Thursday, August 29, 2013

Do You Suffer from #FOMO?

Do You Suffer from #FOMO?

In an era in which we are accosted by the meals, vacations, parties, and sheer awesomeness of most everyone we know—thanks, Instagram and everyone else in Silicon Valley!—we've never been more aware of what we're not doing. Which can occasionally lead to an anxiety disorder known as #FOMO—Fear of Missing Out. Will Welch identifies the symptoms and recommends a simple course of treatment

August 2013
Hello there, and welcome to the GQ Center for the Diagnosis and Treatment of #FOMO. Come in. Please sit down. And for God's sake, turn off your phone. We're glad you've made the decision to seek help—things are getting a little outbreaky out there. Frankly, we kind of fear for the future. And our dignity. But you have come to a safe space.
Now. Why don't we start testing your personal #FOMO levels with a little hypothetical exercise?
Let's say it's 7:30 on a Thursday night. You've made serious plans to not have plans tonight. Tonight you're going to be at home, stir-frying vegetables and having a meaningful interaction with ESPN. So while those fiddlehead ferns are sizzling, you take a quick flick through your Instagram feed. It turns out your friends, and the people you're not friends with but whose lives are somehow a daily part of your own, thanks to the wonders of 4G and social media, are not at home alone getting it on with some sugar snap peas and Stephen A. Smith. It turns out some people are out there experiencing things. Somebody is sitting at a corner booth at a downtown restaurant experiencing a delicious plate of housemade burrata (with a fancy-pants wine bottle not so accidentally lurking in the background)! Other friend types are experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime musical extravaganza that is Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z together in concert. (Check out these twelfth-row seats, bitches!) Not to mention the acquaintance who is, at this very minute, experiencing the wonder of nurse sharks (and a lady in an emerald green bikini who's placed, wine bottle like, in the corner of the picture)! Which makes you suddenly feel a little differently about experiencing the heat from your $12 wok.
Now for your diagnosis. Upon seeing all this, you: (1) Set down your phone and happily go back to your simple night, as a Buddhist monk goes contentedly back to his simple cell. (2) Feel a gentle but totally manageable pang of regret that you are not savoring the rich, creamy wonder of burrata(3) Become overcome with anxiety and borderline grief that in fact your life is lame and that you missed out on a night of limitless possibilities. Or (4) stage an artful still-life shot of your sweating craft-beer bottle and Instagram it with the caption "Nothing is more satisfying than a night chillin at home," and then lie in bed and cry yourself to sleep.
If you answered 1, congratulations. You're not only of sound mental health, you're also shockingly free of insecurities and possessed of a grounded life perspective, and you are free to leave the GQ #FOMO Center now, simply by turning the page. (You're also probably a total liar.) If you answered 2, 3, or 4, however, you are on the #FOMO spectrum. We recommend you begin closely monitoring your levels, then begin our course of treatment.
The first step in the Center's #FOMO program is a simple one: acceptance. Say it with us: "I am afraid that I'm not doing the coolest thing ever at every single moment." Doesn't that feel better? Doesn't it feel good to know that you don't always have to be at the center of the conversation?
Step two is knowing that #FOMO is an unwinnable game. Even for the people in the very pictures that are eliciting our jealousy. All those Instagram hotshots who are always doing the most exciting, most enviable, most fashionable and champagne-y stuff? They are, according to our statistical analyses here at the Center, the very individuals with the most hyperactive #FOMO. Do you know, new friends, how much work it takes to be one of those people who is at the right place at the right time, all the time? An awful lot of exertion—blood, sweat, tears, texts, e-mails, tweets, Facebook lurks, and most of all, fear—goes into making the social arts look effortless. It's that fear that makes them work so hard.
Step three is to say: Go eff yourself, Alexander Graham Bell. We here at the Center are developing a theory from our research. And it is that, with the invention of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell unwittingly brought down a new curse on humankind: the belief that, through the wonders of technology, we can be present in more than one place at the same time. And of course, the more advanced our phones become, the more attached we become to them, the more we believe we are capable of things we are not. That's why Bell's portrait hangs above me here in the Center's Receiving Hall—feel free to flip him off.
Step four is to admit: It's not our phone's fault. It's not Mark Zuckerberg's fault. It's the fault of whoever put together our brain. The fear of missing out has been with us since way before the advent of the hashtag. It's as old as typhoid, birthday parties, and fermented beverages. But just as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis didn't get a name until Lou Gehrig came around, it took Twitter to give this specific iteration of social anxiety the handle by which it is now known. Social networks simply make #FOMO go viral. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Vine—they are the mosquitoes delivering the #FOMO malaria.
Step five is to know: This is probably not going to go away. #FOMO cannot be eradicated, so instead it must be managed. You may be shocked to hear that at no time in your treatment program will you be asked to forswear your social-media applications. We just want you to get a grip. It won't be easy. Consider what happens when I open my own Instagram account (I'm not just a #FOMO Center counselor; I am also a patient—a patient with a very fragile grip) right this very moment: First I see a girl in a tank top and sunglasses who is so skimpily dressed that I definitely should not be looking at her photo here at the Center, especially since she has applied a fake tattoo of a penis to her cleavage. (I am missing a stranger's bachelorette party, perhaps? Thirty-six Likes and counting.) And here is a moodily filtered photo of New York City shot from first class on an airplane (168 Likes.) And here is a photo of a T-shirt from an expensive fashion label that apparently arrived in the mailbox of some dude I follow but have not met (235 Likes). If you prompted me to state how I feel as I scroll, I would say that my #FOMO gland is beginning to secrete inferiority hormones. I would say these photos make me feel, respectively: #Hottie #FOMO, #High-flying #Lifestyle #FOMO, and #Exclusive #Retail #FOMO. I would say I am also feeling a desperate pull to go somewhere awesome and Instagram it, to inflict #FOMO on others in a misguided attempt to have a respite, however brief, from feeling it myself.
These are not positive feelings, friends, but they are real. #FOMO is really just another word for insecurity. So when you feel it flaring up—when you have to stay late at work the night of a house party you've been looking forward to for a week; when all your buds are flying to Puerto Rico for a bachelor weekend, right at a time when you're flat-on-your-ass broke—we here at the Center suggest you speak directly to your #FOMO. Say, "I hear you, #FOMO, but now's not the time. Tonight is going to be gloriously un-Instagrammable. Tonight I'm going to hang with my $12 wok and my friend Stephen A. Smith." When you can successfully do this, you've unlocked a powerful tool that we here at the Center refer to as #JOMO.
That is: the joy of missing out.
Will Welch is GQ's senior editor, style.

