Friday, December 20, 2013

Science of Business -- Gravity


Gravity is all around us.  It is part of everything we do every day.  So what exactly is this thing called Gravity.

Let’s start with the definition.  Gravity, according to the Collins Junior Dictionary, is “the force that makes things fall when you drop them.”  Now that’s pretty simple.  It doesn’t take being Isaac Newton to realize that apples will always be falling from trees.

So what does falling apples have to do with business?  Glad you asked. 

Think of your business as a very large apple.  That apple is resting in your hand.  Lift up that apple until your arm cannot go any higher.  OK.  What are you now doing to that apple?

I imagine everyone is thinking “holding up the apple”.   You are correct but what are you actually doing to keep that apple up in the air?  Would you believe you are actively pushing the apple upwards? 

Yes, that’s right.  The effort you are expending to hold the apple in the air, assuming the apple is motionless, is just enough effort to counter the force gravity is applying to the apple to make it fall to the ground.  You are literally pushing the apple up continuously in order to keep it from falling.

Your business operates according to the “Laws of Gravity”.  Regardless of whether your business is large or small, it is subject to the same laws of gravity as the apple. 

In business, there are only 2 directions allowed: up and down.  The apple is either lifted in an upward direction or it falls to the ground.  Your business is either being “lifted” up by the efforts of the employees or it is “falling” to the ground.  Nature does not allow for a business to operate at an equilibrium state for any length of time.  In other words, you cannot have sales or production at a flat level for any length of time.  In business, there are no exceptions. 

So what does it mean to “lift” your business?  Active engagement in the growth of the business “lifts” the business up and keeps it growing.  Look at your sales figures.  Are they going up or going down?  How about your revenue numbers?  In fact, if you look at all the various statistics used to measure the success of your business, there are only 2 directions you will see in anything but a shuttered company: up and down. 

The more active the employees are at “lifting” the company, the higher the sales figures and more likely the company becomes successful.  The importance of contributions from every employee are not to be overlooked.  All of us have probably known of employees who loafed about on the job and really did not put forth a great deal of effort in doing the best job they could.  These types of employees effectively add to the overall weight that the balance of the employees must overcome in order to keep the company going up.  Get too many employees riding on the shoulders of others and soon the “shouldered” employees start to get dropped; figuratively and literally.  When a business suffers drops in its sales numbers over a sufficiently long period, staff reductions are inevitable.  Thus, the dropping of employees comes to pass in the form of layoffs; there are not enough “lifters” to compensate for the loafers. 

As a business owner, if you drop a lifter from the company, you have made the problem worse.  It is vital that every business recognize who are the lifters and who are not.  Who are the really heavy lifters and who are the lightweight lifters?  Should it become necessary to reduce the number of employees, it is critical to the business to start with the loafers, then the lightweight lifters and then the heavy lifters.  Look at the statistics for each employee to determine where each employee fits on the scale of “lifters”. 

So what in the business world constitutes gravity?  What is it that all the lifters are lifting against?  In simple terms, competition and noise. 

Every business has competitors.  These competitors are actively seeking customers just like your business.  How much effort you must expend in order to counteract their sales efforts depends upon the overall market size and your company’s size relative to your competitors.  The more competition you face, the more gravity is present working against your lifting efforts.  If the overall market is large and you face a lot of similarly-sized competitors, your lifting efforts will not need to be as large as that of a small business competing against very large competitors.  The key is to recognize what market you can successfully play in given your lifting power and the gravity imposed by your competition. 

Look at what happens when a Wal-Mart, Home Depot or Barnes & Nobel moves into town?  These behemoths can present formidable competition yet the nimble businesses in town - recognizing the “gravity” they present - looks for ways to shrink the target market to a size where their lifting capacity is greater than that of their competition.  Specialty retailers are often unfazed by the introduction of a “big box” retailer.  The really clever retailer takes advantage of the situation and promotes his unique products as “special” and “personalized”.  In other words, the smart business reduces the size of the target market they are trying to “lift” to something of a size that allows their current lifters to continue to overcome competitive gravity. 

Along with competition, the other component of gravity is noise.

Noise is the cumulative distractions that all of us encounter in our daily lives.  The deluge of advertising, radios, televisions, ringing phones and the general status of the economy all contribute to the overall noise level through which a company’s messages must emerge.  How does the right message get to the right person at the right time in order to bring about a realization that whatever you are selling is something needed?  If your prospect is looking for a solution, the task is easier.  If the problem you are trying to solve is not yet known, the task is much harder. 

