Same Zach Heller, Better Place to Find Me

April 12, 2011
Zach Heller

Zach Heller

Though I may continue to update this blog on a less frequent basis, I wanted to alert all of you to check out my new blog over at www.zachhellermarketing.com.

I’ve found a new home on the Squarespace platform which has allowed me to reinvigorate my passion for blogging and for marketing.  I’ll be updating the blog frequently with information about marketing, small business, etc., similar to the material that has brought you here.

I encourage you to check it out, “I” of the Consumer, and subscribe today!

Thanks.

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Google TV is Coming!

March 18, 2010

I know that I don’t update this blog as often as I used to, or as often as I probably should.  But upon scanning the headlines of the blogs that I follow this morning, one inspired me to get back in the game, if only for this one post.

Awhile back I posted a blog titled “When Will Google Take Over TV”.  And apparently, the answer is soon.

From Mashable yesterday comes a report that Google is already a few months into a project to develop an Android based TV platform that may include both set-top boxes and internet connected TV’s.  Google is partnering with Sony and Intel on this project, which is sure to shake up the media world as it gets closer.

This is a big move for Google, whose advertising possibilities will increase greatly with control over a television based platform.  Obviously we’ll have to wait and see what kind of experience the Google based TV platform will give us, but this is a big step in the converging of traditional television media and the internet.

I for one am excited.


$10,000 for Innovation

January 13, 2010

Businesses all over the world ask themselves the same questions every day.  Or, if they don’t, they probably should.

“How can we make our company better? Run smoother? More efficient? Make more money?”

Often times we look outside the company for help or advice.  Sometimes we think that we know all the answers and we don’t need help from anyone.  And much of the time I am sure that we just expect things to get better without trying at all.

But take this new idea from the struggling publisher, Conde Nast.  They are offering their employees a $10,000 prize for whoever comes up with the best idea to improve the company.

Sure this is probably a sign of desperation more than anything else, but it still makes sense.  The reason companies hire people is to move forward.  In essence, you want every employee to not only do the job that they were hired for, but to bring new ideas forward and shake things up.  Every entrepreneur from an early point in their lives learns that you are suppose to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you to help you succeed.

Why don’t more companies look internally for help when looking to create a change?  And why don’t more companies have rewards in place (maybe not $10k) for employees that take on that challenge?

I am a strong believer that innovation most often comes from within.


Job Search Needs an Upgrade

August 4, 2009

jobsearchUnemployment is still on the rise in this country and there are certainly an endless list of reasons for that.  As someone who has recently joined that group of people, I feel the need to comment on one major problem that I have been dealing with.

Job searching is stuck in the past and needs a major upgrade.

I have grown up on the internet, and continue to experiment with new technologies every chance I get.  New services and applications are developed everyday.  But for some reason, searching for a job online is still a pain in the ass.

Craigslist, in my opinion, has the simplest listing of jobs there is.  They got it right, for the most part, by making it easy to search, sort and apply to all of their listing quickly.

Here is where the rest of the websites and services that I have tried go wrong.  They make you sign up on their website as a new member before applying.  Some make you fill out pages of information, create an online resume, write a traditional cover letter (that they expect you to use for every application).  And some make you pay for the right to apply to the jobs listed on their website.  Thanks for all the help!

The problem is that the job listings are spread across all of these various sites, HotJobs, Craigslist, LinkedIn, TheLadders, Monster, etc.  There is not one site that has all of them, which is primarily because the employers listing the jobs have a choice.  So if I am looking for a marketing position in New York City, to give me the best possible chance of finding the right jobs to apply to, I have to create 5 different accounts, create new versions of my resume, continue to change and update cover letters, store all the information somewhere so I know what I applied to and how to contact them.

Finally, another major issue with most sites is the ability to sort out the junk from the good positions.  With Craigslist, they need a way to filter out the internships from the full time search.  But you put up with it because they make everything else so easy.  However, the other major websites make sorting through their listings too complicated.  If I search for marketing, I should not be inundated with 100s of sales positions from the same company or recruiter.

