The latest is from Reuters reporting on a study from ACNielsen, which found “Work-life balance tops global New Year wish list.”
Also a story in a recent issue of BusinessWeek talks about how Best Buy is breaking the conventional thinking of the corporate 9 to 5 world – one where people need to put in “face time” and where the person who stays the longest at the office wins. The fact of the matter is that hardly anyone works from just 9 – 5. Technologies like mobile phones, BlackBerries and the wireless Internet have extended the work day well before 9am and way past 5pm. Some people look at these technologies as a bad thing... but we (three-forty) believe used properly... they enable us to be not only more productive but more importantly they free us from the florescent lit, four walls that we sit in.
They give us the ability to avoid rush hour or they let us take a break from work to go for a mountain bike ride during the middle of the day. I am not saying that these mobile technologies give us a the chance to slack off (the article talks about this a bit too) but it allows us to be more available to the client without being tied to the desk. Yes – the office gives a chance to collaborate and focus on work and that’s why we have one but your desk shouldn’t prevent you from having a life. There will be work that needs to be done by 8am or more work to be finished after 8pm but with the right mix of company culture, ethics and mobile technologies – it is possible to stretch more out of life.
It's been a while since I even thought about phishing scams. But, today I got an email from Bank of America asking me to update my account. Luckily, I am not so naive to think that they really need me to do this and would actually email this to a whole list of "undisclosed recipients."
While the note looks somewhat legit, it is the next page that is pretty amazing. Here is the note:
As measures mesures of ensuring a safer and more secure Banking
environment,We have re-structured our Banking servers .
Hence, we have decided to put an extra verification process to ensure your identity and account information is protected.
Please click on continue, to the verification process and ensure your Account information is entered correctly to get verified.
It is all about your security.
My favorite line of course, "It is all about your security." It then sends you to a page where you'd have to fill out your information, including social security number, mother's maiden name, account information, etc.
I an not sure if I am more informed on these scams because I've worked with VeriSign or other anti-spam or anti-phishing vendors, but they still scare me. I worry that my parents or grandparents may fall victim to this. So be warned! Any incoming email that wants your private information Don't give it out.
I agree with *most* of his points and I would also add that entrepreneurs these days don’t want to become a legend of a tech bubble. The entrepreneurs we are working with truly believe they have a company that will be around for the long haul – boom or not.
The idea that the web has become increasingly democratized (ahem, YOU are Time’s Person of the Year), many more opportunities will open up. Not just in content creation, but how we receive the content we want, what device, from who, when and how we can use it to help our everyday lives. Quittner also points out that many people believe that tech booms go in four year cycles. I hope that we are just on the cusp of innovation and that three years from now we’ll be looking back realizing that the YouTube’s of the world were just scratching the surface.
I think I will start working on my memo.
When I think back about making the jump last fall, I realize that it wasn’t such a big one. The idea around three-forty had been percolating for a while. Both Rick and I had been talking about getting up and running, what would it take, what kind of clients we’d want to work with, what kind of company we’d want to build, etc. We decided last fall was the right time for several reasons:
-the market was heating up
-there were some REALLY interesting start-ups seeking PR
-the result of the market heating up meant that some of the best PR firms to work with start-ups had gotten really expensive for start-ups
-the world of traditional media and PR was changing and we could adapt quickly
So on November 1st, I made the jump, knowing Rick would be doing the same shortly.
Over the past year, we’ve had the honor and privilege to work with some great people and clients. We are still working with the clients that we opened our doors with – Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), meebo and Brondell. (When Rick joined, we expaned our roster with scanR and Orative) We’ve expanded our client roster to include some pretty interesting projects with Broadcom and MTI Micro. We’ve also been able to work with some of the most innovative companies in Valley. We are very grateful that we get to work with such smart, fun and genuinely good people.
In addition to having great clients, we are also lucky that we’ve found great people to work with. Since the beginning we’ve had some great contractors and in August, Michaela Wilkinson joined our team.
