Google Glass Augmented Reality Project Now Open To Regular People

first_imgRelated Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What would you do if you had Glass? Would you be the uber-geek on the New York subway, the way that Google co-founder Sergey Brin was the other month? Would you jump giant buildings in a single bound and rescue kittens from treetops? Let us know what you would do #ifihadglass in the comments. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What would you do with some nerdy-looking glasses that could show you contextual information right in your field of vision? Search the real world in real time, while walking down the street? Maybe something cooler?Google wants to give you the chance to find out. Google is making its Glass project, the much-hyped wearable augmented reality glasses, available to a select few people outside of its Mountain View headquarters. All you need to do is send an application to Google saying why you are worthy – and include a check for $1,500.(See also Geek Chic: Why Google Glass Needs A Style Infusion) On Wednesday, Google announced a Glass campaign, “looking for bold, creative individuals who want to join us and be a part of shaping the future of Glass.” The lucky individuals who are accepted, to be known as Glass Explorers, will be chosen based on applications to Google with the following criteria:Application must be 50 words or lessInclude hashtag #ifihadglass in the applicationInclude up to five photos in the applicationInclude a short video (15 seconds max)Be at least 18 years oldGoogle encourages prospective Glass Explorers to follow the Glass project on Google+ (+ProjectGlass) and/or Twitter (@projectglass). The deadline for applications is Feb. 27. Individuals chosen will be able to pick up their Glasses in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles. Tags:#Augmented Reality#Google Glass Google is the first to say that Glass is still in its very early stages. The search giant has tried to keep a tight lid on details of the project, from limited developer events to draconian non-disclosure agreements for those who ordered the glasses at the company’s Google I/O developers event in May 2012. dan rowinskilast_img read more

Not Pinterested, Thanks: Get Your Own Damn Taste

first_imgadriana lee A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit I’m not sure what the motivation is for users, since they don’t earn money from the sales. I wondered if it was the cachet of being a trendsetter, so I conducted an unofficial, completely unscientific survey of a few friends.Here’s what I found: Half of them thought this was a great idea. They love sharing deals and steals anyway, and some couldn’t wait to follow certain people they know and admire. Those in the other half, however, were appalled—as if they faced the prospect of Joan Rivers’ “Bitch Stole My Look” jumping off E!’s Fashion Police and landing in their own lives. I’m with the latter group. I took MyStorey for a spin last month, and after uploading one pic—of my brand-new mid-century modern sofa—a thought flashed through my mind. I suddenly imagined my beloved sofa sitting in the homes of everyone I know. Then I pictured all of my friends and family wearing the same thing, eating at the same restaurants and living in carbon copy homes. I immediately decided not to upload another pic. My Closet Is Not Your StoreSoon, people started referring to Jane and Tanya as “the twins.” Jane wasn’t pleased. In fact, she was dying to put her foot down, but how? She was the one who first turned Tanya on to some of her favorite shops and brands. She had no idea that her friend would start mimicking her style.In itself, the notion of social network–fueled shopping—or “we-commerce”—isn’t wrong-headed. It’s not even anything new. Personal recommendations from friends have always carried more weight for consumers than slick marketing materials or promotional pushes. It also piggybacks on the same human nature that drives us to tell friends about a big clearance sale or where we got that amazing new stand mixer for half the price. But telling a friend or two about a hot discount or a fabulous purchase is different from showing all your contacts how to clone your closet or house. Some sites may want us all to feel like celebrities endorsing products, but this doesn’t appeal to everyone. Maybe that would change if everyone had bodyguards and security personnel to deal with wayward followers.  Related Posts My friends Jane and Tanya were pals. They’d known each other for five years and frequented the same social circles, in real life, as well as online. But Jane started noticing a bizarre pattern. Every time she bought a new scarf, sweater or bag, Tanya would show up a week later with the same item.Aspirations are powerful, and no one knows that better than Pinterest. It’s the secret sauce in the 3-year-old online photo pinboard’s popularity. The site’s 40 million users use it to save recipes they hope to cook, styles they want to test, or projects they’d love to try. And when it comes to sharing items from e-commerce sites, Pinterest has actually lapped social juggernaut Facebook. Adding retail to this environment would make perfect sense. Even so, Pinterest moves carefully, and wisely so. “We’re trying to do something where the average person … feels that it makes the experience better,” CEO Ben Silberman said at D11: All Things D conference last May. He explained the company doesn’t want to “commodify someone’s passions.”That same month, the site debuted “rich pins”—snippets that give extra information, such as ingredients (for recipes) and, yes, retail links for certain products or stores. But Pinterest has a key differentiating factor. Because its pins are usually aspirational, it’s not necessarily selling users’ current lifestyles. Compare that to MyStorey, a Los Angeles-based startup that turns people’s own photos into shopping portals. The network—now in the middle of a limited beta test—is like a mash-up of Flickr, Pinterest and Fab. Users share their own images (like Flickr) in a pinboard format (like Pinterest), and tag those photos with prices and retail links, so followers can buy the featured clothes, accessories and other goods (like Fab). Making money from social media is tricky business. When it comes to profiting off what people share, there’s a line between tasteful and tacky, between inspired and creepy. Although Pinterest is proceeding cautiously on this front—and with good reason—some of its knockoffs are racing to commoditize people’s lives and mementos. That’s right: We’ve hit a new stage in which people can not only share their heartfelt moments and treasured images with friends, but also turn them into shopping portals that let everyone they know copy their tastes. Looks like the line between inspired and creepy just got a little fuzzier. Bitch Stole My Look Indeed, some people go to freaky extremes, both offline and on. Anecdotes about Facebook stalking have become cautionary tales—there’s even a WikiHow for dealing with it—and now LinkedIn stalking has been getting attention. Add the allure of a social network that puts users’ lives on sale, and we could have a nation of Jennifer Jason Leighs going all Single White Female on people. Once again, I shudder. The Right Way To Share Social RetailI urged Jane to have a heart to heart with her friend and gently tell her what she was feeling. And Jane succeeded in getting her point across. Tanya eventually found her own style. Actually, it belonged to a local boutique a neighbor turned her on to. She started buying whole outfits as they appeared in its window. That’s not to say retail and social networking don’t make for a great partnership. In fact, a few sites are actually getting it right. Fab, for instance—which just dropped its “Hurry now!” flash-sale approach in favor of letting customers follow tastemakers—works because it’s a store first and a social site second. In a similar vein, Fancy, which positions itself as more of a wish list, also manages to sell products without selling people’s personal memories, mementos and special moments. There are no photos of baby’s first steps visually marred by price tags promoting retail links for that adorable rattle or bib. The retail industry is finding its legs in this new social media-driven world. Meanwhile, social sites are clearly experimenting with ways to turn a profit. I have no doubt they will figure it out. I just have no idea if they’ll be able to do it without turning the act of “sharing” into a tacky pursuit powered by wannabes and followers, or creeping people out in the process. As for my friends Jane and Tanya, they remain friendly, though they’re not as close as they used to be. But I learned something from their situation: There’s a difference between admiring someone’s taste and ripping it off. I have fingers crossed that this social distinction will survive social media and its push for monetization. Feature image courtesy of MyStorey. Image of identical toys/figurines courtesy of Flickr user Thom. Images of Fashion Police and Single White Female screen captured from YouTube via E! Entertainment and movieclips, respectively.  Tags:#retail#social Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

