Posts Tagged ‘Ideavibes’

As previously announced, we have wrapped up Fundchange and will be focusing on our crowdsourcing platform which is soon to be relaunched.

I thought it might be helpful for other Canadian start-ups interested in this space to hear what we learned over the past 2 years launching and running Fundchange which was an initiative of Ideavibes.

Here we go – lessons learned:

  1. Be careful what claims you make. We thought we were the first crowdfunding website for charities and non-profits in Canada when we launched in 2010 – but the Small Change Fund very forcefully told us to stop saying this (amazing how a cease and desist letter throws you off your game). We didn’t know their project fundraising site had all of a sudden become a crowdfunding website.
  2. When working with large partners, it is helpful to make regular updates an important part of the agreement – no matter how busy people might be.
  3.  Inertia and habits are VERY hard to change. We didn’t understand how stuck charities and non-profits in Canada are in their old ways (even if they aren’t working), and how averse to change and risk they are.
  4. We tried to boil the ocean – not possible for a start-up or even a partner like TELUS. We knew the conversation around social media had to change in Canada if businesses – governments – and charities are to communicate with Canadians and we tried to do do much of this on our own. The belief that no one over 40 is on social media is WRONG.
  5. Banks and service providers like PayPal, etc. need to stop treating Canada like a 3rd world nation. I know we are only 30mil people but come on – there is no excuse for launching products and services in the US and then Britain before Canada.
  6. When launching a start-up – don’t stray from Stephen Covey’s mantra of ‘keeping the main thing – the main thing.’ My bad – did that and given our limited resources, caused us much grief.

There are a few others but these are the main ones I wanted to put out there.



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Starting tomorrow (Nov 13/2012), the CRTC – Canada’s broadcast and telecommunications regulator, is launching an Online Consultation to help develop a ‘Wireless Code’ for Canada. The goal of the consultation “is to address the clarity and content of contracts for cellphones and other personal mobile devices.”

Details of the consultation can be found here:  http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/info_sht/t1046.htm

While I applaud the CRTC for deploying a consultation strategy that goes beyond the usual public meetings, rife with the challenges they suffer from, I am disappointed. It looks like the CRTC wasn’t able to go all the way to creating an opportunity for Canadians to have open and meaningful conversations and foster innovation collaboratively in a way that would have made this process one that developed a code that worked for both the public and industry players for the future.

The opportunity to use OPEN innovation or crowdsourcing to develop the Code collaboratively would have been an excellent opportunity for both the CRTC and industry players to engage the public in a meaningful way that would have included many more Canadians. The benefits of this open process would have been felt by all parities and the leadership the CRTC would have demonstrated would have given all Canadians more confidence in the process.

I do think that the mobility industry does deserve what it gets here. Canadians seem to have more disdain for their carriers than they do for just any other service they use. How can an industry expect to rally public support when loyalty to one’s carrier is in short supply? The big MISS here is that the industry itself didn’t initiative its own process for driving innovation for this Code and show leadership as both strong players in the market – and good corporate citizens.

So a tepid pat on the back for the CRTC but a wish that they had the courage to go all the way to using open innovation or crowdsourcing to build a Code that was innovative and reflective of the wishes of Canadians. I hope my fellow citizens get involved if they feel they have something to say here – and not just complain around the dinner table.

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Ideavibes and CATA have announced the results of their survey on attitudes towards crowdfunding in Canada. The survey was targeted at the business start-up community.

Ideavibes_CATA_Infographic_hr (Download PDF)

Results of Aug/Sept 2012 Survey

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As a player in the crowdfunding space in a couple ways: one through the sales of our Crowd Engagement Platform – which does crowdfunding – and through the running of Fundchange (www.fundchange.com), we have had the opportunity to observe how Canadians approach crowdfunding and compare this to what we see is happening in other countries. Our conservative nature is showing through it appears.

It can’t be denied that crowdfunding is all the rage these days and there is some success happening through the different models out there. What we haven’t seen though, is a whole lot happening in Canada in this area – either from funders or from groups looking for funding. Our experience with Fundchange on the not-for-profit side so far has shown that Canadians don’t seem to be keen supporters of funding projects or ideas through this social media mechanism. We think this is rather odd because Canadians are supposed to be one of the top social media users in the world.

So we started to wonder, are Canadians’ attitudes different than the Americans or British towards crowdfunding?  Are we less likely to participate either as a fund seeker or a funder? The best way to get a handle on this was to check in with the crowd and see what their attitudes on crowdfunding were so  Ideavibes has partnered with the CATA Alliance to launch an online survey to get an idea of where start-ups especially sit with regard to crowdfunding.

You can find the survey here until August 24th so please take a few minutes (if you are Canadian) to participate: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/crowdfunding082012

Once the survey is complete, we will let you know what we find out.


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When introducing a new product or the next revision of a product, we are called to run estimates, projections, plan features for client demand, and suggest change plans. As Social Media increasingly becomes the venue for collecting client feedback, and timely research, the question becomes, “how do I do this effectively?”

Interested in learning about social media for marketing and product research?

Going to be in the Toronto area on January 31st? Join Paul Dombowsky, CEO of Ideavibes, and Anastasia Valentine, CEO of SandBox PM as they  lead a fascinating discussion and Q&A session to provide many real-world examples of how their companies and clients have approached social media for marketing and product research. The session will cover:

  • What best practices I can leverage?
  • How do I find the target market of clients I seek for feedback?
  • Where do I get started?
  • Do I use closed or open Social Media Groups?
  • Won’t my competition see what I am researching, and get a free ride?

The event is being held by the Toronto Product Management Association. To RSVP for the Social Media for Marketing & Product Research event, click here. See you there!

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We wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very happy holiday and all the best in 2012. Thank you to everyone who has supported Ideavibes and Fundchange projects over the past year. We look forward to all of the exciting things 2012 will bring.

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So, what exactly is social product development? Social product development is the opening up of innovation to internal and external input for the development of products in various stages of the product development life cycle.

Crowdsourcing can be part of an open innovation or social product management strategy. Crowdsourcing is an engagement process whereby organizations seek input from either open or closed communities of people, either homogenous or not, to contribute ideas, solutions, or support in an open process whereby the elements of creativity, competition and campaigning are reinforced through social media to come up with more powerful ideas or solutions than could be obtained through other means.

PDMA 2011 And Ideavibes

Now that we’ve got all of those definitions out of the way, I’d like to let you know that tomorrow (November 1st), Ideavibes’ CEO and Founder Paul Dombowsky will be speaking at the Product Development and Management Association’s Annual Global Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Ideavibes is one of the supporters of this year’s event and is really excited about the opportunity to speak to the attendees as well.

The session Paul will be leading is called “Get Social: Social Product Development Workshop and Demo.” Through examples and best practices, Paul will be talking to attendees about how product and marketing teams can work together to build better, market driven products through social media and crowdsourcing. There will also be a Crowd Engagement Platform™ trial included.

Why not get your crowd working for you? Start by tapping into the conversations that are already happening – you’ll be amazed at what you and your company will learn.

If you attend this session at PDMA 2011, let us know what you thought and feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below.

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