Sunday, June 30, 2013

How Social Media has Disrupted the Music Business #smcakl

MC Angela March, Dean Campbell, Fiona Perry, Paul Mclaney, Scott Maclachlan

Julian Waters (drinking water), Camellia Yang, Simon Young, Ian Wan

Courtney Sit

Last fortnight, at the behest of our good friend, the wonderful David Gapes, Editor, AdMedia & Fastline, I attended Social Media Club Auckland - #smcakl (pronounced smackle) - with my roving reporter’s hat on, phone in hand, finger on the photo-trigger. Here's the pre-event report in Fastline:

Tweet to the Beat – Tune in to #smcakl

By Amar Trivedi (@Mr_Madness)

Aucklanders in the house! Make some noise… #smcakl is here and it’s all about the music.

The word is out. It’s on the wall. Social Media has disrupted the music industry. It has affected not only the way we consume music but the entire record industry. While song-laden smartphones and 4G downloads are music to consumers, music cos. are still adjusting to the new biz model.

#smcakl takes a look at The Battle of Monetizing the Bands, exploring significant industry changes from all angles of the record player, with an expert panel line-up of speakers who know the business of music like the back of their vinyl jackets:

  • ·         Zowie (Singer Songwriter formerly known as Bionic Pixie)
  • ·         Dean Campbell (Music commentator and creator of top 40 music tracks)
  • ·         Scott McLauchlan (Manager of Internet Sensation & chart topping artist Lorde)
  • ·         Fiona Perry (Managing Director at Media & Entertainment Royalty Services Ltd)
  • ·         Paul McLaney AKA Gramsci (Artist & Music collaborator)

Take off those earphones and download yourself for a spot of Spotify and socializing on Wed 19 June, 6pm. This month there is a collaborative playlist where attendees can add their favourite tracks for airplay during the informal part of the evening.

It’s The #smcakl-ers - Live at the Vodafone V’nue. This one’s sure to be a doozy!
Sign up at 

The famous #smcakl twitter wall... powered by

Q&A Time: The audience asks, the panel answers, the comments flow on the wall...

Anthony Gardiner, of 25 Most Played (Shiny New Things); Packed house @smcakl

Jennie Vickers, with K9 Social Media top dog, Nasby :-)

She was a doozy alright!

By Amar Trivedi (@Mr_Madness) < || > July 04, Update: The videos are in. --> Click to view.

It’s official. #smcakl rocked - knocked it right outta Vicky Park.

With 250 guests braving chances of a thunderstorm Wednesday night, the only storm worth writing about was the one brewing inside the Vodafone V’nue - in a good, musical, social sort of way.

The topic for #smcakl June was a catchy one. “Tweet to the Beat - When music and social media collide.” The evening featured an expert panel of musos, artistes and recording industry pros – who weighed in on the state of flux in the online music business, the disruption and emergent new technologies - sharing anecdotes and insights both from personal experience and popular culture.

There’s a saying in social media circles: The smartest person in the room… is the room. At most events these days, a tweet wall is common. At #smcakl, the tweetstream beamed out from many screens, is the unseen guest with the liveliest (and wittiest) voice in the room.

A genuine, unfiltered display of community engagement in real-time, the #smcakl hash feed is a merry mix of intelligent tweets on topic, social media commentary, random rants and whacky humour, incl. fart jokes – you’ve been warned!

In its 4th year now, Social Media Club Auckland (#smcakl) has come a long way. While the monthly event is more structured, the open chat format seems to be going down well with attendees. What also goes down fine is the pizza + cold beverage shout that every #smcakl begins with– thanks to the generous sponsors. Events are free to attend on sign-up.

For more on the evening and the event, read these blog posts by:

So, if you are interested in social (which you are) and use social media (which you do), saunter in on any of these dates for an enjoyable (even enlightening) evening with the coolest kids in town.

Keep in touch with all things #smcakl:

For some unreasonable reason, if you cannot make it to the event in real life, you can (thanks to Jam Mayer) attend #smcakl remotely, by watching the livestream here.

Angela March, co-organiser and MC for the night, said it best… “This one’s sure to be a doozy.” Right as rain she was!

Acknowledgements with Gratitude

For the above reports (and the event), many thanks going out to:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Disruption Is Good. It's Where Innovation Comes From.

Your competition may or may not finish you. But,
complacency, stagnation and lack of innovation surely will.

Not long ago, a discussion on Twitter got me thinking: What does the 'I' in CIO stand for? Good question. It could mean Information, Intelligence or Imagination. (My reply: I picked Inspiration). But today, the 'I' in CIO stands for Innovation. Yes... Chief Innovation Officer.

