The Customer Love Summit grew out of the idea that emotion is essential in the customer relationship. The graphic above captures the underlying concept very simply. We convened the summit as a conversation among leaders, like Joe…
Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, says science backs up the long-held belief that story is the most powerful means of communicating a message. 53 Comments inShare In business, storytelling is all the rage. Without a compelling story, we are told, our product, idea, or…
Although soaking up a beautiful view can help you achieve a mindful state of consciousness, inner peace is only found through deep self-exploration and honesty. There is inherent beauty all around us - in color, shape, texture and unique personality. Taking a moment to appreciate it always helps to find balance in our very busy lives.
Problem: Batter curdles and separates. Solution: Eggs were not added one at a time and beaten thoroughly after each addition; an electric mixer was set at too high a speed; and/or the eggs were too cold. Try adding 1 Tbs. flour per egg and reducing the speed of the electric mixer.
Problem: Cake didn’t rise. Solution: Too much or not enough fat or liquid in the batter; batter was overbeaten; and/or oven temperature was too high.
Problem: Cake is tough. Solution: Butter and sugar were under-beaten in the early stages of mixing; batter was over-beaten after the flour was added; not enough sugar; not enough baking powder; and/or not enough fat. Try brushing cake layers with sugar syrup, or filling and frosting the layers with a generous layer of moist frosting.
Problem: Cake crumb is sticky. Solution: Too much sugar in the batter or sugar was too coarse.
Problem: Top crust is hard. Solution: Oven temperature was too high; cake was overbaked; and/or cake was baked too close to the top of the oven. Try slicing off the top of the cake layer before frosting.
Problem: Cake sinks in the center. Solution: Too much fat and/or sugar or leavening; batter was overbeaten; cake pan was too small; the filled cake pan was tapped too roughly on the countertop; the oven door was banged shut; or the oven temperature was too low. Try cutting out the fallen center and treating the cake like a tube cake; or fill the depression with fruit or extra frosting.
Problem: Cake peaks in the center. Solution: Wrong type of flour was used (contained too much gluten); batter was over-beaten; too little fat and/or sugar in the batter; and/or oven temperature was too high. Try slicing the peaked center off the cake, then frost the cake.
Problem: Tunnels run through the cake. Solution: Not enough fat in the batter; batter was over-beaten; or wrong type of flour was used (contained too much gluten).
Problem: Crust is unevenly colored. Solution: Too much leaven-er and/or sugar in the batter; not enough fat in the batter; oven temperature was too high or too low; oven heats unevenly. Try camouflaging with frosting.
Problem: Cake rose unevenly. Solution: Cake layers were crowded on the oven rack and heated unevenly. Bake each layer on its own rack. Trim the layers to even them out and camouflage with frosting.
“While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”—
“As political theorist Jason Brennan has written, “politics teaches enlightenment in much the same way that fraternity parties teach temperance.” As human beings, we are subject to all kinds of rational defects and biases. And researchers like psychologist Drew Westen and political scientist Diana Mutz have shown that politics makes these defects worse, not better. We’re set up to view politics as a game of us vs. them, and in a game like that, the search for truth and new ideas does not fare well.”—“a nation does not change just for partisan/political reasons. What has to happen is there has to be an intellectual revolution to energize the people and get people to understand the problems in economic and political terms.” - Ron Paul
You can solve a problem without resolving a conflict. It is as much the work of creativity and “moral imagination” as of dialogue and commitment. - This is an important concept to adopt especially in these politically polarizing times. In John Paul Lederach’s experience, enduring change is seeded not by large numbers of like-minded people, but by a quality of relationship between unlikely combinations of people.
Language and music, in that order, were the early mediums of her spiritual sensibility. She describes herself growing up as something of a geek. She remains perpetually and intellectually restless. It took her awhile to find her own voice, indeed to imagine that a life of making and performing music could be desirable. She’d grown up experiencing the performer’s life — incarnate in her famous, beloved father — as hard on those one loves. As she found her own voice, she found her own delight in joining her energy to an audience. In that exchange, she also discovered all the elements of religion that she desired: truth, beauty, mystery, creativity, and a sense of the divine.
We’ve put the word “time travel” in the title of the show we’ve created from my magical hour with Rosanne Cash. It’s a phrase that comes up again and again — especially when we talk about the music that emerged from her grief a few years ago when she lost her father, her mother, and her stepmother June Carter Cash within a span of 18 months. From this period, the Black Cadillac album emerged with gorgeous songs and poetry about love before life and beyond life. Past, present, and future are often linked in the songs she writes, though they often begin, as she describes it, with a single phrase or image.
There are echoes of Einstein here. Our ordinary sense of past, present, and future as distinct compartments moving forward like an arrow, he said, is a “stubbornly persistent illusion.” As it turns out, Rosanne Cash has long been aware of these echoes too, signing up for physics classes when her children were young, constantly in conversation with scientists now. She talks about songs in some of the same ways scientists talk about mathematics — as discoveries, waiting to be caught, as much as inventions. For Rosanne Cash, songs are embedded in the fabric of the universe; this image alone is a gift from my time with her.
