Archive for December, 2013

  • BY MARCUS WOHLSEN
  • 12.20.13
  • 6:30 AM

     

 

The vision for Apple’s new headquarters. Image: City of Cupertino

 

Though the world will never see another product developed by Steve Jobs, one of his most ambitious projects is still in the pipeline. Before he died, Jobs spent years working with architect Norman Foster to design Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino, a giant ring of glass that looks like some sort of alien spacecraft nestled in a suburban California forest.

Its ambition is to be a marvel of modern architecture. “Apple, which had already changed the nature of consumer products, seemed now to want to try to do nothing less than change Silicon Valley’s view of what buildings should be,” architecture critic Paul Goldberger writes in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

But there’s a problem. As Apple seeks to change Silicon Valley’s view of what buildings should be, Silicon Valley is rethinking its view of where they should be, even as the company that Jobs built is staying put in its hometown.

Increasingly, young tech talent wants to live and work in cities. As a result, the hottest tech companies, from Google to Twitter to Uber, are setting up shop in San Francisco, a long drive north of Silicon Valley, the traditional stronghold of the computer game. In the cutthroat world of tech recruiting, catering to the demands of the talent is everything, and even Apple isn’t immune to the first rule of real estate: location, location, location.

Employees aren’t expected to start working in the new Apple headquarters until 2016, but the potential risk already is mounting. Last month, the San Francisco real estate scene began buzzing with the rumor that Google is looking to snag massive amounts of space in the city. Though the search giant has a decent-sized San Francisco office — a complement to its headquarters 36 miles south in Mountain View, California — a major new Google outpost in the city could shift tech’s center of gravity away from Silicon Valley proper and bring even more companies tumbling after.

Already, the most talked-about and valuable startups in the tech industry have set up shop in San Francisco almost as if it’s a foregone conclusion. Dropbox, Uber, Square, Airbnb, Pinterest. All of these are companies on track for IPOs of Twitter-esque proportions. (Twitter, too, makes its home in San Francisco.) In a recent report from IPO market research firm CB Insights, the 26 still-private tech startups believed to be valued at $1 billion or more include nine in San Francisco and an equal number spread across the Silicon Valley suburbs.

One rough distinction between the top San Francisco startups and those to the south is that the city-based companies tend to offer products and services geared toward consumers. In Silicon Valley proper, the biggest startups are more likely to make hardware and software used inside businesses and among the developers of the world. But even this is changing.

Hardcore geek magnets such as New Relic and Heroku are based in San Francisco. Cloudera — a company that mimics the software that drives such massive web operations as Facebook and Google — opened a city office just so it could rub shoulders with these web giants. Last year, the former chief architect of Google’s search query engine told WIRED he left to take a job at Cloudera because the cloud data startup was now closer to his home.

Even Facebook is part of this massive tech trend, recently moving its headquarters closer to San Francisco in part to maintain its hold on talent. To be sure, Silicon Valley will remain a tech hub, but the point remains: The balance is shifting. And Apple is putting all its eggs in a mile-wide spaceship-like basket.

But come on, would talented techies really forgo the money, resources, and prestige of a company like Apple just because it happens to be in Cupertino? They very well might. Consider Goldberger’s description of Silicon Valley beyond the walls of its corporate campuses: “Most of Silicon Valley is suburban sprawl, plain and simple, its main artery a wide boulevard called El Camino Real that might someday possess some degree of urban density but now could be on the outskirts of Phoenix.”

In that light, it’s easy to see why 20-something Googlers would rather live in the city and take the Google Bus to the Valley — and why they might be even more drawn to the company if they could live and work in the same place.

Tech is hardly the only industry driving an urban resurgence as corporate America tries to lure new talent by meeting its smartest recruits where they want to live. Everyone from United Airlines to Hillshire Brands is moving back downtown, according to a recent Wall Street Journal piece. Reporter Lauren Weber writes that commercial real estate vacancy rates have fallen faster in cities than in suburbs as the overall market has recovered in recent years. And nearly half of all Americans with bachelor’s degrees are clustering in 20 metro areas.

Despite the powerful draw of city life, however, Apple still has one way to lure engineers and designers into its mothership: It’s Apple. The maker of the world’s most iconic products can count on its brand to draw talent into its, ahem, inner circle. And its new headquarters might wind up being so amazing that even the most dedicated urban denizens will be drawn to its architectural magic.

Regardless, it’s not like an urban headquarters was ever really a possibility for Apple. Cities overall, with their messy, chaotic, open-ended ways, their dense public spaces that encourage interaction and collaboration, don’t fit Apple as a company or culture. In a way, a closed circle is an ideal metaphor for Apple’s product philosophy: Our design is so seamlessly perfect you never have to leave our world. The question is whether walling itself off from the real world will one day lead to cracks in that perfection.

Twitter

Posted: December 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

(1) Prep:
Write down the top three keyword phrases that people use to find you on search.
1.
2.
3.

Pro tip: Remember, shorter keyword phrases work better for Twitter.

Write down three pieces of content that are related to the search results of your keyword phrases. You’ll be able to use this content to draw prospects back to your website.
1.
2.
3.

(2) Get Started:
Head on over to Twitter and type in your keywords and hashtags using any combination you would like.

Pro tip: Mix and match searching your keyword phrases with a hashtag and without a hashtag for the most diverse results.

Please Note: Twitter has a couple options to sort your search results (see below). It automatically shows you “Top” results. If you’d like to see more results, click “All” at the top of your search. Or, just to the left of your search results, you can click “People” to only see other profiles, not tweets,that match your search.

