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Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
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How I Failed - the untold story

How I Failed - the untold story | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

When you start out as an entrepreneur, it's just you and your idea, or you and your co-founders and your idea. Then you add customers, and they shape and mold you and that idea until you achieve the fabled "product-market fit." If you are lucky and diligent, you achieve that fit more than once, reinventing yourself with multiple products and multiple customer segments.

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent article with a tremendous amount of wisdom. If you're an entrepreneur starting up a company, please read this now, it will save you a lot of trouble and you'll find plenty of good advice in building your company.


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How Can Startups Use The Power Of Social Media (Infographic) - Business 2 Community

How Can Startups Use The Power Of Social Media (Infographic) - Business 2 Community | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
The Power Of Social MediaThere was a time (even a couple of years back) when enough credit was not given to the power of social media. The social networking sites were getting strictly used by individuals to re-kindle old friendships. Social media, however, got its well-deserved worth ever since business organizations started harnessing its full potentials.We all know that the recent algorithm updates of major search engines have turned social media into an all-powerful entity. In fact, search engines like Google take social engagement as a major signal to judge the credibility of a website. Simply put, social media now has the authority in determining the success of online marketing campaigns.Social Media & StartupsStartups are “almost” non-existent, and they have to start from the scratch. Sad but true, they have to relentlessly compete with their bigger counterparts from the very first day. Startups do not get the luxury of big infrastructure or large manpower. All they have to rely on is their online presence. And this is where social media is important for the growth of a startup. Social media is now a world of blooming opportunities, and it is slated to have even a greater impact in the coming years. If used smartly and tactfully, startups can reap huge benefits… and soon become a force to be reckoned with.To read the full article and see more charts, click on the title...Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km
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Business Intelligence Trends for 2014

Business Intelligence Trends for 2014 | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Where's Business Intelligence going?
As anyone working with data these days knows, there is a massive wave of innovation in analytics today. Hundreds of companies from startups to Amazon and Google are making breakthroughs.

n the best spirit of innovation they are building on each other's work to make astounding progress on new concepts like NoSQL databases and cloud data warehouses.

But technology itself is never the whole story. People and organizations must absorb innovation to make it relevant. We see that happening at a mass level with some concepts that have been around for years, such as Agile Business Intelligence.

Flip through the slides on the right to see where we think Business Intelligence is headed in 2014.

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Via Brian Larson, Marc Kneepkens
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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, December 28, 2013 1:05 PM

Keep on seeing the big picture and following the trends is a must. Great information.

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23 Rules for Face-to-Face Meetings

23 Rules for Face-to-Face Meetings | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Follow these guidelines when you meet with customers and you're much more likely to win their business.

While a lot of business is conducted today over the Internet and the telephone, customers often want to meet you personally, just to make certain you're the kind of person who can be trusted to deliver what you promise.

Here are the eternal DOs and DON'Ts of these face-to-face meetings, based upon my own experience and dozens of anecdotes from "school of hard knocks" salespeople:

1. DO have a specific goal.  

Always have a goal like: "obtain approval to present to senior management" rather than something vague like "build a better relationship."

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Via maher megadmini
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Common sense tips for staying focused and keeping your client in the center.

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Google's Zero Moment Is The Ultimate Moment of Truth

Google's Zero Moment Is The Ultimate Moment of Truth | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

In 2012, Google along with Jim Lecinski published a fantastic book that explored how digital customers made decisions in what Google refers to as "The Zero Moment of Truth."

The ZMOT as it's abbreviated, helps strategists discover relevant strategies and tactics on how to show up at the right place, at the right time and with the right content in a digital ecosystem.

