Tag Archives: business

Squirrels have a bad rap.

I often compare myself to a squirrel: I see something new, or “shiny”, and I zoom on it. I say it in a positive way, as for me, it illustrates my constant search and interest for new things, other things that may be useful at some point in the future. Collecting “dots” that I will connect later on.

I say it knowing that the most common association of being a squirrel is lack of focus. A dear friend of mine uses it sometimes as a reminder to others in a team setting to “get back on track”: when someone is getting off topic, or too much into details, they shout “SQUIRREL” as a comical and friendly cue to refocus on the task at hand. They sometimes put a picture or an illustration of a cute squirrel on a wall as a visual reminder.

I just saw an the TV commercial (2013 I think) that prompted me to right this post. It highlights the very positive aspects of squirrels which are great attributes to have in business today: squirrels are small, quick, persistent, efficient and AGILE!

I am a Squirrel, and PROUD OF IT!   🙂

What do you think about being a Squirrel?

Are you a Squirrel?

Is your company a Squirrel Company?

PS – Here’s the post where I saw the ad, which show other clever, and very funny TV commercials.

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Click “Like” if you like this post, and don’t hesitate to share it. And by all means, comment on it.   🙂

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Don’t let anyone fall through the cracks… including you!

How many times have you heard someone say, “It’s all about who you know.” Or who knows you. Or who remembers you.

In business, large and small, you have to be in the top layers of the minds of the people you do business with, whether it’s B2B or B2C.

It’s about your network. But more importantly, it’s about how you take care of your network. You need to nurture it. Like plants… you need to water them, give them the right amount of light, enrich the soil, and even talk to them according to some.   🙂

People are the same. Look at the illustrations above. Imagine the names you see there are the names of people in your network. The bigger the name, the more you interact with them: meet in person, talk on the phone, exchange emails, follow each other’s social media, etc.

But what about those little names? Those you do not keep in touch with? Those who do not know about what you’re doing? Who knows what they are doing right now? Who knows what they are planning?

And that also means THEY do not know what YOU ARE DOING!!!!!

Imagine your cloud of names with no bid difference in size. Some will always be bigger, of course. These people you deal with regularly because things are good between you and them. But you have to wonder what you, or them, are missing by not being in touch.

Just a thought…

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Click “Like” if you like this post, and don’t hesitate to share it. And by all means, comment on it.   🙂

Montreal’s Creative Startups

Last Thursday, I went to District 3’s DemoDay, to take a look at a bunch of startups mentored by District 3 Innovation Center, at Concordia University in Montreal.

I went there partly out of curiosity, and partly as I am a designer of all sorts, as well as an entrepreneur. The event was very impressive, not only because the venue was great (Sid Lee’s Multifunctional Space setup for Montreal’s Creative Community), but the food was excellent (another startup, Gourmet chez toi), and the 13 startups who took the stage did a very good job at presenting themselves – some were more descriptive in their approach and offering, some were short and sweet and to the point: all were of course asking for money.  🙂

You’ll find information about the event and the startups on the event’s page, but here’s the list:

  • M-Dreams Stage: Entertainment. Realtime motion capture of a dancer, digitized and used to generate visuals overlayed in realtime on the dancer. http://mdreams-stage.com/
  • Hyasynth: Medicine – pharma. Developing drug-medication of select genes found in medical marijuana, to treat various illnesses without the effects of weed, such as smoking it and feeling the “other” effects. hyasynthbio.com
  • Easy CPR: Fix the problem of too many CPR procedures done wrong by… doctors and nurses. Mechanical apparatus connected to software giving realtime feedback on correctness of doing CPR, allowing CPR giver to correct while performing it. Link to their page on District3.
  • Revols: Custom earphones to fit YOUR ears. Gel-like substance formed to your ears on first fitting and solidified in under 60 secs (if I remember correctly). Procedure is guided by an app on your smartphone. Promise of serious reduction in consumer pricing compared to currently available similar customized product. revolsound.com
  • Paradox Interfaces – tryb: Building online teams to compete in SERIOUS online gaming events. paradoxinterfaces.com
  • Imaginary Spaces: Software that allows you to create virtual spaces “easily” – and 3D print them if you are such-equipped. Very interesting – had a Sketchup feel to it, but looked easier to use. imaginary-spaces.com
  • Memo App: App that allows you to create or find micro-events of you liking. The type of event that doesn’t really take much to organize, last minute type, which you may not be aware they are happening. memoapp.com
  • e-panneur: Online grocery shopping AND delivery from… MULTIPLE STORES!  Really cool.   e-panneur.ca
  • Stay22: Online event platform that takes care of “all” the logistics of attending the event of your choice: just give it the event, and it will find it, give you the date(s) and location, and propose lodging choices. Don’t remember if it also proposes transportation choices too…
  • TeekTak: online platform to help freelancers with ALL the paperwork of being a freelancer, in a “simplified” manner. teektak.com
  • JOTUN: Online game inspired by North Mythology, bringing back a lost art with this hand drawn game. jotungame.com
  • HEDDOKO: Smart motion-capture suits. Designed for advanced, professional athletes who do not have the $$$ for MOCAP, and want to get data from the field (not in a controlled environment such as MOCAP). Will also offer consumer level garments, with less sensors. heddoko.com
  • MuCity: These guys will record events from multiple points of view, package them in such as way that will allow you to “relive” the event. At this time they released the full audio of the pitches. Just need to get their app. mucity.co

