2014 Sport Video Roundup

The videos and advertisements for sports flowing through the internets these days have been great.  Wanted to capture and share a few for y’all: 

 

Recently, there was a great new ad lauding Derek Jeter in the final year of his career (although it should be noted that Joe Mauer has posted better stats at age 31 than Jeter did at at 31)

Related to that, there’s a send-up of the above ad by Funny Or Die, not lauding Alex Rodriguez:

For the Timberwolves, I’m all in favor of trading Kevin Love for Wiggins to the Cavaliers.  Speaking of the Cavs, there’s a great mock video of Lebron and his “Coming Home” campaign mashed up with Dumb and Dumber.

Finally, this is over a month old, but the Beats ad for the World Cup was definitely the best one of the summer.  It came out right before the Cup started and got me incredibly pumped for it.  A great ad.

(thanks to Kesner and Matt for sharing these first)

Bet: Quora vs. Foursquare

If you were given 1% of a company, which one would you take between Quora and Foursquare?

I asked this question two years ago (in 2011) and was pro-foursquare. I then re-asked a year ago when Foursquare was really crushing it and was the darling of the industry. Now, reports have come out that they were unable to raise another round at a higher valuation, were forced to do convertible debt, and only did $2 million in revenue last year.  So, the shine is rubbing off.  Would I still choose them over Quora?  The answer is ‘yes’ although it has less to do with Foursquare and more to do with Quora.

Lately, i’ve become really down on anything advertising-supported.  Basically, i think that business model is in the tanks and is only going to get worse.  Nobody clicks on ads on the web and the rates are in constant decline.  If you’re planning on building a business around it, you better have massive scale – and even then you’d be better off selling something else.

Foursquare could be the next Yelp, and while that’s a disappointment for some, I see that a rosier future than where Quora is headed.  Although i have to say that the margin is much smaller today than it was 1 and 2 years ago when we last did this poll.


Which company would you rather have 1% of?

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Thoughts on the iPhone 5

At the Kapost office yesterday, about half the company was glued to live-blogging of the iPhone 5 announcement.  What we saw was only a blog but watching it was quite a show.  A few things stood out for me:

 It’s all about the LTE.  Most people don’t realize what LTE is and what it means.  Forgot the ads you see for 4G right now – those are lies.  What most people are getting as 4G isn’t really 4G. LTE is wireless internet that is 20-50x faster.  Once you get it, you won’t need to upgrade for speed for a long time.  It’s like going from a bike to a motorcycle.  Sure, in the future you can get a faster motorcycle, but the major upgrade has happened.  (more info on LTE here)

The magic of Apple.  Only two companies make money in the mobile phone business: Apple and Samsung.  You could read that as Apple and the people who are best at copying Apple.  Apple make money because they convince us to buy something that we didn’t know we need.  The iPhone 5 is really just the same phone, but they go out of their way to show us how it is both the same and something totally different.  It’s thinner (ooohhh), it’s faster (aaaahhhh) and has more and better bells and whistles than ever before (applause).  I don’t know of any other company that asks and gets an hour of my time for them to explain to my why i should buy their product.

Desktop to Mobile.  The transition from computing being a desktop/laptop world to a mobile world is totally complete.  The graphics on the iPhone 5 now rival console gaming units.  There was a demo of a race car game and the rearview mirror on the car was showing accurate graphics.  At this point, the phone is literally just a smaller computer. Sure, not everyone has a smartphone yet, but they will and it will be a fascinating world when companies start taking advantage of the fact that everyone in the world is carrying out a crapload of computing power in their pocket.

I’m still rocking the iPhone 4 and plan on preordering a new phone at midnight on the 14th.  In fact, everyone I know who has a 4 or older is planning on upgrading to the 5.  Are you?

Two Funnels, Two Types of Content Marketing

Note: I wrote this post on Kapost but thought I’d republish here as lots of people, especially those who read this blog, don’t really know what I do or what Kapost does.  Here’s an attempt to explain.

The term “content marketing” has been hot in 2012 and is often heralded as the best new marketing tactic.

“Sure, there are still other ways to get in front of your target audience, but content marketing is proving to be an indispensable tool to complement traditional communications strategies,” writes Brian Aitken, director of new media for the Foundation for Economic Education, on CNN’s iReport.

Continue reading “Two Funnels, Two Types of Content Marketing”

DollarShaveClub Video

Some videos are just too good to not share here.  This is a real business and a great ad.  Well done sirs. 

 


Best SuperBowl Commercial Not Playing in the SuperBowl

This is a Budweiser ad created for Canada to play during the SuperBowl, but only in Canada. I’m not sure why it’s on there, but it’s one of my favorite ads i’ve seen in a while.   I love it. 

It’s a rec hockey game where Budweiser takes over and surprises the players.  It’s pretty awesome:

 


A Genius Ad

When you click on the Movies app on your iPhone, you get this popup advertisement:

The only way to get past it without being taken to the Living Social site is to click “I Hate Cupcakes”

Sure, it’s cheating and misleading, but I’m guessing the click-through rates for this one is off the charts.  Who doesn’t loves cupcakes?

Steve Jobs: Designer First, CEO Second

I recently read a great interview by John Scully where he talks about Steve Jobs.  Scully was CEO of Apple for almost a decade.  It’s just a great read.  For anyone in the tech business, this is a story about our times about a man who more than anyone else has invented products that impact our lives.

Here are some good quotes:

The time that I first met Jobs, which was over 25 years ago, he was putting together the same first principles that I call the Steve Jobs methodology of how to build great products.

Steve from the moment I met him always loved beautiful products, especially hardware. He came to my house and he was fascinated because I had special hinges and locks designed for doors. I had studied as an industrial designer and the thing that connected Steve and me was industrial design. It wasn’t computing.

