Archive for the ‘mentor’ tag
Director of Platform Partnerships Ethan Beard, Platform Marketing Director Katie Mitic, and Mobile Platform Marketing Manager Jonathan Matus all announced their pending departures separately on their respective Facebook timelines (see the updates here: Beard, Mitic and Matus). Each of them said they’d had good experiences at the company.
The departures were reported last night by AllThingsD.
Beard has been in charge of developing relationships with top app developers, and has served more than four years at the company. He’s therefore likely vested most of his stock options, with four years being the customary amount of time for options to fully vest at Silicon Valley companies like Facebook.
Mitic and Matus, meanwhile, have worked on the marketing side of platform, with Matus focusing on mobile. Matus’ LinkedIn Profile shows he’s a mentor at Startfast Venture Accelerators. However, Mitic has been at Facebook only two years, and Matus for just longer than a year. While they may not have fully vested their stock options, it’s possible they’re betting Facebook’s stock will not rise so significantly over the next year or two that they’ll be leaving serious cash on the table. Indeed, anyone who arrived in 2010 was already getting stock options that were priced in line with Facebook’s private value at the time, in the tens of billions of dollars. Forward wind to yesterday, when Facebook’s stock closed at $20.88, valuing the company at $39 billion. While the company’s value has obviously gone up quite a bit from two years ago (almost four-fold), latecomer employees to Facebook will likely have only gotten at most few thousand shares anyway, and so it’s not like they’re leaving millions behind. Talented employees may see more opportunity in other career paths.
Last week, the company announced it lost $157 million, on revenue of $1.18 billion for the company’s most recent quarter. Facebook’s stock is near its all-time low.
The announcements come after other high-profile departures, including CTO Bret Taylor’s announcement in June that he would leave to start his own company, Open Graph product manager Carl Sjogreen’s departure last month, and Facebook PR director Barry Schnitt’s decision in May to go to join Pinterest.
A couple of weeks ago, we learned about Marissa Mayer joining Yahoo! and the conversation in the media began to circle not around her qualifications, but the fact that she’s a pregnant woman.
In the comments of the blog post I wrote about it, Marianne Griebler suggested we talk about what we can do to ”combat this offensive nonsense, mentor young people, support each other, and dream together about a better world.”
During that conversation we discussed why women are our own worst enemies and what we can do to be better to one another…and how we can change the world for more equality.
It’s funny. I suppose this also goes hand-in-hand with the “women having it all” conversation, as well.
As much as I joke about Global Domination (it is my initials, after all), I truly believe we can change the world by working together and changing our little piece of it.
How Do We Do That?
It’s not easy. But it has to start with us.
It’s in our DNA, our genes, our chromosomes to be catty and judgmental. But we have to stop being that way. The circle repeats itself because young girls see us behave that way and they learn the behavior. It must stop.
Supporting other women is the very first step in how we do that. Stop judging what they’re wearing, how they speak, how they do their hair, and whether or not we think we could live their lives better than they do.
You know what I’m talking about. We’ve all done it.
But how can we expect men to take us seriously if we don’t treat one another with respect?
Support One Another
Ria and I made the keen observation that there were only two women speakers (minus the panelists) at SocialMix on Thursday…Amber Mac and me.
I’ve also made the observation that I’m typically the only or one of just a couple of women who are in the priority lanes at the airport (which equals frequent fliers). On Friday morning, as I flew home from Toronto, I was the only woman who had priority access on that flight.
Women are not being invited to events as much as men. But plenty of women organize and coordinate those events.
Can you imagine a day the speakers at a conference are equally balanced between women and men?
I’m not advocating adding women to the conference agenda just to balance it out. But there are plenty of women speakers who are fantastic.
Invite them to speak at your next conference…and pay them the same fee you would pay the men (I’ve noticed women are paid about half of what men are paid, but that’s a different story for a different time). Pay them the same.
Mentor and Dream
We all have different views of how we want to live our lives. That’s good! But it’s not up to us to judge someone’s choices just because they’re not the same as our own.
Mentor one another. Dream together. Support one another. Find ways we can change the world by changing the way we behave around the women in our lives.
I’m building an organization that is flexible enough to respond to the personal needs of employees – both men and women – who want to exercise in the middle of the day, who need to respond to kids and/or parents at home, who need a mental health day after working a really rough week, and who aren’t judged if they’re not at their desk every second from 8:30-5:30.
