“You’ve angered the hive,” said Anonymous, in response to the efforts of security firm HBGary’s attempts to infiltrate and expose its inner workings. As we reported yesterday, the loose collective of online vigilantes – Anonymous – responded to a story in the The Financial Times and the actions of HBGary’s CEO Aaron Barr by hacking into the company’s systems and releasing tens of thousands of its emails and documents.Among those documents, an outline of plans to systematically discredit WikiLeaks, along with Salon journalist (and WikiLeaks supporter) Glenn Greenwald.A proposal entitled “The WikiLeaks Threat” was developed by Palantir Technologies, HBGary, Berico Technologies upon request from Hunton and Williams, a law firm whose clients include Bank of America, the bank widely rumored to be the target of WikiLeaks’ next leak.The proposal (mirrored on the WikiLeaks site) offers suggestions on how to disrupt and discredit WikiLeaks apparently included cyberattacks on its infrastructure and leaking misinformation in the hopes that WikiLeaks could be caught in a “gotcha” moment. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting audrey watters Tags:#news#NYT#web Related Posts More surprising and arguably more troubling: the proposal suggests an attack on Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who has been an active supporter of WikiLeaks and of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier charged with leaking many of the classified documents that WikiLeaks distributed. “This level of support needs to be disrupted.” The proposal suggests that “without the support of people like Glenn WikiLeaks would fold.” That seems a rather silly contention, but the idea that one would target a journalist like this is chilling to say the least.It’s worth noting that nothing in the document or its accompanying email chain suggests that these plans ever became more than PowerPoint presentations. There’s no indication that the Bank of America signed off on support for a smear campaign. And HBGary has not commented on the attacks by Anonymous or on the veracity of any of these documents.But if nothing else, it’s all fuel for what continues to be a wild saga, one where the Internet truth is stranger than fiction. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now alex williams Related Posts Tags:#Analysis#enterprise Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… I find Jive Software to be a bit of a paradox. . I like the people and the company they’ve built. They’re a local success story here in Portland. They have transformed from a client-technology, software forum provider into a collaboration leader. They seem to be moving in the right direction. The company is headed for an IPO. So, what’s the paradox?Solutions oriented companies build custom configurations. These can become costly for the vendor and the customer. They also place an emphasis on providing on-premise offerings.On the flip side, Jive is taking the first steps in building a developer community. The company has substantial financial backing and its riding strong in providing social technologies to the enterprise.Jive’s TrajectoryJive can make it running on the path they have chosen. The biggest challenge will be costs that come with building a business that has any number of custom, customer configurations and complex licensing structures. The answer to Jive’s future will come in how the company balances its developer community with the pressure to show substantial revenues that come with solutions contracts and large consulting engagements.Kleiner Perkins sees promise. The prestigious venture capital company invested $30 million in Jive last summer. Jive’s financial trajectory puts it on track to make it a company that can be publicly traded and attract investment. That will mean it has to show revenues. To really extend, the developers that the company attracts will have to be organized into an ecosystem that gives it deep reach across the enterprise and associated channels.This means that it has to have a clear path as a SharePoint alternative. To succeed, Jive has to lead the march in providing customers with modern uses of Web oriented technologies. To do that they need the help of others seeking to topple Microsoft’s dominance. And help comes in the form of other companies and the sharing of development efforts.Formidable CompetitionJive also faces formidable competition. Salesforce.com has to be considered a rival. The company fits into a dynamic that others such as Yammer are fully exploiting, too. These companies are application centric and have their own respective developer communities. For example, Salesforce.com has the Force.com platform and relationships with VMware and Google. Yammer is extending its footprint with relationships with companies such as Crocodoc, which we covered over the weekend in our post about how networks are flattening.Acquia’s Tim Bertrand wrote a post earlier this month. In it he critiques Jive for playing the same game that enterprise providers have played for the past 30 years:Everything is a “customization.”Customizations cost lots of money.Organizations need to rely on the company or its partners to perform customizations.The (already) proprietary instance of the software becomes too customized, it costs even more when it comes time to migrate to a new release.Repeat and start the vicious cycle all over again.Bertrand works for the competition and so it is understandable that we get this degree of snark. But to some extent the critique is valid.Jive is arguably a solutions provider but it does provide cloud-based services. It builds on-premise application stacks. It is hard to imagine Jive as anything else. Companies are doing massive overhauls of enterprise infrastructures. Jive’s model is to serve the needs of those big clients. That means it has to serve customers who have compliance and governance matters to abide by.In an interview last month, Chief Financial Officer Bryan LeBlanc said that last year the company did a record number of deals worth more than $1 million. In some case the entire portal is replaced for the customer. He says a major goal is to displace SharePoint and homegrown systems that companies have cobbled together through the years built on Broadvison, Interwoven and manually built HTML-based environments.These are expensive projects. But the cultural climate is important to consider. Companies want security and they want the communications to be centralized. They want guidance which they pay for handsomely.Jive has an extensive consulting practice. Its methods are to centralize customers to its platforms from various wikis, blogs and the other systems people use inside companies.Matt Tucker is Jive’s CTO and co-founder. He says it is in Jive’s best interest to do as little customization as possible.He sees a further emphasis on delivering SaaS solutions to customers. But there is still a need for on-premise offerings. Tucker is a technologist. You can see the influence the developer community has had upon him in the direction the company is taking. At the same time, he knows that there has to be ways to accommodate the larger clients.But there is more to this, too. You can see it in the comments from Christopher Morace, who runs Jive’s product strategy. On Quora, he responded to a thread about the competition between Jive and Yammer. Morace said he has found that when it comes to strategic business conversations most decision makers still want solutions hosted by Jive on a box they control. He said It won’t always be this way but as the market shifts from early adopters to pragmatists there is a resurgence in customers who want more control.He gives a revealing reason why Jive started offering activity stream technology:So, what is my point? Cloud delivered solutions for enterprise collaboration face an uphill climb. The reward quite frequently for successful adoption is getting on the radar of IT and ultimately getting ripped out. The entire reason we even pulled Twitter/Yammer like functionality into Jive was at the request of IT who wanted to get rid of user adopted cloud solutions where strategic conversations were now residing beyond their control. No one has meaningfully demonstrated in the enterprise (that I am aware of) a way to do a freemium solution that gets their business above $15M outside of really tactical point solutions (and I’m not even aware of any of those). The sweet spot for cloud delivered, inside the firewall solutions continues to be SMB who have no existing infrastructure, value price above almost everything else (like customization, integration, configuration, and control), and are the least regulated.Morace shows a pretty clear intention for Jive to continue offering solutions oriented offerings.You can see then why it makes sense for Jive to partner with companies such as Alfresco Software. The company must work with third parties to offer broad solutions.Enguerrand Spindler owns a consulting company called Alfstore, specializing in Alfresco Software integrations. He recently wrote about how Alfresco is integrating with Jive Software on a project for a large French, industrial company.According to Spindler, Jive is used as the front-end solution (for social collaboration around documents), and Alfresco is used as the document repository:From the Jive interface, people can upload documents into Alfresco, and then get the corresponding link to collaborate around it using the Jive features.That’s the kind of integration Jive will need to continue growing.Other partners in Jive’s developer community include Tungle.me, Box and Giffy.Am I still torn? I have no question