Friday, December 16, 2011

More on the 4Ps

SKI on the New 4Ps of Marketing
at the AmSpirit HOF Chapter
held at Creative Sources

For me, the good news is simple: The "new" Four Ps of Marketing are the same as the old four Ps of Marketing:
  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion
The challenge in light of every "guru" on the net claiming to have found a missing P to add to the mix, is to remain true to the that which works. Too few remember the painful meltdown of the dot com era when it was proven [once again] that failure to understand the mechanics of Marketing and the 4Ps most certainly will cause business failures. In case you missed living through that history lesson, two major elements helped "tip" the meltdown: the belief that more "eyeballs" [as in the number of people looking at your banner advertising] were the key to success; the belief that funding raising was the same as making sales.

Yes, otherwise very smart people repeatedly made the claim about "revenue" when in fact they had yet to make the first sale. Somehow, any cash coming into the business was classified as a victory. Perhaps in the short term, but without a REAL "payer source" for your goods and/or services, you will [and must] reach the end of the adventure. Investors grow impatient. But I digress...

Tune in Monday to the blogtalkradio network to hear me explore the 4Ps for Product Managers on ProdMgmtTalk

Thursday, December 08, 2011

StartupBus Europe

        (click on Table to enlarge)

This is fun!

When I was on the Cleveland StartupBus trying to help build a company in 48 hours, I had little time to "play the market" so to speak. From my desk in the USA, I have done quite well betting on the five teams on StartupBus Europe.

In fact, the game is still running, even though two winners were named yesterday.

Want some good clean, free, fun? Sill time to join in on the stock market exchange, or simply check out the leader board. You might recognize at least one name. {grin}


UPDATE: The exchange is closed, click the image to see the final results.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Four Ps Revisited

The Four Ps of Marketing

This article is so wrong on so many fronts, I was at a loss to know where to start a rebuttal... in fact, I even double-checked to make sure this was not published by The Onion. Honest.

This quote will serve my purpose:

In a transparent, digitally empowered world, only the best offerings survive, so companies that spend on promotions have a cost disadvantage.

Apparently the authors are heavily invested in Betamax. Why else would they think that only the best products survive. Now or back in the day. 

The four Ps have never been more important.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey

P.S. Another hint: Every time you see an argument include the "cost" world you know it is not based on the real world. If you think Apple took over the world and amassed $80B in cash by being the "low cost provider" you need to explore the difference between "correlation" and "cause and effect."

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

SoLoMo and 4sq

SoLoMo and FourSquare

Are you checked in?

"7 innovative ways to get your customers to check in wherever they are"

ski on 4sq:


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thinking about Change

Moore's Law as it applies to the gap between government and the private sector is the topic of this video from Clay Johnson, Director of Engagement at Expert Labs.

As some of you know, I had the honor of serving as a federal, state and local member of government during my career [to date]. In that order, serving last, as the first DBA for the Town of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. What a great place to vacation, the island is a better place to live... or at least it was in the late 1990s when I moved my family to the Low Country. Today, it seems that Bluffton is getting all the growth. But I digress...

This presentation by Johnson points out a couple of obvious issues with regard to most government entities [special thanks to Bryce Roberts for the link to this video] but of course the actual gap varies significantly from organization to organization. How else can you explain spending more than $250K on a Payroll and HR software package for administering the needs of less than 250 local government employees on an island getaway? Way not my decision. But again, I digress...

What did occur to me as I watched the video [twice] was this: Rate of Change is really a function of the Rate of Trust. I preach that lasting change cannot and will not occur without trust. But as a linear thinker [most days], my mental image of the transformation was very much a straight line. How absurd, right?

Just as we earn money at a rate, 
hopefully ever increasing, 
so too is trust earned!

That is profound.

Consider that with the apparent exception of Senator Harry Reid [D-NV] most Americans believe that government spending on personnel is out of balance with the rest of our economy. From the Senator's recent remarks:
“The massive layoffs we’ve had in America today—of course they’re rooted in the last administration—and it’s very clear that private sector jobs are doing just fine. It’s the public sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation’s all about.”
This suggests the rate of trust corresponds almost directly to change. 

Do you trust your government [local, state and/or federal] to do the right thing?

This might actually explain the gap more so than Moore's Law.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Want more thruput?

Want more throughput?

Hire better people!

I preach this at least once a week... but why? Because so few people understand this concept. So, here is yet more proof. This time from a startup that most of the tech community has heard of, maybe even non-techies, and one that just raised an additional $250MM in funding.


