Entropy Web Consulting
930-D W. Moorhead Circle
Boulder CO 80305
The foundation for what I deliver is a positioning document that contextualizes the value of what your company is doing in a much broader business-oriented framework. Many companies tend to communicate their strengths in terms of unique technology. But technology alone won't attract the kind of attention you need to elicit from:
- early adopters & influentials
- channel partners
- corporate clients
The positioning I build is aimed primarily at the first four categories. In addition to bringing your company greater visibility in the press and among industry research organizations, it will also add substantially to your next-round business plan, and form the basis for other marketing vehicles such as web pages and sales collateral.
The first-phase deliverable is a "white paper" -- I hesitate to use the term, as most such documents are dry-as-dust exercises in yawning boredom. In contrast, this document will resemble an engaging and in-depth overview article of the sort that might appear in the business (preferred) or trade press. Examples of such pieces I have written include:
The handful of published examples listed above (there are many more) are unusual in that I wrote them myself. In the more frequent case, I produced the background positioning materials -- of the sort I am proposing here -- that staff writers used to create stories at publications such as Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, The Economist, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. I have been responsible for multiple articles in each of these publications, and was often quoted in the resulting pieces as a knowledgeable source.
For recent clients:4Work, Inc. - http://www.4work.comKnowledge and Livelihood: The Global Forces Reshaping WorkDigital Knowledge Assets - http://www.dkaweb.com
Understanding how work is evolving can help both individuals and businesses to take advantage of inevitable change, rather than being victimized by it. The following five sections explore many facets of knowledge, skill, livelihood and employment, and how these fit together today.
New Directions in Personal Publishing
The World Wide Web has made publishing a lot more accessible for anyone who wants to get into it. But who would want to? Why should anybody care? This article is an attempt to answer some fundamental questions along these lines.
For past clients:MCII was Editor/Publisher of the "Net Editors" segment in the 1995 launch of internetMCI, an offering in which that company invested well over $100 million. Although the service as a whole failed, Net Editors was one of its most effective elements as measured by audience popularity.IBMI created the foundations for an online community hub that was to accompany the second phase of IBM's infoSage news filtering service. Unfortunately, the offering failed in the first phase due to multiple and complex market factors, not the least of which was poor planning and positioning on the company's part.
For publications:The Industry StandardTicket to Write
September 25, 1998 - This piece ended by pointing to the whitepaper I wrote for DKA (called out above), thus putting the ideas it presented within easy reach of 100,000 Internet industry executives -- which constitute the prime target market for DKA's products and services.
Fear and Loathing on the Web
July 9, 1998 - This article mentioned a number of companies I've recently been working with. It brought a lot of response and the magazine has since asked me to write more for them. A second column -- on independent web publishing -- is currently in the works.
ForbesEnd-of-Your-Tether ComputingInternet World
This ran on the Forbes website in June 1997. Its subject matter is closely tied to the core business of Displaytech, the company for which I was then working. This story caused deep chagrin among Displaytech's competitors, raised its visibility as a credible and important industry "player," and helped drive several very large business deals to completion.Stone SoupByte Magazine
These articles (and four others) were written while I was at Mecklermedia creating the Mecklerweb e-commerce offering. They document business alliances I personally created with Ogilvy & Mather, Dun & Bradstreet, EDS, Edelman Public Relations and Digital Equipment Corporation. However, the unpublished precursors to these articles were instrumental in actually landing those partnerships.Making Knowledge Pay
This cover story introduced SGML to the mainstream technical press for the first time, and predicted -- in 1992 -- that the Internet would be the next red-hot arena for commerce.
The value of this kind of "corporate backgrounder" or "white paper" can be better grasped in terms of its effect. Placed into the hands of the right editors, such a document forms the basis for articles examining the industry segment of which your company serves as a prime example of unique technology, innovative use of the online medium, leverage of best business practices, and -- perhaps most critically -- high growth potential. My preferred starting point for distributing this document is the financial press. Once a substantive article appears in a major business publication, the trade press will follow with very little need for prompting.
Even before it goes to the journalistic community, however, this instrument needs to be placed with targeted industry analysts -- and actively discussed and defended to the point that they'll be willing to act as press contacts for quotable assessments, and optimally, endorsements.
Once positive press begins to appear, this needs to be fed back into the communications process via reprints that are sent out to previous press and analyst contacts. This last goes beyond the scope of the current proposal, but is a critical step in the overall process.
Half my fee is for preparation of the core positioning document; the other half covers one month of intensive networking with the editors and analysts who will turn it into articles and reports. It is important to state that I cannot guarantee the results of this networking. However, I have never seen it fail. My contacts and connections in these spheres are excellent and long established.
This kind of many-birds-with-one-stone program has enormous potential relative to its price. By leveraging a small investment out front, your company can get the phones ringing without the high cost of outbound marketing staff and the relatively expensive collateral materials and advertising such programs require. (Eventually you will need that kind of effort, of course, and my work will provide a strong basis on which to build further.)
The resulting increased visibility will also greatly increase your interest to the investment community, and improve your perceived valuation in equity deals. Finally -- but critically -- this type of exposure will build your web traffic far more quickly than advertising costing many times as much.