Key tech players create non-profit AI alliance

first_imgHow Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Tags:#AI#Amazon#artificial intelligence#Deep Mind#Elon Musk#Facebook#Google#IBM#Machine Learning#Microsoft Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Related Posts center_img Tech giants Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Google’s DeepMind, Facebook have joined forces to create a non-profit alliance called Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society that will work to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field.Academics, non-profits, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the Board of the organization.The objective of the partnership is to address opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society. Together, the organization’s members will conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in fr areas such as ethics, fairness, and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology.The organization’s founding members will each contribute financial and research resources to the partnership and will share leadership with independent third-parties, including academics, user group advocates, and industry domain experts. There will be equal representation of corporate and non-corporate members on the board of this new organization.Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow & Managing Director, Microsoft Research said:“We’re excited about this historic collaboration on AI and its influences on people and society. We see great value ahead with harnessing AI advances in numerous areas, including health, education, transportation, public welfare, and personal empowerment. We’re extremely pleased with how early discussions among colleagues blossomed into a promising long-term collaboration. Beyond folks in industry, we’re thrilled to have other stakeholders at the table, including colleagues in ethics, law, policy, and the public at large. We look forward to working arm-in-arm on best practices and on such important topics as ethics, privacy, transparency, bias, inclusiveness, and safety.”Who’s in…and who’s outInterestingly it does not intend to lobby government or other policymaking bodies, yet members will presumably include legal professionals. After all, it’s likely that there will be significant challenges to the rule of law, at least in the developed world, as AI advances into all echelons of society and policy in a broad range of areas from health care to military analytics. The law in general has traditionally struggled to maintain pace with the rapid advancements of technological innovation.Notably absent are Apple and Open AI, the non-profit research think tank created by Elon Musk in 2015, though it’s possible they will be late additions. It’s foreseeable that as AI develops as the next industrial revolution, preceded by IoT, that a number of watchdog organizations will develop to respond to the challenges of AI particularly in regard to changes to the workforce in some sectors and the social challenges like robotic ethics. The next few years will be a time of fascinating research and discussions for all. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Cate Lawrencelast_img read more

