Category Archives: Product Management

Product Management/Strategy Related Articles

OnePlus One Will Receive Global Support : Cyanogen

OnePlusOne : Launching in India Soon
OnePlusOne : Launching in India Soon

We had earlier carried the news that OnePlus One sold in India would not receive any Cyanogen Updates due to their exclusive partnership with Micromax in India. This however, as confirmed by Cyanogen is not true as OnePlus has jumped to conclusions without understanding aspects of Cyanogen’s deals with Micromax.

Cyanogen has clearly announced that OnePlus One, sold in India through amazon, will receive over the air updates as Cyanogen OS is what makes the One a preferred phone among android enthusiasts and developers.

Micromax’s deal with Cyanogen for The Yu series phones is what has created the entire confusion among the people. Cyanogen’s deal with Micromax too is still solid and the Yu series phones will be developed soon as a direct competition with Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi.

It’s OnePlus One Vs. Micromax Over CyanogenMod Updates

one plus oneOnePlus, the Chinese mobile company who is all set to launch their flagship phone OnePlus One in India through Amazon India is in for a big shock when the news about Cyanogen’s exclusive partnership with Micromax for their Yu Series of Cyanogen based smartphones.

What this means is that the deal comes at the cost of OnePlus or any other brand of Cyanogen based phones except for Micromax not receiving any official updates from Cyanogen.

Micromax Yu is competing against Xiaomi and other brands which are betting on its own software.

The deal is not effective for OnePlus phones anywhere else in the world and it is also not clear if the present deal will affect only the OnePlus phones being sold over Amazon or if is effective for all One Plus phones in general. The current solution to the issue is that users can manually flash their ROM with OnePlus updates that will be available online.

OnePlus has also hinted that they are developing their own Android Lollipop based ROM and so might move away from Cyanogen. The new OS might be available as soon as this December.

[source]

Premortems : What’s Going To Go Wrong? [#Curated]

“Hey, what’s going to go wrong?”

Premortems can be an easy and fast exercise, and you might get some really useful insights. Just ask the people close to the launch to brainstorm “What’s most likely to go wrong?” before the project launches.

Everybody talks postmortem. Matt Cutts has an interesting perspective on premortems. Quite a basic fundamental of product management – a sort of SWOT for a new idea?

[Curated from www.mattcutts.com/Image credit : www.mattcutts.com]

Between Ola And TaxiForSure : Two Amazing Marketing Campaigns

They both are competitors and have done some very cool marketing activities that are worth sharing.

‘s Jingle

What’s the support /call center number for TaxiForSure? Anecdotally speaking, a lot of people who have heard of the TaxiForSure jingle recall the number 60601010. The jingle has a very high recall value and what’s amazing is that TaxiForSure spent only Rs. 25,000 on the jingle*.

The jingle helped TaxiForSure create branding in the initial days and drive up numbers as well !

Ola Money’s Diwali Campaign

Ola timed the launch of Ola Money extremely well. And not just the launch, the 50% freebie that they gave is a masterstroke in marketing world (the diwali offer ensured that for every money you deposit in the Ola wallet, Ola deposited the same amount in yours).

The offer has worked very well for them. They have not just locked in their existing customer base, but have also snatched customers from competitors. Anecdotally speaking, a lot of people in my network ended up adding Rs. 5,000 to the Ola wallet and now that they have Rs 10,000 in the wallet, they are obviously inclined to use the Ola service before others.

It’s a big win for the company and interestingly, they keep running new offers on the wallet pretty frequently (as we speak, there is a 50% off on Ola wallet).

For Ola, wallet is now the next marketing vehicle and as long as they keep adding inventory, they have an edge over others.


What’s your view of these marketing campaigns? Know of such interesting campaigns? Do share!

*Video : TaxiForSure Cofounder, Aprameya sharing TaxiForSure story.

Social Media Vs. Email? Research Suggests Spending On Social Won’t Deliver RoI

Brands have spent millions of dollars buying Likes. And the result? Well, they have likes. But no engagement.

Only 0.07% of fans interact with the brand through posts on Facebook!Social Media

According to a new study conducted by Forrester Research and the reports following it, social media websites are not as much of an effective medium for brands to communicate with their fans. The reason for this being that most posts are not delivered to the fans and even lesser number of fans interacts with brand posts on social media websites.

