Monday, December 31, 2012

Things to look out for in 2013

There are many new changes which I think will affect us much and these are a few things I believe will change the way we do things in 2013.

1) Touch Screen computers.

With the introduction of tablets, and now Windows 8 laptops, it seems very natural to just touch your screen than to use a mouse.With the Windows 8 Lenovo touchscreen notebook costing less than $1,000, it just makes good sense.

2) More photos on Facebook.

With Instagram being bought by Facebook, I would expect better integration and more photos being shared. Perhaps Facebook Photos with filters?

3) Screen based media on the rise.

With people carrying more screens, and owning more screens from Smartphones, tablets, notebooks and TVs, there will be more media interaction on the screen.

Long gone are the days where phones and computers are just used for work.

Computers Keep Us Productive and Informed

24% of our daily media interactions occur on a PC
40% use PCs to find information
29% use them to keep up to date
69% of use is at home and 31% out of home
Usage is productive and task-oriented
It requires significant amount of time and focus
The mindset is serious with a research intensive attitude

Smart Phones Keep Us Connected

38% of our daily media interactions occur on a smartphone
60% of this usage is at home and 40% out of home
54% of attention is dedicated to communication and 33% is entertainment
People use smart phones to communicate and connect in short bursts of time. And, they need information quickly and efficiently.

Tablets Keep us Entertained

9% of daily media interactions occur on tablets
79% use tablets at home and 21% out of home
63% of usage is for entertainment purposes and 32% is for communication
Tablets are mostly used for entertainment and browsing
Consumers loose their sense of time as tablets inspire a relaxed and leisurely approach

We are now a society of multi-taskers and multi-screeners


These are the few things I can think of that will be significant, if you can think of anything else that may change in 2013 that we should look out for, please let me know.

Have a Happy New Year!

-- Robin Low

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Memorable moments in Social Media -- 2012

1) Twitter has 200 million active users -- no longer considered a fad.

Watch out of live tweeting at events which may yield results faster than even live TV.

2) Facebook is really big!
  • Monthly active users now total nearly 850 million
  • 250 million photos are uploaded every day
  • 20% of all page views on the web are on Facebook
  • 425 million mobile users
  • 100 billion connections
  • Zygna’s games revenue is currently 12% of Facebook’s total income
  • 2.7 billion “likes” per day
  • 57% of users are female
3) MySpace is back!

Watch the video.

4) Gangnam Style -- 1 Billion!!

-- Yep, there can be 1 billion views on Youtube.

5)  Social Media users have POWER

Instagram declared that they can use your photos for ads and angry mobs online threatened to boycott Instagram and delete their accounts and guess what?

-- The mob wins!

-- Robin Low

Friday, December 14, 2012

Digital Partnership

There are many reasons for partnership to happen, on the digital front, smaller businesses can also benefit from online partnerships, promoting each others products, sharing news and perhaps doing other collaborations.

So why is digital partnership important?

For one, with social media, increasing reach is very important. Sometimes, sharing good links to various articles and having various other partnerships will definitely boost competitiveness.

There are also many other reasons for partnerships.

1) Shared Economics
 -- Lower cost by possibly sharing research, technology or infrastructure.
2) Economies of scale
 -- Take advantage of supply chain, shared buying, volume discount, etc
3) Money and Resources
 -- Bigger = better access to resources.
4) Access to customers
 -- Access each others customer base/ mailing list
5) Access to Marketing / Brand
 -- Facebook partner, leverage on the other's brand.

If you are planning to do more with possibly less, partnership may be the way to go.

-- Robin Low

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bootstraping your startup

So, you have your killer business plan, lined up mentors and assembled the best team you can find. You have your financials down and you know where you need to hire. Now you need money -- the question is always where do you get it from?

In my experience from starting multiple companies and mentors many other, getting money from your customers is the best -- by selling things to them. If you can Bootstrap. Bootstrapping introduces strong discipline around management of costs and cash flow. Cash is King!

An innovative way to raise money quickly from your customers is by crowdfunding using This website, and others like it, are going to completely disrupt early stage venture capital by allowing companies to take pre-sales quickly.

Don't dilute your shareholding and lose control. Keep your operating costs low and get your business to "Profitability quickly". Finding out how much you need is the main job of a startup CEO. You need to keep the company healthily funded -- running out of money and the game is over. A Savvy investor can smell your weakness and will wait till you run out of money and then will "renegotiate" the terms. The less money in the bank, the more desperate you will be.

If you have a cashflow negative business, one or two unexpected runaway cost will become very toxic very fast if you have investors, and the pressure will build up and if you cannot deliver expected results, things easily turn sour.

Many good businesses find their markets fast and start selling to create revenue in their offerings and learn and adjusts their products and services before selling more. For a cashflow positive company with a list of customers, it is easy to show investors that you understand the market and you have a desirable product. You can always raise a lot more money to expand and go regional than just to start, and give up less as well as you will be negotiating from a stronger position.

-- Robin Low