about Jive’s success. It will most likely become a very large company.But I can’t help but see an emphasis on appealing to IT and its command and control preferences. And that to me can be a problem. Why? IT could be better connected to the front lines. They have their own ideas about collaboration that are often disconnected to the realities of the average users. Those users want to use services that make sense for them. Jive is far ahead of Yammer in the market. The company is on a $100 million run rate. That’s far bigger than Yammer and others in the market. But its approach reminds me more of large, enterprise solutions providers than nimble applications companies. That’s evident of a market dichotomy that we see unfolding in the enterprise. Solutions oriented companies work with CIOs. Those relationships help garner significant deals that are in excess of $1 million.But in the long run, users will prefer to work with loosely coupled application services that give them choice and flexibility. That’s a big reason why it is so important for Jive to build that application network. They need a loosely federated model to keep the user satisfied.Will that work? Perhaps. But I’m still torn. Solutions oriented approaches require large project teams. Those teams cost a lot to run. Applications companies seek to be more efficient on the application stack. In the long run that means engaging users as much as possible and lowering the costs to scale the company.Jive and its competitors have divergent approaches but in the end, the applications providers are creating services for an in increasingly flat world. To truly compete, Jive will need to embrace the developer community and offer a full spectrum of services through its ecosystem. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair
Related Posts audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Location#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting As location-based services continue to spring up, it’s becoming increasingly important that these companies have access to correction location data. However, there’s no one place where developers can go to access or verify this data, and there’s no single database for location-based information.But Foursquare has just announced an effort to move things in that direction: a “venue harmonization map” that it says it hopes can serve as a Rosetta Stone, of sorts, for location data.Part of Foursquare’s new initiative involves opening its Venues API and removing some of the restrictions on access to it. The API will be available at higher rate limits, but more importantly, now developers will be able to search Foursquare venues and find associated data – such as tips, photos, and trending check-in information – without requiring their end-users to authenticate via Foursquare. Creating a Rosetta Stone for Location DataThe Venue API is part of a larger effort of “building a comprehensive Venue Harmonization map.” This will help link information about places from one database to any other, and Foursquare announced four partners that are involved in this at launch: The New York Times, New York Magazine, Thrillist, and MenuPages. As it currently stands, if you look up a restaurant in one location database – via Foursquare, for instance, it will have a different ID number than if you look that up its review in The New York Times. This can make integrating data different. The Venue Harmonization Map aims to “translate between these databases, making it easier to create mash-ups, link to pages on other sites, or add foursquare widgets like ‘Add to foursquare’ to publisher sites.”The Future of the PlatformThis won’t put the location data under Foursquare’s control per se. It’s just a way to translate IDs – think “Rosetta Stone.” And it seems unlikely that all the players in the location space, namely Google and Facebook, will play along. Nonetheless, Foursquare’s announcement will give developers a boost in building products that can access all this data, including the real-time check-in information. In light of some of the recent kerfuffle around the Twitter’s relationship with third party development, it’s noteworthy that the title of Foursquare blog post asserts “the importance of platforms” – a comfort perhaps to developers who may feel suddenly wary about building products on someone else’s API. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market
Before explaining why radiant-floor heating is a poor choice in new construction, let me describe what I like about it. The heat is distributed over a large surface area, so it is delivered at a relatively low temperature. It’s uniform, and it warms people directly, rather than having to heat the air. This means that radiant heat can provide comfort at a lower air temperature than is required with forced-warm-air or baseboard hot water heat. You might be able to keep your thermostat lower — say 65 degrees—and be perfectly comfortable with radiant-floor heating, while 68 or even 70 degrees would be required with other systems.Most people with radiant-floor heating absolutely love the warmth underfoot; you can walk around barefoot even in the middle of winter. If we’re used to drafty old houses, there’s nothing nicer than a floor that’s warm underfoot and gently radiates heat upward. Radiant heat also tends to have less of a drying effect than does forced-air heat. And because there aren’t baseboard radiators, furniture can fit right up against the wall.So, what’s wrong with radiant-floor heating?I have two concerns, both of which apply only to very energy-efficient — superinsulated — houses. First, in a highly insulated house (and I’m talking about a really tight house with at least R-40 walls, an R-50 ceiling, and triple-glazed low-e windows), such a tiny amount of supplemental heat is needed that a radiant floor needs to be kept no more than a few degrees above the air temperature—or else overheating will occur. If a concrete-slab or tile floor surface is maintained at 72 or 75 degrees, it will likely feel cool underfoot—since it’s at a lower temperature than your feet. So you may not get that delightful benefit of a warm floor surface. And, if you’re delivering heat to the floor during the nighttime, and then have significant passive solar gain during the daytime, overheating is likely to occur. In short, radiant-floor heating just isn’t a good fit with superinsulated houses.My second issue with radiant-floor heating has to do with economics. Radiant-floor heating systems, with tubing embedded in a concrete slab, multiple pumps for different zones, and sophisticated controls, will easily cost $10,000. I’d rather see someone spend that $10,000 on better windows, more insulation, and so forth — then recoup some of that extra cost by spending less on the heating system. Homes built to the rigorous German Passivhaus standard (which I’ll describe in a future column) can be heated with, literally, a few incandescent light bulbs in each room. In a more typical superinsulated house, we can provide the desired comfort with one or two through-the-wall-vented gas space heaters or a few lengths of inexpensive electric baseboard heating element.Again, these arguments apply to highly insulated houses — usually new construction — when you can pull out all the stops and far exceed typical insulation standards for New England. In existing houses or in new construction when fairly standard energy details are being used, radiant-floor heating makes lots of sense. In a house with a relatively large heating load, and especially in a drafty house, a radiant-floor heating system is a great option.If you’re thinking about radiant-floor heat for your current house, the challenge is that these systems are not easy to install in existing houses. I like to benefit from the thermal mass of a slab floor with embedded radiant tubing, and that’s a difficult retrofit project. Some people use light-weight gypsum-concrete slabs that are poured over existing floors; others attach the radiant tubing underneath a wood floor or subfloor.One last point: if you do install a radiant-floor heating system, be aware that it should be controlled differently than other central heating systems. The set-back thermostats I described in last week’s column aren’t effective. This is because these systems take a long time to warm up and cool down and are thus typically operated to maintain near-constant temperature day and night. RELATED ARTICLES All About Radiant Floors Goodbye Radiant Floor Is Radiant Floor Heat Really the Best Option?Should I Turn Down Radiant-Floor Heat at Night? Heating a Tight, Well-Insulated House Radiant-Floor Heating: When It Does—and Doesn’t—Make Sense Occasionally I wonder if I have some sort of masochistic streak — somehow enjoying the grief I get when bursting people’s favorite bubbles. I’ll brace myself for such a response to this column, when I point out why radiant-floor heating systems don’t make sense for new, energy-efficient houses.Radiant-floor heating is a way of delivering heat through the floor — usually with hot-water tubing embedded in a concrete slab. It’s a very popular heating system advanced by zealous proponents. If you want to pick a fight in the building industry, simply criticize such sacred cows as radiant-floor heating or ground-source heat pumps (stay tuned on that one).Don’t get me wrong. Radiant-floor heating makes a lot of sense for the right applications. In fact, I think it’s a great heating system…for lousy houses. But with new construction, if the house is designed and built to be highly energy-efficient (something I always encourage as the number-one priority), it doesn’t make sense.
