February 12, 2015

Startup Grind: ‘Find your golden purpose’

Jeff-Hoffman
Jeff Hoffman, who was part of the founding team at Priceline and now runs ColorJar.

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, businesses, anyone who cares about innovation.

JD LasicaI‘m back from Startup Grind 2015 in Silicon Valley’s Redwood City, an annual two-day affair that attracts thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.

Here’s my Flickr photo set of 47 shots from the conference, which featured Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Bill Maris of Google Ventures, Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison and Houzz co-founder Adi Tatarko, among many others.

But the talk I was most taken with was by Jeff Hoffman, a veteran entrepreneur and public speaker who was on Priceline’s founding team and now runs ColorJar. Jeff encouraged the assembled startup founders to “find your golden purpose.” Continue reading

January 12, 2015

How to track customer data for your business

big-data

Are you using Big Data effectively to grow your business & sales in 2015?

Post by Susan Payton
ChamberofCommerce.com

Ever heard of Big Data? Probably. Are you using it? Maybe not. Big Data represents disruptive new technologies that capture and track customer information. The data is a goldmine for your business if you know how to use it correctly.

With eMarketer anticipating more than 1.75 billion smartphones to be purchased globally by the end of the year and 25% of the world on a social network, there is more data available than ever before.

To show how new all of this data really is, IBM found that 90 percent of the world’s data was created in the past four years.

Companies use data to look ahead and track what customers need before the customer knows herself what she needs. With so much information available, are you using it as effectively as you can to grow your business and sales? Continue reading

January 5, 2015

Trends for 2015: Light apps, unbundled experiences

timelapse
A timelapse created with Instagram’s Hyperlapse, one of a new breed of apps.

Why people are loving Facebook Messenger, RWND & Hyperlapse

Ayelet NoffThe past year has been a year of exciting revolutions in the mobile universe. New mobile messaging and sharing platforms in every conceivable medium — images, videos, texts and even two-letter words — are constantly inventing and reinventing new ways for us to communicate.

With different apps available in different mediums, communication is getting better. In the past we may have thought that the most convenient platform for messaging or socializing would be a one-stop-shop that enables communication across multiple mediums. These days, the latest trend is apps becoming ‘‘light.’’ With specialized apps becoming more popular and concise, it’s become clear that we no longer require a single outlet for our social mobile needs when different platforms can suit our specific needs perfectly and better convey a tailored experience. Continue reading

December 14, 2014

Email Marketing as Easy as Webmail

girlSortingMail

Target audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamFor more than a decade, guys I respect like Chris Brogan, John Hlinko, Nicco Mele, CC Chapman, and Christopher Penn have been a broken record when it comes down to brass tacks: cultivating an email list is the only real reason to do social media marketing, content marketing, inbound marketing, guest blogging, or column-writing. I take that back, selling and making money is the only reason, at the end of the day, but just ask anyone in the world of fundraising, ecommerce, and sales the true value, in dollars, of a fresh, segmented, double-opt-in, targeted list, per subscriber, and I bet you’ll pop your wig (upwards of $3+ per-record for really desirable lists). Continue reading

December 8, 2014

The Goldilocks of Online Collaboration

Goldilocks and the 3 BearsTarget audience: Marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Chris AbrahamI love my Gerris-branded Join.me but it’s limited in scope. It’s perfect for a virtual meeting, for a conference call, for a screenshare, and in support of a pitch, sales call, demo, or razzle-dazzle. It’s international, there are loads of global local numbers so that people can even call in locally, even if they’re at a cafe in Berlin, so it’s pretty handy and it gets global. But it’s not the right tool for webinars or virtual classrooms. There is GoToWebinar, of course, but the price point sells me a mega-yacht when all I really want is a very lovely and blue sea capable sailboat. Join.me is the boat I tow to the launch but I needed something that I could take on an around-the-world blue water cruise. I don’t need an ocean liner for that and GoToWebinar starts at oceanliner.

ClickWebinar has been the Goldilocks solution for me.  While GTW starts at a minumum of 100 attendees for $79/month billed annually ($99 for month-by-month), ClickWebinar starts you off with only 25 attendees for only $22.50/month billed annually ($30 for month-to-month). If I need more, I upgrade.

In addition, you can brand ClickWebinar white label, allowing me to make it my own. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have lived around the world and ran a DC-based business from Berlin, German, for a couple years. Like Join.me, ClickWebinar gets global. It’s been developed abroad and is known for its Simultaneous Chat Translation. Simultaneous Chat Translation allows attendees who are not native English-speakers to engage in the conversation via chat using their own language, automagically-detected, with the understanding that their Spanish, German (and 50 others as it uses Google Translate) will go from their native tongue (where they’re their smartest) to your native tongue (where you have the best comprehension).  The reason why it works is that there are a lot of people who may well comprehend English, for example, but might not feel a little shy about participating in English. It’s a very powerful equalizer, both for Q&A and for mutliligual training and support.

Of course, ClickWebinar also has all the other stuff: destop, browser, or presentaiton-sharing, audio & video conferencing, social media sharing, polling, moderated Q&A and chat, and meeting recording. Like Join.me and GoToWebinar, the littler and bigger, the too hard and too soft, the too small and too big, ClickWebinal also offers mobile support via tablet, Android, and iOS devices.

In a perfect world, I would be able to work from anywhere with absolutely anyone. Thank you, Internet. For me, it’s all about finding my Goldilocks solution, finding the solution that’s just the perfect fit for me.  Until now, I only knew about the dinghy and the yacht. It’s good to know that there are quite a few Enterprise-level solutions for the thing that we digital nomads find ourselves doing more and more: taking all of our meetings online, be it via a quick IM, Skype call, conference call, or full-fledged webinar.

For me, it’s all abou the perfect tool tool for the job. Not too big, not too little, but just right.