| Subcribe via RSS

How a new idea is born : THE-smiling-project.org

September 30th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing, photography

I m doing a lot of things, business, entrepreneur, neuromarketing, network and event  organizer, but I m also a photographer, and single since a few weeks… what’s the point to mention this ? .. you will understand. it’s rare to find some storytelling about how the idea came and what people are thinking at the time they just got the idea. so I m writing down all the details I have think about, during a walk trip around Manly Beach around Sydney.

Fact 1 : I like portraits. the thing I prefer is taking portraits. not because of the technical challenge of the photo, but just to be able to please people, and especially the ones who never had a real professionnal photoshoot before. Actually I have dozens of friends or contacts which are using my shoots for their profile pictures, and I like this, I like to have this new relationship with someone to receive his confidence, and allow me to have the intimacy to be the first.. the first photographer I mean :)

Fact 2 : Photo Battle software available .
Part of my business is software, software for end users, photo tagging for mobile, and recently with new projects, I m involved in decision making platform, using neuromarketing but also with simple solution. One of these software is a photo battle platform, ( such hotornot, or facematch a long time ago ), it’s easier and so “mobile” to show 2 pictures side by side and to choose the one you prefer, and so, I have this plateform available, but I needed a test project of my own to make some test with more people. ( contribution, validation, upload of new pictures ). I have the technical backoffice ready for this idea, that’s why the project is possible in a short time.

Fact 3 : how to make people discuss in the real world ?

That’s the problem and the solution, I m single and photographer, I want to meet new faces, but I m also shy. how to find a way to discuss with someone you don’t know ( for exemple this morning a group of 3 teenagers which were the perfect subjects for the project ). I don’t mean this project could be the solution to find a date but a way to be at ease to discuss with new people. just a way to exchange, obtain a little “yes”, because the request is rather easy. and so the confidence will come with the time and experience.

Fact 4 : a good idea, is a simple idea,
a simple idea doesn’t need a lot of explanation, it’s easy to expose. Part of my thoughts today was to find the best pitch to expose the project, the key sentence to explain it ( the tagline ) and how to justify each part ( that’s what I m building in the same time in this article )

Fact 5 : Ignore the competition, maybe this idea exists ( because it’s a simple idea ), but I did some research with the first name I had in mind, and only 2 web sites are using it. so it will be easy to be referenced in google search engine in front of the 2 others references I found. Also, this time, the exact domain name I wanted is available. ( let’s hope it’s a correct english one )

Fact 6 : there are always some persons who are inspiring you

Actually, I need to dedicate the project to 2 persons, one than I don’t know in real yet, and another one I meet only a few weeks ago, but than I appreciate for her support. Sometimes it’s when you have new friends which doesn’t know you since a long time than they can bring you a new point of view about yourself.

Fact 7 : some people like contest.

Because once you have collected plenty of pictures, you still need to show them off ! and because of the portrait orientation of the shoots, I think the best way to entertain people to watch pictures, is the photo battle view ( so 2 pictures by screen , one click to select the “best” smile and it will load another 2 pictures side by side. this way , it can also turn the platform into a contest for both models and photographers, an option would be implemented to see the best results of the last months ( new entries ) and ALL time ( to keep the best pictures forever accessible )

< screenshot to add soon here >

What is the project then !!!!! ??? 

THE-Smiling-project.org 

Instead of explaining the project with sentences, I m detailing it with a real sample and dialog ! ( with scenario of what could happen and what to do )

me ( a photographer ) : Hello, my name is Fabrice, I m part of  THE-Smiling-project, could you smile for me ?

Case 1 : reply : no sorry, I don’t smile, I m not a nice person, I will call the police, go away
in this case, that’s fine, she is not a person you want to discuss with anyway, that’s not your fault.

Case 2 : sorry, can you tell me more ? what is this project ?

the-smiling-project is a web site when we publish a lot of photos of people smiling. just because we think it is important to share happiness moment, I asked you because I saw you are a smiling persons, so I thought you would agree to participate. We take picture all over the world just to show we are finally all the same when we are happy!

( a lot of arguments can be used, depending on the persons, but once you have the dialog opened, even if you don’t have the shoot, you have discussed with someone new ! ) and it’s better approach to just claim to be a photographer and you like the smile / face of this person.

Case 3 :

the person replies :  Yes sure, ( person smiling ) …shoot … done !

if she doesn’t ask question back, that’s not a problem, you can always give a business card, and suggest to contact you to share the picture, or ask her contact.
and after the shoot  ?

you will need to upload the picture, and it will be added in the general contest , the contest is a front page with some links to explain the project, but mainly it’s the battle view with the sentence : which smile do you prefer ?

