Sadly @googlenexus challenge shows Google Galaxy Nexus has Logic but lacks LOVE in its DNA – Challenge #1 solution explained

Sunday, 13 November, 2011

Androids' message

Because I am looking to buy a new phone, I was initially excited by the @googlenexus challenge: 10 chances in 10 days to win a Galaxy Nexus and even retweeted it. [HT MS] I thought it was a cool way to generate buzz for the new Galaxy Nexus. But then my excitement quickly faded once I saw and then struggled for hours with challenge #1 (see above message). Which lead me to think about the problem with this promotional challenge #1. See later this post for my challenge #1 solution explanation.

Logic or Love?

In the Galaxy Nexus Oct 19th launch video, a presenter wondered out loud and wished that Galaxy Nexus is more LOVED! Unfortunately @googlenexus challenge #1 clearly showed, to me, Google Galaxy Nexus has Logic but lacks LOVE in DNA. How so?

If Galaxy Nexus is to be loved, it can’t just cater to the geeks (or super geeks)! Should a promotional campaign be enjoyable and solvable by your average Grace & Gary? Or should the challenged be fun and solvable only by super geeks? To be honest, who the heck had any idea what the beep this picture mean? I was pissed off enough that I tweeted with the #fail tag and used “stupid” to describe 99.9% of us fans,

Is @googlenexus too smart for its own good? Why make its first #GalaxyNexus Challenge so hard that 99.99% of its fans look stupid? #fail

Hey @googlenexus We are just happy fans trying to have fun & win a $500 #GalaxyNexus phone right? This is not a job app for #google ? #fail

You see, the challenge was hard enough that Google had to post a hint! Given the hint, I looked up the Flag semaphore and soon realized there can be many combinatorial variations and one can’t really solve the problem easily without spending a ton of time or even writing a computer program!

One such non sensible interpretations of the symbols I came up with is,

(1,2) to indicate number, then “689 944” then (1,3) to indicate letters, then “PICO ALIE CHILAM

Challenge #1 solution explained

What I managed to do was only to verify someone’s answer! For beep sake, the challenge shouldn’t be this hard that it frustrated 99.9% of people who tried to give it a shot!

#GalaxyNexus is well-traveled, coming to @googlenexus from What did J Cook call Hawaii

Process to verify solution:

Converting pictures to Symbols (from left to right)

(note: top flag is the position 1, then clockwise count from 2 to 8 to convert all flag positions)

Symbol #1 (1,2,3,5,6,6,7,8); Symbol #2 (1,1,5,5,6,8); Symbol #3 (1,3)

Symbol #4 (1,5,6,7,7,8,8,8); Symbol #5 (2,2,5,5,6,6,6,8); Symbol #6 (2,3,5,5,6,6,6,6,6,7,8,8)

Verification

What did J Cook call Hawaii

WHAT – W (2,3) H (6,7) A (5,6) T (8,1) [Sources of confusions: (5,6) can also stand for the number 1, also (1,2) can also stand for an instruction for “Numerals”]

DID – D (5,1) I (6,8) D (5,1) [Sources of confusions: All these combinations can also stand for numbers.]

J (1,3)  [Source of confusion: This time, (1,3) also stand to indication coming are Letters!]

COOK (  (5,8) (7,8) (7,8) (1,6) )

CALL ( (5,8) (5,6) (6,2) (6,2) )

HAIWAII ( (6,7) (5,6) (2,3) (5,6) (6,8) (6,8) )

Challenge #2 – Any more love?

Well, challenge #2 has now been posted,

* “Challenge 2: Make something geeky & edible. Include #deliciousness & @googlenexus in your submission

* “Challenge 2 entries evaluated on creativity, originality & use of humor. Rules: http://goo.gl/5dpAK. Can’t wait to see what you concoct!

At least contestants will be judged on their “creativity, originality & use of humor” but the challenge itself stills want entries to be “geeky“!

iPhone vs. Google Nexus

I think it is safe to say iPhone is loved my many people. People don’t LOVE things logically! And I just can’t imagine Apple will be insane enough to try a contest like challenge #1. Sadly, the @googlenexus challenge #1 shows Google Galaxy Nexus seems to be unable or unwilling to broaden its appeal to the general public. If you are not a geek (actually they mean super geek), we are not interested in catering to you or have you interested in our new phone!

