I guess most of you have an account on Twitter or is thinking of opening an account in Twitter because you are starting to get bored from Facebook.
One of the main lessons I learned from my operations management class is the Product Life Cycle. A product goes through the following stages: Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline. In my opinion, Twitter is currently in the growth stage due to the huge increase in the number of users per day. Twitter was established in March 2006 and by the end of 2007 it only had around 5 million users worldwide. In 2012, the number of users reached 200 million users worldwide. Twitter moved up to become the social networking site with the second highest number of users after Facebook which currently has around 900 million users worldwide. Twitter is very popular especially during important events. For example, Twitter users were actively using Twitter during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2010 NBA Finals, the day Michael Jackson passed away and during the 2011 Arab Spring. Moreover, many users are using Twitter to follow their role models, famous celebrities, professional athletes and even famous academic scholars.
During Twitter’s introduction stage, the company was able to invest in research and development and determine what exactly a social media user want from a social networking website. They discovered that social media users demand instant updates and latest news that is even faster than the famous news channels on TV such as CNN and BBC. During the 2011 Arab Spring, almost all Twitter users were using Twitter to read about the latest updates and breaking news rather than watching the TV. As a result, both CNN and BBC and other main global news channels opened an account on Twitter in order to provide the users with the latest updates. Therefore, people usually followed those users who provided the latest and breaking news that are credible and reliable.
Due to its extensive research and development and its ability to identify what exactly does the customer require, Twitter decided on October 2010 to introduce the “New Twitter” which allowed the sharing of videos and pictures as well as links to other websites. These developments increased the popularity of Twitter because now users can share their latest updates and breaking news with pictures and videos to support their claim or latest update. Moreover, Twitter created “hashtags #”. Those hashtags assist users to search the latest news about any topic in the world such as political events, economic events, entertainment events as well as sports event such as the World Cup and the Olympics.
Twitter is still in the growth stage because it was capable of improving and developing its product and conducting ongoing research and development to understand what exactly does the user want and then identify the strategies that will enable Twitter to satisfy the needs and requirements of all its existing and potential users. It is very important to mention that many companies all around the world are using Twitter as their main advertisement media to gain new customers and increase its market share.
My question is how can Twitter defeat Facebook and become the number one online social networking website in the world?
And finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading my blog and since we are talking about Twitter, kindly follow me @mohammedashoor
Do you remember Nokia? Yes the mobile phone that was used by almost everyone five years ago. To most of us who were born in the 1980s, Nokia was our first mobile phone. Nokia was dominating the market, everyone had Nokia. Nokia was very successful from 1998 up until 2008 when Blackberry and the iphone started to dominate the market and attract not only businessmen but also teenagers. Nokia lost a lot of its market share due to its weak forecasting of changing consumer tastes and preferences and its lack of sufficient research and development as well as its inability to compete with its competitors especially when it comes to adding innovative features and applications that are smarter and effective. Nokia lost its target market from all different ages whether it is the high school student or the university student or even the sophisticated business professional. It is sad to see that 5 years ago all my friends had a Nokia mobile phone and currently none of my friends have this mobile phone anymore even though it is still being sold in all our local mobile shops.
We studied in our operations management class about Product Life Cycle that states that product goes through 4 stages: Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline. Nokia is definitely now in the decline stage for many reasons. The first reason is Nokia’s poor product design which did not attract consumers because they looked very dull and stale unlike the Blackberry and the iphone. The second reason why Nokia reached its decline stage is that they were always one step behind their competitors mainly Blackberry and iphone especially when it comes to adding innovative features such as 3G and free chatting and social media applications such as Facebook and Twitter. A third reason why Nokia reached its decline stage is its strong dependence on its brand equity. Its dependence and reliance on its brand equity for a long time led the company to focus less on research and development and less monitoring of all existing and potential competitors. A fourth reason why Nokia reached its decline stage is the changing technological environment. Nokia was very famous for its simplicity however people have changed because they started demanding smarter phones rather than simple phones. They started demanding phones with many smart applications rather than few simple applications. Therefore, the change in the taste and preferences of the consumer led Nokia to the decline stage as consumer demand decreased significantly in the past couple of years.
My question is what should Nokia do now to restore its glory and fame? Can it regain its market leadership one more time and become the number one mobile phone by defeating Blackberry and i-phone or is it too late?
In our first operation management class we conducted an exercise called the paper puppet activity.
The first exercise reminded me when I was working in one of the investment banks in Bahrain. I was working as a private equity specialist. We created investment products and then we sold the shares of the investment product to investors all over the Arabian Gulf region with an expected rate of return at maturity. For any investment deal there is 3 stages. The first stage is the pre-acquisition stage. The second stage is the placement stage. The third stage is the post acquisition stage.
I was responsible for the first stage. In order for an investment deal to be successful, all three stages must work smoothly and efficiently. Therefore, my role my was to create the right investment product by analyzing the company we will invest in and by analyzing the country the company is operating in and its competitors and in other words I would determine if there is an upside potential for growth in the company which will lead to an increase in its share price. After making the decision to invest in this company, I would sit with the team that is responsible for the second stage which is the placement stage. The placement team would try to understand everything about the investment product because they will travel to all the Arabian Gulf Countries in order to sell the investment product to the investors who will be encouraged to invest in the product after realizing the excellent rate of return. After collecting the necessary funds from the investors in order to invest in the product we will reach the third stage which is the post-acquisition stage. In this stage we would use the fund collected by the placement team from the investors to invest in the companies which is usually by purchasing a majority share in the company in order to establish a majority control on the company. Moreover, the post-acquisition team would carefully monitor the investments in those companies and would undertake the necessary changes that will add value to the company and will eventually increase its market share and will benefit our investors who we invested in their behalf.
The problem occurred when we had a very strong pre-acquisition team and a very strong placement team but a weak post-acquisition team. Therefore, we created a good investment product that was able to meet the needs and requirements of the investors however we had problems in delivering our promises to the investors because our post-acquisition team was not able to perform or deliver good results by achieving or exceeding the target rate of return. But to be honest with you, the duties and responsibilities of the post-acquisition team is the hardest because they have to get involved in the company we invested in by changing their systems and their management and to implement strategies that will add value and increase its market share. So their task was very challenging. Nevertheless, we have to find a solution in order to meet the target rate of return we promised our investors that we would achieve. My question is how can we solve this problem because our only problem is in stage three or in other words our real problem is specifically with the post-acquisition team?