November 19th, 2010
Forward Thinking Vol. 05
Our weekly update, where we share whats inspiring us:
Three quarters of the worlds 4.6 billion mobile phone users live in developing countries. With this surprising statistic in mind, MIT faculty member Dr. Nathan Eagle created txteagle. The virtual outsourcing service harnesses the manpower of 2 billion people in over eighty countries, providing those who otherwise wouldnt be working with a way to put food on the table. With a single text, a woman in Africa can get work collecting local price and product data or completing a market research survey. Will this have a major impact on the economies of those nations involved? We hope so, but regardless its sure to make a difference for many families.
Marc Horowitz is a self-proclaimed Internet celebrity who received his first press coverage at nine when he organized a break dancing competition to entertain senior citizens. Now he is crowdsourcing his life for the entire month of November, from major decisions to the ridiculous minutiae of the day-to-day. You can get involved and take control of this guys life or just watch the video updates and see what direction its currently heading. Either way, the site is entertaining.
Given the choice, would you open an account at a bank that gave you a $100 Savings Bond at the end of five years, or one that gave you a $5 credit each month, to donate to the charity of your choice? This is one example Edward Boches recently mentioned in his post about the future of giving that could directly effect the way firms approach social marketing to enhance their CSR.
Desks Near Me connects those without an office to those with too much office. Ranging from free to charging a small daily fee, each office space has its own profile, allowing the potential occupant to preemptively check out the culture and space to see its a good fit for them. If youre just a business traveler in need of a dependable WiFi connection or an entrepreneur sick of talking to your cat, this may be your workspace answer.
Toyota has introduced a simple, yet effective bumper sticker campaign called Somos Latinos (We are Latinos), which demonstrates a deep understanding of the US Hispanic market.Most brands go after this market by focusing on the Spanish language, overlooking other driving factors in what makes it tick.With a 13% increase in positive perception of the brand in the first 4 months, Toyota seems to have hit a nerve.So, what exactly could that be?Its the brands identification of 99 different names of Latin American countries and major cities pulling into the framework the stronger identity to origin rather than just language.
Recent buzz speculates that Google may be in negotiations to buy local deal-of-the-day website Groupon. This rumor, in conjunction with Googles recent launch of Boutiques.com, appears to signal a strategic move of the search engine giant into indirect retail. Could this be Googles way of repositioning itself as a more enhanced search engine incorporating social networks perhaps in the clear line of Facebook?
In a mix of vertical integration and crowd sourcing, Amazon.com has launched Amazon Studios- a tool that allows anyone to upload content (script or full-length movie) to solicit advice and compete for cash prizes. The immediate benefits of funding and exposure for the filmmakers are obvious, but what are the benefits for Amazon.com?Perhaps this is just the first step in the brands attempt to extend its Self-Publishing feature CreateSpace to include more original films.