Why do things disappear?

There were a few key people who inspired me to start blogging and whose analytical writing skills I greatly admire.  One of those people who has personally inspired me to start blogging is Jonas Holmes III.  He has written about politics, wine, photography and physics.  He is one of the most diverse people I have ever met and am proud to link to his blogger profile where you can read what he has to say.

http://www.blogger.com/profile/21068986

Enjoy!

Response to a Great Comment About My View of FON Blogging

I started to write this in response to a great comment on my post “Blogging as a Topic in MBA Programs.” It got so long that I decided to create a new entry. I encourage disagreement to my posts as it helps really develop a concept. Here is the comment and what I had to say about it.

I fully agree with you both in the sense that the blogosphere gives very strong possibilities of communication and dialogue.

However, anyone following FON knows exactly what not to do is such a channel.

Zach, sorry for this, but either you have not made an objective analysis or you were simply throwing out the first idea you had in mind with the word blog…

Josh, thanks for the comment and tactful opposition… It is appreciated at least as much as an agreement. (On a side note… I have my blog setup to hold the first comment from an individual for moderation. I do this only to avoid spam and not to moderate the content of legitimate comments.)

Why do you feel that FON’s use of blogging has not been effective?

FON LogoThe official blogs on FON’s site have been fairly inactive, but I have been following the blogs of both Ejovi Nuwere and Martin Varsavsky for the last few months and Martin’s has been particularly FON focused.

I like how Martin has used his blog as a communication tool for new ideas that FON is developing. For example, he posted some of the first drafts of art work that Miguel Sal had been working on for FON and got feedback from FON community. That’s a pretty cheap and effective way to hold a “focus group” with real end users.

Like I mentioned in my post… I also really like the personal voice that their blogs have given to the company.

From my perspective these blogs have also enabled FON to gain a lot of popularity and traction without spending a lot on marketing in it’s early stages, which is critical for a startup.

All of that being said… I also think there are some risks in having a blogger focused company such as FON. I think that Ejovi’s recent departure from FON is a prime example of that. Ejovi has posted three parts to his FON story and we are waiting on the final chapter to see why he left. From what I’ve seen so far there won’t be any ground shaking conclusions from his final post, but it certainly could make a company nervous to know that one of their founders could be writing damaging things and a lot of people are listening. This topic also came up during Enrique Dans’ class focused on the effects blogging is having on the business world.

Customers and employees having a forum for directly voicing their opinions to the world poses a threat as well as an opportunity. Hopefully this will help encourage companies to be honest and ethical in the way they treat their constituents.

Josh, thanks again for the comment as it has inspired me to further develop my opinion on a topic that is important to me, which is exactly why I started blogging. I look forward to hearing back from you.

P.S. I have no affiliation with FON other than it being an interesting case study. As a matter of fact… Where I live in Hawaii, I think I’m the only FON hot spot!

Entrepreneurship is in the Blood

One of the differentiating components of the MBA program I’m working on at the Instituto de Empresa is our participation in IE Global Communities.  These Global Communities are broken down by geography, function and sector.  I’m currently a member of the Entrepreneurship, Technology and Environment communities. 

I recently wrote the following post for the entrepreneurship community in our private forums and thought it might be interesting to share with the blogosphere.  Enjoy…

My entrepreneurial story started at the young age of fifteen…

I began working when I was twelve, delivering newspapers to a couple hundred houses in my neighborhood. When other kids would be running around after school I was folding papers and employing the help of few dedicated friends. I would get up early on Saturday and Sunday to make sure my customers could read the paper with the morning cafe. I did this job for a couple of years… I didn’t know at the time that I was establishing an important network of future customers.

As I got older, the ripe old age of fifteen, I decided that I needed to be making more money, so I decided to go into the lawn care business. I employed the help of my dad to make flyers printed on thick colored paper. I took those flyers door-to-door in the neighborhood of my old paper-route introducing myself as the old paperboy. I had already established myself as a hardworking kid, so I had no problem filling up my schedule mowing lawns for $30/hour. That’s not bad for a punk kid with braces and no car!

Although I’ve been in other entrepreneurial ventures that were a lot bigger scale and financially successful, I think this story shows that entrepreneurship is in the blood.

Hope You Enjoyed,
Zach

Blogging as a Topic in MBA Programs

Today in our Information Management Systems class at the Instituto de Empresa, we discussed the changes in information dissemination and how blogs are affecting business and personal interactions. My favorite point during the course was when our professor, Enrique Dans, pointed out that businesses currently don’t have a very personal voice. A lot of their communication with customers is PR rhetoric.

There are some really innovative companies out there who are using a very personal voice to communicate with customers. FON LogoI’ve been very impressed with how FON has communicated with the Foneros of the world. Martin Varsavsky has done an excellent job with that. Yesterday he posted an apology about the lack of availability of some of their products. It is a masterful use of new communication and is probably part of why they have been wildly successful and unable to keep up with demand.

I’m also glad to see that IE is incorporating this topic into the Global Communities MBA curriculum. Although “blogging�? may come and go, the concept of enabling users to publish content and opinions will be an important part of the future of business in whatever form it takes.

My Two Cents!