Best of breed web services and products - weather its a website that you upload your photos to, or a social network that you connect with your friends and co-workers - have one thing in common.
They're "always in beta."
"Always in beta" is a concept that software developers know well. Engineers and developers who truly love their product are obsessed with making it better, which really means, making it more useful for others. They never stop improving it.
One of the challenges of developing web based services for brands and large companies, is that the "always in beta" mentality doesn't exist. And because of this, it's hard for a company or brand to compete with internet start ups.
For me, one of the best examples of the always in beta mentality is Tripit.com. In my opinion it's by far the best travel service on the internet.
At least twice a month Tripit adds new features and makes adjustments to their software to increase its productivity.
The added cost to the user for all this new development?
Can a brand or a hospitality company create a service as good as Tripit?
While I've never been a huge fan of "viral" ads (as most of them suck), I do love the work that UnbuttonedFilms (not sure exactly who they are) has been doing for the Levis. The video above has been seen more than 3 million times on Youtube. The one below is brand new.
I was in Philadelphia over the weekend and happened to have a glass of wine in the newly opened Comcast Center.
The HD video wall in the lobby, which is said to have cost $22 million, is one of the most amazing digital displays I've ever seen. While the video above doesn't do it justice, you can get a good sense of just how powerful the effect is. I was blown away.