Sunday, February 26, 2012

Podcamp Toronto Day 1 Thoughts #pcto2012

Observations from Day 1 of Podcamp 2012 in Toronto:

1. The enthusiasm level is down from 2 years ago, the last time I attended. The crowd seemed smaller, the buzz more muted.

2. Social media has become corporate media. This was all business. From presenters pitching their wares to audiences seeking the next big thing.

3. The next big thing is Facebook. Three out of five presenters mentioned that one in seven people IN THE WORLD is on Facebook - repeating a theme my buddy John started talking about too many years ago - anyone who doesn't think Facebook is for business is crazy.

4. The next new thing is Pinterest. For now.  Everyone was talking about it. What I learned. In North America at least, it's for women and images - so magazines love it. One brave and creative soul did talk about pinning his resume.

5. Apple is the technology of Podcamp. iPhones and iPads. Paper was also surprisingly prevalent.

6. New term from yesterday: 'profersonal'. The mix of personal and professional on social media.

7. Most intriguing story from yesterday - the use of Facebook by the Hard Rock Cafe in Florence Italy. Contest to draw prospective staff from all over Europe. Free meal coupons for everyone who applied. Self-booking interview slots using Event-Brite. Arranging accommodation, and self-scheduling all on Facebook.

8.  Another sign of the trouble BB is in. An app developer from Cleveland talking about having to go to eBay to find a BB so she could develop an app for a client. Her advice to other developers. Don't bother. 

9. And a special call-out for the two young dudes who lead the session on not giving the same presentation. You guys asked for this. And you know it. You sucked. Being young and smart doesn't mean you know what you're talking about. It's even worse when you call people out by name and generally put down the rest of the people in your space. Your schtick was funny for five minutes - then your presentation wasn't any different from any other presentation (hey, nice use of Powerpoint!) - and it really came crashing to earth when you gave all the same answers that everyone else has. You might want to think about your ROI and how-to-measure-social-media answer. It was disappointingly irrelevant ("talk to my friend"?!?). Suggestion - you seem like nice, smart guys. Stop partying, get off of Facebook and go explore social media.

10. Bottom line. There was tons of great stuff yesterday but I came away feeling that the un-conference idea - and the corprification of Social Media is taking it's toll on PodCamp. Un-conferencing hurts because it opens the doors to anyone with a presentation. Corprification hurts because those attending, or thinking of attending are all thinking in terms of ROI. There's a conflict there.

Podcamp is on today too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bashing RIM Boy

Thanks to Boardroom Metrics Executive Tim Herron for passing along this Financial Post article on Roger Martin titled 'Business School Dean Doesn't Walk the Talk'. I couldn't have said it better.

PR for Boardroom Metrics

We've been working with Daniel Schneider of Brand Management Agency on getting our story out. Thanks to Daniel for getting this post on job transition into the Huffington Post yesterday.

Summary of the key do's and don't from the post:

 Do figure out what makes you unique. Don't be a generalist!

Do move steadily. Don't panic!

Do learn modern marketing techniques. Don't ignore the traditional ones! 

Thanks Daniel.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Yesterday I screwed up. It wasn't too huge. The world won't end. I still have my job running my own company. But in hindsight, it's bugging me. It's bugging me because I did what I see others doing all the time. And when they do it...and they seem to do it a drives me f#*#% batty. What did I do? I missed a Skype call. I didn't need to. I could have scheduled it properly. Taken it seriously. Prepped for it. Set a reminder. But I didn't. I paid lip service. Assumed it would be unimportant. Got selfish. Got lazy. Scheduled it incorrectly. Then completely forgot about it. As it turns out, the call was important and helpful. The professional gentleman half way round the world with serious interest in what we do persisted (he got me on the phone instead) and helped me get my act together. Why? Why did I do it?!? There are various rationales. I'm busy. I didn't have perfect access to the 'helper' technology I normally use. I really did mean to get to it but just got behind. There was more research I meant to do. Which is all BS. The truth is I saw myself heading for this screw-up all week and didn't care enough to fix it. Plain and simple. I DIDN'T CARE. Which sucks. I need to fire myself. What's doubly disturbing is that this comes at a time when we're wrestling with integrity in others. We've been let down constantly by people who know better but don't care either. People who make commitments as I did, then ignore them. We're tired of it to the point of changing what we do. Tossing people over the edge. Calling them on their shit. Today, I'm calling me on my own shit. And promising myself it won't happen again. It's a tall order. I'd better be tall enough to handle it. Or, I'm fired.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

RIM Boy Goes Public

In an interview published in Saturday's Globe and Mail, RIM's high profile Director Roger Martin took on setting corporate governance back a thousand years and clarifying for the world why RIM is in trouble.  As one commenter posted:
his point of view is no different or any more informed than the yeehaw one finds chewing the cardboard cup at a tim's. if this is a director no wonder the company has been in decline.
With apologies to yeehaw's everywhere.

