UI and UX Release

July Release is a Great Accomplishment For Our Teams

The has done a great job of navigating the trials of the startup world. The team started off with a great R&D project to rethink the traditional processes of user generated reviews. From there they built a great prototype and an extensible framework that helped us get some market validation and raise seed funds.

At this stage we really started to think about the features and usability and this led us to rethink the original code base. This meant a lot of rearchitecting and refactoring. We added some additional new technical talent and UX expertise and set out to rethink the user experience.

Now in July the teams are nearing a series of releases to launch that will change both above and below the surface. But what won’t be visible on the screen is all the work then went into maturing the processes, the late nights and the hard work. So when we celebrate this team’s accomplishments, there is a lot more to be proud of than you can see.

LA Times Interview on The fallout for Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Startup culture is a very interesting topic. At its best it is a source of great creative power. At its worst, it can distract and destroy. That was the source of an LA Times interview that I did regarding Uber. The situation at Uber is a great example of the later. But the fallout for CEO Travis Kalanick is a symptom not the cause. The cause to me, is that the pendulum to protect founders from outside interference has arguable swung too far. Nobody likes the story of the brilliant, creative founder forced out by the suits. But the clear dynamic for 10 years has been something entirely different. Startup CEOs are barely accountable to anyone – including their own board and investors.

I had a chance to read the Holder report as soon as it was released and I raised concerns about it changing any hearts and minds. The subsequent comments and resignation of David Bonderman demonstrates, I believe, how little a report can change a culture.



A Few Mega Platforms Are Quietly Killing Free Traffic. Here Is What it Means For Marketers

I recently published an article on LinkedIn and sent out this press release on the mega platforms. As it says, a small number of websites are gaining control over larger portions of internet traffic. This means that sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a handful of others are growing their own traffic faster than internet traffic itself is growing.

Systematically these sites are focusing on better monetizing that traffic which is good for their financial performance (in most cases) but it means a major shakeup for marketers.

Look at the major changes at each of the big players. YouTube is under criticism for how it structures its agreements with content providers and its content strategy is highly controversial among big YouTube promoters. Google’s changes have been to reduce the effectiveness of SEO overall while shifting more content to being delivered right in search results. Facebook and Twitter have really gotten serious about advertising. These and many other changes have the effect of promoting paid traffic solutions in place of previously ‘free’ organic ones. Even Amazon’s marketplace and online store strategy shifts eCommerce traffic from several sources (including organic search) to paid Amazon services. All this has big ramifications for marketers

thank you for reading

Mike Zammuto

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