2015 SXSWi Recap by J.R. Atkins

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2015 SXSWi Recap by J.R. Atkins

Some of my friends and clients ask what the big deal is with South by Southwest Interactive or SXSWi. In short; ideas, technology and trends are introduced there that affect our lives and business. Technology such as Twitter (2006), Square (2009), Foursquare (2009), Uber (2009), Pinterest (2010), iPad2 (2011),  Microsoft Surface (2012), Google Glass (2012), Pebble Smart Watch (2013), Oculus Rift Virtual Reality head gear (2014) and see more historic trends at 22 Years of SXSWi.

At the 2015 SXSWi Festival I noticed the following 5 tech trends worth noting.

  1. New social Media App – MeerKat – Spontaneous video via Twitter
  2. Health Tech – Mobile App: Measure by Phillips Healthcare
  3. 4k TV – Samsung – 2X the Pixels
  4. International Flair – It’s a global event – Krista Hendriks, Utrecht Area, Netherlands
  5. com – It’s like UBER for overnight dog care

Please let me know if you find any of this interesting or beneficial to you or your business.

  1. MeerKat: http://meerkatapp.co

MeerKat is a new app that allows users to easily live stream video from their cell phonesJ.R> Atkins uses MeerKat via their Twitter accounts. You can “Schedule” a video and your MeerKat followers will get a notification of when you are about to begin. Or, you can create a live “stream” in the moment for those who are watching. Like Twitter, MeerKat video can be seen by anyone. It’s similar to a Google Hangout or Skype video call but much easier. Just download the app, sign in with twitter and click on “schedule” or “stream” and you’re ready to broadcast. The idea is making use of our desire to have a spontaneous connection.

Related story by David Gilbert of the International Business Times.

  1. Measure: in beta test

Nike Fit bit bits the dustPhillips Healthcare is building an online portal that will allow you to feed your data from non-Phillips devices such as a Fitbit, Moves App, Misfit Flash and Phillips devices such as Blood Pressure Cuff. Even the data from my Nike Plus (no longer supported by Nike) can be uploaded to the portal.

Moves App used by J.R> AtkinsPrior to this portal, each App or fitness solution had a separate place to store and view data. With the Phillips Measure platform, you could, in theory, import health measurement data.

During my visit, I was able to meet the developers, debug some code and gain some keen insight into the future of Individual Healthcare Monitoring. A person to follow is Hans Notenboom, Global Head of Digital at Philips Healthcare based in the Netherlands.

  1. Samsung Curved 4k TV: http://www.samsung.com/us/video/tvs

Samsung 4k curved TVI first heard of 4k in early 2014 from one of my videographer friends and I was think, “I’m just getting use to HD.” 4k means 4000 pixels vs HD which is 2000 pixels. So 4k is 2X. A 4k TV will have a resolution of at least 3840 x 2160.

Samsung took over a restaurant in Austin and turned it into an “experience” with fresh juices, snacks, a big video wall made of Samsun Tablets, a virtual reality experience and a blogger lounge.

The curved, 4k TVs were the big thing for me. Unlike the past, you don’t have to wait for the Cable and local TV stations to upgrade to 4k. YouTube, Netflix and Hulu are already broadcasting shows in 4k. So now that a 60” HD TV at Walmart id $600 or less, get ready to upgrade to 4k for $2500.

 

  1. International Flair

Meet Krista from the NetherlandsWhile having lunch at a sidewalk café in Austin, I met Krista Hendriks who was in town from the Netherlands to give a presentation on “Cuddly Drones” a project exploring the emerging surveillance culture, exploring the democratization of surveillance tools and how do teach children to critically explore this drone-filled future? Yea, you can meet people anywhere, but at SXSWi there is an instant level of trust and interest around how technology is affecting our lives.

Technology is bringing our world closer together and SXSWi is helping. Check out her profile on LinkedIn.

  1. com: www.Rover.com

J.R. Atkins uses Rover.comMy dog, Forte, travels frequently with me and he went to Austin to see the sights and keep me stress-free. Yet, I needed an overnight dog sitter so my wife and I could party on Saturday night. In steps Rover.com, an Uber like solution to help you connect with home based dog sitters. Download the app and in just a few minutes you are connecting with locals who can keep your pet overnight for about ½ the price of a Vet or animal boarding service. Send a message, confirm, and set up the drop-off and pick-up time. Rover.com covers the collection of fees. I called their customer service and had a great experience.

