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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Anderson’


Chris Anderson Keynote – Live Blogging GrowSmartBiz Conference

September 28th, 2009 ::

After Roy Dunbar gave a great briefing on the small business success index and up for our keynote is Chris Anderson, Editor of Wired and author of Long Tail and Free. He is Chris is talking about Gilligan’s Island – watched by 60% of households afterschool. That was all we knew because our choices were limited.

We learn more about our own taste as we are given more choice. In the 20th century we had scarcity of distribution – shelf space, store space. You product had to do extremely well to get seen. With the growth of the web niche audiences allowed the Long Tail to be a profitable space.

Part of our needs are satisfied by mass market offerings but another portion is linked to niche audiences.

The 20th century was the era of the big firm and the 21st century has seen that turned on its head.

The smartest people are not usually the people you work with but what if you could find those smart people or rather let them find you.

Our traditional model of big companies reaching big markets does not address the entire opportunity.

It is most likely that the little guy will scale up faster than the big guy scale downward. Because the moment you start a web site you are a global company.

It used to be when you wanted to start a company you had to make a huge investment. Now, you can start a business for a few hundred dollars.

Now let’s talk about the concept of Free.

It actually started in 1896. This was the dawn of the consumer packaging era. You had a general store with meats and produce and nothing in boxes. You didn’t have refrigeration back then and most things did not have a good shelf life.

A company bought this failed product called “Jell-O” and they didn’t know how to sell it. This was a medicine company that delivered medicine and thought “what if we delivered these products door to door”? There was a lot licensing for selling but there was a loophole that they could give away things so they printed 5 million recipe books on how to use Jell-O. They went door-to-door and there was a rush to the general store to buy the product. The razor and razor blades concept came soon after that which demonstrated the power of FREE.

You are not really getting it for FREE. You are paying for it, but not now, just later.

Then a new form of free came about in the digital world and that is what we distinguish between “atoms” and “bits”. You can produce bits at almost no cost and it is deflationary (cheaper as time goes on).

Google has almost 300 products and they are almost all free. The use search to subsidize everything else.

Freemium allows you to sample a product until you know you want more which is usually when you have to pay for it. The best thing is that when you convert to the paid version you become very loyal.

Biggest fact about freemium is that when people become paid members the churn is the lowest of all types of sales models.

A few places to look at where the Freemium model is doing well:

  • Music Industry
  • World of Warcraft
  • Second Life
  • Google

So for your business, you should look at all kinds of things that you can give for free to enable your own Freemium model.

REMINDER: Grow Smart Biz Conference on September 29 with Senator Mark Warner and author of "Free", Chris Anderson

September 25th, 2009 ::

GSB-ConfIf you are a casual reader to this blog you have probably heard that on September 29, in Washington, DC, Network Solutions is hosting the Grow Smart Biz Conference.

We have some great speakers with Keynotes by Chris Anderson and Virginia Senator Mark R. Warner for the GrowSmartBiz Conference.

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia

Senator Mark Warner (Photo Courtesy of U.S. Senate)

Senator Warner was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2008, and serves on the Senate’s Banking, Budget, Commerce and Rules committees. He served as Governor of Virginia from 2002-2006 after spending 20 years as a business leader in the high-tech industry. He also is the co-founder of telecommunications firm Nextel Communications, now known as Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S).

“Senator Warner has been a well-known leader in the high-tech industry for more than 20 years,” said Melina Formisano, vice president of marketing at Network Solutions. “He will provide GrowSmartBiz Conference attendees with a unique perspective due to his vast experiences.”

Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine and best selling author of “Long Tail” and “Free”

chris_anderson

For those of you not familiar with Chris, he is editor-in-chief of Wired, where he wrote an article in the magazine entitled The Long Tail , which he expanded upon in the book “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (2006).

Recently, Geoff Livingston of CRT/Tanaka and “The Buzz Bin” and myself had the opportunity to speak with Chris Anderson about his new book “FREE: The Future of a Radical Price” and the impact these business model have on small businesses.

