Tags: steve jobs

How to Retain the Talent Large Corporations Tend to Lose

How to Retain the Talent Large Corporations Tend to Lose

Beyond • December 21, 2011

It may seem difficult for the current American workforce, but there was a time not so long ago when the company that hired you fresh from graduation was likely to be the same one that gave you the gold watch upon retirement. All of that has changed as the value of an employee to the company as a whole currently tends to be in direct proportion to their likelihood of bailing. Whether they go to work for a competitor or start up their own company, the bottom line is that this brain drain is hurting companies… on the bottom line. There are some ways to retain this talent but it requires a radical re-think of corporate policy that some top executives are still stubbornly resisting. If You Love Something Set It Free The prospect of laboring under the mass of a large and impersonal corporation is claimed by many as a reason to seek greener pastures. The stultifying bureaucracy that marks most multi-nationals is often cited as a prime motivator for the highly-talented to head for the exits. The truly valuable, visionary employees generally seek to be passionately involved with their projects and this desire is rarely rewarded in corporations where a specific group of employees is inflexibly buttonholed into a particular project or department. Walling in a company’s most proficient and competent thought-leaders is a direct precursor to seeking to fill their newly-vacated cubicles. The Visionary Must Be Allowed to Soar The high talent individual is apt to feel more at ease calling their own shots rather than following corporate dictates that they may see as imperious or irrational, yet most large corporations fail to recognize this proclivity or cater to it. The reasons emanating from the head office can certainly be considered valid, such as the employee not being privy to critical information exchanged in the boardroom that justifies a categorical policy. Regardless of the rationale, the visionary identity needs to have the freedom to soar to its own altitude and the ceiling imposed by many corporations truncates this trajectory. Some See It as Touchy Feely Nonsense Executives may rail against the granting of such freedoms and the in-depth comprehension of an employee’s motivations and personality as “touchy feely nonsense” but the corporate reality of recent years proves that the loss of a single visionary individual can be a powerful detriment to the company as a whole and its entire future. Failure Turned into Success by a Change in Perspective A highly-talented employee does not have to be cited in the Steve Jobs class of visionary to have a strongly positive impact on a corporation. Virtually every sizeable company has at least a handful of individuals whose dedication to “thinking outside the box” has had remarkable effects. These origins can often arise from a completely unexpected place. It was the abject failure in the research and development of a superstrong glue that resulted in a superweak glue… which turned out to be absolutely perfect for the invention of 3M’s multi-billion dollar business of Post-It Notes. Every business wants to rise to the next level of success and profitability and it may be difficult for many top executives to recognize that the keys to these triumphs may be in the hands of the relatively low-ranked employees who have a firm grasp on “the vision thing.” Although it may violate the time-honored standard of top-down corporate governance, the savvy executive should not only seek out but grant ample liberties to visionary employees, as they may turn out to be a primary contributor to building stellar shareholder value.


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Costume Ideas, Google+, BlackBerry, The Weekly Wrap’s Got It All

