Monthly Archives: September 2013

What Businesses Want: Collaboration and Group Work Tops New Survey Responses

Ideas and CollaborationYou might call it an idea generation.

A new survey suggests that collaboration is the driving factor behind business’s evolution in the global economy. We may well be among a new breed of increasingly online teams — teams who are defining an era, one group-project innovation at a time.

Conducted by Prezi, the findings in the report show a community that prizes creativity and the kind of bringing together of ideas that fuels growth. That’s a key message. Turning to the numbers, and the participants, we consider what it means for the thinkers and doers that are moving their companies forward.

Idea Economy, Idea Generation

The workplace is changing under the influence of the digital space.

From open-source developers to the advent of the freelance staff and remote-location interactivity, old-school structures are being replaced by something else.

“Our team brainstorms and exchanges ideas everyday,” said Mike Butera, CEO and founder of Artiphon, a Nashville-based company with employees all over the globe that has recently launched a musical instrument that combines iOS and hardwood. “We depend on real-time collaboration tools … to help us demonstrate our instrument to musicians and pitch to investors regardless of everyone’s location.”

Prezi’s survey shows what may well be evidence of the shift that’s manifest in that kind of work environment — a redefinition of what’s essential to how a project unfolds.

  • 97% of the survey takers said the best ideas are team-driven concepts.
  • With team-driven concepts are happening in real time, version control is imperative. 27% of those polled said losing that control is the number one impediment to success.
  • It’s the results that matter. Reputation isn’t a result. In fact, 42% of the respondents to the survey said creativity was more important than experience to a business team, and 37% said that efficiency took a back seat to creativity.

The numbers suggest a kind of proof is in the pudding mentality. Rock stars can be replaced by the next bright young players.

Further still, more than a quarter of the survey participants said that over the past five years their companies have dramatically increased their budget for design. In the realm of the idea economy, businesses want to see new concepts made real, and they’re willing to take the time to foster them. And they’re spending money to do so. Creativity, collaboration, and the ability to work as a group toward a new idea — these are the skill sets of the idea generation.

 

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My name is Ben and I work for Mozy

Welcome back to another edition of “My name is…” blog series. This month we’d like you to meet Ben Nettesheim, our Senior Manager of eCommerce. Ben is the glue that ensures that all the different online tentacles that Mozy has out there are positioned for our benefit. Do our SEO words leverage online marketing campaigns? Do all of our website(s) convey the right message, the way they should? Do our online efforts make us even more stellar? Simply put, Ben is our eCommerce Yoda.

My name is Ben and I work for Mozy

I define my workspace as …
The website!

A device I can’t live without …
My Google Nexus phone, Hydro 5 Razor, and Old Spice Pure Sport deodorant.

When I arrive at work, I typically start off by …
Logging into my web dashboards. Who came to the website? Who purchased? Who left comments?

My work routine is …
Analyze, ask questions, and adjust the experience. Rinse and repeat.

I do/do not listen to music at work and it helps me work better because …
I do! A Pandora quick mix is where I typically live. A variety of all sorts of music keep me going.

The best advice I can give a recent college graduate looking to do what I do is …
Get involved. Start your own blog or website. Implement some tracking for free like Google Analytics. Try making some cash off it for fun.

Outside of work, I am passionate about …
Wisconsin sports, Real Salt Lake, and the US National and Brazilian National Soccer teams. I also love being crazy w/ my young kids, camping in the beautiful Utah National Parks, and geeking out to tech news.
Author’s note: I wonder if Ben left off “Walking Dead” from his list intentionally?? Most of the Marketing team are die hard fans and other than sports talk – “Walking Dead” is high on the list!

My eating habits are …
I’m in charge of Sunday dinner in our family, so I have a lot of fun w/ that. Some of the fan favorites have been dubbed “Bensagna, Benoganoff, and “Man Roast.”

If I could be someone for a day – I would be …
Easy Peazy. Captain America. Give me an Adamantium shield and super human speed and strength, and I’m good to go!
Author’s note: Captain America…yeah…duh ☺ What Ben left out is that his family also dresses up for movie premières – I believe he was Snake Eyes for the G.I. Joe premiere. Ben can be counted on for dressing up for Halloween.

The “secret sauce” that makes me who I am …
My wife and five kids. Yeah… a lotta sauce.

8 Upcoming Movie Remakes We Aren’t Sure We Need

As they’ve done time and time again, Hollywood is turning to the past to find the movies of the future.

Some people argue that with a quality initial film, you don’t need something new – that the original is something to be honored for it’s excellence. Likewise, if your original work is backed up and protected, you don’t need to recreate something you’ve already put a lot of time and effort into (unless you want to – or you think millions of people will pay to come and see it). Others say that if the original movie wasn’t that great (or, even if it is), that a fresh look could be the ticket to a film and a story that everyone enjoys.

Here are eight remakes you’ll be seeing in theaters over the next couple of years, with their original trailers and Rotten Tomato scores for reference. What do you think – are you looking forward to the remakes, or are you a tried and true “original” fan?

