Culture of Collaboration & Partnership in Action

While attending another great North Shore Technology Council ( presentation yesterday, I was inspired by a conversation with Brian Gravel about how important partnerships and community are to discovering your way to success.

We are lucky to have this here in Boston's North Shore with the NSTC - a nonprofit business association with the mantra, "Come For The Networking, Stay For The Mission."

Kendall Square, Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, and more and more "Innovation Districts" and coworking communities around the world, have this culture of collaboration and partnership - a network of limitless resources and service providers that are compelled to help beyond their self-interest... make connections, fill needs, inspire, and instigate. These attributes are the at the core of the NSTC...They are in our nature.

Individuals and all sizes of companies, that have ideas and needs, come 

to events and participate in our community for this entrepreneurial energy where innovation comes from applied invention. Yeah, kinda deep... let's discuss it over free coffee at the latest addition to our ecosystem of collaboration - the new Workbar in the Danvers Staples!
Here is an invite to their Open House Friday 10/28 at noon

For details, data, and direction about earning multiple streams of income from your sideline (or fulltime) "gig economy" project, check out excerpts from the Solo Project  by the Knight Foundation.

An excellent example of NSTC's culture of collaboration is their new sponsor AND partner 
Gravoc. They hosted this event at their new offices and meeting space. The very serious subject about Security and CyberCrime was presented with fun and function by Nate Gravel. His advice in 3 points...

Gravoc has the right attitude and offerings. On a tour of their office, I learned that they solve business problems AND supports all the related tech systems to keep updated. This includes the hard stuff like CyberSecurity, eCommerce, and understanding their client (partner!) well enough to tell their best story and communicate across the evolving media of Web, Mobile, and events. As Dave Gravel says, they are "a 360 degree company."

Our community will be having many more events at their new presentation room right off 95/128. 

To participate in this culture of collaboration, join the NSTC mailing list ...

You are always Welcome.

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Pilot Show - So You Want to Work in Tech

Ted Reed is at it again! My Emmy Award winning friend has a new broadcast TV and Internet program that will be both important and fun.

"So You Want to Work in Tech" will cover all the innovative tech activities in Boston and beyond... so you know where you can get involved ... and know where the future is already here disrupting your industry!

I am on his Digital Strategy team. And that's Erika Ebbel Angle from Scientists for Science and iRobot fame.

We will look behind the scenes of tech companies across the region and hear from people in specific job titles about how to get hired and succeed.

Our mission is to help build America (!) by supporting economic development in the Global Internet Economy. Plenty of tech jobs are available so let's get the right people in the right seats. And these are the best seats - growing fast, clean and sustainable, plus they can easily expand internationally.

The US, and especially Boston, needs trained employees in and around tech for ALL types of positions.... "So You Want To Work In Tech" will help everyone understand this ecosystem. 

Tech is in every company and position ... Keep up by staying ahead.

Check out the promo reel for the pilot ... 

 Ted Reed TV

See more video excerpts here

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HR Tech... A Noble Mobile cause!

How can we (you included) help the most people efficiently? We have been focusing on the employee workforce... they are accessible and eager.  

We are having success with several HR Tech solution. The Cooleaf platform is one of our favorites for 2 reasons - they have the right tech (new nimble platform including Mobile) and the right attitude (great people that are wise enough to care and young enough to apply the best new media). 

Because "Employee engagement" is a real problem and is the solution to most of your company's goals.

The Cooleaf process is designed to let companies acknowledge that "people are more productive and committed to the activities they're engaged in when motivated by personal interest and satisfaction rather than external factors like compensation." ... In short. how to get your staff to give a damn!

Here is an overview:


FYI, Altimeter has a must-read article on how to make HR a strategic asset in the Digital Era. They also introduce a really cool and relevant new concept for communication across the "Experience Cloud."

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Watch The Gap

When you are focusing on your Strategic Sweet Spot - that's the best stuff you provide your clients that competitors do not... think about the gaps in your resources to fulfill on your promises today AND as user experiences and expectations evolve. Because, as you know, "evolve" is an understatement!

Keeping up is impossible. The answer?... Get help from trusted specialists in the below priorities.

As you can see in this eMarketer/SODA survey, you are not alone needing User Experience guidance for your Digital, Mobile, Connected Devices, etc. So, consider filling the gap in your executive management (see McKinsey image and article below) with specialists that honor where your business is ... and needs to go.

Mckinsey has excellent advice for how to keep your leadership in touch with the new Digital influences, opportunities, and obligations ...

