Legitimising collaborative lending

Vince Cable launches £110m loan scheme aimed at small firms headline in today’s Guardian It’s fascinating to see Government turning to the web‘s collaborative lenders. When companies like Zopa started I doubt that banks thought of them as serious competition. While the sums offered by government are relatively small, the principle is important. And if the scheme succeeds, by giving lenders a better return than a bank would offer, there’s the potential for a win-win in the private sector, at the expense of conventional banking. As digital businesses, it’s highly likely that when a model works it will also scale, rapidly. And while this initiative is underpinned by government funding, the legitimacy conferred by the scheme will fuel future growth in collaborative funding. Ht the guardian

strategy+business: The Global Innovation 1000: Making Ideas Work

The think : do gap

Why can’t organisations that are smart enough to spot & design opportunities for a better business actually deliver? This thinking/doing gap doesn’t appear to have shrunk over the last decade – where you might have thought that business would have got better at innovation. Booz provide a full, accessible and deployable piece of research: you will recognise your own business’ behavior in one of their models. Via Strategy Business

Knowledge@Wharton: Luxury Adjusts to a World of Retail Instant Gratification

In a 1996 article for wired magazine, ‘new rules for the new economy‘ Kevin Kelly said that the High St would change its behaviors to match customers’ online expectations. A generation later, and that’s exactly where we are. This Wharton article’s perspective is from a luxurious peak – but luxury is only comforting for those brands that get it right. Of course, Burberry is the shining example, by embracing another of Kelly’s principles – to generously give away access to previously privileged areas. Not just live views of the catwalk, but backstage too, in high definition. Web-style user experiences are already designed into a Burberry shop visit. cite Burberry as a reference customer, so you would expect that data is acquired on & offline to personalise future retail experiences. Fabulous insight, Via Knowledge@Wharton 


thank you, Steve

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones that actually do.” -Steve Jobs

Michael Nutley, New Media Age, on the Future of Advertising

Viadeo have releasd a 5 minute video interview with Michael Nutley, NMA Editor… following his excellent speech at Social Media Week London

Even in this short interview, Michael touches on the main themes of his talk – how advertising disappears by becoming more relevant, how privacy can be kept as a non-issue, and the dangers of vanity measurements.

Another dent in tv’s advertsing revenues

YouTube has just started auctioning video positions to the highest bidder – Adsense paid search results for video. (tip o’ hat to Marshall K at Read Write Web ) Along with yesterday’s announcement that full length feature films from MGM are to run on YouTube, that’s another dent in broadcast tv’s audiences, and revenues.

There’s already a good selection of brand commercials on YouTube: there’s a high definition service too. If you were running a commercials agency, wouldn’t you put some budget into YouTube? If only as a hedge against falling broadcast audiences – and with the potential to earn larger production fees on long films.

How long before we see broadcast tv being used to trail long ads on YouTube? It’s a technique that’s already been used by advertisers like the Army (who also offered mobile video, iirc). The idea that TV may not be the prime channel, that it’s just feding others, will make some old Madison Avenue & Soho admen rotate in their graves.

The world’s changing, and fast.

real, social marketing

When folk talk about ‘marketing to social networks’ , you can be pretty sure (from their language) if they’re about to spam a community.  The wrong way to go about it is to think like a broadcast, analogue advertiser, and think what message can be put infront of the greatest number of eyeballs.

Making that message interactive is a just-about-acceptable half way house to…

Properly engaging folk
By giving them soemthing they can contribute to
That lets folk/customers change the company & its product/service, in even the most miniscule way.

There’s a conversation going on at the mo’ ’bout ‘social objects ‘(Gapingvoid is a great entry point, as are Jyri Engestrom’s slides on slideshare (who coined the term). And here’s a cracking example….

Howies make clothes; they’re a responsible company, in every way. <declaration: today I’m mostly wearing Howies jeans /declration>  So when they open their first store you’d expect a brand/web/shop social object. It’s described on Russell Davies’ blog  – and involves a heath robinson contraption to print photos from Howies’ flickr group. Looks like a thing of beauty – as a marketing concept and in store (must make a point of visiting.)

on positive management styles

It’s no surprise to find that UK managers are the most negative: over the past 12 months I’ve worked with folk for the UK (natch!), Sweden, South Africa, Australia, America, and even a Brit based in Australia… they are consistently more positive, energetic and constructive than UK management.

The ability of UK folk to sit, diss, and do nothing, is astonising.

So I applaud  UK clients who do manage to stay positive, in spite of the zeitgeist.


How often does that negativity seep out to customers? I guess the trite answer is that “once would be too often”.

BBC & TheCloud’s free wifi deal

This is massive.

It’s a breakthrough: free wifi & useful, entertaining content… I wonder if the BBC’s streaming tv will be included?

“The BBC has signed a deal with wireless network operator The Cloud to offer its customers online services over WiFi free of charge.

Customers with any WiFi enabled device will be able to surf the BBC’s web site in all 7,500 of The Cloud’s hotspots without paying a log-in or subscription fee.”
from VNUNet

Sadly news coverage of this innovative deal will get lost in coverage of the BBC’s budget & staffing plans. But I believe that it’s this kind of deal that defines public service broadcasting in a digital, networked society.