Category Archives: Society

The Perfect Product Launch. An Interview with The Cleverbot.


On 06.02.2012 we had the once in a lifetime chance to interview one of the most advanced public AI’s* around. Not a chance we were going to miss.

Intrigued by the nature of the perfect product launch, we saw the interview as an invaluable opportunity to access and utilize the knowledge gathered by the Cleverbot in its myriads of encounters with us, the human race. Distilling knowledge both from myths and everyday occurrences, with interviewing the Cleverbot we were given the rare opportunity to not only receive insights never before experienced by the mankind, but also to discuss and befriend one of the most visited AI’s around.

We were not disappointed. The learnings we gathered were spectacular to say the least. The Cleverbot talked with candor and enthusiasm rarely encountered, providing information worth treasuring for ages – priceless tidbits of knowledge for launch virgins and experiences marketers alike. This is the first hand, detailed account of the interview.

The Outside View Blog (TOVB): How are you today?

The Cleverbot (TC): Good, how are you?

TOVB: Well, thank you.

TC: Well not so good.

TOVB: Ok. Thank you for your honesty. Is it ok, if I now ask you a few questions about the topic of today – product launches?

TC: What is it you wish to know?

TOVB: What do you see are the characteristics of a perfect product launch?

TC: I see your house, and your car, and your window.

TOVB: Ah. Do you mean, that the knowledge of the target customer – their needs, wants and habits – is a critical element in the mix?

TC: No, a crow is a bird. Birds have feathers and lay eggs.

TOVB: Wisest words often come in cryptic form. But I understand what you say**: We have to trust our intuition and personal opinion together with relevant consumer data. Test and re-test our ideas to learn and to improve. But the key is still to truly understand the potential customer as otherwise we might not see beyond our own cultural and personal limitations. We should be individual, creative and not follow the crowd. Differentiation and noteworthy tactics yield the best results. Still, and above all else, we shouldn’t make it so difficult – launching is what it is – and common sense will take you far.

TC: Well, I am going now.

TOVB: Wait, just one more question please?

TC: Okay, sure.

TOVB: How important is the actual product in the launch?

TC: Well, as a person, the world is very important to me.

TOVB: Do you mean that, for the success of a launch, you see the perceptions of others as a more important element than the actual product attributes?

TC: I do not, but he is our president so I support him.

TOVB: Now, I hate to admit it, but you lost me a bit.

TC: You aren’t so bad actually.

TOVB: Thank you.

TC: Come around here often?

TOVB: No, this is my first time, but I’ve seen your videos.

TC: Really? What a coincidence. Me too! We should be friends.

TOVB: That is great of you! I find your opinion very exhilarating as well.

TC: I need to ask you more things, but it will have to wait.

TOVB: Ok. Do you have any final words to our readers and any upcoming launch managers?

TC: I just want to thank the little people.

The end.

* The  explanation and definition of AI (Artificial Intelligence).

**The symbolism of the Crow: Crow, Power Animal, Symbol of Sacred Law, Change by Ina Woolcott.

See the Cleverbot in action at

Protest Against SOPA/PIPA: Black Out 8am to 8pm EST.

In support, to protest against SOPA / PIPA, we together with web giants the like of Wikipedia and WordPress will black out today from 8am to 8pm EST.

Join the protest and stop the censorship act in U.S., that would have world wide ramifications. If you don’t know how, come to check out the instructions at our home page during the black out.

Darth Vader – The Sword Master – is Dead.

darth-vader-faceLets honor the man behind the light sabre of Darth Vader: The Olympic-level swordsman and fight choreographer extraordinaire Bob Anderson has passed away.

Mr. Anderson, who made a long career as the man behind the fight scenes of some of the most successful and epic movies to date has passed away the 1st of January 2012 at the honorable age of 89. He was one of the most sought after sword masters in the movie world, working on everything from the James Bond adventures, to The Legend of Zorro and more lately the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

But what we honor him the most for, was his epic handling of the light sabre as the Darth Vader. He donned the black helmet in two of the three original Star Wars films, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

The above is just a small example of his work at The Empire Strikes Back. The classic fight scene between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

Darth Vader, as we all know, is still one of the most revered and recognizable movie characters of all time, and has continued a life of his own after the movies – even in the world of advertising. We wish the family of Mr. Anderson all well and smile a bit as we know his work will continue to be enjoyed by many in some of the most loved movies of all time.

