“The greatest fortune to be made in the United States in the next 2-3 years is going to be made by somebody who exquisitely determines when the interest rate rise will occur.”
-David Rubenstein, Carlyle Group
High Output Management – Motivation & Performance
Two inner forces can drive a person to use all of his/her capabilities. He/she can be:
The former concerns itself with job or task mastery. A virtuoso [...] who continues to practice day after day is obviously moved by something other than a need for esteem and recognition. He works to sharpen his own skill, trying to do a little bit better this time than the time before… He is relentless, driven by the self-actualization need, a need to get better that has no limit.
The achievement-driven path to self-actualization is not quite like this… Some people —not the majority—are moved by an abstract need to achieve in all that they do. These people work at the boundary of their capability... [they] test the limits of what they can do. [Achievers] simply must test themselves. By challenging themselves, these people are likely to miss a peg several times, but when they begin to ring the peg consistently, they gain satisfaction and a sense of achievement.
The point is that both competence and achievement-oriented people spontaneously try to test the outer limits of their abilities.
— Andrew S. Grove, Former CEO, Intel Corp.
Grove, A. S. High Output Management. Los Angeles, USA: Vintage Books, 1997.
I had my doubts, I asked myself, what is about you that is so different? Why is it you’re the only one that sees it so clearly? This goal…. No one else talks about this. Is it real, is it just a crazy fantasy? But wait a minute…
“People really want stuff real time and they (Twitter) have done a really good job about it.” – Google CEO, Larry Page, May 2009
One unlikely super-niche player in the search engine industry is micro blogging web service Twitter. Twitter, a social media site built on SMS technology which allows users to post updates of up to 140 characters, has definitely found itself as a game changer in the world of search with its steady stream of updates. Twitter’s streams of conversation finds its sweet spot in search serving as an alternative media outlet often breaking news prior to traditional media, such as was the case with the Osama Bin Laden raid. Twitter often doubles as a vast pool of open information, where brands can identify customer sentiments, business can gain strategic insights, and people of common interests can connect by following one anotther. In 2008 Twitter realized the importance of search and seized the opportunity to acquire summize.com, which as a third-party service that allowed its users to access tweets via search. This marked the beginning of Twitter expanded offering and position as a real-time search engine.
Twitter poses a peripheral threat to Google and other search engines considering the continuous amount of information generated by its 170 million active users (estimated 500M total). The niche position Twitter leads in is real-time search. Twitter’s position is such a threat that in 2009 Google co-founder, and current CEO Larry Page stated:
“People really want stuff real time and they (Twitter) have done a really good job about it. We have done a relatively poor job of doing things that work on a per second basis. I have been telling our search team that they need to search on a per second basis. They laughed at me and said it’s ok it’s just a few minutes old. I said “no” it needs to be every second. Now I think they understand that. ”
As a result of this statement, in October 2009, both Bing and Google announced that they had secured deals with Twitter giving both search engines access to real-time public tweets within their search results. Eventually, the deal between Twitter and Google soured, and eventually was terminated not long after Google released its new social media site Google+. This prompted Twitter to release the statement:
“As we’ve seen time and time again, news breaks first on Twitter… we’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone.”
So where does Twitter rank in search results? By 2010, Twitter upgraded their search architecture, and estimated they were pulling in approximately 1 Billion search queries per day. Given these numbers are true, this would make Twitter the 2nd most used search engine. And although Twitter does see a high number of searches, many of Twitter searches come from API’s of third party services. It’s these API’s built around Twitter’s open architecture that has made Twitter so popular. Serendipitously, its platform was able to grow exponentially along with the wave of web users’ adoption of mobile devices perhaps, better than any website or web-service in the world. And with the user demand for real-time search results, often times, the first place they look for real-time information is on Twitter.
Going Global – The Right Attack Strategy – Applying the Rule of Three, Twitter could increase its search engine position by opening up in foreign markets. This course of action could be promising for business; however, this may mean Twitter will have to adhere to foreign laws pertaining to free speech. For example, over the last few years Twitter has literally helped spark revolutions, such as Occupy Wall Street, Egypt, and Lybia. Entering into foreign nations comes with tradeoffs, some of which may turn off core users that love its free speech platform.
Differentiate – Another Rule of Three strategy Twitter could adopt is, Innovate and Differentiate. Twitter should consider launching its own dedicated search engine for real-time information complete with tweet analysis. Many companies are successfully launching their products and services solely based on Tweet results. Twitter could position itself not as a leader in Big Data analysis, but a leader in “Fast Data” analysis, capturing real-time information and insights alongside its search results.