The Grow Smart Biz conference is a premier one-day event featuring renowned small business leaders and well-known industry experts. I will be giving a short presentation on “10 Rules of Killer Business Cards” and guarantee that will be funny and informative. If you haven’t registered, then click here to learn more and register now. Tickets are going fast!

Nine Reasons to Attend the GrowSmartBiz Conference on Sept. 29, 2009

September 9th, 2009 ::

Nine reasons to sign up TODAY for the GrowSmartBiz Conference in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29! (http://tinyurl.com/gsbiz)

  1. Get an opportunity to network with small business owners and entrepreneurs – learn and grow your business at the same time!
  2. Gain insight – including tips and strategies – from more than 20 of the nation’s top small business experts.
  3. See Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and author of The Long Tail and Free, as the conference keynote.
  4. Walk away with executable, cost-effective ways to market, promote and grow your business.
  5. Find out what others are doing to weather the current economic storm – and pick up strategies and tactics you can apply to your own business.
  6. Learn how to navigate your way through what can be a financial maze from people who have done it – and succeeded.
  7. Expand your marketing arsenal – figure out how to enhance your current promotional efforts by integrating social media.
  8. Score lots of free stuff – including a free domain name from Network Solutions®, a copy of Chris Anderson’s best-selling book, Free, and business planning software from Palo Alto Software.
  9. TODAY ONLY, REGISTER TO RECEIVE TWO ADMISSIONS FOR JUST $99 TOTAL – A SAVINGS OF NEARLY $500! But, you have to act fast – the offer is only good on Wednesday, September 9 from 12 a.m. EST to 11:59 p.m. EST. REGISTER NOW by using the promo code: GSB999 and clicking here!

The GrowSmartBiz Conference will be held September 29, 2009, at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event was created to highlight the findings from the Small Business Success Index (SBSI) – an ongoing measurement of the overall health of small businesses commissioned by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and Network Solutions, and to provide small businesses with tips, information and network opportunities that will help small businesses thrive in the current economy. The conference will focus on key areas of business that small businesses view as critical to their success according to the 1,500 small businesses that were interviewed for the Small Business Success Index.

For more information or to register for the event, visit the GrowSmartBiz Conference site.  Don’t forget to turn in your small business success story for the chance to have it posted on the GrowSmartBusiness Blog and to receive FREE admission to the GrowSmartBiz Conference. For more details visit: http://tinyurl.com/gsbiz.

Interview with Chris Anderson of Wired and Author of "Free"

September 8th, 2009 ::

chris_andersonThis week, Geoff Livingston of CRT/Tanaka and “The Buzz Bin” and myself had the opportunity to speak with Chris Anderson about his new book “FREE: The Future of a Radical Price” and the impact these business model have on small businesses.

For those of you not familiar with Chris, he is editor-in-chief of Wired, where he wrote an article in the magazine entitled The Long Tail , which he expanded upon in the book “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (2006).

His new book, “FREE: The Future of a Radical Price” discusses how companies are attracting customers with indirect routes from product to revenue with such models as cross-subsidies (giving away a razor to sell razor blades) and freemiums (offering 90% of the product for free while selling the awesome remaining 10% to a portion of that base) which he calls “atoms and bits”.

We sat down with him and discussed the impact of “Free” on small businesses. Here is the transcript of our interview:

Steven Fisher: One of the main things in your book, Free, are the Four Types of Free. Two that are 100 years old, the Razor/Razor Blade model and the Media Model (Producer, Consumer and Advertiser). The two that are new – the incremental cost model and the gift economy. Is there anything different about a brand new business leveraging these models and maybe a more established small or growing business?

Chris Anderson: Not really. I think in terms of non-digital and non-digital “Free”. What is new is that technology has changed free from a marketing gimmick to a new economic model. This new form of free, based on near zero marginal cost which is an emerging biz model of the web and has completely changed marketing and product variety. If you can change something into software you can participate in this model. Whether it is the freemium model as a low cost part of marketing or product innovation, the choice is up to you.