In a world where consumers "Google it" to begin their digital journey, ZMOT revealed that brands need to re-think the connected experience and the resulting click path. But what happens when the web sites that appear in traditional Google search results no longer suffice for someone so connected that impatience becomes a virtue? This is after all someone who begins the journey on a smart phone or tablet tapping review sites and social networks to make information come to them before conducting formal research. Some call it the lazy web. Others refer to it as the social web. In the end, it's just how people make information come to them. Once they do, it becomes the norm.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via Rami Kantari, Thomas Faltin, Martin (Marty) Smith
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The 'digital experience' has changed marketing completely. People still respond emotionally to the 'increasing' amount of stimuli. The art of getting a response has to adapt to the new media, every day new tools and new ways to reach the client appear. Successful companies understand this very well, companies such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and more. Focusing on one or more aspects of these new ways of reaching out to the not so new responses of comsumers has grown into huge new phenomena, the social media. Playing these well and understanding them well will mean success or failure.

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Martin (Marty) Smith's curator insight, November 22, 2013 1:26 AM

Very cool ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth). Too late to write much now, will fill in tomorrow. Marty

Great comment by @Marc Kneepkens on his Rescoop to his Competitive Edge feed:

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The 'digital experience' is changing marketing. People still respond emotionally to an 'increasing' numer of stimuli. The art of getting a response must adapt to the new media. Every day new tools and new ways to reach the client appear.


Successful companies understand this. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, focus new ways of reaching out to the comsumers' not so new emotional respons. Reaching out has grown into a huge "new" phenomena called social media.


Playing our new social media games well and understanding them will mean success or failure.




Amanda Groover's curator insight, November 23, 2013 10:02 PM

The more we can understand how Google thinks, the more we learn about how to work with Google. It doesn't mean it always follow logic, but it does help you promote your brand!

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Brand Stories with a Pulse

Brand Stories with a Pulse | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
A few days ago Dave Winer wrote a post on pulsing technology, about how Apple has a pulse and follows a pattern every year. The company builds expectations, then follows up with an established cadence.

The Steve Jobs' defined process and event signature served the company well over the years by keeping its evangelists, developers, and customers in the loop. From Jobs' WWDC 1997 Q&A:

[...] we need to keep our eye on the prize.  

And that is turning out some great products, communicating directly with our customers the best we can. Getting the community of people that are going to make this stuff successful like yourselves in the loop, so you know everything and is marching forward, one foot in front of the other.

I wrote recently about how as a business Apple closes the perception-value gap. It is not a coincidence that the product company has climbed to the top of Interbrand's best global brands#. Its strong resonance is due to a consistent design of experience, with some element of surprise thrown into it -- the introduction of the iPad certainly was that.

Brand is a short form to express a core truth and encapsulate expectations, stories, memories, and relationships that compel us to hire a service/product to do the job we want done.

To Continue Reading, click on the Title of the article...



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Via Gregg Morris
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Building a Brand: there is so much to learn from Apple. Read the article to find what Apple's marketing strategy is, in a nutshell.

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Gregg Morris's curator insight, November 12, 2013 6:21 AM

Good brand definition!

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Ten Benefits of Using Infographics - SiteProNews

Ten Benefits of Using Infographics - SiteProNews | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

According to 3M Corporation and Zabisco, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. The Internet has taken visual marketing to the next level and infographics are becoming a major part of that growth.Here are 10 benefits to using infographics in your marketing and on your website....

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Via Jeff Domansky, Marc Kneepkens
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Jeff Domansky's curator insight, November 6, 2013 8:33 AM

Just the basics. 10 tips for infographics success.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, November 6, 2013 9:20 AM

More and more infographics are telling great stories. Explore a great tool of 'visual' communications.

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12 tips for young entrepreneurs from an Egyptian startup founder

12 tips for young entrepreneurs from an Egyptian startup founder | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Amira Azzouz is the founder and editor-in-chief of Fustany.com, a fashion portal for the Middle East in both Arabic and English, which launched three years ago in 2010. Recently she's struggled with a content scraping scandal, after discovering that at least four major sites in Egypt had stolen her team's content. Below, she shares some of the lessons she's learned over the years about maintaining a balanced, healthy, and successful life as an entrepreneur.