It is hard to inject LOVE into Google’s DNA when it is so much built on logic and calculations.


@WalmartLabs

Tuesday, 13 September, 2011

@WalmartLabs

I’m reading up on @WalmartLab (twitter) belatedly. Here is an excerpt from the interesting Sept 12th, AdAge article “Walmart Seeks Boost From Tech With Labs – Developments in Search and E-commerce Could Help Retailer Leapfrog Over Competitors”, (emphasis and links added)

Venky Harinarayan and Anand Rajaraman, the entrepreneurs behind Kosmix, now head @Walmartlabs, a 70-person R&D operation based in Mountain View, Calif., as senior VPs of e-commerce for Walmart.

Previously, the two did a lot for Amazon, a Kosmix investor before the Walmart buyout. They created Junglee and sold it to Amazon in 1998, where it became the Amazon Marketplace of third-party vendors that today drives 30% of the e-tailer’s sales. They also developed Amazon Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing site where people sign up to do small tasks for small payments.

With @Walmartlabs, they have an arguably bolder vision. Mr. Rajaraman says in a quote used in all the unit’s job listings: “Social media and the mobile phone will have as profound an effect on the trajectory of retail in the early years of the 21st century as did the development of highways in the early part of the 20th century.”

So can @Walmartlabs let Walmart leapfrog over rivals on that road the way the retailer’s past tech mastery did?

“I hope so,” Mr. Harinarayan said in an interview. “That’s a tall ask. But the good news is that the scale is so large that if you can move the needle in a positive direction, the impact is large.”

Meanwhile, @Walmartlabs is mixing in some smaller ideas and projects specific to e-commerce, where the giant trails Amazon by at least six to one. Just closing the gap with Amazon wouldn’t solve all Walmart’s problems, but it would boost sales more than 5%.

I’m a firm believer when you run a lab, if you are doing only very speculative long-term things, you run the risk of not having wins that help you cement your position in the organization,” Mr. Harinarayan said. So in the early going @Walmartlabs is building the next generation of search and “helping with marketing” for Walmart’s online properties globally, he said. “Then we also have some much more speculative, strategic, long-term-payback opportunities that involve social media,” he said, aimed at creating better shopping experiences online and offline.

In one experimental project expected to debut for the holiday season, @Walmartlabs has been recruiting people to test Shopycat, a Facebook and web app that uses people’s social-media profiles and comments to generate gift ideas.

“Most of the recommendation systems you see today in online shopping are based on prior transactions,” said Mr. Harinarayan, who worked for Amazon in the late 1990s when its system was developed. The system works well for books, where people tend to buy in the same genres, he said, but so much not elsewhere.”

Here is the original launch blog entry and April 2011 WalMart announcement. And their promotional video.


Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner?

Thursday, 25 August, 2011

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 01

Thomas has been our really helpful neighbour for the last few years. How helpful? For example, we really appreciate him coming over yesterday to help us installing the above beautiful Moen faucet (why Moen?) and a new pull mechanism for our window blind. (see below, left photo is the heavy duty metal window blind, right is the C$48 pull mechanism that pulls and holds the blind in place)

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 03Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 02

Thomas even taught me what is a blind rivet & showed me how to use a rivet gun to install the new pull mechanism!

Helpful Neighbour & Future Business Partner? - pix 04

(update) re-grout

(update) Thomas also helped us re-grout the bathroom tiles. See following before and after pictures.

re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 01re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 02

re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 03re-grout bathroom tiles - pix 04

The Talented Thomas

Thomas recently finished his studies in international business at Mount Royal University and is looking for a job. Let me know if you know a good company that is hiring someone with international business education.

Now, I’ve seen some of Thomas’ school work and I think he does a wonderful job in them. Case in point, Thomas and his teammates were asked to create a marketing plan for Calgary Tower. One night, Thomas asked me to take a look of his work-in-progress. I didn’t know what to expect and thought I would see a nice students’ assignment (a marketing plan on paper with nice graphics). No no no, what I saw wasn’t the “usual” stuff at all!