Steven Fisher: You mentioned Radiohead as an excellent example of leveraging the Free model and setting a new precedent with the music model of album, single and tour. They introduced 35 different types of SKUs, many of which were free others which were premium. Is this type of diversification something that small businesses should experiment these days?

Chris Anderson: Two elements effect small businesses and free works both ways. Free isn’t just the price you set, it is also the price you pay for technology used in your own business. Today you can start a business with your credit card because of open source software and hosted services. So yes, small business should experiment as much as they can with this model on the purchasing and the utilization side.

Geoff Livingston: How long should a business wait for its model to start catching fire with stakeholders? Is there a point when you know it’s not working?

Chris Anderson: The one thing we have learned about business today is that no market is alike and no community is alike. You really need to think for yourself and what is right for your own product. Let’s use an example like BookTour.com. We deploy about a product a week and in some cases the product might need to be modified or marketed differently. There is the possibility that the price needs to be changed and on rare occasions it is a complete disaster. The bottom line is that each situation is unique and a small business will know instinctively when it is not working.

Geoff Livingston: What are the innovative types of Free you are seeing with small businesses you have come across?

Chris Anderson: There are so many and all the innovation right now is around the Freemium model. Especially in the area of versioning. This is where you have at least two levels of your product, one free and the other paid. The real question becomes, how much value do you put in the free one? Enough to attract new customers but not too much so you can entice a large percentage to upgrade to the paid version. After that you should look to address segmenting your market. It is all up-selling in some way but you have an opportunity to offer them more. The upside is that customers become extremely loyal and the churn rate goes down.

Crowdsourced Question from Nedra Weinreich (asked by Geoff): How can non-profits (who already often give away their service for free) apply the principles in his book more effectively.

Chris Anderson: One of the best examples of non-profits are associations which tend to be membership organizations. They serve their biggest members well, their smaller members somewhat well and non-members not at all. Their challenges are always getting more members. So if you can turn more of your services into software and you can offer this free to non-members it becomes a form of membership acquisition. It allows you to explain to more people what you do and the value you provide.

Crowdsourced Question from Mark Taylor (asked by Geoff): If he were to write a new edition of “The Long Tail…” what would he change in it since the business environment has changed so much in the 5 or so years since he wrote it.

Chris Anderson: Well, the “Long Tail” is largely a cultural phenomenon whereas “Free” is an economic phenomenon. The “Long Tail” is a true effect but the biggest thing people need to realize is that the money is not really in the long tail but rather the “fat middle”. But that wouldn’t have exactly make a great book title.

Steven Fisher: Chris, thanks for the time today. We really enjoyed it. We look forward to seeing you at the Grow Smart Biz conference at the end of month.

Chris Anderson: Great. Looking forward to it. See you all then.

Register for the Grow Smart Biz Conference and See Chris Speak

GSB-ConfComing on September 29, in Washington, DC, Network Solutions is hosting the Grow Smart Biz Conference where you can see keynote speaker Chris Anderson speak. The Grow Smart Biz conference is a premier one-day event featuring renowned small business leaders and well-known industry experts. If you haven’t registered, then click here to learn more and register now. Tickets are going fast!

Happy Labor Day and Some of the Best of Grow Smart Business

September 7th, 2009 ::

Here in the United States we are celebrating Labor Day which is the “unofficial end of summer” and when everyone is heading back from summer vacation ready to get back to work. We won’t be publishing anything else today but in the mean time there are two things we wanted to share with you:

Grow Smart Business Conference – Register Now!

