Continuing my exploration of humans at the confluence of technology and environment, in this segment I explore the connected human.
Spataro, Tery, (March 14, 2014), “Confluence: The Connect Human” Institute of Ethics and Emerging Technologies
We can create almost anything! Our creations should have a positive impact on human life and the planet. Before going into creative process we need to asses the pros/cons of creation and use of new technologies for the preservation of human life and the environment.
It’s a lazy and lame excuse to use that we’ll be able to fix what we destroyed. When designing a product the consideration process must include the ethical implications on human live and the planet not just the amount money the product is going to bring a corporation.
Confluence is a series I’ve been creating to explain the evolution of humans and technology, the impact these changes have on the environment.
I put forth my thoughts in Slideshare presentations so that big ideas can be expressed for everyone to understand.
February 13, 2013 Institute of Ethics & Emerging Technologies published: “The Future is Now: Humans at the Confluence of Technology and Environment”
July 21, 2013 Institute of Ethics & Emerging Technologies published: “Confluence Man with Machine”
Please join me in a discussion on the role we play in the creation of new technologies and the impact those technologies have on the environment.
Hyper over evaluation puts Facebook at a fifth of Exxon one the largest corporations in the world. Can you image being 28 and being in charge of a company that is relies on a user base that is 99 million away from being a billion users?
Let’s do a comparison: Yahoo IPO’d back in April 12, 1996, the stock opened at $24 hit a high of $43 and closed at $33. Yahoo had a market cap of $200 billion. Jerry Yang and David Filo have fairly good reputations, not a lot of negative overtones, yet some critical rumblings of the IPO and company evaluation. The difference between Yahoo and Facebook is the beginning. Yahoo paved the path for did the dirty work of building credibility of the internet and digital, did much to open the doorway for internet media companies to IPO. Facebook saw the past and understood it future.
Envision this, the Facebook IPO will be the end of the end of all IPO’s for social networks or this could be beginning for next generation of social networks expectations of IPO.
BTW Facebook today decided to increase share price range to $34 to $38 making the value of Facebook roughly $160 billion.
As we become more intoxicated by the daily hype machine over the IPO of Facebook, we look at some sobering polls. It seems 57% of people using Facebook don’t trust Facebook. Why should investors care? Looking at the potential value of $160 billion with roughly a 1 billion users, Facebook anticipates gaining in ad revenue. If FB users don’t trust the ads they won’t participate, leaving advertisers with little return on investment. But where else can FB gain in revenue maybe it’s in ap sharing revenue? Perhaps mobile ad but I seriously doubt it. BUT WAIT maybe it’s in the purchase of other media properties? And maybe the first purchase will be a traditional media company or retailer.
The simple reasons why people use Facebook: to connect to each other, as a stage, to show popularity, and to broadcast. Some recent evidence shows they are not clicking on ads, but are willing to show their “love” of a brand.
Wishful thinking on the IPO that it is a reasonable not absurd IPO, Facebook becomes the biggest market place in the world which will help small business owners, jobs will be created for everyone not just the hoodie generation, and Mark will gain some maturity. I may not believe in Mark but I will put my money on Sheryl Sandberg.
But if history continues to repeat itself and it will, we will see another Yahoo and it won’t be in my lifetime that I see Facebook reach the evaluation.
My impressions of NYTech Day 2012 left me feeling empty. I had hoped the new crop of tech entrepreneurs would see the world differently then the predecessors of the past 20 years, but history in the tech industry keeps repeating itself. Start-up “businesses” lack focus and understanding of their market and industry they are competing in. Generally speaking there was little substance to the business planning from most of the new tech start-ups on the exhibition floor.
What I had hoped to see was fresh thinking to problem solving, an understanding of the consumer or customer’s pain points and empirical evidence to support business direction. What I did find was some very clever kids with great showmanship abilities in promoting. Ninety percent of the New York Tech Day was made up of aps that a smart investment group may see an opportunity to compile into businesses that may actually have long term sustainability and a viable revenue stream. But this would take a lot energy on part of an investment group to see the wisdom in doing this. I’m left thinking, in a year from now how many of these young start-up businesses represented in NY Tech Day will around next year. I estimate that 1-10 may be around - of course that’s me being optimistic.
What was awesome at NY Tech Day. Let’s first take a look at Kate Hough’s honest review of the reality of New York Tech Day, you’ll get a sense of what it was like, and I am in agreement with almost everything she wrote.