It used to be that what are considered noises today were once considered sources of valuable information.  TV ads were informative.  Now we TiVo our way through them.  Radio shows were sponsored by a single vendor whom everyone knew.  Now we have subscription radio so we can avoid the ads.  Newspapers were the primary source of news about the world around us and now the Internet allows for easy access to more news than any of us are prepared to digest. 

So how do you combat the noise factor.  Networks.  Social networks, referral networks and business networks.  When ads are generally distrusted, consumers turn to friends and colleagues for insights.  They look to someone they trust to give them guidance.  The Internet provides instant access to thousands of viewpoints about almost everything that is for sale.  Consumer Reports has been replaced by social network sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and YouTube.  Clever usage of these tools can result in customers becoming advocates and helping in the lifting efforts.  Does that mean traditional advertising does not work?  No.  It means that you need to be asking your customers how they found out about you (survey) and track any changes in behavior.  You may be surprised to find out that a great many of your customers included on-line research in their buying decision process.  If you are not building your “network”, you may be missing a lot of opportunities to secure customers. 

Thus we have the 2 sides in the battle for business success; the lifters and gravity.  The simple fact is that as long as the capacity of the lifters is greater than the forces combining to create gravity, the business will be successful.  Allow gravity to get the better of your company and without immediate action, the business will fold under the weight.

Do you know who are the lifters in your company?

As always, if you would like help implementing these ideas in your business, please call me regarding available consulting services:  602-492-1088

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Science of Business – Vacuums


There are very few things that Mother Nature hates worse than a vacuum.  Look around you and you will see virtually everything is filled with something.  By definition, a vacuum is space that is empty of matter.  Liquids, solids or gases, Mother Nature continually seeks to fill each and every vacuum encountered.

In the world of science, vacuums can be incredible useful.  Vacuums create suction which can help seal containers, attach things together and help us in our daily cleaning chores.  Our cars depend on vacuums for various emissions and throttle controls.  Pumps of all kinds depend upon vacuums in order to work properly.

Interestingly, when you look at how science has applied vacuums to our everyday lives, the purpose behind a vacuum is to create a flow in a desired direction.  Given that a vacuum is static; it has no motion as it is an absence of matter, isn’t it amazing that this static is actually a source of a flow of matter.

In the world of business, there are clear examples of how the laws surrounding vacuums apply. 

Just as nature abhors a vacuum, so does a business.  When a new market is created or identified, there is effectively a vacuum condition which draws entrepreneurs to fill the void and service this new market.  When an employee leaves a company, there is a void left behind that needs to be filled.  Some companies shuffle remaining staff to fill the void and others hire replacements to fill the void.  However addressed, the void gets filled. 

Successful selling is all about filling a void; getting the prospect to recognize the existence of the void (vacuum) and to help fill that void in an ideal manner.  In fact, were it not for the voids and the vacuum it creates, I suggest to you that there would be no motion in any business.  Commerce does not happen from pushing.  Force is not how a booming business is built.  Quite the contrary.  The booming business is built from identifying a void, enlarging it, filling it and continuing to uncover similar voids and filling them.  The larger the void, the more attention the void attracts and the more people there are trying to supply their solution to fill the void.

This is the obvious application of vacuums to the world of business.  It applies to products, markets, people and leadership.  The voids create vacuums and they will be filled.

There is also a less obvious, but no less important, application of vacuums to business; creating business flows. 

The filling of a void involves flows.  The filling of a vacuum involves those same flows.  Just as science uses vacuums to create flows, so too can a business.  Funny thing about flows, they can only go in 1 direction for so long before they must be reversed.  Let me give you an example.

A common camping trick for creating a shower is to suspend a 1 gallon jug of water from a tree.  Poke a small hole in the bottom of the jug and watch the water start to drain out.  Assuming the lid is secured, the water will exit the jug in a small stream for a minute or so and then stop.  The reason the water stopped flowing out was that a vacuum was created in the top of the jug and it eventually grew strong enough to keep the water in the jug.  Allow air to flow into the jug and water can start flowing out again.  Simple physics.

In business, the same flows apply.  Marketing, advertising, promotion or whatever you want to call it, are all examples of outbound flows.  If you put out enough outbound flows, you will create the hanging jug condition; the outflow cannot continue until an inflow occurs.  The simplicity of this model is that nature will supply the inflow. 