Another exciting milestone for three-forty was the office move. We recently moved out of the home office space, to Jackson Square. We found a great space in this neighborhood. Everyday since the move you can hear one of us say, “It’s so great to be so close to… (insert a great restaurant, place to run an errand, etc.)”
The past year has taught us a lot about who we are, what we want to be and a lot of what we don’t want to be. We like that our culture is about getting our clients good results and not about facetime in the office. We like that we can have dinner with our families or friends and that we find time to balance our hobbies – running, cooking, surfing, etc. We like that we enjoy going to work.
So, now that the first year is under our belt, we need to focus on the next phase of three-forty. First and foremost is growing our team. If you are interested in joining an agency that loves its clients, has fun and lets you have a life too, email or call us. hr at three-forty dot com (415) 367-4048.
And to everyone that has helped us through our first year, a sincere thank-you.
From Erika Brown's "The Thin Green Line" story
Last month, an executive at a cellular technology startup in Israel was called up for duty by the Israeli Reserve Army to defend the country against attacks from Hezbollah. He headed north to the border between Israel and Lebanon, also known as "The Thin Blue Line," where bombs and bullets were flying from both sides. Determined to not let the war get in the way of his business, he worked on a complex technology deal with a European equipment maker via his BlackBerry from the inside of a tank. (The soldier-slash-entrepreneur asked not to be identified because he feared his client would be angry to learn he was in battle.)
The Journal reports that big media companies are buying up some college newspapers.
The article goes on to talk about how these newspapers are bucking the trend and are having success in their markets. So... this begs the questions will Dean Wormer be a buzz kill.
How often do we say things that we don’t mean when we’re not in the ‘right mind set.’ As a public figure, saying something ‘you don’t mean’ whether you're under the influence or not could cause you your career (umm Mel)—or at least a huge bludgeoning to your public image.
Can someone say or do something beyond the help of publicists? What can a public relations professional do to counter an explicit comment made toward another race, sex, religion, etc.?
Whether someone is under the influence or not, these remarks are damaging and most likely will drag that person’s reputation through the gutter a few times, and then straight down the drain.
How long does it take the public to forgive, or will they? Here are some recent examples of some high-profile public mishaps, both sober and under the influence:
-Brandon Davis and his bashing of Lindsay Lohan
-Afformentioned Mel Gibson and his tirade after his drunk and driving arrest
-Cristal Champagne’s owner and his remarks in an Economist article to which Jay-Z (rap star) took offense
-Google and CEO Eric Schmidt's PR blunder
Question here—are we, as a public bloodthirsty for these types of stories? What can one do to reverse such a downward spiral of events? Does the public really care—or is it the media who just wants to keep stirring the pot—and will it last?
Congrats to meebo – a client of ours, who announced a pretty cool release today. This is pretty significant for meebo as well as the IM world… meebo now enables you, me or anyone with a web page, a social networking page, a commerce page, etc. to put meebo into that page and engage in real-time, no-software required IM. Also, for the page owners, you can now track who is visiting your site. You can get it here: http://www.meebome.com/. Happy meebo me-ing. :)
I find this very interesting. I hear from a lot of VCs that the early deals are the most interesting, it’s just that finding the right ones or getting in at the right time is proving to be trickier these days. It takes a lot less money to create a start-up right now and it’s easier for entrepreneurs to show some traction and growth on pennies before pulling down a big funding round. The entrepreneurs starting these companies now either have an established network, or don’t want to take on a first round from a VC. What typically ends up happening is that the next time they go to raise a round of funding, they’ve proven themselves, have more customers or users and their valuation is higher. This makes it more expensive for the VCs to get in and then the deal becomes less interesting or too expensive. So while it’s easy to blame Sarbanes Oxley, etc. but I think that valuations are playing a pretty big role in early stage financing – or lack thereof.