Facebook’s latest announcement to cut down on organic posts by brands that do not pay for FB marketing starting from January 2015, will reduce post reach and visibility drastically (Nate Elliot, research analyst at Forrester Research).

According to an Ogilvy research conducted earlier this year, only 2% of a brand’s fans are reached through posts on Facebook. The study also noted that the number falls by 0.5% every month.  The recent Forrester research also found out that only 0.07% of fans interact with the brand through posts on Facebook.

A simple way to create more engagement with fans for a brand is to create brand communities on the brand website itself. The study also proves that among US adults, fans interact with a brand 3 times more through their website as compared to doing it through Facebook pages. Branded communities also create a connection between consumers.

Email Vs. Social Media?

Brands should communicate with their fans over emails as compared to social media posts as mails have a 90% chance of being delivered to consumers as compared to social media posts that reach only 2% of the fans. Also there are no content restrictions on what can be put on the mails as compared to social media platforms that have strict regulations. The study shows that US adults prefer to communicate through a brand’s website over emails rather than to go through Facebook pages.

What has been your experience?

 

The Problem With Ello And A Case Of Bad Product Positioning

Finally,I joined Ello, the new new social network that has positioned itself as an anti-Facebook platform.

Take a look at the welcome email I received from Ello. This is not just bad, but an example of an extremely bad product positioning and of a confused product.

“Thank you for joining Ello Beta. Updates and new features are released daily.

Please help us create a simple, beautiful, and ad-free social network.

Log in and have fun using Ello!”

Ello
None of the above excites me to join a new new social network.

You don’t wake up and say ‘hey! I will only login to a social network which rolls out new features daily; and is ad-free’.

People use web sites / services as utilities.

That is , ‘TO <DO x>”.  

WhatsApp, which is was the actual Facebook competition and privacy friendly network never started off with a negative connotation.

For the privacy freaks, surely Ello is a great option – there aren’t friends to talk to. It’s as private as what you’d like it to (pun intended).

Are you on Ello? Do you find it useful?

What Exactly Is MVP? How Minimum? How Much Viable?

A lot many entrepreneurs and product managers look at MVP as ‘Minimum’ Viable Product – Minimum first and Viable later.
That is, the focus, for most of the entrepreneur is on building Minimum product more than a viable product, in order to test their hypothesis.

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – you start with a hypothesis and in order to validate that, you end up creating validation points. So, the focus becomes more on minimum which sort of gives a ‘basic’ experience which you can quickly validate, vs. launching a viable product will take time and could be anything but minimum effort.

What exactly is a viable product?

The one that (almost) solves primary use-case of that ‘big’ product.

You call it lean, you call it MVP – but whatever you do, if it isn’t close to the primary use-case, it’s not viable.

Importantly, the viable product need not be so minimum (in terms of customer experience). THe focus should be on use-case (case study : How Groupon Started As A WordPress Blog.] rather than effort and timeline.

So what exactly is MVP ? How Minimum? How Much Viable?

Well, you can read loads of articles on this topic, but nothing explains better than what Spotify product team has demonstrated with this picture.

What Is MVP
What Is MVP

If you are building a car (and want your customers to pay for the car), then better build that experience – of wheel, riding that helps your customer ‘get a task done’ (which is ‘reaching from point A to point B’ in this case).

Most of the entrepreneurs end up following the first process – they build minimal experience of the car (this is how the wheel will look like), but that doesn’t help validate.

And again, stacking up technology isn’t MVP. It’s the experience of a ‘complete use-case’ that matters.

MVP, I repeat is not about being Minimum. But being Viable.

What are your thoughts?

The Only Lesson Product Managers Can Learn From Orkut : Nobody Enters A Dirty Cafe

orkut
The MTV Youth Icon of 2007!

Orkut is shutting down. Today is the D-day. 

A lot of us would recall our first experience of an actual social network (not counting Yahoo chats) in Orkut, which also won the MTV Youth Icon Award in 2007!

For a lot of us, it was the first working version of a FOAF (Friend Of A Friend) algorithm. Orkut led to a lot of discovery of friends and ‘real-life’ contacts.

Orkut was the first real product that brought social networking to India and very soon, it meant for social networking what Google meant for search. “Orkutting” caught on as a term. One must note that this rarely happens in the internet industry.

