What gets me horny

I’m horny about a lot of things these days. Because of this, I thought I would put together a list and share it with you. I don’t know what makes you horny, but maybe this will motivate you to start thinking about it.

  1. Family: Family is first in my book. I’m trying to invest in my family, spend time, appreciate one another, and ultimately have a fun together.
  2. Quality Friendships: I have a few people who I try to pour into and I feel like in return they are pouring right back into me. You can’t pour into everyone, so pick a few good friends and build each other up.
  3. Exploring new things: I don’t care what it is, I want to explore it: canoe trip, hiking, marathons, smoking cigars…bring it on andlet’s try it out.
  4. Motivating people to do shit with their lives, take risks and live a little. I feel like this has always kind of been my thing, but today, more than ever you will hear me talking about this.
  5. Co-founder and entrepreneurial relationships: I can’t be more thankful for all my co-founders, equity partners, and people involved in my deals. For the last few years, I’ve been intentional about seeking out entrepreneurs who can see eye to eye beyond just, let’s make some money. We appreciate family, we take risks, we seek new experiences, and above all else, we are friends and there for one another.
  6. Startup communities: Now being involved with Startup America Partnership for almost a year, I am having the time of my life – It’s so cool to see all the different startup communities evolve and grow.
  7. Venture Capital: I’m talking with a few folks now about putting together a fund. I am no experienced VC, but I can put a team together that knows their shit. This is what I’m looking at right now – putting together a stellar team that can invest in startups and entrepreneurs that want to have fun, disrupt, and make some money along the way.
  8. Game changing startups: If you’re trying to do the same shit as someone else, I don’t care. If you think you got something cool and different, this gets me excited. Why put a ton a time into something that is the same as the next guys stuff?
  9. Accelerators: I think accelerators rock. I’m not involved in one myself, nor have I been involved in one. However, I sit back, watch, listen, and appreciate all the work that accelerators are doing. We need more of them. The best part about accelerators are the mentors and the community that forms.
  10. Crowd funding: I am a co-founder of a startup called Fundmypark. We are the Kickstarter for all things parks and recreation. Were already seeing some good success with this project. Beyond this, I’m just interested in all the crowdfunding activity going down.
  11. Branded entertainment: I’ve watched more and more young people change their content consuming behavior and this gets me horny. Hence the reason I’m a part of a new deal being put together in Hollywood to enter this space. We are still trying to figure stuff out, but we are close.
  12. Digital content and entertainment: The smartest thing people can do with content today is build in the brands. No, not product placement. I’m talking about unique branded integration that tells a story. Look at Nike, Redbull, and others – they get it.
  13. New retail and restaurant plays: I enjoy seeing people disrupt this industry. I see people tying mobile into the experience. I also have seen good uses of social. It’s all interesting to me. Just watch as more and more entrepreneurs come up with unique ways to mod this industry and integrate new forms of tech.
  14. Social Media: All forms, all uses, case studies, you name it, I’m following it and paying attention. It’s also important because if you’re not building social into everything you do today…you are an idiot.
  15. Social Commerce: Lots of people are toying with this (This includes me) and I think it’s awesome. Do I think this space is early still? Yes. Do I see it evolving and eventually becoming a very important part of our lives? Yes.
  16. Mobile: First off, I have two mobile startups I’m in right now. So, this means I’m paying attention to facts, statistics, apps, use cases…..I’m on top of it all.
  17. Fashion/Lifestyle apparel: I’m an advisor to a brand called Citizenshirt. We are gearing up right now to do some pretty grass roots, authentic projects. Watch us build this into a mainstream brand.
  18. Social Responsibility: If you’re not on top of this, don’t plan on being in business long – this is on top of the millennia’s priority list.
  19. Action sports: I’ve always been and always will love action sports – it’s in my blood.
  20. Any good example of strategy: social, analytical, marketing, management, etc.
  21. Furniture: I have a furniture startup that I’m in. The company is called Think Tables. Yes, we are starting out with writable tables, but we have big plans….stay tuned.
  22. Embedded software: Software is being embedded into everything. 5-10 years from now, it will be hard to find anything without tech embedded into it.
  23. Hardware companies: Hardware is something I’m looking at pretty hard. There are lots of startups and entrepreneurs out there today building hardware products. This excites me. I don’t know what I will do about it, but it will be something – I will ride this wave.
  24. Personal branding: With all that I do, it needs to come back and support my personal brand. What is my personal brand? Motivating startups and entrepreneurs to make stuff and things happen. If it doesn’t fit with my personal brand or the projects I’m involved with, I don’t do it.

———

How about you? 

What gets you horny today?

 

NIKE: Greatness is not beyond your reach

I’m super impressed with Nike and their ability to reach pretty much everyone – out of all the brands out there, they get it. Watch this video and try to disagree with me.

