Chase Bank Loses Customer’s … No, Not Money, Just Email

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words – so here’s my 2k-word essay, straight from Chase Online:

OK, that should be easy, let’s click to get that email:

Oops – dear Chase, where’s my message?

Of course on the week when the IMF and the US Senate gets hacked, GoDaddy goes down (did they forget to renew their domain?), I should not complain.  After all, it’s not my money they’ve lost. (?)



(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


Customer Focus: the Constellation Supernova Awards

Constellation Research, founded by fellow Enterprise Irregular and star analyst Ray Wang has just announced the  ambitious Supernova Awards program, focusing on – what a twist! – customer champions of innovation, rather than vendors.

Krish and I both feel honored to have been invited as Judges for the Cloud Computing category. Below is the official announcement in full:



Today, we announce an award that celebrates and recognizes leaders who have overcome the odds to successfully apply emerging and disruptive technologies for their organizations.

In Search of Protostars

Most award programs recognize the technology suppliers for their advancements in the market. Few, if any programs, have recognized individuals for their courage in battling the odds to effect change in their organization. The Constellation SuperNova Awards celebrate the explorers, the pioneers, and the unsung heroes who successfully put new technologies to work. More importantly, these leaders have created disruptions in their market.

“Applying technology innovation to effect business results requires exceptional organizational leadership and teamwork. It is not enough to simply implement the technology. To ensure success, these leaders had to build buy-in relationships across all levels of the organization – appealing to rational and emotional senses – as well as make tough calls in system delivery to make change easier”, noted Amy Wilson, Vice-President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Inc.

An all star cast of judges will identify applicants who embody the human spirit to innovate, overcome adversity, and successfully deliver market changing approaches. Applicants will be subjected to a vigorous set of criteria that reflect real-world and pragmatic experience. Semifinalists will be selected in five categories: social business, mobile enterprise, cloud computing, advanced analytics, and emerging technologies.

“Innovation is the life blood of businesses. We need to celebrate those pioneers who are able to see what the others don’t, who are willing to invest their time and energy while others don’t dare to, and whose passion inspires us all to look innovation in the eyes, embrace it and become innovators.” said Paul Papadimitriou, Vice-President and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research, Inc.


(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


Startup Lifecycle a’la ABBA (Are We in a Bubble?)

Wow, who would have thought 1970′s supergroup ABBA were such good predictors of the Startup Economy:-)

No kidding… it all started with a tweet by Box Lead Magician Aaaron Levie:

We must be in a tech bubble given how much ABBA I’m listening to.
24 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

My first though was:

@levie As long as it’s not only Money Money Money :-)
21 minutes ago Favorite Reply Delete

Then I had this crazy thought of trying to remember more ABBA titles… it took me about 3 minutes to see ABBA’s wisdom … LOL.. I mean to come up with a full startup lifecycle, purely based on ABBA titles:

  • I Have a Dream
  • Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
  • Take a Chance on Me
  • Money, Money, Money
  • Knowing Me, Knowing You
  • Mamma Mia
  • S.O.S.
  • The Winner Takes It All
  • The Name of the Game
  • So Long

Feel free to add more :-)

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


Tungle: an Acquisition Tweet by Tweet.

Tungle CEO, 6 days ago:


Hm… looks like a broken iPhone.  Get a new one… but is getting a new phone really a life changing moment?

@mgingrasMarc Gingras

Time for a new smartphone.#lifechangingmoment

2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

For Marc it is.  And I doubt he’ll be using iPhone, now that he is part of RIM.

I first got to know Marc and Tungle 5 years ago, as a selection judge for the Under the Radar Conference, which is where Tungle debuted, so it’s only appropriate that they announce the acquisition exactly five years later, on the very day this years Under the Radar conference is held … in fact  it starts in about an hour, if you’re in the area, you can still catch itSmile

Congratulations to Marc… and let’s hope the excellent Tungle service remains open for other platforms, too. (?).

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


Out of Left Field: Vmware Acquires Sliderocket

sliderocket logoQuick initial reaction: scratching head.

Vmware recently shook up the Cloud Computing world with the launch of Cloud Foundry and I think most of us would have pegged them as an infrastructure company.  Then all of a sudden they buy Sliderocket, the great collaborative presentations company.  Why is this a big deal?  Probably not for the $ value, but it may show Vmware’s intentions of getting in the Cloud Apps business big time.

After all, they already have an almost forgotten asset, Zimbra.  Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, Zoho … watch out! Smile

P.S.  I guess the phones are ringing at Vmware, with every single Cloud App startup trying to get bought…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


Simon Cowell Left American Idol to Launch CRM Idol. But He Did Not Make the Final Cut.

Paul Greenberg did.  Simon is off doing X-Factor instead Smile

Paul Simon Greenberg Cowell 1

Joke apart,  if you are in the CRM business, or interested in CRM, or even just social software, chances are you’ve heard of Paul Greenberg. Simply said, he is the Godfather of CRM. And Godfathers get to make decisions.  If you follow Paul’s annual CRM Watchlist series it’ll be obvious that Paul keeps on expanding the horizon for CRM, covering lots of vendors not traditionally thought of being in the CRM space.  Now he invites even more CRM-Social-yourfavoritetermhere small companies (“small” < $12M revenue) to the podium offering otherwise hard-to-achieve exposure.  Paul assembled an amazing team of Judges, and I am humbled to be on his Team.  Talk about Judges… just like on the other Idol, you don’t have to “win” to win. Smile

CRM Idol 2011: The Open Season is here – see Paul’s full announcement below.

