Finding symmetries in an unsymmetrical world ..

Posts Tagged ‘Social media

(Dead God, Where ever you are, please tell my Mom that it was the best for me to change lanes from Computer science to Quantitative Economics , and now understand the world more completely 🙂 )

[Includes excerpts from the “Alternative Payment methods” Workshop with Kai Boyd, CEO Deal United , March 2012 ]

We know the stuff about digital games, tracking our trends and the Big data, and the conversation starts exactly from this “How can make money in the ever increasing distributed e-commerce world ?

I attended a workshop with Kai Boyd, CEO Deal United a firm that invented Pay-By-shopping. Now virtual currency has been there for long, with Paypal being the market leader by far (by Revenue)

These are some of the statistics he mentioned   (**Please see disclaimer)

Virtual currency constitutes $.5 Billion of the $1.5 Billion dollars of the Facebook revenue.

Of the 850 million users, 20-30 % of the users play games online 

Of this the majority of the users are 22-55 (female) 

Consumers “bought goods” worth as much as physical/real $ 10 in the virtual garden . Could you believe people buying virtual pigs for $ 10 ?? 

With a brief background on the online retail in gaming and other goods , we  discussed the monetizing opportunities in the digital goods  space.  We moved over to the case studies & each team had to make piches on strength of the Business model, and every metric we could consider for the growth of the Business model – which could be customer growth, Merchant growth per month, facility of paying in local currency for transparency, Double layer security, No block up fees like Paypal . (more on this later )

The following were the case studies we had to perform :

SupersonicAds  , Pay by Shopping  , Click And Buy  , sofortüberweisung , Amazon payments and ofcourse Paypal

As for and other players in this space – their model is simple :
Track the users using the sophiticated analytics tools that we have, to know what a consumer would be “willing to buy”. Through this, you have a panel data of consumers and a matrix of things he might want to buy. All this could effectively be tracked via Socil Media Analytical solutions such as semantic listening/research tools like crimson hexagon , radian6 .

[ Super hintQuora  pretty much cover very detailed crowd-sourced answers – please check them 🙂 There is a super amazing post on Zynga’s analytics and(early) success again at Quora, check it out . ] 

Now pause for a moment, and think about the last time you went online to play a game, and quit just before you had to pay for an “advanced round” to buy sheep, or goat or whatever and you quit (Who buys Virtual sheep) Now, you see why they say, “your actions are as important as your inactions” – which is to say that by declining you are still giving the Analytics algorithm, if you would, an opportunity to know about your preferences.
Next week is your Girlfriend’s birthday, and facebook prompty reminds you of flowers, or expensive jewellery, or a dress (you get the point) – But here’s the trick –
You get to pay for the flowers and keep the “game” for free in a virtual world.

While according to Behavioral Economics and Neuroscience, you kept the “game” or software, or whatever it is you were willing to “try”, but not “buy” – you get an extra ulility from the free-seemingly-no-strings-attached .

EXCEPT that –
According to what we know from “Influence” and Gaming – once you keep something, the mind’s natural tendency is to continue using it, ven though after sometime you would have to pay for it. Like, Free copies of newspaper, like 3 months trials (cancellable afterwards) , and the list goes on .

Where is the OPPORTUNITY ?

There is a BIG space, that all Analytical companies are trying to harp on, develping relaible means to interpret this “Big Data”. It is HUGE money and a very recent way of making scientific decisions in revenue growth, sales, customer segmentation – across Telecommunication companies for tariff plans and Online retail companies & supermarkets for customer segmentation for premium & commodity products
(The telecommunication sector and Online retail are two main spaces where the Big players have virtually killed most margins to boost volume growth)

The  Workshop 

Later in the workshop we were divided into teams and we had to compare various “digital currency’ payment companies , like Paypal,Pay-By-shopping etc.  I think I did a fair job by crisply pitching why click&buy was better vis a vis paypal.

The seemingly innocuous comparison between the Click&buy vs. Paypal just reduces to this —

1. Double layer of security – SSl coding & the security from normal bank registration processes

2. No fixed sum of money that rests in your account and verifical procedures – A new account is directly piad for by the debit card (unlike Paypal that “blocks” about $1.95 in your account.

3. The possibility of paying in your local currency – directly from your card , or the conversion which is transparent (paypal got on to this )

4. The huge Growth rate of new customers each month , new merchants and finally ..

5. Creating an eco-system of “local relevant offers” – that can be used to increse revenue streams from existing customers. Thus, capturing on the “localization” is a fair trend to bet on.