With such a large clutter of sites to choose from, a particular site rarely defines its category in a way that Orkut did in India. When a site starts defining a category, it is extremely difficult for another site to, not just overtake it in terms of usage but also start defining the category.

In fact, by 2008 Orkut was at its peak. The social network had conquered India and Brazil, two big emerging markets that mattered the most.

And then, it all fell apart.

India Search Trends for Orkut.
India Search Trends for Orkut.

What Really Happened With Orkut?

Did Facebook kill Orkut?

Well, actually not (read this analysis when Facebook was just about to make inroads into the Indian market). The truth is that Orkut was never big in US of A, and Facebook was more focused on killing MySpace than Orkut.

So who killed Orkut?

Orkut actually killed Orkut.

And here is how.orkut in hindi, bengali, marathi tamil

Think Metrics. Think SLA

In consumer business, SLAs are not just about hard metrics (average spent time/average engagement), but a lot about soft metrics.

For example, in its early days, Facebook just ensured that the site’s uptime is the most important factor to take care of.

“Let me tell you the difference between Facebook and everyone else, we DON”T CRASH EVER! If those servers are down for even a day, our entire reputation is irreversibly destroyed! Users are fickle, Friendster has proved that. Even a few people leaving would reverberate through the entire userbase. The users are interconnected, that is the whole point. College kids are online because their friends are online, and if one domino goes, the other dominos go, don’t you get that? [Read : So What Exactly Is A Product]

How Orkut Could Have Saved Orkut?

Well, the soft metrics for Orkut lied in controlling spam.

Orkut was massively attacked by spammers, but the team never cared about it.

Nobody Wants To Enter A Dirty Cafe

Period.

Nobody wants to enter a dirty cafe which smells bad and has spooky characters welcoming you.

This is what really happened with Orkut, which was marred with spams and privacy woes.

In fact, this is the basic premise of Broken Windows theory :

Consider a building with a few broken windows. If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building, and if it’s unoccupied, perhaps become squatters or light fires inside.

Or consider a pavement. Some litter accumulates. Soon, more litter accumulates. Eventually, people even start leaving bags of refuse from take-out restaurants there or even break into cars.

This is exactly what happened with Orkut. And then, the network efffect played its role (you left because your friends left).

Don’t let it happen to your product. Clean it up!

What Makes Habit Forming Products [Tooth-brushing]

Building a habit-forming product is tough. Extremely tough. And the best corollary to describe habits is tooth brushing – you do it everyday. Even when you aren’t fully awake.

Habits !
Habits !

So what makes great habit-forming products?
The most habit forming products require its users to make a small investment into the product: time, data, effort, social capital or money.

Watch this great presentation on habit forming products and smaller details that goes in.




Image credit : shutterstock

That One Thing (Successful) Consumer Internet Startup Founders Do.

Successful Consumer tech founders do what unsuccessful ones don’t – They stay out of startup rat race.  They stay out of cozy discussions around MVP/GTM etc etc. They figure out a consumer connect without going through any layer of gyaan from startup babas. In most of the cases, they even skip the ‘early adopter’ route, because the early adopters do NOT fall in their target customer segment.

Consumer Experience : Create Right Chemisty
Consumer Startup? Create Right Chemistry

They reach out to consumers FAST. They skip the early adopter route.

There is a huge difference between a consumer mindset and the way, a geeky/early adopter evaluates a product. Consumers look at product as a utility/ as a tool that will help them with <insert value proposition>.  They ask : Is this useful? Am I going to share this with my friends?

Early adopters are more often NOT the real consumers / the real target segment and tend to look at product from a well defined framework (how is the interface? will this scale?).


» Read : Hate Spamming your users? Zuckerberg did it


While there is definitely a merit in collecting feedback from early adopter and startup community, there is a high probability that you might get stuck in a loop (getFeedback->Triage->Fix->AskForFeedback->getFeedback->Triage->).

And the best part? You won’t mind the loop. Seeing your kid improve day by day makes you a happy parent, but in the entire process you lose connect with the ‘REAL’ users, the ones product should appeal to. The ones who do NOT mind a crappy looking product, but helps them solve a pain .

And by the time you realise this, it’s too late to fix. Too late to go to investors and convince little traction.

Succesful founders of consumer Internet companies know this.

