Archive for the ‘basketball’ tag
The outpouring of support has been impressive for NBA player Jason Collins, the first openly gay male athlete in a major U.S. professional sport. Marketers, though, have been largely silent about Collins since yesterday—except for Nike, of course, whom he already endorses. (In a statement, the company said: "We admire Jason's courage and are proud that he is a Nike athlete. Nike believes in a level playing field where an athlete's sexual orientation is not a consideration.") About an hour ago, though, JetBlue posted an image created by its ad agency, Mullen, showing a rainbow image of the "i-people" from the company's "You Above All" brand campaign—to show support for Collins. "Thanks Jason, today we're all on the same team," reads the caption on the image, which was posted to Twitter and Facebook. Response has been mixed, with many fans and followers lauding the airline for supporting Collins and others wishing it had stayed "neutral." The brand's courage here is but a shadow of the player's courage, but it's brave nonetheless. Have other brands come out in support of Collins? Let us know in the comments.
Today Google has their final logo for the Olympics, the London 2012 closing ceremony logo (aka Doodle). It is a nice basic Doodle but I wanted to share all the past logos from Google over the past couple weeks.
Google had logos for Open Ceremony, archery, diving, fencing, rings, hockey, rafting, tennis, shot put, pole vault, synchronized swimming, hurdles, basketball, slalom canoe, soccer/football, rhythmic gymnastics and today’s closing ceremony. The hurdles, basketball, slalom canoe, soccer/football logos were all addictive interactive logos that probably wasted countless hours of employee productivity.
Here are all the logos on one page…
Google Closing Ceremony Logo:
Slalom Canoe (interactive):
Google Closing Ceremony Logo:
After Nike’s Find Your Greatness TVC, also Vitamin Water decided to celebrate everyday athletes during the Olympics. The tone of voice is completely different, there is nothing epic in this commercial, but for sure the sense of humor is fantastic.
As you can see from the video below, Vitamin Water visited a few sport facilities in Paris, bringing a hidden speaker to comment on the performance of the everyday athletes playing basketball and tennis, running, swimming etc… The result is pretty hilarious.
You can find the version with English subtitles at I Believe in Adv.
The agency is Sid Lee Paris.
For basketball fans, and basketball stars wanna be. Epic new commercial directed by Matthijs Van Heijningen for Jordan brand.
The agency is Wieden + Kennedy NYC.
Needed: two more people to join a band of three who are keen to start playing some basketball, inspired by Voldesport / Olympicmania / team USA.
- Able to play basketball
- Must work in comms
- Must be on Twitter
- Probably going to be a London / UK thing!
- You don’t need to be dead good, or any particular age
- No need for people who say it ‘toneesha’
- No specific positions sought
We’ll find a court to suit us all, and then competitors, then a league (then domination of all of the above). How to apply: @reply me or DM me on Twitter – I’m @drewb. Thanks!
The title of today’s post was the subject line to an email I sent several months ago after an honest, yet important, mistake.
At the time a number of my readers suggested that I write about the entire affair as a bit of a case study, but I wanted to give it some time in an effort to also give it some perspective. (I do it share below)
Over the last few days I’ve witnessed some highly public stumbles and they’ve reminded me that there’s a right way and wrong way to handle adversity.
The real time publishing world of email and Twitter make it so much easier to make a mistake and so much easier for the world at large to amplify it and draw near to observe how you respond.
I’ve always contended that mistakes are a part of life, it’s how you handle them and what you learn from them that tell the true measure of success.
First, the wrong way to handle mistakes
Few things annoy and infuriate more than lack of ownership. In a recent very public case a company failed to pay attention to the horrific nature of a trending hashtag and used its popularity only as way to promote. The mistake was enormous and careless. The initial response was to push the blame off on a vendor and this only served to fan the flames of outrage.
One of the keys to quick recovery from a misstep is taking immediate responsibility, saying I’m sorry and going to work on demonstrating why it won’t happen again. People may still be upset, but they will start to move forward.
What makes recovery from an obvious blunder hard for many is that it also requires a history of not making mistakes. When people can point to a total body of work that demonstrates care for truly serving the needs of a market, they can look past or even ignore when you veer of course.
It’s a lot like a bank account. If you make frequent deposits, you’ll have a balance from which to make the occasional withdrawal.
In fact, many mistakes come at the hands of acting in self-serving ways rather then acting on behalf of those you serve. When you constantly consider the best interest of your customers, you’ll have the compass that keeps you out of frequent errors in judgment and allows you to recover more easily when the inevitable occurs.