Two questions popped into my head:
* Why Innovate? Pretty straight answer --> Innovation means Growth.
* What does Innovation really have to do with Technology? By themselves, they seem independent enough. But in combination, they drive new discoveries, scientific inventions, and ultimately, markets, businesses and economies. To understand the Tech + Innovation connection, let's analyse the 'Why' in technology.

Why do we use Technology? 

Another good one from the insightful Brian Meredith. Essentially, all technology eases life for users by providing convenience, access, comfort, security, peace-of-mind... in two ways:

  1. Enabling us to do something better (faster, cheaper, simpler)
  2. Empowering us to do something new we did not do before

Thus, technology makes innovation happen. And innovation creates technology. But with 'social' coming in (more ideas, voices, influences), the traditional cycle has been disrupted in many ways:
  • Collective Genius - Crowd-sourcing, Crowd-funding, Twitter Chats, Group Blogs
  • Collaborative Consumption aka Shared Economy (P2P Rentals) - AirBnB, Gumtree, Etsy, TaskRabbit, car pooling
  • Community Intelligence - brand forums, ratings/ reviews (Yelp), consumer feedback
  • Collaborative Creativity - user-generated content, amateur videos, mobile blogging, curation tools, visual web (Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Snapchat)

Embrace The Social Innovation Ecosystem

The guiding principle of today's "social" connected era is: Don't plan for control. Encourage participation. Integrate social technology into the business model. Monitor engagement. Manage co-creation. Measure collaboration. Adopt social business. Disruption is good. It's where innovation comes from.

Social Technology leads to The Social Innovation Ecosystem. And vice versa. This new dynamic is changing the way we live. Go with the flow... even if it feels like going against the tide !! Embrace social. Embrace change. Change is the seed of growth. Disruption, the mother of all innovation.


Two thought-provoking quotes by Charles Darwin and Alvin Toffler - both germane to digital innovation and transformation, and equally applicable to individuals and businesses.

Are you ready for change? Watch: Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation

Recommended: I'll leave you with two excellent articles, ImageThink graphics and TED videos:

If you see any good articles on disruption or innovation, please share. Thanks.

Lead Image Courtesy: Alison Herzog via Twitter

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"Good Design Is Good Business." - Thomas J. Watson

Pure wisdom delivered through a legendary quote from the visionary IBM Founder, Thomas J. Watson, "Good Design is Good Business" is an often cited business and design mantra.

100x100 An inspiring film on a century of achievements that have defined and designed our world

One hundred people each present the IBM achievement recorded in the year they were born. The chronology flows from the oldest person to the youngest, offering more than just a whirlwind history of IBM, it's virtually a chronicle of modern civilization, a record of breakthrough innovations and technological developments over 100 years - (1911 - 2011) - and the prospects for the future.

Paul Rand’s popular Eye-Bee-M poster, a rebus was created in 1981 in support of IBM’s motto, THINK.

Update - July 11: Just found a good one. 7 Rules on Design and Designers. Had to share...

Doing Is More Important Than Defining | Key to Innovation

Business has only two functions: Marketing and Innovation

29 May: Launch of The IBM Innovation Index of NZ 2013...

...a comprehensive, multi-indicator benchmarking study that tracks...

...the shape and rate of innovation in New Zealand, from 2007 to 2011.

The IBM Innovation Index of New Zealand / 2013

On a chilly morning in May, I found myself having breakfast with New Zealand's top business executives at a posh venue on Auckland's sea-front for the exclusive launch of IBM's Innovation Index of New Zealand 2013 - an accurate report of the state of NZ industry and commerce.

The event was opened by Rob Lee, Managing Director, IBM NZ who officially launched the 2013 Innovation Index, followed by an open mic discussion moderated by Lance Wiggs (who did a great job as MC) featuring an erudite panel:

Event Highlights

With a topic as important as this, the gathering soon became a passionate, all-in discussion:

Melissa Jenner, Head of Better by Design, NZTE came up with this gem of a definition:
"What is Innovation? It is the commercialization of brilliance."

Paul Brislen, CEO, TUANZ, came up with an insightful: "While R&D expenditure has grown steadily, the rate of NZ Innovation rate has flat-lined over 4 years. This means, we're spending lot of resources only to stand still."

Number cruncher, Keith Ng, got his dataviz geek on explaining how #NZInnovation was measured.

