The web is the people

The web has changed a lot since the early 1990’s. if we think back to the dominant behaviour in 10 year blocks it tells us a clear story about how the web is being ‘organised around the people’. Which means that the people are certainly not organising themselves around the technology. It sounds obvious, but it’s worth remembering as we embark on any business project.

the 1990’s – the web was all about browsing. Finding places to go. Websites – the WWW era.

the 2000’s – the web was all about search. The Google god, SEO and ensuring we had page 1.

the 2010’s – the web (so far) is becoming more human. Social interaction & guidance. It is segmenting, grouping & geolocating.

And we can see this in the evidence we find in how the web is being trafficked. According Hitwise web traffic to portals is down -21%, traffic for web search is flat and traffic to social forums is 52% up. Just like life, people don’t want to leave their stream if they can help it. We’d rather stay with the ‘life juice’ that our human relationships provide. Another simple example is what is happening to brands in social forums. Most brands have 10 times the the Facebook fans than they have in monthly visits to the home portal. The best example is Coke, which currently has 33.8 million fans versus 270k visits to its home page per month.

I guess one thing has never changed in business, and that is the best place to take our brand, is where the people already are.


Quirky Fact & Business models

It costs the soft drink Industry over $100 million a year for thefts committed involving vending machines.

Actual Coke vending machine robots!

*actual Coke vending robots!

Yet vending machines still exist for one simple reason. This is still a profitable business regardless of the theft.

So often in startup land we here people pointing out the gaps and potential issues in any business model we propose. The fact is no business model is perfect. Every business has gaps and potential issues which will impact profitability. There is always leakage, there is always some evaporation. What we need to focus on is the net result and understand if we can still make a profit regardless of the model imperfections.

Picture 117

New York Series – Coke is ‘not’ it

All cultures differ in terms of what is acceptable commercial behaviour. It’s become clear to me that the US has a stronger lassie-fare attitude when it comes to consumer goods and product claims.


Coke with Vitamins!

The government allows this folly, and then wonders why there is an obesity crisis. More like an Intelligence crisis.

Startups – Don’t just make stuff people will buy, make stuff you can be proud.


Badvertising – New Mother by Coke

Many including startup blog predicted the death of Mother Energy Drink before it was launched. By the way this was Coca Cola Australia’s 4th attempt to get a share of the energy soft drink market. Other attempts included Lift Plus, Burn and Sprite recharge. All of which bombed.

As predicted ‘Mother’ should have been called ‘Dog’. So they’ve burried the old stock on hand and Coke have re-launched Mother with an all new fix all flavour. Which has lead to the following badvertising:


Memo to Coke Marketing team: Taste has nothing to do with it. Half of Red Bull’s consumers even admit they don’t like the taste. Consumers know the same people developed the flavour profile of this launch too, and yes they know it’s made by Coke.

The energy space is already occupied in the minds of consumers. The market is already dominated by two powerful brands with strong identities & distribution depth. Save your money on advertising and put it towards buying Red Bull gloablly or V for the Asia Pacific market – because this category is already game set match. The two horse race which all categories become has been run and won.

One more thing – this spot is so contrived, your target market would be laughing at you.

Kind regards – Startup Blog.

Note to start ups – if you’re launching a me too, without a price, distribution or technology advantage – best to re-think the launch plans. If Coke can’t do it – why can you?