And now my little case study
First off, know that sharing this isn’t that easy and I do it because I think there is learning to be had.
Over this past Memorial Weekend in the United States I decided to have a product sale and wrapped my email announcing it in fond memories of my youth. In my household Memorial Weekend was the official start of summer and included a huge gathering of family and friends to revel in a day of playing softball, volleyball and basketball between bouts of eating.
Here’s the original email:
I love Memorial Day and because of that I’m giving you a chance to grab our signature business-building program at 50% off, but only until Monday at midnight! Click here to take advantage of this offer.
But first, here’s why I love Memorial Day.
When I was growing up Memorial Day was the weekend where my parents would go to Sears or JC Penny and get us new shorts, shoes, baseball mitts and whatever else it was going to take to get us through the summer.
It was the official start of summer, but for a kid with nine siblings, it was a lot like Christmas. I always remember the sale flyers and catalogs that would come to the house during the weeks leading up to Memorial Day.
It’s a great holiday for small business owners too because it’s a great time to promote the kick off of summer and all the fun and changing needs that come with that.
When I was growing up Memorial Day was also the biggest party of the year for my family. We lived in a farm community with lots of land and we would invite hundreds of people to come eat chicken and watermelon and play softball, basketball, soccer and horseshoes until we dropped.
The entire weekend was one great big celebration.
So, for this entire weekend I want to celebrate all the brave, hardworking, loyal, innovative and creative small business owners out there by running a 50% off the Duct Tape Marketing System Sale that starts right now until Monday at midnight in the Central Time Zone.
I’ve never offered this price for Duct Tape System, complete with 13 lessons including online videos, audios, workbooks, forms and examples and I probably never will again!
Take advantage of this Memorial Day Sale today and grab a little time to yourself this weekend to dig in and plan your new marketing strategy and tactical action plan to grow your business.
Click here to purchase the Duct Tape System for 50% off.
In addition to the entire system you’ll also get:
• 30 days of email support
• Monthly Q&A calls with me
• 30 minute consulting session
• Full money back guarantee (even during the sale)
• Learn more about the Duct Tape System here
I’ve worked with small business owners for many years now and I love seeing what they can do once they understand the power of a marketing system.
Go check out the details and get on your way to ramping up your sales and taking control of your marketing – at ½ price until Monday night!
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!
Duct Tape Marketing
Shortly after I sent this email out a couple responses trickled back in suggesting that I had made a mistake by ignoring the true meaning of this holiday as a somber memorial to those who had given their lives in service of our country.
In the online world readers will frequently express their opinions so I don’t react to every bit of feedback, but this one bothered me. After I received six or seven I felt horrible. Obviously, I had made a mistake and I wanted to acknowledge what many more must have been feeling and apologize to any that had taken offense to my omission.
This email was hard to send, as I noted in the text, because it did serve to highlight the mistake and even infuriated a handful more. My opt outs for this day were the highest I had ever experienced, but something almost magical started to occur as well.
Here’s the follow-up email:
I sent out an email earlier today announcing a Memorial Day sale, but I made a significant mistake unintentionally.
I hesitate to send a follow-up message like this because in a way it simply highlights the mistake and perhaps irritates more readers.
The mistake was not a broken link or typo but one of intention.
Memorial Weekend is obviously a time set aside in the US to remember those that have fallen in service of our country. The fact is, that aspect of the Holiday has not directly touched my family and the Holiday has always had more of a celebration aspect to it for me.
In my email I focused on that aspect in an attempt to have a light and fun tone for what I thought was a great offer.
I did not make any mention of the real purpose of this Holiday and for that I was wrong and simply mistaken. I apologize to anyone that I offended as I know this Holiday for many is very much a sacred time of remembrance.
I hope those of you that have subscribed to my newsletter or read my blog for any amount of time will consider the total body of my work and passion for helping small business and see my last email for what it was – an unthoughtful oversight.
Thanks for listening.
PS – I have a niece and nephew returning home from Afghanistan this weekend and do intend to celebrate their safe return!
By the time the day was over I received over 300 emails from readers thanking me for taking such quick action, forgiving any misstep based on years of giving and many humbling responses of pure support.
Here are a few snippets:
Your explanation, which serves as a reminder to all of us about the true meaning of Memorial day, is a genuine touch of class. I admire you all the more now.
