Keep Thinking Different

Keep Thinking Different

A recent addition to Netflix “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” is a new look at the fascinating life of a change agent. Inspiring stories, interviews with people that worked with him, and the negative side to being a visionary. They don’t beat around the bush, people admitted that at times he was a tyrant, but those same people also talk about how much they learned while working for Jobs.

It’s an interesting watch, I hope you do! We all need a little inspiration every now and then, this documentary reminds us that we need to keep thinking different.

How-do-you-market-a-nerdy-sport-inthelab-episode-#12

How Do You Market a Nerdy Sport? – #InTheLab Episode 12


Volleyball is a nerdy sport. I don’t care what you say about it, it’s nerdy, trust me.

I don’t like it, I want to change that.

The Regina Volleyball Club hasn’t been the Volleyball powerhouse that I thought it would be. We’re trying to change that. We (along with three other awesome coaches) are coaching the youngest age group in the boys category possible, we’re trying to get kids involved early. Our theory is if we get them playing and loving Volleyball at a young age, they’ll keep with it, play more and more and grow into talented Volleyball players.

On the road to making things awesome you’re going to have good days and bad days. Just ensure the former out way the later.

Each year for the past four years we’ve coached two teams together, we practice together but go to tournaments as two different teams. My team looked great the first day of provincials, we went undefeated. Then the second day we were upset the first game in the morning, we lost out. It was devastating, I felt terrible. But, our sister team, the Goats made a run and won provincials. Pretty awesome for those boys!

You’re always going to have setbacks, it’s how you deal with them that matters.

Moral of the story: on your road to changing the world  Volleyball community you’re going to have set backs, don’t let that deter you or make you lose momentum. Use set backs as a sign you’re on to something.

 

Something Ventured Documentary

“Something Ventured” the Story of Venture Capital

Ever since I was a little kid I was fascinated with Venture Capitalists. Maybe little kid is a stretch, but in University we heard about these folks who lived in the big cites in the U.S. were pitched all sorts of business ideas and they got to pick their favourites and most of those businesses made them tons of money. Money they used to fund more and more businesses and the cycle went on.

 

I may have got their success rate a little wrong but all in all VC’s were the heros of business school. They were the smartest, they lived a lavish life, and they made thousands of dollars a day, just by being, well, remarkable at business (the good ones anyway). They were entrepreneurs that had already made it, and they empowered other entrepreneurs to achieve their goals too. Venture Capitalists were one of the major funding sources behind many of our darling companies that have been created over the past 15 years. Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Youtube, Genetech, Cisco, Oracle, Electronic Arts, LinkedIn, Amazon, Paypal, Intel, etc.)

 

The Venture Capitalists they talk to in the movie include;

 

  • Arthur Rock (Early investor in Fairchild Semiconductor, Intel, Apple, and Teledyne)
  • Tom Perkins (Founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, early investor in Genentech and Tandem)
  • Don Valentine (Founder of Sequoia Capital; early investor in Apple, Cisco, Oracle, Electronic Arts and LSI Logic)
  • Dick Kramlich (Founder of New Enterprise Associates, investor in PowerPoint, Juniper Networks, Macromedia and Dallas Semiconductor)
  • Reid Dennis (Founder of Institutional Venture Partners)
  • Bill Draper (Founder of Sutter Hill Ventures; Founder of Draper Richards)
  • Pitch Johnson (Co-founder of Draper and Johnson Investment; Founder of Asset Management Company)
  • Bill Bowes (Founder of US Venture Partners)
  • Bill Edwards (Founder of Bryan and Edwards)
  • Jim Gaither (One of the early developers of the venture financing structure still in use today)

 

These companies and people are behind some of the most revolutionary companies of our generation. We must learn what they did and ensure that the same progress and technological advancement occurs throughout our tenure.

 

So who’s going to be the next Arthur Rock? Who’s going to look at a business like Don Valentine in the future?

Why not you?

 

If you want to read more about the movie you can check out their website here or find the movie on Netflix.

Blackfish

3 Must Do’s To Tell a Compelling Story

1. Start off with a big bang

Introductions mean a lot in documentaries. They set the stage for what’s about to come. The intro can either turn the viewer on, having them beg for more, or can work against the film by boring the $!%$ out of the audience.

Searching for Sugarman begins with the controversial story of how Rodriguez killed himself. Some say it was a gun to the head, some say it was the most gruesome suicide in history, where he doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire in front of an audience. The beginning of this documentary in incredibly captivating, you can’t turn it off or switch the channel. You desperately want to know what happens. A sign of a great story is you can’t turn away because it’s so spellbinding.

2. Introduce Controversy

K2 is one of the deadliest mountains the world, far more dangerous to climb than Everest, for every four people who summit K2, one dies trying. This is the story of the fateful day 11 climbers never returned home from K2. One of the deadliest expeditions in mountain climbing history.

There are conflicting stories on how some people made it off K2 that fateful day, not every agrees to what happened. Were some people hero’s? Or were they just trying to be selfish. In desperate times, people do some strange things.

You can’t help but be at the edge of your seat the entire time the movie plays. The camera shots, the epic story that changes back and forth, and the mysticism around this life altering mountain that is so very hard to summit.

3. Tell an emotional story that pulls on people’s heart strings

Whenever a movie or documentary comes out that features animals, it’s hard not to get emotional. Yeah, I cried in Babe, Homeward Bound, and maybe The Lion King, didn’t everyone?

