Scouta hits the tube
|Richard Giles, CEO, Scouta|
Remember Scouta, the Perth-based intuitive online video and podcast recommendation service we covered in back in Issue 21 (“Scout’s Honour”)? Well founders Richard Giles and Graeme Sutherland and the team have been pushing along nicely in 2007. In September they launched an iTunes plugin client, which automatically feeds users’ media consumption habits to their Scouta accounts, increasing the volume and specifi city of the recommendations they receive. Now Scouta is ramping up the viral marketing with the launch of Scouta TV, a video presentation of some of the most interesting and serendipitous multimedia discoveries via Scouta. Richard Giles told me: “I’m thinking we’re going head to head with The Friday Download show on Channel 10…. A little more educated mind you. I’m calling it ‘BigMedia vs Garage Media’.”
Report: “Presenteeism” the real scourge
In the land where the “sickie” is an employee institution, the detrimental effect of absenteeism on productivity is thoroughly documented. However, a recently released whitepaper reveals the ravages of “presenteeism” – sick employees coming to work and underperforming – on productivity. The paper, produced by workplace health and safety consultancy Health by Design, reveals that employees with poor health are only productive for approximately 85 percent of total working hours. The remaining 15 percent block of unproductive hours is fi ve times greater than the average annual loss of productivity as a result of absenteeism. Entrepreneurs who regularly burn the midnight oil take note. Go home!
Next-gen shopping cart
Australian Markitcart has developed an award-winning alternative to the traditional steel shopping cart, aimed at improving the concept not just for consumers but also for retailers and advertisers. Made of UV-stable and fully recyclable plastic, Markitcarts are available in 12 colours that can be matched to a retailer’s brand palette. The carts weigh less yet hold more than traditional carts. They also feature greater stability and larger, easier-to- control wheels. For advertisers, Markitcarts feature large, easily interchangeable side panels that function as mobile billboards with exposure right at the point of sale. (Source: www.springwise.com)
YOUR OWN BUBBLE TO FILL
|Anthill’s David Kearney
modelling a custom designed
I don’t like musicals. They’re just too earnest for my taste. When someone on stage or screen cuts from the drama and bursts forth into song, consider me lost.
I don’t begrudge the existence of musicals. They serve a purpose, like religion and reality TV. I just don’t seek a front row seat. So why do musical lovers feel the need to convert musical haters?
The most common angle is the, “Oh, I don’t like musicals either, but this one was amazing!” You fall for that one just once, or maybe twice if you become the unfortunate target of an organised intervention.
After recently interviewing Martin Hosking, co-founder and CEO of RedBubble, the Australian-based social network for artists, it struck me that custom-designing my own T-shirt on RedBubble would be the perfect vehicle to convey my trenchant cynicism to random musical evangelicals as I move through the world.
The creation process was simple and before I knew it, the T had been delivered. That’s Anthill’s Special Project Co-ordinator, David Kearney, modelling it. (He actually likes musicals, but took one for the team on this occasion).
RedBubble received 13 million page views in October. The site has 23,000 users and currently hosts over 320,000 art works, many of which are available for purchase in the form of T-shirts, prints and gift cards.
Feel similarly inspired?
Head to www.redbubble.com
ARTEFACTS FROM THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE
In keeping with the focus this issue on paradigm shifts, here’s a product that we might all be using one day (sooner or later). In the not too distant future, the biggest population demographic in society – the baby boomers – will ease into retirement, creating all sorts of new societal challenges and market opportunities.
For instance, once easy-to-use household objects, such as the traditional TV remote, is likely to become a source of endless frustration, as aging boomers with fading eyesight fossick around for elusive channel and volume buttons. Getting up to answer the telephone will also become a task too arduous for some.
Australian inventor Catherine Crichton and Sydney-based industrial design company Tiller + Tiller have spent three years (concept to prototype) refining the TeleMax® III, a hand-held universal TV remote control with built-in hands-free phone.
Shaped like a small tray with handles on either side, the TeleMax is hardy, spillage-proof and conforms to the latest ergonomic principles for comfort and function.
Button controls are large and deliberately limited in number (normal keypad layout 1-9, a mute button, a large power button and sliding arrows for channels and volume control).
With patents for the product registered in Australia, Europe and the US, the TeleMax will soon reach a potential global market of several hundred million people, especially the aged, vision impaired and disabled.
MY BIG IDEA
Macquarie Business Technology Incubator (MTBI)
In this ‘Year of the Idea’, we’re asking a series of successful Australian entrepreneurs and innovators about their big ideas – their best, their worst and the idea they wished was their own. This issue the spotlight falls on Stephen Belfer. Entrepreneur-turned-lecturer in Entrepreneurship, Stephen currently manages Macquarie Technology Business Incubator’s Mentoring and Coaching programme.
What was your best idea?
Incorporating my first company at 20 – “Anyware Consulting” – our motto: “hardware, software, anywhere…” Everything seemed possible in the computer industry
back in the 80s.
What was your worst idea?
Going into business with a recently ex-girlfriend: a recipe
for disaster with a side order of regret.
What idea do you wish was yours?
Dark chocolate – so much easier to sell that start-up technology ventures
For more about the Macquarie Technology Business Incubator, visit: www.mtbi.com.au or call (02) 9850 8715