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                                            Demo Day Don’ts

I think most of the end-of-season Demo Days are officially over now - at least for a while. It’s hard to be sure as the number of accelerators, incubators, and shared office facilities continues to race toward almost 200 different entities - just in the U.S. - and everyone else also wants in.  Seems like someone’s got something going somewhere every time you turn around. Still, having sat through half a dozen “days” in several cities in the last couple of months and watched more than 50 different pitches, I have a few suggestions for the teams and the teachers/mentors/coaches while we’ve got a bit of a breather.

I realize that it’s easy to carp or complain from the cheap seats (and overall each year the players and the pitches are getting better and more mature), but since I’ve been there myself literally hundreds of times, I feel entitled to offer my impressions.  You can take ‘em or leave ‘em, just don’t ignore ‘em until you’ve read ‘em.  

1. One Size STILL Doesn’t Fit All.

Too many of the pitches were just too long. Early enthusiasm and energy turned into fatal fatigue when it felt like the last few minutes were just filler. Not every company or business needs ten minutes to tell a compelling tale. Say your piece - keep the emotional level high - and then sit down. Elaboration after a point is just mental pollution. Here’s an old rule that has served me well over the years - “Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should”.

Sometimes I swear that it felt like even the guy (or girl) on the stage was just going through the motions. A separate, but related, issue is the risk of leaving your “A” game in the rehearsal room - too many rehearsals; too many coaches; and too many sleepless nights. Adrenaline will only take you so far and some of the presenters just seemed pooped to me.

