The value of a first experience

A first experience should WOW!

A first experience should WOW you!

In the last few days I had my first experiences with Tiger Airways, a low budget airline operating from Singapore. And the experience was good. The ticket to Singapore was quite cheap, considering that we bought it one day before. The process of buying a ticket was not that excellent, but still OK. Like other cheap airlines they add extra cost for about everything that is optional: for bringing (any) luggage, for choosing a seat in advance and for an option to do online checking later. In the plane all catering is optional and therefore has a price. However, if there is anything annoying about buying cheap tickets, it’s the disappointment at the end of the process when they add the fuel and airport tax » Read more…

Freakonomics

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner shows how statistics can be used to explain a wide range of phenomena or maybe even EVERYTHING that people do in the world. Levitt and Dubner base their analysis of the world on three basic flavors of incentive: Economic, social and moral incentives. A combination of these incentives explains all human behavior, according to the authors. And they use numbers to prove it. Most importantly, they manage to do that in an easy to understand way. This way, they explain for example what schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common, and why drug dealers still live with their moms. » Read more…

Choice as a detractor

Don't make jam of your portfolio

Don't make jam of your portfolio

A friend once told me a story of an experiment conducted in a supermarket. In two different time periods the supermarket offered two kinds of portfolios of jam. In the first setup the shop offered a number of shelves  with numerous kinds of jam. Different fruits, different pot sizes and different brands. Many choices. In the second setup the supermarket  offered a single large shelf of strawberry jam of brand x in one standard pot size. One choice. What was the result? Contrary to expectations, more jam was sold in the single strawberry jam setup.

Why? Because people hate complicated choices. » Read more…

A video a day – amazing online numbers for 2010

YouTube announced that in 2010 our world wide population watched a total of 700 billion YouTube videos.  That’s 700,000,000,000 views with 6,887,400,000 people (at the time of writing). Or just over 100 movies per Earth citizen. In 2010 the Internet penetration rate further grew to 28,7 % to about 1,966,514,816 people on June 30, 2010, twice as much as in 2007. That means nearly 2 billion people watched 700 billion movies, or an average of just over 354 movies a year each. Excluding countries where YouTube is forbidden (like China, 420 million Internetters) or where it is not yet available, that’s well over one video a day per Earth citizen with access to YouTube. » Read more…

Civilization V: an example of breaking the learning curve

Civilization V

Gimme Five!

I’m a huge fan of Civilization, the computer game series created by Sid Meier. And I have spent many hundreds of hours in the last two decades playing CIV I, II, III and IV. So buying the most recent part in the increasingly less accurate trilogy of five was a logical step, and based on the professional reviews, I expected a lot: better graphics, better battles, better development system, etc. Everything better. So my expectations were high. Well, after playing it, I’m a bit disappointed. Here is why.

It started with installing the game. I had to accept an almost infinite number of license agreements and terms of use, one after the other warning me to return the game to the shop if I did not agree with them stealing my privacy information. After clicking a lot of “Yes I Accept” and then waiting a long time without a clear progress bar, I finally got started, at least I thought. » Read more…

Who Moved My Cheese?

Yes I Can

Changing will make you happy

This week I re-read the small but insightful book called Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson. I finished the 90-page, large letter formatted book in less than 1.5 hours, and you might be able to finish it faster.

So what is it about, and what makes is special? It’s about Change. And dealing with it, whether in your personal or professional environment. Change happens everywhere, always. Sometimes we initiate it ourselves, but most of the times it comes to us.  The book uses the story of two mice, Sniff and Scurry, and two Littlepeople, Hem and Haw, to explain to be more aware of change, to recognize it in an early stage and to anticipate it. » Read more…

10 things not to do when dealing with China

The Chinese market is unique

The Chinese market is unique

Hong Kong television station Pearl showed an insightful lecture by a J Walter Thompson consultant about marketing in China. Most important lessons: traditional marketing principles don’t work and don’t listen too much to Chinese experts.

Here’s his list of “10 commandments”, as he called it, which I enriched with some examples:

  1. Don’t take your CEO to dinner in a rich neighborhood of Shanghai » Read more…

The upwards spiral of the ongoing battle between Apps and Web

Apps and Web, the upwards spiral

Apps and Web, the upwards spiral

Everything moves in waves or big circles or spirals. Left and right wing politics, growing and shrinking economies, technological progress, relationships, you name it. And generally an upward spiral is preferred. The same applies to centralized and decentralized computing and “Web vs App”. Regarding the latter: Some say that the Web has had it’s time and the App will take over. The opposite used to be said 15 years ago.

» Read more…

How non-native speakers are enhancing the English language

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The further simplification of the English language

Further simplification of the English language

Every language evolves. The speakers of a language use variations that best suit their needs. Also non-native speakers change the language where they see fit or where it better fit’s with their own language’s grammar. Foreign words are introduced as well. Some fear it, and try to fixate or otherwise influence this by defining spelling and grammar rules and punishing kids who make mistakes. Did you know in The Netherlands a commission defines spelling rules and changes them every few years? Making things harder and less logical every time. Ridiculous. Language should evolve by itself, which it does. And it’s unstoppable. » Read more…

18 relevant social media stories

Many, many articles are written on social media and social media marketing. How you should do it personally, how you should do it as a company, trends, what is hot etc. And social media like Twitter and LinkedIn are used to spread the links. As an online professional interested in consumer behavior, social media is of special interest to me and I try to keep track of the publications. For my own and for your use, I’ve gathered some here and added a short summary, so you can easily see if it’s relevant for you. » Read more…