They recently released this honest and brave statement and call to action under their #findyourgreatness campaign – It features a 12 year old Nathan from London OH. He’s overweight, but still getting after it and it’s down right moving and motivating.

And the thing that impresses me is how they’ve gone from serving a narrow athletic market to serving pretty much everyone: athletes, action sports, males, females, and even overweight 12 year olds.

Personally, I’d love to see Nike stick with Nathan and follow him in his journey to losing weight. Who knows, maybe they will.

———-

What do you think?

 

Find and Connect with Influential Twitter Users in New Markets

You want to find and connect with influential twitter users in different markets or communities? Whether you are a startup or an established company, here are a few tips to get you started:

Photo Courtesy Of: Web Designer Depot

Use a tool called wefollow.com 

Wefollow.com searches twitter for specific tags, cities, etc and returns a list of users who are the most influential, and who have the most followers. It’s a great tool especially if you’re a company trying to enter new markets and you want to reach the key influencers.

Follow Their Blog

You can’t just spam people on twitter or they will pretty much tell you to F-off. You have to follow their blog, read their stuff, and do more than just expect that they are going to open up their network to you. Remember, it’s about building relationships…and it takes time.

Many people on twitter are also bloggers. Follow their blog, comment, and interact with them. It’s also good to retweet their posts – the ones you think add value to your following and be sure to include their twitter handle in the tweet so they see you’re interested in their content.

Connect With Them On Other Networks

Not only are these users on twitter, but they’re also on networks like Linkedin, twitter, Facebook and others. Don’t think that these users just sit around tweeting all day, they are typically successful entrepreneurs, executives, or leaders in their field. Don’t be too aggressive, but nicely reach out and see if you can’t help one another out.

Answer Their Questions

Twitter and social media are about engagement. People are there to engage, start conversations and build relationships. Take some time to monitor the influential users you are targeting and see what they have to say. Try to jump in and see if you can’t make some conversation. And, be real. If you’re fake, people will call you out.

Show Appreciation

Thank people for the work that they do. Appreciate them. You would be surprised at how hard some of these people work to build and sustain their networks. If you want to connect with them, I would first research the user and learn their story: see where they came from, what they working on today, and what they’re goals and passions are. The time you take to do this will show.

———-

What are your thoughts on Finding Influential Twitter users? 

What other tips would you suggest?

 

Instagram Printing Device

If you’re anything like me ( Lets not forget Facebook of course too) and you love Instagram then you’re going to be pumped about this one. The people over at Breakfast – a physical-digital interactive agency (As they refer to themselves) are working on a new Instagram printing device that they hope to bring to market by late summer. It looks pretty rad!

What is the device? It is a small box that they call Instaprint that prints out Instagram photos at events while they are posted. It has embedded technology that can find photos using the event’s hashtag, includes likes and comments when it prints, and uploads the collection to a website for browsing later.

I am sure it’s in the works, but it would be cool if the website allowed you search for photos of you, purchase, and have them sent to you in the mail – everyone loves physical photos of themselves.

Is this something you would like to have at your next event? I do. Then lets help them out. Breakfast is raising funds and gauging interest — on Kickstarter. They hope that, with everyone’s help they can get the price down to $399 – something that more people could afford.

If the funding goes through and they start shipping late summer, each device will be powered by a mini Linux computer, easy to set up through wireless internet and be inkless – the ink comes from the actual paper.

———-

What do you think of this new printer? Do you want one?

 

FACE TO FACE

As human beings, we are wired toward interacting (in person) and learning from one another, an easy thing to forget these days now that we have technology that can do pretty much everything we need.

Think about it, we have skype, screen share, social networking: linkedin, twitter, facebook, email, iPhone apps, facetime, virtual assistant, you name it it’s been created or it’s in the process of being created.

In spite of all great technology, things get done face to face. Technology may empower us to get more done faster, but the rubber meets the road when people get together and hash things out in person.

You can probably tell, I am a huge advocate of in person interaction regardless of how unproductive it sometimes seems to be. People can say and think what they want, but people have evolved over many, many years to be efficient at working with, arguing, and talking over ideas and pursuits with people, face to face. Without these face to face meetings would we be where we are at today? Absolutely not.

I love social networking tools and remote technology, but they are nowhere near as efficient as meeting up in person and jamming it out.

So the next time you have the opportunity to meet in person over skype or some other tool, grab your stuff and head out the door. You will be surprised with how much more you can accomplish.

Also, as a reminder add an action step to your calendar each week that says, “Talk and interact with humans in person”.

 

SOCIAL TRENDS FOR 2012

Every year, people predict trends in social media for the upcoming year. Some people are dead on while others…let’s just say they don’t have a clue – not that I do either, really!

This year, I decided that I would take a stab at it and throw in my two cents – this is after spending about 2 hours a day for the last couple of years reading about social media.