Events Worth Considering

03/30/15 – Principles of Social Media (CTC)
04/01/15 – LinkedIn for Success (CTC)
04/06/15 – Successfully use of Facebook (CTC)
04/08/15 – Using Video for Success (CTC)
04/10/15 – Selling in the Digital Age (CTC)
04/14/15 – Website Trends (CTC)
04/18/15 – Successful Marketing Plans (CTC)

04/22/15 – Social Media Basics – Lewisville Chamber & SCORE

04/23/15 – Your Effective Strategy Plan – Webinar


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Google Partners Connect Belton,TX 2015

When Google presents a live streaming event, called Google Partners Connect, they provide valuable content worth sharing (just like they tell us to do.)

Whether you were able to attend an event or are viewing it for the first time here, please click on the Yout Tube icon and see the video of the streaming event.

J.R. Atkins Meetup eventsCheck out the Central Tx Business Building Meetup for a workgroup on implementing Google Adword Campaigns.

 

Thanks to The Belton Area Chamber for co-sponsoring this event with Something Different Companies.

J.R. Atkins is a member of the Belton ChamberJ.R. Atkins and Something Different Companies

 

 

 

You may also be interested in the following video on Social Media from Erik Qualman.


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The Strategic Planning Process by Michael Mills

My business associate Michael Mills is great at helping companies convert their strategic plans into practical processes that deliver daily results.

Check out his latest blog post:

THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS: CHAPTER #1 – WHY YOU NEED IT & CREATING YOUR VISION

Here is a very short excerpt:

Strategic planning begins with a VISION . If you’re not certain about your future, if you don’t have a clear picture of where you’re going, how do you expect to ever get there?

Studies show, and it’s quite logical, that if you have a clearly defined goal, you communicate that goal and you track your progress towards that goal, you have a 300% better chance of achieving that goal.

We speak to thousands of business owners every year and if I ask any one of them how they see their business 5-7 years from now, I almost always get a vague answer – “I want to get bigger” most will say

Business Design Corporation Blog Post

Stay tuned to hear when we will hold out next webinar on the importance of processes and how to implement them.


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What Airline has the best in flight WiFi?

Check out the following article on Quartz by  Zainab Mudallal 

Do you use Wi-Fi much when you fly? If so, more for work or entertainment?


 

Wi-Fi has become one of the most sought-after things on a flight, even more important to passengers than a reclining seat or extra legroom. The latest report from Routehappy, a website that compares airlines by in-flight amenities, finds that its availability is spreading fast.

The report, published today, analyzed flights scheduled to depart this coming Feb. 5—a “typical mid-week travel day”—and found that passengers have “some chance” (i.e. one-third or better) of getting Wi-Fi on almost one-quarter of the airline miles flown worldwide. On US domestic flights, there’s some chance of Wi-Fi on two-thirds of the airline miles—up from just 38% of them a year and a half ago.

On those flights that do have Wi-Fi, its performance varies. In the US, 35% of those flights had “good” Wi-Fi, meaning the equivalent of 3G connection speeds; 38% had “better” Wi-Fi, similar to 4G; and only 1% had the “best” quality, good enough for video streaming.

There were also big gaps between airlines. In the US, virtually all Virgin America flights had Wi-Fi, followed by Southwest and Delta.

See the rest of the article at: http://qz.com/331750/the-worlds-in-flight-wi-fi-offerings-ranked/


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Life is a Process

Author J.R. Atkins writes about Sales ProcessDuring my early days as a salesperson I participated in many training programs, yet my favorite was taught by Jim Chandler and was based on his “10 Foundation Statements”.  #7, the Process Statement, is applicable in sales, operations, accounting, manufacturing, marketing, education, theology, construction… and life; I have used it in many ways and now share it with you.

Process Statement: Selling is a process. My job, as a professional salesperson, is to create a personal selling process that is so strong, that the pressure of selling is absorbed by the process and not by me.

