Archive for April, 2011



Why Google Is Failling in Social Media

I have been puzzled about Google’s inability to do well in the social media space. I have watched them take over Blogger and instead of making it better and more relevant, they managed to lose market share. There were another string of failures like Dogeball, Jaiku, Lively, Buzz and Wave. Even Orkut, the largest social network in Brazil, is now losing the Brazilians to Facebook. I have seen several of my friends migrate from Orkut recently. It wasn’t until a recent article in FastCompany profiling Larry Page, Google’s CEO, that I got a clue into the search giant’s ineptitude at social media. As it turns out, Larry does not use social media. Now it all makes perfect sense. Organizational culture is driven from the top. It makes sense that what the leadership values, their passion and interests get researched, funded and developed. It’s interesting to me that such a large…

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How to Attract More Professionals to Your Church

In a bad economy, Pastor Steve Robinson knows how to get things done. He leads Church of the King, a fast-growing dynamic church in New Orleans that despite Hurricane Katrina,  the stock market crash, is managing to build a beautiful new building with cash. Church of the King is starting 3 new campuses this year as well. If you ask him how he has managed to attract generous business people who give liberally to the ministry his answer is simple: turn down the volume and turn up the light. Could it be that easy? Steve is a great communicator and leader with a strong team guiding the church always looking for new ways to help people in their community to connect with God. But I also know a lot of other pastors like him all over the country who share the same gifts. As a matter of fact, Church of…

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The Problem with Fakes

Last time I was in Hong kong I bought a couple of Rolexes. Instead of costing thousands of dollars each, they cost less than 100 dollars for both watches. These are great-looking replicas of the original. From the heavy weight of the watch to  the smooth second hand movement, these watches look and feel like the real thing. After I bought them, I reasoned with myself, “why did I ever by a real one?” There’s only one problem with my imitation watches: they can’t keep time. Every time I wear one of my Falsex watches, I’m reminded why I love my real Rolex. In life, much like my watches, the fake seldom deliver on their promises. In the business world we deal with salespeople and companies that promise us a product or services just as good as the high-quality, more expensive version, but for less than half of the price.…

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A Survival Lesson from a 108 Year Old Retailer

Retail is a tough business these days. Mega stores are shutting down mom & pop operations all over the world. Saturday afternoon I visited a clothing store downtown Vienna that has been in business under the same family ownership for the past 108 years. That’s staying power. It has endured two world wars, bombings, fires, the great depression and numerous other challenges that I can’t even begin to imagine. As I compare my experience of buying a traditional Austrian coat at Loden-Plankl with my previous week’s shopping attempt in Vienna in which I blogged about here, there are obvious differences that I am certain have contributed to their century-long staying power. Unique Merchandise. Loden-Plankl sells primarily traditional Austrian clothing. While it might not be the “it” thing to wear, their apparel is never out of style ( I thought the multi-button collarless sports coat was a very stylish, thus my…

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Partnership as a Business Model

Years ago I decided to make a major shift in my business. We moved from being a vendor of services and resources to our clients to becoming strategic partners. If we cannot be a strategic partner, we’ll most likely decline the work, specially if it’s an involved and complicated project.  This shift in strategy has had a very positive impact in our effectiveness, quality and  profitability. Yesterday The A Group unveiled to 28 different countries in Europe and north Africa a very large and dynamic online tool for, the largest Christian broadcaster in the world. This online tool gathers media content from users world wide in 160 different countries and 200 different languages and organizes, re-purposes, and makes information available to multiple devices, i.e. phone, website, and download. The successful launch happened because of our strategic partnership and how the A Group team and TWR’s team worked together during…

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How Social Media Has Changed the Way I Travel

Social media has changed my life. That’s a bold statement but I really mean it. The latest impact has been on how I travel. It has created an entire new dynamic experiencing that has enhanced the joys of discovering new places, meeting new people and eating well. Recently I was planning a trip to eastern Europe which I’m currently on, and tweeted that I was going to visit Prague. One of my tweeter followers Jennifer Lyn King, saw the post and reached out to me. She’s a Texan living in Prague with her family. Since she has followed me for a while she knows my love of good food and recommended several great local restaurants most tourists would never find, and where reservations a week ahead are a must. She also took time to meet us face-to-face and give us a tour of the city. What a great way to…

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Vienna Needs a New Retail Strategy

I have been in Vienna for a couple of days now and while my body is getting used to the 6-hour time change, my mind still struggles with some of the mindset that’s very unlike my own. I’m going to refrain from labeling my sensitivities as American/Brazilian, but I’m sure they have foundations on both cultures. One facet of the Viennese culture I’m having a hard time accepting is the retailers attitude toward consumers. Those of you who know me personally, know I actually enjoy shopping.   Yesterday I went to no less than a dozen stores, both bargain as well as high end. Throughout the entire day, not once a store clerk approached me and offered to help or even the simple, “let me know if I can help you with anything.”  Sometimes workers stood right next to me stocking shelves, other times they stood at their post next…

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My Travel Fashion Strategy

I travel a lot. A whole lot. People are always asking me how do I go for a week with just one carry on. How do you decide on what to take on a trip? While none of us want to take extra stuff, we certainly don’t want to be caught with less stuff than what we need. Over the years I have come up with a traveling fashion strategy. Pick a color palette. When I’m traveling for business, my color palette is usually black and one or two accent colors for shirts. This way I make sure that every shirt, socks and pants match each other. If you have a spill or pull a button or hole then it could ruin your one good outfit you had planed. When I go on vacation or to the tropics, I usually pick a navy or tan color scheme. Right now I’m…

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