- Recommended Read : 5 + 1 Mistakes Early Stage Startups Commit : Enter a Lion’s Den Hunting For Breakfast

Product Positioning : An Oversimplified Yet Most Amazing Definition

Product positioning is a tricky task – you either end up saying a lot (and become irrelevant) or you just say nothing.

Here is probably the smartest ever definition that we came across:


For (target customer)

Who (statement of need or opportunity),artofproductpositioningstandout.jpg

(Product name) is a (product category)

That (statement of key benefit).

Unlike (competing alternative)

(Product name)(statement of primary differentiation).


For example:

Amazon’s positioning in the early days would probably read like this:

For World Wide Web users

Who enjoy books,

Amazon is a retail bookseller

That provides instant access to over 1.1 million books.

Unlike traditional book retailers,

Amazon provides a combination of extraordinary convenience, low prices and comprehensive selection.

[Arielle Jackson , ex-Googler/Square. Via]


A perfect definition? Almost!

Tell us your product positioning statement!

» Good Read : The Art of Product Positioning – Do you know the right position?

The Assumptions & Market Insights That Can Help Indian Product Startup

If you’re a product startup, you’ll agree that narrowing down on your product roadmap, and trying to find that perfect product-market fit are things that will be extremely critical in the early days of your startup.

True to the lean approach, you’re most likely to focus on getting out of the building, and keep testing your hypotheses to ensure that your product roadmap reflects the value proposition you aim to offer your customers.

We’ve recently gone through the same journey and wanted to share insights on how we validated, changed and in some cases dumped our assumptions, to adapt our approach based on what the customers were telling us:

People would pay us to help them be more efficient

Accountability Transparency

While in theory this one was a no brainer, and even our customers agreed that there were several opportunities where technology could help automate their current processes and be more efficient…what we soon realised was, that with technology, came transparency, traceability, and accountability. And this is not something our customers were ready to sign up for just yet. The markets that we currently operate in are fairly unorganized and there’s a huge amount of money that changes hands, where the colour is not always green (if you know what I mean).

Result: We now better understand our boundaries, and do not intend to make a tool whose success depends on a market reality that we cannot influence.

Android-jelly-bean-logoCome on, this is India, you can’t go wrong by developing first on Android

Based on various reports, and a general sense of the market we thought we can’t go wrong by starting development on Android, and later expand to other platforms. To a certain extent it was the right call. However, as we penetrated deeper into certain markets, we realised that iOS ruled the roost. Around 70% of our customers who had an iOS device, and gave an Android device to their employees. It was more of a status symbol, than anything else. So much so that, one guy used a simple CDMA phone to talk, but an iPhone 5S bought from the grey market at Rs. 1.5lakh just for WhatsApp.

Result: We’re now accelerating our iOS development, and should be live on it soon.

Indians are more “Do It For Me” vs. “Do It Yourself”

We thought, look here’s a guy who doesn’t have time to try new stuff, and would mostly prefer if we did things for him. So we started out by offering our customers’ complementary services, hoping it’ll minimize the inertia to come onboard. Boy, did we not get a reality check on this one. On an average our target customers are hounded by at least 5 guys a week, who promised them an online presence, free listings, dreams of getting new business etc. with hardly any differentiation.

We quickly learned that our customers did not like too much dependency on 3rd party vendors, are tired of calling up customer service teams to even make minor changes, and have given up on keeping their B2B listings updated. They preferred to have control with the ability to make changes when they want, where they want and how they want it…and all this directly from their mobile.

Result: We’re rolling out features that take us out of the equation, and let the customer take control of their digital presence.

It’ll be difficult to beat WhatsApp, as it’s “Perfect” in all sense

whatsappFrom the day we started NextGenCatalogs, we knew that our direct competition was not a company who helps create online catalogs, or someone who creates websites by sending SMSes, or large B2B listing services…it was WhatsApp.

After spending days in local markets, we realised the extent to which WhatsApp is entrenched into the daily lives of these businessmen. Some people estimate that, 80% of trade in the garments industry is via WhatsApp. People have found their own unique ways of using it…some use it to share product pics, some for order management, some for delivery confirmations, and some for negotiating prices across multiple suppliers.

