My 2 Favorite Blogs

January 6, 2012 Leave a comment

If you were to summarize my top two interests in business, they would easily be categorized as entrepreneurship & digital signage. I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been blessed by having great inspirations & with that being said, I want to give a shout-out to two of my favorite blogs & a quick summary for why I read them:

Digital Signage Insights – This is the first blog that I ever read on a consistent basis. It is written by David Weinfeld who has become one of the leading brains in the digital signage business. This blog has helped me tremendously, going all the way back to 3 years ago when I first entered to the digital signage market. David is by far the most passionate technologist that I know. He is laser focused on the world of digital signage & all the ways the technology interacts & impacts advanced marketing/advertising & strategic branding. He is a thought leader, an excellent contributor, & I’m honored to call him a friend.

10,000 Start-up hours – This blog is written by David Cummings, one of the top technology entrepreneurs in Atlanta. David’s contribution is a daily message covering an area of starting-up an innovative business. Having done it a significant number of times, his knowledge and advice is wise. His bailiwick is SaaS & b2b marketing and he knows it cold but David’s top contributing areas is in his executive leadership advice, strategies & tactics. I’ve learned a ton by reading his work & love the fact that his posts are daily and short.

Both of these blogs made a great impact on me in 2010. I look forward to reading more from them next year and hope you can enjoy
their work as well.

Digital Signage Insights

10,000 Start-up Hours

Advertisements

Captain Lou & the best book I’ve ever read on hiring

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

Some of you know that I started the first four years of my career in the recruiting industry working w/ @douglaskling & @egrasing. Our sweet spot was hiring unique technical talent that typically could NOT be found on job boards around the $75-125k salary range in Atlanta.

This was basically executive headhunting for critical tech hires and through this role, I learned A LOT about sourcing talent, making opportunities attractive for them, interviewing candidates, closing, & on-boarding.

There were two resources that really helped me to be most effective in my effots. One was an industry magazine, The Fordyce Letter, & the other was the greatest book I ever read on hiring: Lou Adlers “Hire With Your Head“.

Hire With Your Head is fantastic because its not just a tactical guide for hiring, but a definitive summary for the hiring landscape & a step by step tool that can be used to bring on the best talent available for your role.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is building their own team, or providing services helping others.

I’ve put together a book review of Hire With Your Head which can be found here and on Amazon but here is my brief summary.

The best talent is not on job boards or waiting to hear from you. They are heads down, doing their job- good at what they do and others in the organization are benefiting by them

so… in order to reach them, you need to do something different. You need to reach them where they are and bring them a message that shows them why they should act.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Foursquare Day & a Social Media/Digital Signage Good Time.

April 17, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s no question that Location based services are getting huge. The ability to connect and reference people with places in the digital world will enable unheard of advantages for brands, local businesses, events and most importantly just plain fun with people & games.

Last night was a big example of that. 4/16 or 4 “squared” is the date for the big annual Foursquare party. I was privileged to play a part in the event by setting up the social media signage. Using the most exciting venue digital signage app out there- LocaModa, we enabled individuals to communicate to the crowd through the screen via twitter, text, email & photos.

Here are the stats on the interaction followed by my favorite 6 pics that were sent up to the screen:

  • 554 Tweets which included #4sqATL
  • 39 Photos-to-screen
  • 11 Text-to-screen messages

John Imlay Interview Review (Part 1)

April 14, 2011 4 comments

Last night, I was blessed to hear Mr. John Imlay speak to an entrepreneurial audience at TiE Vista. If you don’t know who John is, please keep reading. In a humble attempt to summarize, he is one of the founding fathers of the global software industry, the man behind the venerable MSA, and the angel partner to the Atlanta tech investment dynasty alongside Sig Moseley.

John on the left, Sig Moseley on the right

John on the left, Sig Moseley on the right

I recently read the 2005 interview of John Imlay, which can be found by clicking this link.

This is a fascinating interview, and I highly recommend it to ALL entrepreneurs. To me its a tale of composure, of intelligent decisioning, the importance of communications, tactical marketing, and the value of relationships.

