Start Up Blog

The Bibliography is over

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 14, 2012

I was talking to someone about a presentation I will be making to his marketing staff in the coming weeks.  I took him through a basic flow of the topics and ideas and explained a little bit about each. But also made reference to the point that it was only about 60% finished. He then asked me when I expected to have the final presentation ready, and I’m pretty sure I surprised him with my answer:

“I’ll just make the rest up on the day”

It wasn’t a throw away comment either. I meant what I said. He paused for a while, and seemed concerned. After all it is a paid for gig. He then laughed and said; “Are you serious?” I told him that I was and went on to explain the following.

“You’ve heard me speak before, which was what lead to you inviting me to speak to your team. The good news is I made up about half of that talk too. So I’ve done it before, and it is pretty much how I roll. The reason I do it that way is it enables me to feel the audience. It enables me to react to the content which is resonating more strongly with them. My job when communicating isn’t about delivering a canned sermon. It’s about sharing information that matters and inspires the audience, and I can only know what that is once I get started. So it is up to me to know enough about the topic to change direction on demand.”

He was pretty satisfied with that answer. But it also brings me to another point.

Why do we teach our kids and our employees that everything must be justified?

Why is it that where we got our information from matters so much in a corporate world and the academic world? The people ‘in charge’ so often like to reference where the facts come from, and all too often dismiss any idea which isn’t justified and verified before by some ‘authority’. As far as I can tell this is another example of old world thinking.

If the real value in life and in business is built upon originality, ideas and inspiration, then it might also be about time that we stop validating intellectual and emotional labour. Just because it’s new thinking doesn’t make it invalid, in fact, the opposite is often true given the pace of change is now so rapid.  If our thoughts only have currency based on research, there’s a good chance we are already behind the crowd.

Startup blog says – forget the bibliography and make stuff up instead.

twitter-follow-me13

the tale of 2 robots

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 15, 2012

I was recently at the WPP Stream digital event in Asia (hence the serious lack of blogging). One of the sessions that we have at Stream are Ignite presentations. The idea for an Ignite talks is this:

- Tell us, but tell us quickly.

So the format is for 15 slides, where the slides change automatically after 15 seconds regardless of where you are up to.

It makes for entertaining viewing and rapid transfer of ideas. Here’s one that I particularly liked from Stream by Jason Oke which has some really great lessons for entrepreneurs, startups and anyone working in an innovation field for that matter. Enjoy.

twitter-follow-me13

Plutocrats of the web

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 9, 2012

It’s all shifting in front of our eyes.  A new plutocracy is arriving. Some of the roles have already been filled…. Maybe there are some new ones to arrive that we just can’t forsee yet. But to enlighten us a little, let’s consider 3 examples:

THEN NOW
Yellow Pages Google
White Pages Facebook
Department Stores Amazon

The real question for entrepreneurs is which ailing legacy industries are still waiting for their shake up?

twitter-follow-me13

5 Startups I Can Feel

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 3, 2011

There has been a deluge of cool startups happening in our local community lately. So I thought I’d feature a few of them here to spread the love, as well as give my honest views on their potential.

Wealie (app)

Wealie is a digital loyalty card which can be used in and by multiple retailers. It’s an interesting space that is starting to emerge as we move closer and closer to the digital wallet. Which Bill Gates first spoke about in his book from 1995 – the Road Ahead. I really think that NFC (Near Field Communication) will open up a huge amount of opportunity in the app space. Anything that happens on a card or paper in our wallets, will be digitized. Early movers like Wealie, will have a big advantage as they learn from their mistakes before everyone converts to their digital wallet.

Cheat Speak

I’m totally in love with Cheatspeak. As far as I can tell it is a foreign language phrase book Wiki. So, so cool. Being someone who speaks a foreign language or two, it’s premise is very solid – Living language – that represents the spoken word, rather than a text book. The idea of creating a book or language guide with the ‘simplest way to say it’ is so ‘user focused’ it is revolutionary. I’m sick of have to learn 7 ways to say one thing in a foreign language – if the goal is speaking it, then cheat speak is on the money. It has smart exit options too.

Pygg

Put simply Pygg is way to send and receive money through twitter – without any fees. Micro payments for a micro blog. Another smart startup which seems to flow nicely into NFC and the digital wallet. Another thing which just adds a level of goodness to it, is the fact that it is money in ‘public’. Good deeds and rewards are on display. I reckon this could really add a layer of fun to what Mick and the team are up to.

Cupstart

Started by all round good guy Mike Boyd – Cupstart is another ‘money remover’, in the sense that we don’t need actual dollars in our pockets to use it. Cupstart is a platform used to order & pay for coffee online at your favourite cafe, skip the queue and pick up your coffee on arrival. Which could move into all sorts of payment system / retail options. A web enabled retail POS system anyone? I like the idea of starting in cafes a lot, because the frequency of usage (buying coffee) moves the startup up the learning curve much quicker. (as a side note Mike is looking for a ‘tech’ partner based in Australia….)