Companies that are unaware of this natural law will often decide to squeeze the “jug” in hopes of getting more sales to occur.  Like the plastic jug, squeezing harder does force more outflow but at what effort level relative to inflow?  Essentially, pushing harder and harder on the target audience does not create inflow just as there is a point in which no more water will exit the jug no matter how hard you squeeze.  

The key is to understand how to balance outflow and inflow. 

In our jug example, the pinhole lets out a very small stream of water.  Does not take long before the water stops flowing.  If the target market for your business is small and clearly identified, the amount of promotion to that audience that is needed in order to create an inflow is not very large.  If your market is very large or not well defined, it will take an outflow that is much larger is size and much longer in duration until the natural inflow condition occurs.  This is a physical law of nature. 

Want your promotion efforts to pay off, narrow the focus as much as you can.  The more specific you can be about the target audience, the more effective the efforts will be.  Once clearly defined, outflow to the targets.  Be sure the message reaches the targets without inundating them.  Then stop and wait for the inflow.  If the inflow does not happen, you either did not reach the audience or the volume was too low.  Verify the audience and increase the volume of outflow.  The wise promotions person will accurately track how much went out and how much has come in. 

As you would expect, the effectiveness of the promotion itself plays a role.  Survey your target audience to find the effective messages before spending large sums of money on promotion.  When you get the right message to the right audience, the inflow happens. 

Vacuums are caused by voids in both business and nature.  Flows occur as a result of filling vacuums.  The smart business owner recognizes this condition and makes it work for him.  A void is an opportunity.  Flows of sufficient volume to the right targets create a vacuum that will create an inflow once the outflow is stopped.  Too much outflow and the process stops – the vacuum is too strong.  Too little outflow and the vacuum takes a long, long time to be created.  Someone else may well see the same void and fill it before you do.  The key is recognize the need for balance.  Enough outflow is needed in order to create the vacuum.  Let the inflow happen and then outflow again. 

Apply this simple concept and your business will expand.  It’s just the laws of nature.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Does Omni-Channel Service Equate to Better Service?

The evolution of customer service delivery channels has sped up in the last few years.  Consumers being connected all the time is having a big impact on the expectations of the consumer and the way in which customer service is delivered.  The real question that needs to be asked; “Are consumers happier with the service they are now receiving?”  Based on the research I am seeing, the answer is NO.  The good news is that service perceptions are not getting worse.

So how is that possible?  Weren’t the new media streams like Facebook, Twitter, on-line chat and browsers supposed to help put an end to unhappiness in the customer base?  Only if you drank the Kool-aid™.

The fact of the matter is that it does not matter whether you call it omni-channel, multi-channel, internet-channel or any other kind of service, if the customers cannot get their answers in a timely way, they are not happy.  If the service model is already a mess, adding more media streams only makes things worse.  Today, the penalties for poor service are very swift and severe. 

So what should companies be doing to avoid these penalties?  Simple.

  1. Recognize that at the end of the day, the agents carry the load when it comes to service.  I have read hundreds of Twitter and FB rants and only rarely is the rant solely about a web page or an IVR script.  Almost always, there is an unskilled agent involved.  Train agents on the knowledge and people skills they need for their job and verify each area on a regular basis. 

  1. Recognize that not all media are created equal.  English is not a simple language.  Neither are a great many other languages.  The ability to write those languages and to know both what to say and how to say it is not a universal skill.  Each new media embraced as part of the customer service model brings along unique skill requirements that must be met.  Agent skill-inventories are the easiest way to identify whom among the existing staff are either qualified or could be quickly qualified to take on the new media.  Skill-inventories have a short shelf life so regular verification is needed.

  1. Silos are the biggest barrier to the customer service process.  Silos reflect a management structure that places politics ahead of service with a few exceptions needed for legal reasons.  Silos are found in data, product and media areas.
  2. >From a data standpoint, there needs to be 1 picture of each customer.  That picture will be a composite, drawing information from multiple systems, but it needs to appear to the agent as a single system. 

    Product silos prevent agents from seeing the breadth of a customer’s involvement with a company.  Is the bank 1 company with 50 different products to offer or 50 small banks each with a single product?  If you want a relationship with your customers, you know the correct answer.

Media decides how the agent and customer interact.  Agent to customer-data should always be comprehensive and agnostic with regard to media.  Do not give the social media agents different information than that which the voice agents access.  With the proper skilling, they may well be the same agent. 