Requirement : 

You could benefit to use a good digital camera, to look really like a photographer, but it could work with an iPhone too.. if you have the legitimity of a “THE-Smiling-project.org” business card ! ( that’s why we consider to do that , as soon as possible )

Projet summary :

web site :  http://www.the-smiling-project.org

a photo web site which connect people with a smile.
Volunteers all over the world collect happiness photos

TakeAways : 

– project to meet new persons
– platform for photographers to show their work
– social experience using crowdrating to understand people preference
– personal ( real user case of PhotoBattle  platform )

Problems still to be resolved :

How to get the contact / email / name of the persons ? if they don’t follow the project from the information of the business card.
How to not scare them if they understand they could be published online.
How to deal with moderation and allow people to tag themselves.
What business model  ? :)

More reading :

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas/HumBeh_p043.shtml

http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongbeauty/tp/smiling.htm

 

ARTICLE IS UNFINISHED YET… public just to let some helpers to review it and helps to correct or give first feedback. more content to be updated ( logo, tagline etc.. )

 

Tags: ,

Pretotyping vs Lean startup vs BootStrapping vs Scrum method ?

A long time, I didn’t write in english ( which is definitely not my native language and I apologize in advance for all the mistakes ) but as I will speak about a video in english, let’s be international.

pretotyping or prototyping

Quick testing to fail at no cost

A few days ago, Dan Epelman, Director of Program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business suggested me to look at  http://www.pretotyping.org/pretotype-it—the-book , after I mentioned than one of my last project which is a eco-friendly printer software was built ( idea to product including the mid term communication strategy ) using some of the methods I discovered when I was in Stanford ( class of  Strategic Marketing Management , Class of 2010 )

I liked a lot this video of Pretotyping, but my purpose isn’t to explain what it is , because the video and the book are there , but the question is why I liked it ? and  why I would like to share it ? and what is the link with my current activities or practice.

In short, from how I understand, the pretotyping approach is to validate a concept with a very small test before launching the prototype. Most of ideas fails, and the only way to ask to somebody if they agree and like the idea isn’t enough. and it’s sooooooo true ! ask if they would like a service and they will probably say yes, if they don’t need to pay, or even just use it regularly.

Once I watched the video ( I didnt read the book yet ) , I was thinking about all the other methods arounds to compare, what is the difference with bootstrapping ( = make a project with no or few ressources ), the lean startup, or scrum methods ? that’s all the same and all different methods, depending what is your background , what is your current project status, and your past experience about it.

What I like about the Pretotyping manifesto is the fact is make sense, but it feels so much what and how I works already, so I will be part of the people who like it because it gives fundamentals, basement, canvas, theory to what I think I m doing already.

The definition of Pretotyping by the authors :

Pretotyping
[pree-tuh-tahy-ping], verb: 

Testing the initial appeal and actual usage of a potential new product by simulating its core experience withthe smallest possible investment of time and money.

But I prefer much more the tagline :

Make Sure you are building the right “it” before your build it right

And that’s true, most of the ideas aren’t so good, or people will not put the energy ( or money ) to use the service or the product, that’s why things like http://www.startupweekend.org is a great way to validate an idea in a very short period of time ( 2 days )

In my own experience, I never hesitated to use “fake door” method, which is for exemple to put a button in your app, and even if this button makes nothing you track how many people are using it.

if people doesn’t use it, it could be because :

1 – it’s not visible
2 – not well explained ( wording in the button, or explanations )
3 – People doesn’t have any interest in it.

it requires some experience to know what to do in each case, and when to give up. Your idea is great, your product is great, but you just don’t know how to access people who could use it.. it’s the most common problem I could see.

Another notice, I am member and investor in the local business angels association of my area, so I have seen dozens of pitchs and presentation, so I know how much it is valuable to not only have the idea but to also to know how to validate them, then convince investors, then .. make it profitable ! As said in the video, no point to spend 1.2 Millions in communication to make 1M in profit, unless you have really a good branding strategy.

One last thing…

Finally, the video has been recorded in January 2012 and it is funny to see what they said about instagram now we know the acquisition details http://mashable.com/2012/04/10/instagram-timeline/

Tags: , , , , ,

How to use Popup domination, aweber or mailchimp for mailing

February 25th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in article, ecommerce, emarketing

BIG UPDATE : April 2012 , My own company acquires a competitor of Popup Domination, we are welcome to check it : http://www.wpsubscribers.com , it’s a good alternative to consider to build your mailing list with wordpress

What all these names ? it’s email marketing tools. to create mailing list and campaigns and send your crap to your visitor. I m not very fond of these tools but I don’t want to spam them, I want to notify them, and it is all the difference.
from some friends and contact, I have been recommanded 2 tools to power the mailing list :

Aweber logo

http://www.aweber.com or http://www.mailchimp.com

I selected mailchimp, because the monkey was fun :) , it is not only the reason, there is a free plan, and I have heard of a bug with aweber concerning the post and validation message to be in english only, which will not be suitable with my users database. Also because they have a free app for iPhone and the trend of popularity of their service seem to be pretty good

If you check at the popularity of the 2 services with Alexa

In order to get new subscribers or notify existing customers, I choosed this plugin for wordpress :

Popup Domination plugin which is supposed to work well with wordpress and compatible with either aweber or chimpmail as a backend.

