Tag Archives: business


How Tim Ferriss Used Innovation To Growth Hack 4 Hour Chef

Tim Ferris is known for challenging long held assumptions about skills, business and everything else in between. In his latest book he uses the popular vehicle of cooking to impart what he’s learned about meta learning and how you can employ it in your life. But promoting and selling a book amid the din of the publishing circuit is tough at the best of times.

The 4 hour work week         Source: Flickr / Tim Ferriss

Bricks and mortar retail bookstores for the most part refused to stock his book over their objections to it being one of the very first Amazon Publishing releases, which threatened the traditional publishing business model. Tim Ferriss needed to find ways he could reach out to his readership that he had built up through the hugely successful book releases of the The 4 Hour Work Week and The 4 Hour Body as well as find new readers.

The 4 Hour Body                                      Source: Flickr / Tim Ferriss

So when faced with being locked out of the traditional retail bookstore distribution channel and with few other outlets to promote his book, it’s perhaps unsurprising that Ferriss took an unconventional route to promoting and publishing, turning the industry on its head in the process.

This situation led to lots of research using innovative tools and techniques not usually applied to a business sector like publishing to look at alternative routes to market.

Finally he hit on something thanks to some advice from a friend. He needed to growth hack, but lacked a vehicle. Ferriss made a call to BitTorrent and talked over his solution with them. If he gave an electronic version of the book away for free using the power of P2P torrents sharing online, more people would engage with the book, and through this re-engineered sales funnel, would pay for the hard copy paper version to accompany the electronic versions as many people still prefer the physical user experience of paper and ink.

BitTorrent                                                                                                                                 Source: Flickr BitTorrent

Soon after that call, he signed an agreement with BitTorrent that suited both parties. Here was a rare enough win-win. BitTorrent were seeking to expand their offering as a legal content distribution network for marketing books. And Tim Ferriss found a new route to promoting his content. Nobody was sure what would happen next.

Something magical happened. Amazingly, after launching the free e-book version (with exclusive online only content), sharing of the torrent grew massively in a short period of time with over 2 million downloads. The click through rate was over 210,000 downloads in the first week alone. The conversion rate was a previously unheard of conversion rate of 45%.

The most exciting thing of all was that leaving a clear landing page on the BitTorrent site with a link to the Amazon site where people could purchase the physical book or content bundle strongly resonated with readers worldwide, resulting in a staggering click through rate and purchase of over half a million hard copy versions in a short space of time. This stunned both Tim Ferris and Amazon as normal click through rates would be a fraction of what the 4 hour Chef book achieved. BitTorrent also got what they wanted out of the deal.

Essentially Ferriss has taken a medium of P2P torrent sharing which is attacked and feared by traditional media in equal measure, and harnessed its tremendous growth hacking power to reach millions of potential customers extremely quickly, efficiently and effectively better than anyone before. The book also reached the top of all major hard copy book selling charts around the world.  This innovative approach was lauded in business circles for its impressive ROI (return on investment), and has created a blueprint in the publishing industry of how to leverage digital distribution methods in an innovative way.


Customers today are consuming media on multiple platforms, and appreciate getting perceived added value that enhances their user experience. Those who recognize and offer an easy way to consume their media on multiple platforms using innovative methods will win.

What are your thoughts on the post? Did we miss an angle or hit the spot? If so, we’d love your feedback !  Oh and sharing is caring 🙂             ______________________________________________________________________________Sources


Sectoral Analysis of Avoca Handweavers -Part 2 – [3 Part Series]

Avoca Handweavers Sectoral Analysis

Blogpost Part 1 gives a high level overview of the sectoral analysis conducted to date on the business environment of Avoca Handweavers Ltd.

Blogpost Part 2 highlights the main points of the PESTLE analysis undertaken, and then guides you through a more detailed PESTLE analysis of the external business environment of Avoca.

Blogpost Part 3 covers the main findings derived from the analysis, how they may impact Avoca’s business and what steps they may need to consider in order to meet these challenges into the future.      _________________________________________________________________________

Sectoral Environment – Part 2

Avoca PESTLE Analysis

As Avoca’s customer profile is primarily Continue reading Sectoral Analysis of Avoca Handweavers -Part 2 – [3 Part Series]

Top Tweets Of The Week #MG119 (5)

Top Tweets of the Week on Innovation


Top Tweets of the Week on Innovation


Top Tweets of the Week on Innovation


3 Ways To Innovate In A Stagnant Environment

3 Ways To Innovate In A Stagnant Environment

Harvard Business School (HBS) Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter discusses

  • Innovation
  • Advanced leadership
  • How to make changes in an inflexible organization

Continue reading 3 Ways To Innovate In A Stagnant Environment



This question as to which is more important, innovation or marketing in a business led me to think about the different businesses throughout history who did well by just focusing on one of the two elements.

