創辦 Kiip 的 Brian Wong 在 LinkedIn 有篇熱門文章，標題是「Copycats: 最真誠的驗證」，在互聯網復製成本愈來愈低，抄襲現像愈來愈普及的情況之下，Brian 提醒各位Startups 創辦人，如果你的Startups項目被人抄襲，你應該感到高興而不是懊惱。因為抄襲與模仿，正正是最有效的市場驗證之一，證明你走對方向了。
Focus on what’s ahead, not who’s in your rearview mirror As a rule, copiers can only mimic what they can see. They’re reverse engineering a concept they’ve seen. But it’s tough to build a airplane from just seeing it.
Remember, imitators are not competitors.
A competitor is challenging your market share meaningfully and innovating in their own right, whereas an imitator is a watered-down version of your company. An imitator may have copied your idea, but they cannot transplant your execution.
Get your IP ducks in a row.
Build defensibility into your brand, data, successes and ultimately your ability to execute. Don’t forget that plagiarism by others can sometimes be illegal. Patent trolls are unfortunately becoming more prevalent within the startup scene. Don’t optimize what you create for a patent. Try your best to innovate first.
1. When did you first found the Web Analytics Wednesday?
K: I first found Web Analytics Wednesday on the 19th November 2009 in Hong Kong as a blog (the reason I remember is because I installed Google Analytics on the day and start collecting data). Not until January 2010 we have our 1st Web Analytics Wednesday event that I pay a few thousand dollars just renting a meeting place at Quarry Bay. At that time I only advertise through blog and social media due to the funding. The 1st event end up with about 15 people attended and quite satisfied with it.
2. Why did you found Web Analytics Wednesday?
K: When I first came back to Hong Kong from China during Mid 2009, I was surprised that there isn’t any Web Analytics Wednesday. As in Beijing, Web Analytics Wednesday had already started back in 2006 and each gathering already had more than 50 people attend. This basically mean Hong Kong is 3 years behind China and 5 years behind the rest of the world. Therefore, I start asking the founder of the Beijing Web Analytics Wednesday as well as the original founder in the US to learn and understand how they run the event in their own city.
The other reason I found or orgainise the Web Analytics Wednesday is because I feel Hong Kong should start realise how web analytics will become more and more important as business are no longer only complete between their products but also how smart they leverage the data being collected. If you look around we are heavily connected to the digital space and most people in Hong Kong do have Internet connection. Therefore, it is very easy for business to gather their customer data and starts leveraging it in the right way, which include protect user data privacy. One of the issue we are facing right now is lack of resources and this is one of goal of Web Analytics Wednesday is to gather professionals in the market to share their knowledge as well as a place for new professions to learn and develop their skills.
Finally I hope web analytics will help to regain the trust and value for the I.T. Industry, as a lot of people don’t treasure their I.T. resources. As data will not lie and everything is more scientific, it allows business to measure the return on investment. By leveraging data collection, business can now justify their I.T. spending to prove that it is not a cost to the business but they are able to generate revenue for the business. On the other hand more and more business activities will transit to the digital space, in order to prove the value of digital, the only way to prove it again is through data analytics.
3. One of your blog post “How to track offline media with google analytics”. how’s that possible?
K: Many marketer always try to solve the question in regards to which part of my marketing spend generate the most revenue. In digital space this is a very simple question but in traditional media it is very hard to do so. With the changes of technology now most people will have a Smart-phone with data plan. Smart-phone become a very important medium to leverage as it can connect the offline media to the online media.
The other connection between offline and online is Augmented Reality and Quick Response Code. Therefore, it gave me the thought by leveraging different technologies in order to track user behavior. Most company does not have a lot of budget, so my solution is quite cost effective from a marketer perspective by simply using a QR Code.
What the marketer require is a mobile ready website with Google Analytics being embedded, an web address with Google Analytics tracking code and QR Code generator. Once the QR Code being generated the marketer can simply print on any offline media.
So whenever a consumer uses a smartphone to scan the QR Code, Google Analytics will recognise the consumer is from an offline media. For example, a company printed 1000 copies of leaflet to give out on the street, now 500 people use a smartphone to capture the QR Code. Therefore, the conversion rate of this campaign is 50%. In another word if each copy of leaflet is $1 the whole campaign cost $1,000 and since there are 500 people saw the campaign then the acquisition cost per person will be $2.
