Long time no update

Posted by Brian Wong on Jun 27, 2010, under AerNews

Are Marketing has continued to serve it’s legacy clients over the course of the last few months. However most of it’s staff have silo’ed out into our more exciting side projects – Pigelator, Followformation, and finally Kiip. What the agency model has taught us is that creativity and flexibility ultimately breeds the highest productivity in the form of focus and currency. I can’t wait to see what all three teams bring us next.


Good design principles last – thank you Dieter Rams

Posted by Brian Wong on Aug 15, 2009, under AerThoughts

Just remember:

• Good design is innovative.
• Good design makes a product useful.
• Good design is aesthetic.
• Good design helps us to understand a product.
• Good design is unobtrusive.
• Good design is honest.
• Good design is durable.
• Good design is consequent to the last detail.
• Good design is concerned with the environment.
• Good design is as little design as possible.

Credit: Dieter Rams


When did you hear about MJ?

Posted by Brian Wong on Jun 26, 2009, under AerThoughts

RIP Michael Jackson – the world lost an icon yesterday.

Yesterday was one of the few events in recent memory that has really shown the power and speed of the bridge between communication online and communication offline. Within a few hours of Michael Jackson’s death, almost everyone knew.

I’m not only saying this because my mother and father knew about his death even before I even found out, but simply an observation, that I believe, indicates just how really plugged in we are. VentureBeat’s post about how this is a true test of the internet’s mass emergency communication capabilities shows just how powerful our networks have really become.

I remember reading about the velocity of communication back in my European economic history course last semester – in the middle ages, messages took days to reach the corners of the globe. I saw the progression through time until days became hours, hours, became minutes, and now, milliseconds. Literally, in an instant. And our ability to utilize networks online to react to these messages have become unprecedented.

So when did you hear about MJ?

What did you do right after hearing about it? How many people did you tell? How many people did they tell?


The next challenge: combating abandonment rates

Posted by Brian Wong on Jun 11, 2009, under AerThoughts

As many web applications begin to reach the initial stages of their “maturity”, the next hurdle for those behind these services is controlling the number of people who jump ship.

In the beginning, it was all about getting users. How many can we bring in? It wasn’t about retention. It wasn’t about fostering relationships with “users”. The “user” was and still is a number. There are exceptions.

The future of CRM with web applications is the ability to slow down the abandonment rate of accounts and services. If something is free, the loss of a user doesn’t seem like that much of a loss. But we all know that free users aren’t just leechers. They bring in revenue potential, they provide valuable WOM, and they help polish your service. Combating abandonment isn’t just about ensuring sufficient feedback channels. It means building in feedback mechanisms right into the application that target and detect users that are using certain aspects of your service less and less – monitoring usage behaviour and providing context-based suggestions on how the service can continue to enhance productivity in some way  – can be valuable. Some services enjoy sending “nudges”. But without proving your continuous utility, “nudges” become annoying. The key is to “nudge” without irritating.

So how will you keep your users from jumping ship?


New, not blurry, leaked photos of the new iPhone Video

Posted by Brian Wong on Jun 07, 2009, under AerThoughts

Haha! Gotcha with that title. It’s tempting right? To read a post with such a promise? Sorry to disappoint.

With WWDC just one day away, the blogosphere is a-buzz with iPhone stories. Not to be outdone by the coverage of the launch of the Pre, Apple is still heavily dominating the headlines without doing anything.

Case in point, on Gizmodo, these are the posts purely concerning purported leaked shots of the new iPhone over the past three days. You can count my post on their posts as adding another layer of unnecessary exposure to the new iPhone. Sorry about that.

And this list does not count the various posts of compilations, reminders, and other Apple news.

Gizmodo is a wildly popular gadget blog with a ton of readers. The fact is that without doing a single thing, Apple is still dominating.

No one knows the source of these photos. They are always either blurry, rumored renderings, or simply wishful thinking by Apple crazies. They have to come from someone though. My theory is that these photos come from a good combination of legit and fake sources. By legit, I mean people who have actually seen the device and have posted the information somewhere, only to have an Apple crazy use their photo manipulation skills to make a mockup with the prospect of insane attention. The motivation could be beyond attention, however. It is almost akin to nicotine patches: you need some sort of a fill to complete your nagging curiosity/addiction of what’s going to come next from the company. Everything is usually insanely exciting and absolutely mindblowing. And the prospect of a new iPhone is mindblowing.

Taking this back to the topic of viral marketing on the internet. I doubt that Apple intended for all of this to happen. But it definitely must bring a smile to Jobsies face when he sees his product being marketed even before he announces it. Now to be able to apply the motifs and methods behind this process to another product, and to succeed and in doing so intentionally, is truly the mindblowing part.