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From Imran Anwar http://imran.tv http://flickr.com/ImranAnwar

Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Using CVS App A Prescription For Invasion Of Privacy – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on August 2, 2017

Why is CVS Pharmacy trying to track #consumers’ #location even when we are not actually using their App? Sleazy invasion of #privacy and a #security risk! Shameful #UX design decision. Maybe the Federal Trade Commission can find out.

© 2017 IMRAN™

https://t.co/0cgubYkwYb

Posted in Business, Commentary, Consumers, Freedom, IMHO, location, Opinion, Strategy, Technology, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Spectrum’s DialUp Age Service & Stone Age CRM – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on July 22, 2017

Spectrum‘s DialUp Age Service & Stone Age CRM – IMRAN™

I had to tweet about the “Moronic #UXdesign POS #UserExperience Spectrum. Dead service.Stupid phone menu identifies my account from callerID but doesn’t know what service I have!”

Even a caveman era CRM system would know I do not get any shitty service from Spectrum other than Internet, which is that lame asymmetrical 200/20.

Yet, their retarded CustomerService number (20 minutes to get a rep) lists through their various services I do NOT have to ask if I am calling about those. Retards.

Spectrum is shitty enough to make me give sleazy Frontier another chance for the symmetric speeds.

© 2017 IMRAN

Posted in Business, Cloud, Customer Service, Florida, Internet, Opinion, Technology, Telecom, User Experience, UX | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Growing A ‘Small’ Business By Getting Down To Hard Work & Pleasing Customers With More Than Lip Service! – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on July 11, 2017

Growing A ‘Small’ Business By Getting Down To Hard Work & Pleasing Customers With More Than Lip Service! – IMRAN™ 😂

I do not know if this is a hoax but it sure sounds more funny than sexy.

First they will ask, “My pad or your iPad?”. Then they will, ahem, get down to business which requires hard work.

Pleasing the customer would be more than lip service. LOL.

Q. Will the BJ providers wear protection on their head? No, no, the real head! In case of hot spilled coffee, you know. LOL

Not to be outdone. perhaps the US coffee chain can rebrand itself as Starƒucks. 😀

 

© 2017 IMRAN™

Posted in Business, Commentary, Entrepreneurship, Europe, Humor, Law, Lifestyle, Sex, Society | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

(Still The) World’s Most Powerful Medium! – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on April 19, 2017

#TelevisionIn4Words is a trending hashtag on Twitter right now. I contributed to that stream with:

“World’s Most Powerful Medium!”
Yes, better believe it, it still is.
You get, as I tagged the post, “#media #news #entertainment #opinion #history #music #comedy #politics #sports #weather” all in one ‘box’!
How many heads of state, or sports champions, or politicians, or businessmen, refuse to be interviewed for TV and say, “No, no TV interviews, tweet me or ask me on FaceBook.” ?
Much that many of us complain about how TV quality sucks these days, very few spend hours daily watching TV reruns from the ‘good old days’. If anything, more and more global citizens are now getting and experiencing the power of television.
Its influence will get even greater as even greater network bandwidth and Internet technology takes global TV to every corner where traditional TV antenna broadcasts could not reach.
And, news flash for those who claim that TV is dead. When you watch video programming, dramas, sports, music, and entertainment on your iPad or smartphone, you are still watching ‘television‘ programming, even if you are not sitting in front of a television set.
Just because the shape and size of the screen change, it does not mean the medium has died.
Stay tuned… television imagery may become holographic or directly tuned into our heads one day in the future, but TV is here to stay. In many ways, it is up to the television industry on how much of the best is still to come.
What do you think?

Imran Anwar
http://IMRAN.TV

Posted in Business, culture, History, Imran, Innovation, Journalism, Media, Music, Opinion, Politics, Society, Strategy, Twitter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hanger Games: Catching Fire! – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on April 7, 2016

Posted in Business, China, Dictatorship, Elections, Family, Humor, Hypocrisy, Imran, Imran Anwar, Politics, Republicans | Leave a Comment »

Prioritize DOING SOMETHING (Anything!) Over PRIORITIZING! – IMRAN™

Posted by imrananwar on November 29, 2015

I recently saw a good post on Medium about a poster that author saw on the FaceBook campus… “Ruthless Prioritization”.

That is a great topic of extraordinary significance to me. I have countless ideas. I even get started on dozens.

Yet, my actual productivity, not just output, but effective productivity that gets things done, that brings goals closer to reality, can often be drowned in my desire to organize, prioritize and optimize my tools rather than in doing what needs to get done.

