9 Ways To Disrupt And "Hipmunk" An IndustrySource: OnStartUps Blog Post by Jason L. Baptiste
While reading Jason Baptiste's OnStartUps posts I was introduced to "Hipmunk
" - the concept and the online business. Below is a reprint of OnStartUps
. So what is "Hipmunk" and how can you "hipmunk" your industry? hipmunk [hip-muhnk] 1. verb: To bring sexiness and simplicity into an existing industry with a fresh approach that delights people. Example: The real estate mortgage industry really sucks. Someone should hipmunk it. 2. noun: Startup funded by Y Combinator that makes it easier to find flights.
The word disruption is thrown around way too much. It's often used to describe ideas that are not disruptive. Recently though, I've noticed a trend of YCombinator
backed startups that follow a similar theme: Go after an industry or process that is excruciatingly painful and make it better. Sure all startups are about solving a pain point, but in the case of Hipmunk and others, the pain is chronic and unbearable.
Source: Feb 1, 2011 BloombergBusiness Week Special ReportMeet the MicroWorkforce
The remote resourcing of workers goes by many names: outsourcing, off-shoring, crowdsourcing, the human cloud, microwork. Outsourcing your workforce tasks and activities saves money and time. But the real news story is that the micro workforce business is big and growing over 8%
The Bloomberg micro workforce article reviews the process of "using the Internet to find workers around the world for short-term projects that can pay a few bucks to hundreds of dollars per hour. The tasks might require a few minutes or a few days to complete. Benefits to companies include finding large numbers of workers to complete projects quickly, finding niche expertise, saving money, and making better use of in-house resources. It also lets Western workers, in places with a high cost of living, compete directly with those in developing markets. For many freelancers, microwork gives them unprecedented flexibility to work almost anywhere at any time."
The Special Report includes an interesting case study of how Pfizer structured an out-sourcing function for busy professionals, called PfizerWorks
- an on-demand support program to farm out non-core tasks, such as data checking and market research to out-sourcing companies.
"Pfizer now lets [employees] punt those tedious and time-consuming tasks to India with the click of a button. PfizerWorks, launched early last year, permits some 4,000 employees to pass off parts of their job to outsiders. You might call it personal outsourcing. With workers in India handling everything from basic market research projects to presentations, professionals can focus on higher-value work. "
Now that's awesome. As a project management professional, I know that the key to high-level productivity is to delegate and schedule well defined tasks so that the PM can complete targeted milestones quickly and efficiently. What a great business model. Many of these sites specialize in sourcing highly technical subject mater experts, testers, consultants, and thought leaders to assist and support your company's need to ramp up and down in a project as required by the life cycle of a project or product.
Source: BloombergBusinessweek Special Report
Off-shoring your workforce is the resourcing paradigm for tough times . The Feb 2011 Special Bloomberg Businessweek Report on the Micro Workforce
describes the impact off-shoring has had on U.S. jobs:
"While the first wave of IT offshore outsourcing happened in the late 1990s during preparations for Y2K, it really took hold after the dot-com meltdown a few years later. There aren't any statistics yet as to how much micro-outsourcing might impact the U.S. job market but there's growing evidence that the movement of work to India and other developing countries is contributing to the jobless recovery in the U.S."
"About 1.1 million jobs in IT, finance, and other areas have disappeared since 2008 because of offshoring, improvements in productivity, and a lack of economic growth, according to a December 2010 report by the Hackett Group (HCKT), which provides business-consulting and technology-implementation services. An additional 1.3 million jobs are expected to disappear by 2014, with offshoring becoming a bigger factor, the report says."
That's an incredible shift in the direction of the U.S. labor - decline not expansion in domestic job opportunities. Undeniably outsourcing your workforce saves money and even time. Read the complete BloombergBusinessweek Special Report of CEO Guide to the Micro WorkForce.
I have aggregated a couple of lists for posting content on the internet. I posted it on a new website called KeepStream
, in the Lead Generation Tips collection. I was testing out the features of KeepStream and wanted to assemble websites and tweets regarding strategies for connecting and engaging with potential customers
1. 50 Social Sites
That Every Business Needs a Presence On
2. 101 Ways to Monetize
Your Blog Without Irritating Your Readers
| Lead Generation, B2B, Telemarketing, Telesales Services
This collection of websites are examples of the types of social media and membership websites that will assist with designing and implementing of an inbound and outbound marketing plan.
Of course, the popularity of websites change over time. I'd add a few new B2B websites to the list: such as MerchantCircle
, and HubSpot
Enjoy reading through the list and planning your next marketing campaign.
The Sold-Out Launch Event Secrets of the Marketing Master
Launch Element 4 - Count-Down to a Cut-Off Date, Time-Sensitive Irresistible Promotion: During each pre-launch campaign email, video, social network communication, webcast, and live event the joint venture partners release a consistent message of urgency and scarcity. The marketing masters design the pre-launch time line as 14 days or less in length and announce the limited number of spots that are available.
The Drip Marketing Secrets of the Marketing Masters
Launch Element 3 - Connectivity, Joint Ventures, Viral Diffusion: Notice how pre-launch activities include collaborative internet events with teams, tribes, and joint venture (JV) partners. The subject matter experts work with other business leaders to cross market information about the impending launch event and cross pollinate subscribers to their email list. The JV strategy is the most efficient multiplier of connectivity and it quickens the speed of diffusion of the information to new leads.
Launch Secrets of the Marketing Masters
I just witnessed the most fascinating round of pre-launch campaigns and launch event marketing during the first half of 2010. As a business adviser and performance coach, I treasure the opportunity to learn how to launch a revenue generating sales event from credible subject matter experts.
If you missed it, don't fret. I'll provide a brief overview of the memorable internet marketing campaigns presented by experts in business advising, coaching, niche marketing, branding, launch sequencing, and mind-set training. These subject matter experts demonstrated that with a compelling, coherent launch plan, they can rapidly build a large subscriber list, virally engage an online community, communicate to establish a celebrity brand status, and nurture subscribers into buying their products and services – again and again and again.
My blog postings this week will include a list of the five essential elements of a pre-launch and the steps of launch event sequencing. I include links to examples of the marketing campaigns that I found as the most instructive in content and inspiring in experience.
The Lead Nurturing Secrets of the Marketing Masters
Launch Element 2 - Content-Rich Experience that Creates Buyer's Buzz: As a subscriber, I gain access to the subject matter content offered by the expert. If the material is useful and pertains to what I am needing and seeking, then I want to experience, consume, use, and share the information with others in my network. Each of these marketing masters offered remarkable, original content that was engaging, entertaining,educational, and had high production and business application value.
The Landing Page Secrets of the Marketing Masters
Launch Element 1 - Compelling Domain Names, Landing Pages, Call to Action to Opt-in: Notice how the expert marketers all use natural language to select their product website domain names. Even though they represent diverse business niche markets, they all selected great domain names to build their Brand Identify. The landing pages displayed easy to read headlines of the offer, brief sales videos explaining the benefits, and opt-in forms positioned above the fold.
, written by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, is a primer on the use of social media to build your web presence, performance, and profit. "Inbound marketing is a style of marketing
that focuses on getting found by customers. This sense is related to relationship marketing
and Seth Godin
's idea of permission marketing
. David Meerman Scott
recommends that marketers "earn their way in" (via publishing helpful information on a blog
etc.) in contrast to outbound marketing where they used to have to "buy, beg, or bug their way in" (via paid advertisements, issuing press releases in the hope they get picked up by the trade press, or paying commissioned sales people, respectively)." See Wikipedia
for additional theoretical background of the Inbound Marketing principles.