Beer, Conversation and Bridging the Opinion Gap

We are all different.

Color, Race, Religions.

Different brands of toothpaste.

Different opinions.

Lately, having different opinions is starting to turn into a real issue.

 

Up to a point where people can’t even have a conversation about it.

(Arguably, this was always the case, just that now, it seems it is getting harder to just ignore others’ opinions)

 

It is not always easy to to discuss.

Open conversations are hard.

It is even harder when both sides have strong opinions.

 

Well, Heineken just made a commercial about

Worth watching.

 

 

If only we could learn to talk to each other, we’d be in a much different place.

It will take more than a beer commercial to get there.

But it still remain a very nice move by Heineken.

 

It also confirms my opinion that businesses have a real role to play in creating content that can impact the world around them.

We live in the internet era.

Your voice matter.

Make it count.

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Constraints, Creativity, Startups, Funding

When options are limited, people produce more solutions  – not less.

When people are limited they try to improve and optimise.

 

The opposite is true.

It is known as Parkinson’s Law :

“Work expands so as to fill the time available for it’s completion”

 

Well, seems like what is true for time budget is also true for financial budget.

The more money there is available the more money you will use for your project.

 

Introduce Juicero – a startup that has come under heat recently for doing just that.

Juicero sells a machine that makes juice.

They have also received some nice juicy VC money too (investment) of $120 millions.

That’s a lot.

Especially, to make a juicer.

Even more, when this juicer also costs $700 when they launched.

Today, they have cut the price down to “only” $400

Yet, it remains expensive.

So expensive, than Bloomberg went to investigate.

As you can see for yourself – the all Juicero machine sounds like a scam by now.

But honestly, creating a hardware company, raising $120 000 and working for 2 years to build a product is not the smartest way to set up a scam to get rich quick.

The reality is simpler.

And a bit sad.

Ben Einstein (yes, it is his name… no I don’t know if he is related to Albert – but in any case he sounds like a smart guy) did some research on the over-expensive juicer (full piece here).

What he found is simple:

The engineering team had too much money.

(Remember they rose $120 000)

What they have build is a wonderful machine.

A solid piece of engineering.

But an expensive one.

Teardown of Juicero juicer by Ben Einstein

The Juicero Press can :

  • connect to your WiFi network (via TI’s CC3200 chipset, purple arrow),
  • has optics/camera assembly for scanning QR codes on the juice packs (green arrow),
  • to illuminate QR codes – equipped withLED board (blue arrow)

Juicero press teardown – by Ben Einstein

 

I am just going to quote Ben here:

“It is exceptionally rare to see a custom power supply on a first-time hardware startup’s product as these are inspected very carefully as part of UL/ETL certification, creating additional cost and risk.”
Notice the motor (blue arrow, part number JQ42-1210N1) which is manufactured by Jiaai Motor Company, a common supplier of cordless drill motors. Like many of the other systems on this product, the motor is seemingly custom to account for the exceptionally high rated power (stalls at 5A at 330V DC, which is hard to believe, possibly even a misprint on the motor casing) and sports a custom encoder system designed by Juicero (yellow arrow)”

If you read the whole piece, you will see it goes on and on and on.

The amount of customisation these people went through to make a machine that just press juice is quite amazing – and expensive – and possible stupid.

It is like they have tried to make a Apple computer version of a juice machine.

If apple had done this product and call it iJuice,  I am not sure anybody would have been that surprised.

The only difference is that Apple is making product that people buy.

Juicero not quite yet.

So, there is that.

Time will tell.

But one things comes to my mind, when we have all these investment in startup land and these companies keep failing.

The core of the problem might be the same thing that we try to use to enable innovation: resources.

If we give too many resources to a team, you might not see this team actually succeed.

Because of the lack of constraints.

Food for thought.

 

Up your LinkedIn skills with 3 talks on LinkedIn Strategy

Paul Copcutt: LinkedIn -Where your sales and marketing meet

And also how can piñada and LinkedIn help to sell accounting services…

 

Become a LinkedIn Search Ninja

Spend 3 days to find valuable information on LinkedIn search.

Found it.

 

Social Selling by LinkedIn with LinkedIn

This lady kicks ass.

Very good video on social selling.

LinkedIn – Social Media 101

Everyone knows LinkedIn – yet not everybody use it to its full power (and I totally include myself in this “everybody”).

Linkedin has a lot of potential and here are some interesting tips I would suggest you  have a look at.

Some history & stats

Founded in Dec, 2002 (When Windows XP was still at the top of its hype)

Launched in May, 2003 (yes, you were a couple of years younger…)

Started as a place for people to upload their CV – with a slow growth rate of 20 users a day for a couple of month but eventually they reached a critical mass allowing them to rise enough money.

LinkedIn in the its early days

Pivotal to the the success of early LinkedIn was cofounder Reid Hoffman – who was on previously on the board of Google, Ebay and PayPal – he had the best CV for promising a good exit strategy for the young LinkedIn

Today LinkedIn is roughly 500 Millions users – with a reported 106M active user (around 20%).