Most companies seem to require both to survive these days. But I was curious to know what others think before I write a short history of innovation here on Marketing REDS. So I created a poll for folks to have there say.

Find out what other thoughts as results show up after you vote!

Feel free to share your thoughts below. Get in touch! 🙂

Avoca 1 – Avignon 0

Having never darkened the door of an Avoca shop in my entire life I was shocked to find that someone had found a way to evoke a small French town on market day. The only things missing for me were the buskers in berets with accordions. The aromas from the rotisserie and fresh bread, the comfortingly chaotic layout of the food hall transported me to rural France instantly.

As you wander from table to table where the concessionaires display their wares with pride, they give you confidence that they would hold forth about their production and process methods and the lengths they go to perfect them. Indeed, the butcher gave me the sense that he could call each cow or sheep by name.

French,Market,Collage,St Tropez
French Market Collage St Tropez                                                                                                   Source: Flickr Risastla

Behind the apparently left-field nature of this shopping experience lies a very clever piece of business rationale. What Avoca have done, it appears to me, is gathered around them a network of suppliers and concessionaires who are passionate about the quality of their product, and therefore have no issue with asking the necessary price.

Stuck here in Dublin with its leaden skies and incessant rain, when I need my fix of Gallic character and passion for food it is a relief to know that I don’t need to travel too far to find it.

Avoca Handweavers Ltd.

Avoca Handweavers Ltd.

Avoca Handweavers Ltd., started life as a small handweaving business in the small town of Avoca, Co. Wicklow in1723. Faced with closure in 1974 it was purchased by the solicitor employed to sell the mill and two generations of the family has built the business to its current position where last year, the Company saw pre-tax profits soar by 73pc to €2.1m.
The Company, with 665 staff, plans to develop further unique food market and cafe operations and to develop new and distinctive ranges of fashion garments and accessories, according to the director’s report.
Avoca designs and manufactures its own clothing, food and home furnishings from its Wicklow base and it has 11 retail stores and cafes in the island of Ireland.
One of its strengths lies in the Company’s ability to react quickly to market changes, most recently the challenges of the recession, and to adapt its business to remain innovative in its approach to its business model.

Avoca weaving a tale of innovation

Avoca Handweavers Ltd will be our business case over the duration of the Business Innovation Programme in the Ryan Academy. A successful retail brand like Avoca, with all the incremental changes that have occurred in the business model to date should provide us with a rich source of material. This will be the educational vehicle we use over 3 different assignments.

The first assignment allows us to hone our skills around extracting key data from secondary research sources, baking a further layer of innovation into the business, and presenting our key findings in a meaningful way.

Our team, made up of Evelyn Meenaghan, Shay Clarke, Denise Boden and myself Ronan Quinn initially spent time clarifying the scope of the business during the Q&A sessions with Naoimh O’Reilly, our Marketing in a Digital Era Lecturer and Geraldine Lavin who delivers Managing the Innovation Organisation module.

Template Tools                                                                                                Source 3rd i IT and Business Services Ltd                                                                                                                                                           

The relentless commitment to practical application meant tools and techniques were explained and shortly afterwards we were tasked with completing templates to kick start the process within the team.

  • Understanding your Organisation
  • Understanding the Business Sector
  • Developing your Market Scanning Skills

These templates gave a helpful framework around the tasks of understanding the business sector they were in; how the Avoca organisation functions, and helped develop our marketing scanning skills. By the end of the session, we had a better understanding of the business and what steps we need to take in order to complete our research effectively and efficiently.

Avoca Cafe
Avoca Cafe                                                                                                                                                    Source © Avoca Ireland

If you haven’t heard of Avoca Handweavers Ltd, the best way to describe the company is as a retail business. Avoca designs and manufactures its own clothing, food and home furnishings from its Co. Wicklow base in Ireland and it has 11 retail stores and cafes.

Avoca Store
Avoca Stores                                                                                                                                               Source  © Avoca Ireland

They are building a lifestyle brand within the retail sector. Pretax profits jumped by 76% in the year to date with the shops division proving to be the stellar performer.

We’ll be posting more information in future blog posts about the Avoca business so you can get a better understanding of their business.

For more information and links to Avoca why not checkout our Useful Resources page.

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Its been a busy week at the Ryan Academy so all those imparted gems from the weeks sessions will get posted up here asap. If you have any questions about this post or our blog, comment below.

I will sign off with a quote revived by @NaoimhDCU but originally crafted by the wordsmith Mark Twain

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

_______________________________________________________________________________Sources:                                                                                                                                          http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/retail-and-services/pre-tax-profits-jump-73-at-avoca-1.1646335