2. Templates are Tiresome.

Your story and your style need to be front and center and everyone’s story is different. The type of pitch (high energy, deep detail, quick quips, pretty pix, etc.) should depend completely on the specific message you’re trying to send and the type of typical investor that you’re targeting. Go with what makes sense for your story, not some set of boilerplate presentation slides where each team just fills in the blanks. Different strokes make sense for different folks.

Maybe your team is terrific and should be a major part of the pitch (after all investors mainly vote on the jockeys and not the horses), but the tenth time the audience sees the infamous smiling team slide, it’s just tiresome and too much. Put the bios in a booklet or just bag the whole thing if your team isn’t demonstrably a compelling competitive differentiator. You’ll have plenty of time to introduce the team down the round.

And maybe it’s just me, but I’m also pretty sick of meeting “Bob”, the prototypical user or target customer, who has all the problems your product or service is going to solve. It’s a painful and tired trope and it needs to be dumped from every demo as soon as possible.

3. Don’t Let Your Dress Be A Distraction.

I think that - as a general rule - wearing your team’s t-shirt may be the safest bet of all. Dressing up or down or too distinctly is risky. The last thing you want to happen as you walk on to the stage is to have anyone looking at you rather than listening to you. Crazy clothes, hiked-up heels, bushy beards, etc. all subtract substance, attention and focus from your story. It’s just the way people are and it’s not gonna change any time soon. Make your statement some other time and place.

I realize that there are plenty of smart and savvy people who choose to dress or wear their hair in a certain style, but in this narrow context, I think that a fashion faux pas can start you off with a crowd that wonders if you’re serious and why would you want to start with that extra monkey on your back? This is a steep enough slope as it is – starting out in a rut of your own making – makes no sense. First impressions REALLY matter when you’ve only got a few minutes to make your points and your best case. And you don’t get a second chance to make that first impression either – there are no “do-overs” on Demo Day.  

I feel the same way about humor. Jokes are really hard to set up and pull off and they’re risky. You just don’t want to take the chance that your gag or stunt will fall flat and the crowd will start feeling sorry for you rather than swayed by you. They might still buy you a beer during the break, but they’ll be a lot less likely to bet their bucks on your business if they think you’re a clown. And a bad one at that.

4. Case Studies Generally Suck

Talking about your own results – user acquisition, revenue growth, major contracts, new strategic partners, etc. moves your story forward and makes a lot of sense. But trying to explain (as the clock keeps ticking) the details of a case study – even one with impressive results – is just a waste of too much precious time and – by and large – always a bad bet. You’ve got to set up the case; introduce the client and their problem; explain the context and the actions; and show the success – and all the while the audience is hearing the client’s name (not yours) and you’re talking about the client’s business (not yours) and it’s just too easy for everyone to get lost in the weeds. And frankly, they’re not that interested in a one-off anything.

The depth of the discussion required to make a sensible explanation simply isn’t worth the distraction. Just claim the results – “We saved these guys millions.” – and move on. Details to follow. You can make the point that the product works without putting the audience to sleep.

5. Funders are Fierce Followers

I was amazed at how many companies said that they had raised X or Y dollars toward their goal, but didn’t take the opportunity to say who their investors were. If your backers are willing, it’s worth the time to tell us who are they. Brand name investors betting on your business sends a very clear and concise message to the rest of the crowd that they should get on board. The bigger and faster the bandwagon, the better the fund-raising results.

You should never forget that investors don’t fear losing their money anywhere near as much as they fear being the only investor who does. Nobody today really wants to go it alone if they don’t have to and, if things go bad, at least they’ll have company in their misery. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013



video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player


Embrace mobile technology in the classroom

Embrace mobile technology in the classroom

Smartphones could be valuable education tools

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With school about to start in Chicago, it's time to consider using mobile technology in the classroom.(Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune / September 10, 2012)

As our children go back to school this year, they are entering a broken system. Bureaucrats, policymakers and teachers all have tried to fix the schools. None of the solutions has worked.
As an entrepreneur who has run companies small and large, I know solving this problem isn't about more money. It's about innovation.
President Barack Obama was on the right track when he called for Internet access in all schools. I applaud his focus on digital literacy, but investing billions in infrastructure solves a problem we don't have. Students already have plenty of Internet access. It's in their phones.
We should incorporate mobile devices into everyday learning and stop teaching our children the old-school way. In my visits to Chicago Public Schools, I have seen smartphones in the hands of nearly every kid. If we embrace these devices, we get away from arguing about schools and begin to focus on students. And students, like it or not, are avid consumers of multimedia and electronic content. According to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, our children are spending more time watching TV, playing video games or surfing the Internet (a total of seven hours and 38 minutes per day) than in school. Let's convert some of those hours into learning time.
The reality is that few kids want to read textbooks today. Nor are textbooks the best way to learn. When you factor in different learning rates, different learning styles and the different languages in our melting pot, along with a fast-changing world, static books no longer make the grade. We can deny this or move forward with real-time curriculum that is easily accessible to all kids on mobile devices.
Here are three ways to make learning mobile:
•Students are locked into learning inside the four walls of a classroom, arriving and leaving at the sound of a bell. Mobile devices can free them to learn on their own time.
A kid struggling in U.S. history, for instance, could take video of the teacher talking, then review it at home to master the subject. If that's not enough, the student could view a different (and maybe better) teacher from an online school. The founder of Sun Microsystems and his wife have created the CK-12 Foundation, a collection of free online textbooks, videos, exercises and flashcards. We should encourage kids to use this electronic library.
As Sal Kahn, an e-learning pioneer, told Forbes magazine, "Now that there are these tools, where students can learn at their own pace and master the concepts before moving on, can we rethink this educational model that has been standard practice for hundreds of years?"
•Smartphones can let students learn in their own way.
A kid embarrassed to ask a question could text a teacher during class. Some schools already are having math teachers send problems to students individually, the first personalized instruction many have ever had. Bright kids get tougher equations to solve so they can speed ahead, while struggling kids get problems they can handle.
Mobile devices can make memorization go down easy. At Carnegie Mellon University, researchers are using a gamelike interactive phone app to teach rural Chinese children English. We could use this in ESL classes in Chicago.
•Teamwork is mandatory now in the workplace. Let's have kids use their phones to work on projects together.
Classmates working on a biology project over the weekend could exchange pictures and ideas. Students even could move beyond their school population for collaboration. Imagine a Chicago science class studying precipitation comparing notes and measurements with South African students studying the Kalahari Desert.
We can only imagine what our children's adulthood will look like and what they can create if they have the tools to do so. It's time to take a cue from our kids and do what they are doing: Put mobile first.
Tullman is managing partner of 7wire Ventures, a Chicago firm that invests in health care, education and energy.
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Thursday, August 22, 2013

TFA Chairman Howard Tullman comments on Can You Innovate Too Much? BY Kevin Daum

Can You Innovate Too Much?

Google has quietly reduced resources for innovation. Prudent move or short-sighted? Here, Inc. columnists offer advice on finding the right amount of experimentation for your business.
Not every company or department needs to constantly focus on innovation. At some point, you might find that you need to slow down experimentation so you can capitalize on the initial results. That theory may be behind Larry Page's shift in priority as Google quietly phased out their 20% policy and Google labs.

Given the state of constant disruption in today's economy, teams need to find the right blend of innovation and repetitive business practices.

But there is no set formula or methodology that works for everyone. The key is to integrate experimentation into your culture with resources and time allowed for acceptable failure.

Then establish specified methods of feedback. That way people can try, fail and learn about any process in the company or marketplace at any time as the market demands.