Cal it procrastination, call is avoidance, call it laziness, call it stupidity, but the end result is the same…

Dreams remain dreams, and things do not get done until months later, when I kick myself seeing how easily I could have done them way back when.

One simple rule I am still trying to teach myself is…. 

Prioritize DOING SOMETHING (Anything!) Over PRIORITIZING!!

It is too easy to become OCD about prioritizing types of things important to us, then prioritizing projects within those, then tasks within those.

I find the ONLY days I get ANYTHING done is when I pick up and DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING, and literally get on a roll of getting things done.

Otherwise, I have spent one-third of my productive life investigating and evaluating tools, one-third installing and optimizing them, and one-third prioritizing things in them… leaving a big fat 0.0% of my time to DO *anything* out of what I need to achieve. 

That is still one of the single biggest weaknesses I have…

One of these days I will prioritize my list of weaknesses, to see which ones to find and evaluate tools to overcome next. [wink].

What do you think? Do you have this problem? How do you overcome it?

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Why Email Is Here To Stay, Whatever The Platform Or Interface

Posted by imrananwar on August 10, 2012

It is ironic, and a sign of the times, that the two most interesting discussions in my office email (with many colleagues far smarter than me!) AND on my personal FaceBook page (with many friends even more opinionated than me!) are both about Email, and whether its time has come and gone.

My prediction: Email is here to stay.  Here is why.

Everything has a time and place (and audience). Face to face, telephone, old fashioned hand-written letter, email, post, tweet, all have their uses and none of them really replace any of the others.  As a matter of fact, they complement each other. They enable us to build deeper relationships leveraging these micro-contacts even when we are time-constrained and distance challenged.

I am all for social media. I love interacting with many among the nearly 10,000 people following me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/imrananwar if you’d like to connect), and nearly 10,000 more on FaceBook and Flickr. But it would be highly impractical to pull all of them  into my “real” Address Book or inundate my EMAIL Inbox.  The ones who become important to me on social networks are “upgraded” (or as they become real friends, colleagues, associates) to communicate with me via my “real email.”

BUT, here is something I like to point out to people who wonder if Social Media somehow will be a replacement for EMAIL? No!

What they are talking about is simply exchanging emails in much less robust, far less searchable, far less open, and far less secure, proprietary platforms of social media firms than traditional email systems.

Here is what that means….

We do not hold discussions with clients (or even personal family members) in newsgroups or mailing lists. We interact with them usually in one-to-one exchanges of messages sent in “electronic” “mail” called “EMAIL”.

The irony is that the “one on one” communications that takes place on Social Media (FaceBook, Flickr, you name it) is in one-to-one exchanges of messages just like traditional web-based email, that are exchanged out of the public eye, not on the Wall, not in the Timeline, not on a stream, but in specific areas, e.g. called Messages. And with far less flexibility, accessibility, security, or manageability. 

In other words, using  social media to “replace” Email simply means sending private “messages” on their platforms, simply email by another name!

Social media firms know email is, and likely will, remain the most used mechanism for one-to-one exchanges…. with the flexibility of multimedia multimodal multiple-use that even telephone calls do not offer.  

FaceBook is even more obvious in showing its recognition of this fact, by forcibly inserting  YourName@facebook.com as your default EMAIL address in the About > Contact Info page, until there was a huge outcry about it. Trust them to go back on their word… Even today they have NOT “fixed” the problem as they promised and most people’s pages still show FaceBook.com addresses.

Even worse, for those of you daring enough to place their entire (email) stock in a social network, think about this…

You post something that FaceBook deems inappropriate, or if you send out 20 invitations to people and 10 are not accepted, the clerical-gods of FaceBook (and other networks too) may strike you with e-Lightning and cancel your account. If that happens, good luck recovering your email, or any of your content, from there.

With traditional email providers, even if, say, Yahoo shuts down one day (sorry, Marissa!), Hotmail migrates to Outlook.com, Gmail spying gets too intrusive, you can still easily drag your emails onto another provider/server/account/computer/device. You still “own” or have far greater control over your emails/messages in these “legacy” email approaches than you do, or likely will, in the social media sites’ Messages boxes.

