Friday, January 31, 2014

1871 CEO Howard Tullman at Chicago Founders’ Stories @ 1871 (VIDEO)

1871 CEO Howard Tullman at Chicago Founders’ Stories @ 1871 (VIDEO)

We had a great time sitting down with Howard Tullman, the new CEO of 1871 and an accomplished entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He’s held the title of CEO or Chairman of a number of companies, including, CCC Information Services, and The Cobalt Group — and that’s just the beginning of the list. And believe it or not, his first ten years in the professional world years were actually spent practicing law.

Though we wouldn’t have argued if Howard spent the whole evening telling us the intricate details about every one of his ventures, we did keep it to a select few, and he regaled us with stories of brilliant success, monumental challenges, and his endless love for big ideas. You can see the video of the whole evening below.

Chicago Founders Stories: Howard Tullman from Chicago Founder's Stories on Vimeo.

To give you a taste, here are five tips straight from the source. It’s why we love Founders’ Stories: you just can’t get great ideas like these anywhere else.

1. You don’t need to invest capital to have “skin in the game”.
As Howard broke into the auto insurance technology business, he was asked to give a lot — his time, his “sweat equity”, and, later, his cash. But he doesn’t think that you need all three in order to have a stake in a company. “It was a huge and very important thing to say, ‘I’m just not doing that. I don’t think I have to mortgage my future and everything else to start a business.’”

2. Don’t underestimate the value of hard work.
When asked what Howard looks for as a sign of success in young entrepreneurs, he believes that endless passion and a strong work ethic are most important. “Hard work eventually wins over just about everything, including native brilliant and fabulous ideas. We always say ‘we may not have outsmarted everybody, but we can outwork them.”

3. Reach further.
Howard’s move to 1871 seems fitting with his serial enterprises. But the buck doesn’t stop here. Even a community as innovative as the one that hosts our Founders’ Stories events has room to grow.  “I think 1871 is one of the most important things that Chicago can be focused on right now. We’ve become an attraction, we’ve become a place, and I really feel…that if we stopped, if we rested on our laurels…that we’d lose our primacy and we wouldn’t be a special place. And I think that 1871 is a completely special place.”

Be a great storyteller. Push the market. And “if you don’t think things should get better, then you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur.”

4. Look ahead.
One of the interesting aspects of Howard’s time at, is that it started as one idea (a source for concert webcasts) and ended up as something completely different (a provider of online digital music). “The real content was not the webcast. The real content was the digital music and all the information associated with that.”

When an idea starts to move in a different direction, move with it. Seek out demand. “The real magic of being an entrepreneur is you barely remember yesterday because you’re so focused on tomorrow.”

5. There is no such thing as ‘failure’.
In some ways, Howard Tullman has never failed (nor have any of us). “Whatever mistakes we made – as long as we learn from them, and as long as we didn’t take advantage of people or treat people poorly, I don’t think it’s a failure. It’s an analytical process and you learn from every single thing, every single day.” Even failures bring us new sets of applications that we can use for future ideas. Hungry for more words of wisdom?

Check out the recording of the video here:
Chicago Founders Stories: Howard Tullman from Chicago Founder's Stories on Vimeo.

Chicago Founders Stories: Howard Tullman from Chicago Founder's Stories on Vimeo.

We hope you enjoyed this interview with Howard, and look forward to the next Chicago Founders’ Stories@1871 with BigMachines founder Godard Abel, TONIGHT (January 30)! Click here to sign up for the event now. We’ll learn about his rise to success as he recently sold the company to Oracle for a pricetag of almost $500 million.

Pat Ryan is a business and social entrepreneur who has created several high growth software companies as well as several innovative urban education initiatives as a social entrepreneur. Pat’s first company, FirstLook, was recognized by Inc Magazine in 2008 as the #4 fastest growing software company in the U.S. in its Inc 500 rankings – the highest ranking ever for a Chicago based software company. Pat is also the Founder of MAX as well as the Founder and CEO of INCISENT Labs, a platform and incubator for innovative, industry-changing technologies that spin out into high growth companies. MAX was created in INCISENT Labs where Pat and a team are currently incubating their latest start-up. Pat blogs at and can be reached on Twitter @PatRyanChicago.


Eric Sheinkop is the CEO of Music Dealers & co-author of 'Hit Brands: How Music Builds Value for the World’s Smartest Brands'. Follow him on Twitter at @Esheinkop.