Beyond • October 21, 2011

Have you decided what you’re going to be for Halloween yet? I may have a last-minute idea for you. Read this edition of the weekly wrap to find out what it is. In Memory of Dennis Ritchie (1941-2011) I can’t be the only one that saw the name Dennis Ritchie trending on Twitter and assumed it was Lionel’s brother. Right? Fine. I was the only one. Sue me (please don’t sue me). If you were as confused as I was and don’t want to admit it, read this post In Memory of Dennis Ritchie (1941-2011). Women in the Workplace: Has the Internet Expanded Opportunity? My mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Luckily, I’m not sexist and can tell you to check out this great post on Women in the Workplace: Has the Internet Expanded Opportunity? Benchmark Email Releases Free Manual on the Entertainment Industry Sadly, it doesn’t cover how to stop making so many knock offs, reboots and super hero movies. Maybe if they did better email marketing they could afford to make better movies. Better check out our Free Manual on the Entertainment Industry. 5 Timeless Marketing Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs #6: It doesn’t matter if you can count in Spanish if your name is Bono. Discover the other 5 Timeless Marketing Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs. DIY Websites: How to Create, Launch and Manage Your Own Site Channel your inner Martha Stewart. No, I don’t mean get involved in insider trading and spend time in jail. I mean learn about DIY Websites: How to Create, Launch and Manage Your Own Site. Netflix Drops Qwikster and Reincorporates DVD Service Sure, it could have been the thousands of other posts skewering Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that caused him to rethink his plan, but I’m going to say it was my take on it that made Netflix Drop Qwikster and Reincorporate DVD Service. Brick Joke: BlackBerry’s Self-Inflicted Tribulations I thought it was a fitting joke that at Steve Jobs\' tribute yesterday, Coldplay dedicated “Fix You” to BlackBerry. Chris Martin wasn’t the only one to tell a Brick Joke: BlackBerry’s Self-Inflicted Tribulations. Support Update: Facebook Integration with Benchmark Email You know the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, Facebook broke our integration. You’ll need to reconnect your account to accept their new permissions. Find out how in this Support Update: Facebook Integration with Benchmark Email. Is Google+ Alive or the Walking Dead? So is it going to be this year or next year that someone dresses as Zombie Google+ for Halloween? Find out, Is Google+ Alive or the Walking Dead? iPhone 4S: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade? The eternal child in me is screaming, “NEW TOYS! I WANT TO PLAY WITH SIRI!!” For now, the party pooper known as my bank account is acting as the voice of reason. Where do you stand on the iPhone 4S: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?


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iPhone 4S: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?

Beyond • October 19, 2011

Reading the reviews of the iPhone 4S could lead some to believe that there are two different variants making the rounds: one that is a welcome, feature-laden descendant of the earlier iPhone 4; and another that is an embarrassingly disappointing prologue to the post-Jobs age where Apple’s famed innovation has gone the way of Hummers, zero-down mortgages and breezing through airport security. Regardless of the reviewer’s slant, there seems to be universal agreement that the iPhone 4S is an evolution rather than a revolution. Unlike earlier model introductions where Applephiles would dump their older models in a heartbeat, there are actually some who might be better off holding onto their iPhones rather than engaging in knee-jerk upgrading. Brilliant 4S Innovations Cosmetically, the iPhone 4S is a clone of its predecessor, but when you delve into the details you discover that there is barely any aspect of this latest Apple smartphone that has not been extensively revised: The dual core CPU is considerably faster and more capable than earlier single core iterations The camera has been boosted to eight megapixels with 1080P full HD and has a variety of automatic features added The battery provides the same duration as earlier models even though the 4S has considerably greater electricity requirements AirPlay mirroring is absolutely addictive The antenna doesn’t require the mastering of Masonic handshake positions to get reception ...and of course there’s Siri, which is the game changing artificial intelligence voice assistant that is the primary reason to get the iPhone 4S - and is the first step towards the conversion of all human-machine interactions to conversational speech. Old Nags Are Still Present However, not all is perfect in 4S land: Flash is still verboten, locking out nearly three quarters of all active web content The headphones still don’t measure up to the cheap Chinese imports at the local dollar store Satellite navigation is still an extra cost option … and most of all: the 4S is widely regarded as a half-measure on the way to what promises to be a far more revolutionary device in the iPhone 5, which is widely rumored to encompass a swath of new technologies ranging from a larger screen and 4G/LTE support to teleportation and phaser fire. However, this marvelous fantasy device may be as far as a full year away from introduction, so what should an iPhoner do now? Upgrade or hang on? Upgrade Now? Maybe Not If you’re a dyed in the wool enthusiast with Apple juice running through your veins, you’ve likely already stood in line to be the first one on your block to have a 4S. However, if you’re a bit more rational about how your smartphone fits into your lifestyle it may not be necessary to take the 4S leap right now. Most people don’t use their phones as a substitute for a digital SLR, so the capabilities of the new camera will be lost on them, and you can bet that after a brief novelty fling with Siri most 4S owners will rarely ever use it again. Considering that a 4S is going to set you back a couple hundred dollars plus whatever your carrier is going to tack on, the value of upgrading now may be questionable for some Most Mobile Phones Are Used as… Phones The vast majority of the Earth’s 5.3 billion mobile accounts are on phones that allow users to make voice calls and send texts (remember those nostalgic functions?) and get along just fine without pushing the 4S dual core to the limits while playing Infinity Blade. Even many of the owners of the advanced Apple and Android mobile units fail to take full advantage of their devices’ impressive functionalities in their median everyday use.If you need Siri and/or just have to flash the coolest, latest hyperdevice around the workplace or bar, by all means go grab a 4S. If you can rationalize holding on to your iPhone 4 or even (gasp) the 3GS or (double-gasp) the 3G until the 2012 premiere of the iPhone 5, you might find you’ll be a bit richer and just as happy.