The tragedy of “regular” email is that many great discussions like the ones I mention above, including those with actual knowledge transfers from smart people answering questions, are lost in email folders’ deep recesses forever. Mail apps and operating systems like Windows and OS X are getting better at helping us “spotlight” what we need to find, but it can still be a pain, especially in corporate mailboxes. Sometimes you can have 200+ email messages with the same keywords mentioned and poorly written subject lines (a pet peeve of mine) making it next to impossible to find THE particular email you are looking for with the answer to that complex question someone had answered 3 months ago.

In my humble opinion, detailed technical topics, with specific questions asked and many valuable replies sent (that are the majority of traffic on most companies internal email discussions) would be so much more effective, less intrusive, and more useful to others later, if they were held on suitably tailored Microsoft SharePoint or Wiki type collaboration platforms. So, yes, for that email is not the right tool. And the unnecessary traffic (plus resultant bloated mailboxes with each reply-all containing the last dozens of emails in each discussion, in every instance of each message, in all of our mailboxes!) give rise to the type of very discussion my Enterprise Architect colleagues are having. 

When, over time, we are able to influence people to use collaboration tools where appropriate, social/mobile media (Yammer/Twitter/Lync/SMS) as practical or needed, somehow overcome a propensity to hit Reply-All on almost every email (another pet peeve 😉 ), get in the habit of writing better Subject lines (PLEASE, You can do better Subject lines than “Doc attached” or “Here it is” or the dreaded “RE:” !!), learn to judiciously delete previous body text not relevant or required, many of the reasons we complain about email would be reduced. 

So, yes, it may shift platforms, take on new interfaces, become more “intelligent”, but Email is here to stay, regardless of what platform we exchange it on…..

What do you think? Email me! 

 

Imran Anwar is a New York based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. His day job is with the world’s best software company, but these opinions are his and his alone. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar


Posted in Apple, Business, Imran, Imran Anwar, Internet, Microsoft, Strategy, Technology | Leave a Comment »

Question The Tough Questions To Ask In Cloud Computing

Posted by imrananwar on September 14, 2011

I am on record as suggesting that tough questions need to be asked by everyone (including clients, media AND vendors) before jumping on the Cloud Computing bandwagon. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYl-tzTHtQk which I recorded even before having a day job at the leading Cloud Computing Converged Infrastructure vendor.)

I read a recent article, Some tough questions you need to ask your cloud provider,  by Rutrell Yasin. It is in the respected GCN (Government Computer News), a publication I also recall being interviewed by in the past. That was during my days of being CEO, EverTrac, the pioneer in location-aware eBusiness solutions, including tracking people and assets, indoors and outdoors, in the late 1990s.

In it, the writer quotes, Wolf Tombe, chief technology officer within the Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Information Technology. I am certain Mr. Tombe is far smarter, more experienced and clout-carryng in government, technology, and probably even Cloud Computing circles than I am.

But, I also respectfully disagree with his contention that some applications are “easy wins moving to the cloud, such as e-mail and collaboration tools”.

If “easy” refers to how quickly and conveniently an app can be deployed onto a cloud or converged infrastructure, then I would say, most apps, whether email, or ISV created vertical solutions, can be migrated with reasonable convenience and the expected amount of work.

If the contention is that somehow email and collaboration are no brainers to put in the public cloud, I strongly disagree.

I think that is over simplistic and dangerous. What apps are no-brainers to move to the public cloud should depend on the mission-critical or sensitive nature of the data or functionality in the app, not what the app itself is.

For example, even the simple email and internal discussion files of a nuclear weapons design agency with just 100 people would be far more critical to protect than, say, all the accounting data of a widget making company with 5000 employees.

So, as I have said before, tough questions need to be asked… by clients, by media, and even by vendors. The stakes are too high, the opportunity too huge, and the threats too serious for any of these elements to be glossed over.

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Brand New Day, Bold New World, Of Global Brands Popularity

Posted by imrananwar on May 9, 2011

There was a time, even in the 1950s and 1960s, when you could go to the least developed place in the world, that had no electricity or running water, yet be sure to find just a select few brands recognized by everyone, not just the educated elite in those countries.

These most definitely were Coke and Mercedes Benz, and perhaps a handful of others. In the 1970s and 1980s Levi’s and Pepsi, started showing up. Even though some technology companies like IBM were doing business globally, they were unknown or irrelevant to the masses.

That is not the case today. As I tweeted today:

World Top 10 Brands: Apple top, Google, IBM follow – http://bit.ly/iRdI5Z

Not only is a technology (and increasingly consumer electronics now) company, Apple, the world’s most valuable brand, it displaced another technology company, Google. To show the trend even more clearly, IBM actually rose up, to become number 3.