UPDATED on May 5, 2016Everybody has an opinion on windows, and there’s a lot to talk about. Which frame material do you prefer: wood or fiberglass? Do you like double-hungs, sliders, or casements? Who provides better warranty service, Marvin or Pella?Window selection is a complicated topic, so I’ll approach the issue in small bites. In this article I’ll focus on glazing.Windows are crucial to a home’s thermal performance and the comfort of occupants. In a cold climate, the wrong windows will act like holes in a home’s thermal envelope, leaking tremendous amounts of heat. In contrast, the best performing windows can actually collect more heat than they lose during the winter months, turning your walls’ weakest link into an asset.In a hot climate, windows with the wrong type of glazing are often the leading cause of summer overheating — they’re probably the main reason that your air conditioner struggles to keep your home cool on summer afternoons. That’s why the right type of glazing can transform an unlivable room into a pleasant oasis.If you are building a new home, the cost to upgrade from run-of-the-mill windows to high-performance windows is relatively small, and the incremental cost can easily be justified by future energy savings. Upgrading to better windows will never be cheaper than during new construction.If your existing home has bad windows, however, the cost to replace every window in your home with new high-performance windows is often prohibitive. After all, the cost to replace an existing window will always be significantly more than the incremental cost to upgrade to better windows when the house is being built.Old-fashioned single-glazed windows have been relegated to garages and barns. These days, the vast majority of new residential windows come with either… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in
All-electric designAn electric heater in the ventilation system will heat the house, supplemented by electric in-floor heat in the bathroom and a wall convector in the kitchen, according to Nemeth. Fresh air comes from a Zehnder Novus 300 Passivhaus-certified heat-recovery ventilator, which Nemeth says has heat recovery efficiency of 93%. Ducts are semi-rigid high-density polyethylene.Because of the design of the roof overhangs and other ventilation features, mechanical cooling wasn’t deemed necessary.Other details:Below-grade insulation: Twelve inches of Type II EPS under the basement slab; 12 inches of PlastiSpan 40 psi underneath the footings; 10 inches of Type II EPS on the exterior of the ICF foundation walls; and 12 inches of Type II EPS on the exterior of the footing.Wall and roof insulation: Above-grade walls have a total of 17.5 inches of dense-packed cellulose (R-66). The roof is insulated with 30 inches of loose-fill cellulose (R-100).Windows: Gaulhofer Energy Line 85 Plus triple-glazed units. The windows are set about 8 inches in from the outside face of the wall.Domestic hot water: Electric-resistance tank heater. A drainwater heat recovery unit should capture about 25% of the energy used to heat the water. When prices come down, a heat-pump water heater could replace the conventional unit.A condensing clothes dryer means one less penetration in the building envelope and, Nemeth adds, an induction range in the kitchen “offers the performance of gas without the exhaust and makeup-air penalty, not to mention safety.”Renewable energy: A roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) array with a capacity of 4 kilowatts, plus the potential for adding another 3 kW of PV on the garage roof.Airtightness: A blower door test on February 2 found an air leakage rate of 0.37 air changes per hour at a pressure difference of 50 pascals — about half of what’s permitted by the Passivhaus standard. As good as that is, Adair says some further tightening is possible. “I’ll turn around and there’s Harold,” he said. “Great!”Orr’s team was years ahead of the rest of the construction industry, and the group’s pioneering work in superinsulation and airtight construction eventually led to the creation of the Passivhaus standard by German physicist Dr. Wolfgang Feist. One of Orr’s teammates, the late Rob Dumont, lived in Saskatoon, where he built a superinsulated house of his own.“That’s his passion,” Adair said of Orr. “He knows that I followed him. I’m overwhelmed by the fact that he does show up. How many people in the world wouldn’t like to be on a site when Harold shows up to see what you’re doing? It’s unbelievable, really.”Adair says Orr isn’t shy about asking questions and offering what he might do a little differently. “His input has been great,” he said. “He’s been very enthusiastic.”Adair said he was told it wouldn’t be possible to build a Passivhaus-certified house in Saskatoon’s climate. But according to Nemeth, the release of PHPP 9 in October 2015 was a turning point.“Up until that point we struggled to meet the Passive House primary energy requirements of 120 kWh/per square meter,” Nemeth said in an email. “PHPP 9 brought the Primary Energy Renewable (PER) alternative path. This allowed us to use the greatly simplified all-electric system. Along with a few other tweaks, PHPP 9 has made it more reasonable to certify a Passive House in Canada’s cold climate.”Adair hopes the successful completion of the project will encourage other builders and lead to changes in building codes. Another member of his team, Mark Prebble, a Saskatoon real estate agent who has taken Passivhaus training, is filming the construction of the house with hopes of spreading the word in the province.“It just frustrates me to no end that the developers up here are still building these structures using the lowest cost methods so they can make a lot of money,” he said. “Well, it’s not helping the planet when we do this and that whole mindset has to change. Well, how does that happen? You have to have something the community can see that actually does perform.” Advice from an old handOne of the delights of this project for Adair has been his encounters with Harold Orr, who led the Conservation House project and regularly shows up at the Saskatoon job site where Adair is working. Harold Orr on a recent visit to the Temperance Street Passive House construction site in Saskatoon. At first, the owners of the single-family home at 1102 Temperance Street simply requested the removal of an unwanted balcony.But renovations often wander in unexpected directions, and by the time the dust settles sometime later this year, Jim Spinney and Holly Ann Knott should have the first certified Passivhaus home in the province of Saskatchewan.The owners of the 1940s house on Saskatoon’s east side may have had more modest ambitions at the start, but they weren’t counting on the extensive structural decay that their builder, Robin Adair, uncovered as he took the balcony apart.“They were going to spend a lot of money to fix this,” Adair said. “It was over $100,000, because the rot was right from the foundation to the top of the second floor. They didn’t want to do that. They said they’d build a new building instead. I said, ‘Great, I’ll do it for you, but if I do it, it’s Passivhaus.’ ”Although Adair has been building high-performance houses since the 1980s, the Temperance Street Passive House is his first attempt at putting his 2014 training in Passivhaus construction to work, and his first try at a certified building.The new three-level house is a duplex with a pair of 2,358-square-foot residences, one half of the space submitted for certification through Germany’s Passivhaus Institut and the other half built to the same standard but not certified. It’s located just 160 miles northwest of Regina, the community where the ground-breaking forerunner to Passivhaus building, The Saskatchewan Conservation House, was constructed in 1977. Designed for a punishing climateSaskatoon usually sees more than 10,600 heating degrees annually, with average January temperatures of 0.5°F above zero (-17.5°C). It’s no place to skimp on insulation or other building details. Adair credits Michael Nemeth for planning the mechanicals and other details using the Passive House Planning Package, calling his work “instrumental.”There is rigid foam under the footings. A foot of PlastiSpan 40 psi rigid foam keeps the chill out of the building’s concrete footings. The foam is set on a low-strength slurry mix equivalent to a compacted gravel base, according to Adair. Footings are poured atop the foam, followed by a foundation made from insulated concreted forms.The wood-framed building, on a foundation of insulated concrete forms (ICFs), will have four bedrooms and four bathrooms in each unit. Exterior walls start with a structural 2×4 wall sheathed with 5/8-inch spruce plywood, which serves as the air barrier. Seams are taped with Ampacoll XT tape.On the exterior side of the sheathing is an assembly similar to a Larsen truss wall, consisting of 2x4s separated by webs of 1/2-inch thick plywood, then 5/8-inch tongue-and-groove Agepan DWD fiberboard sheathing, then a rainscreen gap and, finally, HardiPlank fiber-cement siding. The truss wall is 14 inches thick, and both it and the 2×4 structural wall will be insulated with dense-packed cellulose.The roof is constructed with trusses installed 24 inches on-center, with a 28-inch raised heel providing room for insulation over the exterior walls. Roof pitches are 4-in-12 and 12-in-12. The roof sheathing is 1/2-inch spruce plywood.Adair says that the costs will total about $195 (Canadian) per square foot, which he estimates is 5% to 10% more than a code-compliant house when comparing a basic shell with windows, but no cladding, trim, or other finish details.