Don’t forget to register for the first Grow Smart Business conference coming up on Sept 29 in Washington, DC at the Renaissance Hotel. Here is the summary on the event:

Join us for a premier one-day event featuring renowned small business leaders and well-known industry experts, including keynote speaker Chris Anderson.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs should attend to learn how to overcome challenges that all small businesses face. Attendees will hear from an outstanding group of panelists for concrete takeaways including:

  • Proven strategies for business growth despite the current economy
  • Executable, cost-effective ways to market and promote their businesses
  • Knowledge of what banks believe is the key to securing small business financing
  • Actionable ideas for integrating and leveraging social media into existing marketing and communications efforts

Presented By:

Great Content from the Grow Smart Business bloggers and contributors

Many of you come to the blog on a regular basis and know that Michael Dougherty recently joined the blog team on a regular basis. You might not be aware that we have a growing group of “Smart Business Contributors” who write on their specific area of expertise in small business. This is why we thought we would share some great posts from Grow Smart Business that you might have missed:

A Parable On Getting Your First Website by Michael Dougherty

The Entrepreneur’s Handbook – Start with these 10 Resources For First Time Entrepreneurs by Steven Fisher

What to do if you are downsized by Lorne Epstein

Evian babies in your face. Just like their GenX parents by Jessie Newburn

Email Marketing and You: So Happy Together by Monika Jansen

Social Media Marketing = Discussion Topic at GrowSmartBiz Conference

September 2nd, 2009 ::

Social media is a hot topic for businesses, large and small. The main question is, how do businesses integrate social media into their existing marketing efforts?

Network Solutions® is pleased to announce Jill Foster of DC Media Makers, Terri Holley of Creative Blog Solutions, Brent Leary of  CRM Essentials, Danilo Bogdanovic of Loudoun Scene and Joanna Pineda of Matrix Group will address this topic as the panelists for the Integrating Traditional Marketing with Social Media session at the GrowSmartBiz Conference.

Attendees will learn what social media is and gain a better understanding of social media tools. Learn how blogs can help showcase your expertise, how to harness brand advocates through social networks such as FaceBook© and Twitter, and where customer service fits into the social media world. Additionally, attendees will be able to determine whether or not social media can help market their business and, if so, what steps they need to take to develop and integrate a social media strategy that aligns with their current marketing efforts.

In addition this topic and to Wired Editor-in-Chief and author Chris Anderson’s keynote, the conference also will focus on the following topics:
•    Driving Small Business Performance with Marketing & Innovation
•    Raising Capital with Effective Finance Strategies
•    Stay Ahead in the Current Economy

The GrowSmartBiz Conference will be held on September 29, 2009, at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event was created to highlight the findings from the Small Business Success Index (SBSI) – an ongoing measurement of the overall health of small businesses commissioned by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and Network Solutions, and to provide small businesses with tips, information and network opportunities that will help small businesses thrive in the current economy. The conference will focus on key areas of business that small businesses view as critical to their success according to the 1,500 small businesses that were interviewed for the Small Business Success Index.

For more information or to register for the event, visit the GrowSmartBiz Conference site. Don’t forget to turn in your small business success story for the chance to have it posted on the GrowSmartBusiness Blog and to receive FREE admission to the GrowSmartBiz Conference. For more details visit: http://growsmartbsuiness.com.

Meet the GrowSmartBiz Conference Panelists that Will Discuss Marketing & Innovation

August 25th, 2009 ::

Network Solutions® is pleased to announce Steve King of Emergent Research and SmallBizLabs, Ramon Ray of SmallBizTechnology, Bob London of London, Ink, Marissa Levin of Information Experts and John Arnold, Constant Contact as the panelists for the GrowSmartBiz Conference topic session: Driving Small Business Performance with Marketing & Innovation.

These panelists will share their marketing tips, tricks and secrets; and discuss how they have developed and executed successful marketing campaigns and strategies; and provide insight on overcoming obstacles by focusing on innovation.

In addition to this topic and to Wired Editor-in-Chief and author Chris Anderson’s keynote, the conference will also focus on the following topics:
•    Raising Capital with Effective Finance Strategies
•    Stay Ahead in the Current Economy
•    Integrating Traditional Marketing with Social Media

The GrowSmartBiz Conference will be held on September 29 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event was created as a result of the Small Business Success Index (SBSI) – an ongoing measurement of the overall health of small businesses commissioned by the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and Network Solutions. The conference will focus on key areas of business that small businesses view as critical to their success.