Why AI and Viztech hold the key to a safer internet

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Online media companies are chasing their tails when it comes to policing terrorist material, and other dangerous and offensive content. But there is artificial intelligence-based technology out there that can spot it before it goes live, says David Fulton, CEO of WeSee.Leading figures in both government and academia have been focused on a common cause in recent months – how best to solve the growing problem of online terrorist content. However, the jury’s out on whether the big digital media players, like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, are up to the job, despite being under growing pressure from pending legislation. The good news it looks like a powerful new image-recognition technology based on deep learning and neural networks could provide a solution.In the same week in June that German lawmakers passed a bill forcing major internet companies to banish “evidently illegal” content within 24 hours or face fines up to $57 million, a conference took place in Harvard University entitled: Harmful Speech Online: At the Intersection of Algorithms and Human Behaviour. It discussed how best to constrain harmful online content, and was co-hosted by the Harvard-based Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London-based think tank. The opening address stated that extremism in online spaces can have an enormous impact on public opinion, inclusiveness and politics. It also cited the enormous gap  –  in terms of resourcing, activism, and even basic research  –  between the problems of harmful speech online and the available solutions to control it.Automated DetectionJust a few weeks later in September, the heads of state of the UK, France and Italy met with internet companies at the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss the issue. In a speech ahead of the meeting, UK Prime Minister Theresa May threatened the internet giants with huge fines if they could not come up with a way to detect and remove terrorist content within two hours. This time span is significant as within two hours two-thirds of the propaganda is shared – so you could question whether two hours is actually too long.In response, Google and YouTube have announced they are increasing their use of technology to help automatically identify videos. Meanwhile the problem continues and is only going to get worse. A recent article in the Telegraph revealed that, according to official figures, 54,000 different websites containing advice on bomb making, and committing attacks using trucks and knives, were posted online by supporters of the so-called Islamic State group between August last year and May this year. What’s more, Cisco has forecast that by 2020 there will be 65 trillion images and six trillion videos uploaded to the web, which will result in over 80% of all internet traffic being image or video-based in less than three years’ time. That’s a lot of content to monitor for extremist and other inappropriate material, but the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) could hold the key to unlocking this conundrum.Emerging Field of ViztechPioneers in the new field of Viztech have developed a highly effective adult and violence video filter. It uses AI to identify terrorist and other harmful digital content automatically – and not within two hours of being published, but before it actually goes live. It can spot inappropriate digital content, such as an ISIS flag or face of a known hate-preacher. Viztech can also detect and categorize video, as well as still images, quickly and efficiently, processing information just like the human brain, but up to 1,000 times faster, so not just mimicking human behavior but performing far better.  Driven by deep learning and neural networks, it’s similar to the technology behind the iPhone X’s facial recognition system, but much more sophisticated. Rather than being reactionary, it’s predictive, filtering, identifying and categorising video content before it even appears online. In Viztech lies the solution to curbing online terrorist material and its unfortunate effects, which is something governments, academics and, of course, digital media businesses are all desperate to do. Ultimately it holds the key to a safer internet for everyone.David Fulton is CEO of WeSee. David Fulton How Data Analytics Can Save Lives Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T…center_img Related Posts Tags:#adult content#AI#featured#Google#terrorism#top#video#video filter#viztech#YouTube AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storagelast_img read more

RED Digital Case Study: Honesty & Humanity Is The Best Policy

first_imgIn this post we share a few thoughts on setting realistic expectations when working with clients. Good advice for business and creative professionals alike.Jim Jannard recently posted a great apology/apologetic on the Red User Forum about RED’s habit of making over enthusiastic announcements with over eager delivery deadlines, which have then been subject to disappointing delays, change and shifting price points. You can read the full text here, but I just wanted to offer a few thoughts off the back of it about the importance of honesty when dealing with your customers…and how they’ll ultimately love you for it in the end. RED REEL 2013 NAB:Under Promise – Over DeliverRED is known for thinking big. Really big. Over the moon big. RED stirs the pot. We are also honest to a fault. Did I say we have no idea what we are doing? Everything changes including specs, pricing and delivery dates?The old business axiom of always under promising and over delivering has sort of become old hat these days. Hype (the over-inflation of excitement about a product that will ultimately fail to deliver) is what most businesses leverage for flogging weak products to over eager fans. But that’s a road of short term gains for long term death. Brands build loyalty and reputation over decades not just product cycles. An emphasis on product and getting the product perfect is what will satisfy your fans and give them something to genuinely rave about (Steve Jobs legacy) . This is what RED have also become known for – disruptive products that can truly wear the badge of ‘game changers’:RED (I guess I am the guilty party) has spouted off “miracles” since 2006. “4K is the future” was our 1st message. We showed a shiny prototype at NAB that year. We took deposits on an impossible dream. A 4K camera for $17,500 when others were selling a 1080P cinema camera for over $200K. What we showed in our booth, and what people put down deposits toward, looked nothing like what we delivered one year later. We did deliver the RED ONE for $17,500 as promised. And that changed the history of cinema and who could participate. It marked the beginning of the changing of the guard.But riding the fine line between enthusiasm and hype is a difficult task. When you’re out to turn an industry upside down with visionary leadership it’s hard not to get ahead of yourself and stumble over your own excitement. So what’s great about Jim’s latest post is that he finishes with this new sentiment:We are just beginning. We have dreams that cannot be imagined. Once we deliver what you know about… there is more. Much more… only this time, we aren’t going to tell you until they are done.In many ways RED could take a leaf out of Blackmagic Design’s marketing book. Engaging the wow factor of surprise and delight by not telling anyone about your new products and then announcing them when they’re (mostly) ready to ship. Although it has to be said of course that BMD has also encountered the pain and frustration of the enormous difficulties inherent in delivering technically sophisticated products, especially when things go wrong. But like RED they’ve also been honest and upfront about it:Some good news. If you have read my other posts about the causes of the camera delays then you know we have been dealing with a problem with our sensor supplier related to contamination of the glass that’s bonded on the front of the sensor. It’s not been clean and so we had to stop production of cameras….   (Another update later) It is sure a relief seeing this problem coming to a close. I cannot believe this happened and it’s been an incredibly frustrating delay. However I am feeling really positive now.  – Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.Engage Your FansFor all of our faults (many)… caring about our customers and pushing the envelope are not two of them. This always seems to have us riding the ragged edge. This NAB presentation is no exception. We are trying to do things never done before and the clock is ticking for us to get ready. – Jim JannardPart of the success for both RED Digital and Blackmagic Design is their vibrant forums, which give all of their users, fans and detractors a place to hang out, chat and offer valuable feedback (and rant). A forum is a great way to build community around a brand or product is great, but a forum in which the head honchos dive in and play a central role is even better. Apple has a user forum on its site, but Steve Jobs or Tim Cook would never stop by for some honest communication. It’s just user’s trying to help each other out.The Red User forum is an all together different place – an open place where users are invited to share in the journey with the company.So… are we late with Dragon? Yes. And Meizler. And REDRAY. And our Projector. Of course we are. This stuff is not easy. In fact it is groundbreaking and extremely difficult. Sometimes I want to strangle our engineers for their optimistic schedule. In the end… I embrace them for working on the hardest stuff… the impossible goals. They are the ones that brought you the RED ONE and the EPIC.Building a loyal, ardent and vocal fan base who get angry when you’re late to deliver is far better than an apathetic crowd who could buy your stuff, or someone else’s without much consideration. I’d rather have a mob of frusturated fans (at least they care!) than a customer base who don’t care and are only interested if you’re the cheapest.Be HumanBlackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty Interview at NAB 2013:Finally the most important lesson anyone running a business can take away from this is that being honest makes you human. It reveals that you are just like the rest of us. Not some faceless corporation that doesn’t care about the feelings of its customers but a team of real people who care passionately about what they do. People who stay up late because they’re dedicated to offering great products and services and are committed to building something of worth. Who wouldn’t want to be involved in that? To buy into that?But honest humanity comes at the cost of slick performance. Human’s are frail and fallible, they make mistakes, stumble over their words and go with gut instincts. The reason that Apple’s ads are so frequently spoofed is that they are 100% for slick performance with a lack of genuine humanity. Personally I’d much rather watch a 90 second, wobbly, badly lit handheld chat in Jonathan Ive’s office, while he doodles  away at something and talks from the heart than 6 and a half minutes of marketing speil.When quoting schedules, budgets and time constraints with your clients keep HONESTY in mind. Expectations should be realistic…quality work takes time!last_img read more