The well-designed customer service system is built on a foundation of comprehensive customer data accessed by properly skilled agents and self-service systems through communication avenues considered appropriate for the industry.  While the underlying communication technologies may change, the basic mandates have been around as long as there have been customers and vendors.  

Monday, November 04, 2013

Barriers to home automation

You have 2 paths that I can see to get the autonomous home to become a reality: industry committee agreement or gorilla creates defacto protocol. Industry committees are the slowest method of getting a standard but, as you know from history, are the best method to get an initial core set of companies to come to an agreement and then enlist the support of other companies to embrace the emerging standard.  Takes some time but it creates a market leader in the form of a committee.  The gorilla is the other path and always the fastest.  Not the most fair and not always the best method but when the gorilla moves, the rest of the market takes notice.

Imagine if Apple were to define a protocol for communicating between all system in the house.  They would also bring out various software controls and an intelligent "hub" to which everything communicated.  The iOS world would simply be an access means for modifying the settings and logic to be applied by the hub.  This would be the perfect gorilla for this marketplace.  In fact, I have been wondering why Tim Cook is so blind to the obvious opportunity.

If I were a gambling man, I would bet the industry committee, slow as it is, beats Apple to the punch.  Motorola might have been a possibility but Google has ripped out their guts and left a shell.  Honeywell has the controller chops but not the consumer visibility to make it happen.  Look for them to help form the initial industry committee.  Nest?  Committee.  Johnson Controls?  Committee.    Sharp, Samsung, Mitsubishi?  Committee.  

All we need right now is the leader to emerge to help form the committee and get the specification started.  Any volunteers?

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Customer-Designed Experience

Like many others, it is great to see that the big consumer companies are starting to recognize the importance of the consumer in the service experience. That said, I have yet to really see any company label their effort "The Customer Designed Experience." 

With all the technology that exists today, why is it that my preferences are not integral to the overall design of the experience. 

Why can I not show up at Starbucks and just give them my membership card and tell them I want item 2 from my menu? That's all I should need to say as I have programmed in my favorites on the membership site. They also ought to have access to a running account of where the card has been used and what it is that I have been buying. 

Every connection with the customer needs to leave behind "footprints." Build the mobile tools to both push and pull these footprints. 

Imagine walking into a Quiznos after you have used their mobile app to collect the orders for all your colleagues. You arrive at Quiznos, bump the order into their system via NFC, assuming you have not already sent it via your phone/tablet, and the complete order is transferred. 

Safeway has a mobile app that allows me to load it with coupons for the things I want on my shopping list. The missing step is to allow me to scan the items as I put them in my cart so that I know I got everything on the list and that the promo pricing is applicable - I might have grabbed the size that was not on special or perhaps the wrong brand. Let me display my bar code via my smartphone or my membership card to secure the discounts. Grab via NFC? Works for me. It is all about giving each consumer choices when it comes to interactions. Some days it is easier to grab my Safeway card from my wallet than it is to fire up the Safeway app on my phone. 

The idea here is that me, the consumer, is a vital part of designing the overall experience. Really smart mobile apps that allow me to do what I want when I want. Web site interfaces that can be personalized and share info with the mobile apps. A single history of interactions that span all media forms. 

When I start seeing that kind system, I know which companies will be getting my loyalty.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Understanding Workforce Optimization

I read an article today about workforce optimization, WFO, and was struck by the author’s viewpoint.  Seems she saw WFO encompassing the hiring process in addition to the more traditional performance management and scheduling elements.  This viewpoint, yes, it is valid, is a bit different from the WFO definitions from sources such as Gartner or DMG.  To be honest, I think all of them get it right but none of them has the complete picture.  In fact, the WFO descriptions are beginning to sound a lot like the story of the 6 blind men trying to describe an elephant.

Optimizing a workforce is not a product category as much as it a strategy; a very high level strategy.  In my experience, understanding WFO starts with understanding the 4 pillars that make up the strategy:  Segmentation, Routing, Skills, & Schedules. 

To understand how these 4 pillars intersect one another, let’s walk through a typical interaction. 

An existing customer picks up the phone and dials Acme Widgets about an order not yet received.  Once the caller is identified, the routing engine is engaged to perform a number of tasks.  Looking at the contact history in the CRM system, the customer’s preferences and contact history are retrieved.  In short, the customer gets segmented by the routing engine. 