“All the interior and exterior finishes are design details,” he explained, “and how much they cost depends on what you want. You have to be able to compare to a 2×6 wall with fiberglass in it. Yes, the owners were aware that it was going to cost more money, but the other side of that is there are no energy costs, relative to what we would think of as normal here for our climate.”
Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts In a move that enhances its mobile management toolkit, push notification service Urban Airship has acquired Tello, a Palo Alto-based company that helps businesses and app-makers create passes for Apple’s Passbook.The move comes on the heels of Urban Airship’s purchase last year of mobile location service SimpleGeo. Urban Airship’s acquisition of Tello could potentially double its market given that it can now help businesses without apps create digital coupons, tickets and loyalty cards through Passbook.Since its founding in 2009, Urban Airship, based in Portland, Ore., has specialized in offering high-quality push notifications and a slew of other services that come bundled with tiered plans. The company has raised more $20 million after three rounds of funding–including an injection from TrueVentures, which also invested in Tello–and earned it a list of impressive clients like Airbnb and ESPN.With the acquisition of Tello and its PassTools product, Urban Airship is banking on the rise of the digital wallet and opening itself up to everyone from mom-and-pop shops wanting to offer local deals to big-name companies currently seeing poor results from age-old paper coupons.Will Passbook Succeed?Passbook debuted on Apple’s iOS6 in September but so far hasn’t made a big splash, generating comparisons to the now-defunct Ping. But some wonder if it is just a matter of time before companies catch on to the inevitability of “the iWallet.”“The combination of push messaging, passes and location-targeting offer an easy yet sophisticated solution for businesses to drive more successful pass programs,” Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton said in a press release.Neither company released numbers on the acquisition, though it was stressed that it was an all-stock deal, with Urban Airship taking over Tello’s Palo Alto office and Tello CEO Joe Beninato gaining the title of General Manager of Digital Wallet.Kveton says Tello’s PassTools will be integrated into Urban Airship’s product bundles sometime next year. Tags:#Apple#mobile#Passbook#Tello#Urban Airship nick statt Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement
What could possibly be bad about scaling up your startup? If you’re thinking about growth because the demand is there, you’re clearly doing something right.But a rush to ramp up too soon can lead to serious growing pains, especially in the human resources and accounting departments. We asked 10 entrepreneurs in the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to share their own experiences with scale—and their best advice for founders about to embark on a big push in the new year. 1. Scale RemotelyThe biggest problem with scaling is you take on commitments. Commitments for offices, technology, employees and any number of assets that can slow you down and bleed your bank account. A great option is remote employment. At Staff.com, we run a team of more than 50 employees from 9 different countries; our employees are more efficient than local ones and we don’t have commitments like offices, payroll or the bureaucratic headaches that local employees produce. We still have some local employees, but each local worker is augmented by remote ones. This relationship produces incredibly efficient employees at a fraction of the cost. – Liam Martin, Staff.com 2. Spend Money On The Best PeopleWhether you’re selling a product or service, maintaining quality during periods of quick scaling is hard. At Pandemic Labs, we experienced this in both our agency business and our software platform. Our solution is in our people. When your business is moving along at a steady, manageable pace, you might not see the value of hiring someone for $90,000 when you can fill that position with someone for $40,000. But there’s a big reason, and you’ll see it when business ramps up. A-level people cost more, but they’ll be able to keep a steady hand on the wheel with you in situations where other companies would crumble under the speed of their own growth. The best people will feel expensive at first, but a team of great people can control a train that would otherwise fly off the tracks. – Matt Peters,Pandemic Labs 3. Understand What It Takes To Serve 10X The CustomersThe biggest mistake startups can make when trying to scale a business is to not understand what it takes to support 10 customers versus 100 customers. As an entrepreneur, project all the resources you will need as you grow. Forecast how each of your key resources (i.e. staff, strategic leadership, infrastructure) will need to be expanded. Yodle scaled successfully because we invested in careful planning in order to be properly prepared for each juncture of growth. In this way, we achieved controlled growth – and this was the best way to manage additional costs and resources. – John Berkowitz, Yodle 4. Set Up Systems FirstMy company, RewardMe, is a digital loyalty platform for restaurants. Our success therefore depends on our ability to capture as much of the market as possible. Our initial 100 clients were in Northern California and it seemed like we were ready to scale: hire sales people across the country and implement as fast as possible. But the smartest decision we made was to delay scaling until we had all our systems and training manuals in place. When you bring people on board to scale sales, everything must be a no-brainer: they must know exactly how to get clients, how long it takes to close deals, how much to sell the product for, and the intricacies of the implementation process. Don’t scale until every single aspect from customer acquisition to implementation is a process. – Jun Loayza, Passport Peru 5. Premature Scaling KillsThere is no doubt about it – startups offer some amazing opportunities to exercise Computer Science and Systems Engineering knowledge. Engineering friends of mine regularly marvel at the amount of data companies like Google, Amazon and Netflix have to process, analyze and serve. Here’s the problem: This opportunity doesn’t exist for early-stage startups, because, by definition, they have no users or customers. Worrying about “scale” in the early days of your startup is simply a bad investment. You may not have even discovered whether a product or market is worth pursuing, but you will have already invested in scaling that pursuit. Startup founders have to develop a craft in rapid application prototyping. Scaling comes later. – Andrew Montalenti, Parse.ly 6. Listen To Your CustomersOne of the best barometers for scaling should be customer satisfaction. If your customers are satisfied, you can scale as fast as you want. Typically, when something starts going wrong or you’re understaffed, your customers will tell you! When we started pushing hard toward the 7-figure mark in our first year, my