Notes:
Based on their profiles, identify five Twitter users that could be potential leads for your business. Then follow them!
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

(3) Take Action:
Now it’s time to start sharing the pieces of content you identified earlier. Start engaging with potential prospects by:
• Retweeting some of the content they’ve shared on Twitter, especially if what they shared is relevant to your industry (remember, these will appear to your followers)
• Clicking “Favorite” for relevant tweets to your industry or tweets you appreciate for being interesting or funny (these will not appear to your followers)
• Responding to any questions they may have tweeted to establish thought leadership

Marketing :
Create a Twitter list of all the potential prospects you’ve identified to make checking in on them easy for you. Make sure to name your list something that is relevant to your industry. (You do this from your own profile page.)

Please Note: Twitter lists can be public or private. If you make a public list, name it something you don’t mind others seeing (so do NOT name a public list “My Prospects” for instance – name it, “[Your Industry] Leaders” or something equally complimentary.) When you add someone to a public list, they get an alert the same way they get alerts for retweets, favorites, and @-mentions. (If you’d rather create a private list, feel free to name it whatever is best for your Twitter usage.)

[Take-home exercise]
Spend 20 minutes a week:
– Repeating this exercise and adding more prospects to your list (5 mins)
– Retweeting relevant content for your industry from this Twitter list (5 mins)
– Favoriting tweets from potential prospects from this Twitter list (5 mins)
– Engaging with potential prospects by posing or answering questions from your Twitter list to establish thought leadership (5 mins)

HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO FIND NEW LEADS 

By Maggie Hibma

@MaggieHibma

 

What is Social Prospecting?

As an inbound marketer, you already understand the importance of social media as part of your marketing strategy. With more than one billion monthly active users on Facebook, and over 230 million monthly active users on Twitter, smart marketers know there’s more potential than ever to use social platforms to get their name out there, spread their content, and draw more people to their site. Hey, it’s your job to make people aware of what your company can offer, right?

Right. So that’s why smart inbound marketers practice social prospecting – the art of scouring the social web, identifying potential prospects for your business, and engaging them to draw them to your site and get those potential prospects to your sales team. You’ve already got your fans and followers in your social networks. Now it’s time to check out everyone else.

About This Workbook

 This social prospecting workbook will teach you the fundamentals of how to listen to social media conversations in order to generate leads for your business. It’s beyond monitoring keywords. It’s about engaging people that may or may not know what your business can do for them.

 We’ve identified the quickest way to find potential prospects on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.  We hope you can use the worksheets to help you get started with social prospecting.

 Every worksheet includes:

 Short preparatory work to make the actual prospecting easy

  • Visual instructions on how and where to find prospects
  • Pro tips that will help you get the best results
  • Prescriptions (Marketing Rx) for success
  • Take-home exercises for follow-up prospecting

 Getting Started

 To get started with any one of these worksheets, you’ll need:

 A social profile for that network

  • Keyword phrases that people use to find you on search
  • Organic content related to those keyword phrases

To be continued in next edition…

big-idea-2014-the-distinction-between-media-and-tech-crumbles?

Julia Boorstin

Julia Boorstin

CNBC Correspondent, covering the business of media and entertainment

What will define media and technology in 2014? The end of defining labels. As these two industries converge, the silos will disappear, leaving an integrated mix of content and distribution companies. That co-mingling will enable more ambitious goals and bigger, riskier bets to push the boundaries of the business.

Is Netflix a media or a tech company? It’s both. And it doesn’t matter any more.

What does it mean that the biggest of the media giants, Disney, is producing original content for Netflix that will skip traditional broadcast distribution and reach consumers solely through Internet pipes? It means the industries that have so long defined Northern and Southern California will transcend labels, with new relationships up and down the West Coast.

“Television” is any video, not a device. Forget about “web video” versus “television.” The line is evaporating. Ask any teenager what TV shows he or she like; you’ll get a list of favorites watched on Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go. Next year “TV” will be increasingly be liberated from that big electronic device, as we see more apps like Disney’s ‘Watch ABC’ that enable live streaming from anywhere. TV sets, those giant things in your living room, are useful for playing video games, streaming a Pandora or Spotify app, showing photo slideshows, but if you want live television, you won’t be stuck sitting on the couch.

Forget about the distinction between Media and Tech Companies. This year we saw Microsoft start a division to produce original scripted content to deliver through its XBox platform, hiring a TV veteran, Nancy Tellem to oversee it. Next year we’ll see Microsoft start to release its original shows, joining Amazon, Netflix, and of course the studios, looking to draw consumers’ subscription dollars. Whether they’re subscribing to Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Satellite TV, they’re paying, and media and tech companies are– and will–continue to work together — and as frenemies– to grab more consumer attention and dollars.

There will be no more line between “Mobile” and “Desktop” — because *everything* will be mobile. It will have to be. The amount of time people spend on their smartphones will continue to skyrocket. Now we talk about “apps” and “websites,” and we wonder whether a website is optimized for the web. In 2014 Facebook and LinkedIn will both generate more than half their revenue from mobile– as Twitter now does. A glance at a smartphone will become more important to those social giants– as well as advertisers and media companies– as a click on a desktop computer. Whether its enterprise companies helping businesses access their files, retailers encouraging consumers to shop, or content and distribution companies offering up content, everything will be oriented towards mobile users.

Photo: albert mollon / Getty Images