For more information or to register for the event, visit the GrowSmartBiz Conference site.  Don’t forget to turn in your small business success story for the chance to have it posted on the GrowSmartBusiness Blog and to receive FREE admission to the GrowSmartBiz Conference. For more details visit: http://growsmartbusiness.com.

Great Resources for Creating a Great Business Model

August 5th, 2009 ::

Many people want to jump right in and write that killer business plan (that comes in a later post) but they could save alot of time if they focused on creating a great business model that gets cash flow positive fairly fast (within 12 months) and is scalable based on the level of investment.

There are some great resources on creating a great business model and we review them for you. Here we go:

Microsoft ISV/Software Solutions Competency: Partner Pathway to Business Performance

by IDC | Oct 2006

Our Thoughts: This is PDF white paper. Microsoft centric. Boring and outdated. Skip this one.

The new business model

by Guy Kawasaki | Oct 2004

Our Thoughts: Great video from an interview at Stanford Business School. Bottom Line – specificity, simplicity, and ask women. 3 minutes of well spent time.

A blog post on how to pay the bills before you get funded

by Steve Spalding | Mar 2008

Our Thoughts: A Little Nugget of Awesomeness. Has four great examples of web business models and practical advice.

One VC’s rant on the “business model, schmizness model”

by Peter Rip | Jul 2006

Our Thoughts: A bit cynical buy when you are a VC that has seen thousands of ideas come across your desk it is inevitable. He has a great chart on the “levers that trigger the return on equity”. Sounds nerdy but the chart is a test of whether your business model has possesses those triggers.

An overview of software pricing for startups

by Dharmesh Shah | May 2006

Our Thoughts: I was really afraid this was going to be an MBA class on pricing which would put me to sleep. However, it is a great breakdown on four “freemium” models.

Managing the Digital Enterprise

by North Carolina State University | 2008

Our Thoughts: WOW. This is a detailed bible on all types of web-based business models. If there is only one article you have time for, read this one to figure out the model you have or want.

Post on 14 Business models for free content

by Chris Anderson’s  | Sep 2008

Our Thoughts: This is from Chris Anderson’s blog (who is our Keynote for the Grow Smart Business conference in October) and it has a list of 14 free business models. No doubt taking a cue from his book, Free. They are interesting and worth a look.

Chris Anderson to Keynote GrowSmartBiz Conference

July 30th, 2009 ::

Network Solutions® is pleased to announce Wired Magazine Editor-in-Chief and Author of the books The Long Tail and Free Chris Anderson will be the keynote speaker for the GrowSmartBiz Conference.

Chris Anderson is a well-renowned, engaging speaker and we are excited to have him join us at the GrowSmartBiz conference,” said Roy Dunbar, Chairman and CEO of Network Solutions. “He has a tremendous background in technology and innovation, and truly understands the importance of small business, as well as the unique challenges small business owners face. This keynote – along with a well-established group of panelists – will ensure that attendees leave with executable strategies and tactics to grow their businesses.”

The GrowSmartBiz Conference will be held on September 29 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event is designed to help small businesses, from startups to well-established companies, successfully grow their enterprises and will include industry experts providing insight into key areas critical to small business growth and development.

Through keynote addresses, panel discussions and networking opportunities, attendees will leave the conference with:

  • Insights into best practices of successful small businesses,
  • Proven strategies for business growth despite the current economy,
  • Executable, cost-effective ways to market and promote their businesses,
  • Knowledge of what banks believe is the key to securing small business financing, and
  • Actionable ideas for integrating and leveraging social media into existing marketing and communications efforts

Registration is open and all attendees who register before August 7 will receive $100 off their registration fee. For more information visit the GrowSmartBiz Conference site. All attendees will receive Chris’ new book, Free, for free!

And, don’t forget to suggest and select a topic for one of the conference sessions! Visit http://growsmartbiz.ideascale.com/ for more details.