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5 Timeless Marketing Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs

Beyond • October 17, 2011

The unfortunate passing of Apple’s Steve Jobs last week left a flood of comments and messages across the web. It took social media by storm too, as just about everyone (Apple user or not) shared inspirational quotes by Jobs. And it is a testament to the man that he will inspire for many years to come. Steve Jobs embodied what it meant to “think differently,” to leave secured success behind and venture into the riskiest trade there is – setting up your own small business. There’s a lot to be learned from Steve Jobs. Government, finance, education, philanthropy – just about every sector can learn something from the iGenius. But I’d say small business owners have the most to learn from a guy who had a dream and turned it into an empire that only produced the best of the best, and who became a 21st century icon because of it. A guy who started Apple in his parents\' garage and turned it into a business that is presently worth more than the United States government. Here’s what you can learn from Steve Jobs’ legacy. Don’t Worry about the Sale - Instead, focus on the service or product. Think of the saying “If you build it, they will come.” Apple is the poster child for this saying. Steve Jobs held true to this not only focusing on the product but the entire package. He didn’t just think of one way to improve your life as far as his products went, he thought of every way possible. He then took it a step further and turned products into services, like iTunes. Always think about the entire life cycle of your end client. Anticipate their needs and then go a step further and create needs by creating products and services they can’t (or don’t want to) live without. Become a Thought Leader – Apple became a best selling brand not only because of Apple, but because of its founder, Steve Jobs. Jobs became the thought leader, inventing the tagline “Think Differently,” creating a brand around the prefix “i” and developing himself into so much more than just another CEO. People wouldn’t just get excited about Apple; they’d be excited about him. Be a thought leader by breaking the mold in your industry. No matter what your field, be the best in it. Get involved in the dialogue, offer to give speeches, attend seminars. Know everything there is to know about the game, then create new ways of playing it. There’s no way you won’t succeed with this strategy. Take a Position – Apple is identified as much by what it stands for as what it doesn’t stand for – banality. Apply this rule to your company by letting people know what you’re not…then deliver on that every single time! Looks Matter – I always stress the importance of aesthetics. Nothing turns away clients or screams “amateur” like a shoddy business front. Whether it’s online, in person, how you appear or even your stationary or packaging – a poor appearance doesn’t get remembered favorably. It also communicates inefficiency and no one wants to be associated with that. I can’t think of any company that serves as a better example of recognizable design on every level, from the product, to the shop, to the packaging. Roll with the Punches – Every company has a setback. What matters is whether you evolve from them or whether you become a sinking ship. Apple’s setback occurred in 1985 when the company wasn’t doing well financially and Jobs was booted from his role in the company. But he didn’t call it quits. Instead, he started NeXT and ended up purchasing Pixar Studios – which Disney later bought for $7.4 billion. Apple, still struggling, bought NeXT and brought Jobs back. Jobs, in a Stanford address, said that “The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.” This last message is perhaps the most relevant in our ongoing recession. Failure can be turned into an opportunity, so long as there’s a creative and willing mind to further it.