Wow, what a relief I felt when I discovered that if I built a strong process, I no longer had to worry about when and where my sales would originate. I could trust the process. My sales actually improved when I applied this philosophy and my sales process. I know my prospects did not feel the pressure of the sale either. They were free to choose to do business with me or not. It was ok. I was no longer emotionally tied to the sales call outcome. I had faith that the sales process that I built would deliver. And if it did not deliver enough results at the right time, it was the process that needed tweaking, not me.

Moving on from sales, I have used the same process statement in building and implementing successful Marketing Plans. I have used it to plan events for work and non-profit organizations. When I relocated, I used a strong moving process to absorb the great pressure and stress of moving. I knew I would not be dead if I did not meet a deadline because I had a predetermined contingency plan.

If you have worked in a well-organized operations environment then you are very familiar with processes and procedures. Yet other parts of the organization may not have a written process. Oh, did I forget to mention that my sales process was a 7 page typed and bound booklet?

A Written Process: When I mention writing down a process in the workshops and classes I lead, people roll their eyes like I asked them to pull their own wisdom teeth. There are two main values in writing your process (1) What you discover in creating a process (2) comparing actual results to your process.

J.R. Atkins uses coffee making as a processs exampleTake a mundane example like making coffee for your office and ask a team to write the process. You will discover many variations on the same theme of making coffee such as only use filtered water, only use true Columbian coffee and make sure the filters are environmentally friendly. Yet, once the process is developed and implemented you can trust that the coffee will taste the same every time it is prepared.

As for comparing the actual to the planned, what do you do when the coffee taste different? You start checking on who made the coffee, did they follow the process, and then discover that the wrong kind of coffee was delivered by your supply chain representative (aka, the person who shops for your break room).

Can you get carried away with having too many or too long a process? Yes. Is there a process for writing a process? Probably. Take the best and forget the rest. My hope is this article will spur you on to make some type of improvement in your personal, volunteer or business life. If so, please let me know ☺


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Creating Graphics for Business Growth by J.R. Atkins MBA

As someone delivering Social Media, Websites and Online Marketing, I find myself in need of creative graphics on a regular basis and I have found some resources you might what to check out.

1. JRA Visme ProjectVisme: Think of Visme as a perfect marriage between Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe InDesign; ease of use meets professional design. Their clean graphic website will walk you through the three easy steps to create your first graphic image and includes a nice short video to help you get started. Use the Visme tool set to create:

  • Infographics
  • Presentations
  • Charts & Graphs
  • Web Banners
  • Animations
  • And more

The free version allows you to create 3 projects and is a great way to check it out. If you like it and want to upgrade, the Standard Plan is $4.50 per month and the Complete Plan is $14.25 per month, no too much when you consider the competition.  I’m hoping they will preformatted projects for cover images for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ as I am tasked to create these often. Below is a sample project I created in less than five minutes. Let me know how Visme works for you.

2. Fivver: If you are more into outsources than “DYI” then check out Fivver. You hire someone to do you graphic for you at very low prices, like $5.00. The prices goes up as you add requirements but you still can get graphics delivered in a few days for less than $50.00. Again, not to bad when you consider other alternatives. Here is a recent example from Fivver that ran me $5.00 and took 4 days to complete.

Social Mead posting by J.R. Atkins 

 

3. Design Class: Most class work in design requires the student to create projects for real companies. Most will have a digital portfolio to show you how their skills and talents are developing. Why not let your brand benefit from the bright minds of tomorrow’s professional designers. Just Google “InDesign Classes” in your area then contact the instructor about student projects with your organization.

This example Portfolio is from Ashley Denton at Texas State, San Marcos, TX

 Ashley Denton recommended by J.R. Atkins

Events Worth Considering

Travel with J.R. Atkins to Holy sites

 


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Discussing E-Myth Principles: Alzay Calhoun & J.R. Atkins

Discussing E-Myth Principles

Alzay Calhoun interviews J.R. AtkinsIn the book, The E Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can interrupt a business. I found it to be a mind-altering book (in a good way) about how to grow your business in a predictable and productive way. I recommend this book as often as I can.

Listen below to an interview I did with J.R. Atkins who leads a LinkedIn group focused on E Myth principles. In the interview he shares with me his insights on E Myth strategy, what makes his group good to join, and how to get the most of out group membership. Enjoy!