So, while WhatsApp is a fantastic communication tool, it was only after talking to our customers, we realised that it posed some inherent risks to their businesses. The following customer comments, would tell you how eagerly these people are waiting for something that combines the power of WhatsApp along with the ability to apply their business rules…

  • “When I send an exclusive product pic to a buyer, I can be assured that within an hour that pic has travelled (being forwarded to) the entire city, and come back to me…”
  • “Buyers today ask for product pics, only to send it to other sellers, and before you know it, my competitors have manufactured the same design, at a lower cost, lower quality, faster time, and unfortunately, I can’t do much…”
  • “Let’s say I send around 10 new product pics every day to my existing customer. We spend most time figuring out which pic we’re talking about. If the discussions spans a few days, invariably there’ll be unwanted forward message between these serious discussions, making it all extremely difficult to manage…” 

Result: We’re continuously learning, innovating and creating a differentiation in the market. We’re excited by the opportunity in front us, to combine the power of our enterprise grade messaging platform with the ability to apply business specific rules. Our journey to build NextGenCatalogs as the de facto communication platform between manufacturers, distributors and retailers has just begun!!


Do you relate to any of these at your startup? Have an assumption that got thrashed for good? Do share your feedback and insights in the comments.

[About the author: Vikram Parekh is a Director at IIT-B alumni founded startup WireddIn Interactive, the company behind NextGenCatalogs, a B2B mobile platform where product manufacturers and distributors can create product catalogs, integrate them with their customers’ phonebook, and have product centric conversations.]

Art of Naming Your Users in Ideation Process

[Edit Notes: Developers often jump into coding before thinking of what exactly is going to be built. In this post, Parag Arora takes a look at what could go wrong and how you could avoid it.]

In the initial days after I passed out from IIT, used to have dozens of business plans everyday, and was already working on few of them in a given month. Later I realised those were not business plans but cool ideas, that’s all. After I was done coding, I was hardly able to find users of my app except myself for couple of days. End result is a failed startup – failure will come very soon and is much assured to come. Series of startups, at one time also made me think I should start a consulting outsourcing businesses. Happens.

Guy Coding Shutterstock

Then came a little matured stage when idea of solving problems was the key. This was a stage when I was actively looking to find problems in ecosystems and came up with solutions rather discussing with people who are facing problems. End result is a failed startup. You try to articulate reasons for failure but the reason is it was not built for anyone. Your product was a solution to a problem but a solution which was not desirable. Its an assured failed startup too. Know before you fail what you missed in your product.

Then came an interesting stage. A stage where I knew I came up with ideas which are also solutions to some problems, problems not that big but interesting to have solutions of. Identifying problems for which people were not actively looking for solutions but were surprised and excited to find solutions. There were users. I could name those users when I am coding. I had that amazing feeling while working and much more reasons to work now. But the competitors were growing fast, my product lacked somewhere. Problem was solved, but there were too many solutions already. I created and showed people the problem, and was outrun before I could even imagine this would happen. Obviously I lacked somewhere. The answer was sales. Interestingly it was always sales. Even the user requirements gathering, design elements, product delivery, money collection, user on boarding, user retention, competition watch – everything is part of sales. Naming a user and selling to that named users are two different things. But with a good procedure followed to name your users, idea evolution to product is a stronger process for your startup.

There comes the need for Art of naming your users. I will not be covering (and can not cover) selling to users here as there can not be set of points which can help since sales is majorly a mindset thing. Process goes as below:

  1. Name your most influential user or to be user.
  2. How does this user look like? Who all are in his family? Who all are his friends? Is it possible that one of them can be your potential user too? What does his life looks like before your idea?
  3. How exactly will he learn about your product?
  4. What exactly will you offer this user? What exactly you will mention in your email to him if you get his email id to make it super simple, small yet interesting enough for him to use your product.
  5. What exactly will trigger him to chose your product. Give one point.
  6. How much will he pay you? How and exactly when he will pay you?
  7. How will he exactly receive your product? Draw the complete flow from the moment he will pay you and till comes onboard. What could go wrong? List everything here.
  8. After product is delivered to him, how would his life be like? Would he keep using your product or quickly get to a point where he might lose interest after using it for 3 days. How would you bring him back?

Jump into coding only once you answer these questions with a concrete survey. Good luck!


[About the Author: Parag Arora is the Co-Founder Plustxt, a messaging app startup which was acquired by One97. Arora is an IITD Grad and a Multiplatform hacker. He blogs here.]

