Archive | September 27, 2013

Magnet.me: the future of recruitment?

Hopefully in September 2014 most of the BIMmers are graduated and the next step will be a perfect start of our careers at one of our favorite employers. But how do you find your employer and maybe even more important, how do they find you?

There are currently a lot of different options, but overall we see a shift towards online ways to apply for a job. Where job boards such as monsterboard.com are getting more and more expensive for companies, magnet.me is offering a cheaper and more efficient way to find the ideal match.

Magnet.me is a platform where students can fill in an online resume. The resume is totally digitalized and therefore it is easy to analyze these resumes. For companies on the other side this is the ideal way to find students who suits them the best. A GPA of 7.5 or higher for their bachelor? Sport activities in their resume? Only BIM students? It is just a few clicks away for recruiters. This is perfect for the multinationals, but maybe even better for small and medium-sized enterprises. For these companies it is currently quite hard to fight against the multinationals, but now they can easily find student with the right profile. For students on the other hand this is interesting, because a lot of unknown enterprises are offering interesting jobs with more responsibilities and so on.

I think that Magnet.me or other platforms will be the future of recruitment, because with digitalized resumes and a labour market which is more flexible this is a perfect solution. A platform like Magnet.me is also suitable for professionals with more working experiences where this will work more like an executive search firm, but then just a few clicks away. In Europe the labour market is getting more flexible like in the United States and therefore professionals would love an online resume, where employers can offer them interesting jobs. Furthermore I believe that another part of the pie will go to Linkedin, where you have also an online resume.  With this resume it is more difficult to get data from, as it is less standardized, but for personal contact to get a job Linkedin will be important. Finally, I think that the losers will be the job boards as they are not doing sufficient with data analytics and are therefore not offering a total solution for customers to find easy the right job.

Unfortunately, this video is in Dutch (I couldn’t find a video in English)

Je carrière begint op Magnet.me from Magnet.me on Vimeo.

www.magnet.me

http://www.flexnieuws.nl/2013/08/26/magnet-me-bereikt-snelle-groei-door-flexinnovatiefonds/#.UkXZ5H9RGdk

http://www.sprout.nl/309/dossier/333/68594/startup-van-de-week/startup-magnet-me-gaat-achter-linkedin-aan.html

Let free app pay for itself

B9CCB819-7D48-4CFD-BF90-F3BEBA1136C8Take a minute to check all the apps on your smartphone or tablet. How many of them are paid? How many of them are free?

Every time when I am strolling in Apple/Andriod app store and noticing that there are dozens of excellent apps that are for free. A question keeps bothering me — how could those companies that develop these free apps generate profits?

The first answer come up to my mind is ADVERTISEMENT!

Nowadays, app developers become so smart that sometimes customers do not even notice that they already being advertised. Putting ads in the last page of e-books, banners, walls in games are old school stories. Companies become smarter and smarter to place ads. For example, the smart side bar shows the ads based on your recent online purchase. Also,  a relatively new way of doing it is called CPI. It stands for Cost Per Install. This is the method that companies allow third party firms use software to send “pop-ups”(ads for other apps) to their own apps and get paid for per installation of other app. For example, in games, buyers get special gifts (usually the currency used in the game) for downloading another apps from the pop-up list. The company that owns the game app gets paid from the third party for per installation.

Besides ads, there is a freemium model. I am sure that most of you have experienced it in your free apps. Some apps have two different versions, one is normal and for free and the other one is pro (with more advanced functions) and against for a fee. Or sometimes, the free app you download always reminds you to update the current version to the newest one but for a fee. This model is also frequently used as a profit generating method.

Also, sponsorship and donation can be helpful as well. Companies that trying to develop apps based on some famous brands or platforms can get sponsorship from those famous firms. Or companies that have a loyal customer base can get donations from the users.

Moreover, if a company’s app become so popular and turn into its own brand, then, the company could licensing it to other companies that even irrelevant from the app itself. For example, Angry Birds has been very famous and it licensing its brand to more than 200 partners for T-shirts, plush toys, phone cases, water bottles, pens etc., even a theme park in the works (Venturebeat.com 2013).

With the development of IT, more different ways and business models are showing up to help free apps to generate profits.

What’s your opinion about those methods? Or do you know some new mechanisms that could help?

