Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Freshii restaurant chain to open location at 1871, seek partnerships

Freshii restaurant chain to open location at 1871, seek partnerships

Freshii said it also will look for partnerships.

“We’re there to make money but also to really embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of 1871,” said Freshii CEO Matthew Corrin, who declined to disclose specifics of the lease agreement.

In addition, he said, Freshii expects its 1871 location to serve as a test spot for new technology from the incubator’s startup companies.

“I’d bet you could find half of them that would in some way, shape or form, fit into Freshii,” Corrin said. “In working with some tech companies who share a common mission, we’re saying ‘Let Freshii be your alpha test, your first launch.’”

Cheryl V. Jackson is a Chicago-based freelancer.


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

1871 CEO Howard Tullman Speaks to NIU Donor's Group

Speed wins the startups game, according to entrepreneur Howard Tullman

Speed wins the startups game, according to entrepreneur Howard Tullman

 Image: iStock/bowie15

Howard Tullman has been called "the most accomplished, best-connected entrepreneur you have never heard of." We recap his keynote from CEC Forecast about six tech trends to watch.

Howard Tullman, CEO of digital startup incubator 1871, was the keynote speaker at the third annual Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) Forecast in January 2014. CEC manages 1871, which is located in Chicago's Merchandise Mart. 
Tullman has founded 12 companies, including the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, CCC Information Services,, the Rolling Stone Network, Imagination Pilots, and Experiencia. He is or has been at various times "a serial entrepreneur, investor, advisor, art collector, teacher, lecturer, lawyer, (and) marathon runner." called Tullman "the most accomplished, best-connected entrepreneur you have never heard of."

After several insightful opening comments, including our expectations about the quality of our experiences and utility, rather than possession, Tullman organized his talk around six topics: niches, speed being the state of competition, connected devices, video "everything," collaborative commerce, and wiki work.

His talk was never dull (he often employed, ahem, colorful language) and included observations and insights on major trends in technology and entrepreneurship from someone who's been in involved in both for decades.
Key takeaways from the talk:
  • We are more concerned today with the quality of our experiences and the utility of things than with possession.
  • The "sharing economy": we will use assets more efficiently and economically, saving time and money, and acting more responsibly.
  • Beyond interest graphs, the next level is to know where the consumer is going. Digital prognostics will supplant diagnostics and analysis.
  • If you are "stuck in search," you are losing a step on the competition. Projection and prediction of online behavior matters.
  • Speed is most important today. Speed and not size wins.
  • Companies can make a personalized offer in the short time required to load a webpage. Think of this as the "shifting sands" underneath digital conversations.
  • Computing advances from "big guys" like Google are squeezing out smaller competitors. It's great for consumers who enjoy mass customization, but entrepreneurs need to produce solutions for SMBs.
  • Wearable technology enables us in every kind of business sense and context.
  • Analog is moving to digital, and digital means video. Video-enabled communication is the default way we share.
  • For anyone under a certain age, the first screen is the mobile device. Video is how a lot of learning will take place. The world, including education, will adapt to this model.
  • Collaborative commerce is the idea that, if we're sharing, we'll be able to work together. It provides a powerful set of resources that people are still figuring out. Collaborative commerce will be become a bigger part of the economy.
  • Wiki work: the workplace is everywhere today and is no longer constrained by time and place.
  • Wiki work can pull together an enormous talent of people, recapture opportunities that were previously downtime, and increase the productivity of the whole country.
  • With the trend to crowd-sourced, individual work, places that create community, like 1871, will be valuable.

Opening comments

I spoke last year, much to the disappointment of the organizers of the Chicago Auto Show, on how nobody under 35 cares about cars anymore. They were happy to have me kick off the auto show! (laughter)
It had to do with this idea that we are more concerned today with the quality of our experiences than owning and controlling things. And we're also more concerned with the utility of things, than about possession. If there's a single thing that is most exciting in this whole world, then it is sharing.
If there's a single thing that is most exciting in this whole world, then it is sharing. - Howard Tullman
It's this idea that we'll use assets. We'll use things in ways that are efficient and will save an enormous amount of time and money, and become more economically responsible and ecologically responsible—all through this idea of the "sharing economy."
Two years ago I talked about hyper personalization, the idea of knowing everything about everybody, and that's sort of old news, sort of table stakes. And then the following year I talked about Facebook's launch of the interest graph and this idea that it wasn't enough to know about me, you have to know what I'm interested in, and it's a moving target.
So, interest, information, it empowers us. But now we are going to move to the next level, which is, where are you going? Not just what you're interested in, not just who you are, but where are you headed? That's the case, those are the stakes.