Martin does make some seemingly shallow comments for someone who is a) dean of a business school b) a recognized governance thought-leader and c) a New England Patriots fan. A couple of examples:

“So we’re supposed to hand it over to children, or morons from the outside who will destroy the company?"
“If we were to say to Jim and Mike, ‘Well, we’re the board and you should go away now,’ they would have laughed at us.” 
People were saying we can’t make powerful phones like Apple. Yes, we can, but we couldn’t believe consumers would put up with that kind of battery inefficiency and that kind of network inefficiency.
The tricky aspect, he says, was the former bosses deciding what they wanted to do. They decided to stay on as directors
Mr. Lazaridis, he says, “is a genius – so having him off the board would be a good idea?” 
The two former CEOs are about more than RIM. Mr. Balsillie founded a global policy institute and pursued hockey teams; Mr. Lazaridis built a physics research hothouse. Had they become distracted when the company needed their full attention?
“I just don’t buy that,” says Mr. Martin, arguing that the outside interests energized the two. “We’re all human beings – they’re not automatons.”
The majority of commenters - surprisingly, even I couldn't resist - weren't impressed.

Sad reflection of the future of Canadian business if this hand puppet actually reflects the quality of business education at UofT.
 This guy sounds like he is just part of RIM's critical mass of arrogance which got them in this mess in the first place.
Martin is in cloud cookoo land if he thinks two CEOs who are busy doing Perimeter Institute, hockey teams, global affairs and other things can succeed.
What doesnt quite ring true here. A touted Harvard business major, keen on sports as a model of business situations; associated for many years with the principals of RIM, doesnt carry the clout to have the captains alter course when he signals iceberg ahead
This guy is quite a load.
One gets the sense from this article that Martin is feeling the heat. He should be. RIM comes off as a high profile screw up and he and his fellow governors come off as sight-seers on the Costa-Concordia (take that Titanic!).

One wonders what fellow Board members, employers and other clients think, if anything - but one poster did go so far yesterday as saying
I will be getting an MBA and I can now safely say that UofT will not even be on my long list. Too much hubris from the dean.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Best App Advice

Every time two tablet users get together (like at a Super Bowl party), 'have you found any good apps lately?'  comes up.

The best way I've found to solve that one is with apps for finding apps.

The one I use the most is AppHits. Not only all the latest apps, lists, etc. but also what's on sale. Use it all the time and it now accounts for most of the apps on my iPad.

The other one I use is AppAdvice. Great lists and blog type updates on latest, greatest apps.

Hands-down, the app I use the most on my iPad? Wooords.

I'd seen write ups about addictive games apps but never came across any until this one. It is a pure waste of time but amazing, fun interface and tons of challenge. If you rationalize hard enough you can even convince yourself that you're learning something.

Most shockingly useful app? Notability. Handwriting, typing, voice, email, PDF's, pictures. A true 'wow!, Windows was never this easy' note-taking app.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

#BeBald 2012

Ok. I couldn't resist. Which worries me. But here goes anyways! Based on my favourite company's latest marketing move.
For Immediate Release. Toronto. February 1, 2012

Only a month late (hey, it could have been years), Black Barry took over Jester's Pub for a pint of Guiness and asked how you planned to #BeBald in 2012.

Four Bald characters emerged from your #BeBald resolutions. All are bravely stepping in crap that their dogs left behind in 2011 and into a 2012 with unlimited reservations about the future.

The #BeBald Team

Popo Girl - The Axe Heaver
Saving the day with a photo, ten Facebook postings and 400 texts to her friends is nothing new for Popo Girl. She's social, insecure and just a bit needy.

Axe Heavers resolve to:
  • do something for once
  • stop questioning whether the network is down or not
  • be active on Pinterest
  • learn something about herself

Mark Stoner - The Ad Vendor
Able to fight on a plane and land in jail he's alcoholic, loud and a little bit smelly. But you can count on Max to liven up any flight to China.

Ad Vendors resolve to:
  • stand up
  • seize inappropriate body parts
  • get a new job
  • take you back to Vancouver

Justin Time - The Add-a-Chick
Always ready to stick up a bank, Justin is lazy and broke. His hobbies include chasing cougars caught under bar tables and using 'special' seeds in his spare time.

Ad Vendors resolve to:
  • connect with other morons
  • rock your world
  • encourage you to 'have another one'

Trudy R.U. Foreal - The Odd Renter Chick
Not afraid to call you on your sh*t, Trudy is obnoxious, loud and unabashedly miserable. She enjoys long walks on the roof and old school teachers.

Odd Renter Chicks resolve to:
  • stop speaking up constantly about what you believe in
  • be a cereal
  • have a positive credit rating
Tell us how you'll be a wierdo. Join the army and share how you plan to #BeBald in 2012....or 2013 or whenever you finally get around to doing it.

Leadership Smeadership

Okay. I know it’s a settings thing. Sometime, a long, long time ago – probably when leadership was being invented – I must have indicat...