|iWatch: Countdown to the Referendum & Iphone 6|
21st March 2013
The Scottish government announced that the referendum would be held on 18 September 2014
Mar 13-July 14
According to the "What Scotland Thinks" website, the polls for #VoteYes were only over 40% once between February 13 and July 14 (which was Aug 13 = 44%).
5th August 2014
Interest in the referendum gets intense when Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling go up against each other in their first TV debate.
The fiery debate ended with both the Yes and No camps claiming victory, but a snap ICM / Guardian poll showed 56% thought the former chancellor had won, with 44% choosing Salmond.
25th August 2014
The second televised debate takes place between Salmond and Darling. This time the ICM/Guardian snap poll shows 71% of viewers felt the First Minister had won, with just 29% putting the Better Together chief in front.
Why is this?
What about "First mover advantage"?
As far as I can see, the similarities between the last 2 weeks of the Vote Yes camp of the referendum campaign Vs The way Apple roll products out appear to be very similar.
1) Product Market Fit
Apple: In our Technology in Education report "Developing Relationships and Delivering Value" we included an article about the iwatch from Feb 2013 which asked if Apple can play watchmaker. We would like to draw particular attention to this comment from this article;
"To build and to ship are two entirely different things, and Apple often does the former, but only selectively continues through to the latter"
Yes Alliance: When developing these products, establishing close relationships are key:
- Within the company
- Across the tech sector, and
- With users
- Little/no in-fighting (At least not as much as Tory/LibDem coalition!).
- Partnerships with other parties via the Yes Alliance
- The SNP is based in Scotland and is interested in the future of this "Small Niche Sector" compared to Westminster.
Being a small, but determined team, is absolutely no handicap when up against the more encumbered market leader that is "set in its ways". Especially not when you have the intelligence, vision and determination. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon reached out to anyone who shared their vision of Scotland's Future to form the Yes Alliance and a collaborative form of politics. See Appendix 2 to see how this strategy was similar to when Google was looking for a new CRM supplier (What Would Google Do? P35):
So what did I learn from [Choosing a risky Startup Vs established Company] this? I learned that the obvious solutions are not only the ones and “safe” choices arn’t always good choices. I had thought that due diligence meant finding the product most people relied on, then putting pressure on the vendor to cut the price. It never occurred to me to talk to a start-up...
We have different tolerances for risk and different ideas about what two smart people working alone could accomplish...Two smart guys working on complex technical problems, it turns out, can accomplish a hell of a lot. Doug Edwards, Google Employee 59
2) Presentation Matters
Apple: "I define a miracle as something that comes in and changes your life for the better in ways you did not expect."
Is how the mother of an autistic child explains "The miracle" of an iPad because of her son's enthusiastic engagement with it, which features in a video celebrating the first year of the Ipad.
In "Life's a Pitch" Philip Delves Broughton continues to observe how;
|Apple spend 250 hrs on 20 min|
product launch presentation
In the same film as the mother with the autistic son, Ron Johnson, who oversaw Apple's stores at the same time, says, "The iPad has to be held, has to be touched to truly understand how magical it is" - as if it were the Turin Shroud.
Then there is the fact that Apple put a lot of work into their product launches. In his book, Talk Like Ted, Carmine Gallo observes that the Apple team spend 250 hours on the presentation for a 20 minute product launch.
Yes Alliance: Presented their message in a similar way to Apple, they did not focus on features & functions of how an Independent Scotland would operate (Admittedly an issue that the Better Together camp exploited, but did not endear itself to the public). The Yes Alliance focused on the benefits, what independence would mean to the people - a fairer society, Bairns not bombs, health, education but not in a 5 year plan and all statistics and dry documents. Neither did they focus on the issues that appealled only to the elite, currency and markets etc.