We have a natural (biological) tendency to care for babies and animals (and animal babies). When a documentary like Blackfish comes out you know it’s going to be an emotional ride but what you don’t know about is how these beautiful creatures are treated in captivity. It’s horrible. It’s hard to watch. You’re going to get emotional.

The good news is is that this documentary actually is influencing change in how the public views SeaWorld. Several articles have touched on the protests and how angry people are over SeaWorld, and even a bill introduced in California that could introduce the end of Killer Whale shows in the state as well as importing and exporting Killer Whales.

All of these documentaries can be found on Netflix. I strongly encourage you to watch.

To recap, telling a compelling story in the media, to a friend, on your website, in a video, in an article, remember these three things:

1. Start off with a bang 

2. Introduce controversy

3. Pull on peoples heart stings.

Don’t cha put it in your mouth…Your Favourite Commercials of The 1990’s

An entire generation was taught not to put things in our mouths because of this commercial. What a catchy tune! Do you think we all still know this song because is has such a great hook? Or because it was completely overplayed from 1993-1998?  You be the judge.

Around Regina, you can still look someone in the eye and say “some people think I eat too many chocolate bars” and you’ll get the response, “or that I don’t wash my face.” This commercial inspired a generation of kids to care about their appearance, especially their face. Also, when one eats a lot of chocolate bars we’re reminded of this cultural tipping point for facial cleanliness.

One of my personal favs…

The log drivers waltz

I shared this on Twitter and @KiltedBroker chimed in saying he thought this was a video on how to pick up chicks!   Atta boy Jackson.

And finally a public service announcement from our favourite drug spokesman, Pee-wee Herman…

Don’t do crack!

 

Have a favourite commercial from when you were a kid? Share in the comments below, I’ll add any sweet videos to this list!

Sharpening Your Competitive Edge Conference Saskatoon

Finding Your Mustache: how to standout in a clean shaven media world

This was filmed in November in Saskatoon at the TCU Centre. I’ve done the Sharpening Your Competitive Edge conference for a couple years now. It’s always a great crowd. This years presentation was titled Finding your Mustache: how to standout in a clean shaven media world.

Part 1:

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everyone-has-a-superpower

Video Is The Future And These Regina Kids Are Beating You At It

An article by FastCompany, already a year old, claims that short-form video is the future of marketing. Well, the future is now and it’s plain to see that FC was dead on.
YouTube is the internet’s second most popular search engine (behind Google), Vine is this year’s fastest growing app, and Instagram followed suit with the addition of video mere weeks after Vine’s explosion.

The Fast Company article cites 5 main reasons for video becoming the dominant medium:
1. More and more users are consuming video entertainment online.
2. Marketers are using video to engage social media audiences.
3. Barriers to entry are low.
4. Quality is rapidly improving.
5. There are plenty of avenues for videos to spread.

Wondering what this means for you and how you should go about doing video? Start off by seeing how effective a simple and bare bones video can be by checking out Gary Vaynerchuk’s YouTube Channel.

Then, take a look at some local talent who have been absolutely crushing it with dynamic video content:

1. Chris Dimas – Drummer – 16 Years Old

2. Alex McIntosh and Matt Stefan – Students – 20 Years Old

What makes these videos so successful? Here’s what I think:

Both of the above videos reside at the intersection of the creators’ strengths and what is relevant. In Chris’s case, his strength is his high energy and skillful drumming and the relevance is that he uses popular music in his videos. For Matt and Alex, their strengths are sense of humour and comedic timing and the relevance of their video lies in the fact that levelling was partially a spoof on the planking craze and exemplified what most people are looking for on YouTube: a good laugh. This concept is illustrated below:

Regina Video Content Strategy

For your business, this “sweet spot” framework should really simplify things, as it did for Stella and Sway in this video we filmed for them:

Stella And Sway – Summer Weddings from Strategy Lab on Vimeo.

If you have any video questions please comment below! And if you’re looking for some help with your first/next video, email us at info@strategylab.ca

 

 

 

What Does Strategy Lab Actually Do?

I was in a meeting this year and a lady, not knowing what we do, asked this most important question I had ever been asked around a boardroom table.

What do you actually do?

Simple right? Unless you’re a part of a brand new marketing strategy company who specializes in Social Media, marketing strategy and web design. What do we actually do? Make organizations smarter.

What we actually do is quite simple. We find out why you make sales, we find out why sometimes you don’t make sales and together we try and do more of the stuff that makes more sales. We find the best parts of your business and put them online for the world to find.

We base our strategy on the methodology, research, create, engage, measure.

Research: we find everything we can about your organization and your competitors.

Create: we develop your story and begin telling it somewhere (yes somewhere, we’re not sure until we talk to you, it could be Facebook, Twitter, a website, who the heck knows where!)

Engage: we establish a communication strategy including a method of acquiring feedback from your customers.

Measure: finally we develop a way to measure sales increases based on online lead generation. Yes we measure social media, no it’s not impossible we’ve done it lots before. Besides measuring lead generation and conversion rate we also use a lovely customer service measurement tool called Net Promoter Score. And remember, if someone tells you that you can’t measure social media, give them a Ken from Street Fighter uppercut.

We don’t claim to do anything we can’t, and we don’t try to be bigger than we are. We help smart companies who want to grow, with their marketing and strategy. We help you make more informed decisions based on data. We help you measure what matters to your business.

If you think we might be able to help you or if you just have some questions on marketing we’d love to chat. Leave a comment below or check out our contact us page (it’s pretty sweet…)