So, if you need help staffing, let's talk.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey
(330) 737-1490

Monday, October 17, 2011

A VC Musings

Occupying My Mind

by Fred Wilson. Fred is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures.

Fred's musings on Occupy Wall Street gave me a fresh insight into this movement and others like it [in one or more ways] around the country and the world. [See link above]

People are "mad as hell" and not going to take it much longer!

Attempting to put a "one size fits all" label on even this one "event" on Wall Street is simply wrong. There are probably as many reasons for a protestor to do so, as there are protestors! I do think Fred missed the fact that a number of funding sources are formally at work—informally, even trying to hide their involvement. But the fact remains at least 51% of this nation's voting age population is not happy with the economy.

Many of us are quick to suggest that the free enterprise machine that is America created more freedoms and more wealth than any other econometric model applied to date. Reminder: There is a reason we have a republic form of government. 

Yes Fred, systems are failing us everywhere... but to me, it is more the lack of leadership than any other single cause. I named this issue some months ago: 
"Change without Vision equals Chaos."
That explains what I see when I see the coverage of the various occupy events.

My biggest fear: somehow the USA will become a true democracy. That will be the end of a great nation. True, this is not working. Maybe it is time for us all to again watch Bullworth and pay extra attention to the press interview when Senator Bullworth explains the problem with selling air time to politicians... maybe when there is fair access to airwaves, the best leaders will surface. Rather than the ones that can raise the most money.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Buying or Selling a Business

Want to sell?

Why does the thought keep popping into your head: "Maybe this is a great time to sell out and move south." The last three years have been tough for most business owners. Little hope of recovery until after the next major election cycle. Why wait to see if it gets any worse?

Give me a call.

(330) 737-1490

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Bad Girl Ventures

Bad Girl Ventures - Cleveland

Yet another outreach of Main Street Startups is gaining traction as SKI connects them to BGV. Here is the short version:

I meet Dar Caldwell at LaunchHouse, he invites me to present at 6ixth City Tech Fest at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. At the event, colleague Ron Finklestein points a vendor booth at the event featuring a nonprofit incubator for women launched businesses called "Bad Girl Ventures." Seems they are branching out into Northeast Ohio.

Waiting to do my presentation, I hear Candace Klein pitch her business. Bad Girl Ventures. Amazing. And, they have partnered with LaunchHouse. So, I send out a few tweets during the event. Later, I forward the web site to all my female colleagues in the startup space. 

A week or so ago I heard that one of my colleagues shared BGV with a relative, and they had applied.

Yesterday, I hear that startup is advancing in the competition towards funding.

That's what we do up on Main Street: we help advance the dreams of our colleagues.

True, there are no guarantees in life. Somewhere I have a book titled, "If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster." But I would suggest that those giving back to the community are making a difference. 

Got an idea for a better mouse trap? Let's talk.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Give me heat

Commandment: Give me heat!

Continuing with the theme of the book “Go-Giver” let's talk about which comes first, heat or fuel. As in the commandment above where the homeless woman is holding an old thermostat in her hand on a cool winter's morn, shaking under the cover of nothing more than several refrigerator cartons.

No luck?

Imagine that... I can. In the Go-Giver, the first law is simply, “The Law of Value.” This law talks of how your worth is a measurement of much you give in value above that which you are paid. If you put no wood in the fireplace, why would you expect heat? Commandments are great when there are sufficient resources to effect the change, otherwise, not so much.

On Friday, we submitted an application for the COSE Business Pitch Competition. In my video I mentioned that we expected maybe three or four submissions from organizations associated [in one fashion or another] with Main Street Startups [MSS]. Guess what? Including the one for MSS, there were five! That we know of... take that Northeast Ohio.

Up on Main Street, we are focused on wealth creation, which remains the shortest path to job creation in America. Any one of these five ventures could create significant wealth and therefore, jobs. Even the nonprofit in the mix. Yes, our for profit incubator [unabashedly profit driven™] could create wealth as measured in the ability to provide services to Northeast Ohio. As an aside, if nonprofit business incubators believe they can launch for profits, then the inverse should be true, right? Actually, it is our focus on good olde fashion Marketing that makes it possible. See Geoffrey Moore's "Crossing the Chasm." But I digress...

Bottom line: want heat [traction, cashflow, profit, etc.]? Give more than you expect. Yet one more mantra alive and well at Main Street Startups.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Leaders do exist

This spot makes you think... or at least I hope it does.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Go. Give. Go-Giver.

This is my new favorite book: Go-Giver

What is so special about this material? I knew the material inside out, before I ever opened the book. But I did very little [so to speak] with the material. FYI: To my knowledge, it is my first favorite for which I only own he Kindle version. But I digress...

