Jenna’s Writing

6Jun
facebook11

The Facebook IPO, Development, & the Future

The big Facebook IPO has us all talking. As the shares drop like a rock this week, an argument of the floor price occupies office water coolers everywhere. But, what troubled us most was not the current falling stock, but rather, a comment from one of our top Android developers here at BNOTIONS, regarding building within Facebook.


As you know, we build a lot of technology through the Facebook API, so worrisome Facebook sentiment has more than traders stressed this week. During a project meeting this morning, our developer (who we will remain unnamed as he is damn good and we don’t want anyone else wining and dining him) stated “I think we should not only have the Facebook login, we should have another option to guarantee longevity. We can’t guarantee that Facebook will be around forever.” (Just like we couldn’t guarantee that great shows like Friends would ever go off air).

It was a statement that stopped the crew short. As Facebook has thoroughly announced they are only 10% built (a statement backed up from our close network with Facebook)— this would imply a long runway. With their initial launch in 2004, 10% up to the recent IPO leaves us with 80 years for the other 90% of the whole to follow. As a developer, I think that is a very decent runway, as far as product lifecycle (if anything, excessive in a high tech world when taking into account Moore’s Law).

But our ‘unnamed’ developer has a strong point, negative sentiment around the Facebook brand due to the falling IPO shares can translate in many different ways. If people don’t trust or believe in the brand, there is always a negative impact in more ways than trading on the public market. Concerned stock brokers, concerned developers, and concerned marketers (GM Doesn’t “Like” Facebook, Drops Ads), are a major part of the Facebook ecosystem— all with a current pretense of concern. After all, they are the people behind Facebook’s current revenue, not the users.

But, with eyeballs, you create value. At least, this is the belief in Silicon Valley. In many ways, we believe this too. After all, the people who use our products are who we care about most, as they give us the reason to do what we do. In Facebook’s case, this is no different, except that when you build a corporate behemoth, revenue starts to really matter. Therefore, the people who provide that revenue stream, matter… a lot.

The question we had this morning after our concerned developers comment was whether this is just a statement of timing or a real concern for us as Facebook developers (revenue providers)? In light of the question, we took a look at the social media IPO’s that kicked off the initial social frenzy. Looking back, we get a lot of commentary regarding the dotcom bubble, although, we don’t currently much resemble it (some aspect, yes).

Of the social web, Linkedin kicked off the social IPO with a healthy start rising “171 percent in their first day of trading,” according to Reuters, May 19, 2011 NYSE debut release. Although, not as triumphant as Linkedin, Zynga found themselves “from a $20B valuation to $8.9B in five months (Venture Beat, Kyle Orland),” perhaps a trajectory path Facebook is more likely to follow. Although, Zynga holds a lot of cash for reinvestment, something many investors would say more valuable than the current Zynga price depicts. But neither of these past events can give us an accurate look at Facebook’s future of concerns, as they are all drastically differing companies for the most part.

Since we don’t exactly know all that is going on in Facebook, as far as development strategy, we decided looking at the others was not necessarily an accurate depiction of what is to come. Is Facebook going out of business? Certainly not. Will we stop developing on Facebook? Certainly not. Upon, looking at the others, the only conclusion we perhaps reached is that this ride may be volatile, not that Facebook will not be a powerful brand for many, many years to come (double negative grammatically, makes a positive…)

Jenna Hannon | Director of Marketing | @JennaHannon

 

19Apr

One of my Favorite Examples of Minimum Viable Product: Lana Del Rey

Below is one of Lana Del Rey’s videos before the fame spiral. She had a team make a low budget video with stock footage and ‘After Effects’ plug-ins. Twelve million views later, the label was ready to spend the big bucks for her mainstream debut.

‘Blue Jeans': Snippets of Lana filmed on a hand held Cannon 7D, stock footage, and some mainstream plug-ins (Magic Bullet) for stylizing. Like Lana, ship fast folks. It can lead to bigger things!

