Archive for the ‘End’ tag
The flag bearer of display advertising was always Yahoo. Their massive sales force stoked 15 years of equity into “the web banner.” Yahoo arguably had the greatest hand in providing the economic foundation for the entire web for many of its formative years. That is why nothing better symbolizes the collapse of that foundation better than Yahoo’s appointment of Marissa Mayer over Ross Levinsohn as Yahoo’s CEO.
Yahoo has handed the keys to their crumbling castle to a Search professional. A company previously focused on reach and frequency is now run by someone that spent a career in user centered design and experience. For all the media Yahoo sold and all the technology it bought, none if it will be integral pieces of its future.
During the CPM experiment Yahoo lead the way in revenues derived from web banners and a number of display strategies from using Search data in display, to its newspaper consortium to exchange based buying – and everything in between. More than any digital media company Yahoo strived to connect Madison Avenue, Hollywood and the web in order to get massive TV budgets to move into web advertising. In many respects that was what the entire experiment was all about.
What we know now, what time has shown, is that TV budgets are not coming to web banners. The digital ad freight train is a cost-per-click model (ultimately converted by advertisers to a cost-per acquisition/lead) where advertisers pay for performance of the advertising. Advertisers are always going to measure returns as best they can. In many respects it is amazing that arbitrary CPM based impression fees in digital lasted this long.
Quite simply, what the CPM experiment failed to prove is that the digital as a paid (paid is the operative word here) channel is as good or better than other available channels for demand generation. At the same time what digital has proved is that it is the best channel ever created for demand capture.
Despite being on the front lines of falling CPMs Yahoo was unable or didn’t try to craft a cohesive performance based ad strategy. In the meantime it was continually stepped on by a number of competitors in areas it had at one point or another locked up on the web. Google in Mail. EBay in commerce (recall at one time Yahoo Store was the largest of its kind on the web), Craigslist in Jobs, Instagram in Photos. Yahoo wasted the web’s most incubatory period because it believed above all else in the future of selling impression based media as the core revenue driver of its business.
Meanwhile at Google Marissa Mayer was focused one thing. The user. She led UX there spending time understanding the behavior of searchers and how to build an experience that leveraged it. She led the charge of A/B and Multivariate testing in Search and created the testing culture that will always permeates Google.
“When I first started testing in 2000, we tested once a month. Now, we're user testing almost every week.”
-Marissa Mayer, Oct. 2002
By May 2008 it was estimated Google had 10,000 people constantly conducting tests. It was measurement and performance that drove Google’s growth. It is also the world display advertising is moving into. Display ads will not disappear. Standard formats will not go away. What will change are the underlying rule sets that power the ad matching decisions.
What Marissa Mayer understands serves as a great hope for Yahoo. Search is the OS of the web. Searcher behavior can be used as logic into an intelligent and responsive system that becomes relevant and helpful to people. In that way it delivers enormous media value. It delivers all things that the CPM experiment was never able to. The experiment may have failed but a different one that succeeded. Yahoo is only the beginning. Every media company will at some point be forced to face the performance future. Yieldbot is here to help them.
Memory is a tricky beast. You might sit and study for hours on end, but for some reason it never seems to stick with you. However, as Time points out, implicit learning relies on three factors that are easy to control. More »
Divorce, alcoholism, and near worthless stock are the rewards for 12 hour days prepping for a game launch at Zynga, according to one anonymous Quora user who worked there after their company was bought by the gaming giant.
The answer was called “butthurt” by one responder. “Sorry you’re not a millionaire after a year of work on a failed product” said another. Indeed it seems a bit overemotional and worth taking with a grain of salt. Long hours and rewards that might not materialize are part of working at startups.
Still, the answer has received tons upvotes, including some from former Zynga employees, and sources from inside the company say they’ve seen these hardships first hand. So here’s the grim Quora tale of killing yourself to get to an IPO, just to see your $10 shares dive to $3.