Panasonic GH4 Demand Causes Shipping Delays

first_imgDemand for the 4K Panasonic GH4 have forced shipping delays worldwide.The Panasonic GH4 was scheduled to be shipped April 24, 2014. However, it seems like Panasonic underestimated the demand for their new 4K product. In an online statement from the Japanese Marketing Division Panasonic stated that reservations and pre-orders were more than expected and that they are at a point where “production can not keep up.” This delay applies to the camera body and presumably the accompanying DMC-YAGH interface unit.AvailabilityCurrently there are a limited number of places where you can buy a GH4. B&H has started shipping as of April 28th but many retailers including Amazon are backordered for a few weeks.PriceThe Panasonic GH4 body has an MSRP of $1,699.00. However, if you are wanting to get the maximum recording capabilities out of the camera you will need to buy the optional DMW-YAGH Interface Unit. The interface allows for 2 XLR inputs with phantom power, audio level display, 2x3G-SDI BNC connectors, 2xHD-SDI BNC connectors, SDI output for 4:2:2/10bit 4K signal, HDMI output, Timecode in, and XLR power. All of these features help make the GH4 much more than a DSLR but come at a cost, the DMW-YAGH has an MSRP of $1,998.00.Imaging Resource informed us of the shipping delay.Know of any place where you can get a GH4? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

