February 6, 2012

12 Days of Innovation for Marketers – Day 8 – TechCrunch Crunchies

“Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose” – Charles Eames

Eames was a great architect of design.  His beauty of purpose was prevalent in everything he did.  And such is our next day of innovation.  Tens of applications that are purposeful and helpful, designed to deliver impressive small pieces in making your user experience elegant.  The Crunchies are an award programme celebrating technological innovation.  They’re the delivery mechanisms of tech cool.  Proven or nearly proven technologies that are gaining users, gaining funding and gaining interest.  Through the Crunchies, they are supported by their fan clubs (which is the only way Fab could have conceivably beat Gilt – no disrespect, but Gilt is genius, as I said 8 months ago)

That aside, the Crunchies present a great view of new tech you can use and incorporate into your business, especially as marketers.  This list presents a great place to go shopping for near-term (as in already built) ideas by which to extend your site, your user experience and your ability to deliver quickly.

We have a philosophy at Covalent Marketing around “build versus buy.”  We talk about it in terms of our company, our clients, technology and people (yes, people – what skills are worth the premium price to acquire and what should we focus on enabling our team to deliver.)  In the case of the Crunchies, these technologies are all proven to allow you to rapidly move forward once you test/play/figure out how to use them.

For those of you who like to play with technology, a lot of the names will feel like friends you’ve spent the last year checking out – FlipBoardGilt, Pinterest (if you are a retailer, textile manufacturer, food company, caterer, curator or media maven and have not spent quality time with Pinterest, go – NOW. We’ll forgive you.)

However, these are the things that make technology great.  It’s something I call social production.  You have the ability to bring lots of great small pieces together to assemble something fabulous.  A lot of us take pictures of our stores, products, prepared dishes, displays, among the kids, dogs and superbowl party pictures.  So, why aren’t you reinventing the way you do that with a much better way to add light to your pictures (Lytro).  I also played with Memolane (my visual here).  Anyone can sell something with Square – I had my cabbie use it the other day.

It’s worthwhile to get familiar with these, and the Crunchbase, database has details for them all.    Go check it out, please.  Also – please do not miss Disrupt, NYC in May, 2012.

Cristene, Kevin and Debbie