Posts Tagged ‘Social media’

Techno CakeI started to build a Technocake community two years ago; still, I lost a lot of my enthusiasm half a year ago when Group Technocake had no more than 60 members on Facebook. So, I thought that I would quit the group.

However, I remain a fan of Steve Blanc’s movement, and his call to change entrepreneurial culture in every town in the world has inspired me to try to change things where I live. “Business Model Generation discussions in every pub” said Jure Čuhalov, and that I something I strongly endorse.  Consequently, I took the initiative when I met the Mayor of Slovenska Bistrica at the end of 2012. I explained my ideas, and the Technocake business model. I was encouraged by his support and decided to develop our Technocake community into an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

We will share a working space with the student club of Slovenska Bistrica, where there will be free access to a Wi-Fi internet connection, a place for meetings, pitches, presentations, and seed-camps. If anybody wants to help us and/or join the club, he or she will be most welcome. We believe that we can change our future with collaboration and cooperation in this new co-working space. We want to create a place where we can develop value propositions, build business models prototypes for unique ideas, help each other to find investors, and, through mutual input and support, be successful.

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I joined the EmpireAvenue site three weeks ago because, after reading an interesting article (Serious Play: The Business of Social Currency about the EmpireAvenuein Harvard Business Review,) I became curious as to how this challenging, innovative service works. What I read in the article and saw at the site caused me to start thinking about the EmpireAvenue business model and the possible advantages of combining that model into a company’s business model.
The EmpireAvenue offer platform gives members the opportunity to trade shares with other participants. Shares are used as social currency and each participant (individual, company, or institution) is a partner who gives information to EmpireAvenue information about his/her/its activities on various social media. The frequency of activities on a participant’s social media are measured and calculated and then expressed as the value of one’s shares. Thus, the basis for one’s social currency depends to a great degree on the quantity of a participant’s activities. That is the “real “ virtual value because measuring quality of content is virtually impossible. Therefore, one’s “value” is largely determined by a participant’s followers, friends, and partners on his/her/its social networks.

EmpireAvenue enables members  to see how active and how influential a participant is in the virtual world of social media, and it was an interesting experiment to see how much impact I supposedly have. In addition, companies may want to combine the EmpireAvenue or similar business models into their own business models because by doing so they can get information about influential individuals and other companies or institutions. That information gives them an opportunity to collaborate with important participants. Thus, EmpireAvenue can be great tool for businesses and for high-value players who could sway a company’s significant customers.

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Techno cake presently has forty-nine members, and that number could, and most likely will,  increase with each talk. Techno cake can exist in the long run only if we have a sustainable business model that extends beyond just  profit.  This is the  reason that I created the prototype of the Techno cake business model and now, to further develop that prototype,  I need  to brainstorm with the current members of the movement.


Business Model Canvas, Osterwalder, Pigneur & al. 2010, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Presently, almost one out of three Slovenians is a Facebook user; among these, those thirty-four years old and younger represent seventy-five percent of our country’s Facebook users. Such statistics make it very evident that it is especially younger Slovenians who love this social network.

Alexander Osterwalder wrote a great post (SOCIAL MEDIA AND BUSINESS MODELS) about the value of social media for business. He drew a map (called the Business Model Canvas,) dividing social media into three areas on business models: co-creation, marketing as conversations, and open innovation. However, I think that , at present, Facebook would not be the best tool for open innovations.

I discovered that Slovenian companies and organizations which use Facebook, such as Toper (12,850 fans), Mi2 band (14,825 fans), and PerpetuumJazzile (38,346 fans) have used Facebook only as a marketing tool. They haven’t utilizedit for product or service co-creation, or for open innovations.

It is also interesting that a lot of car manufacturing companies worldwide haven’t used Facebook as a serious marketing tool.  BMW and Audi are exceptions; they both have large numbers of fans (BMW: 4.313.395 fans; Audi USA : 2.816.715 fans) currently on Facebook. They have developed strategies to use Facebook as a distribution channel for marketing BMW and Audi product offers. On the other hand, Volkswagen has only 251.552 fans and Renault merely 73.236 fans,) indicating that they have no such effective strategies whatsoever.