By far, the landmark observation of the event which resonated with the room... 
came from panel member, Paul Adams, Founder & CEO, EverEdge IP

"Doing is more important than defining. 
Focus on results. Commercialize."

Other outstanding comments
  • More than 90% of customers do an online search before purchase. Yet less than 50% of businesses in NZ have an e-commerce website.
  • Collaboration is the way forward. Government has a role to play, but we need better (not more) governance.
  • Awareness of entrepreneurial opportunities needs to be ramped up at colleges and educational institutions.
  • IBM will invest in a lab to encourage entrepreneurs, and build a startup ecosystem to harness creativity, and help the brilliant and deserving convert to market success.
  • Plenty of creative ideas in NZ, but there is a culture of holding back. 
  • The energy is there. The missing link is a go-to-market strategy. No scale and commercialization.
  • With so much potential, how come no Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Tesla has come out of NZ?
  • The biggest obstacle to innovation in New Zealand is fear of failure.
  • In Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs don't rely excessively on or wait for Govt. support.

My humble opinion
  • Innovation does not happen in a vacuum. It needs a culture that encourages experimentation. It needs a business community that supports it from inception through to launch, scale and commercialization.
  • Business leaders must step up to the plate (like IBM), and create Innovation Labs in NZ. Not as a part of their CSR initiatives, but as future-proofing to ensure NZ's viability in coming years. 
  • IBM organizes Smarter Commerce Global Summits every year. Business owners, executives and entrepreneurs could learn a lot by following these websites (Overview and Rethink Business) and tracking #SmarterCommerce on Twitter
  • Globally, IBM has identified 4 sectors - Social Business, Mobile, Analytics & Big Data, Cloud Computing (SMAC) which will converge - along with cognitive computing - be the key focus areas of innovation and change, to significantly impact business, government and society in general.

Let's look at the data - the nitty-gritty of the Index 

  • You can download your copy of The 2013 IBM NZ Innovation Report here
  • Find out more about Insights and Key Findings here
  • To dig into year-wise and industry-wise data, check out this smart, interactive data visualization tool. It gives you a good look at 18 NZ industry sectors across 3 broad measures for each: R&D, IP and Business Innovation. What's more, it let's you drill down deeper, industry by industry, into the 12 index components to really understand the drivers of change in innovation rates. Have a play.

The event hashtag was #NZInnovation I fished some tweets out from the stream. Just for you!

Acknowledgements and Gratitude

  • Thank You, Ebisu. Great Miso soup. Yum nibbles over brekkie. Amazing coffee :-) 
  • Many Thanks to IBM New Zealand for hosting a lavish and generous breakfast in awesome IBMer style! In particular, I'd like to thank: Courtney AllenRob Lee, Dougal Watt - Very nice meeting and speaking to you all. 
  • Most importantly, kudos to IBM NZ for creating a forum and starting a much-needed discussion on a business-critical, future-defining question:

The NZ Innovation Index is out. The figures are out there. What next? 

* What does New Zealand need to do? What is the country's innovation strategy? 
* Which business(es) will step up and lead NZ towards the path of growth and innovation? 
* Will NZ innovation break new ground in traditional fields (Agriculture, Dairy, Farming, Fishing, Wool, Honey, Wine). Or will Kiwi creativity shine through in new sunrise technology sectors?

To borrow Rob's words: "Let's hope this study furthers the goal of tending and developing all elements of New Zealand's wider innovation ecosystem... by encouraging continued discussion and, ultimately, action." Wise words well said.

Awesome Start

Success scholarships supporting business students are a great start. Way to go IBM - UnitecNZ!

Historic Day for New Zealand

29 May, 2013 is a historic day not just because of the launch of IBM's NZ Innovation Index, but also because it marks the 60th Anniversary of man's conquest of the highest summit on Earth. It was on 29th May, 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay scaled Mt. Everest. (Video)

A great idea can come from anyone, anywhere, anytime!

Start a discussion. Start a movement. Have an idea? Share it. Put it out there. Keep the conversation going... For further information on the IBM Innovation Index of New Zealand:

Visit website:
Facebook - SmarterPlanetNZ
Follow and Tweet @IBMNZ ... use hash tag #NZinnovation if submitting an idea.

Parting Shot

Signing off on a great quote from my good friend and marketing maestro Brian Meredith:

There are 3 types of companies in the world:
1. Those that make things happen
2. Those that watch things happen, and
3. Those that wonder WTF happened !!!

Be it launching a business, marketing project, or a new idea, the best strategy is:
Just Do It. Doing is the key to change and innovation, key to make things happen.