Archive for the ‘powerhouse’ tag
Roximity’s app for iOS promises relevant offers to deals around you based on location and user preferences. To take that location-awareness a step further, it will offer this functionality in the car through Ford’s Sync AppLink, which brings info from your smartphone to your dashboard so you can better (and more safely) interact with it.
“While driving, users can simply say, ‘lunch deals,’ and their favorite lunch options will be read out loud,” Danny Newman, co-founder and CEO of Roximity, in a statement. “Other deal services offer coupons for the entire metropolitan area or for things that are not relevant to you. Roximity is personalized and will provide you what you want, when you want it.”
Roximity was recently selected to be part of the Techstars program in Boulder, Colo. and has eight employees. Notably, Roximity is the first app to have Ford AppLink compatibility at launch.
In the glut of daily deal offers from Groupon, LivingSocial, and others, I appreciate the idea of using location to give me the best digital coupons. But do I need it in my car while I hurriedly drive to work or to my friend’s house. No, not at all.
Check out the video below for more on Roximity’s integration with Ford’s Sync:
Photo credit: Roximity video screenshot
Filed under: mobile
Networking giant Cisco has added Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff to its board of directors, a sign that it wants to get more serious about cloud-focused services and hardware.
Benioff spent 13 years at Oracle before he founded Salesforce on the correct notion that SaaS applications would become a hot thing. Salesforce is now a cloud-services powerhouse, with Force.com, Heroku, Radian6, Desk.com, Do.com, and more. (Check out the update Do.com just launched.) He might be able to bring some of his knowledge into the Cisco fold and get the company looking to the future.
Cisco also added Enduring Hydro CEO and former U.S. Under Secretary of Energy Kristina Johnson. Other folks on the now 14-person board include former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, Emerging Company Partners founder Steven West, and Cisco CEO John Chambers.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Marc and Kristina to Cisco’s board of directors,” said Chambers, in a statement. “Marc has changed the face of technology through his bold ideas around cloud computing and the social enterprise. Kristina brings us an unmatched expertise in science and technology, which will help guide Cisco as we continue to innovate and transform our customers’ experiences.”
Marc Benioff photo: Kevin Krejci/Flickr
Filed under: VentureBeat
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Today’s guest post is written by Andy Crestodina.
Take a nap.
Eat a sandwich.
Call a friend.
Take a hot shower.
Music, nature, and 99 other tips are… not in this article. This article is about the true source behind writer’s block.
Herein, we reveal why we hit that wall and why, at times, we simply cannot write that next word.
Following is what two powerhouse writers have to say about overcoming writers block. Incidentally, the quotes that follow are transcribed from podcasts and speeches.
You haven’t prepared.
“I’ve said before that writer’s block is a myth. Whenever I speak, there’s usually a number of writers in the audience…and I’ll say ‘how many people are bothered by writer’s block?’ and a good third to a half of the room will raise their hands.
And I disabuse them of the notion. My response is: ‘Grow up. It’s a myth. It’s nonsense.’ All writer’s block is is not being prepared on what you need to do.
If you sit down and you haven’t got a headline burning in your head and you don’t know how you’re going to start this conversation…if you’re not ready to blast that first draft out when you sit down, then you have no business sitting down and even starting, because you should be prepared. You should be boiling with the information you need.”
The takeaway from Carlton is, if you you’re struggling to write, you aren’t ready yet. Keep researching. Seek more information. Keep learning until you have more to say.
You don’t care about the topic.
“People are always saying ‘Well, what do we do about a sudden blockage in your writing? What if you have a blockage, and you don’t know what to do about it?’
Well, it’s obvious you’re doing the wrong thing, isn’t it? In the middle of writing something, you go blank and your mind says: ‘No, that’s it.’ OK. You’re being warned, aren’t you? Your subconscious is saying, ‘I don’t like you anymore. You’re writing about things I don’t give a damn for.’
If you’ve got writer’s block, you can cure it this evening by stopping whatever you’re writing and doing something else. You picked the wrong subject.”
The takeaway from Bradbury is, you only have trouble writing if you’re writing something you don’t care about. If you loved the topic, you wouldn’t have this problem.
“Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it. Ignore the authors who say ‘Oh, my God, what word? Oh, <dammit>…,’ you know. Now, to hell with that. It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else.”
Embrace it, and choose one of these two options.
Writer’s block is your internal BS detector stopping you from writing something uninteresting or poorly researched. It’s a natural check against churning out crap. It’s a good thing.
When you’re blocked, stop pushing ahead. Carlton and Bradbury would have you consider these options:
- Go back. Study your topic more.
- Go another way. Find a topic for which you feel some passion.
This is consistent with all the usual tips for writer’s block: Stop writing. But now you know its true cause. It’s a frustrating instinct, but you should trust it.
Use writer’s block to be a better, happier, more productive writer.
Before Reddit became the revolutionary powerhouse of truth, justice, and random acts of pizza, it was just a couple of dudes trying to attract people to their idea of launching a link-sharing site that featured democratically curated news from the community.
But creating a community from scratch is a pretty tough thing to do, as Reddit co-found Steve Huffman explained in a recent video lesson for online university startup Udacity. When Huffman and co-founder Alexis Ohanian first launched Reddit in 2005, it was relatively quiet and devoid of users.
Obviously, something had to jump-start interest in the site, which now generates over 2 billion monthly page views and attracts more than 35,000,000 monthly unique visitors. I’d always assumed it was a “slow and steady wins the race” approach combined with the Reddit founders’ unyielding dedication and uncompromising vision for the site. But apparently there was another secret ingredient.
Huffman said one other strategy proved crucial to Reddit’s early success, which most people are unaware of: The team submitted a ridiculous amount of content under fake user accounts to give the appearance of popularity. Yes, you read that right. Reddit — a site that values a fair and open democratic process to determine worthy content and police itself — sleeps soundly on a bed of lies. [Cue sinister music...now.]
This revelation is likely to strike an angry chord with former Reddit power users who were banned for this exact behavior.
“When you would go to Reddit in the early days there would be tons of content,” Huffman said, explaining that the initial Reddit submission page contained only a “URL field” and “Title field” to plug in. Yet when logged in as an admin, a third field appeared that allowed the team to enter a custom user name that would automatically be registered for an account upon hitting submit. The fake user submissions, which were motivated by embarrassment over having an empty site, actually had a positive impact in a few different ways, he said.
“The first thing it did was it set the tone,” by the activity it displayed to visitors, Huffman said. “We were submitting content that we would have been interested in seeing. That meant the content on Reddit … was good. And when you show up , you know exactly what the site is about.”
Huffman then explained that the deception also created a feeling that Reddit was alive, giving users the sense that they were a part of something. That’s obviously the most important element of any social network community.
“I remember the first day, a few months in (to the site’s launch), when we didn’t have to submit any content. It was such a magical feeling, because it meant everything was finally working on it its own,” Huffman said.
He went on to outline the other important principles that made Reddit an eventual success, which included keeping resources focused on enhancing the bond between users and community and making participation effortless. And although Huffman has moved on from the community he founded, the site remains true to its initial concept.
Despite the initial deceit, things ended up working out pretty well for Reddit. What I’d really like to know is when Huffman removed the ‘custom user field” option, and if the founders artificially manipulated other area’s of Reddit to grow interest.
Check out Huffman’s video below and let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Confirming rumors from last week, enterprise cloud computing titan Salesforce confirmed today that it has agreed to purchase New York City-based Buddy Media for $689 million.
Buddy Media offers social media analytics for some of the biggest brands in the world, including Ford and Hewlett Packard, and together with Salesforce’s Radian6 it will power Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud. Salesforce will buy the company for $467 million in cash, $184 million in common stock, and $38 million in vested options and restricted stock units.
“Buddy Media’s mission is to eliminate the current state of anarchy in social marketing,” Buddy Media co-founder and CEO Michael Lazerow said in a statement today. “With the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, marketers will be able to unify their efforts to better organize their teams, optimize their social programs and deliver real business results.”
Salesforce says the deal has been approved by Buddy Media’s board and is expected to close by fiscal Q3 2013, ending October 31, 2012. The company expects the deal to add an additional $20 million to $25 million in revenues for the fiscal year 2013.
Notably, the acquisition marks the largest exit for a New York company since Google bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion in 2007, Greycroft’s Ian Sigalow (a Buddy Media investor) pointed out on Twitter this morning.
Buddy Media previously raised a whopping $54 million round last August, and had around $90 million in funding altogether.
Update: In true social media fashion, Lazerow recorded a touching and inspirational video (below) to share his feelings about the acquisition. Now will someone stop peeling those onions…
Photo credit: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock
Buddy Media helps many major brands manage their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ presence. Presumably, Salesforce could add Buddy Media to its long roster of services targeting the enterprise like Chatter and Force.com. It’s unclear how much crossover there would be with Salesforce-owned Radian6, another social media management service.
New York City-based Buddy Media raised a monster $54 million round of funding last August at a rumored $500 million valuation. Buddy Media’s total funding sits at $90 million.
We chatted with Buddy Media a few months ago if you want to see what’s been happening with the company as of late:
Photo credit: Andy Dean Photography/Shutterstock
A guest blog post by Maranda Gibson of AccuConference.
Former St. Louis Cardinals powerhouse third baseman Albert Pujols traded the Midwest for the West Coast when he accepted a record-breaking deal from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
His start for the Angels was highly anticipated, so many people were shocked that Pujols had done more striking out than anything else since the beginning of the season.
That’s right. A lot of money was invested in a man who could hit a home run off any pitcher in either league, but all he had managed to do lately was strike out—until May 6, 2012. That’s when he finally hit a home run for the Angels in a 4-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
What businesses can learn from Pujols’ experience is that everyone has a slump once in a while. Success brings pressure and the desire to not let down the people who have invested in us. Despite those feelings, we will have a slump sometimes. In fact, our feelings may contribute to our lack of home runs.
So, how do we survive a slump? What did Albert do?
Here are four ideas to help businesses break out of their slumps.
Make adjustments. We all take on new jobs and responsibilities. Our new location could be anything from a new city to a new desk on the other side of the office building. Though a new move may shine bright with promise, we may not be able to harness that power right away. We have to adjust to a new room, a new building, a new city, or even just being moved away from our co-workers. A transition may not be easy, but adaptation is vital to getting out of a slump.
Believe in your abilities and talents. Pujols never said he couldn’t do it. Whether in a slump or not, Albert didn’t doubt that he was the kind of guy that could start slapping home runs again. He knew he was talented, he knew he had the power, and he couldn’t let negative thoughts get into his brain and start eating away at his motivation. That’s part of the power of a slump for anyone in any business out there.
Remember to be patient. When we fail to perform as expected, we often try to force ourselves to that moment where we can hold up our arms in triumph. But our lack of patience isn’t always helpful. Trying to rush things causes mistakes and burns us out. Keep pushing through; don’t rush things. Albert was patient with his performance and never did anything that would get him injured.
Get some breathing room. I find it an interesting coincidence that, on Saturday, Albert was not in the lineup, and on Sunday, he finally broke his home run slump. Maybe those 24 hours of breathing room enabled him to get his head straight. Hitting the refresh button is good for our brains. If you can’t think of a great blog post, stop writing for a couple of days. If you’re stuck in getting people to listen to what you’re saying, step back and listen for a while. You never know—it might just mean you’ll hit a home run the next day.
Even if you’re not a sports fan, you can still find similarities between the world of business and the world of professional sports. We all get in a slump. It’s what we do to get out of it that it really matters. Fortunately, most of us don’t have hundreds of thousands of people waiting to see us fail.
How do you break your slumps?
Maranda Gibson is the regular writer for the AccuConference website and blog. She is passionate about making meetings more bearable and offers advice that can help to change the way your participants see meetings.
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Albert Pujols Hitting Ball)
Many people complain about Facebook’s mobile experience. For the longest time their app was just not very good. Even with the latest improvements the Facebook mobile experience still leaves a bit to be desired.
While it seemed that Facebook was simply focused on building their 900 million user powerhouse and mobile was backburnered as a result, that may not have been the case at all.
CNBC reports that as a result of early investor meetings there has been a change to the filings for Facebook’s IPO which indicates the trouble Facebook has with mobile.
Facebook said growth in the number of users using Facebook on mobile devices, which is hard to monetize, “may negatively affect our revenue and financial results.”
In an amended regulatory filing, the company said the number of people logging into Facebook is continuing to grow more quickly than the number of ads delivered.
Facebook said this is in part because more people are using the social network on mobile devices, where it shows a very small number of ads.
Could Facebook actually be the victim of the world’s move to mobile which is happening so rapidly right before our very eyes? Back in February when the first announcements for Facebook’s mobile ad plan were brought to light, this concern was there. At that time Facebook had admitted that it had failed to monetize the already 425 million mobile users it had and it did not go unoticed
The disclosure sent up red flags for analysts, because the company also said it does not “currently directly generate any meaningful revenue from the use of Facebook mobile products, and our ability to do so successfully is unproven.”
Facebook’s stating this initially was concerning but moving to the new wording that seems wary of rapidly growing numbers of mobile users and its potential to negatively affect revenue and financial results is a big jump. It should also be one that makes us all wonder just what can Facebook possibly do to monetize their mobile presence without frustrating users with too many ads in too small of a place. I’m not an analyst but this sounds pretty bad. Insurmountable? No. Pretty bad? Yes.
Maybe this is why Google has been content with letting Google+ slowly grind away in the background. Google already has the mobile ad thing working with search which is further bolstered by a 95% share in the mobile search game. It doesn’t need Google+ for monetization (although that doesn’t mean they won’t try). Imagine people en masse discovering that Google+ could be the place to connect with people in a mobile environment without being pitched every 2 seconds? Could Facebook’s absolute need to monetize the mobile experience be the reason for people to finally consider Google+ for real?
Far fetched? Maybe but I don’t see this development for Facebook as something that can be easily overcome. Could Facebook have missed this one so badly and painted itself into a corner that it may not be able to get out of?
What are your thoughts and impressions? As Internet marketers what does Facebook become if it cannot deliver in the mobile space?
Job search site Indeed, already a long-standing powerhouse in the U.S., has overtaken TotalJobs to become the top job search site in the U.K. based on unique visitors, the company revealed today.
Indeed overtook Monster in the U.S. in Nov. 2010, a sign that its formula of showing job listings from tons of job-related sites worked pretty darn well. As of March, Indeed has attracted more than 67 million unique visitors worldwide monthly, with 32 million or so of those being from the U.S., according to Google’s Doubleclick Ad Planner.
Even before the Stamford, Conn.-based company became number one jobs site in the U.S., it had its sights on the rest of the world. David Rudick, Indeed’s Vice President of International Markets, told me that while the company introduced Indeed in the U.K. in 2007, it didn’t start picking up real steam until 2011 when it introduced a slew of new products that were tested in the U.S. first.
“Our traffic from this past March was actually 50 percent higher than what it was a year ago,” Rudick said. “We’re always looking for new ways to give job seekers a better experience and that is paying off.”
Besides the U.S. and U.K., Indeed also has localized versions in about 50 other counties. Success has been mixed from country to country, but Rudick said Indeed is now the no. 1 job site by unique visitors in France and the Netherlands. Both of those milestones were reached in 2011.
To ensure that Indeed maintains strong international growth, the company opened a new Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) office this March in Dublin. Rudick said it is considering other countries to add to its list, but the company’s immediate priority is to roll out new features and products to markets it has already launched in.
Fast-growing Indeed stands in stark contrast to competitor Simply Hired, which laid off 20 percent of its 100-person staff in early January. Indeed, on the flip side, now has 450 employees, with 105 of those hires happening this year.
On the financial side, Indeed raised a $5 million first round from Allen & Company, The New York Times, and Union Square Ventures back in 2005 and has coasted on that ever since, generating revenue almost exclusively through on-site advertising.
Here’s a chart Indeed provided showing its global growth since its 2005 launch to March 2012:
Apply Here illustration: ra2 studio/Shutterstock
Filed under: VentureBeat