What we need is a joint effort by every employer to get all listings up on Craigslist, or a new service that aggregates all the listings and makes applying as easy as clicking on the email address provided.  We have come to a time when this is possible, and necessary.  It’s time for the job search industry to catch up with the rest of the online world.


Cash for Clunkers: A Job Well Done

July 31, 2009

cash-for-clunkersIf you can remember back to a time when I posted about Google’s 10^100 Contest, then you can see that I mentioned having put in a suggestion of my own.  And even though you may think that I am lying, my submission was almost word for word what the “Cash for Clunkers” program has become.

The original description of my idea looked something like this:

“Set up a program, backed by the government or some independent investors, that uses a pool of money to offer car buying vouchers for people that trade in older cars for newer, more fuel efficient vehicles.  This helps people in multiple ways.  It can increase the number of cars that are sold, giving a much needed boost to the economy.  And it can make the average fuel efficiency of cars in the country go up more than it would without this help.”

So, of course, when I saw the initial idea for Cash for Clunkers, I was very excited.  I backed the program, thinking that it would definitely help do exactly what it was designed to do; spur the struggling auto industry, and get more fuel efficient vehicles on the road.

And now, less than a week after the program was launched, it appears that the program was so successful that it ran out of the appropriated money that was supposed to last until November 1st.  For more information on exactly what the Cash for Clunkers program is, how you can take advantage, and how the government is adding more funds to help keep the program alive, check out this article from The Politico.


What does Free Mean to you?

July 16, 2009

youtubeThere are many ongoing debates on whether or not the nature of free information on the web can continue to last.  As free content continues to put at risk the traditional media sources that charge their customers to get the information, it also has proven tourblesome for many of the companies that offer the free content.

For example, this story from the New York Times discusses the many issues with Youtube.  As Google continues to try to find big money in advertising dollars for the most popular video sharing site on the web, the cost of storing the infinite amount of videos uploaded to the site everyday is out of control.  It appears that no amount of advertising can possibly make up for the money lost just on server space each year.  Therefore, at this point, Youtube looks like a failing business for Google, and one they will need to evaluate over time.

In addition to Google, there are entire industries that are caught in between free models and paid models.  For example, CNBC recently aired a special on the porn industry, and how they are caught trying to embrace the internet and trying to protect their profits at the same time.  For porn, free videos online have taken a big swipe at profits from paid sites as well as dvd sales, which some say are down close to 30% this year.

Once something is available for free, it decreases the likelihood that anyone would want to pay for it.  Whereas in the past you could say, “you get what you pay for”, nowadays the quality of content and information you can get for free is many times just as good as the stuff that you pay for.  We are approaching a time and a place where Free is costing businesses a fortune.  And eventually, Free may hit a brick wall.

How much is Google willing to lose on Youtube before they charge you to upload videos?  How much is Facebook willing to lose before they charge you to share photos, or to write on someone’s wall?  How much are we all willing to pay to use the sites we love so dearly?

Right now there is no balance between free and pay. The time is coming when we need to find that balance or internet users and businesses alike are in for a major shock.


What Ever Happened to Trust and Honesty

June 9, 2009

trust me I'm a docter-786643There will always be things in place to keep us honest.

Doctors and Lawyers have malpractice to keep them from making mistakes, not following procedure, and not taking care of those people they are there to take care of.

The government has the people they represent to keep them in check because they will always be up for re-election again.

CEO’s have a board of directors and large groups of investors to make sure they are doing the right things with the company’s money or else a replacement will be found.

It seems we are kept as honest as we can be because if we stray too far off course, we risk losing a title, or some power, or our money.

But what about just being honest?  What if elected officials, doctors, lawyers, bankers, and CEO’s – the people that we need to trust in order to successfully grow ourselves personally and professionally – were just honest people.  Maybe it’s just a matter of greed, and it will never be perfect.  And I know I am lumping large groups of people in where they don’t belong, but it just seems that if we have to fear people in power then we are never going to dig our way out of tough times.

Trust is an important thing.  It can mean the difference between success and failure.  So let’s put honesty back in its place.  You don’t need us to keep you honest.  Just do it.

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