With over 111 million viewers expected to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday and over $4 million spent on a 30-second spot, the Super Bowl is as much a culmination for advertisers as it is for the NFL. With the world’s most recognizable brands vying for attention, it’s a chance for agency creatives to showcase their very best work. Given the value brands gain from their use of music, the Super Bowl offers the largest stage to leverage the power of music to create intrigue and discussion for a brand after the whistle has blown.

Two hopeful reactions for any marketer: “That commercial was amazing,” and “That music was incredible. What was that song?” It’s a chance to set the social mediasphere ablaze with inquiries about songs, artists, and “where can I find that?!”  The advertisers that win in this game are the ones that know the type of music that best represents their brand, and that can create value beyond their commercials.
What interests me about the music choices in the Super Bowl is the correlation to Grammy winners announced one week prior. The Grammys and the Super Bowl are not just mega events close in airdate, there is a symbiotic relationship between Grammy winners, the Super Bowl halftime show, and music selected for commercials during the game. Is it a conspiracy or can we find a natural pattern? By analyzing the use of music in 2013’s Super Bowl ads, we can develop some pretty good predictions about the role music will play in 2014’s Super Bowl commercials. And, there are some interesting musical insights from what’s already been released this year.
The first is the rise of the independent. During Sunday’s Grammy Awards, triumphant independent artist Macklemore championed the indie music scene and called for its support. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ collaborative album, “The Heist”, is one of the most successful independent releases in the history of the music business (though it did get radio promotion and distribution from major labels). During his acceptance speech, Macklemore proclaimed, “We made this album without a record label, we made it independently and we appreciate all the support.” To boot, the American Association of Independent Labels reported that independent music won 50% of 2014 Grammys, an incredible feat for the flourishing indie music community.
The ad business is like any other, based on trends, and the trend of independent talent creating high-caliber music that resonates with fans will not be ignored. In 2013, 13% of Super Bowl ads utilized indie artists. While we can not claim that the 50% indie trend from the Grammys will be mirrored in Super Bowl ads, we certainly can count on a significant rise compared to last year.
The next interesting insight into the correlation between the Grammys and Super Bowl is the connection between the halftime show performer and Grammy Award winners. Pepsi, sponsor of the halftime show for the second consecutive year, strategically targets performers with mass appeal. As it turns out, those performers are coming off the heels of a Grammy victory a week prior, as is the case this year with Bruno Mars, winner in the “Best Pop Vocal” category. The same connection can be made to last year’s halftime show featuring BeyoncĂ©, who had just won the Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Performance for “Love On Top”, and Cee-Lo Green, who performed with Madonna the year before that.
Smart marketers have long sought to leverage top artists for their campaigns, and we find Grammy winners often landing major spots throughout the year. What’s interesting and different about the Super Bowl is that brands don’t have time to react to the Grammy wins.  They’ve already placed their bet as to which artists will win. It’s a big bet and when a brand guesses right, the value to their consumers, and therefore their business, is tangible
For example, last year fun. took home Best New Artist and Song Of The Year for their mega hit, “We Are Young.” Then, only seven days later, Taco Bell released a clever cover of the song for their “Viva Young” campaign, “We Are Young” in Spanish. Taco Bell took their music licensing to the next level and made it an experience that entertained consumers and generated conversation while staying authentic to the brand’s Latin roots. Taco Bell bet on who would be the best of the year well before the Grammys and they got it right.
The trend of leveraging the best will surely continue. We speculate that before the last whistle of the game is blown, we’ll see a commercial containing a cut by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, or perhaps a licensed use of “Royals” by Lorde. Which brand will capitalize on Pharrell, arguably the most influential figure in music this year as a producer and collaborator in several top Grammy nominations? We’ll have to wait and see.
We’d be remiss to neglect Pepsi’s Grammy Halftime Show ad, further bonding together the relationship between the two major events. "You music artists, you're always giving football the best halftime shows, so tonight, football is paying music back,” announced Deion Sanders to a faux Grammy crowd, before launching into a choreographed auto-tuned number. Hilarity ensued, with a number of NFL stars performing and parodying popular artists of the day. The event displayed Pepsi’s commitment to music and acknowledged the powerful correlation between the two events, with humor at its core.
Having the foresight to pick a popular artist or good song is one thing, but one of the most powerful ways for a brand to create authentic, long-term consumer engagement is by leveraging music in such a way that it creates value for the brand way beyond the 30-second ad.
We saw two well-executed examples of this last year, both from the auto industry. Volkswagen offered consumers a free download of Jimmy Cliff’s cover of “C’mon Get Happy” and featured the song on their brand-curated SoundCloud page, while Hyundai and The Flaming Lips joined forces to release the song “Sun Blows Up Today” written for the ad and included as a bonus track on the bands new album. Hyundai also offered 100,000 free downloads of the custom track on their website.
We already know one major contender using this strategy this year. Bank of America, U2, and RED, a group co-founded by Bono to enlist brands in fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa, have collaborated to produce a 60-second spot to introduce their new partnership.
The commercial will feature U2 performing a new song called "Invisible," which will be available for free on iTunes during the game and over the next 24 hours. Bank of America will donate $1 for every download in that time, up to $2 million. In one stroke of genius, fans are introduced to a completely new song from one of the greatest rock groups of all time, offered a free download of the track, all while knowing that the partners behind the campaign are bringing true value to the world. This campaign represents the truest form of using music to bring value to the consumer, the artist and the brand.
Why is music such an important focus for brands? Why do they use it to create extra discussion for their elaborate, beautiful productions? Grammy host LL Cool J said it best: “The force of music is universal... Music has the power of bringing people together like nothing else in this world...”
On a personal note, the fact that 50% of Grammy winners were independent artists this year fills me with hope that we will see more indies than ever before taking the stage at the Super Bowl.  With so many great indie artists and songs brands can help the world discover, I can’t wait to hear what the Super Bowl has for us this year. I’ll probably even watch part of the game played in between the ads too. 