The MVP:

The Iteration:

19Apr
foursquare__instagram__scribd

Latest Work: Marketing with Salespod.net


Foursquare, Instagram, and Scribd for the Enterprise: What Consumer Tools Mean for Salespod

By Jenna Hannon

Published in: KNOWLEDGE on 19 April 2012 on Salespod.net

Every employee, executive and CEO is a consumer. Therefore, it is no surprise that consumer facing technologies are creeping their way into enterprise use. Once, daily products (such as Foursquare, Linkedin, Facebook, and Pinterest, to name a few) for the delight of the consumer are becoming fast tools to the delight of the enterprise.Take my close friend Dan Larsen as case in point. He is a senior IT architect as Qualcomm. A large part of his role is finding technology and tools that make Qualcomm’s inner enterprise structure more efficient. Once a developer, Larsen is the biggest tech geek (and proud early adopter) I know. His Iphone has about 7 screens holding over 100 differing apps. He was a major part of the team that brought Yammer in for internal communications in 2009. Today, Qualcomm has switched technologies, but Larsen’s insights on microblogging remain. If products work in his daily life, he has no problem transitioning their use to the enterprise. Dan’s favorite app for locating to connect with fellow employees: Foursqaure.

Popular consumer location based check-in service, Foursquare has been dominating the buzz in consumer products, but has recently seen a shift towards enterprise interest. Tracking friends can be shifted into tracking employees and utilizing the efficiency that location services and checking-in can bring.

An integrated software environment of (once consumer) tools, like Foursquare, is exactly where we at Salespod have opened our minds. In the world of sales with a cloud technology driven software across multiple devices, it only makes sense to make location services a major part. Salespeople need to check in for metrics just like your friends do for badges on Foursquare. The feedback loop is essentially the same, just a different overall purpose. “By introducing location aware collaboration services in enterprise Salespod enables businesses to manage their field work force in a simple and efficient manner. Our ultimate goal is to reduce operating costs and maximize our client’s ability to deliver high-quality customer service in the field,” explains our co-founder, Marko Kovac on the subject. For the enterprise, these solutions mean a world of a difference as previously a lot of time was spent trying to integrate complicated solutions. Marko even describes our free version as ‘Foursquare for the enterprise’ by its functionality of checking in at clients, geotagging messages and photos, and other tracking tools for covering a lot of sales ground.

“If your organization has several offices and your employees travel frequently, checking in helps these employees find each other, make connections and benefit from each other’s knowledge,” says Andy Jankowski in his article, Foursquare for the Enterprise on EnterpriseStrategies.com. ReadWriteWeb joins Jankowski with their early article by Alex Williams, Foursquare for the Enterprise: Give it Two Years, Max written in 2010. It is no surprise that the consumer to ‘prosumer’ approach has captured the attention of the press. There is a lot of functionality in great consumer products like Facebook.

Take a documenting uploading public product on the web, called Scribd. Salespod does exactly this inside the enterprise to allow ease of sharing without the public security issue of having everything published to the web. We are essentially like a Scribd, Foursquare and Facebook bundled for the enterprise, with specific enterprise needs in mind. Document uploading, to geo-tagging, to photo sharing; yes, we have all that. In fact, we take it one step further, with other specific sales tools that are not-so-specific in available consumer products. Inner communication is after all the goal; and, isn’t that exactly what Foursquare and Facebook do, just between friends rather than sales people?

All in all, Salespod hopes to bring the delight of consumer products into more efficient software, location services just being one of the many transitional tools. With a peek into the world of social media, Salespod has developed this environment in a software product. After all, efficient communication may seem like a small win in the beginning, but translates into a large win further down the road.

Jenna Hannon

Jenna Hannon is a Canadian born marketing evangelist and consultant working with companies in Silicon Valley. She is also a big kitesurfer.

Website – Twitter – Facebook

© Copyright 2013, All Rights Reserved Jenna Hannon