Fon CEO "Unlock the ones we already have"

Business owners and new entrepreneurs are always interested in learning how successful entrepreneurs have come up with their ideas. There are many different ways to come up with great ideas: some develop a product or service that they wish they had for themselves while others look for gaps in a market that they know well. What Martin Varsavsky, an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur and investor, focused on for Fon was innovating on the way we use a service that is already in the market.

Fon is a shared WiFi network. There are different levels of membership; essentially some members agree to share part of their bandwidth as a WiFi signal and enable others to connect to their hotspots for a fee. Those who provide WiFi hotspots earn revenue from those who connect to their hotspots. Founded in 2006, Fon has raised over $70M in funding and has over 12M hotspots around the world.

When I reached out to Martin, his office replied:

Martin came up with the idea for Fon while on vacation in Paris. He kept looking for WiFi to avoid the roaming charges but all he found were locked networks. That’s when he thought: “We don’t need a whole new WiFi network, we just need to unlock the ones we have!” This is how the WiFi sharing model of Fon came about.

Can you think of services and products that are already in the market can be improved?


Sharing is caring

The sharing economy, or the peer-to-peer economy, is a system that is socio-economic and built around sharing physical and human resources. It’s also known as the collaborative economy and collaborative consumption.

The sharing economy includes shared creation, distribution, production, consumption and trade of various services and goods that are offered by not only different people, but organizations as well. The concept of sharing between neighbors and the community has completely branched out into something new, the P2P network. Once a community practice, sharing goods and services has transformed into a profitable business model and is constantly increasing in legitimacy.

One of the most well-known companies in the sharing economy was SnapGoods, a website that lets people borrow and lend high-end items such as musical instruments, cameras and even kitchenware. (SnapGoods, however, recently changed directions and now is a networking site, Simplist.) Interestingly enough, travelers are able to rent a room, home or even a castle in Britain, thanks to Airbnb, the poster child of the P2P network. Fon, a European hardware company, enables individuals to become hotspots to share wifi.

Even though the sharing economy has been praised for the overall method and general idea, there have been some negative posts popping up on the Internet. Holes are being poked in neighborhoods and communities by Airbnb: bringing a constant stream of tourists in and out of rooms and homes. However, the positive benefits are outweighing the negative.

Those who do not own a washing machine are able to rent one in France, and people are even able to rent a field in Australia for whatever purpose. Collaborative consumption is a good: owners and service providers become empowered to earn more money while providing customers with services that fit their needs, only paying for what they need. This moves money through the economy.

Building trust and communities and leveraging resources that would otherwise be wasted. How do you leverage resources to make sure that they are not being wasted?

3 simple rules to make clients happy

Throughout my career I have worked in accounting, marketing, sales, customer service and operations. In doing so, the most valuable lessons I have learned all come from understanding my client and anticipating their needs. In all of these roles I have had a different client: my boss, a sales prospect, my target audience, etc; there is always someone that we are serving in one sense or another.These three rules should be applied to all of the clients in your life:

Put yourself if their place.

Not you being you in their place, but you being them in their place. Make sense?
Previously I worked in an office that provided snacks: cookies, chips, fruit, etc. One Executive would come in and ask “why are we always out of snacks?” At first we didn’t understand why he would say that because the snack bins were full. But we realized he liked eating the mini Oreos. If there were no mini Oreos, there were no snacks for him. From then on we had a standing order of mini Oreos and he didn’t complain again.

This is about perception. We needed to put ourselves in the place of the Executive.  These little details add up to a lot. How can you put yourself in your client’s place today to better serve them?

Over delivery consistently.

James Altucher talks about this a lot and I completely agree.The other day I went to the prepared foods counter at the super market looking for a piece of grilled chicken. When I asked they said that they didn’t have any yet. I started to think of what my backup order would be. The attendant asked “well how many pieces of chicken do you want?” I only needed one and he was able to grab it from the back where they were being prepared. He didn’t need to do it, but it made my day easier. Do you over deliver for your clients?

Be honest and forthcoming.

Your clients will respect you and want to work with you when you are forthcoming and deliver pertinent information in a timely manner.I cannot count the number of times that I have seen colleagues, vendors, etc try to cover up mistakes or blame someone else when it was their fault. Your clients are smarter than that. Treat them with respect and honesty. Let them know immediately when you have made a mistake and take the appropriate actions to correct the situation. Blaming someone else just makes you look bad (even if it is their fault). Everyone makes mistakes sometimes and all reasonable people should expect this. If your clients are unreasonable people, you may have no future with them so it will not matter if they fire you for your honesty now or something else later.

This has been our philosophy at Tasker and how we are able to provide such high quality virtual assistants and virtual employees. Let us help you today.