The routing engine then goes about locating a suitable resource for the customer.  Among the many decision criteria available to the router is a list of skills or attributes about each and every agent.  That list of skills mimics the customer segmentation model and is part of WFO. 

The job of the router is to find the most appropriate match between agent and customer.  Notice I did not say “best available” agent.  Once that agent is located, the call is delivered to the agent and the customer engagement occurs. 

So how did the list of skills come about?  How often are the skill values verified?  How do you know they align with the customer segmentation model?  What about the availability of the agents?  Are you able to forecast volumes at the site level or can you forecast at the activity level?  Can you forecast at the customer segment level?  What role does segmentation play in the overall forecasting model?  Does the scheduling model built on your forecasting model take into account agent skills?  Can your scheduling model dynamically adjust staffing assignments or is it static once published? 

These are all valid WFO questions though sadly, they are too frequently seen as a routing question or a WFM question or a training question.  The fact of the matter is that how you assign, measure and track agent skills has an impact on both WFM and interaction routing.  Performance management tools, KPIs from the ACD and the variety of subjective feedback mechanisms have an impact on the skills measurement process which then has an impact on routing.  A change to the customer segmentation model is not just a change of marketing as it has implications that effect routing strategies and agent skills.  When you affect skills you affect agent training and WFM….and the list goes on.

WFO seems just like the elephant until you step back far enough to see what is really there.  It is very clear to me why WFO is a relatively new category within the contact center market.  Until the various modules in the call center were integrated, it was very hard to really see an elephant not to mention that virtually every company was organizationally structured to reinforce the 4 pillars as being separate services with largely independent objectives. 

Today, the software in the contact center is largely integrated, lots of it is hosted and there really is no reason for the pillars to be silos.  It is time to take that large step back, look at the customer experience process from a much broader perspective and architect the various customer service processes knowing that there is a ripple effect that needs to be embraced.

The agents, the clerks in the stores, the staff at the airport check-in desk and anyone else who comes in contact with customers are the most valuable resources in a business.  WFO is about optimizing their skills and talents and applying those in ways that exceed the customer expectation.  Accomplish that and you will have optimized the workforce.

I’d like to hear your thoughts about WFO.  Please reply to this posting and let me know if your organization operates with the 4 pillars as silos or are they connected through more than a handful of software APIs.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spelling Bee or Memorization Test?

Have you ever watched the National Spelling Bee?  Pretty phenomenal watching the kids spell some pretty amazing words.  I am certain long hours were spent on the part of every contestant memorizing long lists of words known to be included in the overall list of words.

As I listened to the latest contest, I wondered how many of the words the kids were spelling were words the kids could fully define.  Seems to me that the contest is really a big exercise in memorization rather than a contest that brings about an explosion in the vocabulary of all the contestants. 

Imagine what would happen if the National Spelling Bee required that each child spelled the word and then provided at least 1 definition of the word and a sample sentence using the word correctly.  The vocabulary increase of every child would be enormous.  Perhaps the slaughter of English as I learned it would be slowed as children all over the country would be learning the meaning of lots of words rather than just memorizing the spelling list.

Sadly, I do not see this ever happening.  Our current school systems focus on “memorize and regurgitate” rather than “understand and apply.”  The current Spelling Bee format is a game of the latter when it ought to be a game of the former. 

If it were possible to draft an open challenge to the current Spelling Bee system, then I would gladly issue the challenge but alas, the school systems in the US are not interested in students being able to think.  Their system of measurement is strictly based on memorization.

What do you think?  Would you like to see The National Spelling Bee changed to become the National Vocabulary Contest?

Monday, April 08, 2013

More Than a Watch

I have had my Pebble watch for about a month now and I can tell you it is an amazing bit of technology.  As I have sifted through all the ways is has allowed me to change behaviors for the better, I have also realized that there are a couple of larger impacts that the Pebble is having that few seem to notice.

Impact #1:  Pebble and the Phablet

My son remarked to me the other day about the growth of the screen size of phones that are coming to market and how some will no longer fit in many pockets.  I remarked that the baby boomers like me are happily plunking down lots of cash for these larger screens rather than hunt for reading glasses every time an email or text message arrives.  In fact, even without eyesight issues, larger phones are just easier to read even though they are not designed for a “holster” connected to a belt or purse strap.  My Pebble with its Bluetooth connection means I do not need to pull out my phablet phone every time an alert happens.  This is a big nuisance removed from my life.