[Begin Quora answer from anonymous Zynga employee]
I worked for Zynga for a year when my startup was acquired. Within a few months, we were putting in brisk 10 hour days as we started our new project. Six months in a launch date was handed down from above and we shifted to 11 hour days six days a week.
People willing to play the politics game were given ‘rockstar’ status, quarterly bonuses and promotions. Project direction and goals shifted daily, innovation of any kind was difficult – we were constantly forced to hew our game closer to the Farmville/Cityville playbook. Six weeks before shipping the studio was flown out to San Francisco to launch our game – 12 hour days seven days a week, free of the distraction of friends, wives and girlfriends. I watched alcoholism and substance abuse skyrocket, relationships crumble (including my own), people slept on office couches, two developers got divorced, one nervous breakdown. They attempted to smooth this over with more stock, free food and t-shirts. Free food doesn’t do you much good when you’ve lost fifteen pounds from not eating.
Our game shipped and performed rather dismally, so the bonuses, raises, promotions and rest we were promised didn’t materialize. With a now completely exhausted team, we were expected to work even harder to improve key metrics. Management would divert blame when these unrealistic metrics could not be hit. Our studio manager, possibly the only person who knew how the company was actually performing on a macro level, quit unexpectedly a few weeks after the IPO.
But it was all going to be ok, just hang in there, we’d all be rich in a matter of months.
We were told point blank in one studio-wide meeting that we would IPO “around $20 a share”, and could expect $100 a share within a year if we “launched one or two more successful titles”. A quick analysis of the company fundamentals placed it closer to $10. It now sits at $2.90.
How does it feel? To spend years being worked into the ground, putting your life on hold and being egged along so top brass can cash out millions at $12 a share while the rank and file employees are in a ‘lockout period’?
I’ll second ‘devastating’.
[End of answer]
The last line refers to a previous Quora answer that describes the stock drop as devastating. There’s definitely conflicting opinions, though. One response from a 4-year Zynga employee said the company is “far from perfect” but that this story could be a “gross exaggeration”, and concluded that, “‘Devastated’ is a bit too dramatic…disappointed seems more fitting.” Now Bloomberg reports that Zynga will hand out more stock to employees to compensate them for the flubbed IPO.
Regardless of severity, Zynga’s culture problems may spawn from its inception as a mercenary company. It wasn’t designed to not be evil or make the world more connected like Google or Facebook. It’s a metrics-driven money machine. Yes, it aims to entertain, but also to get players addicted. If you don’t end up with a pot of gold, there’s not as much of a mission to be proud of, and that can lead to spiteful employees. The hard startup lifestyle only works if you love your job.
Check out the original question on Quora and downvote if you think this is bullshit, upvote what you think is right, and give your own account if you actually worked at Zynga.
We interrupt our usual coverage to make mention of a ‘way point’ in the European tech scene which might not mean a hell of a lot to you, but if you’d gone to a Web conference in 2006 that changed the way you thought, then it might mean a hell of a lot.
Around 2005/6 I’d been freelancing around the topic of “Web 2.0″ (sounds so old fashioned now huh?). Mike Arrington had thrown up TechCrunch as a simple blog to kick the tyres on startups in June 2005, but within a few months he had crystallised a new startup scene. Back in London I was tracking what was going on on my own blog as a a side project, before joining TC in 2007.
Some time in early 2006 I got wind of a conference ambitiously titled The Future of Web Apps, or FOWA as we all called it. Wow, I thought. Almost no-one had seized the day quite like this idea. I went along. What happened next was quietly revolutionary. Instead of a high-priced conference CIOs and corporate IT suits, this was a low priced one FULL of geeks. Kensington Town Hall in London had never seen anything like it. The primitive Wifi crumpled under the weight of 800 geeks live blogging presentations from the likes of Kevin Rose and others.
Instantly, the creator of the conference, Ryan Carson, became a superstar for the emerging tech world and a champion of developers and designers. Ryan’s ability to attract startup stars form the West coast was, for a time, unrivalled.