brother/business partner was left managing customer support from his Gmail account. He was a senior in college, a starter on the baseball team, and working 50-60 hours each week. We knew something had to change, and that’s when we found a full-time customer support staff member. While Scott was doing all he could, I knew our customers were growing restless. Since then, I’ve been able to leverage Scott’s abilities, and our business has never been stronger. – Brian Moran, Get 10,000 Fans 7. Ride One Horse At A TimeWhen we started franchising our business, we expanded rather quickly, and it seemed logical to test out new service lines and launch new brands. However, we stretched ourselves thin and ended up over our heads in unfamiliar waters. Our core business suffered, and the new initiatives didn’t work. My advice: Focus on dominating the sandbox you’re already in before branching out. Make sure you have strong systems and resilient revenue streams. Run market tests and grow your business slowly so that every piece is sturdy, stable and cohesive. If you try to ride more than one horse at the same time, you’re going to fall off. – Nick Friedman, College Hunks Hauling Junk 8. Be Selective, Open Up SlowlyWhen we launched SaberBlast.com a year ago, it grew so fast that we couldn’t keep up with demand. Our clients would try to send out newsletters with 30,000 or 100,000+ subscribers on it – and either the server would blow up or the resulting traffic would kill us. It was embarrassing. With the recent relaunch of the service, not only have we upgraded our technology, but we’ve upgraded how we onboard clients. We actually have an application process and a waiting period. Then, once a month we open up X number of new spots and email clients who are on the waiting list telling them they can sign-up. This way, by controlling demand and being selective about who we take on as clients, we’re controlling the risk of growing too fast without sacrificing the quality of how our service is delivered. – Matthew Ackerson, Saber Blast 9. Stay Focused On Cash FlowThe most dangerous problem with scaling too quickly is usually cash flow. I experienced that when building my second business when I was 19. We nearly hit our $1 million in revenue in the first few years, but as we got bigger clients, they required better payment terms. One missed payment from a big client could be disastrous, which is what happened. Cash flow is king in scaling up your business. Most entrepreneurs learn the hard way and this is definitely something that needs to be talked about more. – Peter Nguyen, Literati Institute 10. Estimate Growth, Then Divide By 2As much as we love to dream about explosive growth and unyielding demand for our product or service, our passion and excitement may skew the truth about future projections. If you can estimate revenue for the next 12 months, take that number then divide by 2 – and plan your resources and expenses around that number instead. Case in point, I ordered 2,000 jerseys for my new sports business (we ran rec leagues for adults) based on lofty expectations about how may players would sign up to play. We had 75 people show up on opening day and for an entire year I did not know if I was running a sports business or a t-shirt business. Be modest in your expectations and seek outside help for an unbiased estimate. It is never a bad thing to sell out beyond capacity, it creates demand. – Steven Staley, Playbook CommunityThe Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons. Tags:#startups How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture Tips for Selling Smart Supply Chain Solutions End-of-Life Software: Keep it, Update it, or Fi… Related Posts Will Development Eventually Make Itself Obsolete? scott gerber
Tags:#Android#Auto Awesome#Digital Photography#Google#Google+ Photos#Google+ Stories#mobile photography#online photos#photo editing#Photos#Vic Gundotra selena larson The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Related Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Google+, the social network that won’t stop trying to lure you in, has a new pitch: We’ll make your photos more awesome! Awesomer! Awesomerer!Errr.On Tuesday, the company announced Google+ Stories, a feature that automatically generates an online photo book by selecting the best shots from your collection, while tagging them with date, location and landmark information. It’s the latest update to Google’s fantastic photo product—arguably the best part of Google+.It’s not clear how this will get people to actually use Google+ photos in favor of Facebook or Instagram, though.The announcement comes just weeks after the departure of Google+ head Vic Gundotra. Gundotra’s abrupt exit led to speculation that Google might disband Google+ as a product group within the company, with parts of what Gundotra oversaw falling under different groups within Google like Maps and Android. One source told ReadWrite that photos, in particular, could move to the Android group, to be better integrated with the team that builds camera software. (Google declined to comment.) Is Google The Best Place For Photos?New features and new organizations won’t solve Google+’s essential conundrum: People share photos as a way to stay in touch with family, and give friends and relatives a glimpse into their lives. When someone wants to share a photo, generally it’s a snapshot of a moment.People use Facebook to share photos with friends and family, and Instagram to share photos with the world. It’s where their audience expects to find them. Google hasn’t addressed how different audiences find and share your photos. Instead, it boasts about how pretty it makes images and videos. But it doesn’t matter how beautiful your photos are if no one is seeing them.Google has been reluctant to call Google+ a social network, a move which would inevitably draw awkward comparisons to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other successful social products. Instead, they’ve pitched it as a way to manage your identity across various Google services.See Also: Google+ Head Vic Gundotra Is Out, Leaving Its “Social Spine” WobblyThat positioning makes it difficult to understand the point of putting your photos on Google+. It’s clear how Google+ makes it easier for Google’s servers to collect data on you. It’s harder to see how it makes things easy for the human beings in your life to find you. So why would you put your photos there instead of Facebook or Instagram, which are geared around sharing photos with actual people?It’s true that Android users might prefer Google+, thanks to the increasing integration with Android 4.4. You can manage your Google+ Highlights folder directly from the Photos application, and Google+ photos are integrated with the Camera app. How you share photos to other social networks that have been saved on Google+, however, is a little bit more complicated. While Google’s photo product blows Facebook’s out of the water, and gives users a better way to save and edit captured moments, there’s no guarantee your friends will see them. Even if they do, they’ll need a Google+ account to see the photos (if they’re not public) or share them.In classic Google fashion, the company created a product that goes above and beyond what people want, and ended up creating something technically great, but logically flawed.In order for Stories to work, or any other Auto Awesome features for that matter, you must back up all your photos to Google+. The company suggests turning on Auto Upload so any photos you take will end up in a private album in your Google+ account. Google can then scan your photos and eliminate blurry shots in order to find your best photos, which you can then edit and share in an album stream. The new Stories feature is available now on Android and the Web, with iOS support coming soon.Why Google+ Needs SavingIt’s almost impossible to avoid Google+. If you have a Gmail account, comment on YouTube, or chat with Hangouts, you have a Google+ account. As a result, the number of people who actually use the service as a social network is likely much lower than the number of people that have an account. And some people who do find themselves using it do so because they’re essentially forced to through Google’s product design. That’s hardly awesome.It appears Google is finally acknowledging this: The company is not playing up Google+ at its upcoming Google I/O developer conference.See Also: Google+ Is Getting Harder And Harder To AvoidThere are a number of issues that prevent Google+ from becoming a popular social network—mainly the fact that each Gmail account you have comes with a separate Google+ account. There’s no way to tie them together. So even for its core function—managing your identity across Google services—Google+ is a failure. (Imagine explaining to your friends and family that they need to add multiple versions of you in order to see all your photos.) In order to achieve mainstream popularity, Google needs to better define what Google+ is. Is it a social network where your friends and family should visit to see your beautiful photo galleries. Is it a place to network and grow your online presence? Or is it just an overgrown account switcher with too many features attached?Especially with Gundotra gone, the future of Google+ is a big unknown. And until the company can tell users why and how they should use the not-so-social social network, people will continue to see it as an unwanted nuisance, instead of a necessary tool in their digital arsenal.That’s not a pretty picture.Images courtesy of Google A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