Anyway, it was pretty interesting to listen to two of the woman who have podcasts and how/why they got started. One was from Palo Alto and seems to resemble my mom (in even more of Church-Lady sort of way and I mean that in the nicest way possible...) while the other was a younger woman from Fresno but both are pretty much doing the same thing. Their podcasts fill a void that traditional broadcast media can’t fill – in depth local issues. The issues aren’t necessarily “huge” like Korea pointing a nuke at me type-of-issues… but none the less, it serves a purpose – an alternative to what currently exists.
There are all sorts of flavors of podcasts that help lengthen the “Tail” but to me local seems interesting. Radio is still very much a local medium but just like everything else it is either getting swallowed up by the big guys or local stations are having a tough time keeping the lights on and the signal broadcasting. At some point when we have IP-based radios that can stream or store podcasts directly to our cars – it’s good to know that there will still be a place to listen for the local spin on things… and more importantly the opportunity to have multiple choices for the local spin.
No pun intended… The New York Times is reducing the size of it’s paper and closing a print factory. The size reduction will take away about 5% of the space the paper devotes to news coverage. Earlier this year, the New York Times did a major facelift as well as added some necessary RSS feeds, blogging features, etc., in an effort to pursue a more strategic online strategy.
In a time where more and more people turn to the web for their news, traditional media sources *MUST* find a way to compete and adapt their business models. Always interesting watching these cycles evolve.
I am in New York this week. I am always amazed at how much energy this city has. I love it. I can't help but think of an article I read last week about NY regaining it's crown as the capital of capital...
According to Patrick McGeehan of the New York Times, "...In the past several years, New York has regained its magnetic force and is re-establishing its claim as the city of big bosses. The number of corporate headquarters and subsidiaries in Manhattan has more than doubled since 1990, according to the US Department of Labour. In the past few years, the number of Fortune 500 companies based in the city has been inching upwards, reversing a long, steep decline that accelerated during the financial crisis of the early 1970's."
I enjoy my trips to NY, they are often very productive, very busy and I sleep very well when I return back to San Francisco.
AP has a story on NBC putting show promos on YouTube. This is a great move for NBC. Why? Because NBC will be able to promote shows to a captive audience and lure them into watching that program. It makes so much sense. It’s a commercial, but cheaper and much easier to measure. It’s great to see NBC taking the step to do this. I hope more content companies realize the power of these sites and what it can do to build awareness, viewer acquisition and more advertising dollars.
Our day began at 4:30 a.m. (yes, you read that correctly). The gates open at 6:00 a.m. and we heard that you see the best things early in the a.m. So we were out the door by 5:15 and on our way up to the racetrack.
It was a little chilly when we arrived and we were surprised at how many other people had our same plan. We were also surprised at how many people were camping out.
We walked around the whole race track. There were lots of corporate events being set-up and everything had a sponsor -- including the garbage cans. The sun started rising as we were walking so it was warming up. We thought about having a beer, after all, the car next to us cracked a Bud as soon as they arrived that morning around 6 as well, but I needed more caffeine before alcohol. (In fact, I was too tired to drink beer at all that day. Diet Coke was my beverage of choice -- 4:30 a.m. is too early to get up AND drink all day.)
The fans were all types – from us, to the hard core Dale Sr. fans and everything in between. This is a sport loyal to its drivers and supports them openly. Lines were 10 deep at some merchandise booths.
What has always fascinated me about NASCAR is how unapologetic it is about the commercialization of the sport. Hey, it’s an expensive sport, so they’ve done what they can to make it happen. Also, the drivers are some of the most-messaged spokespeople and at the same time are talking trash about the other drivers.
So it’s no surprise that Sprint/Nextel has come up with more ways to capitalize on the sport and the fan interest. We got the Fan View, which allowed us to listen to the drivers on their radios in their car. That was pretty cool, especially when there was a caution.
Overall the race was interesting. A road course is not the most common of racing these drivers do in the cup. It’s a different type of racing than Daytona or a short-track. While we thoroughly enjoyed the experience, we couldn’t see the whole course. We think our next race will be a short track where we can see the whole race.
Jeff Gordon won the race. The whole experience was very cool though. It was amazing to see how the whole operation works too. It’s a logistics nightmare. I couldn’t even imagine planning something on this level.