Overall, Twitter may be a social media site, but it offers valuable information waiting to be uncovered underneath the sea of user generated content. Twitter has the power that no other search engine possesses, and that’s the ability to spark revolutions and inform the world on what’s happening directly from the horse’s mouth, as opposed to the other end (of traditional media), as a result, its position in the search engine industry should not be taken lightly by the current big three.
“On average, customers consider at most three choices before making a purchase.”
Strategies from Jagdish Sheth’s and Rajendra Sisodia’s book The Rule of Three – Surviving and Thriving in Competitive Markets.
As of October 2012 the desktop search engine market is being led by Google with an astounding 81%, of market share for the year, followed by Yahoo!, Baidu, and Bing at approximately 7%, 6%, and 4% respectively. The search engine industry wasn’t always as lopsided, as a matter of fact, the internet wasn’t always a user friendly place. Prior to the existence of the world wide web, gathering information on the internet was difficult and in the very early 1990’s in spite of ongoing and increasing press coverage of the Internet, few people outside the Internet community had a sense of what it was used for or whom it served. It was this autonomy that spawned the need for searchable aggregated information services.
As a result, in 1990 McGill University student Alan Emtage, along with Bill Heelan, and Peter Deutsch developed “Archie,” an electronic directory service for the Internet’s anonymous File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites. By 1991, Emtage estimated that Archie servers provided pointers to around 1 million files at 900 sites, and added up to over 70 gigabytes of information and five to 10 new sites to the Archie database each week . Eventually, Deutsch and Emtage formed a startup company called Bunyip Information Systems in January, 1992 – “to support new versions of Archie and to and allow us to pursue our own particular vision of how the new crop of Internet services should all be put together. ” The creation of this startup also represented the first capitalist endeavor by a search engine firm and the success of their concept for indexing information on the internet was eventually copied and followed by other services such as; Veronica (Very Easy Rodent-Oriented Net-wide Index to Computerized Archives), Jughead (Jonzy’s Universal Gopher Hierarchy Excavation And Display), and Gopher – each of which were developed as project by university students. Eventually organizations such as Infoseek entered the search engine business with the aim of monetizing information by charging a subscription fee for services. Although Infoseek sought to monetize information, their business model would soon be supplanted by Yahoo!.
Yahoo! was started by a pair of Stanford Students, Jerry Yang and David Filo. It was the first universally successful search engine in the world, and it revolutionized the business model for the search engine industry. In just a year, and purely by word of mouth, over 20,000 people per day were using Yahoo!, amounting to some 10 million accesses per week . In late 1995 Yahoo! decided to offer advertisement space in the form of banner ads on its home page. Although they feared backlash and abandonment from users, the numbers of users as well as usage of Yahoo!’s search continued to grow. Coinciding the growth of internet usage, Yahoo! was soon backed by Sequoia capital and Yahoo! was well on its way to solidifying its position in the industry as the search engine of choice throughout the mid to late 90’s.
On the heels of Yahoo!’s success, more Stanford University students decided to enter the search engine market and developed the Excite search engine. Although Excite competed with Yahoo! in the growing market, they were never able to distinguish themselves. By the late 1990’s the industry was filled with the likes search engines vying for a spot in the industry this included companies such as, Alta Vista, InfoSeek, WebCrawler, HotBot, GoTo, Lycos and Snap. During the late 90’s Microsoft even saw success with its MSN portal for search, and by 1999 it had reached the #3 spot in search referrals. Although Microsoft and Yahoo! were now household names, there was one formidable competitor in the industry on their heels – Google.
Yet again, Google was another search engine that was developed by Stanford University students. These students, Sergi Brin and Larry Page, created a search engine differed from the rest of the pack. Instead of banner ads and portals that were crammed with information to distract the user from obtaining search results, Google focsed on allowing the user to access information without intrusion by having a simple interface. Additionally, Google’s system allowed for more relevant search results that promoted sites democratically – those sites that had the most click-throughs along with inbound links from other content related sites found themselves ranked higher in the search results.
By the mid-90’s Yahoo!’s dominance in the search engine market began to recede and Google began solidifying its position as the industry leader. In 2004, Google delivered a direct blow to Yahoo! and Microsoft with its Gmail service, by offering more email space and more intuitive features, such as email search that allowed users to search within all the messages they’d ever sent and grouping of email conversations. According to a May 2006 comScore report, Google held 62% of the global search traffic and was generating 98% of its revenues from search advertisements along with profit margins of more than 60% . In addition in 2006, Google acquired YouTube for approximately $1.65B USD thus increasing its daily search usage.