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The Very Cool User OnBoarding Experience That Deserves A Mention [No Slacking Here]

The NextBigWhat team recently switched from Google Talk Hangout to Slack for all internal communication purpose. Apart from the fact that Slack integrates very well with services like Asana, what’s really interesting is the minute details team has cracked (rather not slacked around).

Take a look at Slack’s user onboarding experience.

Slack : User Onboarding
Slack : User Onboarding

– The onboarding is totally interactive.
– The onboarding experience encourages you to complete the next steps.

You can definitely question why I am talking to slackbot (so much free time?). The thing about Slack is that even slackbot is part of the product experience and is not a stand alone entity, unlike the famous Clippy.

One of the most important element of user onboarding is to reduce friction during profile completion. Making it a progressive process helps, instead of being a gatekeeper (which most of the products do). And a progressive process is a representation of the product, i.e. smart, intuitive and simple (in case of Slack).

The Travel Agent Industry is Broken. Ripe for Disruption!

I run a chain of vacation properties. While building this up, and carefully crafting the brand around the rather niche offering we have, I have run into the travel agent industry very often, with a couple of good experiences and a lot of lousy ones. The industry does not, by and large, seem to be working for the producers of the services that they’re representing.

Let me explain.

This is roughly how the travel agent industry works – both online and offline. Say, you, P, are the property owner, and A, the agent says they will represent you.

P finds/buys a place, spends effort/time/money to set it up

P finds staff, trains them, ensures service levels

P services guests, plays host, helps create the guest experience, manages emergencies

P gets the bouquets – mostly offline, and brickbats – mostly online!

P frets about empty weekends, lean seasons and rising costs

Forests

It takes effort to run properties out there!

 

A finds consumers, connects them with the property, sometimes with sketchy details

A runs no risk, no costs for the experience, takes little responsibility

A sometimes mis-sells, and doesn’t care about the health of the property

Incredibly, A asks for 15-20% of the whole revenue!! Oftentimes, this is more than what P makes on a transaction, counting all costs! Isn’t that a little unfair, and perhaps even parasitic?

In most businesses, you’re either a producer or a trader. Profits range from 2 – 20%, depending on what risks you carry. If you carry inventory risk, or capital risk, the latter end of that profitability range is fairly justifiable. In this case, if the travel agent were pre-buying inventory in bulk, it might make sense for the property to share 12-20% depending on the deal size in return for guaranteed sales.

disruption

 

But A has none of that risk!


As a pure connector – a role which real estate agents play at 1-2%, the travel agent adds very little. The value would come from solving a real problem for either side. Here’s some ideas that might make sense.

  1. Aid discovery : Low fees, high volumes : 2-4% of the transaction from the property, and work hard to get volumes across many properties. A fixed fee might do wonders! This could also work with hurdle rates.

  2. Guarantee volumes : pre-buy inventory in bulk and make 8-20% on it.

  3. Fill lean periods – differential fees : Solve the lean season/weekend problem for properties. And charge lower/nothing for the times that they would have had a flood of guests anyhow.

  4. Get niche audiences : If you have access to an audience from a specific geography, or around a

  5.  specific interest area, you could bring them in for a premium – these usually end up solving both the volume and lean period problem for properties.

  6. Solve property grading for guests : Kinda like Tripadvisor, except there’s a lot more personalization possible. Play serious consultant/matchmaker for guests, and charge a fee on top for that. A fee of 4-8% should be acceptable.

  7. Be an affiliate : There is a parallel in the e-commerce world that can be replicated for travel – travel agents as affiliates. It automates tracking, sales, reduces the need for information hiding and keeps the focus on building audiences through whatever value the agents provide.

  8. Provide back office services : Reservation systems, CRM, centralized stores, guest interactions, call centres – properties need multiple such services as they scale up their offerings in size as well as quality. Many would gladly pay for these services.

  9. Get involved : Own the experience at the property, underwrite a few costs, fund development. This is probably a pure hospitality model which only a few should attempt at a few places.

It is quite amazing that the tech enabled OTAs haven’t disrupted the agent model yet – they’re all mostly playing the same information access game – that is not something that will continue to be defensible as a business model too long. Both search engines, as well as social, are making it possible for even small, well run places to connect with their audiences directly.

The travel agent industry is one that’s very very ripe for disruption!