Dronewizzs

Looking for a great place for vacation with family? Europe is one lovely continent where everyone has an ample number and variety to choose from according to their interest. However, this can also confuse the travellers since they may not be able to decide as where to go and what all to skip. For this, there are numerous pre-set Europe travel packages which are available to the tourists to choose from.

These travel packages which are available to tourists for holiday are prepared keeping in mind the general interest and preference of the tourists. For those who have an interest in history, the places and destinations which have a high historical importance are included in the packages and thereby suit the tourists. Also, for those who have an interest in architecture, such people can take up a package which is prepared keeping in mind architectural wonders of the continent of Europe. Out of these Europe travel packages, the tourists can easily choose one and enjoy the best trip according to their interest.

The Europe travel packages that are pre-set and defined are also done considering the budget that a traveller has. Also, keeping in mind a time frame too, the packages can be obtained. Proper planning by online tour planners, tour guides for Europe etc precede the making of the package for the travellers which thereby suit their needs well.

Complete care of the travellers is taken. Europe travel package includes all the facilities for the travellers. Whether it is hotel booking, flight reservation, sight seeing, taxi bookings etc, all is done beforehand through the package organiser itself. Prior booking also helps in saving money of the travellers.

With Europe travel packages available to the tourists easily, they can make a readymade choice which suits their needs. This way they can have a great holiday and at the same time, stick to a proper budget as well as time frame.

Every woman starts to become interested in skincare as she ages and sees those fine lines forming around her eyes and mouth. Those wrinkles and sagging skin that just doesn’t glow like it used to. And many women start to realise that natural skincare products are by far the best skincare products. But how do you find the best natural skincare products?

However the first question to ask is why would you want to use natural skincare products? What does “natural” mean and what is the difference between “natural” skincare products and other skincare products?

There is no formal definition of “natural” when it comes to skincare and anti aging products. However to me “natural” means “safe” skincare products.

Safe? Aren’t all skincare products safe? Why would they be unsafe?

Sadly the answer is that not all skincare products and anti aging products (or cosmetics or beauty products for that matter) are safe. It is gradually becoming known that many skincare and anti aging products and cosmetics, perfumes, body care and beauty products contain ingredients that may in fact be damaging to your skin or even your health. I first became aware of this when my young daughter had a terrible skin reaction to her first use of cosmetics when she had her first ballet concert, and have been interested in this ever since.

Many ingredients that go into our skincare products and cosmetics in the US are banned in other countries, like European countries. But here it’s perfectly legal to use suspect ingredients in our skincare and anti aging products and the FDA doesn’t regulate against this. The problem is so bad that there are whole organizations set up to try and foster the manufacture of safe skincare products and cosmetics.

I’ll give you an example. A recent study found lead in over 50% of big brand lipsticks tested. Scary isn’t it?

So many people are turning to natural skincare products and cosmetics to find safe products. And of course they want to find the best natural skincare products because the companies that make skincare products from all natural, and safe, ingredients, aren’t the big brand name companies.

Most companies that make natural skincare products have signed the “Compact for Safe Cosmetics” to evidence their commitment to producing safe products. And these natural skincare products are usually much more effective than their less safe but more well known cousins which you see advertised on TV and on the shelves of the stores.

That’s because the companies that make the best natural skincare products are small niche companies. They can’t compete on marketing budget, so they compete on product quality. To survive they need to produce top shelf products so that customers come back over and over again. So they don’t need to spend up big on TV advertising.

There are excellent natural skincare products made up into a complete scientific skincare system that are available to buy and are safe to use, and extremely effective. They aren’t made by the big name skincare companies or cosmetics companies, but if you manage to find them they are cost comparable or even cheaper than the big brands, and safe to use.

India is a land of contrasts with diverse languages, ethnic groups, religions and traditions. Immerse yourself in the teaming bazaars, holy cities and Moghul forts. See a wide array of wildlife with 500 species of animals including tiger, leopard, elephant, and rhino, 200 species and sub-species of birds and 30,000 insect species.

High Himalayas, dark deep woods, Great Indian Desert, and an extensive coastline make India a formidable destination for those who are always up for dares and challenges. Adventure Holidays in India are rigorous and intense. You can opt for India Luxury Tours with sufficient number of adventure activities planned throughout the itinerary or go for more unusual travel experiences that qualify for off-the-beaten track adventure trips in India.

Jungle safaris on an elephant’s back along Tiger Trails in some of the best known National Parks and Tiger Reserves of India might be more popular but you might love to go for adrenaline-pumping motorbike safaris on a Royal Enfield or ‘Bullet’ as it is popularly known in India. Hot air ballooning, para-gliding, heli-skiing, zip-lining over the ancient Neemrana Fort are just some of the various fun activities you can opt for during your India Adventure Tours.

Bicycle tours along the countryside in South India are highly recommended if you want to experience real India first-hand. An option to stay and dine with traditional Indian families in their homes allows you to mingle with the locals and know more about their culture and lifestyle. Riding an elephant back like a King or Queen to the Amber Fort in Jaipur, Rajasthan is fun while Horse Safaris with descendants of erstwhile royals to rural Rajasthan or high-altitude trails in Himalayas are once-in-a-lifetime experiences you will cherish forever.

It takes some time to get used to the wobbly strides of a Camel, the Ship of the Desert and the most popular form of transport to more remote areas of Rajasthan. Yak Ride in Ladakh is another unusual activity you might want to try. There are endless options for Bird watching Tours and Wildlife Adventure Tours throughout India and each region has its own flavor with unique climatic and geological conditions, amazing biodiversity, and rare and endangered species of flora and fauna endemic to that region.

