Tag Archives: Harry Webber

Being Too Small To Fail.

What a week. Using this blog as a productivity tool has proven to be a worthwhile strategy. It has certainly held my feet to the fire to follow through on the weekly tasks I set for myself. And as a silent collaborator ( at this point there appears to be no audience to comment) it is certainly a motivating influence to document and record the infinite number of steps it will take for me to realize my ultimate goal of reinventing advertising.

I had hoped to get Fantazzzmia.com back up and running this week but alas, there is more work to do in the redesign and I still need to find an economic way of hosting the eCommerce component required to accurately track both click-throughs and conversions (to sales) that will be critical to establishing a viable proof on concept.

Along with the the multitude of physical elements needed to bring NeoAdvertising to life, there are also any number of “soft” hurdles to be scaled. Key among those is just the emotional effort required to sustain the energy required to do what must be done day in and day out. For that, I try to inspire myself with the search for experiences and insights offered by others who have traveled this path and subsiquently met with success. One such individual is Howard Lindzon who sold his webshow WallStrip to CBS. His advice was as follows:

“Today’s geeks need to focus on product building. CEO’s need to concentrate on their fucking customers, not how many links their personal blogs get. In my speech today at Start-Up Empire I focused on three things entrepreneurs must focus on right now:

1. Noise Reduction – Focus on a few voices that have been honest and correct

2. Social Leverage – Learn it, embrace it and freaking use it. Avoid Financial leverage as your crutch.

3. Get the product ready and out the door. Get customers. Save your ‘freemium’ ideas for better days.

Until we are all willing to take the pain and start to save and invest again, Being ‘Too Small to Fail’ is all you have got.”

For me it was the right words at the right time to dig me out of the end-of-week doldrums that greet most entrepreneurs in lieu of a paycheck. I sent him a thank you note and he responded right away with, ” Great. Keep cranking.” And so I will.

Creating The Perfect “Client” From Scratch.

How do we intend to prove whether or not we have successfully reinvented advertising? Easy. I have 89 boxes of an children’s bedtime book called “Fantazzzmia: Were Dreams Are Born.” It is a beautifully illustrated bedtime story book that creates a world in the clouds where children travel to in their sleep, to begin their nightly dreams. Simple enough product to sell to families with young children or those looking for a gift for a young child. If I can make a significant dent in that 89 box inventory, I’ll know we are on to something.

We used Fantazzzmia as the product in our initial Project Branswers alpha test. The sell through was significant on Amazon.com. But of course we had no way of knowing which sales were generated by Branswers.com. Our findings indicated a great deal of room for improvement on both Branswers.com and on Fantazzzmia.com. which generated the link to Amazon. One of the major improvements was to allow the books to be purchased directly at Fantazzzmia.com. And so that will be a portion of our Beta Test with the Amazon.com sales held back during the test period. Yesterday we started the redesign/redevelopment of the Fantazzzmia.com website. Where as the last Fantazzzmia site was more focused on giving the audience a solid understanding of what happens when their children go to sleep. Very informative and very clinical.

Our post sale interviews indicated that we may have gone too far into the “whys” of children’s dreams and not far enough into the fantasy. Also stories of fantasy do extremely well during periods of economic turmoil. Yesterday’s development session sent us firmly down the path of recreating the “journey” aspect of the child’s dream experience. We got off to a great start. Looking at the work of Japanese designers on ffffound.com was very helpful in getting the ideation process started. We hope to have the new Fantazzzmia.com site up and running by December 1, 2008. We will keep you posted.

Plan. Execute. Learn. Change.

The four steps to success in all things. Yesterday was very productive. I got everything done on my to-do list and finished with an hour to spare. The main accomplishments for the day was pulling together the basic componants for an IAPIA Symposium on NeoAdvertising to be held in January/February of next year and the content and architecture revisions for HarryWebber.com. The theme of the IAPIA Symposium will be, “Why People Think Advertising Sucks” and the topics covered will be as follows:

  • Why nobody cares about advertising any more.
  • Why advertising costs too much.
  • Why nobody notices advertising.
  • How much advertising clutter is too much?

We still have to come up with a form factor for the event. Whether it will exist on-line or in a physical space here in Los Angeles, or both. The main purpose of the symposium is to start building up a support team for the accelerated development of the NeoAdvertising Network platform.

The restaging of the HarryWebber.com website is to convert it from a portfolio site to sell the wonderfulness of me, to a roadmap site to stich together the eight to ten websites and blogs that make up the current NeoAdvertising Network platform.

So yesterday was a strong kick-off for those components. Today, will be the initial planning for the Fantazzzmia.com eCommerce website. Fantazzzmia is a children’s book that we are using as a “Product” to test the sales generation capabilities of NeoAdvertising in the real world. The test will be to compare click throughs from traditional banners posted on MyFirstMortgage.com and the traffic/sales generated by the NeoAdvertising techniques of Branswers.com. Wish me luck.

Bringing Branswers.com Up To Date.

Obviously, the great challenge involved in the reinvention of advertising is to come up with an alternative that works and then being able to prove its merits over the current business model. Add to that, the lack of significant capital to meet such a challenge, head on and you have more than a challenge. You have an impossible dream. Well, Stevie Spielberg once said, “Everything begins with a dream,” so at least we know we are on the right track.

To put ourselves firmly in the real world, we developed a test website to determine the degree of interest/engagement we could expect from the content our earlier research had indicated held the highest levels of interest for the audience. Branswers.com took content from the findings of the IAPIA Study, “The Four Spheres of Interest That Draw the Most Audience Engagement,” and created a series of sub-topics with the best chance of making people care enough to stop, read, and ultimately engage.

The BrAnswers Sub Topics selected for the “Project Branswers” Audience engagement Beta Test were as follows:

How to deal with teen alcohol abuse.

How to travel for free.

How to create passive income opportunities.

How to determine if your teen is a safe driver.

How to convince a friend to stop smoking.

How to have a great vacation for under $1000.

How to retire with a million dollars in the bank.

How to keep yourself happy in spite of anything.

How to develop good ideas and make them work.

How to keep a new baby healthy and happy.

How to become famous.

Now that the alpha stage testing has been completed, we have to deploy our audience feedback and findings in the development of the beta stage for the Branswers.com website. That redesign effort has been under way for a couple of weeks now. One of the big issues brought out in the research has been the readability of content. We also want to revisit the Interface and see if we can make the sight more visually engaging as well. Those are my tasks for today. If I can get them done then I’ll know this blog effort has some merit.

We Can Do This.

“We need to reinvent the way we market to consumers. We need a new model.
It does not exist. No one else has one yet. But we need to get going now.”

A. G. Lafley, Chairman and CEO, Proctor & Gamble, July 2006

I figure, why not. If a nobody from Kansas named Barak Obama can aspire to the White House, then the guy who co-created one of the longest running ad campaign in history* should be able to give Mr. Lafley what he’s been asking for for the past two years. The problem is, I’m just one guy with a Mac and this is gonna take as much money as it took for Obama to win the Presidency. So I’m going to need a lot of help to make this happen.

* “I am Stuck On Band-Aid Brand”