What the Wahooly?!; Media Mingle; City Hop; and Generator

Time to share some of the interesting stuff from the past few days…

Media Mingle

I have been asked to travel up to Auckland to attend a Media Mingle event(#mediamingle) for months and months now, but the timing never clicked until last night. I had a ball! If you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it.

I bumped into Vaughn Davis, (@vaughndavis & The Goat Farm)who I have been following since I posted about his book, almost exactly a year ago. I have to say that Vaughn is definitely a V.I.G. (very interesting guy – which is about the highest honour I bestow, and much more flattering that a pretty interesting guy).

Vaughn has been off on his own for a year and I asked him what his big plan was when he started out on his solo business journey. His answer was that he had no real idea other than to put himself out there and see what the market wanted him to do.

This probably sounds exciting, brave, or crazy depending on your outlook on life. But there is a great lesson here. Vaughn is obviously the sort of person who will back himself to do pretty much anything that is asked of him, in his words “a cork on the ocean”.

And he has had quite a bit of success from doing so. But even if you are the sort of person that likes to plan things out, you would be foolish not to get a periodic reality check from your market, to see if you are actually providing what they need. This level of flexibility will be essential for your success.

Anyway, Vaughn explained that his November included eight speaking engagements. When asked he said “No, there was never a plan to be a ‘public speaker’ it just seems to have happened”. However given that he has had bookings from people who had previously seen him speak, I figured he must be doing something right and he graciously shared the following tips:

There are three critical success factors with public speaking:

  1. Know Your Stuff
  2. Have an Opinion
  3. Have Delivery Skills

Failure on anyone of these three factors will mean failure of the speech or event. If you don’t know your stuff, then you will be exposed soon enough regardless of your opinion or skills. If you know your stuff but don’t have an opinion, then people may as well read up on wikipedia. And of course if you can’t deliver your information in an engaging way, nobody will bother to listen.

Another V.I.G. that I met was Richard Head a brand planner, who worked for Ogilvy’s in Europe and shared some entertaining tales of doing business in Russia. Apparently once you have done brand planning for Russians everywhere else is a piece of cake. I won’t go into detail on our discussions on Brand Planning now, I think I will leave that topic for another time…

I also have to give a bit of a shout out to some of the others I met and caught up with at the Media Mingle event: @tructranlawyer; @pauljdes; @NixHoogenboom and @iamjohnlai

Generator

The media mingle was held at the Generator business club. I am impressed with the place, the atmosphere and the services offered. In fact I am looking at running some smaller business workshops next year (max 12 people), and this place has made it onto my shortlist. Check out the Generator for yourself if you get the chance. I haven’t looked at prices but I know that there are a variety of membership options casual (great for me as I am Hamilton-based) all the way up to have your own serviced office in the building. -Plus they have a bar and barrista!! Much better than the serviced office I used to have in the bad old insurance broker days!

City Hop

This is a new business in Auckland being a Joint Venture between Jucy car rentals and the Auckland City Council. It sounds like a great idea and ties in well with the Generator. City Hop has cars parked all over the CBD and you can book them online, you go to where they are parked swipe your membership card, hop in and drive away.

There is a joining fee ($95 p.a.) but the hire of the cars is just $15 per hour. One enthusiastic user was explaining that they no longer need to drive in, find and pay for parking in town. And because they frequently make trips out to the airport and back, at least a couple of times a week, they will be going from a $65 taxi fare each way to $30 for the city hop car for 2 hours. This should save him at least a couple of hundred dollars a week, while reducing congestion in the city.

Wahooly

One of the big issues with start-ups is that they need that critical mass of customers who will drive the business forward. In the past this has been handled by getting start up capital and sinking it into advertising and marketing to get those intiial users.

Enter Wahooly (@TeamWahooly), this is the most interesting new idea I have heard of in a while. Wahooly looks at the problem in a different way:

-Why don’t we get the influencers in the in the social media world involved early on, and some of them will be users, but more importantly they are the sort of influencers who bring in more users…

-How do we reimburse them? The same way venture capital firms are reimbursed with a share of the company. Wahooly gets a share of the company that contracts for their help. Wahooly team members (social media influencers) decide to get involved with that particular project, or not, and individual team members get ‘paid’ based on the efforts they put in and the results they generate.

I admit I am not clear on the specifics of the reward system (do team members get shares or dividends? Based on results or efforts?), but I find this idea fascinating. This could possibly create a new ‘economy’ for effective social media devotees. And importantly if it does work I believe it could be a cheaper and quicker way to validate or invalidate a start-up company and their marketing premise.

At present Wahooly is recruiting 25,000 team members from around the world, to get started. There is a minimum requirement to get involved based on your Klout score (I assume Wahooly is somehow linked to Klout). I have registered as a team member and will keep you posted on progress.

 

Well that is a bit of a wide swathe of interesting info, let me know if this sort of post is the type of thing you would like to continue to see on the blog… and I will be flexible enough to continue it or to cut it  :)

 

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About Chris Hanlon

Chris has worked in or owned small businesses most of his life, before lured into the corporate world where he spent over a decade. However his passion for small business has remained, and taken life in The Profit Wizard blog, his published book, and some coaching he does for a variety of businesses. You can follow Chris on Twitter @TheProfitWizard

One Response to “What the Wahooly?!; Media Mingle; City Hop; and Generator”

  1. Chris Hanlon December 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    http://gigaom.com/2011/12/19/wahooly/

    Update – Wahooly has launched!

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