If you utilize a lot of animation text in your video editing projects, check out the FREE ActiveText plugin from Coremelt.Text animation, although common in video editing projects, always seems to be a neglected feature set in most software video editing apps. This lack of options has inspired a host of third party text animation tools for a more robust typography toolset. Among these type plugins is the free ActiveText tool from Australian-based post production software company, Coremelt.ActiveText comes free as a part of the CoreMeltFREE plugin engine and includes ten free titling templates to use in your video editing app. ActiveText currently supports Adobe Premiere Pro, FCP 7, Adobe After Effects and Motion.The main advantage of ActiveText is that it takes away the need to keyframe your text animations. Rather, you can adjust the duration of your text clip and the clip will auto-adjust the motion to fit. In addition, you can duplicate text quite simply by just copy and pasting ActiveText clips on the timeline – a much more expeditious approach compared to using Premiere’s built-in text editor. The text templates range from editing stand-bys like ‘blur fade in’ to more outrageous (and a bit more cheesy) effects like ‘neon burn’.Previous CoreMeltFree users will need to download the latest update to take advantage of these new text templates.Anytime video editing tasks can be speed up is a welcome improvement. When it comes to typography, ActiveText seems to do just that.Click here to check out a video of ActiveText in motion and download the recent update.
Want to be a better shooter? Check out the new training video store at LearningDSLRVideo.com. Tons of great info to improve your DSLR video projects.We’re longtime fans of Dave Dugdale and all the work he does over at LearningDSLRVideo.com. Over the last few years Dave has built up a loyal following of DSLR enthusiasts who are interested in learning about the newest camera products and improving their own shooting and projects.Recently Dave launched an extension of LearningDSLRVideo for in-depth video tutorials. Dubbed “The Store“, this section of the site will provide exclusive pay-to-play tutorials on topics of interest to the DSLR video shooter. The first training series offered covers the Canon 650D T4i specifically and goes over everything you need to know to be proficient at shooting video with this cam (over 3 hours of training!) Once purchased you can stream or download the training videos instantly.In the future, Dave says you can look for more in-depth tutorials covering advanced topics on cameras, editing and photography.Dave has always been a huge advocate of DSLR video and a leading online authority. For anyone interested in stepping up their DSLR video game, this looks like a great place to start. Be on the lookout for more tutorial videos coming soon.Visit LearningDSLRVideo.com’s Video Tutorial Store
Want to give your slideshows and presentations extra pop? Check out this tutorial for creating a clean, modern photo slideshow in After Effects!Just say “no” to boring slideshows! With a little time and some technical know-how you can create dynamic photo slideshows in After Effects.In the following video tutorial, Jimmy with InfuzedMedia shares his process for creating an engaging slideshow in AE. This is not an After Effects template, but rather a ground-up, step-by-step process of assembling a moving slideshow in an After Effects project.The modern photo slideshow in this example can be fully customized to suit your needs, also making it a great option for individuals seeking to create an engaging video presentation. Highlights of the tutorial include:Using an After Effects virtual camera to animate movement via keyframingImporting photos and animating photo motionChanging interpolation of keyframes for smooth playbackAdding motion blur to text and graphic elementsApplying masks to shape elements to simulate motionDitch iPhoto! This is a versatile and powerful solution for creating professional photo slideshows in After Effects! Tons of great info…even for the After Effects beginner. Thanks for sharing, Jimmy!
Improve the quality of your sound recording, design and mix with these free masterclasses!Getting good audio is critical to producing a high quality film that audiences can not only hear properly, but engage with fully. All too often (especially in low-budget filmmaking) the sound isn’t thought of until something goes wrong with it and then it’s all too little too late. Fortunately there are plenty of great sound recordists, designers and mixers out there who are willing to share their knowledge with the rest of us.In the ‘mini-masterclass’ above, production sound mixer Simon Hayes describes the intricacies of how a whole team of people work together in concert within the sound department to create perfectly recorded production audio. It’s a great insight into how each role works in tandem with the rest and how critical a great boom-operator is on your shoot.In this behind the scenes featurette from Baz Lurhman’s Australia, you can see all of the individual crew members of the production sound department in action on set, which really helps to see how each role works in practice:Sound Mixing MasterclassesIn this three short clips from the Sight Sound & Story: Soundshow NY you can hear the sound team from Life of Pi discussing how they created the final mix for a few of the of the most memorable sequences in the film. If you want to go far more in-depth with the team from Life of Pi, then this Dolby masterclass focusing on the Dolby Atmos mix of Life of Pi, with a distinguished panel of post production sound professionals will give you an hour of great insight. Skip to about 8 minutes in if you want to just hear the discussion:The CallSheet.co.uk has a fantastic interview with Sound Mixer Chris Munro, who won both an Oscar and a BAFTA for his work on Gravity. The whole interview is well worth a read, but here is a choice quote:“Black Hawk Down” was another of those very technical films. Ridley Scott is an amazing director and one of the few that can use multiple cameras so effectively. I think that at times we had up to 14 cameras including aerial shots. Not many people were using multitrack recorders at that time and we were recording to digital multitracks. It was a challenge, but very satisfying This was also the first time I had been able to use live ammo for sound FX recording, which gave some great results and sounds very different to some of the gun FX in libraries. I have since done this on many subsequent films with results that I have been very happy with.Another Dolby panel discussion that is worth a watch is this hour long conversation from Sundance in 2013, featuring some of the most legendary men in film post production sound alive today, including Ben Burtt and Randy Thom. Jump to 15 minutes in to skip all the introductions and hear Ben Burtt describing how he created some of the original sound design for Star Wars.Lastly, if you’re after a comprehensive set of sound editing tutorials then check out this post featuring a huge collection of tutorials from dialogue editor John Purcell.Got your own sound design tips to share?Let us know in the comments below!