I am left with a sense of a woman who has seen a lot of life and turned that into wisdom. She is raising five children, lost her voice for several years, and underwent brain surgery four years ago. She continues to work with these raw materials of experience and wrest purpose and joy from them.
Several people have told us that watching the video of this conversation moved them to tears. One emotional moment for her — better experienced on the video than by audio alone — comes when she tells me about performing at Folsom Prison in March of last year. There, her father created one of his most famous performances and an iconic album. While touring the prison, Rosanne Cash met a prisoner who served at San Quentin Prison when her father also played there in 1969, and was now spending the rest of his life in Folsom. Her eyes fill with tears as she describes her dialogue with these men about freedom, outer and inner, and the confusing human struggle to gain the latter, whatever our lives have brought.
There were clearly other stories here to be mined. But Rosanne Cash’s openness, and her music, unlock stories of our own. We end our conversation with music, with her song titled “The World Unseen.” It somewhat magically brings together the elements of Rosanne Cash’s life and all of our lives — of poetry and mystery, of loss and love, of time travel. Here are the song’s opening verses:
I’m the sparrow on the roof I’m the list of everyone I have to lose I’m the rainbow in the dirt I am who I was and how much I can hurt
So I will look for you In stories of the kings— Westward leading, still proceeding To the world unseen
Getting to the Heart: Joining the Ranks of the Confused, Uncertain & Vulnerable
2011 has passed by faster than any other in my lifetime. But as fast as it went, It was full of new, diverse, and rich experiences. I set out to find just that a few years ago when the most important person in my life passed away to the day. Today is particularly hard for me because I’m feeling the pain of loss in old and new ways.
My Uncle Bud and me
Three years ago I found myself on the floor - just as James Altucher recently wrote about - the Nine Unusual Ways to Get Yourself Off the Floor. If you’ve ever been there, you realize the old ways of coping and getting by just don’t work anymore. You struggle to see the meaning in life. But it can also be the best way to start anew and set out on a path to a better, more fulfilling life.
My life up until this point has been ‘ruled by my head’ to protect the heart. I’m a master at intellectualizing every matter in life. If I’m feeling pain, I throw myself into work or set out to accomplish the most difficult task in order to feel a sense of personal power and control. Upon experiencing loss, I set out to work harder than I ever have taking on enormous risk and sacrificing time for myself and family.
But along the path to finding meaning in my work, I found that it delivered the awareness and perspective I was longing for. With the highs and lows, I realized I never felt more alive and real. It has taught me that that sense of control is an illusion (founding a start up will do that to you).
And so from these experiences I am inspired to incorporate certain daily practices into my life so that I can further connect the heart and the mind - to consume the highs and manage the lows. I’ve joined the ranks of the confused, vulnerable, uncertain but also the faithful, optimistic, and hopeful.
So what is it that I set out to do? Most importantly, I’m not setting unrealistic goals but allowing myself to experience as I’m able to do - embracing the successes and failures as part of the journey. So I guess you could say these are the things I’d like to incorporate into my life - for me. There is a first time for everything and this is mine.
1. Allow myself idle time without feeling guilty. OK, the guilt is going to come no matter what but I’ll expect it and allow those feelings instead of beating myself up for having them.
2. Exercise - in the form of running and yoga. I hate exercising. I’ve been very successful at exercising the brain and can endure enormous amounts of mental strain but don’t have a clue how to do the physical. I’ve started to run (completing my first 5K) but I had so many starts and stops I’d hardly call it a run. I’ve been a member of Planet Fitness for a couple of years and worked my way up to on average 20 minutes of cardio exercise a day. What I want from exercise is to feel the benefits of not just the activity but the relaxation.
3. Maintain a Healthy Pace. I’m always looking for stimulation to keep my mind busy and happy. Usually it is in the form of professional work but even when I’m relaxing, it is in the form of work - in the garden, yard, house, etc. The little voice in my head takes in what is around me and turns it into work - I ‘have to’ do this or this ‘needs to get done’. I’m looking to be present and mindful of every moment so that I can avoid over stimulation and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Not a good place to be…
4. Get to Honesty. Wow, much easier said than done for sure. This is a hard one because it requires that you be honest with yourself before you can with others. That means taking a long continuous look into who you are, how you came to be and how that translates into every decision you make each day. I usually whip through things faster than the speed of light and going on how I’ve rationalized something. Taking the time to stop and think is scary and agonizing - but it is the only way to the truth.
5. Meditate. I’ve saved the hardest thing as last on my list. My mind has completely dominated my life as a way to avoid what I’m feeling. Again, this is a journey and I’m sure my mind will be playing tricks on me for a long time before I’m able to do this for 5 minutes.
So it is with the spirit of these 5 practices that I’ve wanted to write something personal which represents my ability to be imperfect and vulnerable and to put it out there for everyone to see. Although I’m hesitant to hit the ‘publish’ button before the year ends, I’m doing it for what is lost and gained.