3) Social Proof
Apple: Apple are very effective at utilising their brand advocates and fans, they send out press releases with some of the functionality and whip the fans into a frenzy. This means that on launch day the advocates are jumping up and down on their seats, everyone in the audience can be seen in the media coverage looking at their new watches with awe and wonder.
|Apple's Training Manual|
"No leader can hope to persuade, regularly and single handedly, all the members of the group. A forceful leader can reasonably expect, however, to persuade some sizable portion of group members. Then the raw information that a substantial number of group members has been convinced can, by itself, convince the rest. Thus the most influential leaders are those who know how to arrange group conditions to allow the principle of social proof to work maximally in their favour" Robert Cialdini
Yes Alliance: Having achieved product market fit, established a collaborative alliance (who put together a tremendous grass roots campaign), communicated the message well... it was time to pull it all together. On the 15th September
The people of Scotland behaved like Apple evangelists at a product launch.
Bringing it All Together
What happens when you bring Product Market Fit, a well communicated message and Social Proof together? Some seriously positive PR! By building a compelling product/vision through establishing close relationships provides a loyal fan base. Putting on a show when you bring the product/visions together with an enthusiastic fan base sees everyone talking about it.
It is these 3 factors that play a significant role in making them the market leader with any space they enter, regardless of how late they are to the party.
While this may sound very straightforward, this is extremely challenging to get right. The culture matters so much and requires a massive amount of collaboration.
Tech guru Geoffrey Moore and more fun and visual demonstration of him explaining these principles that help Apple to become the market leader. How Dancing Guy Crossed the Chasm.
We saw that these concepts were so powerful that the momentum lead to #The45 & #The45Plus, but a lack of understanding of these concepts led to the culture and momentum being affected.
The question is can we get this momentum and culture back to get the party started again? This is something that we will be exploring in the next few posts.
|PMF + Social Proof + Presentaion = Time for an #VoteYes/iParty|
The non-advanced letter includes information about new National Units, new group awards (such as NPA Digital Passport) and changes to existing awards (such as PC Passport).
The advanced letter includes information new Higher National Units and details about new and revised awards at SCQF Levels 7 and 8.
There's nothing in either letter that readers of this blog will not already know but for those who don't regularly read this blog they contain vital information about changes to qualifications, including important dates.
The letters will be sent to centres on Thursday, as part of SQA's normal (electronic) weekly update (via your SQA Co-ordinator), so look out for them shortly after that.
We spent our third day in France reliving the American experience on Omaha Beach. I felt I knew most of what happened there from endless re-runs of The Longest Day (shot on location: we saw photos of local involvement in the filming) and the more recent Saving Private Ryan, but nothing had prepared me for the sheer size of the cemetery that takes up the whole area on the cliffs where the German defences were sited above the main beach. There is something about the starkness of the white crosses rising straight out of the cropped grass, crosses that had name, rank and company as well as home state and date of death, that depersonalised the loss for me - no emblems, no age given for the dead, no flowerbeds around the graves. Instead, I was forcibly aware of the anonymity of these ranks - look at the lines, which flow straight in every direction - and the dedication that ensures that every single grave has this cropped grass round the foot of the cross (or Star of David: you can see one to the right of centre in the photo). There were clumps of heather round the pine trees grouped occasionally around the site, a multi-faith chapel that was too over-run by visitors to give me any sense of anything, and a Garden of the Missing where a 22-foot statue ‘The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves’ looks west over the headstones - over 9,000 graves, among which are the stones of 45 sets of brothers, and 1,557 missing in action.
But even more than among the graves, it was down on the beach that I felt the hopelessness of the task faced by these young men from halfway across the world as the ramps of their landing craft fell forward and they saw what they had to climb, under withering fire, if the invasion was to succeed.
good 15 minutes to climb back up. The area in between is now covered in shrubs that I imagine have been planted to deter wandering in this site, which is entirely given over as a memorial.
After a break for lunch had turned into a truly French affair (because some of us went looking for a crêperie and ordered galettes complètes and while this is fast food for one it isn't for 14), we visited another sobering site above the Pointe du Hoc, where the American Rangers had to climb the cliffs to reach the huge guns which actually for the most part faced inland because the Germans didn't think anyone would make that climb. The whole area was pitted with the holes from the shellfire from the Allied ships, and we were able to go inside the concrete gun emplacements and see the view made famous by a scene in The Longest Day when a German officer first saw the invasion on the horizon. We went from there to another iconic site, where an American paratrooper famously caught on the roof of the church in Ste Mere Eglise and hung there for hours pretending to be dead to avoid being shot. A museum stands on the site where on the fateful night a house was on fire, and - somewhat bizarrely - we could see from the town square the torn parachute and (model) paratrooper still hanging from the church roof.
