Friday, August 12, 2011

NetBase Post Ties Into Innovation Topics

A new post on the NetBase blog about the social media conversation surrounding a product called Cricut from Provo Craft touches on several key topics in innovation and product positioning.

Specifically, the company’s policy toward third-party software relates to the idea of Lead User Innovation, because the company chooses not to embrace the creativity of users, which can have adverse consequences.

In addition, their policy on pricing puts them at risk for losing market share to a disruptive technology, because their add-on products are comparatively expensive, which potentially opens the door to a company producing a lower-cost alternative.

The blog post is a form of social media analysis called a netnography—a qualitative, interpretive research methodology that adapts the traditional, in-person ethnographic research techniques of anthropology to the study of online communities. To write the netnography, NetBase analyzed thousands of posts from consumers about the brand. The posts are automatically sorted into Positive or Negative classifications by our natural language processing (NLP) engine, then we manually sample those posts.

Monday, August 02, 2010 best practices forum coming soon

NetBase and Rob Kozinets will be launching a best practices forum later this summer. If you're interested, check out Be sure to let us know what you're interested in discussing.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Flip it to High blog announcement

I'm trying an experiment with ConsumerBase which I call Semantic Keyword Expansion. I've created a blog I'd like to announce called Flip it to High. On this blog I'm promoting the Vitamix blender. I've requested a Vitamix affiliate license and I'm going to use ConsumerBase to help me find keywords to advertise my blog. With a search in ConsumerBase for Vitamix, I'm hoping to find non-obvious semantically related keywords to advertise on.

By the way, the Vitamix really is a wonderful product, you might want to see what I have to say about it on my other blog,

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

All about ConsumerBase

Our fabulous marketing team just created a clip on youtube describing what our product, ConsumerBase, is all about. My favorite part is the insights about Wii at the end.

Check it out...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Innovative soup recipe

I love this soup recipe below because it gives guidelines for how to make different kinds of soups with whatever you have on hand. This is a really practical recipe that gives you a lot more control over what you're cooking. It explains how to use ingredients, rather than just dictating what you should use and when.

I wish someone would write a cookbook with recipes written this way.

I make chocolate chip cookies a lot based on my Great Grandma's recipe. I've learned what butter does vs. shortening. Butter makes it browner, flatter and crispier than shortening. The more flour you put, the chunkier. I'm still trying to figure out the role of rising agents. Next time I think I'll leave them out and see if they even make a difference.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Eytan Adar's latest project is Zoetrope, a way of interacting with a web page's history. Rather than just seeing what's currently on a web page, Zoetrope let's you easily rewind to previous versions of that page.

Some of the applications mentioned in his video at are for viewing how a value on a web page changes over time, for example:

* Stock price
* Movie rating
* Gas prices (e.g. on gas buddy)

What is the relationship between gas prices and oil prices is a question that could be answered because it allows you to see how those values relate to each other. The video describes a really rich scenario for exploring relationships between data.

What if the correlations between changes in time-series data though could be automatically detected? What if we had the ability to mine the web for time-series data and automatically detect which events seem to be causing other events?

What's needed is a uniform data structure for representing time series data. Then we'd need to crawl the web and map the data into that format. Zoetrope adds another element to this wherein time series data is captured by monitoring the changes in a website over time.

I think it is very cool that Eytan is using the term "lens" to talk about ways of viewing data harvested off of the web. At NetBase, we use the term lens also, but for viewing data extracted through our semantic analysis.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How to be an innovator

Not much guidance is out there for how to become an innovator. Sure there's lots on how to be an entrepreneur, an inventor, or a leader. But if you want to be an innovator, here is a how-to tip.

I heard two very interesting innovators speak last week at Eric von Hippel's Innovation Lab. One was Bre Pettis, founder of MakerBot. The other was Eric Jackson of Jackson Kayak. Von Hippel would call both of these innovators "user manufacturers". This is because they are practitioners in their field and entrepreneurs who have created companies to provide products to other practitioners in their field.

Both men talked about their passion for their field. Eric was an avid kayaker who entered and won all kinds of kayaking contests. Bre loved 3D printers and was fascinated by the idea of 3D printers that could print our 3D components needed to build other 3D printers.

At some point, both men realized they could spend even more time kayaking and building 3D printers if they could create and sell products necessary to kayak and build 3D printers, respectively. It was this critical realization that enabled both Eric and Bre to devote their lives to their passion.

So the lesson to those of us who would like to innovate is: find out what you're passionate about it. Then figure out what products and services you can develop to sell to other practitioners of your craft. But in the spirit of user-innovation, you also have to be careful not to become too much of a manufacturer and not enough of a user. Eric Jackson says that he practices kayaking every single day with his lead user buddies. He competes in all kinds of kayaking competitions. He said if he lost a day of practicing, he'd lose his edge as an inventor for his customers.