The Pebble watch face may be a bit small, perhaps even blurry for un-aided eyes, but I can tell what type of alert set my wrist to buzzing and whether or not the cause is worth digging out my phablet.  I suspect that as more phablet-sized phones get sold, the convenience that Pebble offers will become as desired as the Bluetooth headset that these large phones really need. 

Impact #2:  The Birth of an Industry

Many of you may well be too young to recall the Apple Newton or the Casio Boss.  Neither survived long as both suffered from various missing functionality.  Enter the Pilot, the name “Palm” came later.  Initially, like the Pebble, the Pilot arrived with a slightly different objective in mind than that of the preceding PDAs.  The Pilot was designed to be more than an organizer and configurable to the needs of the users.  Its size allowed it to be held comfortably in one hand with data entered via a stylus and a “strange” form of shorthand we know as Graffiti. 

Initially, the Pilot was a novelty and many critics lamented the need for more software.  The fact of the matter is that out of the box, the Pilot allowed the user to keep track of their contact list and calendar and take notes among the handful of apps available.  It also synchronized the various apps on my desktop computer.  The simple design was the personification of the niche for which it was designed; a device that was small, easy to access, suitable PDA applications, decent battery life and extensible via SDK.  It was meant to complement the bulky desktop computers we all had along with pens and paper.  Turns out, the Pilot was the right combination of features and the market took off.

The Pebble is history repeating itself.  The initial release has a limited set of software apps with more coming via the SDK.  The market niche being addresses is uniquely defined not as a computer on my wrist but as a notification-enabling extension of my phone.  Personally, I do not want a computer on my wrist.  Costs too much and the screen would be too small.  I did not buy a Pilot because I wanted a PC in my pocket.  I did not buy a Nano and make it into a watch because it did not and does not have the functionality that I want.  The Pebble does exactly what I want; let me screen the phone-based alerts without having to drag out my phone. 

As the developer community continues to build apps and Pebble continues to expose more of the inner workings of the Pebble to the developers, look for the idea of “phone extension” to become a monster market.

Accelerometer, magnetometer, CPU, memory, backlight and buttons.  Imagine apps on your phone with remote control functions on your Pebble.  OnStar.  Are you listening?  Home automation via Pebble?    Just scroll the Pebble screen, hit a button and change the thermostat setting.  How many apps are on your phone today for which interactions via a small screen and a couple of buttons would mean no need to drag out the phone?

While the Pebble may appear to have lots of competitors today and in the near term, none have the price point and focused niche that can be found in Pebble.  Like the initial Pilot, the Pebble has nailed the combination of features and launched a race to lead this new market.  I, for one, cannot wait for the pace to pick up speed.

I’d like to get your thoughts on these ideas and on Smashtalk.  Please visit my web site @

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Summer of Sequels Comes to Text Messaging

It’s approaching summertime which means it’s time for sequels.  We have already had the latest Die Hard movie.  The Wizard of Oz now has a sequel.  SpiderMan 2 is coming as is another round of Transformers and X-Men. 

So why does Hollywood have such a reliance on sequels?  Money.  Nothing more complicated than that.  If an original movie did well, sequels are created to extend the revenue stream the original movie produced.  In short, take a successful idea and extend the usefulness of the idea to create continued revenue streams.  If the formula did not work, you can be sure that Hollywood would not create the vast number of sequels it does every year.

Technology is the same.  Apple has grown to be very successful by creating sequels of all their hottest products.  In many cases, these sequels are delivered long before a dip in the current revenue streams occurs.  HP used to do the same with printers.

Did you know that text messaging has a sequel waiting in the wings.  That’s right.  The most ubiquitous form of sharing information has a new version ready to be delivered to every text messaging user in the world.  Want to see success built upon success?  That’s Smashtalk®

Smashtalk is the sequel to the current form of text messaging.  Like a movie sequel, current texting users will quickly recognize the original and find the sequel to be even better. 

Smashtalk is text messaging that includes Reply-All functionality.  No web sites.  No change of behavior.  No impact to the carrier’s network.  Send a text message to a group of friends or colleagues and each recipient can reply with a single text message that goes to everyone on the original recipient list.  It’s just like e-mail but done with text messaging.

Smashtalk is fully backwards compatible with existing phones thus allowing Smashtalk messages to be received as if they were sent by an old-fashioned phone.

