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Pragmatic Marketing is thrilled to sponsor ProductCamp Austin – the 4th for Austin – on March 27.
ProductCamp Austin is being held a the AT&T Conference Center on the University of Texas campus. I stayed there in 2009. It's a fantastic facility.
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX 78705
You can get more details at http://www.barcamp.org/ProductCampAustinSpring2010.
Register at http://productcampaustin0327.eventbrite.com/
Submit your session ideas at http://www.barcamp.org/ProductCampAustinSpring2010Sessions
Look for the Pragmatic Marketing guys. You can’t miss them. They have the distinctive Pragmatic Marketing Framework tattoo.
Much of what has been written about the iPad are on its features. To look merely at features from a technology standpoint is completely missing the point. It’s about what the iPad could do.
Have you considered what the iPad could do for K-12 and secondary education?
First some facts…
The sweet spot for the iPad – in my humble opinion – is the education market. A 10-hour battery life means students can use the iPad all day without worrying about recharging. The cost of textbooks for school districts (and parents of private school kids who shell out big bucks for books) will be dramatically lower because distribution costs will be virtually zero. Revisions to textbooks in iBooks format will be painless and frequent. New material can be added as easily as software is updated today and then distributed as a patch. Students would never be afraid to write in the margins because they could do so electronically. Teachers could distribute homework assignments and lectures over the air. Kids with learning disabilities could be reached in new and creative ways.
Imagine being a history student learning about the civil rights movement. Your assignment is to read about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Not only would you be able to read about Dr. King, you could instantly see the “I have a dream” speech without leaving your iBooks history book. Sweet.
Folks, the iPad is a game changer. If Apple can do for the K-12 textbook market what they did for music, the iPad will change forever the way kids are taught in school. And we haven’t even touched on the college market.
The initial buyers for the iPad will be techies like you and me. Then the next wave will be high schools. Followed by middle schools and elementary schools. Leading universities will force publishers to open up more of their content to the iBooks format. The old-school ways of the publishing industry will crumble as a new world order emerges.
"Major textbook publishers have struck deals with software company ScrollMotion Inc. to adapt their textbooks for the electronic page, as the industry embraces a hope that digital devices such as Apple Inc.'s iPad will transform the classroom."
Google has a cool new feature called the Wonder Wheel. For those of us who regularly use Google as a business tool, this is a fantastic addition.
As you search using Wonder Wheel, topical extensions are shown around the perimeter of the previous search term. Below is a screen shot of a search that started with “product launch” and then to “product launch strategy”. Note the terms around “product launch strategy” include “product positioning”, “product launch secrets”, “product launch metrics” and “product launch campaign” as well as a few others.
Instead of searching through a page of results you get them neatly organized by topical area.
This weekend I decided to download and install Windows 7 RC on the PC in our kitchen. It’s a few years old and with the kids pounding on it (sometimes literally) was time to wipe it clean anyway. Through countless downloads of crap from untold number of game sites it had gotten sluggish. So I decided to surface my inner geek and load Windows 7 on it.
First a little about the PC. It’s a Compaq Presario SR1910NX with an AMD Sempron 3200+ processor, 1GB ram, a 120GB hard drive, and an upgraded video card (256MB I think). Attached is a Linksys wireless N adapter and an HP 3900 inkjet printer. By no means is this a screaming configuration. I bought it at BestBuy out of the box for less than $300. If the kids broke it I didn’t care.
As part of running the Windows 7 install it will review your PC to see if it meets the minimum requirements. My PC does so off we go.
I decided to wipe everything clean for the install because there wasn’t anything critical I needed to save.
The first pass got almost to the end and hung. I wasn’t sure why but went online and found a few others reporting that connected USB devices might be the culprit. The HP 3900 was still attached so I disconnected it and rebooted. The install went through flawlessly this time.
It recognized the Linksys wireless adapter without interruption – knew what it was, added it and let me know. I didn’t have to click or choose anything. It recognized the video card and activated the Aero user interface (which is very nice).