Learn how to design and animate split horror titles with custom shading and textures, inspired by M. Night Shyamalan’s Split.Does your video project require a serious suspense or horror feel? Creating custom horror titles can sometimes be a struggle — after all, there are a million ways to go about it.In this After Effects tutorial, we’ll take a look at recreating the main title from M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie, Split. This tutorial covers basic principles of suspense design like applying textures, splitting text, and adding shadows to separate the cuts.Image: James McAvoy in M. Night Shyamalan’s Split via UniversalSuspenseful/horror titles follow a general philosophy of design — they need to be eerie and unsettling to your audience. The titles should represent what your story or message is about. The movie Split is based on an antagonizing multiple personality villain who abducts three women.The title design clearly represents the antagonist (or, really, in Split’s case, antagonists) and the theme of split personalities through the split-shadowed ridges within the text. Furthermore, the title design indicates the genre of the film. You’ll see in our tutorial how to grab the audiences attention with your title by adding a touch of distortion to the beginning of the animation in order to create a jarring offset.Here’s a quick preview of the final horror title result:Here’s what you’ll take away from this exciting Split Horror Text After Effects tutorial:How to design textured titlesCreate shadow shading for depthCreate a replaceable text workflowDistort and split textCreate an awesome title animation Download the Free Project FileDOWNLOAD FREE ‘SPLIT’ TITLES PROJECT FILECreating horror titles can lead to a road of endless possibilities. Keep in mind that titles should always complement your story, represent your genre, and set the mood of your product. So have fun and be sure to experiment with these concepts to create your own unique horror/suspense titles.
HD 1080p videoup to 120fps29-minute clip length Capture 4K log footage at up to 30fps with the new Sony Alpha a7 III camera. With all its new features, this camera aims to take on the GH5s.Cover image via Sony.Sony’s alpha-series gets an update with the new Sony a7 III. What Sony has deemed the “basic model,” this is a simple camera body that still packs quite a punch. There aren’t many basic models that include dual SD card slots and shoot 4K video. It also features a bigger battery that will outlive the a7R and a9 cameras.This looks like a direct competitor to the GH5s, and at $1,999, it’s priced between the GH5 and newer GH5s.Sony a7 III Specs:UHD 4K videoUp to 30fpsHybrid Log-Gamma (HLG)S-Log329-minute clip length Sony E-mountISO 20480024MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS SensorBIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI693-Point Hybrid AF System2.36m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF3.0″ 922k-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE StabilizationBuilt-In Wi-FiDual SD SlotsUSB Type-C PortWeather-Sealed Design Sony a7 III FootageIn this video from Sony, you can see a7 III footage comparing 4K HDR footage to SDR.Kaiman Wong got his hands on the new Sony camera, and he shares his thoughts (and footage) in this video.The Sony a7 III starts shipping in April for $1,999 (Body only).Looking for more information on video gear? Check out these articles.Canon Joins the Mirrorless Camera Game with the EOS M50The Cameras and Lenses Behind 2018 Oscar-Nominated FilmsIlluminate Shortcuts with logickeyboard’s Cinema 4D Backlit KeyboardHow Real Time Editing Apps Are Changing Video JournalismWhy Cinema Lenses Will Improve Your Next Film Project
Exciting developments are unfolding in the world of RAW video that can change the way we make films. So what if you’re just getting started?Cover image via Blackmagic Design.Big things are happening in the world of RAW video. Apple seems set to upend the production world yet again with its new ProRes RAW. This ushers in a new era of cameras shooting with the most practical version of RAW that the filmmaking world has ever seen.If you’ve never worked with RAW before, there’s never been a better time to dive in.In this article, we’ll briefly cover the technology behind RAW, discuss what’s new to RAW workflows, and then address what you need to know to jump into working with RAW.Image via Blackmagic Design.Basics of RAWBefore we dive in, I am going to be glossing over a lot of really technical processes. I highly encourage you to do some further research on Bayer Filters, demosaicing, and rate control. Knowing the science behind how cameras capture images will help you understand any future developments in camera tech.The best way to think of RAW is like a film negative. It requires processing. This is because RAW shifts much of the processing of the image from the camera to the computer working with the footage.The RAW file must undergo digital “development” before it’s usable visually. This provides unprecedented flexibility in post, as you may convert or tweak the footage to fit any color space or other image fidelity specifications. This aspect of (well-archived) RAW footage brings a huge degree of future-proofing. RAW footage shot on a RED ONE in 2007 can take full advantage of the most advanced development tools available to us 11 years later.Image via MatteoZInCreativeStudio.Footage from any other camera or system not recording RAW from that time, before and — to a lesser degree — since, can’t take advantage of the massive advancement in this technology.This is because traditional codecs record the final image being monitored while shooting. RAW differs in that it sets out to capture full sensor readout or near-full sensor readout. It does this through bypassing the encoding of user preferences in camera — namely, white balance, ISO, color space/LUTs, and others.The price for this amazing feature is file size. Encoded video only requires a video player to open, and file sizes typically don’t get much past 20 gigs. RAW, on the other hand, requires careful management of files that can be dozens of gigabytes. Near super-computer processing power is necessary simply to play back these files. Luckily, much of the processing for RAW footage has largely become integrated into modern non-linear editors (NLEs).What’s New with RAW?Image via Atomos.As I mentioned earlier, ProRes RAW is set to upend the world of RAW video production.RAW workflows will get a supercharge once full integration of ProRes RAW across all vendors and platforms becomes a reality. The primary driver of this is PRR’s virtually identical image quality at file sizes a fraction of the size of any other RAW codec on the market.For people new to RAW, if you can wait until you can shoot and edit with ProRes RAW, do it. Proxy workflows, complex storage, and image processing will be gone or vastly simplified once the codec receives the full support it’s destined for.Put simply, you will get all of the benefits of RAW without the big drawbacks.What’s It to You?Image via Scarc.This year, the tools for shooting and working with RAW video have become extremely powerful. As manufacturers leverage the revolutionary ProRes RAW codec, the barrier to shooting with RAW is going to get much thinner.This isn’t to say that you should only shoot RAW from this day forward.As PremiumBeat contributor Noam Kroll puts it in “Why You Shouldn’t Always be Shooting RAW,” “There is something to be said about shooting with a camera that is simple to use . . . and will allow you to stay light on your feet and not miss critical shots.”While PRR is set to upend some of the points Noam makes in that article, his point about the more complex color work needed for RAW holds true.On smaller shoots, shoots with the web as their final destination, or shoots with extremely tight deadlines, working with compressed footage will always be faster and easier.As with everything, there’s a right tool for the job.There has never been a better time to start preparing to work with RAW. The stage seems set for new, low-cost cinema camera contenders to enter the market with products built upon ProRes RAW — and really shake up the industry.Looking for more filmmaking articles? Check these out.Filmmaking Techniques: Mastering the Rack-FocusThe Best Mirrorless Cameras for Filmmakers and VideographersEverything We Know About Canon’s New Mirrorless CamerasHow to Export a 90-Minute Feature Film in Premiere ProThe Best Headphones for Film and Video (Under $100)
