(I’m not a big golfer, but one of my good friends is recently obsessed with the sport. So, thanks to him, I’ve hit the links three times in five days. This was a pic from a recent course we played that sits on the edge of a military base.)
Want to know how Instagram will be monetized? Like this. After earning a $1b buyout and boasting monthly active users in the 100s of millions, the company still has no money-earning features. While it’s certainly a safe bet to assume ads will start popping up at some point, I’d have to think brand-backed filters is a natural move here that will piss off a smaller number of IGers. Look at how well the Snoopify app did.
Constraints and creativity. In a Wired Q&A interview with the three founders of Vine, we learn that the first iteration of the video app had no time limit. They eventually changed it to six seconds, and from where I’m standing, that seemingly small move changed the service to a creative production platform. I sat in on a brainstorm recently and it was organized the way most traditional ones are; everyone sits down, someone gives a brief overview of the situation, ideas are thrown out, discussions are had. The problem is that 35 minutes into the meeting, we had only come up with a couple ideas and a lot of time was spent talking about the feasibility of those concepts. That’s when I had to ask what the goal of this brainstorm was, quantity of ideas or fully fleshed out concepts. Traditionally, most brainstorm organizers are hesitant to “stifle creativity” by shackling the group with rules and organized time allotments. But that’s a problem, as I see it. You can’t think outside the box if there is no defined box. Furthermore, energy, time, and knowledge are resources that need to be managed. This HBR article wisely points out the advantage of starting with a mobile-first approach to a product/service launch, which includes the need to focus on what’s really important given the screen size. Those types of constraints typically produce more actionable concepts, in my experience.
Simple is beautiful, #2. You might remember a few weeks ago I highlighted a few new startups that I found to be elegantly simple yet brilliant. Well, here are a few more I’ve got my eyes on:
- Preamp.fm: a discovery website that plays songs/videos from bands performing in your city
- Friday5: for simple giving, the service takes your $5 per week and gives it to different charities
- StellaService: basically the Nielsen ratings for online commerce shops, the service began by proactively analyzing and rating customer service at various companies, then offered the data up for a price