Prototypes, Membership, Virality


Making Sense: Prototypes

  • You Can Explain eBay's $50 Billion Turnaround With Just This One Crazy Story. Business Insider: Back when he was running Milo, he’d had the idea that users should be able to follow retailers, brands, and product categories the way you can follow people and brands on Facebook and Twitter. He envisioned a feed where shoppers could see the latest updates from those brands and retailers — about new products or sales — just the way they can see updates from their friends in the Facebook News Feed or in the Twitter stream. Perhaps this kind of feed could replace the Sunday circular, which was going the way of the newspaper. When Abraham sold Milo to eBay, he immediately hoped to implement this idea on But he very quickly learned that it wasn’t going to happen. For starters, he had a full plate integrating Milo’s technology and staff into eBay. Then there were the intra-company politics: Abraham was in charge of eBay Local. He had no authority over, and the people who did had ideas of their own. [we met Jack Abraham a couple of years ago at the NYT Business Forum. The theme: invest in your customers by making the product awesome]
  • Renault prototype is a self-driving massage parlor. EngadgetNext Two prototype can also take care of parking, with an automated valet feature that finds a spot, and returns on demand to the driver — all controlled via smartphone app.

Making Do: Membership

  • The newsonomics of The Guardian’s new “Known” strategy. The Guardian: On one hand, we have the fruits of The Guardian’s journalism and its strategy of ubiquity. “Open journalism,” available free on many platforms, feeds traffic. […] All together, The Guardian draws in about 40 million unique visitors a month, about two-thirds of them outside the U.K., though, of course its U.K. readership is the most engaged. In traffic, it’s competitive with the global reach of The New York Times and Mail Online. Registration is the glue in the middle: getting readers to reveal something of themselves, then more over time. To the extent they do that, they move from being unknown hordes to potential buyers of… something.
  • Amazon says it may increase Prime membership fee by as much as $40. Digital Trends: The service, which gives members free, two-day shipping on particular items, as well as unlimited streaming of Prime Instant Video content and access to the Kindle Owners’ Library, currently costs $79 a year, with Szkutak suggesting a price hike of between $20 and $40.

Making It: Virality

  • Facebook and the race to make content go viral — meet the new boss, same as the old boss. GigaOm: Facebook, has gone from being in the same general range [of Google] to more than double the top end of that range — so that it now sends about 160 million visits per month, almost four times as much as Google now does.
  •  If there's one Sochi video that deserves to go viral, it's this one. CNET: Sadly, though this video deserves to be shared by everyone in the world, NBC and various music rights holders seem reluctant for this to immediately happen. You can view the performance on the NBC site, but it's not currently embeddable. Several passionate aficionados of what is right in the world have posted it to YouTube. However, NBC, the IOC, and music rights holders have been steadily removing those clips.


[image from left to right: Jake Nickell, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Threadless; me; Marissa Evans, Founder/CEO of GO TRY IT ON; Jack Abraham, then Director of eBay Local and Founder/CEO of; Luther Lowe, Manager of Local Business & Government Affairs, Yelp]


Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effects on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.