enterpreneurship

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You all remember Samer Karam’s brainchild @cooki3man, which was the first twitter based business model. Through @cookieman you could order cookies baked according to Samer’s secret recipe via DM ( and later on via email). And whilst the business was quite successful and many were jumping to place orders and batches were running out fast, legend has it Samer’s oven broke down and he moved back to more serious and less sugar rush inducing endeavors.

 

But it seems there is another business that is willing to explore the power of twitter’s word of mouth business growth.

 

Having been punked by the Brand Protection Group Campaign recently, having @taxilb adding near April 1st, did not speak in their favor, as I am as cautious as ever.  But indeed I am curious and have been watching them interact online stirring quite a commotion amongst the twittershphere with their value proposition.

 

Taxi Lb order a taxi via twitter

 

 

 

And some of their posts are plain hilarious:

Taxi Lb order a taxi via twitter

 

It does not seem that any one has tried them out yet, but their rates sound very reasonable and their online persona is very bubbly.

Quite interestingly, the business started with an twitter account before even launching the website.

Taxi Lb order a taxi via twitter

 

Well that is all I know for now, but of course  I am full of questions wanting to know who is behind this service and how the business is going so far and if anybody has used it.

 

Lets keep looking, maybe next time I have to take my car for maintenance I will try them out!

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I wrote it last week, just as I came back from a special press screening of The Social Network Movie, which will be released on October 28th, courteously provided by the lovely and amazing guys at Cineklik (with no strings attached as usual).

Let me just start by saying that everyone who is into Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Entrepreneurship, creativity and how new ideas are born, or just plain corporate ball games needs to watch this movie.

The plot amazingly intertwines the evolution of human relations and synergies with how ideas grow, expand and catch on. It also asks the eternal questions of: What gets people creative? Why do we do the things we do? What is right and what is wrong? What is the worth of an idea? What is the best business model for a DOT – COM? In short it is about how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook and the players who pitched in, in all the different ways. And how they all search for the absolute truth.

It is the first movie in a very long while that makes me want to talk about it for hours and hours non-stop – This is the genius of the script, the brilliance of the actors and how it all well resonates with our fast paced realities and the “Youth” being the movers and shakers in this Business Era, while lawyers and far more experienced people try to grasp the ideas.

The Social Network Poster

I loved how it explores what made Facebook different from the Hi5, Myspace and Friendsters of the time, and zooms into how each element of the facebook profiles evolved.  It is true magic how every player in a company plays a certain role to peg it forward, but then again not all of them are recognized…. Well I will not say more, you have to watch the movie to get the train of philosophical analysis rolling.

The final thing I want to add is that it will turn into a cult movie that will elevate the pedestal Facebook as brand is on both among Technocrats, Entrepreneurs, SM Freaks and wannabees. In my opinion it is the best product placement feat since “Career Opportunities” and it came spot in the next wave of the 2nd Dot-Com boom. Using Facebook, after watching the movie, simply becomes a religious experience. Try it!

Disclaimer: This is NOT a solicited review, the movie simply rocks.

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-What is Live Tweeting?

- It is a lot like Live TV transmissions or Live Radioshows, only on Twitter.


But , you’ll say that everyone is Live Tweeting, and you are right because Twitter is all about the NOW. But you need to think of Live Tweeting as a live transmission of some football championship or a Miss World pageant, per se. It has to do with live coverage of a certain event by tweeps through tweets.

So why would you* Live Tweet ?

1- For Advanced and Compact Note-taking

Live tweeting seemed very natural to me, being a multi-tasker by nature, it is very hard for me to concentrate on one thing. So concentrating on a talk, while tweeting, helps me concentrate better on both.  But not everyone is as screwed as me, I know. So think about it this way. If you watch Oprah, you’ll notice Oprah sometimes repeats several times tips, ‘aha moments’, conclusions, main idea during the talk show to direct the conversation and concentrate the viewer’s attention. In that context, livetweeting is the equivalent of bullet-point summarizing an event. But instead of using pen and paper, you now have the ability to do that online, while sharing it with everyone who is interested in ”what are you doing right now” – your twitter followers. Which brings us to the next reason to live tweet.

2- For Personal Branding

When you are at an event, especially a conference, you hold access to privileged information. Afterall, there are a maximum of 2,000 people at this event, sharing the same experiences with you at that moment. As we are in the ME, a maximum of a 100 (very optimistically) of these might be tweeting about it. How many people are out there who want to know what is happening at this event? How many are tracking the event’s hashtag? How many searching this event on Google? How many people will RT a clever idea, a quote or a remark you beam from the trenches? By providing quality ( content is king at all times) exclusive information, you are not only tweeting to your followers, you are tweeting to everyone interested in the event/subject. Are you seeing the implications of this: the greater number of followers/blog readers you will get, the people at the event who will want to meet you, the grateful organizers who you can now ask for a favor….

And after a series of live tweets of various events, you will have complete authority in the community on the subject matter(s) you’ve covered, but not only that, they will be grateful to you for sharing your experience and dedicating your time to making them a part of it , their own Prometheus. In short, “Sharing is caring!” and caring in the Social Media world is always recompensed in tenfold.

{Not to mention that some events now provide free entrance to live bloggers and live tweeters}

3- To Promote Your Event (During the Event)

Here’s something I learned from the queen of  twitterEven if you do not have one follower on twitter, even if no one in your niche knows what twitter is, you can still harness its power. You can summarize the key points of your event as it happens, you can post photos of your event live and display your whole twitter stream on YOUR event’s website.

Did I hear someone say: “What if my customer / target group does not visit the website, is not computer literate?”

Well if worst, comes to worst, besides advising you to find a job in a web 2.0 savvy industry, I am going to tell you two things. One, it is always hard to be the pioneer, but you will leverage the greatest benefits. Sooner or later everyone will be online, be it on twitter or any other en-mode platform. But now you have the advantage of learning the rules of engagement, and experimenting with social media limitlessly, something you will not be able to do in the future. ans second, if for nothing else, once your event is over, you will need to have a good old press release or or your newsletter (printed or online). And the summary of all the tweets about your event ( be it yours, or your community’s)is not only a good place to start gathering your thoughts, but also a good appendix to your press kit (all of which is a part of traditional media) . And third… well I was going to talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) again, but then I remebered you are still in Web -1 so ask me about it when you catch up!

There is not one resource, more powerful than twitter for spreading word of mouth, and that is what marketers dream day and night about, isn’t it? So Why not use it and leverage it, after all, it is also FREE!

4- To measure an event’s success

As I said, everyone needs to be concerned about word of mouth, and your real estate space on the web. By announcing an event hashtag prior the event, provide a live-tweets stream on your site displaying all tweets with your hash tag, reply to all questions and comments, learn from positive and negative feedback… then you are on the right track. It has become customary to evaluate and event’s reach, success through evaluating the volume, quality of tweets during and after it.

Simply: Tweets = Publicity = Brand Equity

5-To promote your business in the context of the event

If you are just attending/visiting an industry related event or venue, on behalf of your business / personal brand, you can tweet about things that are in context of what your company does around the subject of the event. Let us say your company sells Ceramic tiles. “Twitter and Ceramic Tiles?! !” – say you? Well you go to Italian Exhibitions about Ceramic Tiles, don’t you? Do your customers know that? Wouldn’t they want to know what kind of tiles you are going to buy for your new collection, what are the tile trends this season, what colors/materials are in? Wouldn’t they want to see some photos? Wouldn’t they want to share this with others who want to buy tiles, change their home decor, interested in interior design?

And now tell me, wouldn’t that enhance YOUR company’s image as a point of reference and an expert in YOUR  field?

As I mentioned, Live Tweeting has always felt very natural to me, but what has inspired me to write this post  was the launch of livetweeting.com today for the live broadcasting of LeWeb to the Arab world. Livetweeting is the 1st Arab Live Tweeting Platform with Crowd-sourced Translation to and from Arabic.

” A group of live tweeters will be covering the event in its Native Language, for example English, and at the same time multi-lingual tweeters will crowdsource translation of the coverage to a second language, for example Arabic. All that will be presented in real-time on LiveTweeting.com.”

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* as a marketer , someone who is online for networking or building their personal brand

* you may also want to check some tips for livetweeting

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I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, but was always afraid to approach it, or undermine the importance of the subject matter. Because it is a story that personally touched me & encourages me to push myself every day…

In her last month in the company Angi had an extra beat to her step, a glamorous shine in her eyes and was always accompanied by a very trendy white clutch bag. Only at the farewell party, did I find out that this is what she was planning to do in the future – her own brand of hand bags, purses and clutches…. I instantly had a million questions and incessantly bullied her into answering them & showing me more….

The Dream

“I always had it my head that I want to do something, my own thing, so that people will know this is Angi“*, Angi told me. But when there is a flood of Graphic designers with raging price wars, Angi though to herself : “What does a girl want? What can’t she do without?“.

The unique business model

Having previous experience with leather business gift items, certainly helped. But please do not understand the challenges of finding perfect quality execution, raw material suppliers and building a satisfactory business model. All of which Angi has achieved through sweat and blood slash careering between her office job and her entrepreneurial dream.

She focused on selling through various exhibitions, getting the word out through Facebook, and certainly satisfied customers. She told me that a whole chain of recurring clients can sometimes build up through one random purchase: “A guy buys a bag for his girlfriend, then his mother, then his friend wants to buy for his fiance… and now you have a group of loyal clients.”

And her business-model has a lot of integrity too. “I do not pitch up my prices like many retailers do, it simply doesn’t work for me, my prices are fixed and I can not bargain a lot with my clients, but at the end, I would never allow myself to price a handbag over what I, as a young girl, would afford to pay for one…It is not fair  it is not right…”. Angi told me that on average all  her handbags are between 30-65 USD, which is a premium bargain, since they are hand made in Lebanon using the best materials and accessories.

Going an extra mile is also normal for Angi, she accepts orders via telephone and can even design custom models upon request. Moreover, she is ready to deliver anywhere within Lebanon, and she even does it in person most of the time.

Angi Barakat Biel Invitation

The Future

Besides being in every major exhibition on the Lebanese terrain, Angi is now planning to open her own store really soon, and is also working hard on launching her own website. And she is happy with what she has achieved so far – ” The good thing is that people are starting to know Angi as a brand.”

 

So even if you are not in need of a handbag drop by the Mother & Baby exhibition @ Biel to meet this extraordinarily inspiring girl, who has such amazing energy. Maybe it will rub off on you, as it did on me :) And remember if you think hard enough about it and work enough your dreams will come true too.

 

 

 

Do you know any other successful young entrepreneurs?

*All quotes in this post are liberal and not literal

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layalisoulelatik

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