As a young female entrepreneur I’ve learned so much over the past four years, lessons much more practical than what I learned in college. I'm not saying I know it all now, but I definitely have a good share of experience (though I'm sure there are still more hard lessons to come!). Having said that, I think it's important to share these important tips with female entrepreneurs in our region, to help them maintain a healthy life. So here they are:

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent 12 points. I especially like the 20/80 tip about the workload. They are all excellent though, and born form experience.

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5 Pillars of Visual Marketing Plus Some Free Tools

5 Pillars of Visual Marketing Plus Some Free Tools | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Visual marketing can be broken down into 5 pillars, and knowing them will help you to establish a plan to increase visibility and generate brand loyalty.

Visual marketing is one of those buzz terms circulating a lot lately. With the way the Internet itself has changed over time, that is to be expected. Users have a certain expectation that you have to meet, and a lot of it has to do with the visuals associated with the content you create. You are trying to engage people around the world with a universal language, one done through images rather than the standards of text.

Able to evoke emotional responses and long lasting associations, visual marketing is a crucial element to any strategy in branding today. Failing to meet this standard could be disastrous, and possibly lead to a lot of work with no payoff.

Isn’t that every company’s nightmare?

Visual marketing can be broken down into five pillars, and knowing them will help you to establish a better plan to increase visibility and generate brand loyalty.

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent information from Ann Smarty from 'My Blog Guest'.

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10 Top Google Plus Tools for Digital Marketers

10 Top Google Plus Tools for Digital Marketers | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Google+ is making waves in social media. So what are some powerful Google Plus tools that should be added to your social media marketing toolbox to improve your effectiveness?


Google+ is the love child of search and social.

When Google realized that Facebook wasn’t an aberration, anomaly or an afterthought it made its move. It created a social network that glued all its online assets together, collected social data and added social signals to its search algorithms. That glue cost them over half a billion dollars to design and develop. Google+ emerged from the Google lab womb with serious intentions.

To stop Facebook having all the fun, fame and fortune.

It collected demographic data that would allow them to target users with search ads that were user relevant. That’s called personalization. Others call it an invasion of privacy.

It’s the synergy of social networks and search engines that makes users salivate with information that informs and inspires them.

Google+ is about data

To create a Google plus account you needed to tell them your age, location, email account and other data that revealed your likes and dislikes. We also live in a digital data age that empowers us to express, publish and share. That reveals who we are and Google can use that to increase revenue and improve user experience.

Nothing is for free.

Social networks need a supporting ecosystem

Social media has grown rapidly because the online global community has provided the audience, the tools and the ecosystem that feeds the social media beast. The beast needs daily multi-media content to discover, wrangle and curate for its attendant audience.

To make sense of the data and allow brands to manage what could be described as extreme cat herding, you need social media management platforms.

Social media management platforms

When social media emerged from the web primal mist it was raw and wild. Smart and savvy entrepreneurs saw an opportunity. Social media needed platforms for creating, managing and measuring the mayhem and buzz.

Facebook with its longer history has many supporting platforms. Google+ is just starting to partner with providers that help it grow its community to add value to its users.

Some of the third party partner platforms for Google+ include the following five social media management platform tools.



To read the full article with the 10 Google Tools, click on the title...




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Want to Start your Own Website, you have the Ideas and Content, but you're not sure where to start? Check out Sitesell: http://www.sitesell.com/welcome23.html




Via Kamal Bennani
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

So much to learn and know about Google+. This is a good place to start.

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Jane Phelps's comment, September 8, 2013 12:57 PM
I use Buffer to manage my Google+ postings. It was just recently added so I now just combine it with all my other Buffer postings.
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6 Basic Mistakes Marketers Make About Big Data

6 Basic Mistakes Marketers Make About Big Data | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Sure, we're all suffering from big data fatigue. But try to forget that for a moment. The real “eureka” behind big data is this: Having information is no longer confined to merely understanding the past.

Now — for the first time — big data offers marketers the ability to predict the future, and thus make smarter allocation decisions today. Voilá.

It may be the biggest step yet toward fulfilling one of every CMO’s deepest desires. McKinsey calls it "the biggest game-changing opportunity for marketing and sales since the Internet went mainstream 20 years ago." And researchers at MIT found that companies injecting big data and analytics into their operations achieve, on average, 5 to 6 percent greater productivity and profitability than their peers.