My ‘Uncle Bud’ as he was fondly known, died at the age of 80 - 3 years ago today. He was the most generous person I’ve ever met and the favorite of his nieces and nephews. He was my protector and if you’ve every had someone that loved you no matter what - and you felt like the most special person on the planet because of him, when he’s gone, and you’re left on your own, you have not choice but find your own way - to be your own protector.
For these past few years, I’m incredibly thankful for having the opportunity to meet some of the most interesting, generous, and nurturing people who have filled the void that was lost (you know who you are). These people helped me along the way to live life more fully and overcome my fear. I guess that was his greatest gift to me.
"According to city officials, high-tech employment in New York is, much like Yipit, on the move, shooting up by 30 percent in the last five years, at a time when overall private-sector employment has decreased."
Bands are still bands, but now they’re little businesses, as well: self-produced, self-published, self-managed. When I hear from young people who want to get off the careerist treadmill and do something meaningful, they talk, most often, about opening a restaurant. Nonprofits are still hip, but students don’t dream about joining one, they dream about starting one. In any case, what’s really hip is social entrepreneurship — companies that try to make money responsibly, then give it all away.
So I’m spending the better part of this Sunday afternoon working on a 10 minute presentation I’m giving on big data at Defrag and like serendipity, I came across James Altucher’s tips on public speaking.
Like most people, I dislike having center stage but I’m determined to make it second nature. And like anything James Altucher does, he ‘puts it all out there’ and gives you tangible and realistic advice (well beyond the ‘imagine everyone is in their underwear’ which never worked for me).
Best of all, I’m hoping for the chance to meet him at Defrag (he is keynoting) - I’ve become an avid and honest follower ;-)
Hearing Mr. Hoffman wax philosophical about technology, it’s easy to understand why so many here seem to view him as something of a yoda. When he talks about “scale” — Internet-speak for having enough people use a network to make the network actually useful — he often invokes Archimedes, the great mathematician and inventor in ancient Greece.
According to lore, Archimedes created a device with a revolving screw-shaped blade to pump water against gravity: the Archimedes screw. Mr. Hoffman urges his followers to find their own levers and devices to encourage people to adopt their technologies. Entrepreneurs, he says, often spend too much time creating products and too little figuring out how to get people to use them.
I certainly found myself identifying with Ricard’s descriptions, in his own writing, of his youthful, worldly-wise dismissal of “happiness” as a goal. I too was dismissive, well into adulthood, of the very word “happiness” and its overwhelming associations with the dream-come-true state that ends movies, for example, or the happiness as “having it all” American way.
So while they tinker with their code, you might want to explore other alternatives that can help you measure your social media effectiveness. We have come up with 17 different services, some free, some fairly expensive. I have tried most of them and will give you my impressions so you can have a head start with your own explorations.
“I think it’s less about grief than remembrance,” she said. “Grief starts to become indulgent, and it doesn’t serve anyone, and it’s painful. But if you transform it into remembrance, then you’re magnifying the person you lost and also giving something of that person to other people, so they can experience something of that person.”—
Patti Smith - Requiem Lass
In memorial Patti Smith images from “Camera Solo,” which will open at the Wadsworth Atheneum museum on Oct. 21.
A woman of photos and firsts - Ruth Gruber celebrates her 100th birthday and tells a fascinating story of her life - embracing her sex while challenging stereotypes. Rebelling every step of the way of her life and an amazing storyteller…
In the nineteenth century, the first industrial revolution brought together print and literacy with coal and rail. In the twentieth century, a second industrial revolution combined the telegraph and telephone with oil and nuclear power. Jeremy Rifkin says we’re now on the cusp of a third industrial revolution merging internet technology and renewable energy. He’s president of the Foundation on Economic Trends and an advisor to the European Union on climate change and energy security.
LISTEN as he joined Diane Rehm today to discuss how this new economic vision can create millions of new jobs and transform society in the twenty-first century.
Perhaps the most important reason, beyond the financial crisis, is the overall skill level of the work force. The United States is the only rich country in the world that has not substantially increased the share of young adults with the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree over the past three decades. Some less technical measures of human capital, like the percentage of children living with two parents, have deteriorated. The country has also chosen not to welcome many scientists and entrepreneurs who would like to move here.
If you don’t build something, or solve a problem, that you’re extremely passionate about, you’re really only going to be able to handle the good times. When things are going extremely well, life will be great. You’ll love your job, you’ll love your investors, and your mom will love you, too. But when crap hits the fan you’re going to begin to get weary. And tired. And depressed. And if you’re not extremely passionate about what you’re doing, a market’s quick turn or a VC’s even quicker “no,” is more than enough to discourage you from your effort.
Above the Funnel: Making the Connection between Social Sales & Marketing and Measurable ROI
Social media creates powerful ways to build and strengthen customer relationships but the practice is still in its infancy including the methods, the organizational structures, and the tools. We’re talking about the intersection of marketing and sales that social media is forcing - the need for a closed loop marketing and sales cycle is here.
Please join us in our interactive, panel discussion 10/6 2PM EDT.