That evening, like the previous one, was spent in raucous entertainment. The young staff of the Chateau flocked, like little moths, to the door of the room where this mob of ancients acted Allo Allo in execrable French accents and sang wartime favourites and French songs at the top of their still-unbelievably-loud voices to the accompaniment of a small keyboard pounded to great effect by Mr B.
As I've said on previous occasions, you really had to be there ...
Last Friday Yahoo announced that it will retire its original service, the Yahoo directory, at the end of 2014. Perhaps the only surprise was that the Yahoo directory is still running. I don’t suppose it will be missed by many, but I noticed it going because the first article I ever wrote on learning technology was Finding Information on WWW, which I wrote for the CTI-Physics newsletter in Jun 1995. It was prompted by my boss at the time, Dick Bacon, saying that he thought there were lots of really useful resources on the web, but it was really difficult to find them. I suggested three approaches: social, organised collections and search, which I think stands up reasonably well today, though we’ve kind of moved on from mailbase to twitter. Search at the time was in its infancy, Lycos being the search engine of choice (yes, not only was this before Google, it was before Alta Vista). I still work on that question “how do you find information on the web?” Through LRMI and schema.org we are helping search engine providers improve their products, and one of my favourite initiatives of the last few years, the Learning Registry, and specifically the kritikos project has seen the coming together search and social, allowing students to share what they find to be useful for their courses.
In our most recent post we encouraged the people of Scotland to dream big and be the best in the world. We also detailed why, based on Tech sales, the old style politics might just want to pack up and leave. Today we're going to reach to this group who desperately needs our help... and some hope. Our competition: Other political parties.
Good Digital Citizens Help Competitors
While SuperSalmond and the YesAlliance have the (Entirely fictional) written constitution of being "The Defenders of Hope" Our (Equally fictional) arch enemies...The Minsters of the West have an unwritten constitution of being "Dull and incompetent," as one of SuperSalmonds own heroes says these Minsters are
"Sad Strange Little Men and they have our pity"
Good #YesAlliance Digital Citizen's shouldn't get angry with their competitors and/or make them feel like they want to flush your head down the toilet. We should collaborate with everyone, even our competitors, and help them (in our case this would be help them to pack. Lol. No just kidding, well actually I'm not but there's a nicer way of putting it).
Hey Misters, apologies forgot what we stand for, and are "The Defenders of Hope" I had no right to say you were sad or strange... although you don't seem very happy! And your beheviour towards Scotland with its energized proactive Digital Citizens does seem a little strange? Oh and if ever there was a Hopeless situation...(Note to self: Stop it! Play Nice!)
Wager: Dull and Incompetent
Tell you what, how about a friendly wager? You go speak to your expensive consultants to see how to deal with Brave Many's #SuperSalmond design and this "Defender of Hope" stuff and, if the strategy is a good one.... If its as good as your Better Together campaign, we'll say that you win. If not we do? What do you say?
"What would happen if we took a goodie from real life to and made him into a cartoon superhero?"
As things stand when the Minsters of the West encounter SuperSalmond it's as his alter ego The First Minister of Scotland. You like arguing with him and belittling him and his effortdown in your house. Your common house which is full of strange little people who just argue amongst yourself all day long.
Hope in the Face of Retirement
When Mr Salmond retires you'll be glad he's no longer here to bother you. But, IF all this Superhero "Silliness" takes off, how are you going to argue with or against Super Salmond, without trying to crush some peoples hopes.
Therefore, it is our hope that you will need to change your leadership style. Leadership where people collaborate instead of shouting and arguing.
Leadership based on results... on what you have actually done, not based on soundbites that you never get round to fixing.If you do decide to start arguing and fighting with the Scots, you will be having an almighty battle as you will be taking on "The Defender of Hope." Might even have a SuperSalmond comic!
