Glassholes. Love this spot.

Emotional Ads Work Best f

Twice as well as purely rational ones, in fact.

It’s a fucking startup. Why are you here? f

betashop:

It has now been 150 days since Fab completed its 2013 restructuring which saw us cut our operating expenses by two-thirds and go from more than 750 employees to around 300 today.

Since then, armed with tens of millions of dollars, a great brand, loyal customers, a passion for design, an…

Leadership.

Source: betashop

FireChat Could Be the First in a Wave of Mesh Networking Apps | MIT Technology Review f

I think this mesh network stuff is going to be HUGE, especially among the Snapchat / under 30 crowd. It’s private messaging device networks, without internet, without even wireless carrier access. You heard it here.

The Human Price of Noncompete

Reading Scott Kirsner’s Boston Globe article on this Easter Sunday (“Time to get rid of ‘noncompete’ agreements,”) and reflecting on the human toll of these ridiculous and unfair legal instruments.

The piece tells 3 stories of people and businesses negatively impacted by the law, which has already been rendered unenforcible in progressive states like California and New York.

After the outcry from the Boston startup community in support of Governor Patrick’s proposed change to the law, it’s easy to think this is a conflict between the interests of Massachusetts’ venture community and that of its more established businesses. It’s not.

Nor is it about impairing any company’s right to protect their underlying intellectual property (through NDA agreements), or preventing former employees from hiring current ones en masse (protected by non-solicit agreements.) Those protections are actually strengthened by the Governor’s proposed compromise.

This is about improving labor mobility in the Commonwealth in a way that will benefit everyone. It’s about freeing people - people with families and mortgages; people in the already stressful place of a job transition that may or may not have been forced upon them; people trying to grow businesses that bring good jobs to Massachusetts.

Ask yourself this: Should your last employer have the right to restrict who you can work for next? This law is about protecting that right even if they fire you. Trying to pass a law like that today would be a joke. Yet there will be legislators - supported by a handful of backward-thinking big businesses led by EMC - who will fight for it in the coming weeks. Shame on them.

Scott’s conclusion:

Noncompete agreements are wonderful for employers who want to keep workers from jumping ship — and for lawyers who earn money from the legal wrangling that results when a worker does depart. But they’re bad for Massachusetts workers and the state economy.

I couldn’t agree more.

We need to rise up, and support this change. Take a minute or two to e-mail your state representative right now. Let’s wipe out the unfair leverage a handful of companies are trying to maintain over their own employees, and the unfair advantage California and New York have over businesses trying to grow and create jobs right here in Massachusetts.

It’s time to set the bunnies free. Happy Easter.

6medium,

Amazing day of outreach today in support of the Governor’s initiative. A lot of people pulling together to advance an important idea. If you were one of them, even in a small way, THANK YOU.

It’s a great start, but will only be as effective as we can sustain the effort, sustain the visibility, and sustain the pressure on our State Representatives to do what’s right for Massachusetts.

PLEASE take 5 minutes to identify and send a message to your representatives. Let’s keep up the pressure on this, and let’s get it done.

Let’s End Massachusetts’ Non-Compete Disadvantage

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Governor Patrick will announce an economic development bill today including a measure which will essentially render the non-compete agreement you likely signed with your employer un-enforceable in Massachusetts. California and New York - our frequent partners on the annual Olympic medal stand of US venture capital rankings - made this change years ago, and have been using it to recruit some of the best people from some of our best companies ever since. 

Despite this, powerful forces led by EMC and an army of lawyers are about to rally political and financial support to oppose this change, to essentially defend their right to decide where you can work after you work for them.