We didn’t know it at the time, but he was giving voice to the people who would go on to be the new wave of startup founders and developers that hit Britain first, but later, because London was just a cheap flight from the rest of Europe, other European centres as well.
For the next few years FOWA just got bigger and bigger. I remember walking into Mike Arrington’s house in Atherton in the Valley one year to find him bawling down the phone at Ryan denying he was trying to lure away Ryan’s first conference producer, Mel Kirk, to his new startup event, TechCrunch 40. That was influence quite something for a guy based in the tiny city of Bath in the UK to pull off.
Eventually FOWA moved to the Excel centre in London, hosting a live DiggNation broadcast which descended (or ascended) into a sort of rock concert. With fireside chats with Mike Arrington, Om Malik and many other stars of the scene, FOWA became a big draw. Of course Paul Carr may or may not remember to much from one FOWA day as he was drinking then, famously throwing an uproarious party with many startup founders on a London Bus hired for the MySpace trade stand. Good times.
FOWA didn’t go away, but soon there were plenty of other events to compete with, and places where startups could pitch. But FOWA, which Ryan has since sold to another events company, carried on.
Now Ryan is heading to Portland, Oregon, working on his own startup, Treehouse, and on his whole work life balance, for which he is almost as legendary as Tim Ferris. Luckily this is not anything to do with the UK tech scene – which is booming – but down to the logistics of having a team in the US.
But it’s worth saying at this point that Mr Carson made a very big difference to the tech scene in Europe. He was not the only one. Loic Le Meur’s Le Web originally began as Les Blog before pivoting towards startups. But Ryan championed developers, engineers and designers.
The question now is who will take his place. Many others it would seem. Now, Railsberry in Poland and DConstruct in Brighton seem to be at least two of the better ‘geek’ gathering places. See here for other suggestions.
But we owe a debt of thanks to Ryan, even though I dares say he will be back at least virtually. Remote working was always his strong point.
Want a trail to growth and resources? Find out who’s hiring…welcome to On the Move!
Both the submissions on this job announcement board, as well as available social media positions at corporations continue to pour in. In this continued digest of job changes, I like to salute those that continue to join the industry in roles focused on social media, see the archives, which I’ve been tracking since Q4, 2007.
People on the Move in the Social Business Industry:
- While not a conventional ‘hire’, SHIFT communications (early social business player) rejiggers ownership and gifted to current and future employees with shares of company ownership (edit: I had incorrectly had indicated the shares were for purchase)
- Peter Kim departs Dachis Group to hang out his own shingle as a free agent, congrats Peter, we were former colleagues at Forrester.
- Tac Anderson leaves Waggener Edstrom and returning to the United States, after leading digital strategies in London, welcome back.
- Edelman Appoints Adam Hirsch SVP, Emerging Media and Technology, formerly of Mashable.
- Dave Peck joins PayPal as Lead Social Media Manager Lead PayPal’s Social Media Strategy, congrats Dave.
- Josh Pelz joins Engine Shop Agency as Vice President and Head of Digital Design and implement digital strategy across all clients.
- Cosmin Ghiurau joins RadioShack as Director Social Media Leading the Social Media practice at RadioShack. Responsible to provide thought leadership and social marketing strategy to 35K global team members in 27 countries. Directing the the multi-channel experience for customers in 6,000 global locations from an acquisition, engagement, retention, and advocacy.
- Chung Cheong joins 33 Across as VP of Product Management Chung will spearhead product strategy, vision, and development of new products for 33Across Chung will spearhead product strategy, vision, and development of new products for 33Across
- Neil Fried joins 33 Across as Vice President of Business Development Neil will lead 33Across’s business development efforts, just as he did at Yahoo!, where he was formerly Director of Business Development and led strategic advertising technology partnerships.
- Virginie Glaenzer joins LiveWorld as VP of Marketing Marketing
- Kasey Skala joins Mutual of Omaha as Social Media & Online Marketing Manager Managing social media and online marketing for consumer and Individual Financial Services.
