Major League Gaming, Coming to a City Near You

Major League Gaming, Coming to a City Near You

J.R. Atkins writes about major league gamingOn a recent trip to Atlanta, I had the opportunity to learn more about the industry of Major League Gaming. For the uninitiated, you can now be a professional gamer. All those hours in front of a screen playing Nintendo Wii and DS, Xbox, Play station and PSP, Game Boy, Atari and Pong could now equate to being a professional gamer with all the star power and perks of a rock star or professional athlete.

J.R. Atkins attends Final Round 18During the Delta flight to Atlanta, I watched a free video clip on my iPhone via the on plane Wi-Fi on Major League Gaming. (See related article in SKY) According to Wikipedia, “Major League Gaming (MLG), founded in 2002 by Sundance DiGiovanni and Mike Sepso, is a North American professional Electronic sports organization, headquartered in New York City. MLG has held official video game tournaments throughout the United States and Canada. Major League Gaming competitions have been broadcast on television, ESPN.com and other broadband sites. The company has also been involved in television production and game development. MLG’s aim is to elevate computer and console game tournaments to viable competitive and spectator events.” Although interesting, I simply watched another video on my flight and moved on with my life.

Game Stick at Final Round 18When I arrived at my hotel, I was surprised to see a group of motly dressed people with colored hair and baggy clothing reminiscent of pajamas, walking around with a gaming console they call a “stick.” Come to find out, the Final Round 18 Fighting Game Competition was being held at my hotel. Cool! I got to see firsthand what all the fuss and fanfare was all about. When my son was young, we played Mortal Combat at the pizza place and these people were still at it. The whole tournament was all about fighting games. You could watch people play in the lobby, in the main ballroom, in their hotel rooms, just about everywhere for 3 days and nights straight. Can you say “Cha-Ching?” Someone is making some serious cash here.

Based on what I learned, within the next 3 years we will probably see the following:

  • Gamer Celebrity Status like Justin Biber & Johnny Football
  • Million Dollar Signing Bonus for Gamers
  • Endorsements from games, clothing, theme parks and more
  • TV coverage by ESPN and major networks
  • Someone will suggest that gaming should be added to the Olympics
  • Stadium & Auditoriums Filled with fans to see gaming events
  • More Merchandise (coming to a Christmas near you)
  • “Fill out your bracket at work for the Championship rounds”
  • Vegas odds makers listing the likely top winners in gaming

What does this have to do with business? First, you can quit complaining about people who sit around and play games all day, it’s a profession now. Second, expect to see business applications for those with gaming skills on their resume. There could be a correlation between business intelligence, data management, coding and other workplace skills and gaming skills.

What social or business applications do you see in regards to professional gaming? I’d like to hear your thoughts.


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


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.


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/


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 ☺


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

 


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/


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.


How Our Beliefs Affect Our Business

J.R. Atkins writes on beliefs and businessRelating to June’s newsletter/blog topic of Continuing Education, I have been considering how we form our beliefs and how our beliefs affect our business. For example, have you ever run across someone that operates from the belief of “I’ll screw you before you screw me?” Or, how about someone who has an abundance mentality of “win-win” or “there is enough here for all of us?” Let’s look at the ways we develop our beliefs.

One – Our Home: Think of the times when you have heard your parent’s words rolling off your tongue. This is just one easy example of the profound affect our upbringing has on us. This is also why getting away from home and family can help us develop whether it is time in college, the military, or traveling abroad. When we step out of our home environment, we get to examine our beliefs, habits and culture.J.R. Atkins advocates education and training

Two – Education and Training: As we listen, read, discuss and write about new beliefs, information and culture, we tend to expand our own beliefs. We gain a new perspective. Have you ever heard someone say “I never thought of it that way?” That’s exactly the idea. When we receive training on new tools, exercises, theories, techniques … we alter and expand our beliefs. Education can include church, clubs, professional associations, and athletics.

People influence our beliefsThree – Experience: As time goes on, we collect experiences that are converted to beliefs, habits and mental patterns. Abraham Maslow studied reactions in dogs to see if he changed the stimulus, would the response change. We too are much like the dogs in his research. Yet, unlike the dogs, we have the capacity and ability to choose to change. Humans are more than the accumulation of their life experiences. Yet, our life experiences are a major influence on our beliefs. If every time we have asked for a raise, we have been told no, then we might quit asking.

Another strong influence on experience are the people around us: family, friends, bar tenders, doctors, teachers, pastors, work associates, club members… all affect how we see ourselves and our beliefs. When we change the people around us, we change. It’s funny how that works.

In closing I challenge you to think about how your beliefs have been formed and how they are contributing to your life and business success. How are your personal beliefs contributing to the culture of your organization? If you could make a change in the culture of your workplace what would it be? Can you trace it back to a specific belief or set of beliefs?