1871 ceo howard tullman selected for redmoon 2014 galvanizer award




Saturday, January 25, 2014

1871 CEO Howard Tullman Talks about App Addiction on Fox TV News with Tisha Lewis

FOX 32 looks at dependence, addiction to smartphone applications

Posted: Jan 24, 2014 5:21 PM CSTUpdated: Jan 24, 2014 9:02 PM CST" title="Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News">Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
There's an app for everything.
Books, news, finance and more.
"A lot of music apps as well," said 23 year old Emily Glaze.
24 year old Brad Mulvey says he has, "probably about 100" apps downloaded on his iPhone.
Statistics show the average smartphone user downloads 25 apps.
So Fox 32 News asked, are we under an app attack?
"You just caught me coming down on an escalator on my phone texting so I would say yeah, a little bit," said Glaze.
Advocate Christ Medical Center's Dr. Sachin Kapur is a trailblazer on compulsive behavior. He says app addiction is similar to drug addiction.
"You get an increase in a chemical called dopamine in the musaline pathway of the brain and it just provides a euphoric state… You are kind of withdrawing from your family. You find you're spending more time doing that than your usual activity, you find you're missing days at work, you find you're actually missing sleep," said Kapur.
Filmmakers went inside a camp in China designed to cure teens addicted to the Internet.
Here, there's prescription drugs from a neurologist, psychologist, support groups and good ol' fashion parenting.
"What I do to my daughter is I tell her there are certain days of the week where you can't have that technology," said Kapur.
Fox 32's Tisha Lewis asked new 1871 CEO Howard Tullman if society has become an app dependent society.
"I wouldn't say that, I would say that there's a tremendous number of apps and one of the things that you have to understand is that the adoption curve of apps is almost like this, it's very rapid but two days later the abandonment curve is ten times more so, so there's a tremendous amount of churn," said Tullman.
1871 is shared workspace for digital startups where 500 people create many of the world's newest smartphone applications.
"Technology is neutral, it just can be applied in good ways, bad ways, ways that are productive, ways that are huge waste of time," said Tullman.