Those who are more active may perhaps want to go for more rigorous options of mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking, skiing, white river rafting, rappelling, bungee jumping, cliff jumping, snorkeling and deep sea diving. There is no dearth of adventure in India. The vastness of the country offers such diversity of landscapes and geology that it just takes a little imagination to come up with a personalized tour itinerary that keep entire group of vacationers happy for any length of time.

Fun-filled nights in Goa, known for its tropical beaches and music, serve as a happy break to foreign tourists from America and Europe who feel more at home there. The early Portuguese domination in Goa followed by the British rule has lent an European feel to the entire region. You will find a number of swanky churches here too.

Romantic houseboat cruises in Kerala backwaters many not make blood rush to your ears but they are highly recommended for couples visiting the country. The quaint beauty of thick forests casting their emerald green reflection in the channels and waterways look especially beautiful at sunrise. Bird songs, and fishes and amphibians (not found anywhere else in the world) that you encounter during Kerala houseboat cruises provide a perfect epilogue to your delightful adventure tours in
India.
Adventure holidays are becoming the choice of today’s traveler. India offers wide opportunities in this field because of its rich and varied climates. In northern India, one could experience trekking, mountaineering, gliding, paragliding and many other adventure activities in snow covered peaks of Himachal and Uttaranchal. In Rajasthan, adventure has a different face. You can experience the heat of desert and sand dunes while on Camel Safaries or Jeep safaris. South India offers water sporting opportunities like boat race, water sports and much more.

If you love wildlife, you can take experience the beauty in dense forest among wild animals in wildlife safaris, jungle safaris and jeep safaris of Uttaranchal and Karnataka. Uttaranchal, the land of holy rivers and there origins offers White water rafting and is hub for various other adventure sports activities like trekking, river rafting and wildlife safari. Garhwal offers some very exciting opportunities for the water sport lover. The Ganga with its frothing and foaming waters throw up a challenge that no rafter on this earth can look away from. The rivers in Uttaranchal are said to offer the best rafting opportunities in world. The hills of North India have all the ingredients for exploit packed with thrills – an unexplored valley, towering peaks, flowing rivers, a splendid combination of flora & fauna, snow-capped mountains and vast tracts of virgin snow.

Karanataka, another state in India unfolds its many surprises that seem to have been created just for the adventure holidays seekers and nature lovers. Verdant forest, unexplored hill ranges and deep blue water are peculiar features which describes adventurous tours in Karanataka in the form of Rock climbing, Aerosports, Water Sports, White water Rafting, coracling, canoeing, kayaking and windsurfing.

The beauty of Kashmir attracts many tourists to this “Paradise on Earth”. Apart from the enthusiastic nature lovers, the high peaks of the Himalayas attract thousands of adventure sports lovers to the state. Adventure holidays in Kashmir are increasingly attracting Indian and overseas lovers of the outdoors.

Kashmir is one of the major attractions for the tourists for enjoying holidays. A range of options exist in the valley for the adventure loving visitors. There are some places in the valley where the adventure sports facilities are available like Gulmarg, Sonmarg, Pahalgam, Drass, etc. The mountain ranges as well as the gushing rivers of the valley provide abundant opportunities for adventure travel in Kashmir.

Other states of India are also encouraging adventure tours and tourism and several adventure tour parks and camps are being organized for a traveler seeking adventure tours.

There is a simple but undeniable truth in the financial consulting and wealth planning industry that Wall Street has kept as a “dirty little secret” for years. That dirty little, and nearly always overlooked secret is THE WAY YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISOR IS PAID DIRECTLY AFFECTS THEIR FINANCIAL ADVICE TO YOU!

You want, and deserve (and consequently SHOULD EXPECT) unbiased financial advice in your best interests. But the fact is 99% of the general investing public has no idea how their financial advisor is compensated for the advice they provide. This is a tragic oversight, yet an all too common one. There are three basic compensation models for financial advisors – commissions based, fee-based, and fee-only.

Commission Based Financial Advisor – These advisors sell “loaded” or commission paying products like insurance, annuities, and loaded mutual funds. The commission your financial advisor is earning on your transaction may or may not be disclosed to you. I say “transaction” because that’s what commission based financial advisors do – they facilitate TRANSACTIONS. Once the transaction is over, you may be lucky to hear from them again because they’ve already earned the bulk of whatever commission they were going to earn.

Since these advisors are paid commissions which may or may not be disclosed, and the amounts may vary based on the insurance and investment products they sell, there is an inherent conflict of interest in the financial advice given to you and the commission these financial advisors earn. If their income is dependent on transactions and selling insurance and investment products, THEY HAVE A FINANCIAL INCENTIVE TO SELL YOU WHATEVER PAYS THEM THE HIGHEST COMMISSION! That’s not to say there aren’t some honest and ethical commission based advisors, but clearly this identifies a conflict of interest.

Fee Based Financial Advisor – Here’s the real “dirty little secret” Wall Street doesn’t want you to know about. Wall Street (meaning the firms and organizations involved in buying, selling, or managing assets, insurance and investments) has sufficiently blurred the lines between the three ways your financial advisor may be compensated that 99% of the investing public believes that hiring a Fee-Based Financial Advisor is directly correlated with “honest, ethical and unbiased” financial advice.