We've Tweeted out to The Beno, the Herald, Mecha Man, Horribe Histories, Comic Con and a regular SuperGran, we'll be asking the kids what they think about the idea too. If they like we could explore and and all of these areas;
Teachers & Students: New & Engaging Teaching Partnerships, More Trust and Respect
Young People: Increased interest in Politics by young people,
Scotish Business: New Partnerships, Ideas and Increased revenue
We are preserving and adding to the work of the kind of leadership that makes sure they take other people with them.
Doing Good while Having Fun... And Just Being Silly! (But Annoyingly Effective)
Waiting for Superman follow a handful of promising kids through a system that inhibits, rather than encourages, academic growth. This film takes an exhaustive review of public education, surveying "drop out factories" and "academic sinkholes," methodically dissecting the system and its seemingly intractable problems .
We're going to see if we can do good while having fun in education, and see if Super Salmond can help with this.
Hail the Conquering King? Or There's a Hero in All of Us
"Who'd want a monarchy, when they "conquer" and "rule." But Superheroes... They defend people! Especially those who can't defend themselves. This has the added advantage of being the antithesis for Minsters of the West, home of the elite and friend of big business.
|There's a Hero in all of Us|
Everybody loves a hero. People line up for them. Cheer them. Scream their names. And years later, they'll tell how they stood in the rain for hours....just to get a glimpse of the one...who taught them to hold on a second longer.
Don't know about anyone else but this sounds a lot like the #YesAlliance so far and what Scots aspire to... There might be something in all this silliness and Super Hero fun.
In the previous SuperSalmond Episode We highlighted some changes may benefit others with leadership roles;
"Get rid of the "Takers" and "Fakers" in leadership roles and replace them with Adam Grant's "Givers" and Dave Logans "Stage 5" teams... the ones that take other people with them, and create value for all, not just themselves"
It would be great to think that this Superhero idea could force politicans hands. I stress I am non-partizan, and am happy to help anyone out. However, the higher the bar can be set, the better. A retiring politician who the people like is one thing to take on, but what about when he leaves? What about a legacy that will keep people on their toes? Superhero status... I love it Brave Many! Well done!
What if this image and brand takes off? I'll tell you what... OUCH! You might just want to consider a new referendum... just to get rid of this political hot potato! I don't know if Brave Many is aware of how significant this is, which is why I've been happy to help develop the narrative with these posts.
Now, here's how we hope this SuperSalmond series proves to be a real challenge to the "Takers" and "Fakers". I hope that those who deserve to, find some of these concepts difficult to remove from people's minds once the ideas are out there... I have attempted to write it some concepts that will resonate and "stick" so.even the political spin will struggle, But I am no spin doctor so have no idea if these ideas will have any impact. But here are some examples that we were going for,
What people will think when politcians talk "I'm listening to a dinosaur: You are the stuffy the old guard"
You could always fight fire with fire and create your own Super Hero, but who? And for what? What would they stand for and have achieved? Maybe Iron Man's compatriot, The Iron Lady? That WOULD go down well in Scotland!
As an example, we are seeing aspects of this in the Independence camp as there is not the same culture and sense of unity, purpose or humour when you compare the #VoteYes Camp and campaign Vs post election activities. Culture Matters...More than ANYTHING else!!
If that's not enough of an incentive will you read it if I tell that it includes information as to why I would advise that, based on Technology sales and roll out principles, Labour and the Conservatives should just pack up and go now, and why a second referendum appears to be inevitable.
I also hope that my experiences might encourage others to get on Social Media, open a blog and have some BIG AUDACIOUS GOALS!
|Jim Collins Hedgehog Concept|
- Recruitment matters
- Product Market Fit Matters
- Focus Matters
- Culture Matters
- How you organise Space Matters
- You should do what you Love; and love what you do
Find you're vertical! Find the one thing that you can do better than anyone else. Stay focused, don't be sales let. Work in a niche and stay in that niche until you've become the market leader. These are other universal recommendations.
However, while I read about these issues and my Silicon Valley and Boston EdTech contacts do to... I've not met many Scots who have read these books, so I hope this post helps politicians/independence advocates and businesses (BTW Not an easy mix to appeal to in a single post).
If you want to get Alex Salmond style popularity, stop off and Newcastle and declare the North East free from Westminster and you'll be the peoples' champion too
Get Rid of Psychopathic Leaders
My plans for SuperSalmond have not been revealed yet, but I hope that my work with this makes it extremely difficult for "Takers" to operate in any area of Scottish Society.
