Friday, October 28, 2011

Fight Opel Renault In France

Opel has launched a new advertizing strategy this year. In order to build on the famous german car manufacturer's quality, Opel, which is owned by the US tycoon General Motor by the way, has decided to broadcast these TV commercials, where its car is introduced by a german host, subtitled in French.

I believe it is very smart of them, because even though german car companies are very famous and acknowledged for their quality, Opel is a little bit left behind.

But couple of days ago, new commercials of French car manufacturer Renault have shown up, mocking the Opel's ones.

It is a funny way to leverage the buzz around one competitor's commercial. Opel has responsed to this campaign with a press ad.

But there several questions I have about these campaigns:
  1. Does Renault has the right to copy Opel's commercial. It is clearly a copycat, and I find weird the fact they have been able to do it.
  2. It seems like Opel and Renault have played together to create the buzz around this campaign. Have they agreed on it? Was Opel aware of Renault's idea to take over the ad idea?
  3. Renault's commercial is clearly funny, and mark people's mind. But does it really show well the car they want to sell? I mean, people are more into the fun and the fact they mock Opel than into listening to the arguments of the guy.

What do you think about it?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hommage To Steve Jobs

I have been so busy those past few days that I have not been able to blog about one of the trendest issue in the news: the death of Steve Jobs. I have been surprised by the large numer of media covering this topic. Indeed, it is very rare to see the death of a business man hitting so much the headlines. I actually don't remember such a fuzz around the death of a CEO like this one. Except maybe the sudden death of Michelin's president couple of years ago, in a plane crash

Obviously, Steve Jobs was not anykind of business man. A lot of people have compared him to Thomas Edison or Graham Bell for his contribution to help humanity to reach another level of modernity. Steve jobs was not what we can call an inventor as Edison was. He was a visionaire, he was able to forecast what will be people use of technology, and more important, how to adapt technology to people usages.

I used my first computer at age 4 or 5. It was the famous Macintosh (my parents where among the first generation to own a personal computer), and I remember how much I loved it. My parents have always been fan of Apple, and now still own a Macbook and a power Mac. The first computer plugged to the Internet was actually the Imac (the original with the blue color). It still works fine, which shows how good those computers were.At this time, a lot of people were mocking us as Apple was going in limbo.

But since then, Apple has experienced nothing but success, thanks to Steve Jobs.

I wanted to share with you his famous inspirational speech at Stanford couple of years ago. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How I Deal With My Stress

Stress is the hypest topic since the beginning of this fall. A new financial crisis is happening, a lot of companies have seen those past few months their shares collapsing, and facing this difficult time is causing a lot of stress. This is the reason why French magazine "Management" is dedicating its headline of its september issue to methods to fight against stress.

Also, the excellent Henri Kaufman  has edited a video about how to deal with stress at work.

The goal of all these techniques is to avoid the "burn out": it is when a person has lost all its energy and is not able to perform anymore. The worst with the burn out is that it is very difficult to recover from it.

As I am dealing with a very stressful period of time, I wanted to share with you my techniques in order not to be stressed, or at least to master it:

1: Understanding what is stress
As David Allen explains it in Getting Things Done, stress comes from a situation you can not control. That means when you face a situation, you are stressed. That also means that you need to understand the situation in order to take the control over. That also means that there are also some situations you can not control. And those situation, you should forget about them, because there are nothing that you can do about it. Hence, it should not stress you, and you should not think about it.

2. Eating
It is very important, while you are experiencing work overload, to have proper eating habits. "You are what you eat", or "what you eat is the fuel of your engine" are actually right. Therefore, I try:

  • Not to eat to much, because digestion is requiring a lot of energy.
  • Drink a lot of water because it irrigates the brain and therefore avoids migrains
  • Eat a lot of fruits + take vitamin pills to have a lot of energy.
  • Take coffee as a stimulating products, but not more than three a day to avoid heart issues.
Also, when I eat, I don't eat at my desk: I need to rest and to enjoy my eating time to relax.

3. Workout
Sport is very important to be in shape. It releases dopamine which helps you to feel good about yourself. It also helps me to be awake and actually to avoid tireness.

Therefore I swim for 30-40 minutes at my lunch break almost everyday, and play basketball three times a week.

Also, I am used to walk a lot in my offices and the walking process helps to irrigate the brain...

4. Talk about the stressful situation
It is important to talk and speak out the stressful situation you may face. Because most of the time, by simply saying it out loud, you clear up your mind. Also, by discussing it and sharing your thoughts with others, new solutions may spring up, and the serendipity may work.

5. Sleep
Sleeping and resting is very important. You need to recover from all the work you have to do.

6. Keep on being organized.

A lot of the time, as work piles up, a lot of people give up with the organizing process they have, because it requires most of the time a lot of time, and because they feel it won't help them. I believe it is wrong. Even though it may implies you will not complete all the work you are supposed to do, keeping on organizing your work will help you to remain efficient, and even though you want do all the work, you will be able to choose the less important tasks to leave aside.

7. What I refuse to do:
I refuse to be stressed by things I have no control over (see 1 section). If it is an unachievable task, then I don't want to feel bad about failing to achieve it.

I also refuse to take any kind of drugs. I believe this is false solutions.

8. Set up a deadline
You can not be stressed and fear a burn out on a long period of time. You must be able to identify how long the situation will be. Most of the time, there will be a clear deadline (a project deadline). If there are none, then you should give up right away. No one is immuned to burn out, so you are almost sure to get the wall. 

Hopefully it helps you.

Do  you have any tips you would like to share?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why I Go On Blogging

I must be honest with you I enter a very busy time of my business life, and it is hard for me to keep on blogging at the same pace I used to. Nevertheless, as you may know, blogging is to me a very important thing. It is somehow what helps me to clear up my mind with some thoughts I may have with things I experience or learn.

Couple of days ago, I talked to one of my co worker who has actually bumped into my blog for the first time, thanks to LinkedIn  (by the way I know you are a bunch of folks following my blog thanks to LinkedIn, thanks a lot). She was surprised of the work I put into this activity, and moreover she congratulated me for it. 

I must say I am always happy when people congratulate me for the blog. It is nice to see that actually people like what you are doing. For the past year, I haven't interacted as much as I used to with people reading my blog and I regret it a little bit. 

I feel a little bit as blogging is "old school": a lot of Internet expert have given up with their blog. I especially think about Loic Lemeur, who is not blogging as much as he used to. A lot of people have shifted from blogging to interracting thanks to Twitter and Facebook. It is somehow normal as it is where people are now. 

But still, blogging is much different and I still believe it is important to keep on blogging. You will never be able to propose more added value than by blogging.

This is the reason why even though I am very busy right now, and I may not blog as often as before (my goal has always been able to right at least 5 posts a week), I will force myself to go on.

I want to thank this person (hopefully she will read this post, and recognize her), because she actually gave me the fuel to write this post after a two week pause.