Manas Kumar, Thinking out Loud

my thoughts & visions for technology

Archive for the ‘Business Intelligence’ Category

InkWorks – Missed Opportunities at Point of Sale

with one comment

InkWorks - This is some other store. I am talking about their store in the Westfield shopping centre in Henderson, Auckland.

I recently had to (or rather I was forced to) refill my HP Photosmart C8180 All-in-One printer cartridges. Thankfully I never paid for this God forsaken printer but received it as a Free gift from the folks at Harvey Norman circa 2008. No wonder Harveys wanted to get rid of these criminal machines produced by HP (A company I thought was on the right track until now) that just goes into “self destruct” mode if you dont refill the cartridges (even if you never print in color, for the “All-in-one functions to work, it needs ink – WHAT????). Anyway, never buy HP Photosmart C8180 All-in-One printer.

Anyway, this post is not about HP – its about InkWorks, an ink refill shop in the Westfield in Henderson. I was amazed by the level of customer service at this shop especially when the kind lady serving me had no technical knowledge but knew enough to do a good job of answering my questions.

So I asked her to find 0ut which one of my cartridges are empty so I can simply get those refilled, kill the print capabilities in that stupid printer and use the scanner (which is what I needed the darn thing for in the first place). By the by… she kindly gave me the Cyan and Magenta cartridges that I needed and charged me a very reasonable amount for it (cheaper than Dicksmiths or Warehouse Stationary).

PLUG for InkWorks – You guys rock!!! I strongly recommend that you checkout the guys at InkWorks when you need your printer cartridges refilled.

After that, she gave me a couple of bullet points about how they’re doing their bit to save the environment and their efforts to partake in the GREEN movement- It was genuie.

She asked me if this was my first purchase at the store and then requested me to write my details on a card for warranty purposes. She made it very clear that all she needed was my name and phone number – nothing else. I was almost waiting for her to ask me for other details but she didn’t.

Now check this out – Robert Redford taught Brad Pitt the secrets of photographic memory in Spyguy so I scanned through the form using Redford’s tips and remember the following

  • Name (both first and last were combined into one field)
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Address

On the right they had:

  • The type of printer I have
  • And 2 other fields that I am struggling to remember now

Not bad ha!

Now here’s the thing: That lady (I must say she was the kindest person I’ve met at a checkout of a store selling tech stuff), who I think was the store owner, just did not understand the importance of capturing as much detail as she could in that form. Someone must have told them that its important to know the things in the form, hence the fields set out in the order that they were.But sadly enough the lady just didn’t get the importance of such a thing.

More so, I am purchasing something that does not work if I dont have a computer – and if I have a computer, you can almost guarantee 100% that I also have internet – which means I also have an email address…but she does not have my email address though…I’m sad for you InkWorks 😦

Now on the right hand side of the form, they asked for “Which printer I had” – well of course they would. But are they using this information in any constructive way?

They know the date I refilled my cartridge. Given that they know how long it lasts, all they need is to find out whether or not I am a heavy user, moderate user or I hardly ever use color for printing; that way they’d know when next to send me a promo offer to refill – how hard do you think is that?

They also could have known which type of printer I have, so if they ever ran a promo in conjunction with the Computer Store outside the mall, they could approach me to make a purchase – I dont know…think of so many different things InkWorks could do if only they had the information.

I get frustrated with companies like these ones – they’re brilliant at what they do. Lovely people, great product, brilliant service – but poor marketing and presence of mind. Sorry guys, the world around you is changing, people are getting more and more online savvy – you need to use every opportunity you can to increase the lifetime value of a customer – LTV is GOLD InkWorks – I wish you were great at using marketing tools like email marketing and online surveys – then you’d become the number one printer cartridge refill company in New Zealand.

Another Plug: Email me if you need help in this area… 🙂

Advertisements

Wisdom of the crowd – democracy of social networks

with 8 comments

Google Rocks!

I know the title of this post is a mouthful, but I was struggling to actually come up with a title that justly headlines the content of this post. I need to warn you that this is by far the most technical post I’ve ever made on my blog. I must admit, I have my reservations about this particular post. I don’t expect this to be the bumper hit like my Tips for Social Networking post last month that attracted 17,000 views within 3 hours of posting. Anyway, it’s worth a try – don’t you reckon?

Well! This post is about introducing you to a mathematical beauty that has been known to science pretty much since the days of binary. I’ll spare you the jargonificaiton – what I’m trying to get at is the mathematical explaination behind the growth of companies like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, You Tube and LinkedIn.

It’s called the Viral Expansion Loop, something I remember studying in my Math majoring days but only recently the concept was reignited by a business contact Dave Wild, from Smith & Wild who passed me a couple of articles on Forbes and Fast Company. Dave, this post is because of you – You’ve reignited my passion in this area even though it has been inside my head all this while, albeit dormant.

Now the Viral Expansion Loop (VEL) is not the same as Viral Marketing – quite different actually, both in concept and delivery. Viral Expantion Loop is what explains how a variant of the flu virus turns from an “interesting mutation” to an epidemic and then progresses along to become a pandemic. Read the rest of this entry »

Sentiment Analysis for social engineering

with one comment

Sentimentality - A bunch of smileys sourced from Google Images.

