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My Top 3 Ahas from the NASA Space App Challenge

April 12, 2015

I loved spending the last 2 days at the NASA Space App Challenge.

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The first day I was at the Women of Data with 75 amazing women ranging in age from 13 to 75.   Each was incredible — and I learned so much from each one.   Saturday was the first day of the Hackathon ,and while IBM was engaged in over 70 of the hacks and the virtual hack with IBM Bluemix, I was at the NYC hack today with 3 astronauts, the NASA CTO, and Beth from NASA who runs the Innovation Program.  I had so many AHA moments but I thought I’d pick out my top 3 and share with all of you!

1.   Community Matters.

Yesterday I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes by Brian Solis:  “Community is much more than belonging to something; it’s about doing something together that makes belonging matter.”   As we were chatting yesterday after a session, our circle of “girls” kept growing and growing.  I loved the community that formed as we were all united in a common goal!

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2.  Hacks Give Confidence

Today I met amazing people who have gained tremendous confidence through hacking.   Olivia who “borrowed” an XML book from her brother, and then googled Ruby to learn language, Tae who attends Leigh University who could hardly sit still for a chat cause he wanted to go and code, and Katie who is a great combo of theater and code !!

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3.   NASA’s Data Gift not only helps NASA, but all of us!  Open source and crowdsoucing has a MAJOR impact!

During this Space Apps Challenge, NASA opened up new APIs and 200 data sources.   They did this not for their own gain, but for helping space, earth, and entrepreneurs.     Their own astronauts are committed to the collaborative economy — authentically !

This era of the collaborative economy is going to change the world.  And that’s what I witnessed today — a world changing event!

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Millennial Myths and Truths!

April 9, 2015

Not a shocker!  Collaboration is valued highly!

In phase 1 of the millennial study, we found that 56% of millennials and 64% of gen x’ers value collaboration (boomers operate more independently) in decision making.  Given that, there are things that really matter to these new workers (I love them too!)

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Not just gut feel!
Millennials and Gen X’ers rely on analytics to help them make decisions (Baby boomers operate more on gut feel).  For instance, Millennials love the analytics inside of email (like IBM Verse) help prioritize your inbox and make your day more productive using analytics.
Virtual plus In person matters:
One of the key findings from the phase 2 millennial study is in the way these new folks like to work.   They like to meet in person but also virtually.   Social collaboration matters to them.   So training the team on how to use social on social selling …During the sales cycle, make sure that you enable your sellers on social influence and selling.  For instance, IBM has partnered with Hootsuite and sellers can get a license to help manage their social accounts.
For in person value, we have been building out our influencer network with the influencers that millennials listen to (e.g., TED@IBM).  In addition, we have a world class social good focus. Through our IBM Corporate service corps, we deploy IBMers to do smarter city projects for local governments to give local citizens visibility to IBM and how we are helping local communities.
I have a team of millenials that have just started a weekly in person meeting because as they love the virtual work environment, that in person get together is also crucial.
Social — Millenials are more careful
One big difference between Gen X and Gen Y, is their use of digital.   We know that millennials grew up digitally and as such they are more careful in their use of social tools  But because they know how to use the tools, make sure you take advantage of their knowledge.  Have them do reverse mentoring to assist you in the workplace.

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Make it real — Influencers need to be authentic!!!

April 8, 2015

From #SMMW15, I loved Douglas Karr , the President and CEO of DK New Media, and his examples of powerful Influencer Marketing.

Authenticity is when your voice and input are helpful, real, verifiable and meaningful,  A simple example of the power of authenticity is a viral video hero!

The Authentic Rap

Did you catch the YouTube video that a husband filmed his wife in a very authenticate set of moves, as she raps to a song in the car.  It has about 18M views to date.   And the song playing by Salt and Pepper received another 500K downloads through the Ellen Show.

The Brand “takes over”:

Acura asked this “YouTube” star to do a commercial for them with their rap.   I still like the rap in their new commercial — but it only racked up 172K views on YouTube “Drive like a boss”.  Why?  It was not as authentic because of the heavy branding.

Why?

The second video is very branded, and not as authentic.   The big question is how do you leverage an influencer in an authentic way?

Doug’s 3 top pieces of advice:

1. Leverage influencers that have an audience that matches your audience.

2. Find influencers who are willing to share the story with their audience.

3. Measure the impact of the influencer

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NASA Space App Challenge Beginning this weekend with IBM BlueMix! Out of this world!

April 7, 2015

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Twitter Battle between Duke and Wisconsin – Social goes #ncaa

April 6, 2015

It started with a tweet from Wisconsin!

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Duke counters with a Vine Video of the Duke Devil! duke comebackSo Wisconsin brings in a Blue Man Group Video!wis comeAnd of course, Duke goes away for a bit to bring back pictures of influence from the pastbannersYou get the picture …. it’s a Social Battle of Twitter, Vines, YouTube, and Instagram between the best teams in the nation right now!What will happen next?

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A New Way to Work! Email + Social = WOW!

April 6, 2015

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5 Insights From VC Meetup and Panel for Enterpreneurs

April 2, 2015

I love to learn and share those learnings so here are 5 things I took away:

  1. Validate the good idea.   Over 50% of new apps and products fail.  Those that success have been vetted and tested.   The advice they gave was to have as many people as possible provide you feedback as quickly as you can. That could be through Kickstarter or just creating an MVP!
  2. Either be or hire a Tech Geek!    The VCs validated that every company today is competitive through technology (well, just about!).   The discussion was that every company is a tech company so either the founder or her right hand person needs to be steeped in the knowledge of technology.
  3. Network.   Networking is crucial to a successful startup.  All the VCs said that they bet on the person first, the idea second.   In order for them to bet on you, they need to know you and trust you!  Take the time to get to know those who might fund you!
  4. Have a business plan.   This factoid amazed me.  Over 50% of those companies that come into a VC come in with a great product but no business model.  Make sure you think through both the offering and the way that you make money.
  5. Dream big and have confidence.   A lot of success is trying again and again and not being afraid of hearing no  Facing  rejection can be tough, but ensure you have the confidence to wirhstand it.   One entrepreneur said he was turned down for funding over 20 times before he was funded, and is now a successful serial entrepreneur.  Be passionate about what you bring to the table.
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