Using Tools As Thought Starters: The Art of the Possible.

With every announcement of corporate layoffs, there has been an increased interest in building small businesses as “displaced” workers look for new ways of making a living. This just may be a very good thing. Without minimizing the pain that accompanies losing a job (it can be traumatic), a world that is connected digitally presents numerous exciting opportunities.

Since no one can be an expert in everything that is out there, I am going to explore some of the tools in my consideration set as we build a business.

It all starts with a business plan and I will get to that next but, first, let’s look at some of the tools that Intridea offers to get the ideas flowing. This is a bit bassackwards but it is a good thought-starter exercise if you are considering a digitally-enabled business. We need new ways to work together and communicate with the marketplace. We’re not going to throw everything old out…but we are going to look new tools and new media consumption patterns. As you look at these tools, think about how they might be used to leverage your business. Think big.

Present.ly: Private Micro-Blogging for Your Business.

Crowdsource: Customer Feedback Widget.

SocialSpring: White-Label Social Networking Platform.

MediaPlug: Media Transcoding Appliance (whew, that’s a mouthful).

Scarlr: Cloud Computing, Minus the Sky High Prices.

Intridea offers a program that I think is brilliant. It is called Live In Five and what they will do is implement your business concept in five days. Devloping a proof-of-concept is always critical and frequently problematic. The Live In Five program is very powerful because there is a big difference between talking about a business and actually building one.

In Paul Gillin’s book, The New Influencers, he desrcibes “The Marketer’s Dilemma”. “The shift to small markets served and influenced by an entirely new breed of opinion-leaders is a sea change for markters. Most marketers still have no idea what to do about it.”

And therein lies our opportunity, doesn’t it?

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