After some general summaries of The Next Web Europe 2016 (Day 1, Day 2), the time has come for some inspiring thoughts. As we deal with eCommerce every day, these aspects certainly interest us the most. A true must-read for all eCommerce Managers and not only them!
I have listened to Gary Vaynerchuk for the first time and I have to admit that his presentation is a real energy bomb. Gary spoke primarily about giving without expecting something in return. We’ve known about that already. What was interesting to me was talking about widening founder personality. As entrepreneurs, we must be aware of ourselves. If you want to be the next Steve Jobs but you don’t have his features of character, do not fool yourself. Gary conducts his businesses to in a way that agrees with his DNA – it’s dynamic, pragmatic and open at the same time. So let’s answer the question: Is your daily work a reflection of what you really are, do you build values in which you believe? Gary also said one more interesting thing – first build a business, then the personal branding. Do you start building your business from PR? You’re wasting your time. First, do something.
The strategy of investing in innovation
Gary doesn’t foresee trends – instead, he analyzes what is happening today. He invests in areas that have already proven that they grow fast, but his execution is so fast that he gains an advantage anyway. This allows him to use the new trends in technology without risk. Fast execution is therefore a key advantage of his business. The key here is the possibility to analyze what is happening in the market. This subject was also discussed by Or Offer from SimilarWeb. He presented the sources of Periscope growth (excellent synergy with Twitter, but also the ecosystem of related services built on Persicope) as well as Reddit as a powerful source of traffic (the second largest source of traffic from Social Media). Analytical tools can be used to reverse engineer the mechanics of customer acquisition. Do you use these tools to know and understand how your competitors gain customers?
In an interesting interview with Robert Gentz, we learned that Zalando creates Operating System for Fashion. It’s clear that everyone wants to create a kind of marketplace. This model enables rapid scaling without cost and risk of storage. Does your eCommerce model enable that? What would happen if you extended your range of products 10 times? Our client, TIM SA, operating in B2B, increased their number of products from 40 000 to almost 150 000 thanks to the marketplace model, yielding significant increase in business on already acquired customers.
Stacy Brown-Philpot from Task Rabbit also talked about how the transition from the auction model to on-demand model allowed them to combine business growth with an increase in customer satisfaction. They achieved this because the marketplace model with guaranteed quality (time, price) is very convenient for customers.
Strategy of using ready-made components
Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO, told about an interesting experiment. Two groups of developers had to solve an advanced problem associated with automatic grouping of customer feedback. A group of 2 experienced developers needed 45 days to develop an application running with a 92% accuracy. The same level of accuracy was obtained by a novice developer after 20 minutes. How is it possible? He didn’t know his game so well so he took advantage of the ready-made solutions :) Through this example Werner communicates that there are plenty of ready-made solutions even for advanced problems, and there is no better time than today to start building smart applications using ready-made solutions. Amazon is part of this trend, along with Google, IBM and Facebook, providing the tools for developers to build applications based on AI methods.
Do you analyze what can you do in your business using ready modules on a regular basis? Perhaps you can now carry out business experiments that would be too expensive to implement a year or two ago?
Jason Fried, a co-founder of Basecamp is one of my gurus. We show his book, ReWork, to each and every employee in Divante. Today I had the opportunity to meet and listen to this man.
Below I present his most interesting thoughts (for me) and the ones you simply can’t disagree with:
1) Slow down. Take time to think. We all think too little. The work is very difficult place to think.
2) Technology doesn’t make people happier. It seldom happens, e.g. in the case of technologies that enable communication. Communication tools like chats, notifications etc., simply make us more nervous. They distract us and force to detach from work continuously. A communicator as a tool can be useful but replacing email with it leads directly to forcing immediate response and it’s very dangerous for productivity (see below).
3) A good colleague knows that communication can’t hinder your work. Don’t expect an immediate response. They are necessary only in very rare situations. Try to introduce the principle of a slow but precise communication. Two days to respond to an email is OK :)
4) The best advice for productivity: do less. Your attention is limited. Practice saying ‘no’.