Sentimentality - A bunch of smileys sourced from Google Images.

Many of my readers may find this post rather confusing but I will try my best to keep it simple.

Sentiment analysis is a very new field that has emerged out of the Semantic Web or Web 3.0 as some refer to it. You’ve heard of Web 2.0 but what is Web 3.0?

There are several high level definitions on Google for Semantic Web – but here’s my definition of the semantic web in common English.

Semantic web is a new era in the life of the world wide web where the internet is no longer used as the information super highway or the social hangout space, it will now become an intelligent medium that translates, elaborates, communicates and most importantly moderates all your social interactions with anything via the web.

Remember the popular “the Machine is using us” video put together by social anthropologist Michael Wesch? Well that described how the web has evolved from being 1 dimensional (content only) to 2 dimensional (form Vs content) and now it’s about to become 3 dimensional (form, content and MEANING). Read the rest of this entry »

The imminent death of the OS

with one comment

Got this from Google, like always.

Got this from Google, like always.

The operating system as we know it is coming closer to extinction.

There was a time in computing when the operating system governed what and how you can use software on a PC or Mac. Microsoft for one has made it’s billions by selling the Windows Operating System, and by producing good quality software (Like MS Word) it made sure the revenue streams remained open for generations to come as it kept improving (or sometimes degrading, e.g. Vista) its operating system.

If you want something like Outlook, you have to use the Windows OS, if you want something like Keynote, you have to be on a Mac and so on. Software, for the last 2 decades has depended on the OS to be accessible by the end users. Read the rest of this entry »

How much of your business is in the cloud?

with 2 comments

Cloud Computing Information Super Highway

Cloud Computing Information Super Highway

Hello readers…what a month this has been. I must admit, this month has actually been busier than any other “June” in the last 7 years of my business history. I guess it’s a good thing – I’m not complaining… Anyway, but before I shoot off on a tangent, let me bring your focus onto something that you as a business need to be thinking about going forward.

I am certain that most of you (one of my 8,000 odd readers) would have come across the term “Cloud Computing” – well if you havent then here you go – Cloud Computing.

Here’s how our corporate website defines it

http://www.genesisweb.co.nz/genesis+interactive/content/What+is+cloud+computing/58

Here’s how I personally define it – The central nervous system of the operating system of 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

The Internet is about to CHANGE in a big way

with 4 comments

This article will surely raise some questions for you. But no matter what, please remain calm

This article will surely raise some questions for you. But no matter what, please remain calm

To innovate or not to innovate?

The other day while driving back from a meeting across the shore, I had one of those “flashes”. I happen to get these flashes quite often and it is these that are responsible for some of the most innovative “stuff” we have come up with at Genesis Interactive.

This blog post is not about all the past flashes so I’ll get straight into it now.

The flash: We have this plethora of online “channels” around us; social networking sites, blogging platforms, microblogging platforms, email systems, online softwrae, webpages etc. It seems like we have reached a point in history where innovation exhaustion is inevitable. Here’s what I mean. If you are someone like me, you will have a massive online footprint. Google yourself and you will quickly find out what the “online world” knows about you, your past, your present and God knows what else.

Who is going to consolidate all this informaiton, all this data? How is this going to be done? When?

You have one login for Google services, another for Acrobat; then comes the multiple logins for social media sites, twitter, facebook, myspace, bebo, LinkedIn and so on…Keeping all these logins the same is a major risk making you vulnerable to identity thefts – guess or crack one login and you’ve got access to virtually the life of a person.

Notice I mention these social media platforms in lower cases – signifying that there is nothing “unique” about these names to be considered a Proper Noun. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s for lunch today?

with 2 comments

Eating Lunch

I don't know these people. They too, probably spend $4k/yr on lunch and coffee.

This morning I took the liberty of doing a little research along the 50meter or so walk from where I park to the office. In this short distance there are a number of cafés and as I ordered my coffee, I ask the Barista how many coffees a day would her regulars have? “2 – 3” was the reply. After finishing my coffee I decided to ask the same question in a few other cafés along my walk, I also asked how much they would spend on food. I even plucked up the courage to ask the same question of a few professional looking people walking up the street with coffee in hand. I don’t think I have to tell you the type of, ‘are you a freak,’ looks that I got as a result.

Hardly scientific I know but enough for my purpose. Here’s what I discovered with my little survey;

On average inner city workers will purchase 2 coffees per day and spend approximately $10 on food. Now let’s do some maths. When you minus leave and public holidays we work around 46 weeks per year or approximately 230 days. A flat white coffee costs around $3.80 per cup, times that by two and that’s $7.60 per day. Wow! That’s $1,748 a year on ‘coffee!’ Add to that the $2,300 we spend on something to eat and you have a total of… $4,048 dollars.

That’s $4k per year that’s going in the top end, dropping out the bottom-line and providing no investment value in the middle. In accounting terms I believe that’s called a deficit. Read the rest of this entry »