- Wesley Clock joins ThoughtWorks Studios as Community Manager Facilitator of conversations on the community website and social channels.
- Valérie Vecchioni joins We Are Social France as Account Director Valerie joins us today to support the development of the agency, particularly following the gain in recent months of several new budgets, such as Renault France, Moet & Chandon, Pernod Ricard and Murat Paris
- Shail Khiyara joins Spigit as EVP & Chief Marketing Officer Leading world-wide marketing efforts
- Ian Robin joins HootSuite as Director of Sales – EMEA To improve the quantity, quality and service levels of our customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa.
- Shannon Paul joins Fifth Third Bancorp as Vice President, Social Media Develop and lead social media strategy for the enterprise
- Jenna Odett joins Unmetric as Manager, US Sales & Business Development Responsible for new business development across industries in the United States
- Tim Tulloch joins Hootsuite as Regional Director, Strategic Accounts, New York Responsible for growing HootSuite’s client base amongst strategic accounts in and around New York City.
- Dennis Jenders joins Laughlin Constable as VP, Digital + Communications Strategy In his role as VP of Digital + Communications Strategy, Jenders will provide strategic leadership and insights for integrated clients on a regional and national level.
- Matthew Brazil joins Conversocial as VP of Sales Matt will be leading our sales and marketing efforts as we continue our expansion to the United States.
- Brian Poulsen joins 7Summits as Front-End Developer Helping 7Summits deliver superior website creation, Poulsen has already delivered one major healthcare solution in the social business space and is poised to create more community-based solutions for 7Summits’ growing client base.
- Paul Jacobson joins 7Summits as Director of Front-End Development As Director of Front-End Development at 7Summits, Jacobson delivers on the agency’s promise of unique and advanced social business strategy with extensive experience in creative interactive solutions, rich user experiences, simple usability, user-centered design and smart development.
- Andre Malske joins 7Summits as Senior User Experience Designer At 7Summits, he champions user advocacy to deliver all solutions around user-centered design methodology, while preserving strong brand presence.
- Tim Mila joins 7Summits as Software Engineer As a software engineer, Mila develops integrated collaboration and community solutions inside and outside the experience.
- Naren Duvvuru joins Simplify360 as EVP and Head of Americas Drive Global Strategy and Sales
- Justin Kistner joins Spruce Media as Sr. Director of Product Head up product management and marketing
- Jeanette Gray joins HootSuite as Regional Director, Strategic Sales Asia Pacific Helping clients drive key business results using HootSuite
- Mark Yolton in promoted at SAP as SVP of SAP Digital, Social, Community In addition to responsibilities for SAP’s social media, communities, and tech events, added responsibility for all of SAP.com and country websites globally, plus online marketing
- Michael Agostino joins 33Across as Chief Technology Officer Michael will be responsible for 33Across’s technological vision, strategy, development, and technical operations.
- Miranda Man joins Bloom Worldwide as Social Business Strategist To deliver social business consulting to businesses
- Peter Wang joins adtivity by appssavvy as Senior Vice President of Engineering Development of the adtivity by appssavvy platform.
- Jeffrey Yang joins adtivity by appssavvy as Analytics Architect Analytics capabilities of the adtivity by appssavvy platform
- Bryan Valentini joins adtivity by appssavvy as Analytics Engineer Analytics capabilities of the adtivity by appssavvy platform
- Eli Daiches joins adtivity by appssavvy as Senior Platform Engineer Development of the adtivity by appssavvy platform
- Michael Kim joins adtivity by appssavvy as QA Engineer Quality assurance of the adtivity by appssavvy platform
- Derek Showerman joins Radian6 as Pricipal consultant Guiding fortune 5000′s through social media strategy
Submit a new hire:
Seeking a job?
- See the Web Strategy Job Board, which includes paid submissions from the top brands in the world.
