descriptions saying “I help companies optimize their quack quack quack…” Brand strategy puts the keys in the company hands, not the consultant’s. Stakeholders who understand this are the ones who succeed.
When you sign up for a new website or app you have to read and acknowledge the disclaimer. As a business practice, I should have customers sign a disclaimer statement that they will actively comply with the principles of the brand strategy.
Hmm. I like it.
Tags: brand strategy compliance, brand strategy consulting, brand strategy is not a tool, twitter, whats the idea, whatstheidea
People often ask me how I use the different social media properties. My answer: Facebook is for friends, LinkedIn for business network, Instagram for pictures and my artier side and Twitter, well, Twitter it’s just “me.” It reflects my personality. What does that mean? Honestly, and I can’t believe I’m going to say this, it’s about my personal brand. The total me — reflecting my unadorned personality and complete life interests. As a brand planner, I can often get to a person’s persona fastest thru Twitter.
Point two. Twitter is up on the shopping block, with many names bandied about as possible buyers, but one name is missing. There is one social play that remains happily on the sideline. One player who will benefit the most if Twitter gets absorbed into something else – screwed up by another owner who tries to monetize and grow it beyond the current 330M users. And that’s Facebook. If Twitter starts to suck and becomes something it shouldn’t be, Facebook will win by default.
Twitter is important. It’s not for everybody, but it is for everybody. You can’t watch TV or read a paper without some reference to Twitter. Nations and wars will be lost and won because of Twitter.
Tags: brand planner, facebook wants twitter to fail, twitter, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Twitter needs to start charging for its service. I don’t like to pay for anything but Twitter is something I’d happily go to the old dusty wallet for. Especially if it keeps out some of the riff raff. Twitter should not sell to another ad-focused company with an intent of getting bigger. It should charge and be more profitable. And stay smaller. (As if 300 million custies is small.) And with a smaller, paying customer base, the advertising product would likely be better and extract more margin.
So then the next question is “What would people be willing to pay for Twitter?” How about $20 a year? That’s two chicken wraps with cheese per month. Say 40% of users drop out — you’d still be booking $3.6B in fee revenue.
Twitter is part of our media world. It may not be for everybody but it is a world-flattening necessity. Don’t sell it off like some underperforming service company. That would be crazy short-sighted.
Massifying free web services is only for low-value properties. That certainly doesn’t describe Twitter.
Tags: articels about twitter sale, start charging for twitter, twitter, twitter sale, twitter subscription fee, whats the idea, whatstheidea
Fred Wilson VC from Union Square Partners and a blogging hero of mine was quoted today on AVC as saying “…it hasn’t been that easy for a seller to be creative on social networks. Posting a link to their shop on facebook, or tweeting or pinning their latest item is fine. But doing that over and over quickly gets boring for everyone.”
Social networks are template based mediums. You know what else is a template based media? Broadcast advertising: TV and radio. And they tend to suffer a similar fate. So how do advertising agents break the broadcast template? I think we try to make it twitch-able. (A twitch being a media move from one device to another in search of clarification.) Shazam is something that can do this. Twitter too. But no one has done a great, breakthrough job with these technologies in broadcast yet. It’s coming.
So what’s the Idea? Send me your thoughts (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can break out of this broadcast boredom cycle.
Tags: avc, fred Wilson, marketing innovation, media twitch, shazam, twitch point planning, twitter, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I’m sure Jack Dorsey is superman. But this whole dual CEO thing makes me a little crazy. Not a fan. It’s hard enough to run a prosperous company as a single person — but to split time between two companies with one public and under intense pressure and scrutiny? It’s not a recipe for success. Mr. Dorsey must know this. Perhaps it’s an ego thing. Even if his brain is two times bigger than the average executive, he’d be better off focusing his full attention on one company…as he did as when helping found Twitter. Leave Square to someone else for a few years.
Twitter is way more than a technology company. It’s a learning company. A news company. A comms company. An earth flattening company.
Part of the problem today for Twitter is earnings. That’s what happened to public technology companies. As an advertising medium Twitter is average at best. It wasn’t built for advertising. Imagine shutting down the emerging America railroad system before it crossed the country because it couldn’t sell enough ads on the sides of trains to pay for the rails.
Let’s all take a breath. Rushing Mr. Dorsey into accepting half-a-job and putting pressure on him to deliver revenue before its time is a mistake. The outcome won’t be pretty long term. (Hope I’m wrong.)
Tags: america’s newest CE, half-a-job, Jack Dorsey, twitter, twitter advertising problem, whats the idea, whatstheidea
I love Twitter. It is what it is. As with human lovers the attraction is different for everyone. Chris Sacca, an early investor and dude who is away smarter than me. Okay, way way smarter, suggests the way forward for Twitter and soon to be new CEO is to focus on live events. Farhad Manjoo a NYT tech correspondent agrees. If that happens, I’m afraid the app will revolve around a behaviors that are no doubt powerful and bursty but that will remove the serendipity of Twitter. 300M people are using Twitter just fine thank you. Learn to live with it. Allow it to mature and follow user instincts. Don’t gorge on what I once called the Google’s “culture of technological obesity.”
For me what is so special about Twitter – and this is just me – is that the app truly reflects an individual’s complete personality. It’s not about friends. It’s not all business. It’s not a public picture book. It’s life from every corner.
As a brand planner, when I do homework on a consumer, I’d study his/her Twitter feed. I may look at original posts first rather than retweets and curated OPC (other people’s content). For users with more than 1000 tweets this is a wonderful visage – a view into their soul. It’s a look at the total person. You get to see happy tweets, sad tweets, angry tweets. Indignant tweets.
If we follow Mr. Sacca and Mr. Manjoo’s advice, that visage will be stunted. Please don’t try to fix Twitter. Let it fix itself. It’s alive.
Learn to be happy with who you are. Live within your means. You are changing the world. Peace!
Tags: chris sacca, Farhad manjoo, googles culture of technological obesity, twitter, twitters new ceo, whats the idea, whatsatheidea