5 Reasons Your Day For Night Footage Doesn’t Look Right

first_imgShooting day for night is a technique that has been around for ages, however many filmmakers make critical mistakes both during production and post that completely give away the effect.[Above image from Hejl on Flickr)For any of you that are hearing the term ‘day for night’ for the first time, I’ll take a moment here to explain exactly what that means. Essentially day for night shooting quite literally involves shooting a scene during the daytime that is supposed to be set at night in the context of the story. Most often it’s achieved by underexposing the image in camera, setting the white balance to a cooler setting, and color correcting the footage in post to sell the look.This technique is often used on smaller scale productions that don’t have massive lighting budgets, as it can become extremely costly to attempt to light a large night time exterior, and shooting day for night often allows for a much more efficient and inexpensive solution. That said, it isn’t all about cost either. Many large scale productions opt to shoot day for night for various creative reasons.When done well, the practice of shooting day for night can look really great and become almost completely unnoticeable (to the untrained eye at least), but the key lies in the execution. The truth of the matter unfortunately, is that most filmmakers attempting this look for the first time come up short as it can be a challenging task to handle.1. The talent was placed in front of the sunProbably the number one rule when shooting day for night is to be aware of where the sun is in relation to your talent. In order to really sell this effect, you need to get the sun light to behave light moonlight on camera, which involves placing your talent in front of the sun. Just like you would if you were shooting a person in the middle of the day, you want to use the sun as a backlight when shooting day for night so it creates a rim behind your talent. This is the first step in achieving a day for night look – if you were to shoot with the sun glaring down on your talents faces and creating harsh shadows, you would immediately be giving away the day for night look.2. You aren’t shooting at the right time of dayOn days with really harsh sunlight, it doesn’t matter where you place your talent – the sun may just be too strong. For example, if you place the sun behind your talent (with no diffusion) and the sun is blowing out their shoulders, it doesn’t matter how you try to color correct that shot later, it’s going to look funny. Another example would involve wide shots, where you might be revealing hard shadows on the ground or on walls that again are synonymous with sunlight. If either of these potential problems arise while shooting, your end result will suffer as the audience will read it as a day for night scene, or even worse they will assume it was shot at night with really poor lighting.Whenever possible, try to avoid shooting right in the middle of the day. Around noon is typically when the sun is at it’s highest point and will cause the most issues for you. If possible, aim to shoot later in the day when the sun is getting a bit lower so that you have more wiggle room while shooting.3. The exposure isn’t set rightShooting day for night means exposing your image as if it was actually shot at night, or in other words – underexposing. A very common issue that filmmakers run into when shooting day for night material is that they neglect to exposure their footage in a way that will allow them to later color correct their footage to help sell the effect. Put differently, they simply expose their image in the same way that they would in a daytime scene, and this can be hugely problematic when it comes time to color the shots.While there is a lot of work that can (and should) be done in post, in order to get the best possible results you need to be working with an image that was exposed intentionally for this type of look. I always recommend underexposing by at least one stop (sometimes even two or three, but use your discretion), so you are putting your levels in a place that is much closer to what real night time footage would look like. This way you don’t need to push things as drastically in post, and your final look will be far more organic.4. The white balance is offMost cameras don’t shoot raw (and rather shoot to a compressed codec like H264 or ProRes), which means that you really need to nail your white balance in camera when shooting day for night. Imagine you were to shoot a day for night scene with a daytime white balance applied (let’s say 5600K). When you get to the editing room and attempt to color correct the footage to actually look like night footage (likely bringing it closer to 3200K), you will have to push the colors around so far that the image may start to fall apart.Compressed codecs offer a finite level of color correction ability, so always make sure that you are white balancing to a cooler setting in camera so that you don’t force yourself to push things too far in post and completely degrade the image. Obviously codecs like ProRes will give you more wiggle room than H264, but as a general rule of thumb try to nail your white balance in camera as much as possible no matter what, to be on the safe side.5. Color correction is way offEven if you do everything right in production – expose your image properly, place the talent in front of the sun at an optimal point of the day, set your white balance accordingly, etc. your footage is still only as good as your color pass. The source footage that you’re going to work with is never going to be perfectly believable, and as such it’s really important that you understand how to properly color grade your footage to emphasize the day for night look.The biggest two issues I see with regards to color work on day for night footage are: Highlight levels and color balance. The highlight levels need to be brought down as far as possible (without going overboard) to take away from any harshness in the image that may have been caused by the sun. And the color balance also needs to be carefully adjusted (often times by desaturating, moving the midtones and highlights to a purple-blue color, and neutralizing the shadows). By doing so the final image looks far more believable and will have that extra bit of polish to it.Do your research and never skimp out during the color stage as this is where at least 50% of the magic happens!last_img read more

How to Work Your Sales Funnel

first_imgThere is a reason to do work in a certain order, to plan your week, to be a disciplined “me manager.”You don’t always get to decide when you do some of the work that you need to do each week. Some clients need you to be available when it fits their schedule. Some prospective clients are only available at certain times, and sometimes the time they have available conflicts with the plans you’ve made.You don’t live in a perfect world. But if you did, this is what it should look like.Above the FunnelYou should first do the “above the funnel” work you have to do each day.If you don’t do this work first, it is likely that it will never get done. You will have clients that need your time and attention. You will have urgent issue that creep up and steal your time. You may be distracted and fall into a reactive mode, waiting for that next email to pop up or the phone to ring.You will not prospect if there is something you can do that feels like work, even if it doesn’t produce the result you need (unless you are a hustler, of course, then you’ll make your calls no matter what, because that’s what hustlers do).In the FunnelYou want to do this work first. No one understands the desire to start at the bottom of the funnel and work the deals closest to closing first, ensuring that you get them across the line now. By closing deals, your client realizes the value of your solution now, and you book the revenue now, and everybody is happy.By putting “in the funnel” deals first, you will neglect your “above the funnel.” You will sit on your deals like a mother hen, patiently waiting for them to hatch. If you are being honest, you know that you make the call, schedule the appointment, or run the meeting you need to run to move these deals through in an hour.Work on “in the funnel” deals second. Do your “above the funnel” prospecting and nurturing work first, then move everything in the funnel forward.Opportunity CreationYou are not a farmer, and you are not an order-taker. But you also can’t neglect your existing clients.Your existing clients are a source of future opportunities. After you have done the “above the funnel” work, and after you’ve done the “in the funnel” work, you have to work on what has already come through the funnel.What new challenges do your clients have? What new ideas do you have that will create a new and greater level of value for them?Make the calls, schedule the meetings, and identify new opportunities. Those new opportunities go right back into the funnel and ensure you are maximizing the value of your client relationships and building a rock solid pipeline.Work your funnel from above, to within, to below to create, win, and maximize your opportunities. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Why Some Achieve Success That Eludes Others

