Simplicity is the essence of beauty

Saturday 25 December 2010 0 Comments

We are about to say hello to 2011 and today I'm chilling at home, enjoying a cuppa hot steaming coffee, writing this blog while listening to the "Codename: Kids Next Door" my little star is watching on tele. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the number my team and I churn this year. They have worked hard and the result shows. The thing with sales and marketing is, it's a never ending climb. You have a target to reach and when you touched the top, you found yourself at the foot of the hill ready to start climbing again. We let loose in December and hit some bowling pins last Friday. The team won big time, leaving the technical department biting our dusts so to speak. But we leave it at that and set our gear for the new year that's coming in 6 days.

2011 is indeed a brand new year but FingerTec will certainly be the same, providing our customers with convenience and finding ways to make things easy for everybody. Some people love complexity, me on the other hand is a fan of simplicity. I think simplicity rocks. I'd like to quote Edward de Bono who said that simplicity is easy to learn and to use. People are usually frightened by simplicity because it threatens the complexity of which it is their job to explain. I couldn't agree more. My high school math teacher told us to use the simplest calculation in math, if you could spoon a food straight to your mouth, why do you want to twist your arm to the back of your head to spoon the food into your mouth. Get what I mean? By the way, grab "Teach Yourself To Think", a pretty good self-development book, i'd say.

By being simple as well, we are reaching a larger audience rather than the select few who have grade A brains. Being simple does not mean we neglect attention to details. Being simple means to explain things in the best possible manner to reach the largest audience possible.

Therefore, it has become our collective efforts to make things easy for our clients from all aspects of the business. Our job is not to test IQs instead whatever resources we provide we must ENRICH and ASSIST our clients the world over to the best of our ability.

Next year also marks the beginning of our effort to apply simplicity in our operation and saving the world in the process. We have gone back and forth in this issue and it's time that we put our foot down and stress on the importance of simplicity and conservation. I'm excited to what's in store for us in 2011 and I have my high hopes that FingerTec will thrive as a brand that cares.

by Norana Johar, COO, FingerTec HQ

We are about to say hello to 2011 and today I'm chilling at home, enjoying a cuppa hot steaming coffee, writing this blog while listenin...


Microwikinomics - Building on the Sharing Spirit

The Internet Guru, Don Tapscott has published a new book Macrowikinomics in 2010; it is not really a sequel to his previous book, Wikinomics that was published four years ago, it is a continuous observation for an expansion trend of the mass collaboration.

Don Tapscott

The term Mass Collaboration, popularized by Tapcott in his book Wikinomics is defined in Wikipedia (one of the most successful projects of mass collaboration, where the Wiki-nomics get its name) as a form of collective actions that occur when large numbers of people work independently on a single project, often modular in its nature. Such projects typically take place on the internet using social software and computer-supported collaboration tools such as wiki technologies, which provide a potentially infinite hypertextual substrate within which the collaboration may be situated.

And, in the four years of penning the idea, the author observes that the wikinomics has gone beyond a business or technology trend to become a more encompassing societal shift. He says, wikinomics, defined as the art and science of mass collaboration in business, becomes macrowikinomics; the application of wikinomics and its core principles to society and all of its institutions. Just as millions have contributed to Wikipedia – and thousands still make ongoing contributions to large-scale collaborations like Linux and the human genome project, he urges, why not open-source government, education, science, the production of energy, and even health care? I believe these are not idle fantasies, but real opportunities that the new world of macrowikinomics makes possible.

Mass collaboration

But, just as the macroeconomics reduces its size to economics, and further down to microeconomics, I would like to scale down Tapscott’s macrowikinomics idea to microwikinomics, where mass collaboration does not only apply to those “think big” projects, but to be adopted in a lot smaller communities.

Just like most of the countries, their economies are not driven by a handful of conglomerates; but by the vast number of SMEs (small and medium enterprises), whom are commonly facing the scarce-of-resources problem, the concept of mass collaboration should be strongly promoted in this community.

I actually promote the same concept here within the FingerTec context. Buying and selling of FingerTec products is merely a business activity, to reach the state of mass collaboration, we anticipate resellers to contribute contents to enrich our resource pool. 

