I moved to San Diego, California in October of 2005 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was a difficult decision at the time because everything and everyone I knew was in Pennsylvania. I’ve always been the type of person to take calculated risks and this became just that. After securing a great job I packed up all of my things into a moving truck and started the venture cross country. Seven years later I’ve decided to make a similar cross country trip, this time to New York City. As I reflect back on all of the incredible experiences I’ve encountered as a Californian I thought I would summarize the lessons I’ve adopted while living in the laid back Golden State.
1. Never forget where you come from
2. Be grateful for everything that you have
3. Take as many sunset pictures as you can
4. Don’t stop smiling
5. Always live IN the moment (put your phone down)
6. Align yourself with people you can learn and grow from
7. Taking a nap on the beach is one of the most relaxing things to do
8. Find a job close to your home so you eliminate driving each day
9. Why have a gym membership when you can turn the outdoors into your playground to work out in
10. Sign up for as many races as you can – go outside of your comfort zone
With over 365 Million iOS devices sold through March 30, it’s important to see how new updates will change the way we navigate the mobile world and also the ultimate affect it will have on local advertising. Who else would change our mobile experiences so dramatically then the one who truly started the mobile innovation in the first place. Here’s a quick summary on what today’s announcement of the new Apple IOS 6 means for SMB advertisers. Today Apple previewed iOS 6, introducing over 200 new features and released a beta version to iOS Developer Program members.
Summary of new iOS 6 features include:
An all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography,
Turn-by-turn navigation and an amazing new Flyover view;
New Siri® features, including support for more languages, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings;
Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center, Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari® and Maps;
Shared Photo Streams via iCloud®;
and Passbook, the simplest way to get all your passes in one place.
The 2 MOST relevant updates for SMB Advertisers:
1. Maps:local search on Apple devices will soon include information for over 100 million businesses with a beautifully designed info card. These info card pages on the new Apple map also integrates direction with Yelp ratings, reviews, available deals and photos. If you’re a local business – it’s even more important now to have an incredible online presence and customer ratings and reviews than it ever has been. If your business does not have any online local presence its still unclear as to how you’ll show up on iOS 6.
Now this also brings up a few unknown questions at this time as well.
What sources is Apple getting this list of 100 million local businesses from?
Is it a data feed from companies like InfoGroup?
Is it via an Apple iOS Developer API?
How can you ensure that your business’s ratings and reviews will show up on iOS 6 devices?
2. Siri: with integrations with Yelp and OpenTable restaurant owners will be happy to know that people can view ratings and reviews as well as schedule a reservation with just a click of a button and the help of Siri.
Obviously these are just two known features that will change systematically how consumers interact with their mobile devices and how as a SMB advertiser you can get generate new business via Apple’s iOS 6 release this fall. Stay tuned as more information is released on features that improve and expand advertising capabilities on all new Apple devices. This truly is just the tip of the iceberg, look out for many more mobile updates to enrich our experiences as a consumer and advertiser.
One of my favorite books has been Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It’s incredibly inspiring to truly see deep into the thoughts and inner workings of one of the most brilliant minds of our lifetime. Steve honestly felt that anything was possible and that there were no limitations to his creations. His ability to identify solutions for problems that consumers didn’t even know they had is incredible. Most companies will improve upon existing products, whereas Steve and his team of engineers developed products that were only imagined in sci-fi type cinema.
The book will absolutely give you a unique perspective on how one of the most successful business men lived his life and built several companies from nothing to something. It’s inspiring, shocking, informative, and blatantly true. I’ve always learned so much from quotes and here is a compilation of some of my favorite from the book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. ~ Steve Jobs
Here’s a collection of other incredible Steve Jobsquotes to live by (originally posted by Big Is The New Small).
Friends, colleagues, and twitter followers hear me daily boast about the different mobile apps I use on a regular basis that I’m excited about. Mobile technologies and applications are growing at exponential rates making it easier to interact, shop, search, discover, play, research, read, and the list goes on and on. The number of companies and applications that have been born specifically targeting mobile usage is practically impossible to track. As connected as I am to digital media blogs and tech update streams, I’m still finding companies that have been operating for a year that are innovating in ways never seen before. The best of these applications look to change the way we interact with and navigate through the world we live in. Foursquare‘s mission is simple: to build software to make the world easier to use, and already over 10 million people have tried this mission out. Over 17 million merchant locations are also on the foursquare platform. Many users have preconceived notions of what foursquare is and isn’t – and with the continued aggressive developments and enhancements it’s almost a totally new and different application now than when you may have used it last. Since the launch at SXSW in 2009 I’ve seen an evolution of foursquare, and hope to simplify it here so you begin to leverage one of the best applications available today. It has changed the way I interact with the world and hope it helps you as well. I wish I had the time or the design skills to create a cool Infographic – maybe another time.
In light of recent events, I’ve been thinking constantly about my goals, life ambitions, accomplishments I will achieve, companies I will help build and the stories I’ll tell to my children and grandchildren. I think about what drives and motivates me on a regular basis, and evaluate if my current actions reflect those future goals. Just as a clerk at grocery store will take inventory on products missing from the shelf, we should all encourage one another to do to same with our lives. If you identify that you’re missing something, make immediate changes to receive more of that specific need. A very cool tech startup in NYC wants to help you develop, track, and achieve your goals in 365 days or less is called Accompl.sh. This is something that I feel everyone could benefit from; and you should signup for an account today and try it out. It’s like having your own personal life coach!