The truth is FEE-BASED MEANS NOTHING! Think about it (you’ll understand more when you learn the third type of compensation), all fee-BASED means is that your financial advisor can take fees AND commissions from selling insurance and investment products! So a “base” of their compensation may be tied to a percentage of the assets they manage on your behalf, then the “icing on the cake” is the commission income they can potentially earn by selling you commission driven investment and insurance products.

Neat little marketing trick right? Lead off with the word “Fee” so the general public thinks the compensation model is akin to the likes of attorney’s or accountants, then add the word “based” after it to cover their tails when these advisors sell you products for commissions!

FEE ONLY Financial Advisor – By far, the most appropriate and unbiased way to get financial advice is through a FEE-ONLY financial advisor. I stress the word “ONLY”, because a truly fee ONLY financial advisor CAN NOT, and WILL NOT accept commissions in any form. A Fee-ONLY financial advisor earns FEES in the form of hourly compensation, project financial planning, or a percentage of assets managed on your behalf.

All fees are in black and white, there are no hidden forms of compensation! Fee-Only financial advisors believe in FULL DISCLOSURE of any potential conflicts of interest in their compensation and the financial advice and guidance provided to you.

Understanding the conflict of interest in the financial advice given by commission based brokers enables you to clearly identify the conflict of interest for fee-based financial advisors also – they earn fees AND commissions! Hence – FEE-BASED MEANS NOTHING! There is only one true way to get the most unbiased, honest and ethical advice possible and that is through a financial advisor who believes in, and practices, full disclosure.

Commission and Fee-Based financial advisors typically don’t believe in or practice full-disclosure, because the sheer magnitude of the the fees the average investor/consumer pays would surely make them think twice.

Consider for a moment you need to buy a truck specifically for towing and hauling heavy loads. You go to the local Ford dealership and talk to a salesperson – that salesperson asks what type of vehicle you’re interested in and shows you their line of trucks. Of course, to that salesperson who earns a commission when you buy a truck – ONLY FORD has the right truck for you. It’s the best, it’s the only way to go, and if you don’t buy that truck from that salesperson you’re crazy!

The fact is Toyota makes great trucks, GM makes great trucks, Dodge makes great trucks. The Ford may or may not be the best truck for your needs, but the salesperson ONLY shows you the Ford, because that’s ALL the salesperson can sell you and make a commission from.

This is similar to a commission based financial advisor. If they sell annuities, they’ll show you annuities. If they sell mutual funds, all they’ll show you is commission paying mutual funds. If they sell life insurance, they’ll tell you life insurance is the solution to all of your financial problems. The fact is, when all you have is a hammer… everything looks like a nail!

Now consider for a moment you hired a car buying advisor and paid them a flat fee. That advisor is an expert and stays current on all of the new vehicles. That advisor’s only incentive is to find you the most appropriate truck for you, the one that hauls the most, tows the best, and is clearly the best option available. They earn a fee for their service, so they want you to be happy and refer your friends and family to them. They even have special arrangements worked out with all of the local car dealerships to get you the best price on the truck that’s right for you because they want to add value to your relationship with them.

The analogy of a “car buying advisor” is similar to a Fee-Only financial planner. Fee-Only financial advisor’s use the best available investments with the lowest possible cost. A Fee-Only financial advisor’s only incentive is to keep you happy, to earn your trust, to provide the best possible financial advice and guidance using the most appropriate investment tools and planning practices.

So on one hand you have a car salesperson who’s going to earn a commission (coincidentally the more you pay for the truck the more they earn!) to sell you one of the trucks off their lot. On the other hand, you have a trusted car buying advisor who shops all of the vehicles to find the most appropriate one for your specific needs, and then because of his relationships with all of the car dealers can also get you the best possible price on that vehicle. Which would you prefer?

Truly unbiased financial advice and guidance comes in the form of Fee-Only financial planning. You know exactly what you’re paying and what you’re getting in return for the compensation your Fee-Only financial advisor earns. Everything is in black and white, and there are no hidden agenda’s or conflicts of interest in the advice given to you by a true Fee-Only financial advisor!

The fact is unfortunately less than 1% of all financial advisor professionals are truly FEE-ONLY. The reason for this? There’s a clear and substantial disparity in a financial advisor’s income generated through commissions (or commissions and fees), and the income a financial advisor earns through the Fee-Only model:

Example #1 – You just changed employment and you’re rolling over a $250,000 401k into an IRA. The commission based advisor may sell you a variable annuity in your IRA (which is a very poor planning tactic in most cases and for many reasons) and earn a 5% (or many times more) commission ($12,500) and get an ongoing, or “trailer” commission of 1% (plus or minus) equal to $2,500 per year. The Fee-Only financial advisor may charge you a fee for retirement plan, an hourly fee, or a percentage of your portfolio to manage it. Let’s say in this case you pay a $500 retirement plan fee and 1.25% of assets managed (very common for a Fee-Only financial advisor in this situation). That advisor earns $500 plus $3,125 ($250,000 * 1.25%) or TOTAL COMPENSATION of $3,625 – FAR LESS THAN THE $15,000 THE COMMISSION (or Fee-Based) financial advisor earned! In fact it takes the Fee-Only financial advisor over four years to earn what the commission (or fee-based) advisor earned in one year!