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now It is no great secret why some people produce better results than others.Their will is greater. People who are successful “will” their success into being. They are willing to do what others will not. They exercise their self-discipline, their will power, to constantly do the work that others find unpleasant. They also decide to be happy, and they will that into being, too. This is all mindset.Their strategies are better. People who are successful have better strategies. To produce better strategies, they spend more time studying. They read. People who are strategic digest information so they can see connections others miss. They spend time doing the difficult work of thinking.Their tactics are better. Day to day, successful people employ tactics that allow them to produce better results. They are proactive. They don’t allow their time or energy to be consumed by the attention vampires that distract others. They delegate. They focus on the three or four things that move them closer to their goals.Their execution is better. There are always failures on the road to success. But there is no success without execution. Doing the right things well, producing the necessary outcomes, and creating results are necessary to success.Their persistence is greater. Will is necessary, but not sufficient. Strategies and tactics are both necessary, but not sufficient. Even when all will, strategy, tactics, and execution are all present, success may evade you. Success is a game of patient pursuit. You have to persist. It take a long time, but not as much time as you think.If someone is producing a result that you want, if they are succeeding in some area where you are struggling, it is likely that they are doing something differently from you.They may be applying more of their will, their personal power, to succeeding in that area. They may have better strategies and tactics, likely ones that make you uncomfortable, that they are employing. Their success may be built in part by their better execution. And let there be no doubt in your mind that their persistence plays a role.There are no secrets. All is known. There are many paths, but the all of them require the same of those who would walk them.last_img read more

How To Be A Trusted Advisor Instead of an Undertaker

first_imgThere are four levels of value you can create for your clients. The first level is the value found in your product, a level that, while being important, lends itself to being commoditized. The second level is the experience of working with you and your company, a level that is mostly table stakes, and better for B2C than B2B. The third level is tangible business results, or the ability to execute what the client believes they need, even though it isn’t really what they need. The fourth level is strategic outcomes, what the client really needs, and it transcends and includes the others. Put another way, people don’t buy drills, they buy holes.While all the levels are critical, there is a significant difference between Level Three, which you know as solution selling, and Level Four, which you may not be aware of if you haven’t been here for a long time, and if you haven’t read Eat Their Lunch: Winning Customers Away from Your Competition. Win customers away from your competition. Check out Eat Their LunchThe Reactive Nature of Solutions SellingFor a very long time, we have operated at Level 3. Our clients had problems and challenges, and we would ask them to share those problems with us so that we could design and deliver a solution. The reason we focused so heavily on eliciting the client’s dissatisfaction was so we could understand their problems and challenges, and occasionally their opportunity (but mostly not opportunities). Frequently, the client had a well-formed idea about their problem and equally well-developed opinions about the right solution. Over time, Level 3 value and solution selling became the norm, making it easy to commoditize salespeople and the organizations they represented.The position of the salesperson in Level Three is reactive. Your prospective client has defined their problem, has a good idea about what they need to eliminate it, and wants to do something to solve the problem. The scenario described here is still true in some situations, even if they occur less frequently. You, as the salesperson, are responding to the client, instead of the client reacting to you. For the client to respond to you, you would have to be proactive in your approach.The Proactive Nature of Modern SellingI wrote a post about how I learned to sell differently. You can read it here.Some salespeople discovered ways to get out of reactive mode and compel change before their clients recognized the need to change. Because of their experience working with their clients and becoming subject matter experts, they started sharing their ideas and insights with their clients, nudging them to change before they needed to change, or imposing them to do so when they began to struggle to produce results.The difference here may seem subtle, but it’s a big deal. Instead of waiting for the client to decide they were dissatisfied, define their problem, and start looking for help, these proactive salespeople started to share the issues and challenges the client was sure to have in the future—and started building the case for change before their client’s started to suffer the negative consequences of maintaining the status quo. The proactive approach to compelling change instead of waiting to respond to your client is as good a summary as any when it comes to describing the difference between Level 3 and Level 4. It’s also a good description of where we are now in the evolution of sales.If You Would Occupy the Title of Trusted AdvisorIf you would be a trusted advisor, the very nature of the moniker requires that you prevent your clients from harm by offering them competent counsel. Waiting until your client is suffering when you could have done something to help them earlier eliminates any possibility that you are a trusted advisor. Solving the problem after your client after the fact isn’t nearly as helpful as preventing the harm in the first place.Because I am hyperbolic as a way to be playful, let’s call it being the opposite of the trusted advisor, the undertaker. The undertaker prepares the body for burial. In many ways, the undertaker has an easier job. Your subject doesn’t argue with you about the need to change anymore. You need to act sooner.Creating Level 4 value by being proactive, initiating change, and leading your clients isn’t easy (even though you can certainly learn to sell this way). The challenge in this approach is that you have clients who are reluctant to change, who fear that doing something different will make things worse, and who can’t agree on whether they need to change or how to change if they do. While this is difficult, it still puts you in front of your client (leading), and it offers you the chance to prevent them from being harmed.Being Proactive and Taking InitiativeThe concept of Level 4 or strategic value suggests that you need to be proactive about helping your clients and prospective clients change before they suffer the consequences for maintaining a status quo that is untenable. The idea here is the natural result of the evolution of sales as it responds to the changing world in which we live. As change comes faster and is infinitely more disruptive, the repercussions of a decision not to change are genuinely grave for many businesses (see taxis, television, book stores, hotels, radio, traditional retail, travel agents, etc.)If you want to keep pace, it is no longer enough to know your product and solutions. You must now see a future your client cannot yet see, and take initiative to help them before they are harmed. You need trust to be able to have the conversations about change before it is clear to the contacts in your client’s company that change is necessary, but you also need the advice as to what to do about it. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Petrol to cost ₹64.50 per litre in Goa