(PG Note: The post you see below represents the “official” launch of CRM Idol 2011 and is one that all eight primary judges endorse. For me personally, this is my “angelic” side – the side of me that wants to support an industry that has been good to me. On my more edgy side, some of the reason that this was hatched was because of PR agents who basically don’t do their homework and pitch me all day long without an inkling about me as an actual human. They think I’m an influential CRM cyborg. Dealing with that from the other side, Brent Leary and I will be launching a music video in a few months from Playaz Productions. Heh. Heh.

But the side of me that’s grateful to an industry and friends and those companies that actually have honored me by listening to me blather all these years, is enthralled by the idea that we may be able to give back to all of you through CRM Idol. So, thank you for everything over the years and welcome to CRM Idol 2011: the Open Season!!)

Okay, everyone this is the big one. CRM Idol 2011: The Open Seasonis here and we’re ready to take your companies and find out which one of you in the Americas and which one of you in EMEA is not the next CRM Idol but the FIRST CRM Idol.

The Idea

Most of what we’re trying to do was outlined in the pre-announcement announcement of CRM Idol last week. But it bears some repeating:

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


The Tethering / Hotspot Debate: No, You’re Not a Thief. But Somebody Else is a Highway Robber.


Interesting debate at ZDNet over wireless data plans:  James Kendrick claims that unpaid tethering makes you a thief.   Thankfully his fellow ZDNet-er Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has the common sense to dispute  this tethering thief nonsense.

Yes, technically if your wireless contract includes an anti-hotspot clause and you turn this feature on, you are in violation. Of the contract, that is.  Your provider has the right to levy additional charges, or terminate your contract. But does that make you a thief?  I’d much rather conclude your provider commits highway robbery.

Remember this device?

Yes, phones used to look like that.  And there was a time when phone companies (actually, “the” phone company, Ma Bell) charged extra when you had more then one outlet in your home….

Remember the early days of cable TV?   You had to ( well, were supposed to) pay extra for each additional cable outlet.

How about the early days of the Internet, before wireless became pervasive?  Yes, ISPs expected you to pay extra for each outlet…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


Now You Can Get Your Google Apps Data Backed Up for Free. Startup Econ 101: When Giving it Away is a Good Deal.

Ouch that’s a longish title. OK, I admit, I am tired, could not decide between two messages and ended up combining them.  Well, let’s see the messages.

The Art of Pricing

The other day I got into a tweet convo with a Startup Entrepreneur whose product I found interesting, at least at first glance.  But he has a problem: the entry point for one user is $20/month – and then the price scales up.  I tried to convince him to drop the entr

y price point to either free, or $1-$2 – something that allows impulse buy.  He defended his pricing on a value basis.  In principle he is right – but there’s the small problem that nobody knows about his product.  In this case “giving away” value would become his marketing, would allow for growth, and he could scale his pricing as aggressively as he wanted. He badly needs enthusiastic users that become his marketing army.

My friend and fellow Enterprise Irregular Charlie Wood (that was my bias disclosure…) understands this…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


$25K … No, $100K… No, One Million Dollars to Charity by Atlassian

Two years ago I reported on Atlassian’s initiative to to raise funds for the benefit of Room to Read, an organization that builds schools, libraries in rural communities in Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Laos, Zambia …etc. Giving away $1,200 worth of software licences for $5 in a 5-day drive, they first planned to raise $25K, then increased the target to $100,000.

@Krishnan and I thought we should put our money where our mouth (pen? keyboard?) is, and both purchased a bunch of licences just to help push Atlassian towards the finish line.  The last minutes were dramatic:

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)


Shockingly Honest CEO Memos–Microsoft, Nokia

Engadget calls freshly minted Nokia CEO Steven Elop’s internal letter to the troops “one of the most exciting and interesting CEO memos we’ve ever seen.” Selected quotes:

We have more than one explosion – we have multiple points of scorching heat that are fuelling a blazing fire around us.

Apple disrupted the market by redefining the smartphone and attracting developers to a closed, but very powerful ecosystem.

They changed the game, and today, Apple owns the high-end range.

The first iPhone shipped in 2007, and we still don’t have a product that is close to their experience.

Android came in at the high-end, they are now winning the mid-range, and quickly they are going downstream to phones under €100. Google has become a gravitational force, drawing much of the industry’s innovation to its core.

But there’s still the low-end of the market … except.. oh, gotta love this choice quote:

At the lower-end price range, Chinese OEMs are cranking out a device much faster than, as one Nokia employee said only partially in jest, “the time that it takes us to polish a PowerPoint presentation.”

Hm, perhaps the Chinese don’t have PowerPoint? Smile (Hey, there’s a reason why I suggested the US Should Donate PowerPoint to the Taliban)

So yes, it’s a brutally honest memo from a new CEO – but not sure it holds the “most exciting ever” title.

Here’s another gem from Elop’s former boss: a CEO who is not a hired gun, but Founder, large shareholder, industry icon, Bigger then God.  Yet he can’ get his troops aligned, and as a user is frustrated at the crap his Monster of a company is turning out.  Yes, I am talking about (then) Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.

Excerpts from his 2003 internal letter:

—- Original Message —-

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 10:05 AM
To: Jim Allchin
Cc: Chris Jones (WINDOWS); Bharat Shah (NT); Joe Peterson; Will Poole; Brian Valentine; Anoop Gupta (RESEARCH)
Subject: Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame

I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards and the program management groups don’t drive usability issues…

(Cross-posted @ CloudAve » Zoli Erdos)