We’ve already got plans for next year, which includes camping. Who is in?
Here are some of our pictures from the day: http://www.flickr.com/photos/69038113@N00/
Here’s one of the videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Udd6CbvPcpw
I’ll upload more later.
We believe that the world of communicating with consumers, partners, the press, anyone for that matter, is changing. Today there many ways to reach your customers and some are more powerful than others.
So when we started to think about the communications firm we wanted to be, we knew we needed to be different and understand these new mediums, which were more effective and which were the most powerful and which were the most efficient. And of course, which mediums were/are best for our clients.
So we came up with Three-Forty. Why? Because it’s the speed of sound (at sea level).
I was part of the outage that occurred this morning. I was hoping to get some work done early this a.m. (6:15 am) only to find that my email wasn't working. Ugh. Oh well. Up and running now. I still wonder how people worked before email. Much more slowly, I guess.
I am going to borrow from a post I did last year on one of my favorite things, Ride A Wave, because this weekend I was able to get down to Santa Cruz to help out.
Although there is some element of truth (and even idyllic quality) to the stereo type - there is definitely more to surfing then the Spicoli-esque version. Here is an article from the San Francisco Chronicle about a nonprofit that I work with called Ride A Wave. The last couple of years I have only made a couple of the camps... but it is something that I have been doing for 5 years now and hope to continue to do for many more.
Hmm... Does book smart = smart? And if you got a college degree does that make you smarter than someone else who didn't? I am not so sure. I knew my fair share of idiots at college. I also know that there are some very smart and successful folks that didn't get a college education.
Exceptions to every rule, I guess. However, I still don't think this survey is one that cities should be bragging about.
I can just see the commercial now: Roundtrip Airline tickets for 2: $3000, Hotel Stay: $500, Doctor bills $20,000; 99.9% Certainty your bloodline will be carried through: Priceless.
I can just hear it now, “Here’s to you Stephen Colbert, for being either so foolish or so ballsy to stand up in front of the President and satirize his Presidency. In the background you can hear the guy going, “how big are your cajones?”
If you missed it, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lcIRXur61II&search=Colbert%20CSPAN%20
Yeah, so I know the whole team sport analogy is over played, but I don’t care. When the first whistle blows, I think about nothing except soccer and the bigger result – winning. And that’s also what the team is thinking about – all of us are working to win. There aren’t any politics, there is only a focus to achieve the end result. It’s a good lesson to take back to the office when you start getting bogged down with logistics details, day-to-day items, etc. It never hurts to take a step back and think what is the ultimate result we want? Does this move it forward and is it the best way?
Another thing I love about soccer is that while I am on the field I think about nothing else. There are very few things that enable me to block out all of the things that I have to do for work, or at home. It’s like a mind spa.
There are also the physical benefits of playing soccer. It’s great exercise and while the league is recreational, some games get a little more physical than others.
Finally, I love the team aspect. It’s fun to see how each part of the team works together and how we cheer and push each other to do our best.
So, enough of my over-played analogies. But if you are looking for me on Thursday nights, chances are I’m playing soccer.
Also a congrats is in order to Bob Abbott, Jeff Crowe, Vab Goel, Jim Lussier and Venkat Mohan. – the five new general partners. The team, which also includes Promod Haque and Matt Howard, is optimistic about emerging growth opportunities on a global scale.
The fund was announced yesterday.
With a decent camera phone (2.0 – 3.0 megapixel) you can start producing a web quality picture or video clip. (in my opinion most of the camera phones under 1.3 megapixel are good for the Gee Whiz factor or sending to another mobile phone but the image is still pretty bad when it is posted on a website or even sent via email).
....and with the amount of new services that make it easy to post directly from a mobile device to your own blog or website of choice...( i.e. not needing to go back to a computer and upload the video/picture, or only being able to post the video/picture to a specific community site.) it will be easier to quickly generate content for your blog, website, etc...
I guess the next Stirr Event will be held in May. The organizers may need a bigger venue, because this was packed.