[For example] Google now does a better job of tracking real estate trends than the organizations in the real estate business. Google is more effective and more accurate in terms of the next 90 days of the market.
If you are "stuck in search," if you're looking for results, you're actually losing a step on the competition. So the idea of moving from diagnostics and analytics, to prognostics and projection, is where we are going. Those are the kinds of tools that we are going to see, and those are the tools that will put in our hands at exactly the right time the information that we really need and value.

Niches: The audiences you want to reach

Niches—they are not small, they are highly curated and very, very valuable, because they are authentic, if you do it right. The truth is that they are interactive and have enormous value, because they tend to be the audiences that you really want to reach.
Nobody wants to ship "tonnage" anymore. Everybody wants to ship to people that matter, to people that are engaged, to people that are going to consume and value your communications to them, and your products or services.

Speed is the state of competition

Speed, not size, wins today. Speed "kills," and speed is the most important thing. And you know the world that we are living in today, you can make dust, and be running ahead of people, or eat dust and sort of sit there.
[One example] is Safeway. Real-time pricing on an individual basis. Does Safeway give me the best price for my Charmin? No. Why? Because I love Charmin. So they give the best price to somebody who uses Kleenex, whom they want to incent to use Charmin. And they do this at a speed that is astonishing.
We're in a position now, where in the time that it takes (roughly 10 to 30 milliseconds) to load a webpage we can fashion and perform a personalized offer to the consumer, based on everything we know about you. So think about that kind of time frame. Think about this as the "shifting sands" underneath these kinds of conversations that are going on.
Another interesting thing that's happening is, if you haven't seen the Google PLAs (Product Listing Ads), basically, they've upped the ante. They have figured out that it is not enough to give you 22 million responses for an inquiry. So what they are doing now is feeding back a much more particularized set of information.
But when you hear people talking about "A/B testing," where the game is going because of high velocity computing, and because of the extent of the information we now have, think about "A to Z testing." - Howard Tullman
And this is really good news for us, as people seeking products. Now, having said that, the other thing is that Google [is making it] tough for small competitors, who don't have the tools and the engines to let you do this—to have your products be dynamically priced, imaged, supplied in real time to people searching. The little guys are going to get killed, unless we as entrepreneurs figure out ways to empower them with comparable tools, that is, compete with the big guys.
And so, from a consumer standpoint purchases are going to get better and faster and more particularized, but from a competitor's standpoint and from a product standpoint, it's going to get really tough.
What that has permitted is mass customization. And what I want to share with you about this is not that simple. But when you hear people talking about "A/B testing," where the game is going because of high velocity computing, and because of the extent of the information we now have, think about "A to Z testing."
And during the last (presidential) campaign, one of the great things was to sit next toHarper Reed and to watch him put up 20 different offers, and in a minute and a half kill about 16 of the 20 offers. They could see which dogs were eating the dog food.
So they would do these against tiny, tiny samples, across huge sets of variables, and then they would instantly react and go deeper and longer into the stuff that was working. But not after 12 weeks, or after three months of a print campaign—they were in real time, in minutes.
So again, speed is the state of the competition. Speed is how the game is going to be played.

Connected devices empower us

The idea that we are connected has more value now, not just due to devices, but also due to wearables—devices that in every sense enable us, empower us in every kind of business sense and context.
We are all tethered. But not only are we tethered to devices that we think about, all of the devices around us are also becoming enabled and will communicate. This is theInternet of Things.
One of the new things at Disney, and this is really interesting, is MagicBand. Instead of a simple free app that would have committed your phone to do this, they sell you this bracelet that you take home, and it's useless as soon as you take it home. But on property, it opens your room, it pays for your goods, it identifies you, it moves you into the fast pass lanes. Very powerful.
And it's just one of many devices like this. Electronic leashes will keep us from losing our cars. This is cool (on screen): these are little tiny stickers you can put on anything that will GPS-enable and locate those kinds of things.
And my favorite is actually this—has anybody in the audience not moved? So if you've all moved, you all understand how that works. You give your precious possessions to a bunch of guys with no teeth, and you hope at the other end of the journey some of the stuff will be there. This is a fake little box (on screen) that you add to your moving load, and it sends GPS signals to you throughout the move so that you know that the guy isn't at some truck stop in Indiana for two days.