You did the right thing to say you are sorry. The honesty of your email is very refreshing. The celebration of our lost loved ones is important too. I lost my beloved brother in The Vietnam War. He would have been 76 on June 6th. Thank you for your help.
Anyone who knows you, and especially those of us combat veterans that know you, would never think you were being unthoughtful.
I have no idea what would have happened had I not sent the second email, but I think the key to handling mistakes comes not from considering what will or won’t happen, but considering how to repair or rebuild the trust essential to a healthy relationship – whether that’s with one person or an army of readers.
All in all this mistake served as a great teaching moment for me and I share it only with the notion that it serve as such for others.
- Keep your customers best interest in mind in all decisions
- When you make a mistake own it and apologize authentically
- Know that people can look past mistakes, but only if ask them to
- Have faith in your tribe, they’ll come to your support if you’ve built trust
- Mistakes can have a tremendously positive outcome when you take the right action
One final thought and I went back and forth as whether I should put this out there due to the fact that some will misinterpret, but I think it’s a key learning that has to be part of this story.
That weekend sale turned out the be by far the single greatest product sale I’ve ever experienced in ten years of selling products and services online. I believe the bit of controversy and reaction from the community to the response served to greatly highlight what was already a very good promotion.
Now, I’m not suggesting for one minute that any part of a promotion could involve a calculated mistake. The only reason I share this is to suggest that you shouldn’t fear owning up to a mistake and sincerely going to work on repairing any damage without consideration of time or cost, because sometimes the way you handle a mistake or fix a problem can make clients more loyal than simple day to day satisfaction.
Yesterday, I named half of our Tech Dream Team; today, I name the remaining six and coach. Quick reminder: the basketball players are set by the London roster, so no retired players. Some of the best players (Dwayne Wade et al) are injured, so this isn’t necessarily the best possible roster.
Kevin Durant (F, Oklahoma Thunder) : Jack Dorsey (co-founder, Twitter, co-founder/CEO, Square)
One of the hardest workers in the game, Durant is a soft-spoken superstar, with the ability to take over any game he plays in. While he didn’t come from a traditional top-tier basketball school (Texas), he broke into the game and has established himself as a force for both now and the long haul.
Famous for his back-to-back workdays at Twitter and Square, Dorsey also didn’t come from a Harvard or Stanford, like many others on this list. But his creativity and work ethic has led him to the top of the game.
Durant and Dorsey don’t quite have the high profiles of James and Zuckerberg, and they’ve yet to establish themselves as champions. But by leading the young talent that they’ve surrounded themselves with, it’s become a foregone conclusion that their time is coming.
James Harden (G, Oklahoma Thunder) : Evan Williams (co-founder, Twitter)
Harden, possibly best known for his badass beard, is overshadowed by his all-pro teammates, but is young and supremely talented. While it’s yet to be seen if he can—or wants to—carry a team on his own, he’s a dynamic piece of a championship team.
Neither Harden nor Williams went to traditionally strong schools for their fields, but that hasn’t stopped them from reaching the top of their games. Williams and Stone aren’t as young as the Thunder core, but they have the same upstart mentality and cohesiveness as they fight more established teams for their first ring.
Russell Westbrook (G, Oklahoma City Thunder) : Biz Stone (co-founder, Twitter)
Westbrook and Stone both went to very strong schools (UCLA and Oxford) and have an intriguing mix of creativity and leadership. For Westbrook, this displays itself in a wide array of scoring and passing weapons that he has used to establish himself as one of the best young guards in the game. For Stone, it shines through in the wide variety of companies that he has co-founded and developed over the past decade.
The two teams’ trios all bring unique facets to the table and when all elements are clicking well together, they can be very fun to watch.
Kevin Love (F, Minnesota Timberwolves) : Drew Houston (co-founder/CEO, Dropbox)
One of the best young talents in the game, Love is overshadowed by his more established peers, who benefit from greater exposure. However, his skill set speaks for itself and he has positioned a strong, young team to be extremely competitive over the coming years. Love brought the UCLA Bruins to the Final Four as a freshman before being selected 5th overall in the 2008 draft.
Houston graduated from MIT and started Dropbox in 2007 with funding from Y Combinator. Last year, Dropbox was invited to Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley conference, which is kind of like being a NBA lottery pick. Like Love, Houston’s skills speak for themselves and he has a very talented team on a successful path. These two and their teams have a very bright future—independently and together.
Silbermann (center) works to keep up with giants like Zuckerberg (left) and Mayer (right). Zuckerberg and Mayer were named to the team yesterday.
