Man, what a busy weekend when you need to be operating in US time zones and you live in New Zealand! Product launch ended up working out at about 3am NZ time on Saturday morning... needless to say my weekend was non-existent but I have time-shifted it to the start of this week.
I was busy working in with a joint venture between to companies here in New Zealand that managed to pull together an amazing bundle of the web's premium online guitar and singing lessons.
My role was to provide IT support, payment system integration and fulfillment services while working in with all the bundle partners to make sure we could deliver their products. If you want to check out the websites there are links below and product banners on my blog to click through to them.
Pretty much this bundle deal is an asspiring singer/songwriters dream set of products to help them on their way up and adds to the ever popular "bundle offering" that seem to be happening more and more at the moment as a way to offer excellent value to customers and get product creators working together.
I do think we need more meaning in the work we do today and will do in the future.
The millennials will be an interesting generation I think, they are brought up digital natives on the internet, gaming, mobile, instant feedback, less worry about privacy online and communicate via social media and with more frequency.
Are they the victor by having a much more open level of connection with their social graph or are they failing to realise what this all means in the long run? Perhaps older gernations are just being paraniod about online privacy having come through the transition to the technology driven world we live in now.
Just a quick blog post to congratulate Bunchball on winning the AppQuest 2011 Competition. Bunchball are a company that help drive behaviour on the web through the use of game mechanics such as points, levels trophies and rewards - all increasing the engagement for the end user.
I got an interesting email through from Rackspace Cloud last week... (Rackspace Cloud being a cloud based hosting, virtual server and storage/CDN available from Rackspace hosting.) The are starting an initiative called "OpenStack" which is essentially the open source software they are using to power their cloud hosting platform. Check out the video below for a good overview.
The company I work for has been with Rackspace Cloud for several years now, seeing as our core business is in delivering and supporting our products and services to our customers, we made the clear cut distinction that we were NOT in the server administration game. We made a major push at the start of this year to move our entire codebase, websites, and web services we had been running on a dedicated server over to the Cloud architecture.
We haven't looked back since as it has added almost unlimited scalability to our web applications, lower cost per GB for delivery to our customers as well as transforming what was a reasonably high fixed cost expense every year (for dedicated server racks) into a variable cost (we now only pay for the bandwidth we actually use to deliver our services!).
All in all if your a company that is in the business of delivering a product online to your customers, quickly and cost effectively heading towards the Cloud might be the move for you.
I am very excited in thinking about the future of Cloud based computing and services for all businesses but where I believe it will make the most difference is in those small to medium size enterprises (SME's) who need email, communication tools and automated business processes (Sales Dashboards, business intelligence statistics). This means your average business can now communicate much more effectively for a fraction of the cost (if not free with tools such as Google Apps Standard), hopefully those days of the clunky old server sitting in the back of the office are numbered!
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Check out Pranav Mistry at TED demonstrating his Sixth Sense personal augmented reality device! A paper computer, taking photos with your gestures, a phone call on your hand?... wow pretty amazing ideas.
Welcome back to 2010, it has been a while since I last posted anything Techy or Samurai related it reminds me how quickly we can go from leadership thinking to management thinking when one gets very busy (My company re-launched our flagship Guitar learning product Jamorama at the end of 2009 which didn't leave me much time for blogging, a poor excuse I know!).
As it happens it looks like Julia (my partner) and myself are moving to Wellington! (NZ's Captial City) for a change of lifestyle and a lot more Film and Television work for Julia. So I am putting together a proposal to keep working at Rock Star Recipes but remotely!
Remote work and more interesting, remote or distance leadership is something I have become very interested in, how can we in 2010 with all the technology easily available to most businesses lead from a distance? What are the challenges? How does communication, face to face time, company culture and atmosphere differ? I suspect a culture of great communication, trust and respect is key.
I'm hoping to document as much as I can while I learn more about this and also put my proposal forward to actually experience and work as a remote staff member and remote leader...
Perhaps we are coming to a point where there is no real difference whether someone is in the office or not as long at the end results are met and accountability is key. In the 80's they called it "Tele-Communting" more recently it was dubbed "Tele-Work" (Perhaps to make it sound more like working for those managers who could not let micro-management go?) but I think going forward it will just be "work" as the technology and easy constant contact and communication from anywhere in the world becomes the norm.
More to come...
Oh, and for those who need their Technology and Ninja fix... check out the new Nexus One powered by Google Android.
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A great video I had to share from the TEDxUSC conference earlier this year on tribe leadership, some useful insights and ways we can all become more inter-connected and interdependant. Joining your tribe to others and other tribes to others you don't know will push things forward. If you enjoy this then check out the Seth Godin video I posted earlier in the year (be warned it a full hour length talk from him) or check out his book tribes.
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Just a quick update, lecture for my uni paper have finished up for the year... I'm currently on some study leave to prep for the exam... wish me luck.
So whats next for the blog? Well I have planned a series of posts with some great info on how to become more independent from your computer and make use of some of the great cloud computing tools available out there.
Also before I forget a big shout out to Simon Waterhouse a great photographer and designer here in Christchurch for his help on the photos and design of my personal development plan(PDP) assessment. Be sure to check out his great photography here www.simonwaterhouse.com
Another shout out to the great guys at Silverstripe CMS... i used this to power my PDP website... once I had the design I was able to integrate and drop in the content in just under 4 hours work! A killer speedy content management system for anyone looking to jazz up their website.
My final big thank you goes out to Juliette Powell, Author of "33 Million People in the Room" who sent me a signed copy of her book... made my day! A great read if you are interested in social media, co-creation, and where things are headed online. I was lucky enough to meet her at a conference this year and really enjoy her contributions online through twitter and facebook.
On the leadership tip, I will leave you with some words of wisdom from the women herself, Juliette Powell, enjoy....
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Check out this great video from the 2009 TED conference...Daniel Pink talks about the benefits of intrinsic motivation, right brained creativity & conceptualisation and the changes that need to happen to change the world of business. He also talks about some experiments conducted by Dan Ariely et al. around monetary incentives and performance.
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