first_imgPanaji: Petrol in Goa will cost nearly ₹64.50 per litre from Saturday, following the increase in VAT in the State budget.The VAT on petrol has been increased to 15%.While tabling the Budget recently, after forming a BJP-led State government, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar justified the hike by saying that petrol prices in Goa will be below ₹65 per litre, “one of the lowest in the country.” Mr. Parrikar had brought petrol prices down to below ₹60 per litre in 2012, following his promise to scrap VAT on petrol in the run up to the then Assembly polls.last_img read more

Dialogue is open to all: Mehbooba Mufti

first_imgThe Centre’s move to appoint an interlocutor for Jammu and Kashmir on Monday was welcomed by all mainstream political parties in the Valley, but separatists remained muted to the dialogue offer “awaiting a formal invitation.”Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, whose party pledged to initiate a dialogue with the Hurriyat under the ‘Agenda of Alliance’ agreed to by the BJP, said: “A political process was necessary. I hope stakeholders in Kashmir take up the opportunity, move a step ahead and enter the dialogue process. It is open to all with no conditions on any side.”Also Read Ex-IB chief to initiate talks with all J&K stakeholders  “The representative (former IB director Dineshwar Sharma) has credibility and was involved in the dialogue process in the North-East for a long time,” Ms. Mufti said.Welcoming the initiative, former Chief Minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah said, “The acceptance of the political nature of the Kashmir issue is a resounding defeat for those who could only see use of force as a solution.”Congress unimpressedJ&K Pradesh Congress Committee president G.A. Mir said his party “won’t welcome the move until the Centre names the stakeholders and makes the road map for dialogue public.” Parties like the CPI (M), the Peoples Democratic Front and the Democratic Party Nationalist welcomed the move.Sources in the separatist camp said there would be “a joint stand” and “a formal response” to the Centre’s move. “…However, neither has there been any formal invite nor a move in this direction so far. No one knows the contours,” a separatist leader told The Hindu.last_img read more

In Tripura, CPI(M) wants polls in Feb.

first_imgThe ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Tripura has urged the Election Commission to hold the Assembly elections in early February. The party made the demand in a memorandum placed before Deputy Election Commissioner Sudeep Jain, who was leading a four-member team to the State to oversee poll preparations.The main Opposition, the Bharatiya Janata Party, in its submission to the team, did not press for a specific time for elections but requested the Commission to ensure an extensive revision of the electoral rolls to delete bogus voters. The term of the present Assembly will expire in February next.last_img read more

Rabri Devi appears before ED in railway hotels allotment case

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate on Saturday recorded the statement of former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi in connection with the Railway hotels’ maintenance contract corruption case.“Ms. Rabri Devi appeared before the investigation team in Patna, in response to the summons. Her statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act,” said an official. The agency had earlier issued multiple summonses asking her to join the probe in Delhi, but she did not turn up.The ED had also summoned her son Tejaswi Yadav twice and recorded his statement.“Their statements have been recorded as they had taken over a company through which about a three-acre commercial property was acquired from Patna-based firm, Sujata Hotels. The firm got contracts for the maintenance of two Railway hotels in Puri and Ranchi when RJD chief Lalu Prasad was the Railway Minister,” said the official.The money laundering probe is based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation against Mr. Prasad, Ms. Rabri Devi, Mr. Tejaswi Prasad and others in July.The agency has alleged that the contracts to Sujata Hotels were awarded in 2006, in lieu of the three-acre land that was acquired through a front company, Delight Marketing Company. Accused Sarla Gupta, wife of Mr. Prasad’s close associate Prem Chand Gupta, was a director in that company.According to the CBI, by 2014, Delight Marketing’s shares were taken over completely by Mr. Prasad’s family members for just ₹64 lakh, against the circle rate of ₹32.5 crore for the property and market value of ₹94 crore. The company’s name was later changed to Lara Projects and then turned into a limited liability partnership firm.last_img read more

UNESCO names Kumbh Mela Intangible Cultural Heritage

first_imgAfter ‘yoga’ and ‘Nouroz’, Kumbh Mela/ KumbhMela, the largest congregation of pilgrims on the planet, has been listed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). The Ministry of External Affairs said the inscription of ‘Kumbh Mela’ in the list was undertaken following recommendation by an expert body which examines nominations submitted by member countries of the UNESCO.“The Intergovernment Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage under UNESCO has inscribed ‘Kumbh Mela’ on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity during its 12th session held at Jeju, South Korea from 4-9 December 2017. This inscription is the third in two years following the inscriptions of ‘Yoga’ and ‘Norouz’ on 1st December 2016,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a press statement.The Kumbh Mela is held in Haridwar, Allahabad, Ujjain and Nashik.last_img read more

