Bee Coming a Social Business

Prof. Jürgen Tautz knows a thing or two about bees. A member of 
the German bee Institute, the International Union for the Study of Social Insects, and founder/head of Würzburg Bee Research Association, he’s a master of understanding our little fuzzy, buzzy friend.

In his acclaimed book “The Buzz about Bees”, Tautz describes how an individual bee has a million cerebral nerve cells. When combined, an entire colony has over 100 billion. Impressive. Especially considering a human has approximately 200 million cells, therefore making a bee colony about half as smart as one of us!

Although together, a hive of bees can produce a golden stack of honey, not one bee would have a clue how to do it alone. No bee understands the whole process. Businesses aren’t that different from bees. In its most basic form, a company is a group of individuals working towards a common goal. We each have a job to play and only together can we achieve success. No one individual can accomplish everything. The intelligence of the organisation doesn’t lie with one person, or even an average between a group of people; it’s based on who is connected to who. If your executive team isn’t connected to your shop floor, then the whole thing breaks.
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Let the Games Begin

Originally released in 2003, The Call of Duty video game series has become one of the most popular and profitable ever released. The latest episode in the saga “Black Ops” raked in more than $650M worldwide within just five days of going on sale, making it the fastest selling video game of all time.

Players simply can’t get enough – latest statistics show over 600 million hours of gaming time has been logged on Black Ops since its launch in November 2010. Every day, thousands of fans compete on-line for badges, improved firepower, XP (eXperience Points) and coveted ranks of honour.

Outside of the video game industry, you don’t have to look very far to see “players” competing for points and rewards. Take Facebook for example; ever noticed how close your number of friends (aka “high score”) is displayed in relation to your profile name?
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Understand Me. Understand My Business.

The world is changing at a dramatic pace. Never has there been a more critical time to really understand who your customer is, and how you truly benefit them.

I’ve always been fascinated by the recruitment industry. I think like estate agency, or used car sales it can sometimes be painted in a negative light. Agents willing to take on any old job, for any old client; bombarding hiring managers with a barrage of CV’s which only slightly fit the client’s specification. As someone responsible for recruiting talent, I’ve lost count at the number of times I’ve received an unsolicited cold-call from a nervous sounding voice, asking if “I’ve got any vacancies”.
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The Art of Transparency

My good friend Crispin recently sold an unwanted motorbike via eBay. Here’s his listing in full:

Here is my unloved Kawasaki KDX 125 for sale – its PINK and GREEN. You need to be a confident person to ride this bike or you will have your dinner money stolen. I purchased it as a spare bike (I had a WR450) back in 2005 and have not really used it – just the odd trip to work.

I hold a number of MOT certificates, the first runs from 19th July 2001 and details the bike has done 8307KM. The current reading is 10450KM but I do remember having to replace a speedo cable a few years ago as the speedo was not working so its probably done a few more KM’s – maybe 200ish more. I also did some work on it a while back and couldn’t work out where the indicator relay needed to go back to so its stuffed into the side panel. I also lost one of the rear foot pegs – well I think it fell off! Read more

Dragon’s Blood

This is the shower gel I used this morning. Dragon’s blood?! It came as a sample, bundled in with a bunch of other stuff I ordered from an on-line store. Amongst the products I was expecting, it was the one that caught my eye. I had to give it a go.

How interesting or compelling is your offering? Are you selling “a spicy blend of dragon’s blood and ginger” or are you simply pushing boring old “shower gel”? Granted, there is a place for shower gel, but that place is painfully crowded – traditional or “safe” shower gel manufacturers have to resort to price to compete. Without even looking, something tells me the retail price of this captivating body wash isn’t rock bottom.

Of course the whole thing breaks down if the product is less than awesome. Dragon’s Blood thankfully rocked. I’ll be ordering some.

The Dog’s Gone Senile

There were just two of us that started Neocol back in 2003. I took care of sales and marketing, and my partner took care of the clever, technical stuff. When we began, we didn’t have that much capital. To boot, we had zero customers and not one member of staff to assist us. We made up for these shortcomings with a whole bunch of enthusiasm, energy, and creative ideas.

We had spotted a niche, and knew our friends over at IBM had some technology to address it. IBM was slow to realise what they had, so we effectively took the proposition to market for them.

After some persistent drum beating and clever marketing, we started to attend joint customer meetings. We had researched heavily, therefore on many occasions we actually ended up knowing more about IBM’s proposition than the IBM sales people accompanying us!
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