Again there are more things we can do and one very good example is Tesco in Korea using QR Code to allow consumer to buy daily groceries in the sub-way. Now you can see it quite often in Hong Kong but most of them do not have any tracking code, which is a shame actually. Else we can gather a lot of useful data and able to understand the effectiveness.
4. What was the biggest misunderstanding about web analytics, particularly in hong kong?
K: Personally I think the biggest misunderstanding about web analytics is it sound very technical and will cost a lot of money. When most people hear the word web, the first impression will be technical and Information Technology related. That is totally wrong as Web Analytics a combination of Business and Technology. Therefore, we shouldn’t call it web anymore; it is more about digital as all the data we now gather is through a digital device.
On the other hand many company think web analytics is free as Google provide a free tool and data will just collect automatically. This concept is totally wrong as the company might only leverage 60% of what Google Analytics provide. Most of the issue is come down to actionable data. Even the data can tell you how many users visit the website but the questions is why? What did they done? Why they leave? Did they engage?
Web analytics is not about simple numbers and charts but the art is to find out the hidden message behind it. Once a company realise web analytics is tie closely to their day-to-day operation, only then they will start value the data and understand it is not technical anymore.
5. How to learn Web Analytics fast? And who should learn Web Analytics?
K: To be honest, there is no shortcut to learn Web Analytics as there so many areas involve. The best way is to learn from others in the field and read more from blogs as well as social media. The reason is because the technology and the market is changing so quickly so most books are not up to date when they release out in the market. Most of the professional will have their own blog to share about their knowledge and they will share news through social media so it will be the quickest channel to get update in the analytics field.
On the other hand, most countries have Web Analytics Wednesday that organise by local professionals to gather and share their knowledge. Therefore, it is another effective channel to learn about Web Analytics. Since Web Analytics is an industry that is more hands on than just base on theory. The more time you spend in looking at the data and the relationship between the business and the users, the more you will get out from it.
I believe everyone should learn about web analytics as every industry and professions are able to leverage the data. I met some companies who had a very strong analytics operation model, they base on data analysis to make business decision and which allow them to understand their business from different perspectives. Base on the data, designer can base on the data to understand the user behavior to better design the user interface. From a marketing perspective, marketing team can base on the data to invest correctly on their marketing spend. At last for product development team, they can also base on the data to find out which function they should develop more and which function should be discontinued.
6. Do you want to share one last thing about Web Analytics?
K: Web Analytics is something that will be getting more and more important in any business environment. It just likes social media; it is something that cannot be avoids and businesses are required to learn and leverage. As there are so many tools out in the marketing, business can continue invest in different tools but they should even invest more in interrupting the hidden message. This is because tools will not tell you what to do next and will not be able to understand the business. Therefore, web analytics professions and services are far more expensive and important than the tool itself. Without a storyteller, the data will be just meaningless and a waste of money and effort to collect all the data from the users.
I just read about OneSky getting nominated by many of my facebook friends, and I think I have to make an interviews here for people in the local web entrepreneur circles.
Fanny is one of the co-founder of OneSky, we have many common friends on facebook & google+, that reminds me a lot of other successful local web starups here in hong kong. Do you think I should do more interview like this? Let me know here.
When did you first found the OneSky?
F: We started working on OneSky since January this year.
Private beta was launched in May and we (Loki & I) flew to US to gather product feedbacks because we believe only a good product can sell. We even got up at 6am in the freezing morning to talk to the developers who were queueing for WWDC. After speaking to more than 20+ companies and 100+ developers, we came back to HK and quickly improved the product.
Public beta was launched in August. I flew to US since then to do customer development and partnership here in Silicon Valley. Our team also visit different countries for developer meetups and gathering product feedbacks. Last month, OneSky is invited as the representative for Hong Kong to attend a entrepreneurship conference in Japan, which has 1,500+ attendees.
Why did you found OneSky?