Over the years, we have built the resource pool of the microsites, mostly on our own, only a handful of our resellers contribute marketing stories, technical tips, translates TCMS V2 software or FingerTec hardware into their local languages, and etc. And in FingerTec Distributor Guidebook, I strongly encourage distributor to tap on our resources to edit their own version of newsletter to enlarge the clout in their local market; this is also a spirit that is derived from the microwikinomics.

I’m not partial to business agreements that bind each other. At FingerTec, we don’t initiate distribution agreement, because the commitment is not all defined by a simple sales figure. If some distributors or resellers continuously contribute to enrich our resource pool, they are like family members to us, rather than sheer business partners. Even if their sales figures are still far from satisfactory, I believe it is just a matter of time before we could observe improvements; and as a family member, we have the patience.

Tapscott lists these five important elements: collaboration, openness, sharing, integrity and interdependence to ensure a successful macrowikinomics. But when I think through, it applies to FingerTec microwikinomics too.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

The Internet Guru, Don Tapscott has published a new book Macrowikinomics in 2010; it is not really a sequel to his previous book, Wikinom...


Reversing Business Concept

When we ranked the Top 10 Events of FingerTec in 2010 in the recent newsletter, most of them are tangibly measurable. But to me, the silent revolution that successfully took place in the company, which I couldn’t phrase it in any official milestone document should be more worthy to report.

I would like to start my explanation with this idiom, If the mountain will not come to Mohammed, Mohammed must go to the mountain. It taught us if things do not change the way you want them to, you must adjust to the way they are. This is something about reverse thinking that leads to a reverse operation that yields a positive result.
What I want to convey here is that, when you think differently, act against all odds, the pay-off might be much higher than the conventional way.

The conventional and common practices that most businesses have include having sales people running around chasing customers, whereas technical guys would passively wait for customers’ calls.

If I were to ask, “Why don't we do it the other way around?” I'm sure to get this rebuke, “You mean the technical guys would go out chasing customers and the sales people could sit back and relax? Are you out of your mind? Now you really want the mountain to come to Mohammed.”

Why not? I'd insist adamantly, “Most people loathe spam mails, why should I act one like a Chinese company? If we have agreed on permission marketing, we'd need to get a ‘yes’ from them first.” And we often heard this complaint, “To conclude sales, they'd come anytime even at midnight; but come to after-sales services, they’re nowhere to be seen.”

Could I reverse the common business practice? This would make the technical department plays a more active role, and the sales department be a little laidback and less aggressive when it comes to pursuing customers. “Less aggressive? Without a sales quota, of course your sales department is too relaxed.” One of my business friends strongly opposing me.

To transform supposedly passive technical guys to be more proactive was not an easy task. 

The silent-revolution took me quite some years. Now, our technical department has been trained to promptly respond to all technical inquiries; has to ensure the offered solutions really solve problems; has to categorize type of technical issues for further analysis; has to gather customers’ requirements for further developments; has to work closely with R&D in fixing software bugs; has to compile technical tips for monthly newsletter; has to provide assistance in producing user and technical video clips; has to maintain two technical microsites, and help in another six; has to repair hardwares and, all in all, has to upgrade the service quality from time to time to a higher customer care level, rather than to stay merely at the problem-solving stage.

When I slowly reversed the business strategies and operations in 2005, it naturally occurred to me that this should be the right way for any ethical business practice, not the familiar one that has long been distorted by the shortsighted businessmen.

By reversing the priority, it seems a lot easier for us to build a satisfied and devoted customer base. And instead of trying hard to look for new customers, we often attracted them to come to us. The sales figure grew by 575% in the past six years (95.8% per annum in average) proved that my strategy was working fine and it matches well with the Blue Ocean Strategy that promotes “demand is created rather than fought over”.

The cornerstone of Blue Ocean Strategy is “value innovation”. A blue ocean is created when a company achieves value innovation that creates value simultaneously for both customer and the company.

Yes, the mountain finally came to us.

by Teh Hon Seng, CEO, FingerTec HQ

When we ranked the Top 10 Events of FingerTec in 2010 in the recent newsletter, most of them are tangibly measurable. But to me, the sil...