- Social Media Jobs Facebook Group
- Social Media Jobs by Chris Heuer
- Social Media jobs, filtered by SimplyHired
- Social Media Job Network by James Durbin
- 25 places to find social media jobs by Deb Ng
- Community Manager Facebook Group
- Community Manager Appreciation Day (Every 4th Monday of Jan, yearly)
- List of corporate web strategists and community managers for 2010
- Social Media Headhunter: Career advice, job postings and services
- New Media Hire community by Jim Long and team
Please congratulate the new hires by leaving a comment below.
While plenty of tools exist to help you find the cheapest flights possible, sometimes it’s all about timing. The Wall Street Journal suggests that if you’re booking airline tickets, the best time to do so is either at the end of August and beginning of September, or at the end of December and early January. More »
These days, we’re running fast…sometimes too fast. Our social networks keep us connected, but in some ways they’re also pulling us away from our center. Our social streams feed us information about our friends, family, events and even the latest viral videos or trends, but the currents too can overwhelm us.
In a time when multitasking is just a way of life and communication is always on, I often wonder how distorted our perspective becomes until we realize clarity is paramount to productivity. Think about it for a moment. We expect immediate responses to our texts, emails, and DMs yet we grumble at having too many messages to which we need to read and respond. We may in fact be our own worst enemy not the technology we often blame. For every message you send, it seems that in an electronic game of hot potato, two always return. Connectedness comes at a very real human cost.
As we stray away from our comfort zone, we by default discover comfort by creating a new center. But that center requires consideration now and over time to ensure that we’re not only centered, but also moving along a path that takes us in a desirable direction. Seeking balance is more important than we might realize. Finding it may prove elusive for many, but pursuing balance and tracking toward a chosen destination is essential.
I spent some time with good friend Esteban Contreras where we discussed of course the latest books and my research at Altimeter Group. But, I also took it as a moment to reflect on the balance between professional and personal aspirations. I wanted to share the conversation with you here…
Esteban Contreras: Your book Engage further established you as a thought leader. What’s the story behind that book?
Brian Solis: Believe it or not, Engage has an interesting back story behind it… one that I rarely tell.
In 2007, I published the original Social Media Manifesto online to show exactly how businesses would benefit from strategic social media initiatives. It was huge.
But my first best-selling book was actually Putting the Public Back in Public Relations with Dierdre Breakenridge. We set out to show businesses how important the role of the public would become in marketing, advertising and customer service. I was about to tackle writing the follow up to the book, but noticed something in the process of promoting the last book…brands were embracing social media in a rather anti-social manner. They were using new tools to market in old ways. It was time to show businesses that social media was about meaningful and beneficial engagement on both sides.
I brought the idea to a good friend of mine and was given the green light to immediately begin writing it. However, it was written under a different title and also featured a different cover. The book was originally called The Social Media Manifesto. At the 11th hour, I changed my mind. I wanted the book to be less about social media and more about engagement where social media became the channel for building relationships, gaining insights, and fostering loyalty and advocacy. Of course, I addressed commerce and ROI as well, but I did so in a way that aligned business objectives with customer expectations. This lead to an entirely new name, cover, and also to the inclusion of Ashton Kutcher for the book’s foreword.
Another side story about the book is that it actually exists in two unique forms. The first edition was big. It’s size and density neared text book status. That was its goal however, to become the reference manual for social strategists. When it came time to publish the book in paperback form, I was asked if I wanted to make any changes. The publisher probably had a few updates in mind, but instead I took the opportunity to completely revise the book. I cut chapters, I cut blocks of text, I rewrote sentences and I added new experiences and lessons learned. The “revised and updated” edition is now commonly referred to as Engage 2 (note, not 2.0).
EC: The End of Business As Usual, has also been a great success. Do you see yourself following up with a fourth book at this point?
Solis: You never know.