Here are more insights from my expert colleagues:

1. Give Innovation Its Own Home

When companies like Google get to a certain size, it becomes impossible to act or think like a start-up. It takes a different leadership team and organizational approach to keep an enterprise that size running. Experimentation and innovation are limited to refining processes and making incremental improvements. The best way to encourage true experimentation and innovation is to separate it from the rest of the organization. Give new ideas an opportunity to flourish without the bounds of politics, red tape and organizational complexity. Once an idea shows it will succeed, work to bring it back into the larger organization. Eric Holtzclaw--Lean Forward
Want to read more from Eric? Click here.

2. Establish Predictable Methods

When it launched Gmail, Google was a private company with roughly 5,000 employees. Today, it has nine times the headcount, plus a high-flying stock price. Poorly timed movies notwithstanding, Google is now the establishment, and as Jon Burgstone and I wrote in Breakthrough Entrepreneurship, bigger organizations almost always innovate less. Why? Because their stakeholders come to value stability, not risk. Google won't stop innovating, but it will do so in more predictable, stable ways, including acquiring other companies (as it has done with many of its most important products). Bill Murphy Jr.--DC Bill
Want to read more from Bill? Click here.

3. Integrate the Process

Google's eliminating the 20% policy has nothing to do with innovation or with a change in their business practices. First, the 20% time was entirely about new "blue sky" ideas and inventions. You specifically couldn't work on anything having to do with your regular work. Since true innovation is all about continual, iterative and incremental improvements in productivity and cost savings in existing business processes, giving the dreamers less time off won't matter much. Second, innovation is a full-time and fundamental business practice as important as any other. It's not a sometime thing or a department. It's not someone's job--it's everyone's job to be thinking about how to work better and smarter with less time, fewer resources and better results. Howard Tullman--The Perspiration Principles
Want to read more from Howard? Click here.

4. Have a Set Formula

Every company needs a balance of steady growth in existing markets and technology along with new, innovative solutions. Google is simply shifting gears to a new strategy: growth and innovation through acquisition. For growing companies, it's wise to follow the 80/20 rule: allocate 80% of your resources to existing practices and 20% to innovation. Microsoft appears to follow this formula by continually advancing existing technology and less frequently releasing new technology. Their most recent advancement is the integration of Skype and Outlook, allowing people to use Skype video calling and messaging directly from e-mail: an innovative solution via an existing platform. Marla Tabaka--The Successful Soloist
Want to read more from Marla? Click here.

5. Encourage Autonomy

While some companies like Google may be phasing out open-ended innovation programs with no measurable bottom-line result, innovation is definitely not becoming a low priority in American business. More leaders than ever are pushing their people to innovate to work, and to find powerful new solutions to persistent problems. One of the most effective--and most affordable--ways to spur innovation in your organization is to create a culture of innovation. Give your people the autonomy--and the responsibility--to pursue new ideas and to try them out. Support risk taking rather than punishing it. Don't wait for your organization to create a culture of innovation--create your own. Peter Economy--The Management Guy
Want to read more from Peter? Click here

6. Innovate or Die

In today's fast-changing market and even faster-changing communications landscape, innovation is essential. It can be challenging for high-growth and larger businesses to dedicate resources to innovation. But the only constant is change, so it really is "innovate or die." Try these seven steps to creating a culture of innovation.  Dave Kerpen--Likeable Leadership
Want to read more from Dave? Click here.

An Inc. 500 entrepreneur with a more than $1 billion sales and marketing track record, KEVIN DAUM is the best-selling author of Video Marketing for Dummies.

TFA Announces Articulation Agreement with Kendall College

TFA Announces Articulation Agreement with Kendall College

We are pleased to announce our new articulation agreement with Kendall College in Chicago. This arrangement will give Bachelor’s degree-seeking students a new option to transfer course credits into a four-year program.

What is an articulation agreement?
An articulation agreement is a common arrangement between associate degree-granting colleges (like TFA) and Bachelor’s degree-granting colleges (like Kendall college). These agreements are designed to simply the process of credit transfer from one school to the other.

How does TFA’s articulation agreement work?
Per our articulation agreement with Kendall College, 100% of credits earned while completing an associate degree program at TFA will count towards a B.A. in Business from Kendall College. Concentrations within the Kendall College Business Program include:
Students who take advantage of this articulation agreement will have the option to complete their Bachelor’s degree on-site at Kendall’s Chicago campus or online from anywhere in the world.