So what do I got for you? Here are my top 7:

Collective Intelligence. Watch as more and more people realize that they are not near as smart as a large group of people on social media and they can be leveraged to solve business problems, think up innovation, and get more done…faster.

Crowdfunding. With entrepreneurship on the rise and more and more people trying to start companies and innovate, they need access to capital. You have already seen what Kickstarter‘s been able to do to fund cool projects and initiatives. Also, maybe you’ve seen the crowdsourcing platform called Quirky that lets the best product ideas rise to the top and then helps them get produced and sold while the “inventor” takes a cut. This will not stop here, brilliant people are already working on new ways to leverage the crowd and gain funding for great projects.

Social will further integrate with real world experiences. Think of Coca cola and what they did in 2010. They created an amusement park where participants could swipe their RFID wristbands at Kiosks, which then posted to their Facebook account – it said what they were doing and where. This will continue to grow with companies building fully integrated online and offline experiences that will continue to define social.

Social Influence is on the rise. Companies will continue to build reward systems for those who produce quality content and have the greatest social influence. One of the companies playing in this space is Klout and now a new company called Wahooly who allows you to invest in startup companies based around your influence. It will be cool to see all the creative ways people start to be rewarded for their social influence. For 2012, the influence will become less and less about consumer plays like Klout and more about the tools and techniques used to score digital influence and actually harness, scale and measure the results of it.

Game on baby. I’m not talking about video games, rather game-like qualities within a number of social apps that reside either in your browser or mobile device. You will see levels, leaderboards, badges (Ford is already jumping into this arena), points, rewards, and everything in between that are tied to participation and competition.

Social Media Sharing. People will continue to share everything and as people become more and more comfortable sharing, you will see them sharing everything; Ideas, opinions, media, status updates, etc. Companies and brands will further integrate sharing buttons in and around their content and the love will spread. Also, watch as social sharing is more closely aligned with e-commerce or web transactions.

TV Gets more and more social. TV is about to become more and more social in which every show will be tied to social media interaction. Watch as people will be able to tweet in, ask questions, vote, etc, making the overall TV watching experience much more engaged. Parts of this have already been integrated on a few shows like the X Factor and the Charlie Sheen Roast. Something else that is cool is a network called Get Glue. Get Glue allows people to check-in to their favorite shows, collect stickers, and tell the world what programs they care about.

This is what I have for you this morning. I’m sure there are more emerging trends that we will see – social media seems to change by the second.

——-

What social trends do you see for 2012? Go. 

 

SOCIAL BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION

Are you transforming your business into a social business? It starts from the inside out. You have to take a look at everything from leadership, operations, communications, collaboration, culture, training, etc. It’s not an easy task, it takes on widespread change to evolve into a social business.

Old mindsets and methods are gone – they are out of date and it’s time to take on a full culture shift. The question: are you ready?

If you are, here are a few ways to get started: 

1. Mobilize: Mobilize an experienced team (Awesome if it is diverse) that can research, design, implement, and manage a social media plan that has vision.

2. Understand: Research and analyze all the elements needed for the effort to work.

3. Design: Generate and test viable social business options and select best option as a team. Remember, you have to get the vision right and be relevant to your audience and their emotional needs.

4. Implement: After you’ve mobilized the team, understood the elements, and designed the model, go to town and implement that thing. Also, make sure that your colleagues are on board with your conquest or everything could fail.

5. Manage: Manage specific metrics that benefit the whole organization. Prove to everyone in the company that by being a social business everyone wins.

Now it’s up to you, you can decide to transform your organization or you can decide to be run over by the companies that do decide to transform.

———

What’s it going to be?

 

STOP WAITING FOR A RAISE: 10 TIPS TO GET YOU STARTED ON YOUR OWN

Sitting at home on the couch complaining about your worthless job? Is it time to step out on your own? I took the time to put together 10 tips to get you started.

1. Create a business model canvas: Research, design, and build one if you want your idea to work. Having a business model is one of the fundamental building blocks of any start-up and necessary to protect your idea, invention and proprietary information.

2. Know Your Market like the back of your hand: Who does your product appeal to and are they willing to buy? Do you appeal to several different customer segments in the market? Are you solving any major problems?

3. You need an idea – What is the idea?:  Have a well designed plan that is executable. It is okay to think big (I prefer you think big), but how are you going to get there, one step at a time?

4. Research and list all Competitors and competitive advantages (Be honest with yourself too): Taking the time to do a competitive assessment can take time, however the time spent here will be well worth it – this is vital to your success. Also, while looking at your competitors define where you sit and how you are going to be different.

5. Financing and budgeting is critical: You need to know what you personally have to spend (Without hurting you and your family), how much you need, where are you going to locate the capital, and how is your idea going to scale – this means revenue streams and a smart business model.

