Working with clients in many different sectors and geographies can be challenging. Keeping up with trends and what my clients’ competitors are up to is critical in being a consultant. These are my main tools in staying on top of what’s going on:
- Twitter – With very few exceptions, I follow only accounts relevant to IT, tech enabled business and mobile solutions. I read all tweets, at least by browsing through all of them. I have found that it’s impossible to keep up with all tweets if I follow many more than 100, so that is my limit. (Yes, I know about lists, but I don’t believe in following anyone if I’m not reading the tweets anyway). If anything of any major magnitude has happened, chances are that more than one will tweet about it. I always follow at least one link in “major magnitude”-tweets to read up on the details behind the 140 characters. Among my favorite Twitter sources are: @ComputerSweden, @Engadget, @WaltMossberg, @HarvardBiz, @Slashdot, @GlobalMoxie, @MaryJoFoley, and @LukeW.
- Forrester Research – I have a personal Forrester account. Forrester’s analysts publish at least three reports, relevant to my clients, every month. Just recently, I read excellent new Forrester-reports on Mobile Insurance and Mobile Banking, for example.
- Magazines – I try and pick up every issue of Wired and Fast Company. I used to follow them on Twitter, but their fire hose behavior on Twitter cluttered up my entire feed too often. Plus I like reading magazines. I read the occasional Harvard Business Review, but they
- App Store – Now, here is my secret sauce. I download (almost) all relevant apps in every sector, especially the apps from the competitors of my clients. I put them in folders with the names: “Banking”, “Insurance”, “Travel”, and so on. I don’t necessarily use the apps, but since I get notified every time there is an update, I can easily keep track of everything that actually goes on in the App Store. I read every update description and often share them with customers in order to keep them advised, too. See below! Right now there are four updates from competitors to my clients! Let’s give them a call!