1. Robocop – (88%)


Remake Info Source

2. Jumanji – (50%)

Remake Info Source

3. The Jungle Book – (86%)

Remake Info Source

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – (44%)

Remake Info Source

5. Dirty Dancing – (72%)

Remake Info Source

6. The Mummy – (55%)

Remake Info Source

7. Overboard – (50%)

Remake Info Source

8. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids – (75%)

Remake Info Source

‘Tinder’ presents: An app to discover those around you

'Tinder' presents: An app to discover those around youWhile it’s great to make new friends, meeting people can be awkward and uncomfortable. What will you talk about? Do you share similar interests?

Now there’s an app seeking to bridge the gap between “complete stranger” and “BFF”.

Mobile app Tinder displays short profiles (which include picture, name, age, and shared friends and interests) of people near you and allows you to express interest in making a connection or not. In the app, you can set your “preferences” to be matched with males and/or females, within 2 to 100 miles of your current location (location services enabled), between the ages of 18 and 50+.

If there is mutual interest in the parties getting to know each other, then the app allows both parties to connect, while still maintaining much valued user-privacy. Tinder doesn’t reveal your last name, email, or exact location. In fact, the app doesn’t have access to any more information than your current location and what’s available on your Facebook, and it is incredibly selective about the information it pulls from your account so stalkers and trolls won’t find you.

Once both parties agree to connect, Tinder’s chat feature allows users to send messages (text-only) back-and-forth until they are ready to take the relationship offline. Users can also abandon the conversation altogether and “block” people they don’t want as new friends.

But what about fraud?

Other matchmaking programs are littered with fake accounts of Jessica Alba and Joseph Gordon-Levitt lookalikes. Tinder solves that problem by linking to your Facebook account. In a way, this legitimizes the accounts created, presuming users are using their personal Facebook account. Your name and age are taken straight from Facebook, and you choose images for your Tinder profile from your Facebook albums.

In an interview with Issie Lapowsky at Inc. magazine, Tinder’s CEO, Sean Rad, shares how the app gained initial traction and grew, “We had been picking up on college campuses, then everyone went home and told their cousins and older brothers and friends about it, and all of a sudden Tinder started growing like a virus.” 

Although Tinder is used almost exclusively as a dating tool, J.J. Colao at Forbes reports Tinder’s intention to expand into business networking. This is ambitious given Tinder’s stigma as a dating app and, of course, users’ superficial nature. But anything is possible.

Let’s hope the app’s evolution brings new possibilities to mobile users who want to meet someone new, and not just for romantic purposes.

Download Tinder for free in the iTunes Store.

 

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Technically Speaking: Links of the Week – September 3

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features the success of Netflix, office gadgets that make life easier, and NASA’s innovative tech projects. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

New Gadgets Help Make Work Days Less Stressful

Lumoback

Working in an office can be stressful for a number of reasons. Maybe there’s too much work and too little time; or a boss that’s a pain in the neck. Alice Truong of USA Today writes about some new, innovative tools that could make your work day a little easier. Lumoback (pictured above) is worn like a belt and it helps the user track his or her posture by connecting to a smartphone and sending an alert when posture can be improved. Another comfort item for the office is Trigger Point Performance’s Grid Mini, a small foam roller that can be kept in desk drawers. Simply roll it over your muscles and massage away the tension. Other tech items discussed include a clean air device, a drive for extra storage, and a speaker clock to help keep to a schedule.

Redesigned Google Maps Now Available to Public

For two months Google was only allowing a select few to check out their new Maps application via invitation only. However, according to Steven Musil of CNET, the new site is now available to everyone, and it comes with some pretty cool changes. The new Google Maps Web interface offers photo tours of locations and public transportation options. Google has switched from using graphical tiles to vector data, which allows the maps to load faster. Perhaps the most spectacular of the new features is the “zoom out” that now allows users to zoom out as far as outer space.

NASA Funds 12 High-Tech Space Projects

NASA funds 12 high tech space projects

Hoping to come up with some breakthroughs in the area of space exploration and science, NASA has announced the funding of 12 projects that will use technology to create innovative projects related to space. Mike Wall of Mashable writes that the projects were selected under Phase 1 of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. All 12 offer a variety of different possibilities. For example, one will attempt to use a 3D printer to build biomaterials. A second would study how to induce deep-sleep torpor states in astronauts traveling to Mars. Phase 1 awards are in the range of $100,000 and will be used for nine-month initial analysis studies. After that, each of the project’s managers can apply for Phase 2 funding, which would be about $500,000 for two more years of concept development.

Netflix Earnings Quadruple with Arrested Development Release

Is Netflix the new HBO? Many critics seem to think so, and if the company’s earnings are any indication, things are going quite well. The Huffington Post reports that second quarter earnings for Netflix have quadrupled, and 630,000 new subscribers have been added. One of the main reasons for the success is that Netflix decided to offer exclusive television shows, the most popular being the hit comedy “Arrested Development”, which had been canceled on Network television much to the dismay of hardcore fans. There are also original shows now available on Netflix as well, including “Orange is the New Black,” from the creator of the smash Showtime series “Weeds.” Netflix is a monthly service that streams video to Internet-connected devices.

 

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