Other global brand stalwarts like McDonald’s, and especially Coke, have fallen.

They remain in the Top 10, but it is amazing to see the impact technology has had on the global society in just a few years. Don’t forget, it was literally 10 years ago that Apple, coming back from near death in the late 1990s with the Return Of Jobs, launched the iPod and MacOS X.

Ten to twenty years ago most people in the world would not know the difference between Unix and other similar sounding words. Today, the world’s most valued brand is based on Unix, a variant of MacOS X, running on Macs, iPad, iPhone, Mac, and counting.

Today we may think that Cloud Computing (or the impact it has) is limited to big corporations. I daresay, there is nothing stopping Cloud vendors of today from being the Apple of tomorrow.

Steve Jobs, and Apple, see that, as we know from their acquisition ($4.5 million!) of the icloud.com domain name. But, surely there will be many more new entrants of today that could be on that Top 10 List in 2020, if they have the vision.

What do you think? Will your brand be one of them? And, what are you doing today to make it happen?

 

© Imran Anwar

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Posted in Business, Globalization, Imran, Marketing, Strategy, Technology | Comments Off on Brand New Day, Bold New World, Of Global Brands Popularity

The Worst Of Times, The Best Of Times To Come?

Posted by imrananwar on March 13, 2009

Grim economic news is all around us. Not only are individuals facing the toughest economic times, businesses are hurting and entire industries are facing extinction. There has been a lot of discussion going on about several industries. Even though the headlines may be full of news about the problems faced by individual companies – like Citibank, AIG, Bank of America, General Motors and Chrysler – few are debating whether the entire automobile, banking, insurance or even real estate industries will shut down completely. But there are several industries whose very existence is being questioned.

These include the newspaper, music, book-publishing and Hollywood film industries. Each of these industries has been in flux for more than a decade. Each has had predictions associated with it that ranged from their growing even larger and more successful to completely dying within a matter of years. In the case of each of these industries, even more than changing consumer behavior, challenging economic times, bad management or unsustainable business models, the threat cited most frequently has been the Internet.

There are several key points I make to my consulting clients in the media and technology industries when starting a discussion on crafting their strategies for the next 10 and 20 years. The reality is that the Internet did change everything. What the Internet did was give every industry an opportunity to become stronger, more efficient, more effective and smarter. Or they had to choice simply to use the Internet as just another business tool – without any thought being given to reconsidering outdated business models.

The following four industries muddled along for the last 20 years. They talked about how they were leveraging the Internet. They even started several initiatives to show how they “got” the Internet. They bought nice domain names and set up slick websites. They even hired people and gave them fancy titles like Vice President of Internet Strategy etc. but they did not truly “get” it. They did not go back to the drawing board to re-evaluate their business models and see how the Internet could help or hurt, especially if bad economic times ever hit. That is exactly what the bad times did do. They hit, and they hit hard.

That is why these are the industries most at risk. A respected commentator and very powerful writer, Cory Doctorow, had written a good piece, in Internet Evolution, analyzing these four industries. He made some good points, but I had a slightly different opinion. Here is what I think about the following industries and how they can still survive, maybe even thrive, in the coming years.

– Newspapers

Even though old industries, and their biggest players, are often threatened by new technology – it can sometimes take 100 years or more for an entire industry to die. One way to ensure that death is for the industry not to take threats to its existence seriously. In the case of the newspaper industry it is already several hundred years old (well, almost).

In the past it survived by actively leveraging all the available new technologies, from the printing press to desktop publishing, not just to survive but to thrive.

When radio and TV started to be a threat to the printed newspaper, it was the newspaper owners that went on to own most of the radio and television stations. But that means they co-opted, not leveraged, the new technologies and challenging platforms.

The reason the newspaper is having such a hard time with the Internet, especially in these dire economic times, is two-fold.
One is that the element of huge investment requirements that former newspaper (and added radio/TV) empires were built on is now gone.

As a matter of fact, it is now a serious liability. Almost anyone can now start a “newspaper” or information service. Online news services now abound. There are even white label companies and websites allowing anybody to set up their own “newspaper” simply by slapping together a combination of news feeds from multiple sources. The newspaper industry, in the meantime, remains hobbled by huge investments in real estate, printing equipment, high salaries and administrative costs.

The second is still relying on the old economic business models. An over-reliance on advertising became a disaster when first the Internet took away a lot of the advertising revenue, and then the recession killed ad sales even more. I still think newspapers, as an industry, will not die any time soon. Newspapers still offer things online media cannot do at this time. Some are tangible, some intangible.

