TikTok and LunaTik iPod Nano Watch Bands

TikTok and LunaTik iPod Nano Watch Bands

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins likes the LunaTik Watchcase for the iPod NanoI love cool design!

So, when my wife gave me an iPod Nano for a Valentines Day gift, I wanted to find just the right case for it. Or, why not wear it as a watch? Ok, but I wanted a cool looking and sleek feeling watch band. Check out the TikTok and LunaTik designs and guess witch one I now have.

 


Perspective on Travel & Business

I enjoy doing business as I travel. The idea of rising above the stress of business to see the sights of a foreign land, to enjoy a good meal and relax by the pool are attractive. So I offer you the following thoughts on travel and business.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins taveled to Jerusalem

1.       Perspective

I like the perspective of getting away from home, office and town. Sometimes a trip of only 100 miles away can make a difference in how you see your current situation. Any time I travel I come home appreciating what I have. This is especially true when I travel abroad. When my wife and I went to Israel in January, my comment upon arriving in Dallas was “We are affluent, on our way to wealthy, according to global standards.” I take for granted our infrastructure, the rule of law, individual rights and all the wealth America has at hand. 

2.       Meet others who are doing things

It’s fun to meet people from other places both in the U.S. and abroad. Have you ever been someplace and met someone from your home town? I get excited to meet them since we are away from home. I’m sure if I met them in line at the store at home it would not carry the same level of excitement.

Dallas social media speaker J.R. Atkins recomends the book: What they dont teach at the Harvard Business SchoolI remember Mark McCormack’s book, “What They Don’t Teach You at the Harvard Business School” where he suggested that you fly in First Class because of the people you meet. There is still some truth in this today, that the people who fly are doing something bigger than themselves, something important or something new. I like to meet these people and keep in touch via Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. With Social Media, it is so much easier to have a global perspective.

3.       Time away from business productivity

As much as I like the perspective I gain through traveling, on a recent trip to Atlanta it dawned on me that I need to earn a premium on my time when I travel.

Let’s say you place a value of $100 per hour on your time. That would mean in a typical day of work from 8:00-12:00 and 1:00-5:00 you would create $800 of value. This is assuming that you are in one place creating value, like your office, and take just 1 hour for lunch. If your commute is 1 hour each way, you spent 11 total hours creating $800 of value or about $73 per hour.

Now let’s look at a day of business travel where you leave for the airport at 5:30 for a 7:30 flight and land at 9:30, drive to the business location arriving at 11:00, and work for 1 hour, take a 1 hour lunch, then work again from 1:00-5:00, hop on a plane home at 6:30 arrive in your home town at 8:30 and get home at 10:30. In this day you have created 6 hours of value in an office and let’s say another 2 hours of value working on the plane for a total of 8 hours. This would mean that you spent 17 hours creating $800 of value for or about $47 per hour.

This is how I got the idea that I need to earn a premium on my time when I travel. I also need to stay longer in one place while I am there, to spread the travel time and cost over more billable days.

The other solution is to travel less and do more through video conferencing. There are many tools in a wide array of price ranges, from free services, like Skype, to premium services like Cisco Unified Communications platform.

 4.       Time away from family and friends

A little travel might cause you to appreciate your friends and family a little more, but I submit that the more you are away, the more your relationships suffer. Telephone, email, social media and video can make a positive impact on being away from loved ones but nothing takes the place of being there. So before we hop in a plane, train or automobile, we need to make sure it is a worthy trip. (Work Travel & Family Research Project at Texas Tech University)

 What have you learned through Travel? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

 Dallas sociala media speaker J.R. Atkins attends the Social Media Club of DallasFebruary Events

 2/16 – DFW American Marketing Association Luncheon

2/17 – Social Location Marketing with Simon Salt

2/19 – Saturday at the Warwick Melrose with Ambassador Akbar Ahmed

2/28 – Dallas iPhone Developers & Entrepreneurs MeetUp


Some App Numbers

Check out the #’s for Apps

Sales of iPad apps to soar in 2011, says Gartner

Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins uses the iPhone App StoreDownloads for mobile communications devices are expected to increase over the coming years, providing new opportunities for mobile marketing campaigns.

Summary of Numbers

  • Device sales expected to exceed $15 billion
  • Application downloads will exceed $18 billion, 117% increase over 2010
  • 7% of 80 retailers in the study had a mobile marketing strategy

Sales of apps for the iPad, iPhone and other mobile communication devices are expected to exceed $15 billion (£9.4 billion) this year, according to the latest figures from Gartner. The research firm is predicting that mobile application store downloads will hit 17.7 billion this year, a 117 per cent increase on 2010, which could boost creativeDallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins uses a Samsung Android deviceandmobile marketing campaigns. “Many are wondering if the app frenzy we have been witnessing is just a fashion and, like many others, it shall pass. We do not think so,” said Stephanie Baghdassarian, research director at Gartner.