Though there were some gems that had very little to do with tech and lot to with a clear pain point being solved and path to revenue. These businesses I think will do well:
- New York Mouth - I am a food nob this delicious new start-up is one that I can’t live without.
- ZocDoc - Wow! what a time saver though it doesn’t tell you if the doctor is taking on new patients or let you choose by gender.
- Little Borrowed Dress - Kate and I disagree on this one but I find bridesmaid dresses a burden to buy [$500+ on up) and there's no value after you wore it - this business solves this problem nicely!
I'm giving an honorable mention to Knewton - I wanted to meet them but unfortunately time ran out for me. I like the concept of personalized education.
New York Tech Day sponsors, promoters, and backers here are some lesson to learn:
- Armory is old & dreary - pick a better spot something bright shiny new
- Cramming tables end to end made it difficult to get around
- Mix it up - have the new meet the old they learn so much from us - we been around.
NY Tech Day 2012 think of this as a learning experience, for NY Tech Day 2013 there will be lots of awesomeness [remember to define awesome] and I look forward to it!
I chose to write and illustrate about the thought experiment popularly known as Schrodinger’s Cat. I’ve been interested in quantum physics since I was introduced in 1994. It wasn’t until a few years ago I started to realize why it is important to apply the Schrodinger’s Cat to life. We cheat ourselves by only looking at the surface of a thought, idea, and/or a decision. Schrodinger’s famous thought experiment teaches us there are many ways to examine, discover, uncover our own thoughts - to explain why.
The Other Side of the Box illustrates the many ways of seeing. It’s about the perception what we see and attempts to apply what we see in a fun thought provoking way — through the eyes of a cat, specifically Blake the cat.
On a personal note, I found the Schrodinger’s Cat a comfort in explaining difficult situations.
More about “The Other Side of the Box” can be found on Slideshare, YouTube and LuLu:
- The box, the cat and the story
- The Other Side of the Box on YouTube
- My book can be purchased through LuLu.
It was Kit Seeborg who turned me into a Slideshare lover! Here are my Slideshare presentations:
The Changing World of Digital - looks at digital communication from a historical perspective and identifies the way the consumer changes from passive involvement to participant.
Community During Crisis – what Governments can learn from the Boulder Community’s usage of Social Media during the Boulder Fire.
Digital Experiences and Shopping - a look at the why we buy using digital and the effect digital has on the in-store shopping experience.
Digital Strategy - describes approaches to digital strategy to determine brand innovation, communication or promotion directions for using digital.
Age is a target for job discrimination among the new industries. But what some smart businesses are realizing is that age has it’s benefits to new generation of young workers. Young workers that are ambitious, smart but need help focusing.
Business leaders must realize the importance in the knowledge the seasoned professional has, how seasoned professional changes and adapts their knowledge to fit the trends. Equally important for helping younger professionals who don’t have the experience, perspective, wisdom and knowledge by leading, mentoring, cultivating, and educating them. As senior person in this very nascent industry [digital], my ambition is to motivate new talent to become the next generation of leaders, so that next generation of products/services/experiences are not narrowly focused, lacking perceptive and consideration of users. Users = profit.
Age should be a factor - in that factor the consideration of maturity, wisdom, experience, and perspective, which all have an impact on business and marketing strategy, client services, customers, production, creativity, and return on investment.
The following are resources that will help in your exploration of Digital Marketing research. These resources include tools for web site, search, social media and mobile devices. Take some time to examine each one of these resources and put them to good use.
How to Use Internet Market Research Tools, by Inc. Staff
Types of available digital research tools:
Web site usage and traffic analytics
Search tool for analyzing search trends:
Google Trends http://www.google.com/trends
Social Media monitoring tools:
YouTube Insights for Audience: http://www.google.com/videotargeting/ifa/buildQuery
Mobile and digital devices analytics:
Other Helpful Sources:
Pew Internet and American Life Project http://pewinternet.org/
Marketing Charts http://www.marketingcharts.com/
DigitalBuzz Blog http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com
Research Brief from the Center of Media Research
Tools for Online Focus Groups & Surveys:
Ask Your Target Market
Survey Gizmo Facebook App
Survey Gizmo Using Facebook to Get Targeted Respondents
This great resource is from Dita Dau, Regis University.