Example #2 – You’re retired and managing a $750,000 nest egg which needs to provide you income for the rest of your life. A fee-based financial advisor may recommend putting $400,000 into an single premium immediate annuity to get you income and the other $350,000 into a fee-based managed mutual fund platform. The annuity may pay a commission of 4% or $16,000 and the fee-based managed mutual fund portfolio may cost 1.25% for total compensation of $20,375 first year (not including the “trailer” commissions). The Fee-Only advisor would possibly shop low load annuities for you, possibly put the entire portfolio into a managed account, possibly look at municipal bonds, or any other variety of options available. It’s hard to say how much the Fee-Only advisor would earn as their largest incentive is to keep you the client happy, and provide the best planning advice and guidance possible for your situation. BUT, in this case let’s just assume that a managed mutual fund portfolio was implemented with an averaged cost of 1% (very common for that level of assets), so the Fee-Only financial advisor earns roughly $7,500 per year and it takes that financial advisor THREE YEARS to earn what the fee-based financial advisor earned in ONE YEAR!

The prior examples are very common in today’s financial advisory industry. It’s unfortunate that such a disparity in income exists between the compensation models, or there would likely be many more truly independent and unbiased Fee-Only financial advisors today!

Now consider for a moment which financial advisor will work harder for you AFTER the initial consultations an planning? Which financial advisor must consistently earn your trust and add value to your financial and investment planning? It’s obvious the financial advisor with the most to lose is the Fee-Only advisor. A Fee-Only financial advisor has a direct loss of income on a regular basis from losing a client.

The commission or fee-based financial advisor however has little to lose. You can fire them after they’ve put you in their high commission products, and as you can see from the examples they’ve already made the majority of the commissions they’re going to make on you as a client. They have little to gain by continuing to add value to your financial and investment planning, and little to lose by losing you as a client.

Wouldn’t you prefer a financial advisory model where your financial advisor must continually earn your trust and add consistent value to your planning?

It’s clearly more difficult to earn a living and run a profitable financial advisory firm through the Fee-Only financial planning and guidance model. For this reason, most financial advisors take the easy way and sell products for commissions and charge fees on assets managed – that way they can make a nice living on your investment portfolio and still have an ongoing stream of revenue every year. For this reason also, less than 1% of financial advisors are truly Fee-Only, yet it’s that 1% that is truly objective and unbiased, and that 1% whose only incentive is to manage your financial plan, investments, and overall wealth to accomplish the goals you wish to achieve!

The real “dirty little secret” Wall St. has is the undeniable truth that the commission and fee-based financial advisory model has inherent conflicts of interest, and your advisor may be “selling you investment products” rather than “solving your financial problems”!

Market Driven Innovation (MDI) is designing, managing and implementing your innovation process based on the needs and wants from your key markets. MDI is not new, but still today, many companies have found it difficult to transform their innovation work from their entrenched technology and product forward approach they have been using to a market back approach. Often, their entire business processes have been built around their assets and products they produce and their go-to-market strategy based on their historical sales experiences. The result of this behavior is premature commoditization of their value propositions, their most important assets. Market Driven Innovation is based on a strict set of principles:

o Engineering/technical resourcing decisions are made based on a validated market need and an attractive business case.

o Organizational Focus is achieved from understanding market segments and targeting the most attractive segments for growth

o A cross-functional team approach, marketing, technical, and sales all contribute to the growth initiative together, and thus are aligned on the strategy:

o Accelerated ramp up after launch from a higher operational knowledge of the market

o Accelerated technology development because better design specifications from a segmented market

o Driven by business leaders who make resource allocation decisions consistent with the strategic direction of the business, and link development to marketing process.

Market Driven innovation begins with a business orientation towards specific and targeted markets. These markets define strategy which defines resource allocations especially those resources dedicated to the innovation process. In this context we define innovation as the creation of value, and Market Driven Innovation as placing emphasis on customer values, beginning with choices as how a business goes to market; to how they position their brand and products in those markets they proactively choose to serve; to the nature of their product improvements; and to their search for new products and services that may more effectively meeting the emerging future needs of their targeted markets.

Identifying these target markets is core to Market Driven Innovation. Understanding what drives market growth and major unmet needs of the key market players as well as how they define value and establish the basis for generating growth ideas and concepts – straight from the market. These ideas and concepts are the genesis of the innovation process. The more market back concepts, the more opportunities for successful growth. Knowing target markets enables a business to:

o Design, communicate, and deliver more robust value propositions aimed at specific market segments

o Capture more of the value we provide because they can measure the value and make strategic pricing decisions that are consistent with their marketing strategy.

o Apply resources more effectively where they bring value by focusing them only on where value is identified.

o Develop and bring new offerings to the market faster because they know what the market values and how to deliver their offering based on value.

o Evaluate new markets where they can bring more powerful value propositions and new offerings

These elements of business design when generated from a market back learning model, form the basis for a market driven organization, and more specifically, Market Driven Innovation as a core driver of your growth process:

o Provides business management with facts from direct contact with the marketplace to decide which concepts merit moving forward with resourcing.

o Balances depth and speed in this disciplined approach using an organized set of activities.

o Enables cross function teams to develop a common understanding, direction, and shared values throughout the innovation cycle

o Enhances chances of success

Voice of the Customer (VOC) captured early and operationally is an essential component of creating and delivering value with the growth process. Capturing VOC is not a trivial or casual activity, and well thought our and designed VOC is critical to Market Driven Innovation. Effective VOC requires:

o Learning Customers desired outcomes – what they want to happen to help them become more successful.

o Getting to Fact based and data driven information that can be translated into offering features that address the customer outcomes.

o Clearly identifies the benefits the customer will receive and thus the discrete value they will place on an effective solution to them.

o Must be well understood by both marketing and technical in the same way with an aligned sense of the relationship to strategy and core competencies.

VOC is the work you do and do well before you even think of applying technical resources to do product development work. In this regard, you don’t misuse valuable and limited technical capacity. Technical people need to focus on projects that have been market validated both to focus their limited resources and provide them with advanced market specifications that help accelerate the development cycle.

To this end, as we will discuss more later, you engage your technical resources along side of your Marketing people to co-learn VOC, and thus both are better prepared to do their work that is defined by your targeted markets. In this way our resources are aligned from day one of an innovation effort through to launch of a new offering. A key outcome of an aligned and shared approach is achieving success faster and at less overall cost. No wasted costs as a result of false starts and lingering stops.

The three key components or a successful change to market oriented MDI are:

o Creating The Right Mindset – Leaders set the agenda

o Building the necessary skill set – A common framework for implementing

o Providing the best toolset – Fact based information guides decisions

Incorporating all three into the business process is a requirement for successful transformation to a market driven organization. It’s as straight forward as knowing where you are going, how to get there, and a map to take you there. We will discuss each of these three success drivers in more detail below

Creating the right mindset

Leaders must take charge of the agenda beginning with examining and changing how they lead, what marketing and technical practitioners do differently, and most importantly, how they work together using a rigorous framework from concept selection through to offering commercialization. Leadership owns the MDI process highlighted below. The first two levels in the process, Concept Development/selection and Market Validation are the critical elements. In this model, Leadership does not resource technology development until sufficient market evidence and validation provides the basis for resourcing. Technology resources only work on market validated concepts. Leadership’s ownership of the process means they:

o Demonstrate the value and set expectation

o Focus and align the organization around strategic direction and core capabilities.

o Identify, and guide the performance requirements necessary to generate the profit results.

o Organize people to assure the right combination of organizational strengths are applied to both know and act effectively on markets.

Three crucial questions are answered in market validation and business case development:
1. Is there an external basis for believing the concept has sufficient value to the market to proceed?
2. What is the best validated value proposition that sets the design basis for development?
3. Can we make money from developing and commercializing this value proposition?

Building the Necessary Skillset

The Innovation provides the basis for skill development and tool utilization. Each element of the framework requires specific work designed to deliver decisions to move from one element to the other. A short description of the work elements are describe below.

Concept Development and selection: Developing and characterizing concepts (sometimes called the “Fuzzy Front End”). Idea generation methods are generally well-known and most work well enough to assure a good set of concepts to evaluate. What we uniquely require is a concept characterization approach that helps the evaluators better understand and choose among several concepts.

Market Validation: Once a project has been chartered, a decision (stage gate) is made to resource to development and includes four key components, validated market landscape; Value Proposition Development; Competitive Alternative Assessment; and Business Model Evaluation. A validated market landscape identifies and characterizes the market spaces in which the concept may bring value. In this context, it provides the basis for demand, and thus the first real attempt at generating revenue potential. It identifies the key specifiers and influencers, and begins to describe their unmet needs that the concept may address as well as key hurdles that must be overcome to have a successful and sustainable initiative.

The Value Proposition is a description of the value your concept will bring to the targeted market, the benefits the market will receive, and how you will get paid for bringing the value. Value proposition development is the holy grail of marketing. If you learn your value proposition, and it truly brings the market real value, you can build the remainder of your growth initiative around it. Value propositions must be measurable and actionable.

Business Case Development: Before you engage in developing the required technology, answer the questrion – “Can we make money on this value proposition?”. Market Driven Innovation often requires a new way to go to market to accelerate and maximize acceptance and value capture. Value adding chain analysis through to the end user is an important skillset to utilize for business model evaluation. Business models are defined by what customers are selected; how we capture value; our level of strategic control; and the scope of our value proposition. The Business Case should be determined as early in the innovation process as possible. Opportunity modeling can provide the necessary basis for understanding the top line potential and the marketing cost for the innovation.

Technical Development:Effective market validation provides the product developers/designers a clear and crisp basis for building in the necessary design elements into an innovation. We now know the needs (what the market is willing to pay for) and the wants (potential areas of uniqueness). No more starts and stops caused by changing specifications from learning on the fly. Product developers can utilize their best practices with the certainty that they are on the right track. Because we begin the development process with clear market understanding, we now can bring the key customers into the development cycle early and often. We know their testing protocols, and their current standards by the competitive alternative they are using today. We design, we test, we engage the customer to test, we upgrade. Active parallel processing accelerates the development process and we get to launch faster.

Commercial Launch: Preparing for the launch includes the short term developing the marketing entry plan and the marketing mix, and the longer term multigenerational planning. These should be done together since the longer term positioning could have an effect on the launch protocol. The launch plan includes the target market; the offering positioning based on the value proposition; the communications strategy and plan; the channel strategy and plan; the pricing strategy and implementation plan driven by long term optimal pricing decisions. Multigenerational planning (beyond the launch); includes second and third generation offerings; strategy mapping; and a revenue acceleration plan. The managing process and control plan are incorporated into the commercial launch to assure optimum demand creation and delivery

Providing a Useful toolset

The toolset necessary to enable Market Driven Innovation consists of an integrated qualitative and quantitative set that enables the Market Driven Innovation team to successfully address the critical market questions identified in their chartered project. Two interdependent approaches make up the composite of Voice of the Customer (Market Driven). Together, they are designed to answer all the questions necessary to progress through the innovation process defined earlier.

A qualitative market learning tool should be installed to translate concepts into possible value propositions, begin the segmentation process, define the industry structure and dynamics, and expose the relative value vs. competitive alternatives. It also provides the basis for design of the quantitative VOC that follows once a decision is made to proceed to the business case and technical development stages.

A quantitative instrument that captures: concept tests including value elements and price; attribute importance rankings and current performance ratings; outcomes rankings; feature benefits; and competitive ratings. Other pertinent information to assist in segmentation should also be incorporated.

Getting Started With Market Driven Innovation: Market Driven Innovation can either be installed inside a business unit which is structured with both a technical and marketing unit, or can be institutionalized within a corporation as “the way we innovate”. The initiation for each is different given both the breadth and depth the sponsors must address in the change process. It is simpler and much faster to initiate change in an organization that is both ready and organizationally integrated. The leadership can evolve the change live while doing their innovation work by starting with a few projects that are definitive and have a short horizon. As the teams demonstrate success the change process takes on a life of its own and becomes a natural new way of doing work. The basic framework for such an approach is:

o Leadership diagnostic to define both scope and level of change required. Many groups already have an external perspective to their work and thus, change becomes a reinforcement of their beliefs.

o Develop and agree on a project plan to install MDI.

o Training the leadership and team on MDI elements. Utilize one or two projects to exemplify throughout the training. Note: the idea here is just in time training. Teams are trained on each element then they experience the element and move forward to training and experience thought each stage of the process. Prevents training fatigue and accelerates progress towards commercialization

o Select and charter projects.

o Customize framework to fit organizational culture and existing operational approaches and language.

Explore Paros beaches, sites and attractions.

The Port of Paros is in Parikia (the capital) which is situated on the western part of the island. Parikia is a well-developed tourism infrastructure town offering lots of accommodation units, beaches and archaeological sites to visit.

There are also daily flights from Athens to Paros (4 flights per day – 45 minutes flight), with Olympic Air.

Paros is the third in size island in Cyclades, after Andros and Naxos, with a total area of 195 sq. km and 120 kilometers of shore and beautiful sandy beaches. Apart Parikia which is the commercial center of the island, the most beautiful village in Paros is Naoussa, which is much more picturesque and has a lot of beaches and attractions to offer. The center point of interest is around the small fishing harbour of Naoussa where are situated some of the best restaurants, fish taverns, cafés and bars of the island. Near Naoussa are some of the best beaches of Paros, awarded with the “blue flag” sign.

In this article we will talk about things to do in Naoussa Paros during the day.
Get up early in the morning, have a rich breakfast at your hotel and get ready to discover the beauties of places around Naoussa. If you prefer to have your breakfast in Naoussa, go to the Café Santé, situated in the heart of the village. It is one of the most popular meeting points in Naoussa, serving all kind of coffees and delicious omelets.

After that, rent a scooter (or hire a taxi or a boat) and drive to some of the best nearby beaches. Start your beach tour from Kolimbithres beach which is situated in the bay, just opposite of Naoussa village. Due to impressive huge sculpture-like rock formations that divide the whole beach into little coves of sandy beaches, Kolimbithres is one of the most popular beaches near Naoussa. Some of these small beaches offer umbrellas and sun loungers for hire and some water sport facilities as well. Another small sandy beach, pretty close to Kolimbithres, is Monastiri (or Agios Ioannis beach). It’s a very well-organized beach, with crystal clear waters, sea sport facilities and seafront fish taverns to enjoy your lunch with delicious tastes.

For snorkeling and windsurfing lovers, it’s suggested to go to Santa Maria beach, situated east of Naoussa at a distance of 5 km, facing Naxos island. This is a fully organized beach with sun loungers, umbrellas, sea sport centers and beach bars with nice music.

In the afternoon you may visit some churches, such as Kimisis tis Theotokou (the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin) which is the main church of Naoussa, located on the highest spot of the hill, the church of San Nicolas and the Monastery of Logovarda which is located 4 km from Naoussa on the way to Parikia. Logovarda is a male monastery and it is forbidden for women.

If you are going to stay in Paros for more days, then it’s worthy to visit some of the most interesting sites in Parikia, such as the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani (meaning Our Lady of the Hundreds Gates) which was constructed in the 4th century A.D. by Saint Constantine, the first Emperor of Constantinople (Istanbul) and is one of the best preserved Christian monuments in Greece, where you may visit the Byzantine Museum and admire a collection of rare icons, various religious relics and other christian items dating from the post-Byzantine period. In Parikia is also located the Archaeological Museum of Paros where you may see a huge collection of findings dating from the Bronze and Neolithic period.

And last, don’t miss to visit Antiparos island, a small picturesque islet, just 1 nautical mile southwest of Paros, where you will feel like in paradise. Antiparos is accessible by ferryboat from Paros port (Parikia) which is a 20 minutes trip and from Punda beach which is just 7 minutes trip.

Why is having health or medical insurance so important? There is certainly a misconception that medical insurance is only for the elderly and older folks. Many young adults and even some middle aged adults have this misconception that since they are still healthy and without any illness, they do not need this security blanket that a health insurance policy provides. Their argument is that the premiums are high and that they are not getting anything in return if they do not make use of the policy.

Perhaps, these people are ignorant or have not heard or read of young and healthy people who without any warning, suffer a health attack or succumb to cancer. This is not surprising considering the hectic lifestyle and the regular intake of unhealthy food in this fast moving world that we live in. In addition, unforeseen accidents, minor or major can happen anytime. Breaking an arm or a leg can happen anytime while playing basketball or football. In the tropics, many people young and old falls victims to dengue due to mosquito bites. Considering the rising cost of medical care, hospitalization, surgery and medicines, a visit to the hospitals for treatment can indeed set back your hard earned savings if you are not covered under a health insurance plan.

A well meaning financial planner will advise that a financial plan which would include managing your investment risks will not be complete without a comprehensive health and medical insurance policy with critical illness coverage and hospitalization and surgical (H&S) coverage. Indeed, a financial investment plan can be derail if one should suffer the tragedy of succumbing to any life threatening illness such as cancer, diabetes, etc causing the person to lose his job and income before the financial goal of his investment plan materialize. The cost of treatment which may be exorbitant from the hospital expenses and surgery needed would cause you to use up the emergency funds and in the worst scenario may require you to withdraw from investment program before it mature if a medical policy was not purchased earlier. One should realize that hospital treatment cost these days include not only surgery and medication but often diagnostic tests involving sophisticated equipments, physiotherapy, etc. hence, the rising exorbitant cost of medical treatment.

One reason why many people do not purchase a health and medical insurance is due to the opinion that their employers have already provided the medical coverage. They may not be aware that once they leave their company, the coverage will cease. Hence, they may be caught in a bind if they are terminated during an economic downturn. Premiums for this kind of policy are lower if you purchase coverage at a younger age and when you are still medically fit. Those who insure themselves when they are older and not medically fit may have to pay higher premiums or are subjected to certain exclusions. Older folks and those who have some form of illness will therefore find themselves in a very precarious position if they are terminated from their job and are without medical insurance.

In summary, having a health and medical insurance is important as a security blanket that you need to buy but hope never to have to use. A health plan will give you the necessary assurance that you have the finances when the need arises.

Online reviews on automotive dealer’s website are valued features and play a key role in influencing the customer’s automotive buying decision. Online reviews are sought after by customers using Internet at every stage of car buying process, as they offer existing customer experiences on vehicle models, services, policies etc of particular automotive dealers. It is important to include online reviews and testimonials in dealer websites as they help in retaining the existing customers and builds initial trust among potential customers. It helps to increase sales as prospective customers prefer to deal with dealers they can trust.

Positive Impacts:
Online reviews positively impact the dealership sales by increasing the confidence among both existing and potential customers.

Credibility
Potential customers perceive online reviews as authentic, genuine opinions from other customers and feel that they are receiving accurate information. They provide an effective way for dealers to communicate with customers. A good number of positive reviews on dealer website mentioning satisfactory experiences of customers are likely to instill confidence among potential customers. The potential customer can feel more comfortable and satisfied when reading a comprehensive evaluation of the dealer from a large number of customers. Even, the way dealers handle negative reviews by customers by quickly and efficiently resolving problems increases the trustworthiness of the dealers. It is likely that such unhappy customers will revert back to the same dealer.

Included In Consideration Set
The customers usually have a pre-defined set of vehicles that they prefer to buy. The automotive dealers in order to increase their sales needs to persuade the customers to alter their consideration set. The customer generated content like vehicle ratings and reviews, consumer ratings and reviews, dealer ratings and reviews can be effectively used by automotive dealers to alter the consideration set of these automotive internet users. The information given through dealer ratings and reviews can effectively target the new-vehicle buying customer segment. The reviews enhance dealer consideration among customers as both positive and negative reviews increases awareness level of the particular dealer. Also, positive reviews improve the attitude of customers towards dealers. Thus, expanding the consideration set helps to increase automotive dealership sales.

Reassurance
The online reviews and testimonials at automotive dealer website provide reassurance to the new customers that the dealer stands for professionalism, quality, credibility, and security. Reviews by previous customers reassure the potential customers that it is safe to deal with this dealer and there is commitment to customer’s privacy. Providing reviews on dealership website also increases conversion rates as it increases trust and confidence among first time visitors. Thus, existing and new customers will confide upon the dealership that helps to increase sales.

Negative Impacts If Not Monitored:
The negative online reviews can have impact on the attitude of customers towards automotive dealers.

Left Out From Consideration Set
Online reviews influence the purchasing decisions of automotive internet users. Also, they are checked while researching for a particular car on the Internet. Thus, ignoring or not monitoring the online reviews means failing to effectively target the large segment of automotive internet users and getting left out from user’s consideration. Poor online reviews and testimonials can fail to persuade, build confidence and trust among first time visitors and lose out on important prospective customers.

Needs More Time To Convince The Buyer
Online reviews and testimonials indicate the satisfaction of other customers due to better services and quality offered by dealer. Potential customers reading improperly monitored reviews are likely to view the dealer as less reliable and not trustable. Thus, the dealers may have to put in more efforts and time to convince the customers.

As online reviews are like online conversations between customers, automotive dealers need to actively get involved in them that can result in sales growth. The automotive dealers can leverage online reviews and testimonials by existing customers to generate new customers by efficiently targeting them at each step of car buying process.

It doesn’t matter if the jeans are high or low rise this season. It doesn’t even matter where the skirt lengths end up. No matter what the latest fashion style, you can wear it beautifully with a little bit of shopping savvy and a thorough knowledge of your body type. The key to wearing clothing well is to choose pieces that will accentuate your positives and minimize your – not so positives, no matter what the current fashion trend might be. All it takes is a little bit of time in front of the mirror and an honest evaluation of your shape, and you will be ready to choose the fashion styles that will look fabulous on you.

