It’s all about execution. What is your “Brand”?

June 24th, 2014

Forbes interview with Matti Leshem. Some nice quotes worth sticking up here.

I thought Barry Diller hired me for my creativity where in fact he was interested in my ability to execute. Barry taught me everything I know about business and that your creativity is only as good as your ability to execute against it.

it’s causing people to pursue a career trying to work for themselves when they would be much happier just working for someone else.

The Protagonist credo is that brand is meaning. When you come in contact with a brand, an emotional shift takes place in the consumer and the person perceiving that brand immediately knows what it means to them. The brilliant thing about branding is it doesn’t have to mean the same thing to all people. When you see someone wearing a Nike logo or a Nike jacket, you immediately have an emotional and visceral connection of that brand because of the connection they have made on you over time. Building those connections with people is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

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Fluffy Links – Monday June 23rd 2014

June 23rd, 2014

Just FDIY. Tinder profile consultancy business. Took 3 hours to get up and running and instantly made money. Reminds me of this and this. Tinder is huge, it’s mass market but also new. The first to move in this mass market space has a serious advantage. It won’t last but having tools or services available that people need and to start offering them before Tinder builds these tools themselves or a company with a bigger marketing budget offers them, means you can make money.

Handy tool for people wanting to book your time for mentoring or meeting up for a coffee.

The IEDR have an initiative to help web businesses up their game. A good few grand worth of work is on offering. Case studies from last year. (PDF)

Cool toaster. I’d like it in my kitchen for a whole 15 minutes.

Like IFTTT (web system to automate web tasks), there’s Zapier. And on that, some IFTT recipes for market intelligence.

Bullet HQ mileage app.

Building a safe space for failure.

Ensure that some of your heroes and role models are women. Practical steps for men to help feminism. Not sure housework as the first point was a string start to this article.

Certain people don’t know they’re passive aggressive.

$249 for a 3D printer. Mass. Market. Appeal.

“Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM.” Such a great line and one that probably cost their competitors billions over time. It was quoted in the new series Halt and Catch Fire. A show about the early PC industry clone wars. It’s much much better than the awful Silicon Valley show about brogrammers, a show loved by brogrammers who don’t self-identify at all.

Halt and Catch fire

The Old Mill Pond.

RTÉ tenders: Their ad system specs, Saorview goes all IP

June 21st, 2014

Digital Ad System tender from RTÉ

From the tender doc:

RTE.ie … over 130 million monthly page impressions and 4.5 million monthly unique browsers … In 2013, RTE served over 2.5 billion display ad impressions

Each ad serving technology must allows us to create and target ads, and define inventory ad units, without the need to select between web or mobile platforms. The ad serving technology should automatically determine which creative to serve depending on the device that makes the ad call, and the targeting selected at an order line level.

1.2.3 Targeting options
Must include the following:
* Ad Units & Placements
* Custom(usingkey-values)
* Geo & GPS
* Devices
* Connection
* Frequency capping, Labels

Saorview Connected tender.

From the tender:

RTÉ is seeking to evolve the SAORVIEW platform to incorporate open internet IP connectivity, developing a DTT / open internet IP hybrid platform called SAORVIEW Connected. SAORVIEW Connected is a next generation of SAORVIEW and the intention is to offer SAORVIEW consumers with SAORVIEW Connected equipment access to online media players and linear services delivered over the top to complement the existing DTT services.

It is envisaged that SAORVIEW Connected will offer:
(i) A single user interface with a consistent design, look and feel providing access to the DTT and over the top delivered services
(ii) A backwards EPG providing easy click through access to catch-up content from media players

Every business is a failed business

June 19th, 2014

(In which the author quotes his own tweets)

Every business is a failed business if it’s not started. If it only survives a second, a day or a year, it beat the odds, that’s not failure.

See: And? FDIY.

Fluffy Links – Monday June 16th 2014

June 16th, 2014

Brunch options Cork. The definitive list.

The media covered this Employment Tribunal story as one where someone that was on Facebook all day at work couldn’t be fired. Her appeal was upheld because she didn’t have a contract at all, let alone one that told her how to behave at work and there was no social media policy and she wasn’t supplied with company disciplinary procedures. Make your staff sign fair contracts and have policies in place and follow them. Not that difficult. Shocking that a company with 35 employees was doing this.

Draw three circles.

Digital Labour conference in NY.

