Txtfo Wins Innovation Prize

The Oscars, Grammy’s, The Nobel Peace Prize. These are all a way to generate publicity for the celebrities or their causes.

When you launch your company you have to do your own PR.

The thing I didn’t realize about industry awards is that entering awards takes time and money – there are forms to fill out and deadlines to meet. Big companies have large PR teams that enter them into these prizes and then can put the “Winner of X prize” logo on their websites/brochures.

We applied for the Information Management 2005 European Prize for Innovation. It was interesting to learn how this whole process works. It was amazing to win the one prize that we had entered since our existence.  We won the best Business to Consumer award for 2005.

Definitely one of my life highlights.

Apologies but when you run your own company, you have to toot your own horn (can’t afford the PR agents to toot my horn for me).

We had entered two of our projects for the awards and the “Shop Anywhere” was what won the big prize:

The Shop Anywhere won the Best Business to Consumer application – beating out 560 entries including the likes of Universal Music, British Telecom, Travellodge, London Business School, ICI (dulux paint) and Nationwide.

Shop Anywhere – with Amazon.com
Sometimes you meet a friend at a dinner party and they recommend a book to you. You don’t have a pen or a paper on you so you forget about the recommendation.

Txtfo’s shop anywhere solution enables you to send an SMS “Book Harry Potter” and instantly looks up on Amazon and responds “Harry Potter by JK Rowling for $12.95 ships in 2 days.  Please respond with your email for more info.”.  You can respond “amir@amiranzur.com”  and you will receive an email with all the details.  Next time you log in to your computer you can click through and complete the purchase.

This is a free application for the consumer to use and we make money on the affiliate links.

You only have to respond with your email address once and from that point on your mobile and email are connected, so that any time you send an SMS, you receive an email with all the links to complete your purchase.

Why this is so simple yet effective is that there are no java applications to download, it works on ALL mobile phones.  There is no need to register ahead of time.  Everyone has SMS.  Everyone has Email.  It doesn’t require the consumer to learn a new way to shop.  They can simply “tag” a product from anywhere and it will appear in their email inbox ready to complete the one-click shopping the way they are already used to.

It brings the anywhere concept of price comparison and shopping to the mass market.  No need to upgrade your handset.

Internet World – Make Paper History [We didn’t win for this but think this is a cool idea anyway]

When you go to an exhibition every exhibitor has a bunch of brochures for you to collect.  You end up walking out with a whole bunch of paper that 80 % of us throw away within two hours of leaving.  Not only wasting company resources but also causing great harm to the environment.

At the 2005 Internet World in London we tried something new.  Every exhibitor had a special keyword.  They uploaded a soft copy of their brochures before the exhibition started.

A visitor could simply go around the exhibition and text to receive the soft copy of the brochures to their inbox.  The first time they would send in their email address e.g. “Oracle amir@amir1anzur.com” and after that every other company they can simply text the exhibitors name e.g. “BT”, “Microsoft” etc.

Storage in the real world is getting more expensive – property prices are rising.

Storage in the digital world are getting cheaper – storage costs are falling.

Having an electronic brochure means that consumers will not only be able to store the information for longer, but also makes it easier to search.

The txtfo application is the coolest way to make paper history!

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Amir Anzur

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