Here are just a few of my favorite excerpts:

  • Rock-solid conviction– just out of college at GA Tech, John interviewed with IBM. They offered him the job but told him if he accepted, he wouldn’t be able to wear argyle socks like the ones he had on. John quickly proceeded to take his socks off and placed them down on the interviewers desk- then walked out! IBM and others never forgot this story as Mr. Inlay rose to the top of the software world.
  • Atlanta Roots– John always kept Atlanta as his home. There is a quote for a time when it was in the companies best interest for him to move to Chicago and he retorted, “what part of Georgia is that in?” Needless to say, he never left Atlanta.
  • Hangin’ tough– John bought MSA in troubled times and intentionally took them through bankruptcy. He had to let go 700 of the 750 employees as he consolidated the company to just their software offering. People called him the butcher on Peachtree street. But it was only by firing these 700 that allowed his company to survive and grow to over 3000 employees over time. Even when faced with the toughest of climates, he was able to what was best for the company.
  • Get out there and talk!– John was the “man-outside” at MSA. He spoke over 150 times/year introducing the world to software and helping people understand the future of technology. He had many fantastic experiences along the way including those that involved politicians and international icons. It was his evangelical behavior that got his company adopted by businesses throughout the world. John’s emphasis in the interview was that story telling and jokes were the key ingredients to his speaking success.
  • Maintenance Revenue– Plain and simple, John and the staff at MSA invented the provision of maintenance services and the recurring revenue that so many SW companies now focus and depend on. There are a lot of companies that owe him a good bit of thanks in that category.

I am sure that stories of John’s life could produce 100 more bullet points equally as fascinating as these above and I’ll be posting a few more of my favorites within the next couple of days. In the meantime, what are your favorite stories about Mr. Imlay? I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I have. I look forward to learning more of his story and trying to mimic his practices with my career.

Categories: Atlanta, Starting-Up

112″ Display Lands on Dude’s Head. He & the Screen Survive to Laugh it off

April 11, 2011 Leave a comment

I am totally blown away at the tale that occurred with a NanoLumens display last week. To make this clear, I WAS OUT OF TOWN…and had absolutely NOTHING to do with it… I promise! :), but here is what happened:

One of our partners rented out a display to a customer during a recent live event. Bypassing the words of caution in the owner’s manual, they decided to hang the display without utilizing the factory stabilizer bar. The show went off without a hitch; that is, until the breakdown session.

Two guys climbed up on a 15 foot ladder to take down the display. While holding the unit (without the stabilizing bar) they cut the zip ties supporting it. Immediately the display folded in the middle (its flexible dummy!) throwing one of the guys off-balance. He then fell to the ground…and like the old nursery rhyme,  the display came tumbling after!

The NanoLumens 112″ display actually landed on the guy on the floor’s head and then hit his foot. He got up, brushed himself off, probably checked his britches, and then put the stabilizer bar back in the display so they could roll it off site and send it to us for repair.

I just saw the unit with my own two eyes and here it is:

The absolute best quote of the evening was when the victim proclaimed, “I’m just glad it wasn’t a LCD!”

And the moral of the story: READ THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL, please!

Categories: Uncategorized

The Largest Name nobody thinks of in Digital Signage

April 7, 2011 2 comments

My colleague and I were in Tampa last week for the AVI-SPL National Sales Convention. If you’ve never heard about these guys then pay attention. They have set themselves apart in the commericial Audio & Visual industry and are steaming into the digital signage marketplace through integrations and relationships with a majority of top US company’s and venues for digital integration. I could write pages about the stuff I learned this week, but in the effort of keeping it short and sweet (just as I like my blogs), here a few key takeways:

  • Its all in the numbers: AVI-SPL does over a half a billion USD in annual sales. They have approximately 40 offices around the world, 1400+ employees, and have done over 3500+ AV projects annually through the recent years.
  • Technology agnostic: These guys are not dependent on ANY technology. They can implement any digital signage software, player, OS, screen, projector, connectivity equipment, mount, enclosure, etc.
  • True experience: The employees typically have experience ranging back more than 10 years in this business…most of them doing screen installs & connectivity before “digital signage” was a recognized term.
  • Culture & Leadership: Led by executives, Don Mastro, John Zettel, and their fearless founder Marty Schaffel (who procures some fantastic cigars – I had the privilege to join him for one for a half hour). These guys make AVI-SPL a place that can acquire and retain the top talent in this industry.

I was very impressed with the company, the people, and the event, and I am super happy that NanoLumens was a part of the party. Here is a quick image of our setup in the hallway connecting the two major areas of the facility.

We strongly believe that you will be seeing some mutual projects between our companies throughout the rest of the year!

Categories: Digital Signage

Too Many Static Signs at the DIGITAL SIGNAGE Expo!

March 2, 2011 2 comments

One of the things that caught my attention at DSE last week was the overabundance of static banners above all the display manufacturers’ booths. This to me was crazy…it’s the DIGITAL SIGNAGE Expo and this is what we get from the creators of Digital Signs?

There was one beautiful booth however that had two 112″ displays around a circular banner, hanging high in the air for everyone to see…in fact you could see these displays from virtually anywhere on the floor. I’m obviously tooting the NanoLumens horn here but big ups to the home team for making this happen…and take that you large display manufacturers! 🙂

Categories: Uncategorized
%d bloggers like this: