Tweet me this, tweet me that…

For how long will Twitter survive?

That is one major question to tackle. And the guys at TechCrunch are surely busy trying to give the best possible answer.

After all, they do have the staff and the inside information available for the job.

Wait a minute…what inside information?

Twitter2019s Financial Forecast Shows First Revenue In Q3, 1 billion users in 2013

According to Michael Arrington on July 14, 2009:

The guy (”Hacker Croll”) who claims to have accessed hundreds of confidential corporate and personal documents of Twitter and Twitter employees, is releasing those documents publicly and sent them to us earlier today. The zip file contained 310 documents, ranging from executive meeting notes, partner agreements and financial projections to the meal preferences, calendars and phone logs of various Twitter employees.

My personal favorite is this spreadsheet with cash flow and revenue analysis from Twitter, here’s a peak:

Twitter2019s Financial Forecast Shows First Revenue In Q3, 1 billion users in 2013

Earlier this April 2009, eMarketer calculated that Twitter would have 12.1 million US adult users in 2009 and 18.1 million in 2010.

The Inside Numbers on Twitter - eMarketer

The 18.1 million number for 2010 appears to be far smaller than the one from the confidential Twitter documents that TechCrunch claims to have in its power because they estimate the Twitter population at a 100 million.  (Note: Twitter’s USA population represents about 40% of its total population.)

The Harvard School of Business points out another problem for Twitter, there is growth in quantity of users, not in quality.  People are just not tweeting:

The Inside Numbers on Twitter - eMarketer

While some people find Twitter highly addictive (myself included), since Oprah, Ashton & Co. have joined in, everybody knows that soon Mom and Dad will be joining and Twitter could become…so 2009!….next year.

Maybe. Maybe not.

What do you think?

How to Solve a Harvard Business Case the idaconcpts Way

Today I’m taking a look at the Harvard Business Case #9-501-055 Cofidis.

Undergraduate and Graduate Business students: be sure to quote me! : )

According to the Harvard Business Publishing, these are the learning objectives of this case:

This case allows students to attempt to answer a myriad of questions. How do you treat a financial product from a marketing standpoint? What does marketing add to the generic consumer credit product? What are the determinants of consumer adoption for a new product? How do you combine product and communication strategies? What is the effect of sports sponsoring? How do you build a brand? How should your marketing strategy unfold over time and across borders to build and maintain a strong brand? Is marketing an acceptable activity or an attempt to fool people with products that they misinterpret? What is the role of freedom and control in a value proposition? How do all these soft marketing elements interact concretely to lead to a profit formula?

Here’s how I tackled this case.


The main issues that the company faces are: 1) What would the ideal features be for the national commercial websites?  2) How could they make sure that they enhanced the Cofidis money making formula? 3) What should the concept of the website be? Should Cofidis become the online broker or should there be a new online concept brand?  In the other hand, the company must make these decisions while considering the macroeconomic factors, the rates of recovery of outstanding loans, and cultural factors of each country it targets.

Recommended Solution or Course of Action
Cofidis should go ahead with its Internet expansion because it provides a suitable channel to strengthen its deal-making mechanisms.  A core competence from Cofidis is non-intrusiveness and the web provides a good place to further implement this policy, combined with greater disclosure of details about payment options.  However, I don’t think that Cofidis should risk creating a new website concept but rather reinforce the Cofidis brand.

Being an online broker could work against them because they are providing increased market exposure to other competitors.  There is no clear future on how the Internet ingredient will drive up profits (particularly because there is no certainty how it will affect handling doubtful accounts); therefore, the company should not make such a big investment of reinventing the brand online but only strengthen it. I agree with Cofidis customizing each country website to the cultures of each nation.  It is particularly important that Cofidis pushes its brand by better positioning itself among popular European web search engines.  Cofidis ought to consider making strategic alliances with websites that cater the local preferences (e.g. bicycling websites in France).  It was interesting to see a lack of discussion of Web 2.0 type promotion.