Good luck in growing your business. I hope that this article has encouraged you in some way. Please let me know your thoughts by responding by email, social media, or to this article on my blog.

Events worth considering (updated)

donate to the academy for spiritual formation07/21/14 – Academy for Spiritual Formation, San Antonio, TX
07/24/14 – Pharmacy on a Bicycle, Dallas, TX
07/30/14 – CBA Ribbon Cutting, Belton, TX

08/06/14 – Film Screening – Wadjda, Plano, TX
08/07/14 – Walking with Palestinian Christians, Tipp City, OH
08/12/14 – The Culture Map … International Business, Dallas, TX
08/14/14 – How to Systemize Your Biz, Webinar
08/19/14 – SDC Ribbon Cutting at Harker Heights Chamber, Harker Heights, TX
08/19/14 – Selling in the Digital Age, Temple College, Temple, TX
08/22/14 – Using Facebook & Video to Grow your Biz, Temple, TX
08/23/14 – Sailing Class: Basic Keel Boat, Lake Belton Yacht Club, TX
08/26/14 – Big 5+1 of Social Media, Harker Heights, TX
08/28/14 – Film Screening: Dancing in Jaffa, Belton, TX

09/02/14 – Small Biz Selling in the Digital Age, Temple College, TX
09/05/14 – The Governors Small Biz Forum, Belton, TX
09/13/14 – Spurfest, Gatesville, TX
09/16/14 – Facebook for Holiday Results, Harker Heights, TX
09/18/14 – Growing Your Biz with Facebook, Framers Branch, TX
09/24/14 – Leadership Institute, Leawood, KS

10/07/14 – Social Media for Business Growth, Temple College, Temple TX
10/16/14 – Building LinkedIn for Biz, Farmers Branch, TX
10/21/14 –Managing your Social Media, Harker Heights, TX

11/04/14 – Small Biz Marketing for Growth, Temple College, Temple TX
11/08/14 – Caribbean Sailing Trip, Tortola, BVI (room for 4 more)
11/20/14 – Google+ for Business, Farmers Branch, TX


The Value of Continuing Education by J.R. Atkins

If you consider yourself even somewhat successful in life, then you probably have an appreciation for continuing education. It does not matter if your education was attained in an artisan fashion through an apprenticeship program or if you hold a PhD from a prestigious university. Once we reach a level of skill and knowledge and begin to apply it, we find there is more to know. Some professions require CE units to continue one’s eligibility to practice their craft. For the rest of us, we are left to find our own way.

As I reflect on the past few years of growth and continuing education, I find that I receive this education in the follow ways:

  1. J.R. Atkins likes Duct Tape SellingConversations – With people with different perspectives, different backgrounds and life experiences, and often smarter than me. The DFW World Affairs Council is a good place for this.
  2. Books – Both fiction and non-fiction, especially about growing companies, new technology, and suspense thrillers. Two recent reads are Duct Tape Selling and Tribal Leadership.
  3. Workshops – Anything from a 30 minute Webinar to a full day with an expert, often about new products or businesses, such as my client, Financial Halo and their Prescriptions at Cost Program.
  4. Conferences – South by Southwest interactive (SXSWi) is one of my favorites, but I also attend world affairs related conferences such as “Walking with Palestinian Christians” in Tipp City Ohio.
  5. Structured Course Work – Self-study or guided by an expert such as the Academy for Spiritual Formation a 2 year course that meets each quarter for a week at a retreat center.

 

I also see a trend in the types and topics of continuing education:Prescription Medications at cost

  1. Industry Knowledge – skills, regulations, new developments
  2. Self-Improvement – Being vs. Doing
  3. Skill Development – WordPress, Public Speaking, Patience, Writing
  4. Spiritual Development – Prayer, Giving, Mission work
  5. Financial Development – Reducing expenses and increasing wealthJ.R Atkins needs your suppot to attend the Academy
  6. Management – New trends, Leading Projects, Online Management Tools
  7. Leadership – Beyond setting an example and motivating to help people attain their potential

 

As for frequency, I usually attend at least on big conference each year where I travel away from my local area and spend 2-5 days in a hotel thinking, learning, writing, planning and growing.

What about you? What kind of continuing education do you attend and how often? What would you say is the best source of development for you? I’d appreciate you sharing your experience and ideas on the blog so others can see, but any communication method that is good for you is good for me.

P.S. Note that I have two locations now:

North Texas Location: 8745 Gary Burns Dr # 160-210, Frisco, TX 75034J.R. & Stacey Lead a Ministry now

Central Texas Location: 1105 Bridge St, Gatesville, TX 76528

And my wife and I have started a ministry for spiritual growth called Something Different Ministries.

Events worth considering

 


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