Why does TFA offer this option?
A solid foundation in business is a perfect complement to a degree in digital media arts. Since our first graduating class in 2009, many of our students have gone on to open their own companies and freelance operations. It is our sincere hope that with this new articulation agreement with Kendall College, many more of our graduates will be inspired and empowered to do the same.

How do I learn more?
To learn more about how your credits can transfer to Kendall College, please read Kendall’s application process for transfer students online, or contact a member of the Kendall College enrollment team:



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Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Business Leaders Come Together to Learn Real World Business Building Lessons From Two $100 Million Plus Business Founders

Business Leaders Come Together to Learn Real World Business Building Lessons From Two $100 Million Plus Business Founders

Published 2:00 pm, Tuesday, August 20, 2013

An exclusive evening dinner event delivered practical business building wisdom for entrepreneurial leaders. On Tuesday, July 23, Barry Spencer and Scott Noble, two Atlanta entrepreneurs, hosted leaders in Chicago to learn from two Chicago based entrepreneurs, Robert Jordan and Howard Tullman.
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) August 20, 2013
Barry Spencer and Scott Noble, nationally recognized entrepreneurs, authors, financial educators, consultants to charities, and speakers hosted entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives with two high-powered business founders – Robert Jordan and Howard Tullman.
The event provided entrepreneurs from across the country the unique opportunity to learn the trends that are shaping business growth today and in the future.
In this intimate gathering of successful leaders attendees learned business building secrets from two entrepreneurs who built businesses from scratch and sold them for over $100 million.
Howard Tullman founded CCC Information Services, Inc., which was twice ranked on Inc. Magazine 100 List and first in profitability among all the companies. He sold CCC in 1987 for $100 million.
Tullman also launched music sites:;; and, which sold for $136 million. He has also led a major turnaround of Kendall College and has created over 6,000 jobs.
Robert Jordan is an Inc. 500 CEO, and founder of Online Access, the first internet-coverage business magazine in the world. He launched RedFlash, an interim management team and interimCEO/interimCFO, which is the largest worldwide network of interim executives.
Jordan is also author of, How They Did It: Billion Dollar Insights from the Heart of America. The book is the stories of 45 mid-west individuals who built a business from scratch and sold for over $100 million.
One guest of Barry Spencer and Scott Noble commented, “It is a rare opportunity to learn such priceless insights packed into such a condescended amount of time… What a priceless experience.”
“It was amazing how much valuable content Howard Tullman can pack into one presentation,” comment Barry Spencer. He then continued, “Hyper-personalization, one of five trends Tullman shared, is happening in ways we don’t easily recognize and Facebook is leading that revolution.”
The event received such high marks from Atlanta attendees that Barry Spencer now has an Atlanta event with Robert Jordan in the works for the fall of 2013.
To learn more about the trends shared at this event or the upcoming Atlanta event, contact Barry H Spencer directly at 678-278-9632 or visit him on the web at
About Barry Spencer: Barry Spencer is a nationally recognized author, financial educator and speaker whom you may have heard on radio, including WAFS biz1190. Spencer’s latest book The Secret of Enduring Wealth, and he is the co-author of Wealth: From Roots of Regrets to Routes of No Regrets, and How To Enjoy A Life Generosity. His published articles include: “When Wealth Is More Than Money,” When Generosity Matters To The Family,” and “The Two Essentials that Count Beyond Death and Taxes.” Barry lives with his wife, Lori, and their two children Hudson and Avery Kate in Alpharetta, GA.
About Scott Noble: Scott Noble, CPA, PFS, is a nationally recognized speaker, Continuing Education Instructor, member of the Laureate Center for Wealth Advisors and financial educator who speaks to peers in the financial industry. He is the co-author of Wealth: From Roots of Regrets to Routes of No Regrets, and How To Enjoy A Life Generosity. Scott and his wife, Denise, live in Alpharetta with their three daughters Andie, Leah, and Hannah

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