The organization is built on getting results and we’re moving more and more toward achieving goals vs. working more hours.
What are you doing to support the women in your life and change the conversation?
A guest post by Tim Riesterer of Corporate Visions.
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games start today. Over the past few weeks, marketing and advertising campaigns related to the games have appeared on billboards, the radio, and—most prominently—on TV.
One stand-out example is this P&G Olympics commercial.
Why is it so memorable and effective? Because it uses one of the most successful marketing techniques: storytelling (specifically, the “hero model”).
The fact is humans live in story. Your story is your worldview, and it affects how you make decisions. When a story employs the hero model, it becomes all the more relatable and powerful.
But what exactly is the hero model?
Renowned mythologist Joseph Campbell devoted his life to documenting myths and hero stories from more than 100 countries. What he learned about the hero model inspired him to write the book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Campbell called this storytelling model “Mono Myth” (or “One Story”) because he realized that all the hero stories essentially told the same story over and over again.
I’m sure you’re wondering how this applies to you and your marketing initiatives. Well, if you want to successfully market your product, you should use this model to effectively tell your story. The concept is simple, and it includes five basic steps, all which are applied in the P&G commercial.
- The world is normal.
- Something changes.
- The hero pushes back.
- Enter the mentor.
- The hero saves the day.
The P&G commercial starts out by showing each family in a different country and their daily routine, including getting out of bed,eating breakfast, and heading to school. Then, something changes: Each child gets inspired by a sport. Each child trains hard but hits bumps along the way, such as getting an injury or not performing well under pressure. Just when the children begin to doubt themselves, Mom is there. Mom is the mentor that the children need to help them get through the hard practices, the bumps and bruises, and the disappointments. Each mom gives them the strength and the courage to not give up on their dream—to compete in the Olympic Games. In the end, each child has grown up and achieved their Olympic goals.
The hero model works so well because there’s something in our brains that responds favorably to this model, no matter what our culture. As a marketer, you need to be the mentor and turn your customers and prospects into the hero. Your role is to help them see what has changed in their market and how they can adapt to better survive and rise above the competition.
To achieve this storytelling model, make sure your marketing messages look at your customers’ world and address the objectives and pains that your customers might not even realize they have. Then, show them how they can solve those problems with your solution. Your customers and prospects will be empowered to make a change and to choose you, proving that in the end, the mentor and the hero are both winners.
With more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience, Tim Riesterer, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Corporate Visions, Inc., is a recognized thought-leader, practitioner and author regarding marketing and sales messaging. Tim’s books, Customer Message Management and Conversations that Win The Complex Sale, focus on increasing a marketing department’s impact on selling by providing sales-ready messages and tools that salespeople can use to create a compelling story that wins more deals.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Olympics London)
Can’t code? Want to learn? Fortunately for you, you’ve got a few online options.
The latest product on the “Get Skillz Fast!” market is Bloc, a Y Combinator startup that promises to turn you from zero to 01001000010001010101001001001111 (that’s “hero” in binary) in just eight short, super intense weeks.
The training includes one-on-one Skype chats with your mentor as well as code reviews and “office hours” when you need extra help.
Its first cohort of students is now officially graduated and ready to show off their wares. For the most part, Bloc’s first group of students were would-be founders who lacked technical skills of their own and who were understandably having a hard time recruiting cheap, available technical talent in the current market. Here’s an example:
Arun Gupta, the former co-founder of Wakemate.com and an undergraduate student at Yale, had limited technical background but a desire to build an application for applying Instagram-like filters to photos that he already had uploaded on Facebook. Airbrush.io was finished in 6 weeks as planned, and Gupta says he’ll charge users to order prints of the new photos after they’ve been edited.
Of course, all that glowing success doesn’t come without a little pain; it is a bootcamp, after all. As the Bloc site says, “We’ll be pushing you to the very edge of your learning capacity. … We try our best to evaluate your commitment and determination level through the application and interview stage. We don’t want students to fail, but we realize that some won’t be determined enough to finish.”
Also, Bloc will hurt you in your general wallet-type area to the tune of $3,500 for the course (you can get some or all of your money back if you end up dropping out). Still, the accelerated schedule and hand-on coding experience are well worth the pricetag, which is still a fraction of what you’d pay (and how long it would take) to learn how to code in a traditional college classroom.