Remember, be careful and "Watch The Gap"...

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End of the Mobile App Era

While Mobile apps have undoubtedly reinvented the tech sector, it’s time for app developers to apply their skills to robust, connected digital products instead. Our partner at VB has the right POV...

Want Real Relationships? There is an App for that.

Here are notes from my recent presentation at the Mobile Marketing Association about brands being obsessed with advertising on Mobile and not building customer relationships on it. 

It's really easy to buy ads on Google and Facebook. You can even do it automatically with Programmatic services.

Then... Advertising and media promotions let you reach as many people as your budgets allow... 

But ... you are just renting relationships thru publishers and Social Networks.

HERE IS THE QUESTION - Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions while learning personal preferences that allow you to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? 

So... Deep-tech development at the code level is the best way to build better customized customer service methods (not dependent on the Social Network platforms) ... for real relationships thru frequent exponentially valuable interactions... optimizing at every touchpoint.

This includes custom mobile apps and all the other “connected devices” accessed during the user's day across multiple mesh networks...  From the Alexa Echo in the kitchen during breakfast - with the car or throughout the commute - entering locations - logging in at work - team collaborations - customer presentations - restaurants - shopping - back home - "hello Alexa, read me my final list that I accumulated today... What do I have to do tomorrow? And who is on Colbert tonight?"

Remember, you cannot provide this (expected!) level of customer service through a Responsive Website limited to their smartphone's browser. 

The result is a solution for real 2-way one-to-one loyal relationships integrated with any current corporate systems - marcom, commerce, supply chain, employee engagement, innovation labs!  

Now you can fulfill on the marketer's promise to listen and learn personal preferences ... and deliver ONLY relevant value with the right content at the right time and the right place.

Point... Use a mobile device responsive web site to reach the masses. Build a custom app experience to service your customers.

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How Much of the Mobile "Brain" are you Using?

We DO use more than 10% of our brain... 

But you are probably only using about 10% of the capabilities of the smartphone with your mobile marketing.

Because... when a customer goes to your site thru a browser on their phone, they are NOT able to easily benefit from the amazing smartphone functions and sensors.

A "Responsive Site" is great for building a bigger audience because of easy access from any phone's browser. But the depth of interaction and range of value can only come thru a "Native App" custom designed for the smartphone...

Here is a real question: Do you want to have ongoing relationships with your customers that includes frequent interactions that learns personal preferences to provide exponential value during AND in-between their purchases? If yes, then . . .
. . . You need a Native Mobile App to get these: 
  1. Superior design experience to prompt more conversions
  2. Quick access with your own branded icons on their home screen
  3. Faster info display (even when there is bad wireless access)
  4. Push notification alerts that arrive exactly how they are wanted
  5. Instant one-click access to proximity-aware customer service 
  6. Secure Integration with mobile payments via Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  7. Elegant integration with photos and videos
  8. Proximity-awareness to control audio and speakers
  9. Accelerometer and motion for exact user position
  10. Gyroscope and movement awareness for games, etc.
  11. Ambient light reader as a photography tool or situational awareness
  12. Magnetometer for alternative positioning with the compass
  13. Barometer changes to update weather-related info
  14. Enhanced security tools only available thru an app
  15. Biometrics – Such as a fingerprint reader
  16. “Connected Device” integration with Bluetooth, NFC, etc.
  17. Active triggers like GPS Geo-Fencing and Beacon sensors that initiate the “choice to ignore or learn more” about what’s available right then and there!
Companies that take advantage of these with a native app (or integrated connected devices) can provide a better user experience than with a website.
Solve many of your business problems with that brain everyone carries around everywhere…
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Opportunity In Varying Degrees of Digitization

As I am always looking for industries that have a need AND a want for Digital strategy and software solutions (such as mobile presence with apps and connected devices), the current opportunities are in Hospitality, Healthcare, Entertainment & Recreation, and Real Estate.

Click to enlarge this Mckinsey chart for an industry breakdown. Look for low Digital use and high productivity growth.

There is huge growth potential:

This is from Mckinsey's "Haves and Have Mores"  Download Full report PDF
Last year Mckinsey has some advice
HBR has a POV ..

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Ripping thru Truths on AmazAppGooBook

Try to keep up with this data-filled tirade on what is working (and Not) around the Four Horseman

 "...Stores are the new black in the world of eCommerce..."