When I speak about goals I’m reminded of one of my favorite keynote speeches from Steve Jobs at the Stanford Commencement Ceremony in 2005. My absolute favorite excerpt is when he speaks so passionately about death and our purpose while we’re alive. I wrote a blog post once about living out your Dash and still to this day incorporate Steve’s ideologies into my daily routine.
“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs
At the end of February, twenty friends and I will embark on a journey that some would think is ridiculous, physically exhausting, and insane. Tough Mudder is known as the “Toughest Event on the Planet” consisting of a hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Over the past few years I’ve raced in over 20 events, but the most rewarding are those that give back to charitable organizations. It makes the race more meaningful and helps those less fortunate than others. What’s great about Tough Mudder is more than $2.5 million dollars has been raised for the Wounded Warrior Project. Here’s a quick preview video of the race coming up. I hope to video parts of the race and report back on the fun adventure.
I wanted to write a quick post about something that I personally believe could positively change the world we live in. It’s something that each of us can consciously do in our day to day activities. As we all saunter through life it’s always easy to point out the bad things about certain situations. From bad service at a restaurant to limited features of a product and improvements that could be made to an event – you know the feeling that you get when you get frustrated. Instead of blowing off steam and complaining about it – have you ever just sat back and openly discussed with a friend how you could make the situation better? Actually tried to make a difference.
I don’t intend to take you on a ride on the ‘positive thinking bandwagon’, but have you ever actually discussed how you could make the situation better. I find myself commonly saying to a friend or colleague “what if there was something that….” or “what if they did this instead.” I often try to reach out to the owner or manager of the product or service to let them know about my idea to help them with the opportunity for improvement that I stumbled upon.
If you really find a great way to improve the product or service write it down – it could be the next big idea that turns into the next big company that is created. Every company starts by answering the question “what problem does this solve.” Today, I have a list growing now of probably 30 ideas (some very bad, some better than others) that I’ll research each to see if there’s a viable business opportunity there. You never know what idea could be the next big IPO or acquisition that you read about on BusinessInsider.com.
If you train your mind to work in a way that constantly tries to improve situations, products, services, or anything in life for that matter I feel you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results you see.
Daily deals, local offers, coupons, gift certificates, check-in specials, and the list goes on for ages. Who would have thought that the discount landscape would look like it does today? In 2010 there was 3.3 billion traditional coupons clipped and redeemed. This doesn’t take into account for the multi-billion dollar daily deal industry that crept in like the Trojan horse. Obviously when the economy is turned upside down with financial instability it drives consumers to seek for ways to save. Or it is?
I know that with my direct network of friends, colleagues and business associates sometimes finding a great deal is more than just saving a few dollars. It’s almost a competition at times to see who is aware of the smoking hot deal from the best excursion in town. I’ve been immersed in the daily deal industry ever since I first heard about Woot back in 2004. It wasn’t until three years later that LivingSocial would start: cataloging people’s interests on Facebook. YES, that’s not made up – there was a time. They didn’t enter the deal space until Groupon entered in late 2008. Building Deal Current from the ground up has given me the distinct privilege of building a scalable technology platform that’s helped launch over 200 programs throughout North America. I was there from the first shovel in the dirt and boy as I look back I hardly recognize the space anymore. I’ve learned a lot about consumer trends, technology capabilities, merchant resources, UI flaws, and failure and success consistencies.
Where is this industry headed though?
Will we continue to see consolidation in the near future?
Who will lead, who will survive, and who will vanish?
What new products will we see? Here’s my predictions on all of these. Read more
There comes a time in all of our lives where we are witness to incredible events or motivational speeches that help us realize the importance of making a difference other peoples lives. Just recently I had the distinct privilege of attending the 3rd Annual Classy Awards, put on my San Diego startup StayClassy. This was an unbelievable event showcasing some of the countries most heartfelt non-profit organizations. From Invisible Children, Kiva, Team Rubicon, and Movember to F Cancer, The Soldiers Project and I’m Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation I was inspired by everyone’s story and achievements.
What fascinates me is how this world truly works. All it takes is ONE person with a passion and desire to make a change, and after one social movement it can ward off poverty or hunger in a third world country, battle childhood diseases and cancer, fight a war across the planet, and even give light to important newsworthy happenings. I myself found myself sitting there asking “How can I help out more?” There has to be a way to add into my crazy busy schedule at least a few hours EACH week where I’ll make a difference in this world. If it’s volunteering at a local soup kitchen or starting a nation-wide movement on a topic that’s near and dear to me, I AM making the COMMITMENT. Read more
Lately I’ve been thinking in an entirely different mindset when it comes to business, friendships, life, love, whatever – and so I figured I’d write a bit about this experience. As anyone that probably knows me, I’m a work horse and tend to spend too much time in the office as it is. I really enjoy what I do, but most importantly I love the fact that I can honestly look back over the past year and say “wow, I grew a ton as a person.” I’m big into bucket lists and setting goals for myself but one conscious decision I made last year has made a dramatic impact that I’d like to share. I made the decision that I was always going to live in the moment, stay consistently positive, expect the unexpected, and live limitlessly.
From taking a leap of faith and leaving a phenomenal company (Active.com) to startup our own technology company to where we’re at today – it really wouldn’t have been possible had I not taken the aforementioned course of action. I say that because it’s important to either surround yourself with great people that can bring out your best or you need to be able to bring out your own best on a daily basis. Too many times we focus on what’s not working or what we don’t have in life. There’s obviously no clear benefit to that mindset, and if anything it can set you back with any progress you’ve recently made. So raise your glass and toast to finishing out the year strong, improving as a person daily, and never accepting mediocrity.