stay tuned, you should see the popup to try it in a few seconds if you didn’t see it already


And now, the new reference is really WPSubscribers, because it is more complete and contains more methods, and because I can make sure development includes new requirement and suggestions for bloggers and users

logo of WPSubscribers

 

Tags: , , , ,

Limited offer : Free Neuromarketing webinar

February 15th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in article, emarketing, Neuromarketing

About 6 months ago, I was lucky enough to be accepted in a Stanford Graduate School of Business entitled “Strategic Marketing Management” ( aka SMM ). One of the key subject was Neuromarketing, something I was sensitive already, as I was interested into NLP ( Neuro Linguistic programming ), but NeuroMarketing was getting straight to the point or very simple rules, which is changing your mind, and make you communicate, market, sell, or even create products and service a better way. I would like so much to share my mind with all the samples and all the actions and experience I ran since the last 6 months, and I need to thank again Baba Shiv and all the others faculties I have met ( and the participants )

Funny facts are my consulting company is named “brainfight”.. and the new company name is ObviousIdea, but in a contest where I received 1226 logos, the final winner was a logo with .. a brain.

You can watch a screencast I did  about how people behave to a choice of 8 selected logos, and how to select a logo ( in french sorry )

Today I received an email from a neuromarketing specialist, in exchange of a 5 minutes survey about your Twitter habits, you can watch a 1-hour webinar about Neuromarketing, and the basics rules which could turn your marketing skills and results to the next level. The webinar you will be able to watch is awesome, it is really a nice summary of the Neuromarketing secrets, and even with extensive class about it, I enjoyed the video at lot. If you understand it, you would be able to say too, it can definitly influence your mindset about how to communicate and market your products.

Fill the survey and watch the free webinar

Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts about the topic

UPDATE : I found a copy of this excellent video of the webinar on Youtube , watch it , it could change your life and the way you are doing business.

this Webinar is animated by Patrick Renvoise from SalesBrain, french founders based in silicon valleyr, and my favorite neuromarketing agency

Tags: , , , , ,

Best sites to download WordPress templates catalog

January 30th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in ecommerce, emarketing, software review

I need a  top of the art wordpress templates for my new web site, which has a very good traffic ( http://www.obviousidea.com ) , it is a web site where different products will be available in the showcase.
so it is products / software oriented, with the need to display differents category ( online web apps, windows software and application, photo oriented products, but also iPhone & iPad apps )

the purpose of this post is to select and list the best web site to find the WordPress template of your dream :


http://www.templatemonster.com/wordpress-themes.php
good old web site providing templates and model for popular CMS, it is not limited or specialized to WordPress, but a website I know since a few years already. Price starts around 50$ and you may have an option to have someone installing it for you.

http://www.rockettheme.com/wordpress
Suggested by a friend when I asked by twitter and facebook for a suggestion list of references. I didn’t navigate too much, but worth to be listed ( Price starts from 50$ )

they have also phpBB theme, but finally, due to the lack of feedback for phpBB SEO mod and the possibility to add facebook connect to a phpBB3 forum, I prefered to invest a few $$ and I purchased a Vbulletin forum :  http://forum.obviousidea.com . But.. soon I will probably look for provider for a Vbulletin style / interface / theme / templates , whatever how they call it.


http://www.woothemes.com/

Woothemes is specialized into WordPress templates, with very smart business prices, ( buy 1 , get 3 free ), also with membership subscription. I like the woothemes website designs, but I didn’t search too much yet in their template database. Nevertheless, I know it is very popular provider for WordPress as their logo ( bottom right of live templates ) is visible in a lot of popular blogs.

and the best one ( on my humble opinion ) is :

http://themeforest.net/

I like the quality of the templates, not limited to offer a good look but also with nice features to make your daily post easier to manager, it is definitly the one I m looking first.
I bought some code from them already at http://codecanyon.net/
it works with a deposit system, so you can make a deposit and use the credit for differents items ( not only the templates )

If you have any suggestions for more web site like this, please share in comments

*** MORE to be updated ***

http://www.wordpressthemes.com/
http://www.blogohblog.com/

http://www.wpthemegenerator.com?prd=brainfight

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , ,

a homeless person learn me about marketing

January 14th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in emarketing

While I was in a business and holiday trip in california, we saw at a light stop, a homeless guy – or maybe a brillant student in marketing with dirty clothes in purpose – with a sign with this sentence :

“Wife and children kidnapped by ninjas, need money for karate lessons”.

You can print it as a frame :)

Well, unluckly I wasn’t able to take a photo as I was driving, so I found one on google but it makes me think about how effective this sentence could be instead of the usual quotes ” I have 4 children, need to eat etc…”

I really hesitated to donate to this guy, as I really think this kind of humor could be a nice uniqueness option to get attention. But… is making smile someone is the most efficient way to make people donate money ?

I don’t know.. but I remember this quote enought to post it in a blog. so it was memorable enough to get attention but not efficient enough to get paid.