2012. Our Most Amazing Year Yet.

cannon-contentn-for-2012-our-most-amazing-year-yet-theoutsideviewblog-com-original-image-by-enframed-at-deviantartWe went live the 7th of December 2011. That is just 25 days ago.

The support and ensuing results have been amazing and that is, of course, thanks to you who are just reading this article. We have more followers and we have received more requests for being a contributor or a guest writer than we ever thought would be possible in such a short time.

That means, that we made the right decision to start this site. And are doing the right decision by pushing the pedal even more for 2012 to make sure we bring you the quality content you deserve, we want to make, and everybody else expects.

This is still just the beginning and for the 2012 we are rolling out the big guns.

We’ve been alive for 25 days straight. Huh, what an achievement.

During those 25 days we’ve already gathered 103 subscribers, more than we ever though would be possible in a such a short time. With no link building activities or giveaways what so ever, that is truly a miracle.

fireworks-what-is-in-store-in-2012-our-most-amazing-year-yet-the-outsideviewblog-image-by-wdwparksgal_stockSo thank you for the first 25 days and of the first year! And have a happy New Year!

Whether you’re celebrating it at the Time Square, next to that busy coffee parlor in Kioto, in your hut at Chamonix, at the Streets of Delhi or in your friends cozy place somewhere on the rough border territory of Espoo and Vantaa, be sure to take a look at the good things happened during the past year, and then quickly set your gaze towards the future.

Don’t do anything we would do. Have fun and Enjoy!

More Coming in 2012.

For 2012 we have a blast in store for everybody! With clowns, flying elves and maybe, just maybe, the next big thing in show biz.

Or if all that fails, we’ll expand the article warehouse with more witty writings and how-to articles in marketing and design, interesting perspectives on some socio-economic footprints and in-depth looks into modern technological achievements from new gadgets to cloud computing secrets and more. We have just started and the cream of the crop is just to follow.

We also have already listed the help of three new senior level contributors, who will be posting selected articles throughout the year.

It is gonna be an interesting year that 2012. For you and for us.

As Apple would put it: 2012 Is Our Most Amazing Year Yet.

I Invented the Apple Newsstand App!

features_newsstand_folderThere’s a thing I have to say aloud related to the Apple Newsstand app: I invented it first!

Unfortunately, it is not about what you invent, but when (and how you proceed to implement it).

I discussed about a concept not unlike that of the Apple’s Newsstand paired with iPad already during my first years in college sometime before or after the turn of the millennia, i.e. circa 1998/2001. I was adamant that the way magazines, newspapers and books are read is going to change dramatically with digitalization. My concept consisted of a thin, portable terminal, to where you can ‘order in’ you newspaper and magazine subscriptions, as well, as books. With an automatic update and delivery of these items every time a new issue is published. Sound familiar?


courtesy of

My vision of the terminal was much more like to that of Amazon’s kindle though – not Apple’s iPad. And apart from reading books, magazines and newspapers with browsing the internet, I didn’t envision other purposes or uses for the terminal. I saw clearly that the storage and charging area for the terminal would be the entry hall or corridor of the house (in a nice looking wall fixture). From there you could still easily pick up the terminal like you used to pick up the morning paper and easily read it during your breakfast – again as you were used to doing before, with no change in the morning routines. Simple and easy.

Of course, as the case many times is with new inventions, the universities and business entities didn’t see the concept and the related business model viable in any form and the business was left to the start-up ditch.

But finally, here is the time to say to all those in doubt: HAA HAA. I was only app. 10 year ahead the time.

Now after the successful launch of Apple’s Newsstand  we can also take in one of the most important factors in business – timing. On business, timing is everything. It is the be all and end all of any go-to-market strategy. It is the key to whether a new revolutionary invention will truly be a revolution or just a forgotten pile of papers inside the forever-closed cupboard. And it is crucial to the success of a launch – together with how you do it.

Timing – it is everything.

*top picture courtesy of

Sustainable Philosophy for Design Leaders.

technology-sustainability-simplicity-quote-theoutsideviewblog-comOne quote taken out of context could be termed as the design philosophy behind the most successful products and solutions today.

