My Readings For the Week

A wise man once told me that if you need to market your product, THAT product  sucks. Well, that’s a sweeping statement but has some nuggets of wisdom especially in a fierce market where there is so much noise.

If you love “listacles” (short for list articles), here’s another one that compiles predictions on how marketing will be in the future. Read up on 25 Predictions on What Marketing Would Be Like in 2020. Here’s a great quote from Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer of Taco Bell: “At Taco Bell, we look at three approaches to content: Create, Co-Create, and Curate. Create is our own content, co-create is content created in partnership with consumers, and curate is taking the user generated content we like and showing it to more people. The most important ingredient in all of this is authenticity.”

The future instrument is a mix of creativity, engineering, design and software. Check out this instrument that got $80,000 in commitment through Kickstarter in 6 hours. Invented by musician Mike Butera who has a PHd in Sound Studies at Virgina Tech, this instrument, dubbed INSTRUMENT 1, is set to go sale anytime soon, after the group was able to demo its prototype.

I stumbled upon this minimalist & curated site called “Defringed.” It’s a term that many designers would know. What is this site about? It’s an online destination for creative content, chosen by their editors. The site, which I discovered through, features design, photography, art, typography, architecture, etc. If you’re tired of the messy, cluttered social networks, bookmark this site. It’s worth your while.

Other alternative sites that I have discovered: (a site supposed to be designed for millennials);, which features news catering to the young people. Both sites are not as loud as, but they also offer fresh insights and perspectives other than what you’ve grown tired of seeing on click-baiting websites.

How to get crowd-funding for a journalism project

ProPublica is perhaps one of the few organizations that has tested the crowd-funding waters for a creative journalism project.

In this article, the group summarizes strategies they used to raise $22,000 for a story about the internship economy in the U.S.

Using the power of social media and “traditional” media tactics, ProPublica hit its funding target!

So what is crowd-funding, and why is Kickstarter becoming the platform of choice for many initiatives worldwide?

Crowd-funding’s meaning has evolved over time. It now refers to a “collective effort of people” to fund an initiative, a project, a new product, an idea, or a start-up company. Kickstarter is a company that took crowd-sourcing to the Internet, and made it a successful business model.

In Kickstarter’s own words:

We’re a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, more than 4.3 million people have pledged over $676 million, funding more than 44,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.

ProPublica is now one of growing number of creative projects using this platform to seek funding. They’ve cited several lessons they’ve picked up with this exercise. Among them is “mobilize your own readers and networks.”

As a group that has grown its network through its developmental and investigative journalism, ProPublica said it used its content, stories, and social media to generate interest in its project.

You also need a solid story to sell the idea–and some perks for donors.

Based on our experience, Kickstarter can be a great tool for creative, unique projects, but also tricky for those designed around story-driven projects. But if your newsroom has the time, resources and smart idea, it’s definitely worth an experiment.

Just imagine if a site will focus on crowd-sourcing more journalism projects. Would this work in societies where media is controlled by few, elite owners who are often sacred cows? Will this business model be able to sustain journalism in general, thereby letting go of the tried and tested advertising model?

Am sure someone has thought of this. What about you?

Other successful journalism projects funded via crowd-sourcing:

99% Invisible





What’s in a name?


Picking a name for your startup or even a rock band is a challenge. I’ve found a lot of “name generators” on the Internet that offers ideas. But here’s something I’ve picked up from Slideshare.

Big Spaceship’s Victor Pineiro creates this simple presentation to help you get started.

Why Michael Jordan shoes are expensive

Photo from Flickr
Air Jordan shoe

Today, I got a lesson in marketing. The conversation went this way:

Marketer: Imagine a white shoe. How much would you pay for it?

Me: P250.

Marketer: If I added a “swosh,” how much would you pay for it?

Me: Perhaps 500 pesos or more.

Marketer: Okay, if I added a Michael Jordan signature, now how much would you pay for it?

Me: A thousand or more.

Marketer: Do you think that shoe with the signature is different from the white shoe? It’s still the same material, right?

Me: Right.

Then, he went on to explain the law of perception in marketing. By transforming that white shoe to something else, one can sell it at a higher price. As the “22 Immutable Laws of marketing” explains, a product’s value is not because of its quality or features, but how we perceive it.

For instance, why would I buy a Mac if a PC has more features? Or let’s compare people who buy an iPhone versus an Android phone. Marketers spend a lot of time trying to convince us that the other is better because of how we perceive products. Steve Jobs was among the best marketers in the world. He continued to convince people that Apple products were better than PCs. And that’s why Jordan shoes are expensive. Thanks to Michael–I’m still wishing I could afford to buy one someday.