Video "everything": The default way we share

Where are we going on video? "Everything analog" is moving to "everything digital," and digital means video. That's how we learn, that's how we share, so more and more video. Basically, what you want and where you want it and when you want it, everything will be on-demand.
The truth is that for anybody under a certain age the first screen today is your mobile device. - Howard Tullman
We don't talk about television anymore, because we talk about video assets that are going to be distributed across all kinds of channels. And you know, interesting enough, TV is not suffering, but it is sort of selectively being depopulated. So in certain age groups, online viewing is exploding, and TV watching is diminishing significantly. The truth is that for anybody under a certain age the first screen today is your mobile device.
 We don't talk about television anymore, because we talk about video assets that are going to be distributed across all kinds of channels. And you know, interesting enough, TV is not suffering, but it is sort of selectively being depopulated. So in certain age groups, online viewing is exploding, and TV watching is diminishing significantly. The truth is that for anybody under a certain age the first screen today is your mobile device.
But we've discovered, and this is from the last Olympics—we expect to run this analysis again. We discovered the good news is these devices are completely additive. They don't diminish the TV experience, they enhance it. More and more of this is permitting us to do shorter and shorter communications. We see video-enabled communications as basically the default way that we share.
Again, [video is] how a great deal of learning will take place. The kids who are in school, who think of school increasingly as a sort of prison, they are doing their learning everywhere but school. So the whole world is going to adapt to this model as we move forward.

Collaborative commerce is powerful

Collaborative commerce... this idea that [if] we're sharing then we are going to be able to work together. When you go back not so many years, the personal computer permitted us for the first time individually to create powerful digital assets, and when the web came along it permitted us to share those digital assets. And then collaborative tools came along to let us work together worldwide. And lastly, after all that stuff was created, Google came along and let us find it, which turned out to be a fairly important thing as well.
[Collaborative commerce is] not taxable, or measurable. There are a lot of things that will come where people are going to have to figure out how this works.
But for now it's powerful… [for example] one hour of translation on TaskRabbit. And look who these people are, look at who the 5,000 rabbits are on TaskRabbit. They are stay-at-home moms, they are retirees, they are college students.
It's a really powerful set of resources. It's way more powerful than something you could hire, than something you would want to hire. You want to use these as a variable cost. So you can push out just about anything. All of these are very, very powerful. You can hire an expert to help you raise money, just about anything. And that's just the beginning--we are going to see more and more of this.

Wiki work: Beyond constraints

We all know of Wikipedia. Wiki work is this idea that the workplace is everywhere today and it's so exciting because we are no longer time- and place-constrained, we are no longer location-based, we can be working anywhere in real time, and that's much more important than places tend to be.
We are going to be able to pull together an enormous talent of people: stay-at-home moms, PhDs, all kinds of people. [They] can join your team, join your workforce, in really amazing ways because of connectivity and because of the web.
And we are going to recapture opportunities while we are commuting, when we're stuck in places, all of these things are going to increase the productivity of the whole country in very, very powerful ways. If you don't understand how big Wikipedia now is—70,000 people work for free for Wikipedia these days.
And just to give you one example, I don't know if many of you know this. For about 10 years or more scientists were trying to solve a particular protein issue connected with AIDS and couldn't do it. And they pushed this problem out to about 200,000 gamers. They solved the problem in about 10 days, because they thought of it as a puzzle, they didn't know it was science. They said, oh wow, we just have to figure out how to do this.
More and more of us are going to work for ourselves, this trend is going to just expand and increase. That's exciting in some ways it's also lonely in some ways. And places that create community, like 1871, are really valuable. And we are going to have more and more services that are going to grow up and connect us to other services and connect us to other businesses, [and not through] traditional channels.