On Steve jobs being a minimalist:

What makes Steve’s methodology different from everyone else’s is that he always believed the most important decisions you make are not the things you do – but the things that you decide not to do. He’s a minimalist.

I remember going into Steve’s house and he had almost no furniture in it. He just had a picture of Einstein, whom he admired greatly, and he had a Tiffany lamp and a chair and a bed. He just didn’t believe in having lots of things around but he was incredibly careful in what he selected. The same thing was true with Apple. Here’s someone who starts with the user experience, who believes that industrial design shouldn’t be compared to what other people were doing with technology products but it should be compared to people were doing with jewelry… Go back to my lock example, and hinges and a door with beautiful brass, finely machined, mechanical devices. And I think that reflects everything that I have ever seen that Steve has touched.

Look at his apartment back then:

Steve on org structures:

The other thing about Steve was that he did not respect large organizations. He felt that they were bureaucratic and ineffective. He would basically call them “bozos.” That was his term for organizations that he didn’t respect.

The Mac team they were all in one building and they eventually got to one hundred people. Steve had a rule that there could never be more than one hundred people on the Mac team. So if you wanted to add someone you had to take someone out. And the thinking was a typical Steve Jobs observation: “I can’t remember more than a hundred first names so I only want to be around people that I know personally. So if it gets bigger than a hundred people, it will force us to go to a different organization structure where I can’t work that way. The way I like to work is where I touch everything.”

At his core, Steve is a designer:

The thing that separated Steve Jobs from other people like Bill Gates — Bill was brilliant too — but Bill was never interested in great taste. He was always interested in being able to dominate a market. He would put out whatever he had to put out there to own that space. Steve would never do that. Steve believed in perfection. Steve was willing to take extraordinary chances in trying new product areas but it was always from the vantage point of being a designer. So when I think about different kinds of CEOs — CEOs who are great leaders, CEOs who are great turnaround artists, great deal negotiators, great people motivators — but the great skill that Steve has is he’s a great designer. Everything at Apple can be best understood through the lens of designing.

More stories:

An anecdotal story, a friend of mine was at meetings at Apple and Microsoft on the same day and this was in the last year, so this was recently. He went into the Apple meeting (he’s a vendor for Apple) and when he went into the meeting at Apple as soon as the designers walked in the room, everyone stopped talking because the designers are the most respected people in the organization. Everyone knows the designers speak for Steve because they have direct reporting to him. It is only at Apple where design reports directly to the CEO.

Later in the day he was at Microsoft. When he went into the Microsoft meeting, everybody was talking and then the meeting starts and no designers ever walk into the room. All the technical people are sitting there trying to add their ideas of what ought to be in the design. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Microsoft hires some of the smartest people in the world. They are known for their incredibly challenging test they put people through to get hired. It’s not an issue of people being smart and talented. It’s that design at Apple is at the highest level of the organization, led by Steve personally. Design at other companies is not there. It is buried down in the bureaucracy somewhere

On being chosen as CEO over Jobs:

Looking back, it was a big mistake that I was ever hired as CEO. I was not the first choice that Steve wanted to be the CEO. He was the first choice, but the board wasn’t prepared to make him CEO when he was 25, 26 years old.

They exhausted all of the obvious high-tech candidates to be CEO… Ultimately, David Rockefeller, who was a shareholder in Apple, said let’s try a different industry and let’s go to the top head hunter in the United States who isn’t in high tech: Gerry Roche.

They went and recruited me. I came in not knowing anything about computers. The idea was that Steve and I were going to work as partners. He would be the technical person and I would be the marketing person.

The reason why I said it was a mistake to have hired me as CEO was Steve always wanted to be CEO. It would have been much more honest if the board had said, “Let’s figure out a way for him to be CEO. You could focus on the stuff that you bring and he focuses on the stuff he brings.”

Remember, he was the chairman of the board, the largest shareholder and he ran the Macintosh division, so he was above me and below me. It was a little bit of a façade and my guess is that we never would have had the breakup if the board had done a better job of thinking through not just how do we get a CEO to come and join the company that Steve will approve of, but how do we make sure that we create a situation where this thing is going to be successful over time?

My sense is that when Steve left (in 1986, after the board rejected his bid to replace Sculley as CEO) I still didn’t know very much about computers.

My decision was first to fix the company, but I didn’t know how to fix companies and to get it back to be successful again.

All the stuff we did then were all his ideas. I understood his methodology. We never changed it. So we didn’t license the products. We focused on industrial design. We actually built up our own in-house design organization, which they have to this day. We developed the PowerBook… We developed QuickTime. All these things were built around Steve’s philosophy… It was all about sales and marketing and the evolution of the products.

All the design ideas were clearly Steve’s. The one who should really be given credit for all that stuff while I was there is really Steve.

And there’s more.  As i said, it’s just a great read.

I’m SO ready for World Cup

Only 3 weeks away from The World Cup and the excitement inside my brain is building. If you’re not feeling it, watch the following video which is Nike’s three-minute World Cup short film which follows a match featuring the brand’s top footballers and shows how one play can lead to a future of success or failure.

The video, called “Write the Future,” premieres on TV in 32 countries during the UEFA Champions League final on Saturday, but was posted early by Nike on NikeFootball.com. The ad features Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Landon Donovan, Thiago Silva and Ronaldinho (even though he didn’t make Brazil’s World Cup roster), plus cameos by Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant and Homer Simpson.

Alejandro González Iñárritu directed the Nike short and cast his “Amores perros” star Gael García Bernal as Ronaldo. Incredible work overall by the swoosh.

In case that video didn’t get you excited, here’s another short little commercial:

Only 21 days till kick off!