Consumers looked at native ads 52% more frequently than banner ads.
(via Native Ads Vs. Display Ads (And How Mobile Fits In) [Infographic] | Business 2 Community)
All kinds of things [were discovered digging through bitly’s data]! Did you know that different social networks are used differently in different countries? That stories about sports have the shortest half-life (meaning the attention drops off much faster than for other stories)? That you should post to Twitter during business hours? Or that there are actually more photos of dogs shared on the Internet than cats, even though cats have become symbolic of the silliness of things shared on the Internet? — Bit.ly’s data scientist, Hilary Mason
Data Science and Why Dogs Rule the Internet
Our Commitment to Culture and Clients -
As part of building a strong and transparent culture, one thing we like to do a lot is take questions from everyone at the company. We are still very young, growing quickly and things are changing fast. We try and make decisions after a lot of thought and we also try to do what is right for our company, our employees and our clients. Nothing else really matters.
Over the past few weeks I read, Lean In, a book I have heard a lot of buzz in the office written by Sheryl Sandberg, whose career I’ve always admired, albeit from afar.
The book was great, and while it is primarily around gender equality in life and the workplace, a very serious topic and one that we can all stand to learn more about, I want to use some of the lessons from Lean In as it relates to the lessons Sandberg learned in scaling a growing technology company. She helped build two of the most impressive companies of our time: Google and Facebook. Her lessons from the book help explain why we make some of our decisions, what it takes to work at Percolate and why we will always do what is right for our clients.
Lesson 1: The most important thing to look for in joining a company: Fast Growth.
In Chapter 4 of her book she talks about wanting to join a technology company. It was 2002 and she had a long list of companies in Silicon Valley that were recruiting her and she had to make a decision on where she was going to go. At the very lowest priority of her organized spreadsheet, because of vague title and undefined role, was a company called Google. She went to then CEO Eric Schmidt and explained her dilemma. The other companies had her managing big teams, with big titles, a defined role and goals. At Google she was the first “business general manager”. When she said this to Eric Schmidt he responded with what she calls, ‘maybe the best career advice i ever got’:
He covered my spreadsheet with his hand…… Then he explained to me the only criterion that mattered for picking a job was — Fast Growth. When companies grow quickly, there are more things to do than there are people to do them. When companies slow down or stop growing, there is less to do and too many people to do them. Politics and stagnation set in and everyone falters.
As leaders inside the company our goal is to deliver fast growth. If there is fast growth you can grow as people, you can be challenged and you will learn a ton that you can put on your resume as a signal that you know how to build that kind of business.
From Sheryl’s advice, we have to be conscious of two things as we grow our company:
The good news is that most of the time, these two things are actually just one. By that I mean politics are a direct result of slow growth. This is generally why big companies become political, they are slowing down, or more importantly, slowly slipping into irrelevancy. It’s a land grab, fewer important positions and people can get nasty.
As a company we have to always keep our eyes on the opportunities that will drive fast growth, even if they are something we never conceived of doing before. One of the great things my co-founder Noah has taught me is how to question things that I’ve felt 100% sure about. Breaking down what I perceived as absolutes has helped me think in ways I’ve previously thought weren’t possible. This type of thinking has permeated our culture and I believe it has helped us find opportunities. A good exercise to challenge ourselves with is to ask: what is something that we absolutely wouldn’t do as a company and then try to actually do it.
Lesson 2: It’s a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder
Chapter 4 of Lean In is entitled, It’s a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder, and in the opening of the chapter she tells a great story from her 2012 Harvard Business School commencement speech:
“When I was first at Facebook, a woman named Lori Goler, a 1997 graduate of HBS, was working in marketing at eBay and I knew her kind of socially. And she called me and said, I want to talk with you about coming to work with you at Facebook. So I thought about calling you, she said, and telling you all the things I’m good at and all the things I like to do. But I figured that everyone is doing that. So instead I want to know what’s your biggest problem and how can I solve it. My jaw hit the floor. I’d hired thousands of people up to that point in my career, but no one had ever said anything like that. I had never said anything like that. Job searches are always about the job searcher, but not in Lori’s case. I said, you’re hired. My biggest problem is recruiting and you can solve it. So Lori changed fields into something she never thought she’d do, went down a level to start in a new field and has since been promoted and runs all of the people operations at Facebook and has done an extraordinary job.”
