Power To The Peeps

Over the past week, we witnessed two distinct but related uprisings of customers voicing their opinions and companies backing down. It started with the Facebook Terms of Service fiasco, where FB made subtle but significant changes to their ToS such that there were questions over who owned the data that you have put on the social networking site. Eventually, Facebook backed off but the damage was done. This is a poster child for how NOT to handle this sort of change.

Then this week, Tropicana did an about face on a much more costlier change they made. Recently they released a new design platform for their brand and packaging and it was widely lambasted by critics and, most importantly, its customers. Today they announced that they would revert back to their more popular and pedestrian “orange with a straw in it” package design. On a side note, I don’t know who is advising or making the package design decisions over at Pepsi, but man, they are getting hammered.

These are again two very different but still clear demonstrations of how word of mouth and the power of customers coming together, rising up, and providing a big single fingered salute to companies will drive positive change.

Twitter Officially Mainstream

Its official. Twitter has hit the mainstream in a big way. Some will argue that it hit mainstream when Britney and Shaq started “tweeting”. But within the past week, there have been extensive articles from Will Leitch of NY Magazine and the NY Times’ David Pogue.

I think the coolest thing about Twitter is the ability to search topics in real time to see what peeps are talking about. Its also interesting in the way Twitter is subtly turning into a real time search resource as I noted earlier.

A Challenge to Google?

This is a very interesting post about how Twitter search is dirupting Google from Silicon Alley Insider.

…time and time again disruptive business confuse adjacent innovation for disruptive innovation. They think they are still disrupting when they are just innovating on the same theme that they began with. As a consequence they miss the grass roots challenger, the real disruptor to their business. The company who is disrupting their business doesn’t look relevant to the billion dollar franchise, it’s often scrappy and unpolished, it looks like a sideline business, and often its business model is TBD. With the AOL story now unraveled, I now see search as fragmenting and Twitter search doing to Google what broadband did to AOL…

Obviously, Twitter is still in search of its business model, while Google is one of the most profitable companies in business. But the idea that something like Twitter could truly disrupt Google is a fascinating concept.