Yet many marketers misread the value, impact and urgency of applying big data — and by extension, advanced marketing analytics. (For a deep dive, a good read is the newly-published Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think, by Ken Cukier, Data editor of The Economist and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, professor at the Oxford Internet Institute, and the recent Harvard Business Review cover story "Advertising Analytics 2.0" by Wes Nichols.)

Below are six mistakes that marketers make about big data:

To read the full article, click on the title...


Market Research Guide: https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/research/gt4045/

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Very good points, with the ever changing tools, data and circumstances, interpreting big data for marketing purposes has been very different. Good article.

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Why should startups think more about customer feedback than building new features everyday? | Startups FM

Why should startups think more about customer feedback than building new features everyday? | Startups FM | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Startup founders basking in the glory of their game-changing project, VC funds and the adulation of compliant employees often forget who’s the boss. It’s the customer that holds the power of life and death over every startup, and it’s usually a good idea to listen carefully to someone who’s capable of knocking your head off. Think of it as a navigational assistance system that provides direction based on where you are and where you want to be.

Feedbacks are required right from the beginning

In fact, the process of collecting feedback, analyzing it and implementing changes based on the feedback must begin when your startup is still a germ of an idea, and must be factored in at every stage thereon from pre-launch to early traction and the subsequent growth phase. The benefits of collecting feedback at each stage are different, and so are the methods used for collection and analysis of CSAT (customer satisfaction) data.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Definitely easy to forget, but of prime importance in your endeavors to build a great company: customer service!

Important point, if you want to build a company that makes a difference, communicate with your clients, find out what they want.

See what Southwest Airlines did to get the edge!

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The Nine Reasons Blogging Helps Your Business Get Found On The Web

The Nine Reasons Blogging Helps Your Business Get Found On The Web | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Blogging is one of the best inbound marketing tactics around to help your website get more traffic.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good information. Blogging is a powerful tool, personalized, unique content is fundamental.




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Management Be Nimble - NYTimes.com

Management Be Nimble - NYTimes.com | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

“We aspire to be the largest small company in our space.”

When Dominic Orr, the chief executive of Aruba Networks, said those words, he crystallized a goal I had heard many leaders express during the hundreds of interviews I’ve conducted for the Corner Office column: they want to foster a quick and nimble culture, with the enviable qualities of many start-ups, even as their companies grow.

All leaders and managers face this challenge, regardless of the size of their companies. Even the founders of Google have worried about losing the magic that helped propel their search engine’s phenomenal growth. When Larry Page announced that he was taking over the chief-executive role from Eric Schmidt a few years ago, he explained to reporters that the company needed to move faster and recapture the agility of its early days, before it grew into a colossus.

“One of the primary goals I have,” Mr. Page said at the time, “is to get Google to be a big company that has the nimbleness and soul and passion and speed of a start-up.”

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Via Beth Kanter
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent views on how to align people in companies to get focused and treat each other with respect.

The viewpoint of Beth Kanter on email is worthwhile reading too. Email is truly an issue because it is so bland, not only emails in the workplace but also in any kind of human interaction. It's so easy to misinterpret a few words since we ususally project our own images and emotions into the situation. Isn't that why 'emoticons' were invented?

Great article and comment.

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Beth Kanter's curator insight, January 5, 2014 8:40 PM

The Hazards of Email

Bring up the subject of workplace email during conversations with C.E.O.’s, and the mood often shifts. Email is a hot-button issue, and clearly a source of endless frustration.

The problem, of course, is that for all the obvious benefits of email in speeding communication, it is also a dangerous trap. Emails are too easily misinterpreted, with often-disastrous consequences for the culture of an organization, because they can damage whatever connective tissue exists between colleagues. Yet the allure of email is powerful, and people fall repeatedly into the same trap, thinking that email is the best way to accomplish a lot of work in a short time.

Many C.E.O.’s are perceptive observers of the hazards of email, and they establish a variety of rules in their companies to discourage its use and encourage people to talk instead.