Consumers will be more willing to pay for apps over the coming years, theresearch claims, because they will see more value in having them and become more trustful of billing mechanisms.Advertising is predicted to generate just under a third of the revenue generated by application stores, the study also suggests. While apps are often play a key part in mobile marketing campaigns, a study from 2ergo last year found that brands are neglecting non-iPhone users. Just seven per cent of the 80 retailers it looked at had a mobile marketing strategy in place for non-iPhone users.

Posted by Neil Turner, find original post at: DMA: Sales of iPad apps to soar in 2011, says Gartner

ADNFCR-2705-ID-800367892-ADNFCR

Dallas Social Media speaker J.R. Atkins believes BlackBerry Apps will increaseResearch Sources: Direct Marketing Association: The DMA employs a prolific in-house research department that produces regular reports on general industry trends, as well as sector-specific issues. As an exclusive benefit, DMA members have free access to new and archived research. Additionally, the DMA has reciprocal agreements in place which means that members also enjoy free access to research produced by other industry organizations.

Gartner: Technology Research & Business Leader Insight | Gartner Inc.


Is your App idea a large or small Swiss Army Knife?

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins likes Swiss Army KnivesIs your App idea a large or small Swiss Army Knife? I have used the analogy of a Swiss Army Knife to explain that it is better to offer an App with a few high value features rather an App with so many features that the value get’s lost in the clutter.

Once an App is launched and begins to take off then you can offer a 2nd version with additional features. But don’t take my word for this idea, take a look at an article in “Gigaom” titled: “Feature Creep Emerges as Next Challenge for Mobile Devs” by Ryan Kim. He points out the risk of scope creek and more in this insightful article.

Feature Creep Emerges as Next Challenge for Mobile Devs

Dallas Social Media Speaker J.R. Atkins writes on Mobile AppsThe mobile app ecosystem has been an amazing story over the last couple years, as millions of users have latched on to smartphone applications. The fast growth and the rising competition in apps has me wondering how soon before we may see feature creep overtake mobile apps, undercutting their usefulness.

Feature creep, as a reminder, is that piling on of features for products, often software, making the overly complex for users. It’s an issue that will — if it hasn’t already — increasingly face mobile developers, who have less margin of error to work with. Mobile apps are already slimmed-down pieces of software that promise to do simple tasks. One of the reasons why they’ve taken off in popularity is because they often serve as short cuts for actions that might have taken longer through a mobile web application. Adding features that may not be useful to the core functions of an app could detract from its value proposition.

recent Harris Poll commissioned by EffectiveUI, a user interface consulting firm, lays out the issue.

  • 73 percent of mobile app users agree that they expect a company’s mobile app to be easier to use than its website
  • A full three-quarters think mobile apps should do exactly what they want or need them to do

Most mobile devices are small and don’t offer the same real estate as a website or computer application, forcing mobile developers to be really savvy about how they incorporate new features and improvements. I talked with a few UI experts about the issue, who agree that this is going to be an increasingly important challenge for mobile developers.

Anthony Franco, president of EffectiveUI, said developers are expected by mobile users to push out updates faster than desktop software or online sites. But he said it’s important for developers and designers to increasingly scrutinize their apps to ensure the apps don’t evolve into something too complex, as complexity is one of the two main reasons why users delete an app (the other is when they no longer find it useful).

Elizabeth Churchill, principal research scientist at Yahoo Research, said she’s started to hear more grumbles about increasingly complex apps. She said it’s a natural part of software development, but the winning apps in the future — the ones that sustain and grow a user base — will be the ones that learn how to mature gracefully and thoughtfully. “It’s so easy to delete an app and look around and find another one that’s not as annoying,” she said.

Here are some things to consider for app developers:

  • Consider how critical the updates are to users and what the point of the app is. If an improvement fits into the spirit of the app, go for it, but don’t just add features to keep up with the competition.
  • Regularly look at user feedback. Developers need to stay in touch with users to ensure that they’re adding features that add real value.
  • Stay focused on keeping an app useful for mainstream users. There is a temptation to play to more advanced users, but Franco said designers should look at targeting 80 percent of the market.
  • Rethink the dependence on icons. Anthony Andre, founding principal of Interface Analysis Associates, said apps rely a lot on icons but as they proliferate, they can overwhelm. He said inserting more text and making sure people understand their options can help users remain engaged with an app.
  • Consider separating an app by its functions or by its users to maintain its simplicity. As some apps take on more complexity, app makers should consider breaking out features into their own app to ensure that one app isn’t too cluttered. Or as Churchill suggests, look for ways for users to customize their experience so the app better fits their needs.
  • Features by themselves are not the problem. Franco said apps like Facebook show that one app can host a number of features when done well. But they have to be complementary. The problem isn’t the number of features, it’s making sure that they’re all useful to users and work well together.
  • As developers add more functions, look to maintain balance so users who want differing things out of one app can all get to it easily.