In the latest historical milestones of the company – Microsoft has acquired LinkedIn in Dec, 2016

It gives some interesting perspective of integration.

Microsofts has a Cloud solution and a CRM solution as well as Skype and clearly own the world of corporate software, but so far nothing really has happen in terms of revolutions – so – we are waiting.

What to do on LinkedIn

People use Linked In to sell.

They either sell themselves (Job Market)

Or they sell their product, or service (Social Selling)

Or they sell their image (Branding).

It might change with time.

Maybe we will see more entertaining content, but for now, the general tendency is “Always be selling”.

 

LinkedIn and the Sales Cycle.

But before we go in there – we shall approach the sales cycle – to understand where LinkedIn can best help you.

  • Prospecting
    • You can use LinkedIn powerful search engine to harvest information about your market place – And are your potential clients
  • Approaching
    • Subtle approach : Simply go watch a profile – they will see you in their stats as people who saw their profile
    • Send them InMail (cold email)
    • Connect with them (better)
    • Use Groups to get known in your industry
    • Like the content they share
  • Qualifying
    • Use private messages
    • Use InMail
    • Call them
  • Presenting
    • Use Slideshare for pre-sales (Slideshare is now a part of Linkedin)
    • Use insights you have collected before to build your sales presentation
  • Handling Objections
    • Use pulse articles on topics
  • Closing
    • Chat in linkedin
  • Getting Referrals
    • Ask for referrals – and give referrals first

Searching

If you don’t know where to start you can check this article by LinkedIn on Search.

But honestly, it’s quite intuitive.

 

Optimise your Profile

  • Customise your public profile URL.
  • Add a LinkedIn background photo to your personal profile.
  • Double check your profile photo
  • Create a Profile Badge for your personal website or blog.
  • Optimise Links text for the blog/website links on your LinkedIn profile. (up to 3 – use them all)
  • Optimise your LinkedIn profile with SEO in mind
  • Write proper descriptions for your positions
  • Show work samples
  • Write articles
  • Add, remove, and rearrange entire sections of your profile.
  • Make use of “Saved Searches”
  • Skills – you have them – list them
  • Get testimonials
  • Languages – if you are into international business contact – you want to add multiple languages to your profile.
  • Public profile – double check how it looks

 

Company profile is following quite the same logic.

Publishing content

Use pulse and Slideshare

Pulse is like the internal article publish for LinkedIn.

Check this video if you don’t know how to do it.

But really, it is very similar to Medium or most content publishing platform.

The main issue is how to write content regularly

How to use groups

The title of this video is click-bait for sure, yet, it is a very good tutorial on how to use groups for marketing and sales on LinkedIn

So I suggest you find some time to watch it.

 

 

That’s it

I will probably update this blog post later.

Art is about creating perspective

Design is about solving problem

Art is about creating perspective

Both place the human dimension at the center of their craft

It is never about the tool or the medium per se

It is always about the experience

Imagination is the trigger

Pulling the trigger take you out of this world

Use text – images – sound – video – animation – sculpture – theatre – anything.

Take the weapon of your choice.

And shoot.

 

This is a doodle eating people

The dystopian future of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

I am a big believer that technology is neither bad nor good.

Technology is just a tool than enable our capacity to be more of what we are already.

We can use technology to solve problems.

Potentially, we can create a better society.

But it is not up to technology but how we use it.

 

Recently – Virtual Reality (VR) Augmented Reality (AR) are more and more trendy.

Everyone is super excited about where all this is going.

So, I though it might be interesting to stay real – so to speak – and explore how we could potentially fuck this up.

 

So, just to gain some perspective, here are 3 amazing short films to give you extra food for thought.

Let’s start with Virtual Reality.

 

Uncanny Valley – When Virtual Reality meet military operation

Do you like video games? Somebody’s got a job for you.

I hate to remind you that innovation is more often than not the result of a military need (Internet, computers, cryptography, planes, etc.)

Oh, and just in case you think this whole video is taking things too far, you should surely read this great article: VR-controlled Robots could save America

Strange Beasts -Augmented Reality beyond Pokemon Go

When I first watched this, I thought it was a real product – until nearly 2 min into the video.

AR became famous with Pokemon Go.

This short film gives you a bitter-sweet taste of what kind of beautiful things we could do with Advanced Reality.

 

Sight – AR meet Fruit Ninja & Tinder

Sight is not doing much than taking what we do every day and mix it with AR

Really make you think.

A different future

Just between you and me, I don’t fancy  any of these options to become our future.

But like I said earlier, technology is not the key factor.

Humans are.

Which why I believe we have to deploy our energy to upgrade humans’s internal technology – i.e – our values, our moral compass.

 

Education is the tool to upgrade humans

 

 

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WTF is Shenzhen

Ok, if you have never heard of Shenzhen, China you might want to get yourself up to date with this quick article – because really, it is getting more and more attention lately, as it has turned into a major platform of electronic hardware manufacturing of the past 15 years.

 

Located north of Hong Kong, Shenzen is the center of the supply chain hub for electronics. All of the major contract manufacturers working for Apple, HP, Microsoft and all the big guys all are there.

 

Shenzhen Electronic Market

This is probably what is the most flashy and amazing part of Shenzhen: the Huaqiangbei electronic market.

A market of spare parts which will have probably anything you could need if you wanted to build any kind of electronic device (check what how this guy has built his own iPhone from spare parts bought on the market)

Visually impressive.

(quick gallery collected by W. Oskay from Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories)

 

And if you want a guided tour – here is one made by Maker’s Muse inside the Shenzhen Electronic Market

 

Hardware Startup Land

Shenzhen is not just about factories and spare parts for geeks – but because of its rich electronics ecosystem, it has become home to a couple of startup accelerators – like HAX :

It makes sense : if you have a hardware startup – better to negotiate directly with the people that will launch your product in mass-production – and since most founders will this hard to do alone, having an infrastructure to guide you is really an attractive proposition for a startup incubator.

Shenzhen: The Silicon Valley of Hardware

This goes beyond spare parts – it is slowly turning into a major place for hardware innovation.

If you want to know more – I suggest you have a look at a piece done by Wired.

They go into making a parallel between the Silicon Valley and how it developed and how Shenzhen is now growing and the differences that comes in.

 

Even if you don’t plan to launch a hardware startup tomorrow, it is one of the places to know about.

 

 

 

 

Make your own iPhone – a crazy and fascinating experiment

Ever wonder if you can build your own phone?

Well this guy did.

Last time I checked how to make a phone myself, the only thing I could find always seemed very hard and not very practical (just have a look at this DIY Smartphone based on a rasperry-pi)

But the Strange Parts’s project is really impressive and  give plenty of hopes for a different future of DIY-phones.

While I am probably not going to that myself, it is still rather instructive and inspiring.

Hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

Make shit happen

#Make shit happen

Get out and shout your truth to the world
You might be wrong but you will never know until you get it out

Breaking news: the world will go on with or without you – so better you become an active part of it.

#Just do it

Just move on and create.
Make new things happen.
Try out.
Produce.
Experiment.

Throw things out to the world and see what sticks.

#Don’t overthink it.

There is no perfect move.
Only a long series of imperfects steps toward a better situation.

#Do the work

Your effort is the only thing you are accountable for.

#Break free

When you were a kid, you had dreams.

Don’t let them die.

We all grow older, but we don’t have to get old.

What you wanted to do is still here, waiting for you.

Second star to the right, and straight on till’ morning…

#Make shit happen

If you don’t know where to start, then just start.

Make something happen.

Draw. Write. Sing. Dance.

Build a wall. Cut a tree.

Try to achieve something.

As small as it is.

Get the momentum going.

Until you find out what it is that you do best.

Rethinking education – 3 unconventional approaches

 

Education is hard.

Creating a learning process where you transfer experience to one person to an other is not a trivial task.

Else learning would look like this:

 

But it is not.

So… until then, we have to find other ways to go about it.

Here are some interesting approaches I have stumbled upon, which are really worth having a look at:

Mike Fairclough – the badass

The guy is headmaster of the West Rise School.

He is a kind of a mix between Davy Crockett and Albus Dumbledore.

He runs a primary school in Eastbourne in the UK.

Over there, kids are learning to skin a rabbit or make a campfire or shot guns.

Better I let you watch :

So obviously, not everybody will want their kids to learn these kind of skills.

(However, I am pretty sure all kids would dream to have these kind of activities at school)

In any case, it is a good demonstration that schools can accommodate other ways to teach.

And a big part of responsibility for the change depends on the good will and the skills of teachers and the leadership of the administration.

 

Studio school – let’s get real

For everyone who ever complained schools don’t remotely provide an environnement to prepare students for work – as in “work the real world” – here is an approach that is exactly trying to do that.

The studio school brings school closer to the reality of a company by organising the entire school around projects and cross-disciplinary teams etc.

The effort was initiated by Geoff Mulgan, a couple of years ago, and it is slowly catching up – you can find Studio schools nearly all across the UK and if you have 6 min, I’d rather have you watch the video than me writing about it.

 

Mike Row – Dirty Jobs

The third guy is living in the US, and the story is a bit different because it is not about what you do in the school but what you do after school – and how much is school responsible for that – or not.

First, it is important to state that Mike Row is kind of a celebrity in the US, or at least, pretty well known, he has run 8 series of a show on the Discovery channel called “Dirty Jobs” where he does all kind of blue collar jobs. Now, if like me, you don’t live in the US – he is probably not someone you’ve heard about before.

However, whether you know him or not, doesn’t matter much – because the following 40 min is quite an interesting dig into his philosophy on learning, life and education, and not really the kind of thing that is featured on Discovery channel where they have him deal with a lot bullshit (quite literally).

 

What to take from this

First, I think we can take one thing : it is ok to do things differently – you can still do some pretty amazing things.

Second, eating shit and taking risk is a great way to learn. Especially within a safe framework like school where you can ensure no one get hurt for real along the way.

Third, if you are not mainstream, people will love you or hate you but it will take time before they will follow you, it’s just easier for them to simply judge you.

Last point, the crowd doesn’t matter, you do it for the people who benefit from your work and that is what really matter