Friday, 27 March 2009

How to monetise OME's expertise?

We have had a an excellent March - welcomed some new clients - seen a couple of phoenixes rise from the flames which is all positive.
The only thing furrowing my brow of late is i have spent a huge amount of time in long meetings recently discussing
1. social/business networks and
2. process improvements
3. what they should/could do right now in both areas.

Now some of that comes out as spend and proj mgmt fees but a lot is just a knowledge transfer that i am sure will reap rewards long term but hey - generally i prefer rewards to come in short and medium term.
We do have consultancy projects (largely for media owners) but possibly we should have a client consultancy arm and price it up accordingly. Are we giving the farm away? should we tease clients a little more? My current view is NO - as i think people buy into our approach and trust and relationships are built up - but its an area i am going to have to keep an eye on.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Had a really enjoyable meeting with Andrew from UrbanMole who ran me through the site and what their plans were. I loved the concept as they have a clear target market and a compelling reason for that target market to use the site (rather than one of the other social/business network sites out there). I love the TripAdvisor type peer review and referral elements. Now its all about the execution - and so the really hard work begins....

Tim and Alastair - we wish you well

I believe the two founders of Enhance Tim Elkington and Alastair Cartwright have moved on to pastures new and i just want to take a moment to acknowledge their contribution to the development of online recruitment in the UK. They founded the business in 2001 when it was deemed highly dubious as to whether an agency/research co/consultancy could make decent money in our marketplace. Well they certainly did as well as educating and helping clients along the path to digital recruitment nirvana!
I am sure Enhance will blossom given the great foundations they laid and am equally confident that surely both can't be waving goodbye to online recruiting forever or can they...

Thursday, 5 March 2009

ITV selling off Friendsreunited

Just adding some rather random thoughts to this story (ITV pay £150-175m for something that is now worth £2.50)
  • It is so rare to find an acquisition that goes right isn't it? (a round of applause for DMGT's purchase of Jobsite though!). The typical story tends to be large corporate has strategy vacuum but feels the need to do something. Consultants are employed and feel the need to recommend something. Both of these end up with "lets go out and acquire something"
  • Now just possibly this acquisition's main purpose is for the page 1-3 story in FT of the announcement that indicates that company is getting all web - e-commerce - international - moving up supply chain (delete as appropriate)
  • After Day 1 - the company then have to think "what the hell are we going to do with this"
  • In FriendsReunited - it was lets stick a job board on it - and dating - and classifieds. That must have taken about 5 mins to come up with!
  • Execution in all areas - pretty appalling - and short term view taken so parts are closed down
  • Almost from Day 1 - the site is completely engulfed by better technology - proper Web 2.0 and presumably a complete lack of inspiration to pick up the challenge from ITV
  • In all likelihood - all the board who bought it (and consultants who advised buying it) have moved on and it can be safely binned
  • They have announced that would be prepared to sell it for £50m - any takers? - no - didn't think so - it would be like buying 34 year old crocked footballer who was once a star player - so ITV better hope Newcastle or West Ham are in the market. I cant imagine what the true value would be - but not a great deal for a product in terminal decline that does not have an established revenue stream.
  • I saw this quote in one of the pieces "Last year ITV claimed Friends Reunited had doubled its monthly unique users to 5.5m after switching from subscriptions to an ad-funded model" - 5.5m monthly uniques - really?? - it may be true but does anyone know anyone who has been on this site for the last 3 years?