When To Quit

Guy Kawasaki interviews Seth Godin about his new book “The Dip.”

Its time to quit when you secretly realize youve been settling for mediocrity all along. Its time to quit when the things youre measuring arent improving, and you cant find anything better to measure.

Smart quitters understand the idea of opportunity cost. The work youre doing on project X right now is keeping you from pushing through the Dip on project Y. If you fire your worst clients, if you quit your deadest tactics, if you stop working with the people who return the least, then you free up an astounding number of resources. Direct those resources at a Dip worth conquering and your odds of success go way up.

Whats the worst time to quit? When the pain is the greatest. Decisions made during great pain are rarely good decisions.

Friending is the New Ad

GigaOM outlines the findings of, not surprisingly, a MySpace report.

Friending is the next advertising, proclaims the report. And 40 percent of social network users claim to have discovered brands and products that [they] really like through the websites.

The report looks at two campaigns in particular, in which adidas and EA created communities that

1. made their brands into persona,
2. enabled sharing (e.g. forward this to a friend) and
3. [gave] the consumer a chance to realize their dream/fantasy.

adidas and EA spent $1.87 and $1.19, respectively, per MySpace user who said because of the campaign he or she intended to buy the companys product.

China Mobile Numbers

For all who get excited about the mobile numbers in India, take a look at China Mobile. From WSJ:

The listed arm of China’s largest mobile carrier by subscribers reported net profit of 17.56 billion yuan ($2.28 billion), up from 14.36 billion yuan in the year-earlier period. Revenue increased 20% to 77.71 billion yuan.

The company added 14.89 million subscribers in the first quarter this year, up from the 14.08 million users it added in the fourth quarter. It added 5.12 million subscribers in March, up from February’s addition of 4.91 million subscribers. China Mobile had 316.12 million subscribers as of the end of March.

Average revenue per user per month in the first quarter fell to 85 yuan from 93 yuan a year earlier.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 14% to 40.72 billion yuan. Its margin for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, was 52.4%.

The Coming Virtual Web

Business Week writes:

The glimmers of a real metaverse are coming into focus. You can see it in the popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft, which is revolutionizing online games with sophisticated graphics and complex team strategy.

Virtual worlds such as There, Entropia Universe, and Second Life let you create avatars, buildings, and even virtual classrooms and businesses. With Google Earth and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Virtual Earth 3-D, you can transcend the map layout and zoom into satellite-mapped locations around the world.

All these developments have one thing in common: They suggest that before long, the Internet of the future, and the vast wealth of information and services on it, will look different: slicker, more realistic, more interactive and social than anything we experience today through the Web browser.

TECH TALK: Reflections from a Dubai Trip: Dreams in the Air

Take a look at Dubai airport from the air to see how to do it right. (The design is probably not just limited to Dubai but most good airports in the world.) There is a terminals area in the centre away from the check-in and arrivals area. The terminals area thus has plenty of parking space for aircraft on all its sides. Every aircraft thus can be connected to an aerobridge. The terminals area itself is connected to the arrivals / departures area with an underground tunnel. The arrivals area is on the lower level, while the departures area is one level above.

Now take a look at the hodge-podge that is Mumbais airport. In the infinite wisdom of the planners, we built common runways but had two separate terminals for domestic and international travelers which for years were connected only by getting on the crowded roads. A couple years or so ago, wisdom dawned and they finally used the inside roads to ferry passengers back and forth between the two terminals.

The new domestic terminal that has been created for some of the airlines (replacing the old one) forces every traveller to be carted in a bus. There is no provision for any aerobridge. Which era are we willing in? The terminals area and the arrivals / departures area is in one cramped building limiting growth. A significant part of the airport has been overrun by squatters limiting the expansion of runways.

We pay a price every day for these kind of inefficiencies in the system. Many of these decisions could have been done right the first time around and we did not need to be rocket scientists for that. We just had to look at best practices that people have followed before us. But being one of historys oldest civilizations, we think we have all the answers. Luckily, the rest of the world doesnt seem to think so.

Tomorrow: Imagining Chaos