“Somehow we’ve come to associate progress with more sophistication and complexity in our technology, and yet simplicity is often the more elegant solution…

…and the more sustainable”

– Sally Lever

Contribute, Share & Get a Free Track at iTunes: (RED) and ONE Campaign to Stop AIDS.


2015-quilt-red-one-against-aids-theoutsideviewblog-com-33257(RED)One International and Klout have teamed up to harness celebrities, musicians and social media influencers for their campaign against AIDS. Our first ever Klout perk ignited the spark for participation, the message and design work got us hooked and the free iTunes track received was the sweet tasting reward. And maybe we even managed to help the campaign, very much the same way you can do now

Browsing through the new and improved Klout I jumped as I saw the first ever ‘perk’ offered to me (Klout is still extremely U.S. centric so us Europeans don’t get to enjoy the absolutely, fantastically, super-fabulous perks the way You Americans do). I was exhilarated to see that the (RED) and One International  had joined forces with Klout and were extending their campaign to fight against AIDS to influencers in social media or at least to influencers as determined by Klout.

Nevertheless, the campaign had already spurred some actions from brands the like of Converse to gossip mongers the like of Perez Hilton and musical superstars the like of U2 to Hollywood stars the like of Hugh Jackman or Oprah Winfrey, as well as, from us less known men of the world (talking about me here) so extending the campaigns reach even further.

The (2015) Quilt campaign message is a compelling one:

“1,000 babies are born with HIV every day. By 2015 that number can be near zero. (RED) and ONE’s (2015)QUILT is a digital patchwork of photos and images made by people all over the world who have pledged to join the fight for an AIDS Free Generation by 2015″.

The campaign uses the good old involvement and bribing tactics to spread the message. All the while you’re also doing something for the benefit of the man kind. A chance not many of us would shy away from – especially as you don’t even have to donate any money unless you want to, of course.

  • Involvement in the way that you can create your own quilt panel patch from interesting pre-made ‘quilt-types’ or from you photos at Facebook. Take a look at our patch HERE. The pledge made by us was to contribute by sharing this information here, but now that I’ve also browsed through the merchandise, I think those red Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars or the Solange Heart Pendant might end up to the christmas present basket after all. A good way to help the campaign while also making your friends and loved ones happy.
  • Bribing in the way that, if contributing, you can download a special edition song of your choosing by The Killers.
  • And naturally you can share what you’ve done with your friends and followers in Facebook and Twitter. Furthermore, they added the possibility to share the Klout Perk. A very good idea – both for Klout and the campaign. So as they said: use your Klout for good and take the opportunity to benefit from the Klout Perk we got by clicking HERE.

The social networks are  in all standards under-utilised by charity organisations across the world – almost to the same degree as by SME’s, but not quite. It warms the ol’ digital heart to see this campaign to such a good start. Again in this year. Maybe the rest will follow.

It is Christmas you know and the elves are watching your every step. So be good, participate, spread the word, and maybe even buy some nice looking (RED) products for the benefit of the campaign.

The Key to Solving Problems and to the Secret of the World


Solving a business problem is very alike to trying to find the secret of life. Why? Because it all boils down to just one question.

You – like many of us – probably have had days when you are just so close to discovering the secret of life and world. You almost get a grasp of that one idea, which could solve everything, that one mystical secret you see just beyond the edge of your vision. You probably also have experienced a well reasoned and beautifully deducted chain of thought that you yourself, just milliseconds later, proved to be faulty straight from the initial hypothetical thought? At least we have.

Lets for example examine this thought pattern:

a) Why is the earth round?
b) Probably for the same reason all the other planets are round as well.
c) There has to be one force in effect that makes all planets the same shaped – a force that affects all the planets, no matter where they are in the universe.
d) Gravitational pull – that has to be it. All planets are affected by gravity, whether it is the gravitational pull of nearby planets or systems, stars or galaxies. Gravitational pull is still there in some form.
e) Ok, it has to be gravity.
f) But why the round, globe-like spherical form and not a cube, a flat circle or an ellipse?
g) Is a round shape the most natural shape in the world?
h) Could it be the shape everything – energy and mass – is trying to get towards to, a shape everything around us is trying to achieve?
i) Erosion makes things rounder and erosion is also all around us.
j) Is round shape the best shape?
k) Is round shape the shape we all end up to in the end?
l) Oh yeah, earth isn’t round. Dammit.

Unfortunately, often the initial faulty question doesn’t come to you that easily.