Social Media/ Network Marketing
• http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com (The 5 Pillars of a Social Media
• http://ping.fm – free service that allows you to track and update
multiple social networking sites simultaneously (i.e., posting a
status to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all at the same time)
• www.mixergy.com Interviews with many cutting edge people in the tech
and biz world.
Best Practices for Writing Content for SEO
Social Networking for B2B
– Article about which B2B social networking sites get the most click-
through website visitors and which of their website links are visited
from which social media venues.
• www.picnik.com - free source for editing photos – very easy & fast.
• http://hootsuite.com/dashboard — a place to manage all your social
media, but especially improves on the basic Twitter dashboard
• http://www.screentweet.com/ - shares videos, pictures, screen shots,
and images on Twitter
• http://www.tweetdeck.com/ - Another Twitter dashboard to manage all
your social media- Twitter, Facebook, Linkin, Foursquare, and others.
• www.facebook.com/username - Once you have 25 fan page “likes” you
can change your vanity code. Need to login first in order to activate.
YouTube – Viral Marketing
• Social Media Revolution http://youtu.be/sIFYPQjYhv8
RSS Feeds – Content
• Google Reader: http://www.google.com/intl/en/googlereader/tour.html
• http://netvibes.com – Another rss reader, similar to google reader,
that allows you to change your theme or personalize your reading
– Article about blogging rather than rss feed, but still helpful in
Interactive web design, art / design side of the business, look and
feel, usability architecture, site mapping, layout structure, color
schemes, and common trends in user behavior and navigation
• http://www.gimp.org/ - Free image editing software
• http://www.mobileawesomeness.com/ - Cool Mobile Sites
• F-Shaped Pattern For Reading Web Content:
• http://www.bigbangtemplates.com – free source for
• http://www.getfirebug.com - One of the most popular and most
popular web development tool. Checks speed and suggests tweaks for web
• http://www.wordpress.com – One of the best web design tools online.
You can change the look of the page and download various plugins.
• http://blog.atlas-advertising.com/?p=1214 – Article about 10 vital
principles for web design
• http://www.poynterextra.org/eyetrack2004/index.htm - All about Eye
• http://www.alistapart.com/ - explores the design, development, and
meaning of web content, with a special focus on web standards and best
• http://960.gs/ - Grid System templates in Fireworks, Flash,
InDesign, GIMP, Inkscape, Illustrator, OmniGraffle, Photoshop, Visio,
Exp. Design to help streamline web development and layout workflow.
• http://www.uxbooth.com/ - great resource of articles on usability,
user experience, and interaction design.
• www.mikogo.com FREE version of software like “GoToMeeting” makes it
easy to help customers complete forms or use other complicated parts
• www.vchecksolutions.com Software allows clients to send a check to
your business online, without having to handwrite and mail
• Absolute Beginners Guide to Joomla! http://docs.joomla.org/Beginners
• www.Sites.google.com — $10/year for a basic, no-frills website.
Free for a website with URL like http://sites.google.com/YourURLhere
• Basic HTML: http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp
• Basic SQL: http://www.w3schools.com/sql/default.asp
• www.drupal.org – freeware web design software, very highly used
• www.Shopify.com – is a quick and easy way to turn your website into
a usable store for people to purchase things and includes a mobile
technology… if you want to sell a product, go here
Creating an XML sitemap
Pay Per Click
• Parallel Path – PPC/SEO consultants in Boulder – http://www.parallelpath.com
Ad Networks and Ad Servers
• Double Click - http://adwords.google.com - The world’s top
marketers, publishers and agencies utilize DoubleClick’s expertise in
ad serving, rich media, video, search and affiliate marketing to help
them make the most of the digital medium.
Online Start-up Resources
• http://startuprockstars.com - provides entrepreneurial organizations
the vehicle to hone their presentation and pitching of their product
or service, including events to allow sharing & networking within the
• What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis – how to think like the most
successful internet company
• Waiting For Your Cat to Bark by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg – how
marketing is different now
• Permission Marketing by Seth Godin – getting permission to send your
• Seth’s Blog http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/ — the blog of
the aforementioned author
• Trada http://trada.com/blog/ — Pay-Per-Click experts
• The Outsourcing Company- http://www.theoutsourcingcompany.com/ –
Social media marketing
• Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff – social media 101 and
how to make useful
• The Four Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss – outsourcing your life
(includes web design, seo, etc)
Selling Ad Space
• http://www.workz.com/content/view_content.html?section_id=515 – info
on selling ad space on your website directly
• http://www.google.com/services/adsense_tour/index.html — Google
AdSense, for selling ads on your site
My Twitter update the other day read, “I really am the professor with so much to learn about my students.” My students happen to be in the classes I teach at Regis University, those that report me in businesses I work for, and those that I advise about their business start-ups. My students are from various demographic backgrounds. Of my students it’s the new entrepreneurs that are the most fascinating to me.