Simply put, Smashtalk is the sequel to the current generation of text messaging and Smashtalk patents are available for licensing.  Smashtalk is running today on PCs and Macs and can be easily ported to any telephony device.

If you are ready for the text messaging sequel, contact your carrier and demand they provide you Smashtalk on your phone.  Isn’t it time you enjoy a sequel that makes your life easier each and every day?

Come visit us and use our links to let your carrier know you want Smashtalk.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Smashtalk® is Like the Bicycle

Bicycles are a major form of transportation all over the world today.  It is amazing when you look at the history of bicycles how one key change to the design of the bicycle changed the nature of bicycles forever.  Smashtalk® is poised to do the same to the world of text messaging.

In 1817, Baron von Drais invented a walking machine that would help him get around the royal gardens faster: two same-size in-line wheels, the front one steerable, mounted in a frame which you straddled.  The device was propelled by pushing your feet against the ground, thus rolling yourself and the device forward in a sort of gliding walk.  It wasn't until 1865 that pedals were added.  That’s 48 years between invention and the first major improvement.

Text messaging celebrated its 20 year anniversary this past November.  Like the bicycle, it’s taken a long time for any evolutionary changes to come to the world of text messaging.  That first evolutionary change is Smashtalk.

Smashtalk is native text messaging with the Reply-All functionality that ought to have been available from day 1.  Like pedals on a bicycle, Smashtalk changes everything about text messaging. 

Want to hold a real-time conversation with multiple friends or colleagues?  Smashtalk lets you do this without involving e-mail or web sites. 

Need to make a quick decision amongst multiple colleagues?  Smashtalk is the answer and works across all the carrier networks without their having to change anything. 

Worried about exposing your friend’s cell numbers through Reply-All?  Not a problem.  Smashtalk only displays names.  You cannot reply to names for which you do not possess a valid text messaging address.

The fact of the matter is that Smashtalk opens a lot of new doors as far as usage, functionality and benefit to all who have mobile devices that can send or receive text messages.  Even if you do not have a Smashtalk-enabled device, you will still receive Smashtalk messages.  What you will see is exactly what you see today; the name of the sender and the option to reply to the sender.

Smashtalk is running today on both Windows and Mac computers.  It is patented technology that is easily ported to any mobile operating system.  It is also inexpensive to license.

I invite you to visit and click on the link to send a message to senior executives at Google asking them to include Smashtalk in Android.  Let them know that you can see the impact Smashtalk would have on how you connect with your friends and you want Smashtalk on your smartphone and tablet.. 

Isn't it time that text messaging got a set of “pedals?”

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Text Messaging is like Windshield Wipers

What do windshield wipers and text messaging have in common?  More than you may imagine.

When cars were first being built, windshield wipers came 1 to a car and were manually twisted back and forth to clear the windshield.  The process, while primitive by today’s standard, worked just fine.  Cars did not travel at high speed and were not well sealed so driving in the rain was not a great experience wipers or not. 

Electric wipers were an innovation that added quite an expense and were commonly viewed as a feature for only the high-end cars.  It took a number of years before all cars came equipped with electric wipers.  As history has shown, without the introduction of electric wipers, driving cars at high speeds in the rain would be impossible.  Few people saw that potential limitation until cars started to go faster.  Text messaging is following this same evolutionary path.

Text messaging, recently celebrating 20 years of existence, is a very simple and easy way to send 160 characters to 1 or more recipients.  Like the first design of wipers, text messaging of today is antiquated and ripe for improvements.  The “motor-driven” version of SMS is text messaging with “Reply-All” functionality.  Sadly, until now, the majority of efforts to deploy this feature have involved the use of 3rd party web sites.  In the wiper business, this is akin to using air jets to blow rain off the windshield instead of improving the wiper mechanism.

Smashtalk® is the “electric motor” version of text messaging.  Smashtalk is native text messaging but with the Reply-All capability baked right into the software.  No 3rd party web sites.  No change to the carrier infrastructure.  No learning curve for the consumer.  Best of all, full backward compatibility with all existing SMS systems is native in Smashtalk.

The real question the telecom industry ought to be asking is what advances will occur once Smashtalk is adopted by all the mobile OS vendors?  Smashtalk’s Reply-All capability along with its application to application messaging is certain to change the way people and applications communicate.

Contact your carrier and handset vendor today and demand Smashtalk.  The future of text messaging awaits those with the vision to see the breadth of possibilities.