The total time to install Windows 7 was about 30 minutes.
I have two printers to add. One locally attached and an HP 7500 attached to our home network. In Windows XP connecting the HP 7500 was always a pain, especially if the router was turned off (or power outage) and got a new IP address. This time I was ready.
First the locally attached HP 3900. I plugged the USB cable. Windows 7 recognized the device, added the driver and told me it was ready – without interruption or asking for information. Next came the network attached HP 7500. I went to the control panel, found the hardware section, chose add a printer and then a network printer. Windows 7 found the printer on the network for me. I chose it and the drivers were installed without out interruption or asking for information. Very, very nice. I’m convinced my eight year olds could do this.
Fast, nimble and easy. The user interface is clean and crisp, especially with the Aero interface activated. Booting is much faster as is logging off to change users. I’m confident my help desk duties will diminish significantly. :-)
I really like this part. My kids are like zombies while on the PC and we are diligent about when they get on and what they do. However, we can’t be hovering 24x7. With parental controls you can define the days of the week and the times of the day they can log on, and which programs they can access. You can also set rules for the level of games they can play based on the ESRB game rating.
Suggestion: I would like for Microsoft to allow for daily time limits in the parental controls. You can set the hours – e.g. 9am to 12pm but not limit it to 1 hour per day.
They love it. It’s intuitive and easy to use compared to Windows XP. My twins really like the Internet TV option and the gadgets you can drag to your desktop.
We were so happy with Windows 7 we went to Sam’s Club and bought a Microsoft wireless keyboard and mouse to complete the ensemble.
I wanted to share this experience, particularly for those of you who haven’t made the leap to Vista (or did and retreated to XP). I’m sure we’ll learn more along the way and as we do, I’ll update this post with the details.
My pet peeve are web sites that hide contact information. I’ve heard all kinds of excuses for why this is done but I’ve yet to hear one that makes a lick of sense. Your buyers are impatient and they’re looking for a solution now. And when they can’t easily figure out how to contact you they move on. Don’t underestimate that there people out there that want to call you on a telephone (that thing you use to talk with people who are far away) because they’re looking for a solution to their problem right now. In this economy are you willing to lose even one sale because of design esthetics?
Do yourself a favor. Don’t assume every buyer will take the time to click three times to find out how to contact you. Put a phone number or a “contact us” clearly visible at the top of every page to make it blindingly obvious. I rarely scroll down to the bottom of the page in hopes that you have what I’m looking for there. A 6pt font doesn’t count. I wear glasses to read and so do millions of other people.
Looks like I’m guilty of it on the Launch Clinic blog. Apparently if you’re patient enough you’ll figure out that by clicking on my photo you’ll be rewarded with an About page. My bad. Gotta get that fixed.
Maybe you and I should start a Contact Us Hall of Shame. Post your nominations in the comments below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or if you would prefer to call – 480-776-1905.
Watch this and read Amy Mengel’s commentary over at Social Media Today. Here’s a music video from Dave Carroll, a guy who had his expensive Taylor guitar broken during a United flight. He worked with United for months to get a resolution to no avail. So instead of getting mad, he got even. Watch carefully as he even names the employee at United who finally told him no.
As of this writing there have been over 1.3 million views and over 8,300 comments. Let’s do the math. The price of a Taylor Guitar can be upward of $3,000. What do you think the cost of just the damage control from this video has cost United, let alone the worldwide negative publicity, and the thousands of people who will think twice about flying the friendly skies of United? It would suck to be the head of PR for United right now. This is definitely a Worldwide Rave that United does not need. OUCH
And then here is a completely different approach from the raving fans of Southwest Airlines. As of today it has 1.8 million views.
I received an email regarding complimentary analyst reports from a big industry analyst firm you would recognize. What struck me are the report titles. They have titles like:
Are we that desperate or that naive to believe we can get those improvements by merely reading a report?
The answers to your business challenges aren’t a quick fix you get in an analyst report, they’re in the market. Get out of the building, ask questions and listen.