F: We want to solve the problem of language barrier faced by many apps and site developers. Put it in other way, we want to make translation and localization totally “painless” with help of streamlined localization process and complete translation offerings (agencies, crowdsource, machine). Mobile and Internet are probably the best global distribution channels now. But if your app or site is not localized, you even can’t say “Hi” to your potential users in other countries.
The very original idea comes from one of our co-founders, Greg. He ran a social network for book lovers which is very popular in Europe. One day the uses requested to add European languages such as Italian but the site is only available in English and Greg simply didn’t have time and resource to do that. Greg created a shared document online which allowed users help to translation – English on the left, Italian translation on the right. It worked well BUT only in the first day. There were lots of arguments coming up about whose translations should be chosen. At that time, Greg built a very simple voting system for users to vote on the translation and it worked! Right now the site is in 17 languages and all are translated by users.
So we thought even a small site like this have such need and surely this is not the only site in the world, why don’t we take this idea and work on it to support more platforms? So that more people can be benefited from localization with a dead-simple-to-use tool.
The site was titled “1-click to 70+ language translation”. how’s that possible?
F: Actually we are adding more languages and soon will be “80+ languages” 🙂
Instead of hooking up our customers to one single agency, we create a Global Agency Network, which includes many professional translation agencies around the world. You can find a Japan agency to do Japanese translation and a Russia agency fo Russian.
We tested and interviewed all agency partners before we sign partnership. As we are very specialized in mobile apps, games and sites, we make sure all of them have experience or even specialized in these fields.
After founding OneSky, what was your main takeaway?
F: The world can be much more than AO/EO, investment bank, Big 4 (the largest 4 auditing firms), finance.
We learn to think more (different possibilities), think deep (drill in different possibilities), plan better (maximize the use of limited resources) and act super fast (execution is the key to success).
Are you happy with the result of OneSky?
F: Yes and no.
I am happy that OneSky is on the right direction solving a hard problem as our current customers around the world are very happy about our service. And more and more people see the importance of localization from the globalization trend.
But I am not satisfied with current stage as I do believe OneSky can go much further and help more people to spread out their awesome ideas around the world. We are a small startup but we are super dedicated. So we choose to dedicate resources on products and customers instead of fancy advertisements and marketing campaigns. It would be great if we can get more media exposure in different places as that can surely help us to reach out more.
Do you want to share one last thing about OneSky?
F: Hong Kong is an international metropolitan city with a fusion of eastern and western cultures. OneSky is the international startup starting from HK and with the vision to bridge the gap of different cultures starting from what we use everyday – mobile and internet. We hope to help spread out awesome ideas, experience and happiness around the world.
不過只是代客寫app，滿足感始終有限，Danny認為點都要有屬於自己的作品，「既然營業額轉趨穩定，開發app的成本亦不高，不如寫幾個試試市場反應，真的吸引到資金，再發大來搞。」於是前年成立研發部門寫自家app，原本諗住要慢慢經營，亦無刻意搵投資者，誰知寫到第二個app（第一個app是Hong Kong Movie，第二個是TalkBox）已經跑出，被內地創投基金睇中，注入過千萬資金，足夠用來聘請程式員優化app，以及搞大型市場推廣活動。短期目標達成，Danny總結過去經驗，「雖然不是為錢寫app，但如果app夠實用，尤其是可以打入內地市場的話，的確較易短期內賺錢。內地在創投方面的資金非常充裕，認真研究內地用家的生活習慣，寫app去解決他們生活上的需要，相信會有一番作為。」想搞startup的，值得參考一下。
以 Twitter創辦人 Jack Dorsey為例，這位獲選為 TR35（即 35歲以下的傑出創新者，其餘獲選者包括 Google和 facebook的創辦人），其成名絕技為簡約、約束和精巧三條準則，基於以上的理念，結果 Dorsey創造了 Twitter和 Square那樣成功的產品和公司。事實上，跟創業型領袖一樣， Dorsey奉行精簡管治哲學，控制目標數量，然後在每個必要的環節上做好完美：「 Make every detail perfect and limit the number of details to perfect」。這裏所說的完美，是真真正正專注做好一件事情，就像 Steve Jobs設計的產品，就算多了一口螺絲，也絕不妥協。