Do You Want a New Cash Cow? Go for a Legislated Niche that Nobody Wants to Tip it

This is a swift conclusion from several businesses nobody knows why they exist, but everyone need to use or comply in order to avoid being sued or charged by the government or parallel/similar institutions.

I could be making a huge list which could vary from country to country or even in different states or cities. But you can almost smell it when you find one on your path.

A common ground on every single of them is that you don’t want to mess around or make noise about it to avoid being in the spotlight. There’s a lobby that lives from these little (or are they) businesses or organizations. The image that comes to mind is one of those National Geographic shoots where a shark swims through the ocean with small fishes surrounding them to catch every single waist they drop when feeding. Maybe it’s not a great analogy since these fish are actually useful since they make use of the waist. These companies are more like giant leeches who feed from your hard work.

But why this rant? Because it just came to my mind when I read this article at Bloomberg. There’s several companies providing in-company training or online courses to influence how your work environment can improve and avoid sexual harassment or violence against women at work. The problem is that almost everybody agree that this doesn’t actually work or at least they can’t measure if it is. However, companies invest millions of dollars into these courses just to use this argument if someone sues them on this.

It’s a big, big problem and this should be solved ASAP. No question about it. However, what companies are more concerned about is to avoid being sued than with genuine care for their employees. First they need to cover their asses, then if they can do something to help in some way, the better.

This quote from the article says it all:

“I kind of don’t have any answers,” says Phyllis Hartman, an HR consultant who’s been working on anti-harassment training for 25 years. “You just sort of do it and hope it’ll be better.”

So, the point is: if you find a niche that every business needs to implement or hire to cover their asses even though you don’t need to provide actual results, then you have found a Cash Cow with a steady income.

These businesses are like giant oil tankers. They take a while to get in cruise speed, but after they get there, it’s very hard to stop them.

The Killer App Already Installed in Every Single Mobile Device

Everyone is talking about Pokémon. How it’s growing like crazy, dethroning social media networks like Twitter, Pinterest and hurting revenue flow from giants like Facebook and Google. Changing people’s daily attention and time to search for virtual beings. Call me crazy.

If there’s a commodity that is really scarce and limited is… time!

We all have the exact same amount of time everyday to spend in what we consider more important or attention driven. Some choose to spend it sleeping, partying, working, spending with their family… or doing nothing. Between what one considers important, there’s lots of small routines. Some of those routines is what we check on the mobile device.

Let’s focus on that for a moment: your mobile, which is becoming a limbic part of your body. Even on your cluttered mobile screen, filled with app folders you usually just check two or three apps on regular basis according to your needs and habit. So, the ultimate goal for any brand is to be one of those apps, am I right?

What if… you could reach your audience on a seamless way, throughout a myriad of operating systems, devices, app versions and even be available on desktops or mainly any web browser? Com’on Rui, you’re day dreaming… Continue reading

Are you Really a Dog Lover or Just Plain Stupid?

Quite recently I’ve moved to an apartment right in the city. For those who don’t know, I used to live about 80km from Lisbon on a beautiful countryside house with lots of space, peace and quiet. I still own it, but since all my “family lives” are in Lisbon (work, school, friends) it wasn’t making a lot of sense to go 80km each way everyday. So, we moved.

Now, we’re 2 adults, two children and two old dogs’ kind of family.

And here it’s when we found out something really disturbing. When we used to see people walking by their dogs without any leash by the driveways it was kind of cool.

Oh, how well trained they are. How friendly and likeable they are, right? How cute…

Well… not so much. It’s cool when they are well trained, they socialize well with other dogs and they don’t “hurt anyone” (the most common excuse I’ve heard so far), right?
Ok, I assume that makes sense. However, when they don’t respond to their owner’s command and keep bouncing around to “socialize” with my pets, it’s a big, big trouble?
Why? Because my dogs are old, cranky and don’t want to play most of the times. Specially, when the other dogs show their teeth. Why they don’t like it, I really don’t know. It must be because they’re sensitive somehow (sense the irony?). Continue reading

Infrastructure is the base of any great company

Grabbing an idea from Seth Godin (who else??) about this same subject, infrastructure is often demise in face of other urgent premises, like to have a business plan in place, hire the necessary people, etc, etc…

When I mention infrastructure, as Seth also pointed out, it’s not only about get an office and build a proper store or business. It’s more about the bases as a company and specially the culture which will drive a business to a sustainable growth.

I guess most businesses don’t take care of this subject as it should. I’m also to blame in some of my companies since this was not taken care of and eventually it failed or we needed to make a revolution in order to get things straight again. Continue reading

Marketing is not Playing Dumb and Think You Can Get Away With It

I was checking my emails when my wife pass by me and rumbles something about how obnoxious some hotels are. It’s not so common for her to say that (believe me) so I asked what’s happened? She then explained to me that she received a newsletter from one of those Groupon like sites about booking offers with flashy signals saying that it was a great opportunity and amazing deals. You know… the usual! 😉 Continue reading

Predictions for 2015 are Easy, Difficult is to Change Your Future

It’s that time of the year again. When everyone writes posts about what 2015 it’s going to be, and their wishes for the future.

I guess, this is what I’m doing right now but with a twist. It’s not a romantic version or even a depressing one. Maybe realistic.

Remember, this is due to my personal experience as living in Portugal and having a unique professional history. So, let’s wait no more: Continue reading

The Blindest is the One that Refuses to See/Change

I should be writing this down in Portuguese since it’s all based on recent events in Portugal, where I live. However, after a few chats, friends all over the world say that it’s universal and can relate with these subjects.

This post is focused about two main events or situations that are happening right now, as I write this. One is the absurd new tax on Digital Storage Devices that it’s going to be (supposedly) delivered to the Copyright Artists Association. The other is about the fight that cab drivers are doing against any new trend that comes to eventually change their way of life.

The two subjects can be discussed in this post since both are related on the same problem itself. Continue reading