Friday, October 21, 2011

Lessons in Communication

There have been a few things happen in the media lately that have become case-studies in communication. I thought I'd just blog them as a reminder to me.

First of all, there's been the whole Netflix fiasco. First they hike up the prices, while almost immediately announcing that a major content provider (Starz) has backed out. On the heels of all that good news, they announce that their movie by mail service will become a separate service under a whole new brand, new site, new account, and everything. What happened next - their stock dropped by almost half. Next thing I know, Netflix is eating crow and I'm getting an email stating that they've changed their mind, and won't be splitting the company after all. This serves as an example in poor communication.

The next example comes from the most profitable company on the planet - Apple. Several years ago they rolled out their "cloud" data sync service called MobileMe. For $99 a year, you could store all your data in the cloud and have it synced to all your devices. This month, Apple put their loyal fans through the hassle of changing all that when they switched to their new cloud service, iCloud. How did we respond? With school-boy giddiness. This was partly due to the fact that the service is much more effective, and free. But still, Apple killed a product they had marketed for a very brief amount of time to unveil a new service that does essentially the same thing...and they did it successfully. This would be an example is good communication.

Finally, let's talk about another highly successful company, Google. For all that Google does well, there's one thing they just can't seem to get a handle on, and that's social media. Just last week it was announced that Google was officially giving up on their previous attempt at social media, Buzz. Some will argue that their current go is seeing some staying power with Google+. But the real thing I think that's worth taking away from this is that huge company's take big risks to innovate. Even company's like Google occasionally fail. And that's okay.

My thumbs are tired.

Eric Dunaway

Sent from my iPhone

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