Thomas and his teammates did some nice academic work and the creative display which was designed and built by Thomas (putting in a lot of additional time and his own money) was simply stunning!

I don’t use “stunning” easily and I am picky with design. (see *note below) Thomas showed me a paper prototype marketing display which looks beautiful and showcased the Calgary Tower. And from the beautiful looking paper protype, over the next few days, he transformed and refined his original paper prototype into a 3-D steel display. Thomas used a beautiful sheet of metal and machine-cut the side-profile of Calgary Tower onto the sheet metal! The resulted metal display was just beautiful and stunning! Amazingly executed. Totally beyond my expectation!

Future Business Partner?

As I get older, I try to work with talented people that I like. So I seriously hope that one day Thomas and I can find a great product idea that we can turn into a business. I think it can be very nice for us to become business partners and to create something cool together.

I often remind myself that our house has two garages (one of them heated), three parking spots, and we have precisely one car! So, in some sense, the spare parking spot in the heated garage has been waiting patiently for me to build a business/product! Will see what happen. :)

Once Thomas and I come up with a great product idea, I truly think we now have the fundraising & pre-sell tool like Kickstarter and other “tools” to help us make our dreams possible.

*******

*note: I am picky with design stuff. When I first saw Thomas’ stunningly beautiful metal display for Calgary Tower, it immediately reminded me of the beautiful cover of my design book SPOON which uses steel (more precisely, Promica® Pristine steel, a lightweight polymer-coated steel) as a book cover!

I love and try to look out for good design. While I can’t design anything, I hope my years of loving good design will help me in recognizing “great” and separating them from the “OK” and “ordinary”.


Dropping a laptop from about 30,000 feet to prove a point and sell a product – Ad that you want to watch

Thursday, 14 July, 2011

Dropping a laptop from about 30,000 feet

Check out Adweek, “Lenovo Takes Product Demo to New Heights – Laptop Dropped From Plane Must Boot Up in 10 Seconds or Parachute Will Not Deploy“.

Good job to the McKinney team. Here is the ad Lenovo “Boot Or Bust” Air Drop.


Lego at Chinook (and Canadian Mega Brands/Bloks)

Wednesday, 13 July, 2011

Lego at Chinook - pix 08

I wish I had more time to study Lego as a business, but since it is a private business, my incentive to read though Lego’s years of annual reports are somewhat reduced. :) If I were to judge Lego by people’s interest in playing with them in the middle of the Chinook shopping mall last Saturday, it looks like people’s love affair with Lego haven’t finished at all. It was really cool to see this father and his two sons spent a lovely afternoon building this Lego project!

November 2005

I enjoy Lego as a kid, but since Nov 2005, I have been thinking more like a legal minded business consultant. Well, what happened in Nov 2005? As some readers may remember, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled Lego’s “monopoly on the bricks is over” in Nov 2005 and Canadian MEGA Brands (maker of the MEGA BLOKS construction toys) can freely make their bricks to work with Lego’s.

What surprised me is a quick look/research (spending 5 minutes) seem to indicate the privately held Lego is still making good profit based on its lastest 2009 annual report.

Whereas the stock prices of Mega Brands, a high of $552 on Dec 30, 2005 down to $9.42 at the close of July 13, 2011, plus a quick glance of Mega Brands’ 2010 annual report, indicates Read the rest of this entry »


IBM’s Corporate Long-term-ism

Sunday, 10 July, 2011

IBM ran a four-full-page ad in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal recently on their 100th birthday. The ad is a remarkable assessment of the virtues of long-term-ism.”

Check out the four-full-page ad, it is a better ad than you may think. Well done. [via KK via PK]


Quote I Love: ideas are the currency of the future

Thursday, 7 July, 2011

ideas are the currency of the future” – Kevin Roberts

I’ve loved this quote for such a long time that I don’t remember exactly how many years (since the 90s?). I even printed it on an earlier version of my business cards (with credit to Kevin, of course)! So I can’t believe I am just adding it to my list of Quotes I Love now!

Also check out ‘s blog KRConnect for his latest ideas & thinking, including his “Lovemarks“.


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