“If there’s a conflict and you need to resolve it, you cannot really do it in an email because people don’t know tone,” said Nancy Aossey, chief executive of the International Medical Corps. “They don’t know expression. Even if they like you and they know you, they might not know if you were irritated or joking in an email. There are things we can say in conversation that you can’t say in email because people don’t know tone and expression.

“People change when they talk in person about a problem, not because they chicken out, but because they have the benefit of seeing the person, seeing their reaction, and getting a sense of the person. But arguing over email is about having the last word. It plays into something very dangerous in human behavior. You want to have the last word, and nothing brings that out more than email because you can sit there and hit ‘send,’ and then it just kind of ratchets up and you don’t have the benefit of knowing the tone.”

By talking over the phone or in person, you’ll not only avoid dangerous misunderstandings, but you’ll also develop relationships and a sense of trust with colleagues — essential ingredients in fostering the kind of high-performing culture that drives innovation.

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GPlus How2Girl: How To Start A Private Hangout In A G+ Community

GPlus How2Girl: How To Start A Private Hangout In A G+ Community | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Private communities are a great way to take your relationships to the next level, offer group connections with your online programme members, create support groups, masterminds and much much more.

One of the great things when you have a community, is that you can also initiate community only private Hangout chats and video calls.

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Great Jobs for Developers at Excellent Startups! 

at Fibonacci Sequence (US only)


Via Jaana Nyström, Marc Kneepkens
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Jaana Nyström's curator insight, January 1, 2014 12:55 PM

Great tool for businesses:  Private communities and Hangouts!

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, January 2, 2014 11:40 AM

Great information, there is still lots to learn about Google+

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3 Things Men Can Learn From Women That Will Make Their Business More Successful

3 Things Men Can Learn From Women That Will Make Their Business More Successful | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Men could learn a lot from women about building strong customer relationships. Here are three things we learned from women business owners that could help all entrepreneurs increase their success.

Before I founded Web.com, I watched as my wife faced many challenges as she launched and built her own business into a thriving company. The resources she needed to help her business grow online weren't either readily available or didn't exist, and it was a hard path to success. Her experience was a large part of what inspired me to found Web.com because I wanted to provide those resources to help entrepreneurs succeed.

Recently, Web.com commissioned a survey of 3,000 consumers and small business owners about how small businesses are building relationships with customers online and through social media. Forty percent of the small business owners surveyed were women, and it became apparent to me that the popular saying "Men are from Mars; women are from Venus" doesn't just apply to romantic relationships. It also holds true for business relationships, and how male and female business owners have notably different priorities for interacting with their customers online.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via Shelley Graves, Deb Bailey
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Definitely, businesses managed by women will be different than men's businesses. It's good for both to see why. Good article.

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5 Powerful Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger - Jeffbullas's Blog

5 Powerful Tips to Becoming a More Productive Blogger - Jeffbullas's Blog | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Many problems can arise when you're trying to blog. From writers block to time wasting. Here are some powerful tips to becoming a more productive blogger .


There are so many problems that can arise when you’re trying to be a successful blogger. Maybe you can’t figure out what you want to write about. You might be suffering from writer’s block. You might get easily distracted while doing your Internet research. Do you plan out your writing to make it easier on you? Do you have goals and schedules set for your writing? Do you have some favorite productivity tools that you use? Following are some tips to help you in your journey of becoming a more productive blogger.
Continue reading... click on the title of the article.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another great set of tips from Jef Bullas.

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How to Become an Expert in an Hour

How to Become an Expert in an Hour | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Concentrate your efforts and you can become an expert on a product or market niche fairly quickly. Here's how.

I use the same strategy over and over again to develop new product ideas for different industries -- including industries that are largely unfamiliar to me. Yes, it is important to develop expertise, but I think most entrepreneurs fail to realize how quickly they can gain the knowledge they need to begin inventing simple improvements to existing products. In fact, I’ve discovered that when I’m too close to a subject, it actually becomes harder for me to analyze it creatively and think outside the box. Knowing too much can limit you by what you think is possible and impossible.

