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High velocity customers!

blackberry.jpgI gave the opening keynote this week, in Orlando, for BICSI, a telecommunications trade group; these are folks primarily involved in the implementation of sophisticated corporate, institutional and backbone infrastructure networks.

There were about 3,000 people in the room — and my message was that within high-velocity sectors of the economy, there are unprecendented new opportunities and careers that are emerging. Not only that, but constant innovation is critical, simply in order to keep up!

The velocity in the world of telecom is stunning. Just last week, I managed to upgrade myself to the new Blackberry Pearl. While everyone is ga-ga over the iPhone, one also has to look at the high velocity change occurring with other information devices. This new one replaced the other Blackberry I just received last April … and there is such a difference in sophistication, I think my old Blackberry is now from the “olden days!”

I quickly decided that I’d get a 2GB card for my new Pearl, so that I could load it up with tunes, and take it along with me instead of my iPod for some trips. (With 2GB, I can take about 500 songs.)

The Pearl also supports video playback. I wondered if I could get my own video on it. After all, sometimes I’m stuck in an airport, and rather than watching the endlessly droning doom of CNN on airport monitors, it might be nice to zone out with my own stuff, without having to drag out my laptop.

Looking at the Web site of my cellular provider, I didn’t find much help, other than a message stating it couldn’t “record video.” However, I have long realized that in the high velocity economy, those who actually sell the product often know less about the product than their customers do. It wasn’t surprising that they had no guidance.

Yet, it took me a matter of moments to find a Web forum where folks had posted all the specifications for encoding video onto a Pearl. Minutes later, I was busy transferring a number of Daily Show with John Stewart episodes from my PC over to the Pearl. (I grab a bunch of TV for the road, on one of my home office PC’s, using BeyondTV; it’s like a TiVO for the PC.)

What’s the key point to all of this? It goes back to a point I raised in this blog earlier: Your Customers are High Velocity: Are You?

In many markets, customers now know more about the product than the supplier does! That’s another reason why innovation is critical: today, for the first time ever, you have to work hard to keep up with the furious pace at which your customers are evolving!

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