For more detailed information please read:

http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/18/apponomics/#grszw3abOAQmJWMo.99

http://venturebeat.com/2013/02/18/apponomics/

http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/blog/5-ways-free-apps-money/

AH Bonuscard: what is personal information?

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Most of us properly go shopping at Albert Hein (or AH) every now and then. In order to buy products at the discount rate, you need a bonus card. According to the AH-website, Albert Hein is careful with the personal information we provide for our bonus card. (http://www.ah.nl/bonuskaart)

However, recently the consumer authority pointed out that the history of products bought is easily hacked by third parties. The only thing that is needed to view this information is the number of the bonus card. The product history section is divided into a recently bought and a most bought section. This section includes all products, so also cigarettes, liquor, condoms and pregnancy tests. (http://www.consumentenbond.nl/actueel/nieuws/nieuwsoverzicht-2013/ah-bonuskaart-zo-lek-als-een-mandje/)

At first Albert Hein claimed that you needed a customer account and password to access this information, but AH recently had to admit that not only the claim of the consumer authority was right, even with an anonymous card the product history was accessible. However, because the product history does not include the information of the cardholder, this is not against the law. (http://www.consumentenbond.nl/actueel/nieuws/nieuwsoverzicht-2013/ah-bonuskaart-zo-lek-als-een-mandje/)

Apparently AH believes what we buy is not personal information. I can imagine that there are some situations where you would like to keep your grocery list to yourself. Even though the thought that everyone is able to access what I buy makes me uncomfortable, it is not enough to stop me from buying at AH. I bet Facebook knows more about me than AH, and I willingly provide them with this information. However, the claim that AH is careful with my information,  I do find ridiculous. If you are going to use information on my preferences and not protect this, at least be straight forward about this. I am curious what you guys think on privacy issues like this: What exactly is personal information, and what is not?

PINTEREST SEEMS TO HAVE LEARNED ITS LESSON

During our class last Monday we elaborated on Facebook’s $1 billion (or actually $715 million [1]) acquisition of photo sharing app Instagram. Most people seem unable to understand why Facebook was willing to pay this much, since currently Instagram is lacking any kind of monetization strategy. [2] It clearly is a big risk Facebook is taking and I think we underlined that last Monday by elaborating on the specific challenges and difficulties that are attached to the task of turning Instagram into a money making app.

However, Instagram is not the only application that is struggling to monetize their “success”. Another great example is Pinterest. If you don’t know about or use Pinterest yet, I am secretly guessing you’re a guy. So especially for you; Pinterest is an app/website allowing users to save images and categorize those images (‘pins’) on self-created pin boards. Users are able to follow other users’ boards and will consequently get updated with their new pins, they can just browse others’ boards or they can search for pins in specific categories. Key is the possibility to “re-pin” images you find interesting to your own pin board, so that pins will get spread to more and more users. [3]

Clearly there is also something in it for companies; it could be for instance a successful instrument to promote new products. Pinterest even offers a tool to help companies analyze what is going on on Pinterest concerning their brand or products. Now, if you think about Facebook, brand content usually really stands out and it even annoys us as a consumer. For Pinterest, this is clearly not the case; brand content blends in easily, resulting in another problem. Users are actually pinning and spreading products, but how can Pinterest make brand-provided products stand out? [4]

Last year, all of a sudden pinners found out that Pinterest was manipulating their pins to make money through affiliate links in partnership with Skimlinks. This way Pinterest was quietly earning revenue whenever a user clicked on to buy something from an e-commerce website. [5] Bloggers and other media heavily criticized their new approach and a scandal was born. It seemed that the fact that Pinterest was monetizing their pinners, wasn’t even bothering them too much. Where Pinterest truly went wrong, was not informing their users about the change and the rationale behind it. Still, it didn’t take too long before the partnership with Skimlinks was ended and the affiliate links were banned from the website. [6]

The newsletter I received last week, gave me the impression that Pinterest seems to have learned its lesson and is trying to tackle the problem I presented earlier. The founder and CEO Ben Silbermann explained to me that in order for me to be able to keep using the application, the company is going to experiment with promoted pins. He assured me that there won’t be any advertisements and that it is only an experiment for now. Ben clarified: “Nobody’s paying for anything yet. … We want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think.” [5] This clearly shows Pinterest is taking a different approach this time by being more transparent and careful.