In reality, becoming an expert is as simple as studying the past and present, and asking, “What’s been done before? What’s being done now?” Tracing the evolution of a specific product has inspired me to come up with new ideas many times. Discovering the thought processes behind other new ideas in the marketplace is also a useful exercise. Consider checking out resources like the New York Times Magazine’s Innovation section where they ask and answer, “Who made that?” about different products.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via Dave Phillipson
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good information. People like Tim Ferris became experts in different topics or activities in a very short time. It's a matter of focus and commitment. Just do it.

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15 Business Card Designs That Will Leave An Impression

15 Business Card Designs That Will Leave An Impression | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

If you are asked to recall your favorite business card, I bet you don’t have an answer for it. No worries, me neither because who notices the generic look for business cards? Fact of the matter is, for many people, their business card is also a promotional tool for them, particularly when they are not attached to any organization – and some of them are really great attention-grabbers.

While most of us will fall back on a business card template or the minimalistic style, after going through all the considerations required of the card that will sell your services for you, sometimes it’s good to just let down your hair and have fun with it.

In this post we will show you 15 business cards that are anything but regular or normal. These cards will make you want to play with them.

To read the full article, and see some awesome desings, click on the title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This is really very creative, and I bet it's also very effective. Some of these designs are just incredible. Love it!

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The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing - Jeffbullas's Blog

The 10 Commandments of Content Marketing - Jeffbullas's Blog | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

In a dark cave called Google labs, 600 mathematicians with PhD’s who live on a diet of corporate provided designer food and who hang out in an office disguised as a playground flicked a switch.

They let the Hummingbird update to their search engine algorithms loose.

Their goal?

Make finding information with their search engine a great user experience for billions who use their search engine to find “content” that excites and salivates the senses.

Content is the lifeblood and cornerstone of this knowledge web that is driven by search and social networks.

Content marketing evolves

Savvy social media marketers had a light bulb moment while on a love fest with Mark Zuckerberg. They realized that they wouldn’t just keep chasing Facebook likes in ever decreasing circles and would add awesome content as a key tactic to their marketing arsenal.

This came together and started an online trend and tsunami of content creation and curation. Content marketing is now being woven into the DNA of digital marketers who understand the power of content to attract and sell. Let’s have a closer look at the key principles of content marketing.

Here are the 10 commandments of content marketing.


To read the full article, click on the title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another great article from Jef Bullas. Very complete, relevant, and exactly to the point. Good stuff. Great to keep as a reminder when writing or sharing content.

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99 Ways to Market Your Art

99 Ways to Market Your Art | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

You’re an artist — a writer, musician, illustrator, or dancer. Maybe you’re into doll sculpting, keepsake jewelry making, fashion photography, plein air painting, or composing ambient electronica.

You’re pretty brave when it comes to creating, but the mere thought of marketing your work might make you break into a cold sweat.

Would you rather be shot out of a cannon than toot your own horn? Is balancing on a tightrope more attractive to you than asking people to shell out money for your masterpieces?

If so, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Keep reading, because I’ve got enough reassuring marketing ideas for you in this article to keep you occupied for the next several months …

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Written from the point of view of marketing artists, this is a great article. I think everyone can find some tips here, and reminders!

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Breaking Through To Build Your Business

Breaking Through To Build Your Business | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

Has your business stopped growing? Do your employees go from task to task with proficiency but with no vigor? Often in life and especially with work, becoming comfortable and eventually stagnant in a routine can seem unavoidable.

A business which does the same old to simply stay afloat is bound to sink in this world. If you and your employees are bored with your business-then do something about it! Finding a new angle and adding some spice to the bland palate of your business’s platform can mean not only survival, but it can also bring your business to an entirely new echelon you had never dreamed of before. Besides, when you started your business, wasn’t your intention to grow and become a titan in your industry and not merely a pawn?

Although it requires extra work, some creativity, and may put you in a challenging situation, diversifying your business and finding fresh, innovative blood-so to speak-could be your lifeline. As Leonardo da Vinci said:

“Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.”