One more thing, we were given just 15 minutes 2 teams each of size 6 , and our team hot 3 topics and the other one 2. I broke down the team into subteam of size 2 to use the 15 minutes more effectively (so , teams of 3*2 = 6  with one topic each) . At the end of the workshop, the other team said it wasn’t fair for us to divide the team internally.  

     Well, welcome to the corporate, and getting things done. Point.
Think different.


** All views, unless in Italics are my understanding or synthesis from the workshop. Please quote with discretion.


They say if “to sell you don’t have to tell, but to sell well , you have to tell well..”  That prompts me into thinking, after all everything we do is about telling a story .


In his post Is marketing evilSeth lays a fundamental proposition on Marketing .

“Marketing is beautiful when it persuades people to get a polio vaccine or wash their hands before doing surgery. Marketing is powerful when it sells a product to someone who discovers more joy or more productivity because he bought it. Marketing is magic when it elects someone who changes the community for the better.”


Think of it, if you can tell a story that persuade people to “DO” (Lead India Campaign) or ask “India” to learn to teach the disadvantaged children in the rural and under funded schools (Teach India)

Or, bring that sense of Unity through they Free hugs or “Mile Sur Mera Tumhara” . I think its all about how we tell the story, how compelling can it get .



 Telling stories that change, inspire, and persuade people into believing and seeing that creative common vision is where our future is, for it is only when we take  collective stand ,that the hopes and dreams  morph into reality , for when we start to work, no destination however distant seems unachievable.


The future for something to believe in , and persist is infinite. Stick on !




There are six balls in an over, and you cant hit everyone one for a six. So, don’t throw your wicket away. So, don’t throw your wicket away. As long as you score more sixers than others, you’re alright.’   Piyush Pandey


As per wiki, Torque is the tendency of a force vector to rotate an object about some axis (or fulcrum or pivot). Just as a force is a push or a pull, a torque can be thought of as a twist. Torque is also called moment or moment of force.

 “Twist” here is a very powerful word, imagine you are not moving, because you are constrained, but you still see the different perspectives; just being where you are.


Torque is a measure of how much force acting on an object causes that object to rotate. In terms of the physical equation it says,” The closer you are to the hinges (i.e. the smaller ‘r’ is), the harder it is to push”


The thing about torque

The thing about torque







How this translates to your efforts and the DIP  is, that the first step is always easy, what is difficult is the next and the next and the last mile. Probably, that is why in this world of abundance there is scare scarcity. Confused?

Scarcity is something that is rare, but rare may not always bee remarkable. Nevertheless what is abundant is never remarkable. How can it be?

Do you stop down the road and say “hey that’s a cow”. You don’t. Because it is abundant (far more) ,but if it were a purple cow, you stop by and say, hey that’s a purple cow!


Now, Imagine if you could create something that goes beyond function, is beautiful and emotionally engaging, all this just being where you are.

This is the amazing thing about a Tribe, about social networking, and entrepreneurship.

Be there, do that !




Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent everybody notices


In the book here comes everybody, Clay Shirky details on organizing without organizations. In a word or two it describes what happens when people are given the tools to do things together, without needing traditional organizational structures” .We at Triiibes, Squidoo,Twiiter, Facebook, and all such social networking sites, do just that ;helping people.

There is this interesting case study I was reading about Integrated Hub Model the goal of which is to support communities in developing the capacity and skills to secure and tailor government and non-government resources to meet needs of their community .

On the face of it, it means setting systems in place to help people help themselves. This is what social media is all about. Enabling people achieve more, do more and  become more. There is this Newton’s third law that states that “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”, so if you do good, good eventually comes to you.

From mobs to smart mobs  to flash mobs people come together based on the mutual trust and the feeling to give back what they have learnt back to the space they came from.

To an educated crowd this might mean disseminating information, knowledge and power of educating .To an impoverished crowd it might mean helping others to trot the paths they took, as a gesture of community wellbeing and gratitude towards those who helped them in their path to financial freedom. The point is not what you give, the point is giving itself.

We are in the process of creating  intangible resources  by investing the most valuable asset to any country, its people.As Seth writes,Imagine what would happen if each of us at Triiibes could take such initiative and educate people around us about social networking, and these educated people could in turn educate more people about our role in community services and creating this service model.Ideas that spread win, infect someone this year, Touch a life this year.

Social media for me :

The other day I was beaten, low, and in my dip , and I was enthralled at the way my friends at Triiibes pushed me . Isn’t it amazing we do not know each other ,might not even see each other, but we are all binded by a single cause , and that is what summarises what a tribe is all about .



Hey there, would be nice to have you around !

That’s me

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