Kudos to to District 3 for their work and for organizing this great event!

How to Deal with STRESSED OUT Customers

Thanks Tim!   Another great perspective on understanding and dealing with people. Especially the importance of having a clear enough picture of your own needs and objectives so you know when to… get away.     🙂

Tim Ohai

Next week, I am stoked to be joining my friends Jim Keenan (@keenan) and Anthony Iannarino (@iannarino) for a “jolt of Sales 411.” Our topic is going to be people who drive us nutshow to deal with a pain in the a$$ prospect/customer. Knowing these guys the way that I do, it’s going to be a GREAT conversation. One that you definitely won’t want to miss.

Since I typically obsess think about things way too deeply before doing these kinds of events, and I have been focused on the concept of stress this past year, I wanted to cover stress as ONE of the ways that a client can become an absolute terror.

High thermometerIn case you missed my last post on dealing with stress (and since it was months ago that I posted it!), let me give you a brief summary. I find that stress is generally…

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Building Business Partnerships: a never-ending process.

The inner workings of a business partnership
The inner workings of a business partnership: a machine that needs caring.

Isn’t it great the moment you realize that you have a great working relationship with your client, or your vendor? The moment you can say that you are partners? That you are both gaining from working together? This happens when you realize how well you work together, how well you understand each other, how well you work out the kinks.

No matter how big or how small the business connexion, getting to that level facilitates and optimizes processes, allows all to work efficiently and reach goals faster, be more productive.

Partnerships start with building trust, the foundation of any relationship. With trust we get more efficient, more agile, more responsive. As we build trust, we learn more about each other, we refine our communication, we open up, we anticipate each others needs.

We build up history to get better at what we both do. We define and refine our mutual expectations. Over time we reduce bureaucracy to increase efficiency. We all get stronger and accomplish more.

It’s a two-way street where we learn, adapt, contribute, collaborate, and adapt some more.

We grow together.

Like any relationship, it’s an ongoing thing: it needs to be maintained and nurtured. You cannot loose sight of this.

WARNING: Complacensy is enemy #1! 

In business, people come and go, but the organizations remain. Organizations evolve, and so must partnerships. When a partner’s context changes, others should be able to step up to the plate and do their best to help or adjust, as needed. That is the beauty of partnerships. It might not be easy, even pleasant (which may be a sign that complaisance snuck in…), but the goal is to find a solution together.

Partnerships are not guaranteed. They are continuously evolving. If you don’t want to loose your investment, do what you need to maintain them and don’t let your partnerships break down.

Make sense?

Happy New Year and to New Beginnings! Literally…

2009 was hard, and now it’s gone. 2010, on the other hand, is only beginning.

But it is not a clean break, far from it, and I am proof of that. 2009 was very difficult business-wise, and like many people, my life has just changed because of it: my position is no longer. And I found out just this morning, after (at least) a good time off for the holidays.

I’m upset, or course, because my security is gone, and from the looks of things, it is quite scary. I “should” find another job, because I’m able to do all kinds of things. But the fact is that there are a lot of people out there who can also do all kinds of things, and are still looking for work!

But I also feel… weird. Excited I should say. Maybe this is one of those times that I’m handed the opportunity to try something new, to reinvent myself (again), to stir up those neurons in a new direction. I actually learned a lot in 2009, mostly thanks to social media. It allowed me to re-awake (can I say that?) passions I use to have years ago when I was developing multimedia… User Experience, Immersive Learning, Mobile devices, Augmented Reality… There are opportunities out there, all I need to do is (gulp) find them.

So now, I’ll… keep on “listening”, “sharing” and “talking” to people, online AND offline.

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