September 30, 2010

Apples & Berries

What did you think about the recent announcement of the BlackBerry PlayBook?

It's never an easy task when you're late in the game especially when you're going head-to-head against a device that introduced an entirely new product experience, that got so much buzz, so many reviews. I also believe the game is less about hardward and more about applications and the disruptive business model of the incredibly intuitive App Store. If the PlayBook doesn't bring anything new to the table except supporting flash, it only reinforces that Apple is the true industry thought leader.

September 24, 2010

Challenger thinking in São Paulo

This week Adam Morgan - the creative thinker behind EatBigFish - is in Brazil as part of the Future Speaker Series. It's always a tremendous pleasure listening to him speak about challenger strategy. Fresh, thought-provoking and powerful concepts that can help anyone who needs inspiration to grow their business by changing the rules of the game.

I personally love one of the challenger credos: sacrifice and overcommit - the notion of clearly defining what you're willing to sacrifice to build a strong engaging brand story. Always easier said than done. We tend to believe that there's always opportunity for a product tweak here and there or adding another claim on the package or launching a new line extension or even expanding to another category, many times diluting what the brand stands for.

Adam and his team are also fabulous story tellers. Click here to explore some of their thinking.

September 17, 2010

Ideas That Spread

Next week, Jaboticaba Publishing House will be launching the book "Ideias Que Espalham / Ideas That Spread", a collaborative effort that brought together 12 Brazilian thinkers around a common theme.

The idea was inspired by Seth Godin's "The Big Moo", suggested a year ago by Alexandre Peralta - head of StrawberryFrog Brazil - inviting some interesting people with different professional backgrounds to write a chapter on their experiences of creating ideas that spread... ideas that eventually became part of a cultural movement.

The list of collaborators include the Campana Brothers - Brazil's coolest product designers, Heitor Dhaila - one of Brazil's most successful film directors and screenwriters - João Batista Chiaco - head of marketing at Fiat Brazil and one of the country's most award-winning professionals and Adam Morgan - the intellectual genius behind EatBigFish - just to name a few.

I took part in the project writing one of the chapters, which was a new yet daunting experience for me. More on the book next week...

Nobody's Backyard

Following a tradition of great news coverage on Latin America, The Economist Sept.11 edition is a must-read.

After the fantastic Nov.'09 cover "Brazil Takes Off" with the image of Rio's Christ The Redeemer taking off into the future, this month's special 14-page edition has an upside map of the region with the great headline "Nobody's Backyard - The Rise of Latin America".

September 16, 2010

Talking apps

Two days ago, I sat down to talk to a friend who I hadn't seen in a few months (something I need to do more of). This guy is the wired type that knows it all and is always a pleasure to talk to. It's funny how, a few years ago we would have talked about what's hot in São Paulo's restaurant scene or catch up on who is doing what, especially since we have some many friends in common.

What happened was, the conversation revolved pretty much around the latest apps we've downloaded and our opinion about the brands that we think are doing a good job taking advantage of new media. It was fun.

Sign of the times...

September 2, 2010

Revolutionizing Education

After reading this article in Fortune Magazine, I went to YouTube to check out the Kahn Academy channel in YouTube. In you haven't seen it yet, there you'll find over 1,600 videos that will blow you away. From the Pythagorean Theory to how to calculate EBITDA... powerful concepts explained in a beautifully simple way. The educational videos created by Salman Kahn are the best examples of how the internet can and will revolutionize education. I spent the four past nights immersed in these amazing mini lectures.

Proof that simple ideas can change the world.