Rural Odisha celebrates folk culture

first_imgHoli and Dola Purnima celebrations in rural areas of Ganjam district in Odisha provide a platform for folk dancers and theatre troupes to showcase their talents.According to Bighneswar Sahu, convener of Odisha Folk Foundation (OFF), the week-long celebrations keep folk traditions alive. At Badakusasthali, the celebrations are part of a biennial folk festival started 136 years ago. Every night during the festival, the deities from the Radha-Krishna temple are taken out for a procession.Troupes of Bharat Lila, Krushna Lila, Daskathia, Ghudki, Gahana, Radha Prem Lila, Prahlad Natak, Jodi Sankha, Parava dance and Bagha Mukha dance are now camping at Badakusasthali. All families in this village have at least a folk dancer or are patrons of folk art forms, said G. Krishna Reddy, a performer himself. Performers enjoy entertaining the audiences here because they do not have time limits, unlike in government-sponsored shows, said Mr. Sahu. Some performances go beyond two nights.last_img read more

HC orders probe in R.S. Pura rape

first_imgThe J&K High Court on Thursday ordered an investigation against two officials in a case of illegal confinement and rape of a 15-year-old girl at R.S. Pura in Jammu in August.A prosecuting officer and an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) will face the investigation.“The prosecuting officer and the ASI in-charge of the R.S. Pura police station have suppressed a material fact in the report submitted to the court. They have not stated anywhere in the report that the victim, in her statement, had recorded that the accused compelled her to submit herself to the sexual lust and desire of three persons, who forcibly raped her for a long time,” held Justices M.K. Hanjura and Dhiraj Singh Thakur.Justice Hanjura directed the Director-General of Police, J&K, to conduct an inquiry into the role of the officers and submit a report within four weeks.The victim left school at 1.30 p.m. for home on August 22. A vehicle with eight or nine passengers stopped her. “One of them was wielding a gun. They dashed her schoolbag onto the ground and forcibly pushed her into the vehicle. She was put up in a shed in a forest area,” according to the investigation reports. The probe suggests the victim was forced to marry one of the accused. Forced statementIt is alleged that on September 11, 2017, she was forced to make a statement before the court that she was in love with one of the accused and wanted to marry him. “However, in the court, she narrated the entire episode to the presiding officer. She said she did not want to marry the accused and was brought to the court to make a false statement,” said the report.last_img read more

South Asia’s tiniest baby survives major surgery

first_imgA baby girl weighing just 520 gm has become the tiniest in South Asia to survive a major abdominal surgery. The girl, born premature at 26 weeks of pregnancy, was operated upon as 12-day-old in Udaipur following progressive distension of her abdomen because of which she was unable to get the milk feed. The surgery entails a very high mortality ranging between 60% and 80% and the chances of survival were less than 10% in the Udaipur case.The baby, Jhanvi, was born in February this year to Umesh and Madanlal Arya, hailing from Madhya Pradesh’s Shivpuri district. She was conceived after 29 years of marriage by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) technique. Paediatric surgeon Praveen Jhanwar and his team carried out the emergency abdominal surgery under general anaesthesia which lasted one-and-a-half hours. The post-operative course was like a rollercoaster. There were several hurdles, infections and blood transfusions along the way and regular screening of heart and brain was performed to rule out any bleeding in brain.Dr. Janged said Jhanvi’s weight was now close to 2,110 gm and that her progress and clinical course in the neonatal intensive care unit was satisfactory.last_img read more

1.9 lakh suggestions on Maratha quota

first_imgAlready under pressure to submit its report on its assessment of the possibility of reservation in jobs and education for the Maratha community, the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission will now have to deal with the 1.9 lakh suggestions and objections. The eight-member panel is, officials said, is wondering how to go through them, given the deadline for submitting its report is November 15. It has already appointed officials, experts and think-tanks to complete collection of data and surveys, but the submissions from the public were unexpectedly numerous. Dinesh Waghmare, Secretary, Social Justice and Special Assistance Department, said, “We’ve asked them to hurry, but obviously the number of submissions is large. It will take time to determine how many of these are for and how many are against reservation for Marathas. The government is doing its best to assist the commission with the scrutiny.” Senior officials said a time-bound programme has already been submitted to the leaders of the community.last_img read more

Mob torches liquor shop

first_imgAn irate mob, comprising mostly women from the neighbouring Sweepers’ Colony, allegedly ransacked and burnt a country liquor shop located in Ward No. 17 of Choudwar Municipality, about 15 km from here, on Saturday morning. The mob reportedly went berserk after finding the body of a local youth lying in a pool of blood near a canal, five km away from the liquor shop. The police said a man named Ashok Naik (30) and his acquaintance from the colony had gone to the liquor joint on Friday evening. When Ashok did not return home late in the night, his family members searched for him. His body was found lying near the Dhumabati canal. Believing that Ashok’s murder had something to do with the liquor shop, the colony residents rushed to it and set it on fire after ransacking it. The police said a murder case has been registered and investigations are on.Another body found In another incident, the Mangalabag police of the city retrieved the body of another youth lying in a pool of blood near the tuberculosis ward of the SCB Medical College and Hospital on Saturday morning. The police had suspected it to be a murder case after seeing a liquor bottle and some belongings strewn near the body. However, an autopsy led doctors to believe that it was a case of suicide.last_img read more