SWEATSHOPS, PICKET LINES, AND BARRICADES will bring together designers, labor organizers, theorists, social entrepreneurs, historians, legal scholars, independent researchers, cultural producers and perspectives from workers themselves to discuss emerging forms of mutual aid and solidarity.

FDIY. Fucking Do It Yourselves. Journalism grads set up their own paper instead of waiting for a job to come to them. You graduated a year ago and have been looking for a job since? What personal projects have you done over that time? None? Have you volunteered somewhere? No? Wow, I so want to hire you because oh how motivated you are. Set up your own data analytics company, set up your own sales techniques company, volunteer, set up your own service that helps people make up excuses. Fucking DIY. Also see: And?

A better approach for trying to get corporate sponsorship if you’re an NGO. “Because CHARITY” doesn’t cut it anymore.

Pixel art Star Trek game. Yes please.

Fuck Coderdojo and their Billie Barrie school of coding where parents want their pension to appear via pressings on a keyboard. Linus Torvalds says steady on. Seriously, you do realise you are pushing for the net decade’s call centre jobs with this attitude, right?

Jeff Bezos doesn’t say much and his measured utterances are always gold. Signal, not a lot of noise.

Marc Andreessen says a lot, a lot. Including calling Snowden a traitor. Still, some great thoughts and his software will eat the world essay is one of my favourite things ever.

The YouTube Playbook for creators and now the Kickstarter handbook.

We really are poor at budgeting even after a long recession.

Fluffy Links – Monday June 9th 2014

June 9th, 2014

The Social Media Awards happened on Thursday. They were the biggest and best yet with 600+ people packing into the Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Rick has some photos. Rick and I are still in shock 3 days later at how amazing it was. Thanks in no small part to Bord Gais Energy getting us a killer venue and putting on a killer “sock walk”.

Easy when you think about it, a lot of thought went into making this easy though. 50 Ways to Get a Job. From all the various stages in a job you might be at.

Beautiful design. Microsoft book welcoming Nokia to the fold.

Free yourself from email. Some handy tips.

Not a real live product yet but these stairs slide things look awesome.

RYOT delivers hard hitting news by hijacking another news story. Take the Kardashian/West wedding, infuse it with other world issues. It comes across as rather shitty to be honest. Let them have their vulgar wedding. Sneer. Here’s a proper? story from them.

Nice way of visually measuring jeans on a website. We really need to move away from the flat way we design retailer websites.

Weh weh, when you’re old and wrinkly your tattoos will look horrible.

Genderize. API that scans first names and figures out the gender.

Lovely photography and free to use for commercial and non-commercial uses.

Hello stories, goodbye ads. Well no, they’re still ads. They’re kind of advertorial really.

ISME 2014 Survey – Baloney from Banks and Govt on lending to SMEs

June 3rd, 2014

ISME Survey. PDF.

  • 52% of companies who applied for funding in the last three months were refused credit by their banks, a slight improvement on the 54% refusal rate, seen in the previous quarter.
  • 32% of respondents had requested additional or new bank facilities in the last 3 months, a reduction from 39% in the previous quarter and lowest demand since June 2011.
  • On average, the decision time has increased to just over 4 weeks and the wait to drawdown has increased from 3 to 5 weeks.
  • 11% of respondents who required bank finance did not apply for various reasons, a decrease from 17% in the previous quarter.
  • Of those 42% were actually discouraged by bank from making application and another 33% were afraid of a reduction in existing facilities.
  • 50% of respondents are customers of their bank for over 20 years, while 85% are over 5 years.
  • Of the 48% approved for funding, only 43% have drawn down the finance either fully or in part.
  • 46% of requests were for term loans, with 34% for overdrafts, or alterations to existing facilities, while invoice discounting/factoring accounted for 5% of requests, with 20% requesting leasing.
  • 60% of respondents had increases in bank charges imposed, while 20% have suffered increased interest.
  • Reductions in overdrafts were demanded of 23% of SMEs, down from 35% in the previous quarter.
  • 71% state that the Government is having either a negative or no impact on SME lending.
  • 74% of owner/managers are in favour of an alternative Strategic Investment Bank.
  • Only 32% of respondents are aware of the code of conduct for business lending to SMEs.

Fluffy Links – Monday May 26th 2014

May 26th, 2014

What a weekend. For Labour. What a weekend. For hypocrites and hangers-on to be punished.