Although you may be excited by the prospect of changing and invigorating your business, the process can seem daunting. Here are three simple steps from an Entrepreneur article by contributor Erika Napoletano to help you get the wheels of change turning:


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some good ideas to keep your business 'fresh and alive'. Innovating constantly is a must with technology changing rapidly and competition growing more intense all the time.

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PayPal Loves The Small Business Owner

PayPal Loves The Small Business Owner | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it

When PayPal first emerged to the world wide web nearly 15 years ago, it was created as a means of sending money back and forth, and making secure purchases with auction-based site eBay.

Over the last 15 years, PayPal has become more than just a means of buying and selling. They have allowed small businesses to soar with their products, services, and tools to help every small business reach the stars.

As a small business owner myself, I’ve found PayPal to be vital to every avenue of my business. From purchases for my business, to invoicing clients, to keeping track of my finances and even banking needs.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Easy to use, multiplies your means of receiving funds from clients all over the world. It has made live easier for me.

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Manners Matter Online (Infographic)

Manners Matter Online  (Infographic) | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
Find out more about the do's and don'ts on online manners. For more information about internet issues visit Knowthenet today.


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Via Beth Dichter
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent guidelines to go by. The internet is such a reflection of what goes on in the human mind, from bright and genius ideas and behavior, to dark and stupid. I'd rather be on the bright side.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 24, 2013 5:46 PM

Manners do matter.

Cindy Powell's curator insight, April 10, 2014 2:09 PM

From Infographic...and Informational Text TCC 4-5

This is a graphic example for the article, but the site is a cybersafety site in the UK and has lots of information for parents about online safety for their children. It also tests their knowledge.

Rachael Johnston's curator insight, October 20, 2014 10:53 PM

It is important to build your own brand and to promote yourself positively. You want to be polite to other users and make sure you have nothing on your profile that could be damaging to your reputation. This includes swear words, inappropriate or rude comments, and pictures and videos of drinking or drugs.  This is really important for graduating students who, most likely, need to go through and delete pictures that have been tagged in one Facebook

Make sure you give credit to others if you share something of theirs. Also make sure you are writing your own posts and not just sharing others. However, make sure you are posting valuable and relevant information. Listen and think before you write and make sure you are using proper english. 

It is okay to have debates on social netowrks with other users, everybody has the right ti voice their opinion, but don't let things get too personal or nasty. 

It is also essential to understand that there are also hings to be very careful of when using social networks. For one, people are not always who they seem. You should also make sure you do not assume a false identity. It is important to keep some kind of professionalism, but don't change yourself or hide who you really are. 

You must also make sure you are abiding by the rules of the network and report others who dont. 

Last but certainly not least, be very careful about who you share things with. There are certain places to share certain things. For example, you may post something bout your personal life in your Facebook status, but it is not appropriate to do so on your LinkedIn profile. Do not share pictures and videos with strangers, you never know how they will use these. 

 

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The 5 Riskiest and 5 Safest Business Startup Ideas | Company Activities & Management > Company Strategy from AllBusiness.com

The 5 Riskiest and 5 Safest Business Startup Ideas | Company Activities & Management > Company Strategy from AllBusiness.com | Competitive Edge | Scoop.it
We uncover the five most- and least-risky startup ideas based on the state of the economy, market trends, new technologies, and other important criteria.


The first question to ask yourself when you decide to start a small business is, What business should I start? Or, better yet, What business should I not start? We asked IBISWorld, the world's largest publisher of industry research, to tell us which businesses are least likely to succeed in the U.S. economy today, and which are the most likely to succeed.


Here are five businesses you should not launch now under any circumstances, unless you have in mind some tax scheme that involves a quick trip to bankruptcy court.

Once you've seen our list of the five riskiest businesses, be sure to check out the second part of our slideshow featuring the five LOWEST-risk businesses to start.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

I don't agree with the local trucking idea, too much competition, the others are great though. If you're an entrepreneur, take a look.

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