From mobile to mobility to connectivity

Excerpts from excellent CMO interview:

According to Julie Ask, ‎vice president at Forrester Research, mobility represents the third stage of mobile marketing. The first stage, she said, is when marketers realize they need a mobile presence. This often results in the launch of a mobile website. Stage two is the move to a “mobile-first” mindset, in which marketing initiatives are designed assuming consumers are viewing them primarily on a mobile device, as opposed to the desktop. Mobile apps are typically developed at this point, too.

The third, and most mature, stage is when marketers make the shift from mobile to “mobility.”
This move from mobile to mobility is really about thinking less about mobile as a standalone and more about how mobile fits into the overall customer journey.”

Brian Wong, founder of Kiip, said the concept of mobile moments is a long-term strategy, agnostic of device and platform, that lets marketers focus on the core moments their product services… Marketing, in general, is moving to service and addressing needs, he added. “Real estate and impressions are becoming inadequate,” Wong said. “It comes down to the moments of need that we can find and address.” 

Brands should strive for three types of mobile moments—owned, manufactured, and borrowed

“I see it going from mobile to mobility to connectivity, and connectivity happens when mobility starts occurring across multiple devices, multiple networks, and multiple sensors. You essentially start creating what many refer to as the mesh network,” Becker told
That will lead marketers to the “age of the connected individual.” has become more and more targeted to getting that message out to specific audiences, down to specific segments, down to, now, specific individuals.

Becker said he expects marketers will start to close the gap between the upper funnel and lower-level paid and owned media advertising. In between, they will drop the idea of intelligent, individualized communication. And as they build up their own databases and capabilities to serve and engage individuals on their own terms, intelligent, individualized communication will come to fruition.  
By 2020, the average individual will have 10 connected devices and probably 140 different sensors, all of which will be collecting data about the individual.
“That data will either be under the control of the marketer, or the market, or the individual themselves… that’s the next battleground for the marketer…
…the next stage of evolution is from mobile, to mobility, to connectivity, and the emergence of the connected marketer.

Why Starbucks is spending even more to improve its mobile app

The opposite of this (kind of hilarious picture) is true...

Business Insider reports on Mobile and Mobile App marketing.

Starbucks has put significant effort into its mobile app, and that strategy has paid off in spades...

The company plans to increase spending on mobile in 2016 after great success with its app in 2015, according to Bloomberg. By the end of last year, 21% of all transactions at Starbucks in the U.S. occurred through the mobile app. This has positioned the app as one of Starbucks' core business strategy.

The coffee giant debuted its app in 2011 and at the time, the company used the QR-code based app mostly as a loyalty card that gave rewards (such as a free drink) to customers who used it. But in the last few years, the app has grown to become a full experience through which users can order and pay. Starbucks also sends messages that have promotional offers within the app.

The success of this app shows how effective in-app messaging can increase a company's overall revenue. Recent data from Salesforce indicates that in-app marketing is starting to become a core strategy for many businesses.

In 2016, 54% of marketers said they used mobile apps for marketing, up from approximately 27% in 2014 for a year-over-year growth of 98%. An additional 20% said they intend to use apps for marketing within the next 12 months. Finally, 77% said they noted tangible ROI from mobile marketing, up almost 150% since 2015.

Starbucks also plans to begin implementing new mobile strategies targeting more purchases within the app. These strategies include recommendations of more purchases to customers in a way similar to how Netflix recommends TV shows and movies to users based on their histories and tastes.

This approach could increase Starbucks customers' individual purchases by up to 50%, according to Crone data cited by Bloomberg.

Connecting Your Business to Connected Things

Here is the video summary of the MIT Enterprise Forum's 8th Annual Connected Things conference.

As part of the organizing team, I get to work with great people that are at the financially lucrative center AND the bleeding-edge innovations of the Internet of Things.

Produced by Ted Reed TV  .... Thanks Ted!

See more on the Loopd Bluetooth attendee communicator demo and my panel on Media and Mobile at 

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Solo Project


Download the Free Report here
Understand New Employment Options
Live And Work Better
= = = 

Here are Excerpts with data and direction:

Learn about the solopreneur that you are, or want to be, or will inevitably be!
There are 53.7 million soloists already, a third of the U.S. work force. 

Also get some blunt facts, such as... 

