Social Business Sandy

BIZTECHBUZZ in the world of social, cognitive, IoT and startups

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On a Panel in a Barn – My Top 12 Observations

This Friday I attended the Harvest Summit but to me,  it was the Harvest Festival.   Why a Festival?     A festival is a day or time of celebration, marked by feasting, ceremonies, and other new observations.   That is exactly what Friday was!


The Celebration was hosted by Jessica Kilcullen.  It began in a “barn” on a hill that has a wine cellar, olive press room, a space ship and a big oak tree.   True!   It was an inspiring location – free of tech but yet tech superbly drove everything in the event including incredible images behind each speaker.   Built on the theory that the most valuable part of any “conference” is the networking, the festival was built around networking occasions and moments.   Music filled the air!  Did you know that music can enable greater innovation?  Apparently Jessica did!


Feasting:   Some of the networking was built around food.   Food was all local and amazing.   There were juice bars, homemade salamis, special cheeses, and great wine.   The feasting was done in the outdoors, in olive press rooms, and wine cellars.   Food and community are inseparable.   I love opportunities to experience new foods with an amazing group of peers, and learning about ways for us all to be a community and share ideas so that we’re getting fed on multiple levels.  Food plays an essential role in building community.


Ceremony:  The sessions were short panels or keynotes. They were in a barn, under an oak tree or in a spaceship to open up the innovative spirit.  They were collaborative and different.   I am a techy so I learned so much about food innovation, social in basketball like the Warriors,  innovation frameworks, storytelling, health, and education.   It was great to breath in deeply to see and feel different viewpoints.


New Observations: Here are my Top 12!

  1. The crowd’s influencer is growing greater. There is genius in the crowd.
  2. Specialists have jobs. Generalists build empires. Think 10x – and 10x doesn’t cost 10X more.  Create the culture in order to create the big vision.
  3. Design is relationships, the experience, and everything around us. Design is the next competitive weapon.
  4. Solve problems so big – there is no App for that! Take time every day to think about the future, not just the tactical.
  5. It’s all about Fast Learning. Fail forward and learn.  Don’t just fail and celebrate.
  6. It’s all about experiences. The common theme in Health, Education, Tech, Consumer, Food, and more.  An experience can be so good, you don’t want to post it!
  7. screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-10-13-53-pm
  8. CEO = Chief Encouragement Officer.   The CEO is the one who should be setting the direction of innovative spirit.
  9. Every startup needs a great idea/product, funding and marketing. Most people de-emphasize the marketing.  You can’t start any business without being a great storyteller!
  10. Technology will be accelerating more rapidly in the future. AI, VR, and IoT will ensure data becomes the biggest part of the competitive equation
  11. Diversity breeds innovation. Make sure you have Cognitive Diversity.  Our panel with Elizabeth Gore, Trish Costello, and Steve generated great discussions and brainstorming – much of which will be in a follow-on blog post!
  12. I loved all the people I met.   People make the world happen.  I loved chatting with Mark Burnett, so successful after 35 seasons of Survivor!


I am so thankful that I was included in the FIRST Harvest Festival and hope that Jessica has many more to come!

Girls in Tech Needs Your Help — And all you have to do is Tweet!

I am on the board of a great organization called Girls in Tech.  Today is the start of something big, very BIG!   We have an amazing fundraising opportunity with SAP SuccessFactors that starts TODAY!  So I need you to actively participate!

I know that each of you has amazing networks so get the word out and TWEET for us.  We’ll adore you for it and it helps more girls trying to get engaged in tech!    When you tweet with these 2 hashtags — #sconnect16 #All4GIT — $1 is donated to Girls in Tech!!

Just some facts:

  1. Twitter is the only channel that earns the $1 but use Snapchat, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc to get the word out!
  2. Retweets count!!   Retweet away!
  3. There is no cap — that’s right — SAP SuccessFactors will let us go as high as you guys take us!
  4. The campaign runs from October 3 – December 31

A sample tweet:

Retweet to get $1 donated to @GirlsinTech! #sconnect16 #All4GIT

Will you help us get more Girls in Tech?  If so, tweet away!


Core question from Agile Marketing Class

Yesterday I taught an agile marketing class at Carnegie Mellon’s Silicon Valley MBA program.  As I teach, I usually learn a lot from the student’s questions.IMG_6148

One of the questions from this class was:

What’s the real difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing?  Is it just that one is done online with more data?

Great question right?

Where of course, there are elements of traditional marketing in digital.

But the fundamental differences are these:

  • Digital removes any barriers between you and the client.   Typically you are going straight to a client, not going through a seller of a focus group for insight.
  • Digital is more of inbound as the overall goal if done right is for people to find you!.
  • Digital is about earning trust through multiple touches some that are your brands and some that are from advocates of the brand

Digital disrupts marketing like Uber has disrupted the transportation industry.

What are your thoughts?


Number of global developers working on IoT…

Number of global developers working on #IoT increases by one-third!!! Wow! That’s a lot of things-👠🌂🕶🏆🔦💊

Number of global developers working on IoT…

IBM Technical Rock Star Program

Finnish city partners with IBM to validate…

Finnish city partners with #IBM to validate #Blockchain application in #logistics .#cloud

Finnish city partners with IBM to validate…

IBM Technical Rock Star Program

Minimizing business friction with Blockchain

Are you using #blockchain? Minimizing business friction with #Blockchain #cloud

Minimizing business friction with Blockchain

IBM Technical Rock Star Program

Happy International Women’s Day !