Well, long story short: the book has become an event...

Greg Loo a colleague and fellow Toastmaster will present the core concepts this Friday at high noon in Canton, Ohio:

There are only 25 seats to this event.

First come, first to receive. If you have a project in Northeast Ohio that requires a boost, then you need to get to this event. If you have underutilized talent, we could use you. Maybe even pay you!

See you there.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey

Monday, September 05, 2011

First Anniversary

I Can See Clearly Now
by Johnny Nash

One year ago today, I conceived what has become Main Street Startups, a business incubator and accelerator for US Citizens. Yes, in fact, the idea started as Main Street Canton. Then within a few weeks, I determined that was too narrow, and renamed it Main Street Stark.

At SXSW in March of this year, with the help of Mike Muhney [founder of VIPorbit and co-inventor of ACT!], one more scope change was in order: to every street [Main or otherwise] in the USA: 

Main Street Startups

How will this next year play out? Stay tuned... better yet: jump in and give us a hand.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey
Entrepreneur in Residence

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Who needs Rules

How about "rules of thumb"?

On several occasions I have read passages of Guy Kawasaki's book, Rules for Revolutionaries, but just today completed a thorough re-read of the book. It is even better than I remembered! Of course it was a birthday present to myself... twelve years ago!

If you haven't read it, you should. If you have, you might want to consider re-reading it.

Then maybe we have something in common to talk about. {grin}


Rules for Revolutionaries

Rules for RevolutionariesThis book explains how to create products and services and introduce them to the marketplace. The intended reader is anyone who wants to catalyze innovation and change. Many large companies have used the book to re-energize their product development and research functions. GIST: provides a rigorous manifesto for innovation.

Buy Now

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


One client recently offered this feedback:

“Recently, I spent a few hours meeting with SKI to just talk about marketing in general.  I was amazed to discover the common sense that I was completely missing in my approach to marketing.  I want to know more.  I want the people I care about to know more!”
—Susan, Insurance Professional, Canton, Ohio
Thanks to all my clients, past, present and future that are willing to step out and say, "Amazing." You are not alone.

Give me a shout if you need help changing the world, or just your small corner.


P.S. Need to understand the "Lean Marketing" approach for your business? Give me a shout.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Covey's 8th Habit

The 8th Habit
by Stephen Covey

This is probably the most thorough book on effectiveness that I have ever studied. And I do mean study. It took me several weeks to work my way through this tome. Much like a Bill Dettmer book, it is more complete than one could imagine.

Interested in becoming more effective?

Here is your assignment.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt at Rest

Dr. Goldratt will be missed. His energy was second to none. 

My tribute is online at Main Street Stark


Monday, May 30, 2011

It's only been 30 years

I started my eCommerce career with a 300 baud modem, a Radio Shack computer, and CompuServe in 1981. Sold my first major virtual project in 1988. Moved to "The World" in 1990 as I recall; they were the first public dial-up ISP and still have a lot to offer. Learned to program object-oriented apps for Mac OSX in 1991, of course is was called NeXTstep back then, before Apple made nice with Steve Jobs and bought NeXT. Built my first commercial web site in December 1994. Built an eCommerce site for the hospitality industry and helped book millions of dollars in revenue circa 2000...

So it is very frustrating when eCommerce site blames me when their payment system fails to function properly. Yes, most often it is operator error. But when I assure you that the problem is on "your end" of the process, could you at least consider the possibility?

It should not take fours days to resolve a problem on your end. Not in today's economic environment.

Not if you expect to stay in business.

Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey

Friday, April 08, 2011

Today we are Rich by Tim Sanders

Tim Sanders' newest book, "Today we are Rich"

Sunday, January 30, 2011

When you are right, you're right

I am pleased...

I actually had to remind some very smart people that the internet is about making life easier. I am pleased to see the hyperlinks have returned to the stock tickers on the StockTwits50 chart.

Monday, January 24, 2011

SocMedia Challenge down on Main Street

Do you have what it takes?

Join the challenge for our search for a social media maven to do our SocMedia activities. The best of the best earns a contract for three months worth over $3000 ($25 per hour for 10 hours per week for thirteen weeks).

Monday, January 03, 2011

Mike Muhney and ACT!

Where were you on May 1, 1988?

Me? I was peddling ACT! version 1.1A for IBM DOS.

And still using the product well into 2005... yes, the DOS version in a CMD window on windoze. Today, I still play around with it on my Mac Air using DOSbox.

Here is a great interview of Mike by the one and only scobleizer on cinchcast...