In tangible, the quality of print and the subtleties of layout and design are still unmatched on the fanciest LCD screens or in most complex HTML pages. Intangibles, like convenience, the ability to tear out an article for later reading, are important. But most of all, permanence of record and trust, are “solid intangibles” that newspapers have not yet learnt to push into the value proposition their readers associate with them.

In my humble opinion, newspapers will survive, in new and different forms. They need to leverage and market the tangible and intangible values they offer to grow. But they can only do so if and as soon as they figure out the ability to move from a bundled “all the news we see fit to print” to an unbundled, micro-payments enabled, micro-targeted, 100% customized, personal tool and service that readers cannot live without holding in their hands.

– Music

Ironically, the death of the music labels industry will actually be the rebirth of the music industry. I do not even refer to “the long tail” business model (where the idea is that instead of making lots of money from one big splash, one can make lots of money over a long period of time, or over a large number of small sales).

The new positive fact is that creators of music can get paid directly, even 100%, from their consumer and clients – without a middleman. That renders obsolete an entire industry built on many middle layers. That means that music as an industry can actually thrive now that it is unshackled and the long overused, even clichéd “disintermediation” is here to stay.

This new world will be the death toll for middle-later but it can be music to creators’ and consumers’ ears. This will require a new way of doing things. Music production and distribution online have already changed the way the business is starting to run. What is still missing is musicians, bands and other talent from getting on the electronic micro-payments bandwagon (no pun intended!).

As micro-payments become more prevalent (in my opinion, the indie music scene should be one of the biggest champions of that) I see huge opportunity for musicians of all types to make good money, – even without having to rely on live performances as a source of income.

– Books

Just like the introduction of electronic documents was supposed to have brought about the death of the paper-products industry, predictions of the demise of the book industry are premature. The future of the book industry is still being written. How and where and it’s published is still in the industry players’ hands.

What today’s technology is enabling people to do is to see themselves as potential authors, not just book buyers or readers. Lulu, Blurb, CafePress, XLibris and many others are offering to make us published authors for little cost. That means the actual number of book editions, eBooks or printed, will actually rise as almost everyone becomes an author. What will be surprising will be that the actual total number of physical book shipments will also rise.

This is almost similar to how more pages of paper went through laser printers the more documents became available to read online. In the case of the new books industry, will each one of them be a blockbuster? Most probably not.

However, even if the total number of blockbuster books physically printed goes down, in my humble opinion, the actual physical number of total books printed, using the newest services and technologies, will significantly rise.

At least for the next 30 years I still see authors believing in the higher perceived value of having a published paper-based book in their bookshelf than an eBook on their hard drive.

– Movies

Even though I am now equipped with a fully tapeless HD camera, and as well as the latest Apple tools for video editing, I do not foresee any of my creative endeavors, even in my wildest dreams, in any way threatening the amazing world of magic that comes from the best of Hollywood. (We’re talking about the good stuff, not a lot of the recent Adam Sandler and Ben Stiller stuff).

The fact that some Hollywood blockbuster movies can cost $300 million is not a sustainable business model. That is not because YouTube type videos threaten it, but because of the sheer lunacy of the numbers.

The huge chunk of money that is paid to movie stars, some making $25-$30 million per movie, regardless of how famous they are, is the biggest needed cut I see coming. The falling costs of special effects and computer animation, and easier availability of the skills for them, are becoming more tangible forces on the industry. That gives technologists and the IT industry a bigger cut of the next generation Hollywood Dollars Pie.

I foresee more, and better, Hollywood movies being made for a fraction of today’s costs., with more reasonably priced talent and higher reliance on technology and creativity of individuals, not large companies. Hollywood can do that while still being significantly better than most low-budget flicks, thereby ensuring it an audience worldwide, for many years to come.

Throw in the ability to make micro-payments for movies streamed or downloaded from the Internet to our devices of choice, and you can see a whole new revenue stream becoming available to sustain Hollywood as well as Bollywood.

==

Imran Anwar is a New York and Miami based Pakistani-American entrepreneur, Internet pioneer, inventor, writer and TV personality. He can be reached through his web site http://imran.com and imran@imran.com . You can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/imrananwar

Posted in 2009, Advertising, Amazon, Books, Business, Entrepreneur, Hollywood, Movies, Music, New Media, News, Newspapers, Opportunity, Publishing, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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