Lori saw Facebook as a jungle gym and she took on the challenge and executed in a fast growth environment. There was no clear ladder and that was perfect, it allowed her to fix the biggest challenges the company was facing and it allowed her to take on additional responsibility within the company.
These two lessons are a great way to think about Percolate. We want to grow fast, we want to set people up to succeed and we want to create multiple paths for our employees to grow.
Now with those two lessons behind us, let’s shift the focus to the future and our clients.
To quote William Gibson, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”
We believe this quote is true for our clients and we have done our best to lay it out. Stock & Flow. Intersection of cultural relevance and real-time. Scale, Pace and Pattern of media creation has forever changed. Content is the lifeblood of social. And oh yeah, there is this: For every person online, there are two who are not. By the end of the decade, everyone on Earth will be connected. Where will they be connected? On social platforms.
We love the future, we want to live there but it does us no good to live in the future alone. We want to evenly distribute the future because we can all see it and we aren’t going to let any barriers to that future stand in our way.
For our clients and from our site entitled, How We Work:
EVERY STEP OF THE CLIENT EXPERIENCE IS CONSTANTLY EVALUATED. CLIENT HAPPINESS IS WHAT DRIVES US.
With our clients, we take this quote as literally as possible. They are coming from a world where messages lasted months, not minutes. Where reach was defined by cities, not continents and where content was a very expensive story that ended after 30 seconds instead of a continuous, pull-to-refresh, stream of media. The process to build these bridges aren’t easy and we know that. But we also know if we don’t build that bridge, someone else will.
Nothing matters more to me than our employees and our clients. We are aggressive in our viewpoint on where we see the world of marketing going and how we are going to get there. If you like what I’ve said above you will most likely also like working with us.
Get in touch and say hello.
Percolate rises up to the Commuter Challenge!
So, you want to ride a bicycle in NYC? -
In the spirit of NYC’s bike to work week, here’s some guidance around buying your first bike. Like most things you read on the internet, please take this with a grain of salt, but know that I’ve been riding a bike to work for about 7 years (5 in SF and 2 in NY).
First of all, get excited!
Riding a bike is incredibly freeing. What used to be a 45 minute G train ride from Williamsburg to Prospect Park is now a 25 minute cruise with plenty of scenic brownstones in between. And with the immutable presence of fried chicken in this town, we could all benefit from more exercise.
But aren’t bikes expensive? Not really! Depending on whether you want a used or new bike, you can find yourself a reliable steed in the range of $500. If you consider a monthly metro pass is $116 or even the cost of owning and maintaining a car (gulp!), bikes offer incredible value.
Buying a Bike
Option one – go analog (also known as, support your local bike shop):
Physically going into a bike shop and actually checking out the models is a great way to get to know what you like and see what’s out there. Bicycling.com recommends calling two or three different shops to get a sense of the styles and brands they carry in advance to save time. You can also get a sense of how amenable the shops are to first-time bike owners.
Two bike shops I’ve found to be very good are Velo in the East Village and Bicycle Habitat in Soho. Even if you don’t end up buying your bike there, you can patronize these shops by picking up a light, or a lock there.
For a great first commuter bike, I recommend going single speed. New York is relatively flat, and single speed bikes are easy to maintain with less moving parts to break or have stolen. A bike with a flip-flop hub will enable you to switch to fixed gear. Even if you have greater aspirations of going from being commuter to a proper cyclist, the single speed will carry you through many a long ride up the Westside Highway or around Prospect Park.
Option two – the Internet:
Once you begin to familiarize yourself with brands, you can read up on various reviews. Bike forums are chock full of information and personal feedback around different brands so its easy to start to learn how models stack up in terms of quality.
