communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.


Innovation vs want

I am growing more and more aware of the fact that there are two types of companies in the world. Irrespective of the industry and irrespective of the size. And the common evaluation algorithm is their rapport with customers

On the one hand, we have companies that WANT.
On the other, we have companies that ENABLE.

Microsoft is a company that wants. Google is a company that enables. Unilever is a company that wants. Coke wants. Innocent enables. Zappos enables. Toyota enables. Ford wants.
How do I explain this? Simple. According to we live in the expectation economy, where your customers expect a lot, want a lot, demand more, ask for stuff. They are laden with desires and aspirations which are always individualistic.
Your attitude, as a company, towards this kind of behavior is what defines you. You either want them to start doing certain that you think are best for them or you enable them to get what they expect, what they want, what they aspire to. Basically as a WANT company you replace their desires with yours. As an ENABLE company you take their desires and make them your business objective.
e.g. When phone companies make you pay different fees for speaking in a different network they want you to join their network and attract others, they want to gain control, they want to impose. Practically speaking the interconnection fees are not justifiable because they do not pay more for spectrum if it's T-Mobile spectrum. But they want you to only use their network.
When Nokia makes chargers that only fit their phones they want you to only buy Nokia stuff. In this logic Apple is pretty much a WANT company too. Because iTunes is proprietary, and the iPod is customizable only on Macs OR PCs but not on both.

I have recently read an amazing story in Wired's about google's Android. And here's a quote:
"Working with partners is not easy, and the operating system is just a part of it," says Scott Rockfeld, group product manager for Microsoft's Mobile Communications Business. "It seems like Google's strategy is 'Just get something out there so we can put our services on top.' Well, very quickly they're going to see that mobile operators don't want to be dumb pipes and that manufacturers want to differentiate their phones."

All of this is WANT talk. Manufacturers want, operators don't want....the question is, do we care what they want?

Now, what is my point? My point is who do you think will make a difference 20 years from now. And I don't mean that only in terms of love and brand loyalty but also in point of revenue. I cannot give a definite answer but having read the account that Wired does of Google's Android, I cannot help but think, if this works, how wonderfully free we might be - being able to compare prices instantly, to see traffic before you get there, to evaluate everything before you make a decision. And I think in a world filled with people free from the burden of not knowing WANT companies may not stand a chance.


Blog outtage

I am back from holidays but some things are moving a bit too fast for my post-vacation mood and am a bit overwhelmed. Some important stuff also on the way which means you will have to bear with me for a while before the blog resumes usual flow.
pic via


Holiday no. 1

In case you thought there was nothing to be done in and around Romania, check out these beauties :-)...Viscri, the lovely village of Crit where we spent the most wonderful time at Casa cu Zorele (book fast :-) and surroundings

full slideshow here


For a sleepy Friday evening

They played it so well at this year's B'estfest and it was my ringtone for a long time...

Time off for vacation

Limited posting in the days to come due to a severe case of R&R :-)


this blog's readers

prefer the seaside :-)
check out my new poll inspired by Bobby

Internet more credible than print media in Ro

Just read this article that says Romanians find Internet more credible than print media but less credible than radio and TV. While this may mean that in the battle between offline journalism and online journalism, the latter may want to claim a victory I doubt the results of the study precisely because TV, which is the least credible and most viciously manipulating medium in Romania, remains atop the trust scale.

Incidentally, among younger target Internet ranks as number one in trust, which makes me think that people did not rank trustworthiness but rather frequency of use.


Sunday's visual candy

as always via Noah and courtesy of here
also, if you're a designer please read this
[awesome job Faris and Noah]


On nation branding

As promised some pics from the Summer School where I spoke A LOT about nation branding. These were taken by Ana and kindly sent to me and I made a selection.
The presentation as always is on Slideshare and embedded below.


Why Twitter is flailing in Romania/Bucharest

I have next to given up on Twitter because it runs like a 100yo Dacia and provides no relevant info unless you want to voyeuristically check out who is flirting or luncheoning with whom in the online/advertising biz.

However, it strikes me as interesting to revert to an argument that Rodrigo made during his talk at last year's Netcamp where he mentioned scalability and purpose. His point was that once you've found a purpose for your app you need to make sure it is scalable so that you do not end up with something everyone wants to use but no one can because your servers are in Desmoynes and we all know Desmoynes is IT illiterate.

Now, Twitter in Bucharest (I fear to presume any other Romanians actually care or use Twitter except Constanta's own Arhi) is giving a lot of people a lot of headaches because it runs crappily. And it seems like a scalability problem to everyone: simply put, too many twitts for Twitter to handle because it just sooooo great.

To me it seems actually more of a purpose problem: initially Twitter was meant to operate as a "let your group know where you are and what you're doing" thing - kindof in the way status fields worked for messenger. This restricted twitts not only numerically but also in scope. I mean how many friends can one have and how many interesting things can one do in a minute? It should have worked fine.

What's happening now is that WE ARE USING TWITTER AS PUBLIC MESSENGER which, naturally, clogs the pipes. Why? Because everyone wants to eavesdrop on your daily conversations and you like to talk A LOT as proven by the 28% time wastage rate due to YM use in corporations.

The matter with Twitter is not that it is not scalable. It is that we are using it for a different purpose than it was scaled for :-)

I wonder if FriendFeed is next or maybe Twitter and YM should exchange platforms.


Speaking in public ...again

Somehow lately it's been about late late nights working and a lot of public appearances. But this one is special because I have know VIP - Voluntari pentru Idei si Proiecte since my days at Rompetrol. They put together some neat projects like Summer Schools [this year's is blogged about here] and they have invited me to speak about brands and nation branding.

So, I will be at Orange Concept Store on Thursday from 10 to 12 talking about brands and countries.

Am not sure if you can just show up, I think probably not, but as always I'll tell you how it went and put up the presentation :-)

Another conference about the www

A bunch of ambitious guys from Iasi are putting together their first conference in Bucharest. 'Next online players' is, hopefully, more a training than a conference [ which would explain the high price] CORRECTION: and there are no free seats but only limited seats, 30 to be more exact.
The line-up is good and so far the topics seem interesting although I have to say we don't seem to be seeing a lot of new people in online these days :-)