Solo Project Mission -
Launch a national conversation about the role that government, universities, corporations, and the social sector can play to help individuals and communities make the transition from the traditional, employer based economy to the emerging one in which individuals design their own work, create their own jobs, and take responsibility for their own financial and professional security. Thank you

25 Takeaways:

01. Grit. (And the 12 other personal qualities demanded by the new world of work.)
02. The “Hollywood Model” goes wide.
03. New worker, new workplace.
04. Write the indie FAQ.
05. “Up until a hundred years ago, there was no such thing as a ‘job.’”
06. Virtual organizations aren’t new. Reactions to them are.
07. “For the first time in human history, individuals can design a life around the pursuit of interesting work.”
08. The perfect commute is 10 minutes long.
09. Create a shaming platform.
10. For many soloists, the only coworking spaces that work are the ones they invent for themselves.
11. “Trust is not built digitally.”
12. What would an organization look like if it valued its freelance talent as much as its employees?
13. It’s important to feel like you matter.
14. Schools prepare us for a world that doesn’t exist anymore.
15. To compete for talent, “let the true voice of the city speak.”
16. Collaborators are the best counselors.
17. Needed: new forms of credit to finance the new world of work.
18. What soloists want. (A checklist.)
19. Create an association of placemakers.
20. “I don’t look at candidates just for the job I’m trying to fill. I look at them as people I want long connections with.”
21. Raise the ‘bump rate.’
22. Social media is useless.
23. Blend soloists and city hall.
24. “People value human space far above ofice space.”
25. It’s not money, it’s “risk capacity.”

Feel free to Read More about the 5 items that should guide every urban leader’s thinking going forward... and the 13 Elements - What it takes to be a soloist:

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Jacob Interviews Jim at GE

Hear the interview with Jacob "Future of Work" Morgan of at

Here is a Summary:

Interview with Jim Fowler Chief Information Officer
Most Innovative

Final words first...

Know how your industry is being disrupted
Be a continuous learner
Focus on outcomes that matter (not tech, # of servers, apps, ERps, databases) - variable cost productivity, cash, inventory

GE is the leader of "The Industrial Internet"

$140B Revenue, 300k employees, 4k locations, 150 countries, plus outsourced 

Machines, Aircraft, Locomotive, Lighting, and Healthcare

He is focusing on:

Business Plan Reviews
Top line growth
Products - becoming more software defined
Trains are rolling data centers. A plane flight generate a terabyte of data
Baseline productivity
Security is major focus
Commercial conversations - beyond tech
Less datacenters... More Application, analytics that differentiate in the market

HR and Tech meet regularly

BYOApps - 5000 apps being used. "Guard rails" - private, understand licensing, share with us
make it easier to use sanctioned platforms
Get out of employees way... just concentrate on transactional systems and data structure
Own tool - Performance Development at GE (PDatGE) - share instant feedback at/after meetings
Replacing Annual Review cycle
Goal is better communication between employee and manager. Ongoing conversation for "Continuous improvement"

Security for employees and machines (consumers for healthcare)

Disclose all employee tracking actions - Ethical and legal
500 cyber-security employees. Daily briefing on every attack. World actions/trends and correlations to connect dots in data
Internal "Red Team" for controlled internal hack for vulnerabilities. Patches are boring but important
Hundreds of phishing attacks daily (email ploy to click and breach). Metrics on remediation. Dwell time

"Fast Works" with Eric Reis - Agile method. Do less with less. Empower employees. Lower risk control

Not waterfall. Scrum. 2 week releases parallel teams. 
70% of staff are outsourced. Want to rebuild tech know-how in-house
IT evolving to own implementation AND outcomes

More digitally savy employees - the next gen leader

CIO is COO - digitize and optimize. wing-to-wing responsibility
How data helps top-line growth. More commercially focused
Digital/Industrial company - differentiator. Go from 3D model to production without the many current steps
Auditors that can code program for better accounting
Engineers code analytics
Supply chain coding solutions for better manufacturing

Hates security sign-ins at offices

Favorite books: The first 90 days and Ready Player One


Jim Fowler

Chief Information Officer at GE
Greater Atlanta Area  
Previous - GE Capital, GE Power & Water, GE

Jeff Immelt - CEO
Said, CIOs need to be less passive. IT is used to change business models
Traditional CIO is dead...less datacenters, infrastructure, PCs ... now these are just services
Disruptions from entrepreneurs

Susan P. Peters

SVP, Human Resources 

Rich Carpenter -  Industrial Internet

General Manager Controls Platforms, GE Automation and Control at General Electric
Charlottesville, Virginia Area Industrial Automation
Previous - GE Intelligent Platforms 

FYI - Big picture on the evolution of GE -

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Interview with Jim Fowler Chief Information Officer