BusinessWire. (1995, April 10). Yahoo, the popular online guide to the Internet, obtains financing from Sequoia Capital. BusinessWire
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John, N. R. (1994). Archie for the Macintosh. (Anonymous File Transfer Protocol on the Internet) . Online, Inc.
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Wray, R. (2006, July 21). Online advertising: Search goes on for way to tackle Google. The Guardian.
President Ronald Reagan addresses the nation on May 28, 1985.
“Why not set out with your friends on the path of adventure and try to start up your own business? Follow in the footsteps of those two college students who launched one of America’s great computer firms from the garage behind their house. You, too, can help us unlock the doors to a golden future. You, too, can become leaders in this great new era of progress—the age of the entrepreneur.”
Reaganomics and Late 1980’s Economic Conditions
On the evening of August 18, 1988, then Vice President George HW Bush had reached the apex of his presidential campaign. While addressing the issue of taxes, President Bush seized the moment to set himself apart from the opposing democratic candidate Michael Dukakis. With his cadence perfected and his words synchronized to accentuate the crowd’s reaction, Vice President Bush uttered six words that marked the legacy of his presidency: “read my lips, no new taxes.” Little did the then Vice President know, he was about to inherit the brunt of his predecessors policies, and that the rising tide of growth that the United States experienced in the late 1980’s was about to subside.
Economic growth during the 1980’s was a result of carefully orchestrated financial engineering under President Ronald Reagan, the economic philosophy known as trickle-down economics grew into popularity and spawned the term “Reaganomics.” Reaganomics emphasized a laissez-faire approach whereby business and wealthy were given tax breaks and it was expected that the financial benefits would eventually trickle-down to the rest of society. It was this philosophy that set the backdrop for the US economy in the early 1980’s. The US economy, riding on the back of an increasing annual Real GDP, averaged 4.4% since 1980. With consumer spending fueled by reductions in the Federal Tax code as a result of the 1981 Economic recovery act of 1981 federal income taxes were reduced by 25% over the following three years.
In what became known as the second round of Reagan tax cuts, the Tax Reform Act of 1986 was introduced to:
With an emphasis on emphasis on federal monetary policy, deregulation, and expansion of free trade, many would argue that Reagan’s policies created a period of economic expansion that resulted in America’s greatest sustained wave of prosperity; however there were consequences that would spill over into the Bush era.
From 1980 to 1990, the United States witnessed a 65% increase in US housing prices . Although this appeared to be a positive result, the negative side effect was that inflation increased along with consumer goods and services, resulting in an average 4.5% CPI-U increase year over year from 1988 to January 1990 . In February 1988, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decided to lower its objectives for monetary growth as a result of sluggish consumer spending and uncertainties in a transition from a consumer-driven to an export driven expansion . High inflation also caused the Federal Reserve Bank to restrict the monetary supply by increasing the fed funds rate. In addition, the increase of capital also put additional pressure on the banking and credit system and contributed to slower economic growth. Ultimately, from February 1988 to May 1989 the FRB raised the target Fed Funds rate from 6.5% to 9.75%.
By the late 1980’s the reduction in monetary supply effected economic growth. Real GDP growth also slowed to 0.9% in the third quarter of 1989, leading the Fed to react to this slowdown by cutting interest rates in October of 1989. However, the US financial and economic system was already fragile at this point especially as the savings and loan crisis was still applying pressure to the credit markets.
Columbia University’s Bernd Schmitt details five different types of experiences in experiential marketing —sense, feel, think, act, and relate — and states that they are becoming increasingly vital to consumers’ perceptions of brands. In addition Schmitt has set forth 10 rules for sucessful experiential marketing.
Schmitt’s 10 rules for successful experiential marketing:
James F. Lincoln’s philosophy on encouraging teamwork, competition, and fair incentives to drive corporate performance:
“There will always be greater growth of man under continued proper incentive. The profit that will result from such efficiency will be enormous… How,then, should the enormous extra profit resulting from incentive management be split?… If the worker does not get a proper share, he does not desire to develop himself or his skill… If the customer does not have part of the savings in lower prices, he will not buy the increased output… Management and ownership must get a part of the savings in larger savings and perhaps larger dividends… All those involved must be satisfied that they are properly recognized or they will not cooperate—and cooperation is essential to any and all successful application of incentives.”
James F. Lincoln, 1951 Incentive Management