My research has also concluded that that biggest car manufacturers don’t use Facebook for co-creation and open innovations. However, I think that, with proper planning and execution, that social media site could also be a great tool for the co-creation of products such as cars and car equipment as well as a crowdsource for open innovations.

Even now, Facebook is a great distribution channel for my business. However, when we compare Facebook users in European countries, it becomes clear that the opportunity for major growth potential lies mainly in the Central European countries, Russia. My prediction is that the trend will go in the direction that we can see in Great Britain and Norway, where currently nearly one of every two citizens uses Facebook.


Facebook will be the key distribution channel in Slovenia since its ad platform allows advertisers to target users with regard to age and geographical location. Companies can set ads to appeal to users based on specific age ranges, interests and/or connections on that network.
In the coming years, Facebook will surely develop into one of the most effective marketing channels, offering co-creation tools, and a forum for crowdsourcing for companies with the foresight and imagination to take advantage of the many opportunities offered.

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When I was in grammar school, I hid behind a schoolmate who sat in the first desk in the front row of the class. The reign of the average held sway throughout our country in the 70s, 80s, and 90s of last century and mediocracy was triumphant. People didn’t want to be transparent since whoever was transparent or different could have troubles with other people’s envy. Innovators were seen to be like Don Quijote – someone fighting with windmills.

However, today we have to be different and innovative. If we want to be recognized globally, we have a lot of tools to help us achieve that. I think that transparency is one of the best, most important ways to be seen as being different. Each individual (worker) can achieve higher responsibility through transparency. Each person can reveal his values through transparency and reflect his/her culture. The more creative we are, the better personal presentations we have, the more easily we can be recognized globally – as individuals, groups or companies.

I have joined some social media sites, such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, etc. I wanted to reconnect with my schoolmates (of the 70s and 80s) on those sites, but found just a few of them (about 3 %). Online, I found The Theory of Alan Smith, which gave me a new direction to follow. I started to publish many more posts, photos, and films on the internet with my name in tags, and I felt a lot of responsibility for the form and value of my submissions. Although I have only a very small budget for promoting, I have already had appreciable results. I get at least one response from a new customer per week.

I consulted with a manufacturing company last week, and I found workflows which have no clearly formulated responsibilities for working activities. I also found one activity that has two workers responsible for that job, a situation that is almost certain to result in conflicts. Moreover, I couldn’t find any transparent data about any of the workers on the internet. Such unformulated and unregulated arrangements certainly leave considerable room for improvement.

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Last year, I found an interesting article “Can You Change Everything?,” published on the Seth Godin blog. His words from the west coast of the U.S. inspired me, caused me to start studying English through Skype with my teacher John Slattery and initiated a number of other changes in my daily life.I began to do what I love doing, and I started to connect intensively with people who have opinions similar to mine. Suddenly my life became full of unforgettable encounters and new experiences. What has impressed me the most is the global community, which is producing a world-wide, collective knowledge. I became part of a large network of connections, contacts, reservoirs of awareness and understanding. I attended an unforgettable Business Model Knowledge Fair in Amsterdam and participated in the Business Model Hub by co-creating, as one of more than four hundred and fifty contributors, the book Business Model Generation. In addition, on the topic of Business Model and Social Media, I organized and led several lectures and workshops  and was very heartened by the enthusiastic response.I never defined any of the main objectives but instead spoke spontaneously. In that year of 2009, during which I crossed the threshold, creating goals was not my objective; what I wanted to do was to spread the word to as many people as I could as quickly as possible.  I think I’m on the right track, having sent forth some waves, which will, I hope, now spread out upon the global ocean of knowledge. In the year 2010, I hope to further investigate the many possibilities and manifold connections that Business Models and Value Networks offer. Like an explorer who has discovered a new continent, I am tremendously excited and enraptured by the endless possibilities such an adventure promises.I had an experience very similar to this when I first encountered the monsoon in  Kathmandu in August of 1984. I was entranced by the mystery and enchantment of that exotic land whose strange landscape was drenched in a seemingly never-ending rainfall. When I first discovered Business Models and Value Networks, that feeling of  having come across an enigma, with all the fascination such encounters generate, came upon me again. And as I’ve learned more, that fascination has increased rather then diminishing.

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