Ryan Tubridy and women.

Product Hunt is like a league table of new startup ideas. All of these are real! But such bullshit bingo with their pitches.

Dark Patterns. Creepy, sneaky, shady ways websites get you to share too much of your data.

This piece on subscription TV not actually performing well has a nugget that to me is far more interesting. YouTube buys Twitch, a site where you can watch video game plays. For a billion dollars. A whole sub culture that a lot of industry types seem to have missed.

The youngins on Twitch would rather watch live videogame action. About 18 million U.S. viewers watched the final game of the 2013 World Series. But Twitch drew 32 million for the “League of Legends” world championship last fall, according to SuperData Research. Boom!

Mistakes Made. Startup-type lessons. Insightful.

New mini feature on Facebook Pages for cafés and restaurants.

Water leak reporting using social media in Brazil. Could work here too.

“A quarter of all songs on Spotify are skipped within the first five seconds” Jim on the Attention Economy.

Pick something to obsess about. It shows you have passion and it allows you to unwind outside of work. Just not My Little Pony.

A conference on email and messaging. Would love to go but U.S. only for now.

Basement Jaxx – Unicorn

And now the board of Trinity commissions their own app

May 19th, 2014

After the well received reaction to Trinity changing their logo. Oh right. It now seems that the Board of Trinity College, University of Dublin (get used to that) want an iPad app just for their board meetings. The Public Tenders site lists iPad App for Board meetings.

Informally asking and those who dabble in this area think it could cost anywhere from €15k to €25k based on how difficult the “cloud” backend will be.

From the Trinity College iPad app tender

Background & Project Overview

It is desirable for a number of reasons to move to an electronic system of organising and circulating documents for the College Board meetings and for meetings of the Executive Officer Group. Such benefits include environmental gains, financial gains and more efficient use of College resources and staff.

There are a number of ways that the organisation can securely circulate documents. Both commercial options and in-house options can result in savings versus the current processes. Best practice in other educational providers was explored and it was agreed by the Executive Officer Group (EOG) that the purchase of a hosted solution should be explored.

Reminds me of Dave Morin and the “bespoke app” he had made so he could communicate with his secretary.

I guess an app is needed because nobody has already made one. Oh. Hang. On.

But hey CLOUDCOMPUTINGAPPBUZZWORD!

Here’s one take on that new Trinity logo too from Conor Walsh.
New Trinity Logo

“Square acquired by Visa” – Will Secret, Whisper influence the news?

May 19th, 2014

Woke up this morning to this:
John Wilshire Square bought by Visa

How can you trust a system that allows any rumour, lie or planned defamation to be published? Well, American laws for one. It’s a hot startup and has millionaire backers for two. Plenty of startups that do very dodgy things are left unchecked for a while in case there’s a chance they make money and others can profit from it. Ireland would knock and attack an idea like this, bludgeon it with negativity until we kill it. The American way is to encourage success so you can come in later and try and get a cut too.

Valleywag loves Secret. And some really good information has been leaked out through the app. And crazy fun stuff too. It was a Secret post that eventually unraveled the toxic truth behind how Github operated in such an anti-woman brogrammer way.

And the Evernote acquisition rumour was so far untrue. If you read this hilarious Tumblr, most of the rumours are untrue. Yet every now and then… Something like this too would be a perfect hoax, it’s well known that Square is trying to sell itself and is failing to do that. Visa is already and investor and of course the Square founder is already well known for running Twitter. Hoaxes have to have reality as a base.

For hunting stories though, tiny bits of information, rumours that are mostly untrue but with a tiny amount of truth are things you can use to chip away at a story. A lot of investigative type stories are almost negotiations or trades. Approach a source with a little bit of information, see will they give you a tiny bit more when you offer than tiny slice of truth. Take that, move on, uncover more with that and chip away even more until eventually you have a solid foundation for a story and then are confident to approach the main sources you can use/you want for your story.

An hour after the Twitter chatter, nothing has happened to that Square piece. An hour with a rumour or bit of information is a long time in media and a very long time in tech media. But the Paltrow/Martin marriage on the rocks rumour was weeks on Whisper before the conscious uncoupling became a reality. Nieman Labs even goes through the use of apps like these for journalism. Journalism with a small j, mind. Buzzfeed has even inked a content deal with Whisper. Well it certainly won’t be old-skool media would would find that distasteful and would take two years to come to that decision too.