Five Body Types While every woman has her own unique shape, most will fall into one of five basic categories. The hourglass shape is wider in the chest and hips, with a narrow waistline. This is the shape that is tailor made for trendy belts, flowing skirts and v-neck tops to flatter your bustline. An apple shape is wider on the top and narrower on the bottom – perfect for the wide-leg and bootcut pants that are popular now. If you have a pear shape, you are narrower on top and wider on the bottom. There are plenty of lovely choices in the current fashion style for this figure as well. Try the current fashion trend of longer jackets and sweaters with a v-neck blouse underneath to make the most of your assets.

The petite figure is fortunate today, because there are many pieces in the latest fashion style designed just for her. Beware of outfits that cut you off at the middle, shortening your already small physique. Cropped jackets and straight leg pants are the perfect choice for this figure. Finally, for those who have been blessed with a long, lean shape, your options are fairly wide open when it comes to the latest fashion style. Sometimes the most challenging aspect of this figure type is finding clothing that is long enough to accommodate your tall stature. The good news is that many retailers are now offering many of their fashion styles in tall and long sizes just for you. 

Fashion style will come and go, but knowing how to wear those trends will make the difference between a fashion savvy dresser and a woman who is a slave to the current fashion style. Get hip to your body shape and choose your latest fashion style according to what will look good on you. Clothes worn well are always in style.

Investors have long discussed, argued and debated whether single family homes or multi-units are better for your real estate investing portfolio.

There are advantages and disadvantages for each and I will briefly highlight some of these below.

Let’s start with single family homes.

Single family homes are typically easier to finance, easier to find long term tenants for and easier to sell.

They are easier to finance because you can go to just about any bank and get a non-owner occupant loan, often with very little down payment. (But note, at the time this is being written, May of 2008, lending requirements have gotten significantly stiffer.)

Single family homes are easier to find long term tenants for because many tenants prefer living in a detached home rather than sharing a wall and/or ceiling with multiple neighbors in a multiplex unit. Tenants also tend to stay longer because those who rent houses instead of apartments tend to have more stuff and they don’t like to move it as much.

Since you can sell your single family home either to another investor or to any family looking for a home, you have a very large market for liquidating your property.

Another advantage of single family homes is that there are lots of them. However, single family homes tend to cost more per unit and they are harder to justify an income approach to pricing.

If you looked at a cost per rental unit, single family homes tend to be much higher than the cost per unit of similar (in terms of bed/bath) multi-units.

Since single family homes are primarily built for and sold to owner occupants, they are not priced based on the amount of income that they will produce. Sellers tend to rely on appraisals to value their houses and not on the amount of rent their house can generate.

Now, let’s look at multi-units.

Multi-units are different (not worse) to finance and tend to have better cash flow since the cost per unit is usually lower than similar single family homes.

Multiplexes with more than four units usually don’t qualify for residential financing and require a commercial loan, which is a significantly different process than financing single family homes.

This can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your specific situation. It usually requires a larger down payment, but your personal credit score is less important.

Since the cost per unit is lower, you can usually realize better cash flow from the property when looked at on a per month basis compared to single family homes.

Since the number of people looking to buy multi-units is smaller than those looking to buy single family homes, you may be able to negotiate a better deal when buying, but it also may mean you need to give a better deal when selling. This may be a contributing factor to why the cost per unit is lower than similar single family homes.

Personally, I prefer single family homes, but I believe that multi-units have their place in the right portfolio.
Single Family Homes Versus Multi-Units – The Great Real Estate Investor Debate

Investors have long discussed, argued and debated whether single family homes or multi-units are better for your real estate investing portfolio.

There are advantages and disadvantages for each and I will briefly highlight some of these below.

Let’s start with single family homes.

Single family homes are typically easier to finance, easier to find long term tenants for and easier to sell.

They are easier to finance because you can go to just about any bank and get a non-owner occupant loan, often with very little down payment. (But note, at the time this is being written, May of 2008, lending requirements have gotten significantly stiffer.)

Single family homes are easier to find long term tenants for because many tenants prefer living in a detached home rather than sharing a wall and/or ceiling with multiple neighbors in a multiplex unit. Tenants also tend to stay longer because those who rent houses instead of apartments tend to have more stuff and they don’t like to move it as much.

Since you can sell your single family home either to another investor or to any family looking for a home, you have a very large market for liquidating your property.

Another advantage of single family homes is that there are lots of them. However, single family homes tend to cost more per unit and they are harder to justify an income approach to pricing.

If you looked at a cost per rental unit, single family homes tend to be much higher than the cost per unit of similar (in terms of bed/bath) multi-units.

Since single family homes are primarily built for and sold to owner occupants, they are not priced based on the amount of income that they will produce. Sellers tend to rely on appraisals to value their houses and not on the amount of rent their house can generate.

Now, let’s look at multi-units.

Multi-units are different (not worse) to finance and tend to have better cash flow since the cost per unit is usually lower than similar single family homes.

Multiplexes with more than four units usually don’t qualify for residential financing and require a commercial loan, which is a significantly different process than financing single family homes.

This can be an advantage or a disadvantage depending on your specific situation. It usually requires a larger down payment, but your personal credit score is less important.

Since the cost per unit is lower, you can usually realize better cash flow from the property when looked at on a per month basis compared to single family homes.

Since the number of people looking to buy multi-units is smaller than those looking to buy single family homes, you may be able to negotiate a better deal when buying, but it also may mean you need to give a better deal when selling. This may be a contributing factor to why the cost per unit is lower than similar single family homes.

Personally, I prefer single family homes, but I believe that multi-units have their place in the right portfolio.