1871 Hosts Kickoff Breakfast for GOOD WORK CHICAGO with Good City

U.S. News Interview with 1871's Reva Minkoff

Business woman working remotly from her dining table. Home kitchen in the background.

Avoiding Small Business Blunders

Entrepreneur Reva Minkoff aims to stop small businesses from making the same mistakes over and over.

Business woman working remotly from her dining table. Home kitchen in the background.
It's smarter business More

Common mistakes account for too many small businesses wasting an average of 25 percent of their pay-per-click advertising budget each month. After identifying the same basic mistakes in 95 percent of the accounts she consulted on, Reva Minkoff started the award winning-website DigitalGroundUp in the summer of 2012 to train small business advertisers and over 300 students in successful digital marketing through short, hands-on online courses.
The company has since collaborated with major companies such as Facebook, while Minkoff herself was invited to the White House to live tweet the arrival ceremony of new British Prime Minister David Cameron. I recently interviewed Minkoff by email.
What are the worst mistakes small businesses make in advertising?
Not tracking their results. It drives me nuts when companies don't know what's happening on their website, what the results of their marketing are and how both are factoring into their bottom line. If they're spending money on something, they should know what they're getting out of it, and if they don't, their agencies and developers should be working with them to help get them that information.
What are the most common pieces of advice you give students?
I remind students to focus on the overall concepts and not the interfaces. The fundamental digital marketing concepts haven't changed from day one. As long as students understand them, they'll be able to adjust to any other changes that may come their way and make the right decisions when faced with a new concept.
The lessons that we offer are applicable to both established companies and startups. The principles of digital marketing are the same regardless of the size of the company. We have found that it's more about what the goals of the campaign are and how new the company is to advertising. We've worked with established companies on launching a new product or launching marketing campaigns for the first time and the dynamic is the same as working with a startup launching a website for the first time.
What advertising trends do you see evolving? Dying?
I think the days of large cost per impression based buys directly through an advertiser slowly coming to an end as programmatic and auction based bidding and buying continue to evolve and become more commonplace. Tracking and personalization are both two areas that continue to grow and evolve. Both have grown and improved a lot in the last decade.
Digital marketing is very important for most companies. In this day and age, it's important that all companies can be found online. It adds credibility and is an important source of information for current and prospective customers. But not all tactics make sense for all companies and all situations.
Social media is just one part of the digital marketing toolkit. Again, every campaign necessitates a different set of tactics. Sometimes social media is the right solution, sometimes it's not. It's important to think of social media as a part of what digital marketing is, not the only thing.
How should businesses measure the success of their digital campaigns?
Success metrics vary depending on the goals of the campaign, but I think that one thing businesses should focus on is sustainability. It's important to drive quality results that last. For example, if the goal is to drive traffic to a website, success is driving traffic at a low cost that engages with the site and returns again regularly so that next month, that traffic is free. It's important to always keep an eye on the bigger picture and ensure that the campaign is sustainably achieving whatever that is.
Which three companies are using digital marketing effectively?
There are lots of great digital marketing campaigns out there. It's hard to say who is the most efficient without knowing the actual numbers and conversions. From a creative perspective though, Birchbox, American Airlines and Amazon have all produced great work.
What makes you one of the best female CEOs?
I don't know if I'd say that I'm one of the "best" out there. There are so many incredible female CEOs. I strive to conduct my business with honesty and integrity while giving back to the people and companies around me. It's important to me to be a role model and to give younger women someone to look up to. And it's important to me to run my companies such that I would want to do business with them, were I on the other end of the table.
What advice would you give budding female entrepreneurs? 
Surround yourself with a great support system. There are a number of amazing groups for female entrepreneurs of all ages and life stages. Whether it's moms, senior citizens, college students, or groups that span generations, find whatever group works for you and get involved so you’re never alone in your quest.

New Inc Magazine Blog Post by 1871 CEO Howard Tullman


1871 CEO Howard Tullman Welcomes Canada Governor General David Johnston, Ambassador Bruce Heyman, and Consul General Ron Norton for Tour and Discussion

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