Deron Williams (G, Brooklyn Nets) : Ben Silbermann (co-founder, Pinterest)
Williams is an exceptional talent, drafted by the Utah Jazz out of Illinois. He made waves last year when he was traded to the bigger-market New Jersey Nets. The team is now at a cross-roads. Gaining national headlines for their pursuit of Dwight Howard and move from Jersey to Brooklyn, the team is poised to rise to the next level. However, they have not attracted the top-tier talent—yet—nor do they have the playoff experience necessary to really do battle with the big dogs. The next one to three years will be crucial for the direction of his team.
Silbermann faces a similar challenge with Pinterest (which is also moving from Palo Alto to SF…not that I’m at all equating Palo Alto to Jersey). While the company has attracted a significant user base, many others have accomplished similar feats before failing. The next few years will be equally critical for Silbermann and his team as they attempt to gain traction and establish themselves as an upper-tier company.
Cook (left) drives to the basket as Silbermann (center) sets a pick on Kevin Rose (right). Not that Cook needs a pick to get past Rose. I’m pretty sure he has $500,000. Rose was named to the squad yesterday.
Chris Paul (G, Los Angeles Clippers) : Tim Cook (CEO, Apple)
Paul is the team’s point guard and leader. He directs the offense and is a leader on and off the court. Earlier this year, he stepped into a new role with a much larger spotlight and more pressure than he had ever experienced in his career. Like Bryant, all he wants to do is win; however, he doesn’t care if he’s shooting, passing, or on the bench. He’s a team first player who is trying to attract talent to come play with him, rather than joining Bryant or James.
Cook runs his company from the point as well, stepping into the Apple CEO role earlier this year. He has massive shoes to fill (obviously) but he is very talented and has led his team well so far. The real struggle for Cook will be winning a championship on his own, now that he no longer plays with one of the greatest of all time.
Mike Krzyzewski (Head Coach, Duke University) : John Hennessy (President, Stanford University)
One of the best leaders in his University’s history, Coach K is a Duke legend. With the most wins in college basketball history, the four-time NCAA champion, Hall of Fame coach is a spirited, respected leader, known for his personal relationships off the job as well as his hard work on the job. He has mentored young stars, like Kyrie Irvring, to older legends like Christian Laettner, who was the only college player on the ’92 Dream Team. While its apparent that he’s nearing the end of his time at the University, he still has several good years left in him and is gunning for another championship.
This was one of the toughest comparisons to decide upon. Should I compare the coach to an advisor? A VC Investor or Firm? Ultimately, I thought about Coach K’s role and influence in both the NBA and USA Basketball and found it most analogous to John Hennessy influence in Silicon Valley.
Hennessy became a Stanford professor in 1977, three years before Krzyzewski began his coaching career at Duke. He was the chair of Stanford’s computer science department from 1994-1996, Dean of the School of Engineering from 1996-1999 and has been President of the University since 2000. Countless talented entrepreneurs, including Page, Mayer and (technically) Ballmer from this list, have spent time at Stanford during Hennessy’s time. He also serves on the Google and Cisco Systems boards, among others. Experimenting with the future of online education and exploring an opportunity for a New York campus, Hennessy has shown he isn’t afraid to roll the dice.
Both coaches get the best out of their team, and both will leave a huge hole behind when they leave their schools.
Man, I wish I could invest in this team. But the competition is what makes it so fun. Sure, there are better teams than others. There are dynasties and there are awful teams. But the whole landscape can change in a few short years as new talent arises and established talent becomes complacent.
The league is all about watching the best in the world go head to head, going all out pursuing what they love, being friends off the court and bitter enemies on it.
It’s what the Valley is all about too.
In one week, the Olympics kick off. When you think about it, they aren’t so different from our startup world. How many pitches have you heard that include the phrase “dream team?”
If you had to compare the startup world to one sports league, what would it be? I’d argue the NBA, where the best players leave school early to start their pro careers and work to join dynasty teams with other superstars.
While it helps to attend a powerhouse school—a number of the entrepreneurs on this list attended Stanford, Harvard or MIT and the basketball players at Kentucky, Kansas, or UCLA—once you get to the big leagues, all that matters is how you perform.
But the NBA has one great advantage over the startup world: the Olympics. Bringing together the best players in the league (who aren’t hurt) on the same team together. It’s thrilling to watch. Which gets me thinking—what if there was an Olympic team for Silicon Valley. Imagine the best players from Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter all playing together on the same team.
Here are the requirements: the entrepreneurs must be active in their companies, ruling out legends like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, and the basketball players must be from the current 2012 U.S. roster, leaving out legends like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson. We can save the ’92 Dream Team discussion for another day.
Sadly, this isn’t the greatest possible roster, as some of the best players are hurt and missing from the squad. But it’s a pretty damn good one:
Carmelo Anthony (F, New York Knicks) : Steve Balmer (CEO, Microsoft)
Carmelo won a national championship as a freshman at Syracuse before being picked #3 overall in the 2003 draft by the Denver Nuggets. Following his otherworldly 33-point performance in the Final Four against Texas and championship, the sky seemed to be the limit for Anthony.
While he has lead his team to the playoffs every season, he hasn’t progressed past the Conference Finals and isn’t a top tier player like James or Durant. Now, he plays for a storied franchise, the New York Knicks, which is underachieving and outshined by their flashier competitors. He is also known for having a bad attitude and a big mouth. Who does that remind you of?
Ballmer is described in Vanity Fair’s August expose as making “astonishingly foolish management decisions” at the company that “could serve as a business-school case study on the pitfalls of success.” But he wasn’t always underachieving at a talented team. He joined Microsoft in 1980 and won many championships early in his career. Knicks and Microsoft fans stick wearily by their team, but would trade their squad for most others on this list.
Plus, don’t you think Carmelo would love stack ranking? Don’t pass me the ball? BOOM. Negative review. Speaking of passing…
Kobe Bryant (G, Los Angeles Lakers) : Larry Page (Founder & CEO, Google)
One of the all time greats, Bryant’s talent is only surpassed by his work ethic. He jumped straight out of Lower Merion High School to the NBA, where the 14-time All-Star has won 5 titles and too many awards to list. He is obsessive about improving his personal game as well as team achievement. One thing matters above all to him: winning, and he always wants to have the last shot to win the big game.
In August 1996, Page and Sergei Brin made their initial version of Google, while Bryant was preparing for his first NBA season. Since then, a combination of brilliance and hard work has led Page, and Google, to the top of the world.
The two legends haven’t won a championship in the past few years and face stiffer competition than ever as new stars rise and competitors add more talent. But only a fool would discount their talent and desire to adapt and win.
Tyson Chandler (C, New York Knicks) : Kevin Rose (Angel Investor, Senior Product Manager, Google)
Picked second overall in the abysmal 2001 Draft—the first pick was Kwame Brown, whose career has been like sour Milk (sorry for the Digg, Kevin)—Chandler has played for five different NBA teams. He’s been traded four times and tried to be traded a fifth time but failed the physical. He has played for laughably bad teams (looking at you, Bobcats and Hornets) and won a title in 2011 with the Dallas Mavericks. He has top-tier talent but hasn’t been in many good situations in his career. With the right teammates, he’s a champion, but he can’t carry a team by himself
Rose has followed a similar path, bouncing around different startups, some good that never reached their full potential, some not so good. But when he isn’t carrying the team himself, Rose is a champion. Counting Twitter and Square among his more successful investments, Rose has made billions as an angel investor. Now that Rose has joined Google and Chandler has joined the Knicks, we’ll see if their supporting roles will bear more championships.
Anthony Davis (F, New Orleans Hornets) : Marissa Mayer (CEO, Yahoo)
Davis leaves the best college team in the country, Kentucky, for the worst pro team. After winning a championship in his only college season, he was picked first overall by the New Orleans Hornets a month ago in a much-hyped move. He comes in with savior-like hype, tasked with turning around a perennially bad team. He will be paid handsomely for his troubles, but if he fails he will be labeled a massive bust.
Mayer, a graduate of another powerhouse, Stanford, was an early, major player in Google’s early championships. On Monday, she left Google in a high-profile move to become Yahoo’s CEO, where she is tasked with rebuilding one of the worst pro teams.
Andre Iguodala (G/F, Philadelphia 76ers) : Andrew Mason (founder/CEO, Groupon)
Iguodala is a great player, especially on defense, but suffers from being miscast as a superstar. His great talent is overshadowed by excessive expectations and he is criticized because of it. He is constantly surrounded by trade rumors, but keeps plugging away.
Mason and his Groupon team are good, but not great. They had a good idea that took off and grew too quickly, and the expectations became unrealistic. Despite the distractions stemming from their IPO and unhappy investors, the company is working to keep growing and innovating. Both Igodala and Mason could benefit from a trade to a better team, where they could thrive under lesser expectations.
LeBron James (F, Miami Heat) : Mark Zuckerberg (Founder/CEO, Facebook)
Born six months apart, the most famous players in their leagues both fled the northeast for sunnier pastures, leaving behind a wake of criticism. They are fiercly adored and harshly criticized. Their every move, professionally and personally, is scrutinized.
James was getting hyped in high school before he went straight to the pros. He’s made immature decisions that have haunted him, but he finally won a championship this past spring. Dan Gilbert (the Winklevoss twins), owner of the Cavaliers, is still livid about James leaving.
Now, he plays with an absurdly good team, brought together by one of the greatest geniuses in the game, Pat Riley (Sheryl Sandberg). His all-star teammates, Dwayne Wade (Sean Parker) and Chris “don’t call me a velociraptor” “ok, you’re an ostrich” Bosh (Chris Cox) won’t be joining him on this squad, as they are sidelined by injuries. Finally, he has made top-level talent join him this offseason, with Ray Allen (Kevin Systrom) joining from a former competitor.
If you don’t know Zuckerberg’s story, please email me and tell me how you found your way onto TechCrunch.
Check back tomorrow for part two, where we’ll match the remaining six players and coach with their Silicon Valley counterpart.
“It’s just as good as getting a personal instructor,” says basketball coach Julio Agosto, speaking on the Xbox Kinect’s new dribbling game, NBA Baller Beats. Agosto, an Emerald City Academy Basketball coach and father to b-ball Internet phenom, Jashaun Agosto, tells TechCrunch that Kinect’s digital eye is able to recognize and reward enough advanced dribbling skills that the new NBA game could replace human instruction at his basketball camp (at least the dribbling portion). This latest Microsoft development brings one more job closer to the chopping block of skills that can be done cheaper and more conveniently by a computer: sports and fitness coaches.
Baller Beats plays a lot like Rock Band but with a basketball; gamers are rewarded for dribbling to a (rockin’) beat, with the familiar vertical scroll of colorful, raised buttons indicating when users should bounce the ball, and in what direction around the body.
Evolving from its Rock Band inspiration, Baller Beats is the first title to recognize objects, allowing wanna-be athletes to hone their muscle memory with the very tools used in real-life gameplay. “Even a pro player can get a good workout,” gushes Agosto. Since this system is made for the home, players can practice to their heart’s content anytime they want.
Interestingly, Agosto argues that much of his dribbling coaching is cookie-cutter. Among the most important tasks he performs is training burgeoning young b-ballers to keep their eyes on their opponent, simply by asking them to read how many fingers he’s holding up as they dribble. Baller Beats performs the same functional incidentally, since gamers are forced to watch the screen as they play.
Advanced skills, such as dribbling through one’s legs, is equally monotonous, requiring a coach to passively monitor players as they perform hundreds of the same movement with pitch-perfect form. Observing an athlete’s form is essentially the same as spotting the correct outline of the human shape–the exact function that Kinect’s dummy digital eye uses to recognize movement. Agosto says the same is true for teaching proper shooting technique, for instance, by ensuring his students keep their elbows pointed downward.
In other words, it’s not that Kinect is some Skynet-like genius, but that many of the tasks that “experts” routinely perform are no more sophisticated than the assembly-line construction that robots replaced decades ago. Back then, robots replaced jobs that used our limbs; now they’re replacing our eyes.
The encroachment on sports and fitness training is just another notch on the wall for our robot competitors. Last year, the New York Times found armies of lawyers being replaced by computer software, which can just as easily dig through legal documents for keywords. In Florida, automatic learning software is replacing teachers, who have been reciting similar lectures for years.
Computers may not be able to replace high-level thinking…yet. But, in the meantime, what other seemingly sophisticated jobs are we doing that could be next on the automated chopping block?
We originally reported on the project to create a new kind of startup space in Berlin back in April, provisionally titled “The Factory”.
I recently visited the project which has been put together by JMES Investments (a Berlin based Angel and Seed Investor), s+p Real Estate, and other private investors.
They plan to develop the buildings into a hub for startups, where some will be investments and others added just to add to the cultural mix of the place. Close to Berlin’s central Mitte district, the project his being led by Simon Schaefer with input from major Berlin startups like Soundcloud.
With a total of 5 stories and 8,500 square-meters of space, The Factory will consist of two multi-story buildings which are already over-subscribed for potential startup tenants who will be treated to bars, restaurants a pool and a basketball court.
Schaefer took me for a tour around the buildings that are slowly coming together.