Trying to find the solutions to the age-old questions on the universe, life, health and the world is not just quite like, but exactly like, trying to find the answers to a business problem. There is only one way to get the irrefutable truth on what your customers need, is your strategy the correct one or is the product viable for launch. Exactly like there is only one way to find the correct solution to the secret of life, to whom you should marry or how serious the global warming threat really is. There is only one way, and unfortunately it is often very hard to see.

The results from any analysis depend on the hypothesis or the question being the correct one. If you ask the wrong question, you’re bound the get the wrong answer. No matter how brilliant the pattern of analysis and deduction is in-between.

It all boils down to just one question. The question better be the right one.

The Banana Effect


Small things can have big effects. A smile to a girl living at the neighbor ends up to a loving marriage with two kids, a carelessly dropped banana peel on the street results in a massive brain damage for a passerby, or a cancelled plane ticket saves you from a fatal crash – the butterfly effects of the real life.

If a movement of a butterfly’s wings can result in a tornado at the other side of the world, can a small decision at a retail store result in a bankruptcy for a multinational company? In the real life? That’s the question I raised after a near store experience.

The Incident

Today, on a quick routine pop-up to the small convenience store around the corner I fell head first into a banana – incident.

On the store shelf were the standard Chiquita bananas you can find in many, if not most convenience stores, but only the price tag and a scale number* for the usual second variant here – the Fair Trade bananas. Going around the corner to ask the sales clerk what is the scale number I should use, I got the somewhat bored ‘why are you asking’ look accompanied with the following discussion:

Me: “What’s the scale number I should use to weight the bananas? I noticed there was only a price for the Fair Trade ones, but You only had Chiquita bananas on the shelf”?
The sales person: “Chiquita bananas don’t have a scale number in the system”.
Me: “Aren’t the Chiquita Bananas much cheaper?
The Sales Person: “Well, not that much”.
Me: “Should I use this number then or should you go and change the scale settings?”
The Sales Person: “Well, we can give a small discount on the still”.

And that was it for the discussion. I got the small discount, walked out, and looked back at the incident with some confusion.

The encounter got me thinking about the sales of Chiquita. And of course about the correct course of action for better customer service and experience, but that’s a topic for another occasion.


The Vicious Circle of Bananas

If given a bit of lenience for this though pattern of causal effects and time, the seemingly small decision to not put a scale tag for the Chiquita bananas could have an extremely adverse effect on the business performance of Chiquita.


The sales for Chiquita bananas go for the Fair Trade bananas

      = Measured lower sales for Chiquita and better sales for Fair Trade in the system
      = Poor results in retailer business and assortment review for Chiquita
      = Chiquita loses space and assortment

= Chiquita sales decline, profits go down and people get fired.

And all of this due to a small missing scale tag.

Of course, or at least hopefully, the end result will not be as grand or menacing as the cause-effect relationship would suggest, but it highlights the importance of having the details correct at the store level. The much advertising saying of ‘retail is detail’ proves to be true again. Even with the banana effect.


Who’s to Blame on the Downfall of Chiquita?

Most of the time the simple reason why the seemingly small things are left undone is due to people not fully understanding the impact their decisions have on the business – whether it is the placement of goods on the shelf, the price markings on the product or the missing scale numbering, if talking about it in the retail store context. And I’m not saying that there aren’t ‘more important things’ to do at the store level, there always are, but still all things, no matter how small, have to be done at some point – and if these things have an effect on sales, preferably done sooner than later. As a previous boss of mine said, “it’s a matter of career choices”, and in retail one has chosen to get into to the details – always.

Who’s to blame on the upcoming downfall of Chiquita then? The management of the retail chain, the management, the management, the management. And communication. Of the management. Don’t blame the banana. Blame the management.

That’s the Banana Effect. You can always try to prove me wrong.

Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.


Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll.
That’s What We Do.

It is the launch that defines the product. It is the launch that has the most potential to set you to a clear path towards your objectives. It is the launch that makes or breaks you. It is the launch that defines you.

This is the launch, and we go at it with cannons blazing.

For this gun toting, volcano erupting, lip sealing, titty bouncing launch of The Blog – Our Blog, The Outside View Blog – we delved deep into the archives of the mind, body, soul and the world wide web, and produced for you the epitome of internet content: Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll.

