Archive for May, 2014

Illuminated iPhone 5 Apps screen on a computer keyboard Editorial Photography

© Paul Radulescu

OK, so Google brand just elbowed Apple brand out of the way in the nonstop roller derby of world’s most valuable  brand. So what? So this means that Apple’s time in the sun as Master of the Innovation Universe is history? Don’t bank on it.

In an innovation slug-fest, in which the physics associated with mega companies makes it ever more difficult to stop-and-pivot on a dime, big cash reserves can buy a lot of innovation. Why do you think Google/YouTube is in perpetual shopping mode? Ditto Apple. Double-ditto Facebook.  Each of these cash-laden titanosaurs has strengths and weaknesses. And, when you blow away all the smoke,  GOOG is at heart a search engine, FB is a social network and AAPL manufactures consumer electronics and computer software products.

As long as Apple makes and sells things with which people actually do things–and without which those users would be incapable of searching anything and/or posting incessant updates, it’s going to have the inside track in the value derby.



Small Big Business Handshake Size









© Dave Bredeson


Financing your tech venture, especially product development, may require sources of funds untypical of VCs or Angels. It might point to a source you may not have considered: a potential customer, ideally one with deep pockets and a history of early adoption.

In certain cases, the right corporate customer may want to explore the possibility of influencing a tailored product, especially an I.T. solution.

If this sounds like you, here are a few essentials your appeal for financing should address:

>Spotlight your team’s experience/accomplishment in similar projects such as the one you’re proposing. What can you tell them that will inspire confidence that you can execute? Put yourself in their shoes. What would inspire you?

>Describe a scenario or two or three by which your target can gain a better understanding of the way you think about approaching the kinds of problems you’re purporting to solve — and delivering what would amount to a beta release.

>To the best of your knowledge, what resources do you need to mount the type of project you’re proposing: how much money are you looking for and where will it go?

Your objective for meeting #1 is simple: get invited to meeting #2. You want the discussions to continue. But no matter if there’s is a second meeting or not, you will leave the first one with invaluable information about customers and product requirements. This is pure gold. Be prepared with questions of your own as well as clear, candid and confident answers to the ones they ask you.


BYOD Bring your own Device Tablets Icon Cloud and
About a year ago, Stanford University’s information systems (SUNet) suffered a sophisticated and serious breach evidently originating from a quasi-governmental entity in Asia, according to the May/June issue of Stanford Magazine. It was a first for Stanford and, from all accounts, it was the cyber equivalent of the Loma Prieta 1989 earthquake. It penetrated the core of SUNet’s authentication systems. Yes, this was serious.

Fortunately thus far for Stanford and its SUNet users, there’s been no evidence of compromises to personal information such as Social Security and credit card numbers, or personal health information.

“But the attack shook us up,” said Stanford’s Randy Livingston, vice president of business affairs.  When you consider that campus operations involve more than100 merchants who accept credit cards, you can appreciate Livingston’s post-traumatic stress.

In fact, Stanford is not alone among American universities incessantly subjected to attacks that are made all the more harrowing and potentially disastrous due to the rampant BYOD culture of college campuses. Not to mention the inherent resistance to the BYOD mandates so common among businesses today. There’s no way to prevent security breaches, of course, especially when they’re conducted by forces at the governmental level.  Still, in the post-BYOD era, layered security is the best bet. It’s useful to think home security here, where we have alarm systems and locks on our doors and windows. It’s not an either/or, it’s both. And then some.


When he’s not ranting on this blog, Stan DeVaughn oversees customer development and marketing at RightOn Mobile, a BYOD security start-up in stealth mode, and collaborates with agency partner Peter Davé at Write Angle, Silicon Valley’s premiere content-development specialists for the tech industry.

I consult for a stealth start-up in the BYOD-security category. Which, in case you haven’t noticed, is giving new meaning to the term “saturated”. What I pointed out to them this week has a nearly universal resonance for marketers and entrepreneurs of all stripe, beyond IT, BYOD, MDM, or most other acronyms.It boils down to this: it’s mission-critical for your customer outreach and content, in all their multiple forms, to depict your solution exclusively through the eyes of the folks whose attention you seek. You need every talking point (and everything backing it up) to convey user-centric content. Exclusively.

So, you can never know too much about your user’s world. And you must see this world through their eyes, knowing everything there is to know–at least to the extent that you can. This and this alone enables you to present a forceful case for yourself as the solution of choice — the most comprehensive value proposition in a category saturated with alternatives.

Start by rigorously stripping out of your website any and all things that could give the impression that your approach is just a derivative of seeing your target users through the prism of your solution.  This, BTW, is how practically all vendors sound to their target customers. Same thing applies to oral delivery. Unless you stand out, you stand down.

The more you know your user’s world, the more authoritative and diligent and rigorous you appear. This will resonate with a senior IT types, whether they’ve risen through the ranks of government or are the ones who’ve helped build successful start-ups.

What are you doing to infuse your content with this P.O.V.? What do your latest Google analytics and Webmaster tools telling you?

When he’s not ranting on this blog, Stan DeVaughn is senior consultant for customer development and marketing at RightOn Mobile, Inc. and creative director at Write-Angle, the premiere content-development agency in Silicon Valley.