This is just the start, but these are some basic tips for developers. This may not be an issue for many developers who keep their apps streamlined, but feature creep is a natural temptation over time. The worst thing is for users to lose the joy and the feeling of efficiency they have in using mobile apps.


Work Space

What is a work space? I take it to mean a place, where work gets done. But what does it take to get work done? Consider the environment, from lighting, to decorations, to sound, to light, to co-workers and fellow tenants. Almost anything that can and does contribute to you producing your best. Yet, as I visit with clients, I see a wide variety of work conditions.

My favorite work space exists at one of my clients locations, [x]cube LABS, where I am performing work “on-site”. I am filling an employee-type role, working “full time” to generate the deliverables for the project.

 Dallas Social Media Speaker helps the xcube LABS team

The company occupies space in an Art Gallery/Studio environment. At the front of the building, there is a successful art gallery, Marty Walker Gallery, with artist studios occupying the rest of the building. As my client is in the design business, they chose to rent space with other artists. This is very different for me. I’m used to the glass and steel structure of “Class A” office space and I found this new environment both refreshing and productive.

Here are topics I consider to contribute to being your best and producing your best.

1. Creating & Thinking: This is what many of us get paid for. Anyone can just do a job but to progress in your role, it’s your thoughts and creative contributions that count.  So, create a space that is conducive to creative work and thinking. Is your desk cluttered or clean, do the items on your desk contribute to or detract from your thoughts? What about the walls, lighting, plants, music, a candle burning, your chair… If your work space is not conducive to your creating, then change it. If you cannot change it enough, find a place at a park, a library, a book store, a zoo, or an art gallery that is conducive to your creative process.

2. Resources & Tools: Whether it is a computer, books, a white board, a tablet, colored markers, or a musical instrument, find the tools and resources you need to be productive and make sure you have them at your finger tips. We get distracted and off task when we have to hunt down our tools.

3. Others: Sometimes we need to collaborate with others to produce results. Other times, someone can block us from producing results. Don’t let anything stand in your way of being the best you can be. Go the extra distance to seek those you need to collaborate with. I will schedule lunch with certain people and take notes while we are together. Later, these notes form ideas for projects, blog posts and speaking points.

4. Measurement: How do you measure your results? Of course we can use money, as it is the measure of the market place. Our annual income is in direct proportion to how the market is valuing our contribution. Another big measurement for me is satisfaction. Am I satisfied with my life, my growth, the work I am producing and the people in my life?

5. Mobile Work, on the go, hot cubing: Many of us are working mobile. This can mean working from home, on-site for clients, in the office some, traveling or hanging out at Starbucks. “Hot Cubing” is like Hot Bunking in the Navy. Your work space is being used by a co-worker when you’re not in the office.

All of the above mentioned forms of working can create stress, (and detract from your productivity), or you can turn this variety of locations into a strength. By being able to work away from an office you can seek out those creative spaces mentioned above. Do you take any pictures with you for your traveling work space? My desk top on my laptop is a slide show from my last trip to the BVI. This gives my space a home like feeling where ever I work.

6. Fragmentation: One of the biggest killers of productivity is interruptions. They can take the form of email, social media, Skype, cell phone, office phone, people walking into your office, outside noise, smells …almost anything that keeps you from being your best. Sometimes I turn off my devices and set aside a specific amount of time to contribute focused time to a task. I also have to write myself a note to turn the devices back on when I am done.

What Really Matters is that you are happy, challenged, growing and have a sense that you matter, that people value you as a person and your contributions. When you can pull this off and make a good income, then you have “arrived”.

Upcoming Events

01/04/11                     Aggie Business Luncheon, Dealing with Change

01/06/11                     DFW AMA Meet-N-Greet

01/08/11                     Art Show: Lee Mascarenhas at Craighead Green Gallery

01/10/11                     Social Media & Your Career, Ft Worth Career Network (J.R. Atkins presenting)

01/11/11                     Social Media for your Business, Summit Networking Group (J.R. Atkins presenting)

01/14/11                     Israel iPhone MeetUp

01/24/11                     Dallas iPhone MeetUp

01/25/11                     The Last Tuesday Happy at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas

01/27/11                     AAF Dallas Happy Hour

01/28/11                     World Affairs Council: Ambassador Marcc Grossman


Archives

Categories

%d bloggers like this: