Saturday, January 26, 2008

Open letter to Mr.Howard Schultz

Dear Mr. Schultz,

I understand that you have received thousands of very good and sounding advice in the latest months.
But as your company is one the most loved around the world and in the blogosphere, I wish to write down few words about the perception and the future of Starbucks.

Last year Starbucks lost me as a customer.
Everytime I was in London or Paris, I always paid a visit to on of your place but this was not the case lately.
I felt the place was not charming anymore. Sometimes the place was too small, sometimes dirty, sometimes everything happened too quickly like in a factory: who's next? quick, quick!
Too many gadgets
I just wanted a coffee in a nice and clean place, confortable and quite, like at home but... ok, you know, you invented it.

Now, this experience is diluted by the fact that too many shops were opened and you can't retain the same quality across all of them.
And to serve more people the old fashioned coffee machines were replaced with heartless devices.

Why I should pay a premium price for such a disappointing feeling? But I miss the place.

That's why I feel in need to give you an advice.

Go and hire some top managers from luxury companies, someone who knows how to make you pay a premium and feel satisfied and happy. And make happy the shareholders, too.
Someone who works in LVMH or PPR. Someone who can work on the image and still open stores everywhere in the world. Someone able to make people lying up outside the store and still be confortable with that.

You can't compete with McDonalds', because your franchise is far better and of higher profile. Can you imagine Louis Vuitton competing with Gap or H&M? What a shame it would be.

That's all from me.

Bonne chance, G.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Trust me!!!

This is the link to the presentation of the 2008 Trust Barometer Italy from Edelman.
Download and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2008 Trust Barometer Italy presentation

I've been invited by Edelman to join the discussion panel at the presentation of the Trust Barometer 2008.
Other participant to the panel are Luca Virginio, P&G Global corporate communication and reputation director, Giorgio Riva, RCS Digital Managing Director and Jere Sullivan, Executive VP Edelman Europe/ Vice Chairman Edelman Brussel.

The presentation is in Milan tomorrow at 5.30 pm.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2008 new mantra

(picture by Francesco Esposito in Flickr)

There's a new mantra for 2008: Trust.
We shifted from Engage to Trust.
Maybe Engage was too far ahead: you can't engage someone without Trust.
Trust comes before and, apparently, we begun to build a house from the ceiling.

We advice, we speak, we write, sometimes we get paid for and we expect others to believe in what we do.
But our customers must have in us the same Trust that old kings and queens had when financing Columbus and Magellan's expeditions.

So be prepared: a diluge of posts and comments about Trust are going to flood the blogosphere.
Are you ready?

Friday, January 18, 2008



BITS from NYTimes is facing the issue of copyright and filtering in a week long debate. The two debaters are Tim Wu, of Columbia Law School and Rick Cotton, general counsel of NBC Universal.

My comments:

  • Investing money on producing creative material is a tough task today
  • Entertainment corporations structured themselves on a single business model behind the shield of the copyright
  • This business model is gone because copyright in no longer a shield
  • Corporations seem keen to defend themselves and their status quo more than the artists they represent
  • And artists are looking for new business model and for new commercial partners (e.g.: Madonna defected from Warner and signed with Live Nation, a concert promoter)
  • The model of making live exhibition to support cd sales is gone: you give away digital music to sell tickets for the exhibition, merchandising, etc.
  • This is true for the music market, what about the movie market? Apparently box office is stable in the last three years and this should mean that p2p is not such an issue

  • DVD market is the one suffering because the platform itself is agonizing: the launch of new movie rental service may prove to be lethal for the platform, as DVD was for VHS and VHS was for I do not remember what.

The real issue in the story to me is that Entertainment Corporations are unable to define a worth business model to exploit the opportunities coming from the Web 2.0 and the future.

In the Middle Age, there were massive castles ready to resist to siege for months, at least until they had food and water: it was just a matter of time....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Age of conversation II

Here we are for the second year in a row with the Age of conversation project.
After the first release, we are proud to announce the kick off of the second book.

Drew and Gavin are the drivers of this great example of social authoring.

Feel free to be part of it voting (here) the topic you prefer and contributing with your thoughts and ideas.
To participate just send an email to

All the proceeds from the book selling will be donated to Variety, the Children's Charity.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Facebook on advertising

Maybe it's my poor knowledge of a foreign language, or I'm too dumb to get the point. After reading this interview with the new Facebook,'s vp of product marketing and operation, my feeling that the guys there don't have any clue on how to make money out of it is getting stronger.

The interview is on Fast Company

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Facebook and The Da Vinci code

I read this interesting article from The Guardian, author Tom Hodgkinson, about Facebook.
The approach looks like the one of a spy story, with conspirancy, secret service and political lobbies.
But it is fascinating because you never know where is the twilight zone, the limit between thruth and fantasy.

Personally, I do not like much Facebook and feel that there something wrong with it. I totally agree with the journalist when it comes to the ridicolous Facebook privacy policy. I hardly follow him when it comes to mention an involvment of CIA.

Anyway, I would be itnerested in having your thoughts about it.

With friends like these

Monday, January 14, 2008

The roar of a Leopard or of a Bunny?

I've just had one of the most frustratring conversation of my entire life with a tech support hot line.

I'm trying to install Leopard on my MacBook Pro and the dvd of the program does not allow me to choose the type of installation.

According with the instruction, I should have three options.
According with a kind lady of the call center I have to erase my hard disk and install the operating system, period.

But, funny enough, she asked me if I was installing the operating system or and update !! (Leopard is the brand new system, launched a couple of month ago)
Lastly, she asked me if I have the two dvds while the Leopard box contains only one disk: after my answer about having only one, she check with a colleague and then confirm to me that I was right.

Now, this is rather annoying, but to make it more annoying there is a detail: the phone call is at my charge and costs around 5 euros.

I'm not going to erase my hard disk, I'm going to take my Mac to the store where I bought it and check with them.

But, dear Apple, come on! This is not a support: this is rubbish.