These ideas would need to be read and acted upon but I can't influence that too much... The best I can do is focus on the areas I can affect, publish my thoughts/ideas, and try to do so in as compelling a way as possible.
Sales Matters: 400% Guarenteed
Get Educators to see sales differently, to get employers to adopt "Social Selling" and co-create with their clients, to create content and add value and not generate spam and waste people's time talking about "my company, my product/service" etc. We're not even talking about telling customers about how the service will benefit them...
It's having EVIDENCE of how the service has added value to your early customers. Again this is a MASSIVE culture shift and will be near impossible. However, to not even try means that sales people will continue to be seen with suspicion. This is unproductive, inefficient, ineffective... and unfair! The problem is (Surprise, surprise) CULTURAL See
- Sales Matters in EdTech
- Ineffective EdTech (Gotta love the psychopathic CEOs, NOT! Do you work for a "Taker" like this?!)
- The Problem with EdTech Integration - Edu Don't Know How to Sell (May apply to politicians too... See "Social Proof" to discover the magic behind the "Yes" campaign in last 3 weeks)
All of this is about replicating Apple, Google and IBM's techniques. MIT says that in order for people to switch to a new method you need a X10 improvement (Which may be why SNP didn't win, they didn't articulate how life would be 10 times better to the 55%).
But issues of a X10 improvement is not the problem with social selling as there are case studies with a 400% increase in sales, so
What is: Unwelcome calls and spam that takes up a lot of time for both seller and buyer, products perhaps could be better (How many Scottish cos have 100% repeat business ratio and/or are best in the world at what they do?), anyone with Traditional sales skills may well find employment harder to find in the next few years.
What could be: Better products, Less rejection for sales people So - "Doing good (Not annoying people as much) While Having Fun (Not in tears at the end of every call. Lol). Improved products for the same reasons as Startup Politics will have - Co-Creating with clients and improved customer relations. There there is increased revenue for companies and economy.(See Appendix 2: What Would Google Do?)
What's not to like? Change is tough! Even when the benefits are obvious! Then Scotland... Get a move on! SNP Tell business to get into this, there could be massive improvements to the economy to be had here.
As a nation, if we were to have resskilled sales people we could become a specialist in Social Selling and Community Management, you just might find businesses leaving London for Scotland with i'ts very efficient and effective sales network!
Dude Cold Calling is for Losers
So I wanted to work on connecting educators up in FE. However, through helping a competitor I realised it was not happening, the conditions were not right
For the last few months I've been liaising with US educators, but it does upset me that I am not working in the UK. I am not because I just can't make it happen.
I noticed the potential in what Alex Salmond was achieving on the 9th Sept. I have been shouting about how great this opportunity was just because "I could" I felt I could help... so I have done. Today helping #The45Plus just might have repaid in buckets. I helped Brave Many with the SuperSalmond idea.
I know that Brave Many is keen to see a SuperSalmond Comic, so I wrote SuperSalmond Episode 1: A New Hope...Opportunities
If this happens this just might help get Scottish educators connected. So my collaborating with a competitor and helping #The45Plus out "Just because I can" has given me a New Hope and alternative opportunities to keep a set of goal I had been working towards alive..
Crazy and Impossible Goals?
So guys, what do you think? The moral of the story? Do your homework, research your market, understand when the conditions just are not right, collaborate, always show your friendship first, think differently and dream big... ask yourself
If you can't do this for yourself, then [it may sound like a cat poster] do it for your country. There are only 5 million of us, if you want to have a fair and just society then follow the example of the person that has made 3 things that were all but impossible a year ago a lot more tangible... Thank You Mr Salmond, I have renewed Hope regarding some of these opportunities.
"Success is the progressive realization of a worthy goal or ideal." Earl Nightingale
Tonight I had the pleasure of hosting episode 3 of the #coffeechat podcast. I started this with my good friend Ian Simpson (@familysimpson) as a way for us to chat as often as possible about the state of technology in Education.
We spoke about the need for photocopying, modern classrooms, display interactivity and iPads in teaching and learning.
The audio version will be uploaded to iTunes ASAP.