Today is international women’s day.      To me, this is a significant day as it celebrates the achievement of women around the world!   Women are over 50% of the world’s population — so inclusion is very important to the world.   For instance, did you know if there was parity of women and men in the workforce in Egypt that the GDP would go up by 34%?

I am passionate about innovation and study after study shows that diversity breeds innovation.

So today, let’s celebrate and commit to parity across the world !



Whisk it away ! Check out our announcement for Developers with OpenWhisk!

I think the OpenWhisk announcement from Interconnect was one of the most significant.

Here’s why:

  • The world’s only fully open, event-driven platform that lets developers build modern feature-rich web and mobile apps quickly and easily
  • It offers the choice of programming language including Swift and Node.js. Run custom code through Docker containers.
  • Built-in chaining enables teams to individually develop small pieces of code with code from the community without having to write code
  • Simply upload your code and let it run. There is no need to think about infrastructure or worry about peak projections
  • Take advantage of easily integrating with an ever growing list of event providers and consumers including cognitive capabilities from IBM.

Tell me what you think!!!!

Top 6 Pieces of Developer News from IBM Interconnect – Swift, Microservices, links + Enterprise

Many of you have asked for a summary of news for developers from Interconnect.  Here are the top 6 pieces of news!

GitHub and IBM.    I am so excited that IBM and GitHub have formed a Strategic Partnership.  We will offer the first and only GitHub Enterprise Service in dedicated and Local Hybrid Clouds.  GitHub has a community of 12 million developers.

Bitly: Bitly is an amazing company that serves Enterprise clients.  Bitly selected IBM Cloud as its preferred cloud platform and will migrate its platform of 25 billion data-infused links to IBM Cloud to leverage its global scale and reach.  Bitly’s API, used by developers who embed more than 300 million links into their products and applications each month, will also move onto IBM Cloud.

GigsterGigster plans to use IBM Cloud as its preferred cloud platform for building cognitive apps. IBM will equip Gigster’s “shared economy” of developers with APIs for cognitive, IoT and more. Gigster, an online marketplace that rapidly curates and matches top software developers with projects that companies need built, plans to use IBM Cloud as its preferred cloud platform for building cognitive apps. Gigster intends to train its “shared economy” of technology talent—including 1,400 skilled developers and project managers—on IBM Cloud so that they can build the next generation of apps fueled by top services and APIs in cognitive, IoT, mobile and more

SWIFT: For the first time, we will roll out the tools on IBM Cloud that make it easy for 11M SWIFT developers to bring the advantages of the mobile language to build enterprise applications on the cloud. This could have an explosive effect on productivity for enterprise developers.

Watson APIs: IBM announced new and updated cognitive APIs that enhance Watson’s emotional and visual senses, further extending the capabilities of the industry’s largest and most diverse set of cognitive technologies and tools. Text to Speech (TTS) and Tone Analyzer have undergone significant advancements, and two new APIs, Emotion Analysis and Visual Recognition, are now available in beta. These APIs are pushing the sensory boundaries of how humans and machines interact, and they are advancing how technology can think, perceive and empathize. For more information visit

BlueMix Whisk: IBM announced the ability of IBM Bluemix OpenWhisk platform to enable developers to quickly build microservices that execute software code in response to events such as the clicking of a mouse or the receiving of sensor data from any IOT device


Cloud for Social Good – Tuesday at 2:15PM – 3:30PM Mandalay Bay Club B

On Tuesday at 2:15PM – 3:30PM Mandalay Bay Club B , I am leading a panel on Cloud for Social Good with an amazing group of leaders and companies.

  • Jane Russenberger, Director Genetics and Breeding Guiding Eyes for the Blind!
  • Ted Jenkins President and CEO of Digital Water
  • Connie Mester, Found and CEO of Thrive 4-7

Come and join us to hear how Guiding Eyes for the Blind, Digital Water, and Thrive 4-7 are changing the world !!!!

Guiding Eyes for the Blind 

About: Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides assistance for blind and visually impaired people by providing trained Guide Dogs, at no-cost to the blind and visually impaired. Guiding Eyes is the largest guide dog raising organization in the world, and had an initial need to move 30 years worth of dog breeding and training data into a flexible cloud environment. They chose IBM Cloud and are exploring ways to use cognitive computing in their breeding and matchmaking processes. The guide dog sector is not one we typically think of when we consider companies that are leveraging cloud. This is proof that the cloud and cognitive era will touch all businesses: even those you wouldn’t normally imagine!  Guiding Eyes will move all its data onto IBM Cloud infrastructure!

Thrive 4-7

About: Through its Mevii app, Thrive 4-7 helps address chronic stress, illness or workplace behaviors so that employees can live healthier, more productive lives. Mevii (a play on “Me, version 2.0”), is a cognitive mobile app that helps users develop new skills, change their thinking and solve problems. It’s designed to enhance employer’s health and wellness benefits and can help improve worker well-being, reduce absenteeism, cut insurance costs, increase employee engagement and reduce costs of call-center based counseling or employee support systems.

Their solution was developed on Bluemix and taps into three cognitive services.!

Connie Mester November 2014

Digital Water

About: Digital Water offers efficient water and energy solutions for industrial and municipal markets. The company provides visibility and actionable intelligence on water-related data to enhance asset performance. Digital Water works with clients in water and wastewater markets to optimize treatment and energy costs, and it also partners with humanitarian organizations to provide technology and data on the best way people around the world can gain access to safe water.





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