Over the past 15 plus years, I’ve been advisor to some of the best talent in the digital industry. The enthusiasm my students bring is at times inspirational and exhausting. The exhausting part is trying to teach these talented people about management and ethics.
This new breed of entrepreneurs bring the hope of exciting new businesses, products and in some cases industries. But most are inexperienced in management and lacking in formal business acumen. Some even dropped out of college and never even held a corporate job. Lately some of the questions I get asked from this new breed of entrepreneurs leads me to believe there needs to be a handbook on leadership for them.
Businesses are not just about the products produced and services supplied; business is about the employees (resources) that help you attain your objectives and promise of profitability. The relationships you cultivate with your employees can best be seen by the work environment you as a leader create. A good relationship with your employees can help in achieving optimum business results.
The question always posed, “are leaders born or made?” My answer some leaders are born but great leaders are made and trained. Leadership should be an important course that undergrads and graduate students should be required to take when studying business. Some higher educational institutions offer such courses. This is a great if you are attending school but what if you opt out? How do you achieve business success without understanding the basics of employee management?
Here is some very helpful advice on shaping yourself as leader – it’s about being the best leader for your business, employees, partners and investors.
In undergrad I took, “Modern Political Theory”, taught by Philip Zampini, PhD, at Albertus Magnus College. Before doing my MBA at Regis University this course was the closest course on leadership I took. Political philosophy may not be the best way to understand business management but it certainly taught me some important lessons about the human condition and leadership.
For instance Machiavelli wrote in Book III, Chapter XXIX, “Let not princes complain of the faults committed by the people subjected to their authority, for they result entirely from their own negligence or bad example”. The lesson for leaders is simple take responsibility for your actions there can be unintended consequences otherwise. The rule of “do as I say and not as do” is unacceptable and an outdated form of management. Employees learn by example, and as a leader you are setting that example. If you want the best leader for your employees set the right example for you employees to follow. Follow the “Golden Rule”. If don’t know what this is you can get a quick education from Harry J. Gensler, S.J.
I also learned a few things from reading Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”. Sun Tze may not apply to modern business but some theories have valid application in today’s business world if thought through clearly. Such as, “Keep your friends/family close but your enemies closer”, I interpret this as watch your competition then buy them and consolidate.
But, it was Max DuPree, CEO of Herman Miller, offered me a thoughtful and empathic look at leadership in his “Leadership is an Art”.
Simple guiding principles:
- Always take responsibility for your actions - pointing the finger at your employees only means you have no control.
- Being honest creates less stress and doubt in the minds of your employees.
- Be confident but not overly exuberant. Facts can always be traced.
- The good for one employee, is not necessarily the good for all.
- Divide and conquer never works in business.
- Management by chaos only creates confusion and slows productivity.
- Transparency is important especially in a start-up.
- Be as strategic with hiring your resources as you are with your business strategy.
- Employees work for you – they are not maids, servants, friends, relatives, lovers
- Practicality and logic have its place in leadership so does empathy.
- Leadership isn’t showmanship – leadership provides business story, definitions, clarity, creates the team environment, but it’s not a three ring circus.
- Find a mentor/advisor that’s a good business person someone you trust and admire and has a successful track record in running businesses, managing employees, and failing.
- Teach your employees to manage you.
- Management by objective, as Peter Drucker advises keeps your employees focused on the strategic objectives.
- Dr. Smith, a character from Lost in Space would say, “Yours is not to question why yours to do as I say or die” not a good way to go! Employees who ask question are the most valuable employees of all.
Over the past several years there has been so much unethical behavior in business that it would be refreshing to see the new breed entrepreneurs adopt ethical practices to reflect a new breed of business leaders.
I believe ethics are an important part of a successful business. When you take a course of action that serves your employees, shareholders and customers from an ethical perspective you have a greater chance of succeeding for long term. Most of my ethical training was received from Regis University’s MBA program. Each business course had ethical considerations applied to it.