 

Would you like to know more about the E Myth?

Download access to a video and slideshow summary here:

–>Click for access to E-Myth video and slideshow summary<–

Here is a quick snapshot of some of the questions covered:

– When did you start your forum/group, and why did you create it?

– What do you feel makes your community special?

– If you could magically give all of your community members one thing in this world, what would it be, and why?

– If you could ask your group members one thing and get an answer from all of them, what would that question be?

– What are some of the hot topics that seem to always be discussed within the group?

– For someone new to this community, how do they get the most out of it?

– Has anything surprised you about owning a forum about [niche]?

Would you like to know more about the E Myth?

Download access to a video and slideshow summary here:
–>Click for access to E-Myth video and slideshow summary<–

You can join the J.R.’s LinkedIn Group “The E Myth Connection” by clicking here – join the group

If you want to purchase Michael Gerber’s book you can do so here – buy the book (I believe E-Myth Revisited is the better option)

Have you read the E Myth? What did you like most? What did you like least? Leave your comment below.


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The 25 Best CRM Apps

A friend shared this article on CRM Apps – Customer Relationship Management Apps and I thought I’d share it here for my readers and clients.top CRM solutions with J.R. Atkins Click on a category below to learn more about the strengths of those CRMs or jump to an app directly by clicking its name.

Link to the original article: https://zapier.com/blog/best-crm-app/


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Good Drinks, Good Food, Good Night

J.R. Atkins reviews Hotel Indigo Waco“I wish we had something like this in Gatesville, I’d hang out here all the time.” These were the first words I spoke to my wife as we entered the Hotel Indigo in Waco.

I like the open air lobby as it has a sense of a “community room” to it. The check-in desk is small and off to the left of the room rather than the standard front and center. Off to the right is an informal sitting area and meeting rooms, in the center is the lounge and restaurant area; very inviting.

We took a seat in comfortable chairs at the low bar and were greeted by a wonderful bartender mixing superb drinks. The wine offering is a step up from your typical hotel wine selection offering unique Texas wines and other good choices.
We were then greeted by the hotel manager and given the grand tour. I found the “Huaco” meeting room to be ideal for large gatherings with its upgraded audio visual system suitable to simulcast events like TED talks, game viewing and corporate presentations. While the “Judge Waco” meeting room is ideal for smaller board style meetings and presentations.

The guest rooms are very contemporary with bamboo flooring, luxury showers, designer bedding and the best pillow top beds in town. Oh yeah, fJ,R, Atkins Selfieree internet too.

The pool area is very nice for a little rest and relaxation with a portion of the pool indoors for inclement weather, hot tub included. There is also enough patio room to host your poolside reception.

Our biggest surprise of the night was the menu and taste of the food. Who would have thought that a cafe sized lounge and restaurant would produce such an exquisite dining experience. We were served fresh salad, steak and vegetables, then cheese cake and coffee for dessert. It was the best steak I had had in months.Hotel Indigo Review by J.R. Atkins

 
Yes, the facilities at the Hotel Indigo Waco are very well designed and inviting, but what would a grand hotel experience be without a fine staff? From the front desk staff, to our wait staff, to the bartender, we were charmed and received excellent, personal service. This hotel could be in uptown Dallas, on Westheimer in Houston or on 6th Street in Austin and do very well. It’s a touch of elegance and class in the heart of Texas.

Disclaimer: Our dinner and drinks were provided by the Hotel Indigo Waco.

Hotel Indigo Review

J.R. Atkins reviews dinner at Hotel Indigo   Review of Hotel Indigo desert by J.R. Atkins


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Elements of a Good Facebook Graphic

I have been recommending Info-Graphics and Professional Graphics to my clients and this one from “The Bean Cast” is a great example.Bob Norpp

  • Note the “interesting graphic” with color and images that “pop” and get your attention.
  • See the company logo
  • The picture of Bob Norpp the Bean Cast Host
  • The easy to read name “Bean Cast”
  • The Brand explained “marketing podcast.

These are all components of a good graphic you might post on social media.

 

Let me know if you are using graphic images to attract more attention on your social media sites.


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