For example, in reading up on a frame I was considering, I learned that an online retailer (Performance) had a house brand that was more affordable and getting great reviews.
Option two and a half – Craigslist is your friend:
Once have an understanding of what brands are good and pricing, you can take a much more targeted approach to your Craigslist search. For someone on a budget, Craigslist can be a great path to getting value. Just understand like anything else from Craiglist, caveat emptor.
In my experience – some of the most important factors that play in when owning a good commuter bike are having a good comfortable seat, good wheels and durable tires (saving the headache of a flat).
For seats I really like the Fizik Arione, but everyone’s ‘seats’ are different. You can always go the route of the classic Brooks saddle, but don’t forget the not so classic Nylon chain to help keep it from being stolen.
As far as helmets, my number one recommendation is to wear one. After that, buy something comfortable and not too expensive, because that way you can lock it to your bike without feeling nervous. Giro makes a nice range at accessible prices and if you are looking for something more urban check out Bern.
Comfortable sneakers with a hard rubber sole like Vans, Superga or Chrome will do you right. If you’re aiming for a bit of a higher rung on the style ladder, maybe a good wedge sole will catch the discerning lense of The Sartorialist
Overall – Get a bike you like, that feels good to ride and you’ll be excited to hop on in the morning, or after a long day of work.
So, I’ve Bought a Bike. Now What?
My Go to Streets for Navigating Manhattan are:
North: 1st ave, 6th ave & 8th ave
South: 2nd ave, Broadway & 9th ave
West: Spring Street , 9th St. & 21st St.
East: Grand St, Stanton St., Bleecker St. & 20th St.
A PDF of the 2013 Bike Map for New York can be found here.
Tips & Tricks?
Don’t be a jerk. Running red lights into oncoming traffic, darting in front of pedestrians and riding the wrong way is a fast path to getting hit, or at the least bad karma. And don’t get frustrated with salmon, those impatient cyclists or even roller bladers who feel the need to go the wrong way in the bike lanes.
Reward your new purchase by riding to Ferdinando’s in Red Hook and having their focaccia sandwich. It’s not easy to get to by subway and you’ll never look at ricotta cheese the same way again.
There are no shortage of jaywalkers, double parked delivery vans, and errant food carts to complicate your ride, but if you ride with respect and keep aware of your surroundings, you’ll do great and have a blast. Now get out there and enjoy yourself!
Questions? Say hi on Twitter. I’m @brosbeshow.
Why Brands should pay attention to their Moms this Mother’s Day (and every day).
(via These Tubes Are Old!: Vintage Website Ads | Geekologie)
Scale, Pace & Pattern -
Last week I wrote a piece for Forbes titled Social’s Impact On Scale, Pace And Pattern, And What Brands Can Learn From It.
Here’s the intro:
A few months ago I was asked to put together a presentation about the future of social. As would be expected, I was pretty overwhelmed with the topic and turned it over and over in my head trying to figure out the best way to approach the question. Whenever I find myself in a situation like this I turn to my personal intellectual hero and the person I believe to be the greatest media thinker of the 20th Century, Marshall McLuhan. While he wrote long before the web existed, his theories around how media evolves and interacts with culture are more relevant than they’ve ever been.
At the heart of McLuhan’s theories is his most famous saying: “The medium is the message.” Though like most things McLuhan it requires a fair amount of unpacking, at its core is the idea that we’re affected more by our interactions with the medium itself than we are with the content we experience on it. “The ‘message’ of any medium or technology,” McLuhan explained, “is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs.” In his book “Understanding Media” he goes on to give an example: “The railway did not introduce movement or transportation or wheel or road into human society, but it accelerated and enlarged the scale of previous human functions, creating totally new kinds of cities and new kinds of work and leisure.” In other words, it realigned personal expectations and culture and expanded the definition of local.
What then, I asked myself, are the changes in scale and pace and pattern that have been introduced by social and what can brands learn from those changes?
Go read the whole thing.