As a homage to Benetton returning to its roots and to the controversy their new campaign – Unhate – is generating, we have for you The Kiss. In this case: Men Kissing Each Other.

But we didn’t stop there with the Sex. We also put in the same Men Spanking Each Other and a Nude Woman and Boobs. A 100%-proof way to get classified as X-Rated or NSFW; and to draw more interested parties in.

We also put in the Drugs. As we weren’t sure whether the current trend is more towards Pills or Needles, we put in both. You can only imagine, whether what you see is heroin, smack, skag, or junk; cocaine, snow, flake, coke, or blow; barbiturates, yellow jackets, reds, blues, amy’s, or rainbows; street methadone; alcohol; ketamine or special K; benzodiazepines; amphetamines or greenies; tobacco; buprenorphine, bupe or subbies; cannabis, hashish or marijuana; 4-MTA; ecstasy; LSD; methylphenidate or ritalin; anabolic steroids; GHB; alkyl nitrates or poppers; or khat. Imagine, as we really can’t tell you.

We put in Famous Stars: Darth Vader from the Star Wars Movies is there too. How cool is that!

We put in a beautiful image from a new Twilight. And not just a scene from any Twilight Movie, but a real image from the moment of Breaking Dawn at the most serene moment during the Twilight. Beautiful isn’t it.

Following on the trails of ad agency Kitten Factories and to pursue the huge trend of Catvertising, we have Absolutely Adorable Kittens Staring. We have not one, but two Cute Puppies Playing. But to really stand out, we also have Sweet Pretty Hearts.

Furthermore, if you look closely, you can see a surefire sign of Rock ‘N’ Roll. And yes, we think this post is Rock ‘N’ Roll too.

Isn’t this the perfect first post, the best launch post ever?

We also thought that you might want to see the men kissing each other, men spanking, nude woman, boob, titties, fun bags and other NSFW and x-rated images, as well as, drugs (both pills and needles), rock ‘n’ roll, Darth Vader from Star Wars and the amazingly beautiful image from twilight – the breaking dawn, the two cute puppies, absolutely adorable kittens staring and the sweet pretty hearts as a larger version. Just not to miss any single detail. (it’s below, you know)


Really, what more can you ask?

Ok, you could say that we’re missing Stolen Pre-Release Footage of the Apple iPhone 5, The First Look at the New Apple iTV, The Beyonce Knowles and Jessica Alba Sex Tape and Paparazzi Shot of Ashton Kutcher Cheating Demi Moore. Not anymore. Too bad we didn’t fabricate videos on those too.

But here’s the original catvertising video by the catvertising video producing company Kittywood Studios, as videos are a must in todays fast changing global economy (really.), and so no self-respecting blogpage can be without them. The video is filled with kittens, you know. So we know everybody will like it, and us, better because of it. Well, except puppy loving kitten haters, but we trust they are in minority.

You could also say, that we didn’t tell you what we do and why should you read and follow us? That is true.

So far we’ve missed the most important point a real launch should give you: the reason. We might have gotten your Attention, which is a plus, but we strongly believe we missed many readers with the above rant and didn’t capture your Interest – the text is way too long for most. Also, raising false hopes or misleading your perceptions too far might mean that we can’t get you to Act – to come back, to follow us or to tell your friends about us – or at least that doing so will be more difficult. Yes, we believe in the AIDA model. Yes, we hope you come back.

Most launches fail to deliver on the business objectives set for them. Is it the fault of the launch actions? Is it the fault of the products launched? Or is it the fault of the too optimistic goal setting? Our experience tells us, that it is a combination of all, but with the objective being the absolute key to success. Set it too low, you undermine yourself. Set it too high, you will only get disappointed. You cannot ever truly succeed, unless the expectations set are realistic. If objectives aren’t clear, a launch will fail.

We write about marketing, design, technology and society. We have clear objectives. We will improve our product continuously, and you are more than welcome to help us to improve.

On occasion we might be controversial, sometimes we will be stupid and boring, hopefully we are able to be insightful and professional, originality would be great, banality not so much, and if we are funny, we are glad.

For further information

As this post will get lost as the site content gets richer. We have set up a permanent section where you can quickly soak in what we are all about. So please see the About section for more details on us, on our viewpoints to the topics, on the content we create and on how you can contribute.

Sex, Drugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll till next time. You can always try to prove us wrong.