Here are the Top 3 reasons you need to take some time to support this change:

  1. Indentured servitude works in Westeros, not in Westboro. Companies have every right to protect their IP with non-disclosure agreements, and their people with non-solicit agreements, neither of which will be effected by this change. The Governor has even proposed adopting the Uniform Trade Secrets Act - as 47 states already have - to strengthen these protections going forward. But employers shouldn’t be able to tell you where you can and can’t work in 2014, especially when they’re not paying you themselves.
  2. Non-competes helped destroy the last generation of great Boston technology companies. There was a time when Silicon Valley vs. 128 was a jump ball. Smart people have argued that the difference in policy related to non-competes impaired labor mobility here, and liberated it there. Efforts to correct the imbalance over the years have failed, in large part because the startup community lacked the clout, critical mass or cojones to stand up for itself. Well times have changed.
  3. Communities of innovation are powered by the natural forces of creative destruction. Smart people develop specialized expertise in big companies that solve big problems. They look around for ways to leverage that expertise, and - if they can’t - they leave to start new ones… creating jobs, capital returns, and a thriving economy in the process. A non-compete law in Massachusetts makes about as much sense as a non-running law in the Serengeti. You end up with a few well-fed lions, and no more gazelles.

Local Starterati including Bijan Sabet, Jeremy Hitchcock, Scott Kirsner, Jeff Bussgang, Dharmesh Shah and others are getting behind this issue in a major way. The New England Venture Capital Association will be leading the charge over the coming weeks, and have set up a campaign page here. If enough of us do that in the next few weeks, this WILL happen.

So take 15 minutes, find and e-mail your State Rep. Then share, like, blog, tweet, and plus the heck out of this post so everyone with a stake in this important issue can be heard.

Screw California, and screw the fat, greying lions in Massachusetts who think they can legislate your loyalty instead of earning it. Let’s rally on this, and get it done once and for all.

6medium,

So What’s A Marketing “Story?”

I talk a lot about the importance of telling a story in your marketing. But what does that mean, really? What - exactly - IS a “story?”

A story has five things:

  • Setting - The Where, and When.
  • Character - This is Who, the person you’re rooting for or against.
  • Conflict - The struggle at the core of the story, the tandem of outcomes representing success and failure that hold the reader in suspense.
  • Plot - This is What, as in What Happens. Beginning, Middle, Climax, End.
  • Theme - The Why. This is the connection between the story and the reader, what the reader takes away. 

A story ALWAYS has these five things, though one or more can be implied rather than explicitly stated (as the theme almost always is.)

Here’s what Actifio does, as most marketing would explain it:

Actifio is a protection and availability storage platform company that pioneered the industry’s first storage system optimized for managing copies of production data, eliminating redundant silos of IT infrastructure and data management applications. By introducing virtualization into data management, Actifio delivers an application-centric, SLA-driven solution that decouples the management of data from storage, network and server infrastructure and reduces costs by 10X.

Here’s what Actifio does, told as a story:

Actifio liberates your data from the siloed infrastructure that keeps you from advancing your most urgent priorities; liberating you from the excess cost, complexity, and stress of managing cloud-scale application data on infrastructure designed for the client-server era.

Which is more effective at getting you to want to learn more?

6medium,

Here’s how Eisenhower managed his time. He was a pretty productive guy.

startupquote:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.

- Steve Jobs

Source: startupquote

True Detective

Processing why True Detective hit me so hard.

You start with a fantastic story, twisting and turning through decades, well told in every way. At the core of that story is every parent’s nightmare of danger to your children, some lizard brain shit that starts when they’re born and never goes away.

And woven throughout that conflict are two characters navigating a transition we really haven’t seen before; between a young man’s view that getting older is giving up, and an older man’s understanding that it’s also a process of understanding yourself well enough to stop doing the things that hurt you and the people you love.

A fictional story is a lie that reveals the truth. This show is both a great story, and a great truth, a one-two punch that leaves a mark like the one it left on me.

image

6medium,

Great packaging makes it so much easier to pay a premium. In any business.

Qualities

Among human qualities, three stand apart.

Intelligence lets us perceive the truth. Empathy determines the quality of our relationships. Resolve measures the impact of our lives.

The sum of these is Character, the force that bends every life toward its destiny.

Great marketing built down from an understanding of the target, not up from an understanding of the product.

fastcompany:

"The resulting campaign was, in true Portland fashion, unconventional. Understanding that young locals prefer to discover things instead of being told what to buy, Helm suggested a subtle campaign focused on billboards. "It had no call to action, no name of the team, no mention of the sport, no URL," says Helm." 

More>

Source: Fast Company

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