The End of Business as Usual is an important book and I will support it for years to come. It’s not a book about social media. It’s a book for business executives to see how consumer behavior is changing, how technology impacts decision making, and how the rise of connected consumerism will impact the bottom line. Executives don’t care about Facebook or Twitter or smartphones for that matter. They care about objectives and meeting or exceeding them. To engage the connected customer requires a different approach.
Businesses must become adaptive in order to survive what I call Digital Darwinism, the phenomenon where evolution of society and technology evolve faster than the ability to adapt. Businesses are and will continue to fall because they focus on optimization, efficiencies, profits, and not on innovation and transformation to compete for tomorrow’s customer. This is a message that’s more important than ever before and this book shows executives how to recognize new opportunities and lead new and lucrative business strategies from the top down.
It’s also written for new media and social strategists who are fed up with the fear and skepticism that deflates their ballooning ideas. For everyone that asks them about ROI, the answer should be, “here, read this book.”
EC: Tell us about your experience at Altimeter Group and your particular role as Principal.
Solis: My work at Altimeter Group is both rewarding and eye-opening. I often say that we cannot possibly become “gurus” or experts of any medium that evolves faster than the ability to master it. I work with business executives and social strategists to bridge the gap between business objectives and social media strategies. Once the data is collected and analyzed, once internal conversations are transcribed and dissected, you start to see opportunities to bring people, departments, and thinking together. The work then becomes about recognizing new opportunities, direction, and the change necessary to create alignment toward new directions.
The research that we do helps us capture a state of “what is” and when combined with experience and the vision of the other analysts in the firm, you can start to chart a map to what “should be.”
EC: Beyond your work at Altimeter, you continue to be an avid blogger, content producer, speaker and event organizer. What would you say is the secret to maintaining balance in life?
Solis: The strive for balance is a journey and not a destination. Balance is less like spinning plates and more like running your finger around the rim of partially filled crystal bowls with varying depths of liquids. Each singing bowl makes a unique sound and as a result, music to “one’s” ears. When we think about the spinning plate metaphor, we think about how our quest for balance affects those around us as well as our pursuit to keep everything spinning simultaneously without falling and breaking. When you think about the bowls, you make music, the music you like, by bringing together different sounds. And it’s different every time. The point is, balance is a state of what’s important to you and those around you in the moment.
The End of Business as Usual is officially here…
The family truckster is packed up and ready to head home from Sea Isle City, New Jersey. All good things eventually come to an end.
Most people in America know Braun as the maker of some kitchen and bathroom items such as coffee makers and electric shavers. They also make clocks and watches. A new piece from the German brand recently won a Red Dot design award and is produced in collaboration with a clever watch designer from the quirky brand Ventura.
Neo-Bauhaus in fashion, the BN0106 is an experiment in avant garde minimalism. It offers a defined, yet hard to summarize look that ends up being quite comfortable to wear. Nevertheless, the piece is quite polarizing for watch lover. The Braun BN0106 isn’t too pricy in the scheme of designer watches, but is probably one of the more expensive digital watches you’ll come across maxing out at $800.
For that you get a unique design, high-quality negative LCD display, and a scroll-wheel style function selector that you’ll not find on watches aside from this Braun and Ventura timepieces.
Earlier this month, scientists from CERN announced that they had found the theoretical particle called the Higgs boson. So we all knew they found it, but not many people actually knew what the Higgs was, or how it was discovered. Turns out it’s a pretty difficult thing to do. First, you need a really, really big machine called the Large Hadron Collider. That machine shoots streams of particles at one another at about the speed of light until they slam into each other. When they collide, the energy they give off is something in the ball park of the Big Bang (yes, that Big Bang), but on a much smaller scale. They read each and every collision (about 40 million) and are looking for only a handful of Higgs. Needle, meet haystack.
We invited Steve Myers, Director of Accelerators and Technology for CERN, to come to our office and explain exactly what the Higgs is, what it means for us normal people, and tell us about the cool technology behind the LHC. Have a look at the video and try not to have your mind blown.