6. Have an exit strategy in mind: Are you planning to sell your company and move onto the next thing? Are you going to pass it on to your kids? Or are you going to try and position your company for an IPO? Think about it.

7. Pick a course and run with it:  Picking a course is always better than swimming around in a circle like an idiot.

8. Protect Yourself before you wreck yourself: How are you going to protect your idea, invention and your proprietary information. Can your idea or product benefit from a patent? If you have the right projection, it can give you an edge in the marketplace.

9. Process makes perfection:  A company without the systems in place to fulfill what it’s selling or producing is preparing itself for a fall – believe me I’ve been there.

10. How is your company structured?:  Think about whether you want to be a shared corporation or a limited liability company. Also, think about where your company is going to operate and where you want to incorporate. What are your future plans for the company?  How do you intend to raise capital?  What is the exit strategy?

Now have fun and get after it. What are you waiting for….a raise? You could be waiting forever.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA: IT’S NATURAL TO SCREW UP

What social media mistakes are you making? I’ve made a ton by the way – it’s natural to screw up, we all make mistakes.

We all know social media is an effective marketing strategy but if done incorrectly can end up damaging your business’s reputation and chances for success – you don’t want that.

After at least a couple of years now working with companies, startups, and people on their social media strategy, I’ve put together a list of common mistakes.

Here are the common mistakes that companies make:

1. No plan, plan to fail.

Everything needs to begin with some strategic planning. Take the time to mobilize a diverse team within your company to discuss goals, resources, and anything else necessary to execute. Building a plan is a great way to create a foundation for which everything else is structured.

Once your team is mobilized, here are some questions to get you started:

  1. Do we know are primary and secondary audiences?
  2. Do we have a plan for how to communicate with them?
  3. Do we understand how our social media strategy ties to our business strategy?
  4. Is our social media strategy embraced by everyone in the company?
  5. How does our social strategy tie into our marketing plan?
  6. Who is going to staff the efforts? Are they trained?
  7. How will we measure success beyond likes and followers?

2. Bad timing

Timing is always an issue. Take the time to understand where your customers are, which time zones they are in, and when your sweet spot is. Don’t mess up by assuming you know when your customers are spending time online – do your research and know for sure.

3. Have some Manners

People are horrible with manners and this applies in the social world as well. Don’t be rude, be nice and follow some simple rules.

  1. Start conversations by asking questions.
  2. Don’t follow someone on Twitter, and then unfollow them when the follow you. Only follow people you want to be connected to or you appreciate.
  3. Don’t be selfish. Promote other people as well as your own brand. For every personal social media mention you should mention another person or business five times.
  4. Put some focus to your world or you wont be adding value at all. Try to focus on four or fewer networks at a time.

4. Measure your success

Yeah, it’s hard to measure something like a conversation. However, you can measure things like total community size, the number of mentions of your brand across all channels, and the traffic referred to your website. Don’t be lazy and just track the number of likes and followers…unless you ultimately want to fail.

5. Competitive Benchmarking

It’s important to know who your competitors are, what they’re doing, and how you can one up them.

To keep an eye on your competitors you should be doing the following:

  1. Keep a close watch of their website
  2. Like their page
  3. Follow them on twitter
  4. Sign-up for Google Alerts for their brand
  5. Sign up for their newsletter
  6. Anything else you can think of

It’s just as important to see what their fans and followers are saying and use those reactions to adjust and improve your strategy.

If you have a well designed social media strategy, and avoid the above mistakes, you will be rewarded with more social media love than you can bear.

Do it right and get to it.

————

What about you?

What mistakes are you making?

 

 

BEGINNERS GUIDE TO SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

Are you confused with SEO and how to optimize your website?

Do you sit around wondering how to get your site to the top of Google?

How about being clueless with how you made it into the top 20 search results on Google but not even the top 100 on Bing?

You’re in luck, SEOmoz’s has taken the time to develop the “Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (SEO)” which provides an in-depth tutorial on how search engines work and fundamental tactics and strategies for making your website search-engine friendly and optimized.

SEOmoz put the free guide together to give people insight into the magic of “being found” on search engines – something not to many people really understand. The simple, easy to read 10 chapter guide offers an intro into how search engines operate, how people interact with them and why one should optimize their website. Also, there are 4 chapters on search-engine–friendly design and keyword research and on how usability, experience and content affect both ranking and link popularity – it’s truly amazing!

The last 3 chapters give you advice on useful SEO tools and services, some myths and misconceptions about search engines and info on how to measure and track your success in optimization.

If you were wondering, and you want the truth, you don’t necessarily need to hire an agency or an SEO professional (Maybe a coach) to move you up to the top 20 search results: honestly, a couple of hours’ time, a good coach, and a little hard work will do it!

———–

What are your tricks?