CRM software runs my life

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Life in Start-up Country

Life of a Start-up
Living in a corporate apartment in the SOMA district of San Francisco is pretty glamorous. Cheerios, bottled pasta sauce, a coffee percolator and a laptop on the couch. Still, it’s quite a good experience and I have enjoyed the feeling of being amongst it all. Luckily I actually still get a wage from a company that is doing better than break-even, so I guess I’m not really living the start-up lifestyle.

Meetings happen faster here, you don’t have to think about timezones and languages so much and you can talk to product face to face if you don’t agree with their direction. These are things that are easy to take for granted if you work in the US. On the flip side the diversity and distance challenges in APAC make it an incredibly exciting area to be working in.

It would be nice to have the best of both worlds, but not sure when or if that will happen. I’m starting to think that the best way to operate is to make APAC as self-sufficient as possible. Borrow the good things, and go it alone in areas you don’t agree. I think we can even get to the point where APAC is the innovative region and the US can learn from us. That sounds like an inspiring challenge to me. It’s not quite a start-up, but it’s the same skills right?

 

Map My Summer Australia

The culmination and curation of the Map My Summer project, the “We Were Here” video by Screen Australia, has premiered in Sydney. Way to make me nostalgic while I am overseas. Getting my name in the credits at the end is pretty cool though, I think this is a first for me!

Hills Bros Coffee on the Bay desktop background

Welcome to San Francisco

Hills Bros Coffee on the Bay desktop backgroundI’m in the land of the Start Up. The sky seems a little bluer and there is a cloud based business on every corner. Viral cloud engagement analytics seems to be whats buzzing here. Who is funding all these businesses? It can’t be entrepreneurs mortgaging their houses like in Australia, I thought it was impossible to get a loan in the US? I guess the Angel and VC markets really are all here.

The story of Hills Bros Coffee is a pretty good SF anecdote ironically. Wikipedia notes that the brand started as a great family company passed down the generations, surviving World War II and merging with another coffee company. Then the family sold out to the Swiss Nestle, who sold it to the US based Sara Lee, who then sold into the Italian Massimo Zannetti (aka Segafredo) mega-coffee group.

Regardless, this $1.2b 120,000 tonne completely vertically integrated Italian company has vacated this prime piece of real estate – but Mozilla is moving their 125 CA-based employees into the 15,000ft building. Their gross profit was $43 million and is based on freely available software. New World Order?

First impressions of Silicon Valley

Although it is actually my second time in San Francisco, it is my first time purely for business. I wanted to record a vlog on my first impressions of Silicon Valley and how I felt as an outsider looking in.

australian youtube logo doodle

Happy Australia Day!

Happy Australia Day 2011 to all the aussies who read my blog! Ernesto, 3DM and I worked hard to deliver the first YouTube custom logo for Australia ever and a custom video mapping gadget! The basic premise is that Australians can upload videos to YouTube and plot them on a map. This map then visually “fills in” to create essentially remap Australia in terms of summer memories. I am really looking forward to seeing how much momentum we can build off this one and it is great showcase for local creatives.

australian youtube logo doodle

Custom YouTube logo and youtube.com/MapMySummer gadget

Google also put up a custom doodle for today, which indirectly drives through to the YouTube channel too:

google doodle for australia day 2011

Google doodle for Australia Day 2011

Is it weird that I get a buzz from having input into the creation of these programs that re-craft some of the most recognised brands in the world? Must be my inner marketing geek showing through…

2011 – The Next Year of Video

To celebrate 2011 being an even bigger year for video on the Internet, I have decided to do my first video blog (vlog?). Let me know what you think!

Save your tax dollars – cut your copper now!

As part of the Heads of Agreement that Telstra has signed with NBNCo, Telstra is being paid $11 billion taxpayer dollars. This amount is effectively the sum value of each and every customer they migrate off copper. As John Stanhope (Telstra CFO) states:

So as the customer is switched off and goes across to (NBNCo) fibre, we get a payment.

Copper lines are already being dropped at a massive 8% pa, but you can help accelerate this drop and save your taxpayer dollars as well as your own line rental costs in the process. Moving to VoIP over fibre, merging multiple lines into VoIP services and migrating to mobile phones will all help you save your hard earned tax dollars.

Admonsters Sydney Members Dinner

Admonsters held their first event in Australia this week, with a members dinner at the Waterfront restaurant in Sydney. The 3 course meal was very generously provided by aiMatch on a perfect summer’s night right next to the harbour.

The event was attended by around 25 people, which made for an intimate yet comprehensive representation of the major Australian advertising operations teams. Ninemsn, Carsales, REA Group, APN, CBS InteractiveYouTube, Google and number of niche publishers were represented. It was amazing how small the industry is (I had worked with at least 5 others previously) and yet how diverse our backgrounds were. There was some reflection on this topic, in particular what qualifications you need to get into Ad Operations, and therefore what you look for in new hires.

Other issues that went around the table included the continuing friction between digital and traditional media (both internally and in the market), the National Broadband Network and how it will accelerate this structural change and the amount of hand-holding that clients are still requiring.

Overall it was a great night which really helped build relationships across what is a very fragmented online media landscape in Australia. The discussion ended with a hope that there will be a larger Admonsters conference event in the APAC region next year!

YouTube Video Trends Dashboard

YouTube today silently launched a new trends dashboard which showcases the top trending videos on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/trendsdashboard

It has some great features to help you identify rising “buzz” videos, and then breakdown that buzz to regional areas. You can also show the most shared or the most viewed videos (which is an interesting comparison in itself). Then just need to jump onto the Video Targeting Tool to make sure your advertisement takes advantage of these trends! It’s certainly a much cleaner interface than some of the more popular 3rd party sites that have filled this void over the years.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Facebook makes you emotionally stunted

Facebook and Zuckerberg are worshipped in a book, movie and this article. I have nothing but respect for the guy and what he has achieved, but what is it doing to society? And if I was cynical (and/or a capitalist), how can we use that change to predict the next big thing?

The quote at the end of the article really struck a chord with me:

We may laugh at Socrates, in the Phaedrus, for denouncing literacy, which he said would create “forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves…. They will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.”

Is this the first recorded recognition of our increasing degree of specialisation? People’s general knowledge is reduced, and instead focused on a very niche area of experience (i.e. they can rewrite Facebook in Java in under a week, but can’t cook a meat pie).

This specialisation has now extended into the social space. We have less time to socialise, our relationships become more casual, and therefore we need a tool like Facebook to painlessly maintain our fragile web of relationships. Facebook doesn’t deliver a whole lot of intimacy in return, so the numbing cycle continues.

I am not going to make a comment on society becoming more emotionally stunted, because it will make me seem anti-change and old fashioned. Instead, perhaps we can use this as a predictor for future social trends? How can one socialise more efficiently? I only want to be invited to the parties that my best friends are all going to. Alert me when I haven’t replied to my friend’s message within 48 hours. Let me know when I haven’t been tagged in any photos for 7 days and clearly need to get out more. Automated social network maintenance!

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