What is Marketing?

My latest definition of marketing is as follows:

The selling of happiness through the creation and management of belief systems

Brand = Belief system

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Meaningless Tables: When Journalists Compare Apples, Oranges and Countries

The London edition of Metro featured the following table:

It lists five endeavours that lasted 11 years and 9 months or maybe less. Among these, Alexander the Great conquered the world and Fermat’s last theorem was solved.

Blair Iraq War

First, let’s focus on a couple of inaccuracies: Alexander did not conquer the world, far from it (ask a Chinese or Balinese) and that Fermat posited his last theorem in 1637.

The main obfuscation here, is that these endeavours do not have anything to do with one another and do not prove anything. For instance, why not include the fact that Apollo 13 went to the moon and back in less than 6 days?

A more common version of this is to compare corporations with countries. Specifically, corporation revenues and countries GDP. Again, these comparisons have no merit.

Corporations for instance do not have to provide many of the services that countries do. Corporations aim at maximising shareholder’s returns and in general making money. Countries and governments, work with budgets and try to balance them.

Furthermore, corporations can easily call it quits, they can sometimes go into bankruptcy, fire a lot of employees, sell assets, change name and start almost from scratch. Countries, tend not to disappear so easily and even if they do (from Soviet Union to Russia), the new country cannot fire former citizens.

25 US Mega Corporations: Where They Rank If They Were Countries

Read the list at Business Insider.

This is not to argue that countries are more virtuous than corporations or vice versa, but rather, that each should be compared and assessed within a peer group; e.g. Scandinavian countries with one another, same for search engines such as YAHOO and Google.

Kim Dotcom Launches Skype Competitor MegaChat

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Kim Dotcom, the infamous entrepreneur behind Megaupload, has released his latest product. Currently in beta, MegaChat is a browser-based encrypted video calling and file-sharing platform that is being positioned as a Skype competitor.

MegaChat is being rolled out feature-by-feature today and there are still a few kinks left to sort out.

When I tested the service with my TechCrunch co-worker Jon Russell, we had problems connecting a few times. Despite enabling them, neither of us got pop-up notifications for incoming calls. When the service did work, however, audio and video quality was on par with Skype’s. MegaChat screenshot We had more luck with MegaChat’s file-sharing feature, successfully sharing folders and files with one another. MegaChat uses what it calls User Controlled Encryption (UCE), which…

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The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People

The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People

Dear Twitter, here are some suggestions tech luminaries have for you

Originally posted on Quartz:

Last October, Twitter named a new product head—its second in six months and fifth in as many years. Kevin Weil, who previously oversaw revenue products for the social network, has a tall task ahead of him: to bring Twitter to the mainstream—and to do so without ticking off its most fervent users.

To make Weil’s job easier, we asked a handful of notable tech startup founders and product experts what changes they’d like to see on Twitter. Their wide-ranging answers touch on a number of priorities, from making it easier for new users to enjoy Twitter to helping foster a Twitter app ecosystem.

Their responses below have been condensed and edited for clarity.

Josh Elman, a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners, was a former product lead at Twitter.

  • Grow out of its geeky phase: “It’s way too geeky, and it’s impossible for my mom to understand, like the…

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Microsoft To Provide Free Upgrades To Windows 10

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Update: Microsoft promised a new build of Windows 10 next week, and also confirmed previous rumors that the first build of the operating system for smartphones will be released in February.

If you are on Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone 8.1, you will be eligible for a free upgrade inside the first year of Windows 10. Microsoft made the announcement this morning at an event on its corporate campus outside of Seattle.

On stage, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson pitched Windows 10 as a service, instead of simply an operating system that a user installs. Or, put more simply, the company views the next version of Windows as the hub of its various services.

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By offering a free upgrade to Windows 10, Microsoft is essentially working to grow the userbase of its next operating system, which will grow its developer opportunity. Microsoft needs to grow the cadre of developers that build…

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Monument Valley Team Reveals The Cost And Reward Of Making A Hit iOS Game

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

monument-valley-forgotten

Games and the formula that leads to their success can be a bit of a mystery, perhaps more so on mobile. One of 2014’s big hits, both in terms of critical and audience success, was Monument Valley by ustwogames.

The isometric 3D puzzler was breathtaking in terms of its visual design and had nice mechanics, and it managed to earn nearly $6 million in revenue from over 2.4 million individual app sales. But the cost of development might surprise you, as well as the completion rate for the game’s relatively short story among paying players.

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Monument Valley counted 2,440,076 official sales, which includes iOS, Google Play, Amazon Paid and Amazon Free (via featuring) app installs. iOS drove the brunt of the official DLs (the Android launch also resulted in a piracy rate of around 95 percent, ustwo revealed previously), while Amazon’s free release drove about 4 times as many downloads as did its…

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