Real Gifts, Virtual Addresses – A New Opportunity

Dec 29, 2009

Have you come across TigerBow yet? If you haven’t, you should check it out. I haven’t got the chance to use it yet, because it doesn’t accept my Singapore postal code (which has 6 digits vs America’s 5), and as such cannot authenticate my credit card. That said, I think it’s a great idea. Sending a gift to a virtual recipient.

I think this speaks greatly about the nature of relationships nowadays, and how they’re moving online, but that’s not what I want to highlight here. What I do want to highlight is the opportunity here for other companies. Imagine if Amazon implemented something like that. They already have an option to ship an object as a gift to someone else, why not allow the shopper to send the gift to a virtual recipient in the same process that TigerBow does? Shouldn’t take too long, and shouldn’t be too hard for them to implement.

Or what about other startups? Why hasn’t someone built a system like that, but allowing the user to choose any object from Amazon? In my mind, it could be as simple as a 3 page process. On the first page, let the user input his name, the recipients name, and the Amazon product url. On the second, let the user select a delivery method, and optional wrapping/card, etc. And the third page would be for checkout. The system then sends a message to the recipient, like Tigerbow does, and if the recipient wants to receive it, he inputs his mailing address. The system can then place an order on Amazon for the object, ship it to the startup’s office, where it can be wrapped and all, and then send it out to the recipient. If the startup’s office is in America, the shipping costs wouldn’t increase too much, I think (it’d just be one additional local shipment to America).

It’d take some manual effort, but I definitely think it’s feasible. What do you think? Anyone up for trying it?

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There’s No Such Thing As Bad Press

Sep 26, 2008

Brad Shorr from Word Sell, Inc shares six reasons why business blogs should welcome negative comments.

All are really good reasons, but here’s one that I want to point out specially.

clipped from

Fifth, negative comments in and of themselves are unlikely in and of themselves to drive business away. Other readers are more interested in your response to a negative comment than the comment itself. For example, the comment “How come your sales rep never calls on me?!$*” by itself doesn’t look good. However, if you respond with, “We are extremely sorry about that. It is never our intention to ignore any customer. You will be hearing from your rep this afternoon, and we hope it’s not too late to rebuild our relationship,” you may find yourself actually attracting new business and turning indifferent customers into evangelists. Of, you could choose not to blog, and risk having customer tell twenty of his friends how unresponsive you are.

blog it

Bad comments are not just bad comments – they are opportunities for you to respond and build new relationships.

In today’s world, you can monitor and track whatever is said anywhere. And as such, I think that Brad’s point can be applied to anything that’s said about you, not just comments on your blog.

As long as people are talking about you, it can work in your favor. Even if it’s bad, it’s a chance for you to jump in and contribute to the conversation. It’s a chance for you to correct any mistakes – be it on the report’s end or on your end. It’s a chance for you to build new connections.

There’s no such thing as bad press, just opportunities to respond.

How do you respond to the negative things that are said about you?

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Feb 26, 2008

Eric Beall wrote an article about opportunity.

In a business filled with lemmings, it’s not a bad move to change things up, and go left when everyone else is going right. That’s called a reverse, and it usually results in nothing but an open field of opportunity up ahead. Go team!

Opportunity is always around. The trick is knowing where to look for it.

Problem = Opportunity

Dec 19, 2007

I know I said I’d do a podcast. But I’m having a cough and all, and my throat isn’t too good. So I’ll just write what I intended to talk about.

It’s been a really interesting past week. A lot of ups-and-downs. But one thing it has thought me is that with every problem, there’s an opportunity. An opportunity to try something new, to do something else, which might work out even better.

My Windows system had been screwing up a lot last week. And it got really annoying, so it pushed me to change to Linux. I’ve been wanting to try out Linux (Linux Mint, to be specific) for quite a while, but never got around to it, because well, Windows was doing just fine. So with Windows starting to screw up, yes it was a problem, and yes it was annoying. But it pushed me to switch. And it’s a switch that so far has proven to be really good. The response speed and boot time is a lot faster, and I’m loving it.

Another thing that went wrong is FeedReader. I’ve been using FeedReader, the desktop application, as my RSS application. Last week, something went wrong with it, and it just stopped working. So, I lost my whole RSS list. My last backup was about a month ago, though, so not all my subscriptions were lost. But it was still really frustrating. So I’ve now moved to Google Reader. It’s working alright so far, and I’m still yet to get the hang of it, but I’m confident it’ll turn out well, considering how everyone’s been saying such good things about it.

Finally, my birthday. It was on Sunday, and the friend I was supposed to go out with canceled on me on Saturday. So that really hurt. And I was really down about it. Messaged a couple of my friends to see whether they would be free, but given how last minute it was, I didn’t expect it. Turned out I was wrong. On Sunday, at about 4 in the afternoon, Cindy messaged me, and said she was. So we met at 5, had dinner and all. And yeah. it made my day. I’ve been wanting to meet Cindy for quite long anyway, so getting the chance to meet her was good in itself. And yeah, it just made my birthday really enjoyable and fun (thanks again, Cindy!). If my other friend hadn’t canceled on me, I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet up with Cindy. It wasn’t how I planned it, but it turned out well in the end, and was fun.

3 problems that happened. But it also opened up 3 other opportunities. That’s always the case, isn’t it?

With every problem, there’s an opportunity. They’re two sides of the same coin. It’s just how you look at it.

Oh, and on a side note, I’m now 17 (and 3 days)! Just one year away from being able to legally drink and go clubbing and all.