As one of their users I am really pleased Pinterest changed their ways of treating us and I’m curious what this experiment will bring in the future. Are there any other Pinterest users here? How do you like their experiment so far? And did I offend anyone saying Pinterest is more of a woman thing?

[1] http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/24/3551872/facebook-instagram-acquisition-715-million

[2] http://www.theguardian.com/technology/blog/2012/apr/16/facebook-instagram-takeover

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinterest

[4] http://readwrite.com/2013/09/26/pinterest-rich-pins-brands#awesm=~oiCT51uGtUoAfE

[5] http://readwrite.com/2013/09/19/pinterest-advertising-strategy#awesm=~oiCTHWc6QTXgno

[6] http://gigaom.com/2012/06/15/skimlinks-founder-talks-about-pinterest-affiliate-link-saga-and-dirty-secrets-of-the-web/

15 years of Google

Being the BIM class of 2014, we cannot let this day pass unnoticed. 15 years ago, in 1998 Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google. To celebrate the company’s 15th anniversary Google is using the logo from 1998 again. Looking back to those 15 years; how did Google get from being a search engine to being the powerful multinational selling products and services like search, cloud computing, online advertising, software and since recently even hardware. And what is Google going to be like 15 years from now?

Search

Before Google, search engines used the number of times a specific word was used on a website for ranking websites. Page and Brin thought they could do better: they developed an algorithm that uses incoming and outgoing links of a webpage to calculate a Pagerank. This technique gave Google a competitive advantage over competitors and is still the heart of Google’s search engine.

Android

In 2005 Google bought Android; an operating system that was originally build for cameras. Google changed it into a system for phones and tablets. Android is now the biggest mobile operating platform in the world and runs on almost 75% of all sold smart phones. It is therefore safe to say that buying Android for about 50 million dollars was one of the best decisions in the history of the company.

Google Glass

The latest and perhaps most innovative product from Google is Google Glass. Google Glass might change the way we use electronic devices and information completely. Think of GPS, making and sharing pictures or videos. Besides that ‘Now’ that knows what is important for you at what moment gives a whole new dimension to the use of electronic devices.

I know that many services Google provides are still missing; think of Maps, Youtube, Drive, Gmail and Chrome, but this is not the point. Point is that because of the enormous amount of data Google gathers from consumers through all the different services they provide they can keep expanding the number of products and services they bring to market without making stuff consumers don’t want. I personally think this means that we have not seen the best of Google yet and that 15 years from now they will be even bigger and more powerful than they are today and will be providing much more products and services than they do today. The only thing that seems to be able to stop Google is privacy legislation.

What do you think of Google 15 years from now?

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google

http://nutech.nl/google/3586583/google-bestaat-15-jaar-hoogte–en-dieptepunten.html

http://nutech.nl/internet/3586608/google-viert-15e-verjaardag-met-oude-zoekpagina.html

http://tweakers.net/nieuws/91545/google-stapt-over-op-nieuw-zoekalgoritme-hummingbird.html

 

 

Technology of the Week 5 – Team 18: Auctionata and Tophatter

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The topic of this week will be on online auction markets. A standard form (eBay) and two variations (Auctionata and Tophatter) of online auction are used for the elaboration of this report. The three companies we are comparing have their focus on B2C and C2C markets. Standard online markets such as eBay suffer from the barrier in physical experience products that cannot be easily described via the Internet. This results in high product and seller uncertainty.

Nowadays, eBay’s auction business model is one of the most successful models. Therefore, we consider it the standard in online auction models. A variation of this online auction model is Auctionata, which is an online auction company that specializes in art, antiques and collectors’ items and aims for the high-end market. They differentiate themselves by providing an additional service, which are third-party assurances. These assurances reduce the product uncertainty and add value to their service. Furthermore, there is another variation, which is Tophatter. Tophatter targets the lower-end market and focuses on auctioning jewellery. Tophatter differentiates due to the integration of social media into their business model. This aspect sets up connections between sellers and buyers (linked to their Facebook accounts) in virtual chat rooms, where the live auction takes place.

Our comparison shows that Auctionata has lower product uncertainty due to third-party assurances service. Tophatter however also reduces its product uncertainty by giving users the opportunity to connect with each other. At last, Auctionata is rated with lower seller uncertainty than Tophatter. Auctionata supports sellers. The company films the products and streamlines these videos real time via their website to registered users. Tophatter only supports textual and visual descriptions of the product.

Technology of the Week 5 – Team 18