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In Memory of Dennis Ritchie (1941 – 2011)

Beyond • October 14, 2011

Steve Jobs passed away last week and it shook the world. He was a rock star. We discussed his impact on computing, communication and marketing. The computing world lost another rock star this week, albeit a lesser known one to the masses. If you are a programmer, though, Dennis Ritchie was every bit of the super star that Jobs was, if not more so. Dennis Ritchie was the creator of the programming language C, one of the most widely used programming languages ever. You may have heard of C++, which began as an extension to C. Ritchie was also a key developer of the UNIX operating system. Much of what you are able to do on a computer today is a result of what Ritchie’s brain has spawned over the last several decades. He may not have had the name recognition of Jobs, but he was incredibly influential in the computing experience. President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Technology in 1999. It is sad that we are approaching a time where we are going to start losing some of these titans of the computer industry. Their legacy will live on in what we are able to do as a result of their blood, sweat and tears. The titans of tomorrow will accomplish what they will because of the influence of men like Dennis Ritchie.


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Will iCloud and iOS 5 Change Your Email Marketing?

Beyond • June 7, 2011

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs took the stage at the recent Worldwide Developers Conference, the reaction of the audience verged on rock star adulation, and that was before he even announced the big news of the day: the new iCloud paradigm. Fully embracing cloud computing unlike any other company, with the possible exception of Google, iCloud serves as a music, app, photo, document and other data synchronization process that maintains up to 10 different user devices updated with a variety of content, whether originated by the user or purchased outright. Amidst the hoopla surrounding the announcement came various other introductions to iOS 5 and Apple’s new email services, which have a more immediate impact on email marketers. A Finger Swipe Will Bring up the Notification Center Animation Scott Forstall, the head of iOS software for the market leading iPhone and iPad, trumpeted that mail is the most often used application on the various i devices. This latest release adds various goodies such as addresses that can be dragged from one place to another, the ability to flag specific messages and a search function that can burrow through your entire inbox to find particular text strings. Although these are welcome features, the Notification Center seems to be of great interest to email marketers. This section at the top of the i screens relays missed calls, messages and email in an animation. These notifications will no longer pop up as in earlier iOS versions but be accessible by a finger swipe across the top of the screen. The From Line & Preheader Will Have to Carry Even More Weight The Notification Center places an entirely new emphasis on From lines, subject lines and/or preheaders. Judging from the screenshots shown at the conference it seems that the new feature will display the sender and approximately 80 characters of preheader. If this is indeed the graphical approach taken in the final release of iOS 5 this fall, then email marketers may have to front-load a majority of their ammunition into these two lines, making the From line and preheader/subject line not just more important than ever for Apple i device subscribers, but essentially the only important thing. The From Line Is Too Prominent to Be Wasted on a Name Welcome to the world of the iSoundbite. You have two lines to make your proposal to the iPhone and iPad carrying masses or your open rates will dwindle down to the goose egg stage. Since the From line is definitely featured prominently and at the top in bold, this form of notification may trigger a renaissance in the art of the sender name. Will whimsical sender names such as F. Stop Fitzgerald at Flasssh Photo, Selma Junkoff at Bidd Auctions, Natalie Attired at Modah Fashion or C. Colin Backslash at DOS Data Services become the way to grab iAttention, or will the names end up being more tightly tied into the subject matter, such as Eel Electronics Discount Voucher This Week Only, or You’re Invited To The VIP Event At Snore Sleep Center? I Sing the Preheader Electric What form of 21st century poetry will arise from the efforts of email marketers everywhere to cram complete attention grabbing calls to action within those two precious little lines animating at the top of i screens? Is the next Walt Whitman, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson or e e cummings lurking in some marketing cubicle waiting to unleash I Sing the Preheader Electric upon an unsuspecting world? Whichever email marketer first masters the art of drafting two-line combinations that will grace the top of i devices everywhere will find themselves in a very envious, and lucrative, position. The Apple world is yours for the taking, if you’re up to the task!


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