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I stumbled upon this while look for High Five stories... sounds very LaunchPad-esque to me. Wondering what we might do to distinguish ourselves from other resources already available. Full story from The Corridor of Uncertainty.
“They are the Ritz-Carlton of video discussion sites.” Pushing monetary criticisms aside, this is a grand comparison to make; regardless of industry, this is the one that company service teams the world over strive to achieve. The Ritz-Carlton is legendary for its praiseworthy customer service, with thousands of travelers a day indulging in the favorable displays of hospitality. Perhaps none were more appreciative of the signature M.O. than the little boy who lost his beloved stuffed giraffe, Joshie. When the father of this boy, Chris Hurn, learned of the loss (over anguished cries from his son, no doubt), he promptly pacified his son by telling him not to worry, that Joshie merely decided to extend his vacation at the Ritz-Carlton and that he would return soon. Shortly after he told his white lie, the hotel called to inform him that Joshie had been found amidst the laundry! Greatly relieved, Chris tried to push his luck even further. He told the person on the other end of the phone about the lie he told his son, and asked that person if there was a way that they could take a picture of Joshie by the pool (to support his “extended stay” story). Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, for anyone who was aware of their reputation before), the staff person on the other end of the phone agreed to do it. Fast forward a few days, and Chris receives a package from the Ritz-Carlton's Loss Prevention Team. Among the items inside was a photo album.... starring Joshie! The staff over at the Ritz-Carlton didn't just stop at the pool photo; apparently Joshie met other stuffed buddies, drove a golf cart, and even became a member of the Loss Prevention team himself (he has the ID badge to prove it). Needless to say, Chris and his wife were floored by the effort put forth by the staff members at the Ritz-Carlton. For more pics of Joshie's vacation, read the original story! [Huffpo] Going above and beyond the call of duty shows customers that you are willing to make them a priority. Becoming a top-notch customer service organization is invaluable to a brand. The following lessons garnered from the actions of the Ritz-Carlton should be heeded as sage advice to burgeoning (and established) businesses:
I recently received an email from Udacity as part of their promotional efforts on its new statistics course by Professor Sebastian Thrun. Hi Lu Wang, I am writing you to ask a personal favor. I am trying to break the student record for the largest online class ever taught with my new class "Intro to Statistics", which will begin June 25th. Sign up, forward this e-mail to your friends and family and let's set a new record! The marketing strategy being adopted by Ud...
From an opinion piece in today's NYT, Luigi Zingales, professor of entrepreneurship and finance at the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago, points out that, while those in higher ed are quick to accuse businesspeople of lobbying for less competition and increased subsidies on their behalf, colleges and universities have been doing the same thing for years. Indeed, we're seeing increased calls for student loan reform with student debt spiraling out ...
Last night I was looking through the day's posts on Fark.com and noticed a link to a blog post about Facebook marketing. Because we've been talking a lot about marketing and promoting our products over the last few days, especially in our Tuesday meeting that I gave the post a read. The post, Joseph Perla Was Wrong About Facebook Advertising, is a response to another
Back in the days when Research Broker was beta testing within the EdLab, I suggested to implement a bidding system similar to Rend A Coder (now named VWorker) where companies can post data analysis jobs and qualified researchers can bid for the job with their desired amount of reward. Today a friend of mine showed me a company called InnoCentive which does similar things in the business sector. InnoCentive is an "open innovation" company that takes research and development problems in a broad range o...
Please watch this video if you haven't already... I guarantee at least a smile. So, did you smile? What gumption! He's just a boy! But he made my day AND got me thinking about entrepreneurism: 1) Use what you know to prototype sooner than later Why wait until a college engineering degree, or even high school shop class to attempt building an arcade? No more excuses! Use dad's old au...
One of many out/crowdsourcing sites that have popped up recently, Namestation is aimed at domain and startup naming. It has a pretty active community and lots of resources for generating unique keywords for e-business. The most attractive part of the site, especially for our exuberant in-house namestormers, might be the ...
Columbia Univerisity English Language Institute in China (CUELIC) Columbia University English Language Institute in China will provide specialized English language training for university students, business executives, and entrepreneurs located in Shanghai, China. Classes will focus on specific training areas that will help enhance the participants language abilities to further achieve cultural integration into their particular target populations. It will consist of highly interactive guided scenarios within small attentive classroom settings, leading to a certificate of completion. Te...
We've heard all about competitions/workshops where startups and budding entrepreneurs pitch ideas. There are already startup weekends for ed-tech. But what I'm about to propose does not fall into either category... Let's start with what successful entrepreneurs are really great at: identifying new efficiency. While some entrepreneurs succeed in better identifying consumer tastes, those that can identify concrete ways to make firms and consumers more efficient win out at a much higher rate. Yet the startups have been most effective in high-tech, where identifying new efficiency mostly requires technical knowledge. In areas such as education, knowledge of institutional constraints is incredibly important. My idea for an entrepreneurship competition would entail TC students (and possibly other potential entrepreneurs) to not pitch an idea but a problem. The task would be to identify an area of education where there are greater improvements to efficiency for the taking. The proposed solutions to these inefficiencies would have to be limited to entrepreneurial efforts (specifically not public policy). The greater the improvements to efficiency and the greater the specificity with which the problem and suggested solution(s) are outlined, the better the idea is judged. The competition would have two parts: a presentation and a q&a session with a panel of experts (a la Fed Challenge). The Q&A would be partially rooted in the entrepreneurs' presentation and partially in testing the entrepreneurs' knowledge of the particular issue being addressed. The panel of experts should be a mix of TC faculty and folks from the entrepreneurship world. This competition takes a slightly different view of entrepreneurship on two fronts. One, it fleshes out some of the institutional concerns that come with addressing educational issues that don't exist in other sectors where entrepreneurship exists. Where else can you find as expansive a faculty that is knowledgeable about the variety of issues that plague education? Two, this sort of competition is not for those who might have a super-clear idea for their startup. Rather, it will help entrepreneurs keep efficiency considerations in mind as they build towards a concrete product. This competition should bridge the gap between entrepreneurial interest to concrete idea/product. The workshop half of this project would be a little different too. We would use the many of the same experts from the panel of experts of the competition to conduct a workshop with some of these same entrepreneurs to help sharpen their ideas. If you've read this far, you're probably interested and you're in a position to answer this question. Should the workshop precede or succeed the competition. If the workshop comes after, it almost serves as a prize in and of itself. If we conduct the workshop before, we could charge a lot more for participating in such a competition. Keep in mind that it will cost more to get faculty and other experts to help nearly everyone, as opposed to the winner or top 3 teams. Let me know if you would like to see the full-fledged project proposal for this idea if you're interested!