We sat down with comedian, television writer, and activist Tess Rafferty to learn about equality, Italy, and her passion for politics.They say if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Or, in comedian, author, and activist Tess Rafferty’s case, spawn into a Borg collective spewing epitaphs of “resistance is futile” instead.Tess has written for @Midnight on Comedy Central and was the supervising producer for the cult-favorite clip show The Soup on E!, which tells us something about her witty sense of humor and her love for commentary on the current social and political scene.Luckily, we didn’t have to meet in an underground bunker to get the lowdown on why Tess is so over trying to find common ground with those on the other end of the political spectrum.Tess w/director Steve Cohen. Via Tess Rafferty.PREMIUM BEAT: Are you pissed at Mikemostly? In a sea of amazing reviews for your memoir, Recipes for Disaster, he titled his review “Meh” on Amazon. He laughed a bit, even made some of your recipes (and really liked them), but apparently he expected more. It made me think of Hillary and I got really sad for humanity! Are women held to a different standard even after they offer up a killer party idea like a grilled cheese station?TESS RAFFERTY: Yes. Exhibit A: the grifter squatting in the White House.Via Tess Rafferty.PB: It almost feels like comedians are our last line of defense these days. Not only have you put out a series of videos/political rants, but also you organized a “take back the workplace” march! Why have you stepped up to lead the charge and are you optimistic or terrified?TR: I’m mostly terrified and part of that is that it all seems so futile. I started the march because exactly a year before the Weinstein story broke, the Trump/Grab ’em By the Pussy story did. Women were compelled to share their stories of sexual assault online. It felt like a watershed moment. But a year later the Weinstein story broke. And once again women were compelled to share their most vulnerable stories and once again it felt like a watershed moment. I thought, “I don’t want us all to be here a year from now, sharing the same stories.” And then this year Kavanaugh happened. It’s like we’re living in fucking Groundhog Day.I don’t really know how to make Republican men and women think a man touching our bodies against our will is wrong. I don’t know that we ever will. And yet I keep trying to do something because to do nothing seems unthinkable. It’s all I know how to do. And sometimes there is a nice surprise, like with this year’s mid-terms. But then you think, how many more seats did we actually win, like Stacy Abrams’ gubernatorial race. It was stolen from her by her Republican opponent. We all know that. Heidi Heitkamp might have won were it not for the egregious suppression of the Native American vote. And then it seems futile again.Via Tess Rafferty.PB: You have never been accused of being demure, but do you think your outspoken political beliefs have impacted your career negatively in any way? Or has it been a positive thing?TR: The good news is that if it’s ever affected me negatively, I won’t hear about it so that’s nice. I can pretend whatever is convenient in that moment. I’m sure it has, because everything affects your career to some extent: whether you’re too outspoken or not outspoken enough. People can dislike you for any number of reasons and I’ve seen people hired or fired for all sorts of stupid, random things.You might as well be proud of it and wear it like a badge of honor. And the wonderful truth is that it’s actually impacted me positively. People have reached out because they’ve seen the videos and wanted to work with me. And it’s both a relief and encouraging when you can do what is right and be rewarded for it.PB: Spending time on your website, it’s clear you love three things: Equality, your husband, and Italy. What would be your elevator pitch on why all three things are worthy of your adoration?TR: Italy is pretty much the thing holding my marriage together. It is the perfect intersection of everything my husband and I have in common: we love good food, great wine, art, history and dramatic scenery. I love both of them more because of the other. I’m not sure where equality fits into the equation. Italy doesn’t have the best record on sexism. My husband’s is definitely better.Looking for more industry interviews? Check these out.Interview: Tracy Andreen on the Romance of Writing for HallmarkScreenwriter James V. Hart on Career, Coppola, and Creating a MethodIndustry Interview: Advancing Your Career from PA to ADInterview: Jennifer Gatti on Bon Jovi, Star Trek, and Leaving L.A.Jonah Hill on Writing and Directing Mid90s — and Tips He Learned from the Greats
Leadership is no easy task. To be successful you have to manage a large and complex set of competing priorities. It’s tough to make decisions under pressure. It’s difficult to sometimes know what needs to be done now. And it’s tough to do good work when so many people are clamoring for your time and attention.But there are two categories that all of these demands fall into, and it’s worth thinking about how much time you spend in each category.Important NowA lot of what shows up on a leader’s desk is about the here and now. There are decisions that need to be made now, and there are urgent problems that the leader is responsible for helping to solve. There are also opportunities that must be pursued right now or they may be lost forever.If there isn’t an endless parade of the “ important now” problems, challenges, issues, and opportunities vying for your limited attention, you are doing something wrong as a leader. You must make time to help solve the problems, deal with the challenges, and capitalize on the opportunities. If you don’t spend some time here, neither you nor your team will produce the results of which you are capable.But “important now” is only part of what needs your attention.Important in the FutureA leader’s job is about more than “now.” The leader’s job is really about the future. With all the urgencies of the day-to-day tasks of leadership, the future can easily get crowded out. So a great leader blocks time for the future.You need to block time to read, study, and educate yourself about the trends that will impact your organization and your clients.You need to block time to brainstorm and imagine the future. You need to consider all of the ways that you might move the team you lead to that future. You need to spend time sharing your vision.You need time to reflect on your values, the culture you need to build, and how you are going to share those values and tell those stories.The investment of time making the future a reality means spending time building the next generation of leaders, coaching and mentoring people as deep into your team as possible.The future is going to require that people believe and act differently. That means time must be spent ensuring they have the skills to bring that future to life.Without spending time on the future, you can lose the possibility of capturing it.A great leader deals with what’s important now, but always with an eye towards the future. Make sure you balance your time, your effort, your energy, and your investment in people between what’s important now and your future. Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now
Salespeople struggle with social marketing because they are not content creators. Marketing departments don’t want salespeople creating content, even when they have the ideas and the writing chops. Their sales managers surely don’t want their salespeople slaving over a blog post when they should be on the phone.But there is no content marketing without content. There is little nurturing without the tools with which to nurture. That means you need ideas and insights packaged in a way that can be easily disseminated by the sales force.Getting StartedThis problem of creating enough content isn’t as difficult as it might seem. If you need to provide your sales force with content with which to nurture your dream clients, this is one way you can get started.First, start by making 10 lists of 10 items each. You might start with the 10 biggest challenges your dream clients are facing now. Another good list might be 10 mistakes that keep your prospects from getting the results they want. You might also write the 10 biggest lessons you’ve learned serving your clients.Once you have 10 lists of 10 items, you have enough content for 111 blog posts. The first blog post is the list of 10 lists. Each list is itself a blog post. Then, each of the 10 points on each list is a single blog post. Content problem solved.But wait. There’s more.Second, learn to repurpose your work. Every list of 10 might also be an eBook. That might be a very natural way to package those ideas. You might also find many eBooks by identifying some thread that runs through any number of the lists you already created. You might also find three or four white papers.A lot of people in management and leadership worry about sharing ideas like this because they believe their competitors will steal their ideas. That is fearing the wrong danger. The greater danger is not arming your sales force with the value creating ideas that allow them to nurture their dream clients, making deposits over time, and establishing themselves as someone with whom it is worth doing business. You need to create content.