TaskWant(app)

So the virtual assistant is well known and successful on-line. Get ready for the physical version. TaskWant is a geo-locating app to help you find people to do stuff for you. You can either be a task provider or doer. It’s a great way to take advantage of idle labour and get cashie jobs. I love it. I reckon this could blow McDonalds out of the water for teenagers and be a much better option – which is just one of the potential strong points. Not to mention Charlie the Squirrel.

Local Yocals

Another cool thing is that everyone of these is from people in our local startup community in Australia. The world is changing, the only question remaining is whether you want to be a change maker or change taker.

Get out there and launch!

twitter-follow-me13

The Interest Graph

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 31, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg has promoted the idea of the Social Graph for sometime. And it is true that Social Networking has changed the way we use the web. The only problem for me is that sometimes the people in my social life are there not by choice:

Family members

people I work with

Neighbours in my my street

People who drink coffee where I do

People I went to school with

Friends of friends

You get the picture. These people are in my life by geographic default. Whether or not we are interested in the same things is another question. In fact our values and interests may be entirely juxtaposed. This is starting to make me think much more about finding people who are interested in the same things as me. The social space is such a deluge of opinions and data, it is hard to sift through the noise to find what I care about.  I am not necessarily interested in people just because they are in my close geographic space. It needs to be much more. We must share an an interest as well –  we must intersect on the ‘Interests Graph‘, not just the social or geographic one.

In fact, my circle of acquaintances has never changed as quickly in my entire life as it has in the past 3 years. People are coming and going at a rapid pace. Sure, close friends and family are bonded by forces much deeper than digital technology, but we need another layer added to the social graph to make more meaningful connections.

It’s already happened on a business and career level already – coders, entrepreneurs, advertisers, bloggers, lawyers, artists, photographers etc all have connection potential in existing digital forums. But what about the marathon runners, surfers, cyclists, and basket weavers? (Insert personal passion here) They need to be able to find each other too.

I really feel like this is a massive opportunity space for startup entrepreneurs. Connecting interests, socially and geographically to using temporal mobile devices to create deeper meaning. The question for all of us, is how can we do it in the things we are involved in which don’t yet have a commercial context?

twitter-follow-me13

Bigger than the internet – 3D Printing

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 30, 2011

3D printing is really starting to blow my mind. As far as I can tell it is taking the information we are currently living through and making it physical. It’s the missing link. The start of being able to create everything from nothing – ephemeralization. Converting the first 20 elements into stuff, by organizing information, ones and zeros. About 20 years from now, you’ll remember talk about 3D printing, the same way we remember hearing stuff about a connected world through computers in the mid 1980’s. I think it will be more disruptive and bigger than the internet.

In order to just make sure you are across what is happening here’s the most famous Youtube Clip about 3D printing which is from the Discovery channel. In the coming weeks I’ll be posting a large article about all the implications on the world. And before you watch the clip below here is a list of some things that have already been printed by such machines:

Bicycles, cars, tools with moving parts, furniture, drone aircraft and even balls bearings.

It’s coming and it is going to change everything.

twitter-follow-me13

The digital undertow

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 25, 2011

The 1’s and 0’s catch my eye

Data in disguise

I’m in a daze

I face perceived serenity

It temps investigation, constantly

It sucks me into its undertow

We are all drowning in it

Eventually we become the numbers

I dream of our analogue renaissance

twitter-follow-me13

 

My Google Plus Problem

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 26, 2011

Like most people I recently joined Google plus. I went in and set up my account. I was reasonably impressed and it looked quite cool. It had a couple of nice ideas, including the circles of friends concept of segmenting conversations. After I set up the account, it has been on my list of things to do. That is, to go into it, have a play around, get used to the system and better understand it.

A few weeks later I still haven’t done it.

The interesting thing is that during this time I have still engaged with the social networks I already use. Including this blog and my twitter account. Turns out I still have time for social networks, just not that one. The only reason I will use Google plus is because I need to know about it, not because I need it. The fact that I need to invest time to ‘learn how to navigate and use it’,  is also sub optimal.

If everyone ends up loving Google plus, I’m sure I’ll get on board. But my Google Plus problem is that currently I don’t have a social networking problem.

twitter-follow-me13

Digital doodles

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 21, 2011

Some doodling from a digital day yesterday. Some nice ideas popped up yesterday if you read the words closely. Thought it was worth sharing here.

twitter-follow-me13

Component Retail

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 28, 2011

Brands will start shipping product components and raw materials to stores for to be assembled on site… as part of the retail experience.

The customers will become the theatre at transaction.

The desire to create and customize will conspire to create highly interactive and profitable retail concoction. What we’ve already seen in digital…’A mash up of co-creation and mass customization’… we will inevitably see in retail…. The retailers that survive anyway.

twitter-follow-me13

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,212 other followers