Read more:


Friday, January 24, 2014

1871 CEO Howard Tullman Interviewed on First Business



1871 CEO Howard Tullman Interviewed on The Peggy Smedley Show



1871 CEO Howard Tullman Streams Ideas at Startup Forecast

Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871 and one of the primary speakers at Thursday’s Chicago Entrepreneurial Center 2014 Startup Forecast, gave a signature Tullman-style talk, augmented with lively visuals and occasionally colorful language. Here are excerpts.
Forward, not backward
"It's not just who are you, but where are you headed? That’s the gate. That’s the stakes today.
"Google now does a better job of tracking real estate trends than the organizations in the business, than the actual associations who are Realtors. Google is more predictive and more accurate in terms of the next 90 days of the real estate market.
"The credit card companies are doing a fabulous job of predicting whether or not you’re going to get divorced. How do they do it? They look at same-city hotel charges, at flowers sent to addresses other than your home… Why do they do it, other than being just pervs? They do it because divorced couples tend to default on their credit card charges.
"If you’re stuck in search, if you're looking for results, you're actually losing a step on the competition. The idea of moving from diagnostics and analytics, to prognostics and projection is where we’re going… Those kinds of tools are going to put in our hands, at exactly the right time, the information that we really need, and that we value."

"We're slammed with content. We're slammed with email. We're slammed with so many things that I think we’re going to see a significant step backwards. Niches are going to be really important going forward. Scale is significant. But quality of communication, interaction and real engagement are going to be much more important.
"They’re not small. They’re highly curated and very valuable, because they’re authentic, if you do it right. They're interactive, and they have enormous value because they tend to be the audience you really want to reach.
"Nobody wants to ship tonnage anymore. (Companies) want to ship to people that matter, and people that are engaged, and people that are going to consume and value your communications to them, and their products and services."
Speed, not size
"In the world that we live in today, you can make dust and be running ahead of people, or you can eat the dust and sit there and lose.
"Safeway (offers) real-time pricing on an individual product basis. Do they give me the best price for my Charmin? No. Why? Because I love Charmin. They give the best price to somebody who uses (a competing product), who they want to incent to use Charmin. And they do this in a speed that’s astonishing.
"We’re in a position now where we can, in the time it takes — roughly 10 to 30 milliseconds — to load a web page, we can fashion and conform a personalized offer to the consumer based on everything that we know about you.
"Amazon does an unbelievable job at this. Right now, not only is about 30 percent of Amazon’s revenue being generated by their own recommender engines, but more people are going to Amazon for product searches than to Google.
"The little guys are going to get killed unless we figure out — we entrepreneurs figure out ways to empower them with comparable tools to compete with the big guys.
"The one good news is, from a consumer standpoint, search is going to get better and faster and more particularized. But from a competitive standpoint, and from a product standpoint, it's going to be really, really tough.
"Speed is the state of the competition. Speed is how the game is going to be played."
Connected companion devices
"The idea that we’re connected has morphed now into devices, not just wearables but devices that in every sense enable us and empower us in every instance and every kind of business context.
"We're all tethered, but not only are we tethered to devices we think about, but all of the devices around us are also becoming enabled, and will communicate. This is the Internet of things."
Video everything–camming
"Everything will be on demand. We don’t talk about television anymore. We talk about video assets that are going to be distributed across all kinds of channels.
"The truth is that for anybody under a certain age, the first screen is a mobile device.
"And so we're seeing more and more of the death of appointment TV. We'll see sporting events. We'll see talent shows. We'll see catastrophes. We'll see a couple of other things that require aggregated audiences. But, by and large, we’ll do everything from binge viewing to basically ordering up whatever we want, whenever we want it.
"(Technology is) permitting us to do shorter and shorter communications. We’re going to see video-enabled communications. It's basically the default way that we share.
"Camming is building a business in your bedroom that isn't porn.
"Camming is essentially people who have figured out that you can reach astonishingly large, very valuable audiences, using video inexpensively produced, in your home, in your room. And you can make significant amounts of money and reach huge populations. This is just beginning. People are able to reach audiences, to have them pay, and to create businesses in ways that are almost totally virtual. It's a really exciting thing."
Collaborative commerce
"When you go back not so many years, the personal computer permitted us for the first time, individually, to create powerful digital assets. And then the Web came along and it permitted us to share those assets. And then collaborative tools came along to let us work together worldwide. And then lastly, after all that stuff was created, Google came along and let us find it.
"More and more of us are going to work for ourselves. This trend is going to expand and increase. That's exciting in some ways. It's also lonely in some ways. Places that create community, like 1871, are really, really valuable.
"We're going to have more and more services that connect us to other services and other businesses. We're not going to use traditional channels.
"Here’s a couple of tips on being a freelancer. It turns out that you only have to deal with two out of three.
"If you do really good work, and you're on time, it doesn't matter if you're an asshole.
"If you are really talented in terms of the work, and a good person, you can be late. You can get away with almost anything.
"Lastly, you don't have to be that great. If you're just really nice to do business with, it turns out that people connect with people as much as they connect with products and services."
Wiki work – the workplace is everywhere
"We're going to be able to work any place. We're going to be able to pull together enormous talented people, stay-at-home moms, PhDs. All kinds of people can join your team, and join your workforce in really amazing ways because of connectivity.
"We're going to recapture opportunities when we’re commuting, when we’re stuck places. All of these things are going to increase the productivity of the whole country in very, very powerful ways.
"For about 10 years or more, scientists were trying to solve a particular protein issue in connection with AIDS. Couldn't do it. They pushed this problem out to about 200,000 gamers. And they solved the problem in about 10 days, because they thought of it as a puzzle. They didn't know it was science. They didn't know that it was really important stuff. They just said, oh, wow, we have to just figure out how to do this."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

