Tag Archives: review

Book Review – Super Sad True Love Story

I aim to cover progressive approaches to business.  Reviews of fictional works don’t usually qualify.   However, a novel I just finished seems germane to my “future business” theme:  “Super Sad True Love Story” by Gary Shteyngart.

Shteyngart explores one possible future that may follow from some of our current trends.  He painfully describes in detail the distopian demise of the american society and economy.  It would not be quite so painful if it were not obvious that we have already started down many of the paths he treads.

In his future, people have become fanatically involved in their personal information devices;  to the point where face to face interaction has become somewhat awkward.  People relate to each other based on a series of public scores/rankings.  Starting to sound familiar?

In this fictional society the US is even more indebted to foreign powers who have grown impatient with our inability to handle our economic and social issues.  Everyone is so worried about their personal status and their purchasing power that they have lost all sight of what it takes to create real value and drive an economy.

Happily, I can envision some different paths for the US.  I am heartened by the new class of social entrepreneurs and the recent increased focus on education.  We have a growing set of people with good ideas and the gumption to execute.  If we can win the masses over from their sense of entitlement, innovation could usher in a new wave of prosperity.  The US has a rare combination of access to capital, resources, and tools for innovators to succeed.

My hope is that more and more people will weave innovation into their day job, ideas they have for a side business, or social projects they pursue.  Future business in this country can be even more successful than ever if the majority stop acting like cogs and begin working as engines.

Anyone else read this book? Even if you haven’t, what are your thoughts on where we are headed?


Book Review – Game Based Marketing

I have the pleasure of knowing Gabe Zickermann quite well as the leader of the NYC Fall program for the Founder Institute. I am developing a start-up right now through that incubator.  He treated us to his presentation on gamification a few weeks ago.  The idea of gamifying customer experiences is already intriguing to me, Gabe’s talk made it even more appealing.

Unfortunately, I have to say that the book version of his ideas does not hold a candle to his in-person presentation.  While I had hoped that it would provide lots more examples and even some tactical approaches to go about thinking how to gamify a specific business, it did not.  It remained a very high-level overview of the history and general concepts of gamification.  This book is a perfect example of an article being stretched too far.

I highly recommend that people think about booking Gabe as a speaker.  He is entertaining and this topic is pertinent to the Future of Business.  Gabe will help your group to think about engaging with customers in new ways.

twebevent lessons learned

twebevent_faviconFriday, August 7 was the first live trial of twebevent (read overview here) for #bizbutterflies at ISES EventWorld (archive available here).  Several lessons were learned from the experience and some of the audience provided their feedback.  The live session was simulcast via two online channels.  One through twitcam and the other through twebevent.  The audience began somewhat split between the two platforms, but it was clear early on that the twebevent chat was more active and so the twitcam audience migrated to twebevent.

Some pros and cons to each platform:

  1. twitcam allows you to broadcast your webcam.  twebevent does not CREATE a broadcast, but it can consume twitcam video streams or video streams from ANY video streaming provider (ustream.tv, Qik, just.tv, etc…).  While twebevent is more flexible/powerful, twitcam requires one less step and so is easier to broadcast
  2. twitcam shows tweets that contain the twitcam event URL.  twebevent shows tweets on the host’s desired hashtag – It seems that expert Twitter users prefer hashtag based Twitter chat
  3. Video NEXT to chat (twitcam) is preferred to video ON TOP of chat (twebevent)
  4. Hosts like the rich text space that they get on twebevent (left of video).  There is no equivalent on twitchat
  5. twebevent allows for far more characters per tweet.  This is because twitcam auto-attaches both the twitcam URL and the host Twitter handle with every tweet.  twebevent just auto-attaches the hashtag.  Note: twebevent allows audience to tweet the event URL via a “Tweet this Event” button, but it is separate from the chat.

Some lessons learned for next time

  • The best broadcasting combo might be procaster/twebevent  Like twitcam, procaster also streams for free into livestream.   But, procaster also provides the ability to merge the presenter and their slides into one video stream.  The host can grab the embed from livestream to place into twebevent
  • Important to have a static URL that one can advertise WELL ahead of the event.  Changing URL’s creates confusion
  • motion sensitive webcam, while better than a static webcam, is still not ideal.  Best to have someone manning the camera to follow the appropriate speaker.

Open items

  • Need to test twebevent with Apple/Mac computers
  • Need to check with TweetChat if they can make a narrower version so that video and chat can go side by side in twebevent
  • Would be nice to allow a preview video in twebevent that is available to play until the appointed time for the event

All in all we are extremely happy with the first trial of twebevent.  It seemed to be the platform of choice for the online audience.  We have lots of improvements in mind and we look forward to partnering with the #eventprofs community to meet as many of their needs as possible.