In some ways, the product reminds us a little bit of Codecademy, another YC company we’re particularly excited about. The difference is an interesting one: Codecademy’s lessons are easy to digest and friendly for just about anyone to pick up; they’re free; and you can work at your own pace. Bloc, on the other hand, demands a lot more commitment but can turn around much more dramatic, practical results, especially if the learner in question needs a little extra motivation.
The Bloc team raised $250,000 in seed money back in May. The company was founded in February 2012.
top image courtesy of maga, Shutterstock
Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham tweeted today that YC’s 380 companies (prior to the current batch) have raised $1,048,274,000. Y Combinator, which launched in 2005, takes on two classes of startups per year into their three month program, during which they mentor and connect the founders and invest in the companies.
The total amount of funding raised by the 380 companies prior to the current YC batch is $1,048,274,000.
— Paul Graham (@paulg) July 25, 2012
Even the simplest of mathematicians can look at the two numbers and divide the larger by the smaller and infer that, on average, Y Combinator companies raise more than $2,759,000. But not all YC companies are created equal. Two of Y Combinator’s most notable alums, Dropbox ($257 million) and Airbnb ($120 million), account for almost 36% of the impressive funding total.
When you add in other well-funded companies, like Scribd ($25.8 million), Disqus ($10.5 million), and Posterous ($10.1 million), the total for the remaining 375 Y Combinator companies is still an enormous, but significantly diminished, $624.9 million.
This is the latest eye-popping number from Y Combinator, following Forbes’ report in April that Y Combinator companies were worth a total of $7.78 billion.
TechCrunch wants to try this again, and Marissa Mayer and I have both agreed. I’ll interview her at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, coming up in just a few weeks.
My guess is she’ll have her feet wet enough at Yahoo to be able to really talk about the challenges and opportunities for the company, and where she’ll be leading it. She’ll probably even answer that question I asked two years ago.
Mayer will also be judging the final round of the startup competition at Disrupt. She’s been a finalist judge as long as TechCrunch has had conferences. But given her new job, it’s particularly thoughtful that she’d take the time to continue to mentor these startups.
As for me, well, TechCrunch invited me back again to participate in the event. I’ll do a few on stage interviews and participate in the startup competition.
My primary goal is to do great interviews and have interesting conversations. And there’s little downside – I doubt Marissa will break down and swear at me like Bartz did (which was all in fun, trust me). And It’s not like Pando Daily can fire me twice (can they?).
This’ll be great. See you there.
Europe is getting its own “game accelerator” entity with today’s launch of GameFounders. The organization is based in Estonia and it provides advice, a mentor network, and $12,300 to $18,500 (10,000 to 15,000 euros) in seed funding.
GameFounders is taking applications now for a three-month program, with a deadline of July 10. The group says it welcomes applications from game startups of any kind. It plans on including 10 teams into the program for its first class. As game startups become more popular, so too are services for those startups such as accelerators, which help startups get traction faster.
Game accelerators such as YetiZen, Game Dojos and Joystick Labs are in the U.S. GameFounders takes a 9 percent equity stake in return for funding, advice, and office space. It is looking for ideas in gaming and gamification (or the use of game mechanics in non-game applications). GameFounders has more than 60 mentors from around the world. They include veterans such as Paul Bragiel and they have a relationship with Game Dojos in San Francisco. GameFounders is supported by Enterprise Estonia.
Filed under: games
Large companies starting mentoring schemes for tech startups seems to be becoming a thing. The latest example is an initiative from BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the beeb, to create a six month mentorship programme for digital startups and emerging digital media companies with the aim of helping them to gain traction and scale and ultimately to establish some kind of commercial partnership.
It’s easy to see what’s in it for the corporates: early and preferential access to new technology platforms, new thinking and ideas, some of that startup pixie dust. But does it make as much sense for the startups? The BBC scheme makes no seed funding available. Instead, they offer access to mentorship from BBC Worldwide staffers, company resources including office space out in White City if they need it, and the potential of a partnership at the end of it.
A while back I wrote about Wieden & Kennedy’s Portland Incubator Experiment (PIE), an interesting initiative that has created an environment giving startups access to seed funding, office space, mentorship, potential investors and collaboration opportunities with some of Wieden’s clients. I was (and still am) pretty positive about the idea. At the time, Stuart left an insightful comment on the post questioning whether the kind of resources provided by large organisations were really the kind that startups need. It’s a good question. It’s easy to assume that the answer to that would be yes, but if the startups make use of corporate office space, is that really the right environment for them? If the ultimate outcome is to form a commercial partnership, is that the optimum commercial partnership the startup has open to it? Might the startups find themselves sucked into the type of culture and processes that are inherent to large organisations? Stuart paraphrases Steve Blank in his comment, saying that startups are not smaller versions of large companies so the “help” larger companies give may be quite a hindrance.
Projects that support entrepreneurs should be applauded and I’m sure the BBC scheme makes provisions to deal with these kinds of considerations. But as these type of schemes become more popular, these are the kind of questions that both parties need to be asking themselves.
What happens when you throw a bunch of startups, mentors, and wild college students on a boat for roughly four months? It’s never been done before, so nobody knows.
But on January 9, 2013, the first experimental Unreasonable at Sea accelerator class will leave San Diego aboard Semester at Sea‘s MV Explorer (the fastest cruise-liner in the world) for a 14 country jaunt to test, deploy and scale 10 startups in international markets.
“The experiment for us is one in transnational entrepreneurship. How do we take a technology like an affordable nano technology from India, for example, that’s already profitable and help them scale?, “ Daniel Epstein, founder of the Unreasonable Institute, told me. “But more importantly we’re paying close attention to how a startup thinks about its technology and how they’ve gone about developing it.”
This “huge experiment” is a joint effort between the Unreasonable Institute, Semester at Sea and George Kembel, Executive Director and co-founder of Stanford’s d.school. The idea is to take 10 startups with two to three employees from each company on a 25,000 nautical mile journey to empower and educate entrepreneurs with the help of mentors to think about their technology on a scale that is globally empathetic and that actually meets the needs of the people.
“Ideally, this will allow those startups to build relationships at every port to help them navigate into those countries in a much more meaningful way,” says Epstein. “As a Semester at Sea alum, I realize the value in their mission and how it directly relates to entrepreneurship. I was exposed to different issues in different markets and that’s what pushed me to take the Unreasonable Institute much more seriously.”
The inaugural Unreasonable at Sea class will journey west from San Diego with students apart of the Semester at Sea program for Asia stopping every two to four days and spending one to six days at each port to test their products and gather data in order to tweak and refine for the next stop.
The roster of mentors is equally impressive with folks like Desmond Tutu, Google’s Megan Smith and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg jumping on board for days, weeks and in some instances, the full course, to impart their wisdom.
When I asked Mullenweg why he’d chosen Unreasonable at Sea over other mentor programs, he candidly said, “Because it seems crazy, and those are often the endeavors that have the biggest impact.”
He added, “I hope that my experience will be relevant and helpful to the entrepreneurs on board. I know when I was getting started a few words of advice could save me months of going down the wrong path. Also perhaps I can work on my LCD monitor tan.”
But the roster of mentors has a gaping hole and Epstein will be the first to tell you that. “You’ll see a lot of folks with a software background and I’d like to get more hardware folks on board. We’ve frozen the mentor selection for now until the we’ve selected the class before we select the final 10 or twelve mentors to ensure they’re really tailored towards those companies.”
Over 800 companies from over 100 countries have started the simple 10-question application so far, says Epstein. If you think your startup has what it takes, you can sign up here. But do so quickly as the deadline is June 22. I need to come up with an idea
I miss my Dad everyday of every week of every year. Not just as my Dad but as my business mentor and that is why I produce each week The Engaging Brand podcast - to keep alive his desire for me to learn and for me to share….and for me to help others.
Dad was a simple soul. He wasn’t ‘educated’ like all of us are today and he was dyslexic to boot. However his simplicity in his view of business stays with me. Here is what he said when I asked for tips on leading a successful business
- When I went to and indeed left work I didn’t enter through the main doors, I always went through the factory. Never forget the shopfloor is where people painstakingly make your ideas reality. Never forget that the shopfloor is full of people who can see how to make the business better…..never fool yourself that people will follow because you are a leader, they follow you because they believe in where you are going together….that walk on a morning keeps me close, and keeps the conversations flowing.
- Remember a customer is a human being first and a consumer of your ideas second. Too many see it as the other way round.
- See business as the ultimate treasure hunt…you are searching for that hidden talent, that idea hiding out there in the world and that feeling that you have done your very best for the world.
For all the business books I read, I return to these wise words. Simple but true…but then aren’t the most complex problems, in reality simple…it is just us human beings who make them hard!
Happy Father’s Day from your little girl who has realised Dad’s do know best!