1871 CEO Howard Tullman Kicks off Start-Up Forecast



Adrian Holovaty says it’s time to rebrand the Chicago startup scene, focusing on passionate bootstrappers rather than small firms looking to get huge.

Playing “the Silicon Valley game” isn’t going to get Chicago any closer to the kind of massive venture-capital dollars that flow through California, Holovaty told about 450 people gathered Thursday morning for the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center’s 2014 Startup Forecast.

He even offered a rebranding slogan: “Chicago. Be Your Own Boss.”

“There’s no way we’re going to catch up with Silicon Valley,” said Holovaty, founder of hyperlocal website EveryBlock, a 2009 NBC acquisition that Comcast relaunched on Thursday after shutting it down last year. “Let’s be honest with ourselves. We’re Chicago. We’re not B.S. We’re honest people. So why are we trying to play this B.S. game?”

Bootstrapping generally refers to companies that fund themselves rather than look to angel or venture capital investors. Holovaty, who tweeted earlier this week that he’d be saying “some controversial things about our local tech scene” at the annual startup forecast, held at the Chase Auditorium in the Loop, offered a more specific definition.

“It’s an Internet company that’s made by one or two people, developers probably, working from home, working from coffee shops,” he said. “It’s revenue-positive. It makes them a great living. And they are doing what they love because they’re craftsmen and they love doing it. And they have no ambitions to take over the world, because, really, 95 percent of what is taking over the world is (B.S.).”

“These people have no place in the country really to gravitate to,” Holovaty said. “There are bootstrappers all over the country. But there’s no one city that’s really stepped out and said: ‘We’re going to be the place for bootstrappers.’”

1871 CEO Howard Tullman, also a speaker at Thursday’s event, agreed that Chicago must blaze its own trail.

“Trying to compete in someone else’s game never makes sense,” he said. “If you can change the game or re-characterize it, that’s great.”

But Tullman said Chicago’s appeal is the diversity of its economy, and this means its overall economy as well as its startup economy. He described the entrepreneurial life as offering a range of choices for people.

“If you just want to have a good life, and to take a week off whenever you want, OK,” Tullman said after the event, referring to a statement Holovaty made about the flexibility many small bootstrappers enjoy. “There’s a continuum. Change-the-world is over here. And have-a-good-lifestyle is over here.”


Holovaty offered a historical example to bolster his argument, pointing to the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Four years earlier, Paris unveiled the Eiffel Tower, at the time the world’s tallest structure. Some suggested Chicago build something taller. But, Holovaty said, Daniel Burnham “refused to play that game.” What Chicago gave the world instead was the Ferris wheel.

“The Eiffel Tower has already been built and it’s in the Silicon Valley,” Holovaty said. “Why don’t we build something that’s still tall but completely different.”

Jim O’Connor Jr., managing director of MVC Capital and the former interim CEO of 1871, also agreed that Chicago should form its own identity.

“We don’t want to be Silicon Valley,” O’Connor told the audience. “If we sit here and try to be Silicon Valley, we’re going to fail.”

O’Connor said Chicago should take advantage of its diverse economy, universities, supportive policy-makers and growing community of serial entrepreneurs.

“I call it Chicago-ness,” O’Connor said. “It’s real. You can feel it in the room today.”

Also speaking at Thursday’s event were Phyllis Lockett, CEO of New Schools for Chicago, who talked about her group’s efforts to foster educational improvement through technological innovation, and Shradha Agarwal, founder of ContextMedia, who talked about innovations in the health care sector.

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